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Mirage IIIO 1/32, Scratchbuild


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Happy Birthday Royal Australian Air Force

 

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force.  

 

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I am not going to write much about the history the of the RAAF because I am no expert.  Suffice to say that on this day 100 years ago this service was formed as an independent air-arm and it has strong claim to be the second such service formed anywhere in the world. It has been a cornerstone of Australia's security and this region's stability ever since.

 

The RAAF played an active and effective role in the Second World War as well as numerous 'smaller' but still very significant conflicts, including Korea, Vietnam, the two Gulf Wars and Afghanistan.  It has assisted in many peacekeeping and security operations around the globe and has played an important humanitarian role in innumerable civil defense emergencies.   At one stage, immediately after World War Two, the RAAF gave Australia the fourth largest national air arm (by number of operational aircraft) in the world.  We Australians, and our various allies should be most grateful for the service that the RAAF has provided over the last century. 

 

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Three years ago I started my build of an Avro 504 to mark the occasion of the formation of the Royal Air Force.  Now, it would seem wrong of me not to do something similar for the Air Force of my adoptive homeland.  I've been planning for this for a while and was hoping to have at least one of my three other threads on Britmodeller closed by now, but that has not happened.  Time waits for no-one and if I'm going to do this to mark the anniversary then I have to start today; ready or not.

 

If we are going to 'do' the RAAF - let's pick a good subject. Let's look at something fast... perhaps even supersonic.

 

Hmmmm... how about a swing-wing thing...? 🤔   Nice idea! But do you know how big one of those things is in 1/32 scale? My display cabinet is only so large.

 

What about something American with a big droopy nose, two big burner cans tucked in under a single swept back tail and tailplanes set an an outrageous angle of anhedral..... 😀 Again,  Nice!  But that's a very complex shape and I want to finish this before the next 100 years passes.

 

What about something French and triangular that I once saw when I was a lad at an airshow at RNZAF Wigram...

 

Yes! Now we are talking...

 

Let's do one of these!

 

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If you have seen my work before you know what comes next. Get a bunch of drawings together - in this case downloaded as PDF's from the internet - and get them printed to an exact 1/32 scale. In this case there are three 'master' sheets. Get one of each laminated and half a dozen copies of each printed out. Just use everyday copying paper, no need for anything special.

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Don't worry about the radar under the chin folks - I know that's not an RAAF thing.

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Here is the compulsory 'sprue shot after opening the box' photo.  A fair bit of plywood will be used but most of the parts are jarrah, the same stuff I used on the Avro 504. Jarrah is grown right here in Western Australia, is beautiful to carve and strong as anything.  This will be important since there's a good chance this thing will have gear down and once the forward undercarriage bay is cut and the cockpit hollowed out there will be very little remaining intact wood to hold the nose in place.  

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Now we do some dry fitting.  Yep - the major fuselage pieces fit together without any gap at all.  Note also how there's no ejector pin marks or other blemishes.  Tamiya quality fit - although lacking some detail at this point. 🧐

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Now I sat down and had a think.  How was I actually going to make this thing? Carve the fuselage out of a single block? Or break it into multiple more manageable components.  Overall this shape is a bit more complex than, say the Mig-15 that I built in 2016, and requires a bit more thought.  Once some decisions are made we can start marking out the cuts.  This is the first cut line marked up for the entire project.  This is the moment I consider that work actually began - 8.02 PM 31 March 2021 (WA time)...100 years to the day. 👍

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Like I say - initially there's a bit of planning and marking up required.  Some of the decisions might be a bit counterintuitive, but I've learned a lot over the course of my last few projects and I think there's method in my madness. Who knows though,  maybe there's just madness in my method? :fool: 
I've decided that there will be a separate central 'fuselage and cockpit' section cut out that will nestle between the air intakes and the rest of the fuselage assembly.  This component is defined at this point by the red ink. Somehow the wing will also need to be accommodated, but for now it's one thing at a time. 

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Now grab two lumps of wood and cut them longer than the section just marked out. One thing I have learned is that surplus wood is not generally a problem - insufficient wood is. 

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Hold the two pieces of wood in a vice and drill a series of holes (four in this case two on either side) clear of the planned cut area. Drill each hole about 3/4 of the way through the entire thickness. I guess it's harmless to go all the way through but this time I chose not to.

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Now slip a dowel into each of the holes and cut off the surplus.  In this case the dowel fitted into the holes perfectly so no glue was required at all! This is a bonus because, although I want these two bits of wood to stick together and stay nicely aligned, fairly soon I'm going to need to pull them apart splitting the fuselage in two again in preparation for hollowing out the cockpit and UC bay.

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Now cut out the paper plans and spray some cheap photo adhesive onto one side of the prepared wooden block. (No photos this time sorry, I forgot). 

 

Cut out the pattern with the bandsaw.  It was now getting late at night and this was after Mrs Bandsaw's 'powertool noise curfew' so I left a full 5mm clear from the pattern and just raced through the cut as quickly as possible to get the noisy bit over and done with.  This is the birthday of the RAAF, so noise curfew or not, there has to bandsaw action!  

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This is the result so far.  There's a long way to go...

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I hope that some of you come along for the ride.

 

Per ardua ad astra

 

Bandsaw Steve

 

 

 

 

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Ah! A Bandsaw build. I shall l follow this thread and lend my traditional encouragement! 

 

Martian 👽

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Very interesting to see how you get on with this with the various shapes and curves and how it all fits together,  hood luck with your build. I did like the obligatory sprue shot😄

Chris

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21 hours ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

Happy Birthday Royal Australian Air Force

 

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force.  

 

 

 

 

 

Hi there,

 

It is due to the 100th anniversary that the Mirage III (3) turned into a Mirage 111 ?

Or in remembrance of this vintage boxing ?

https://dockerills.myshopify.com/products/airfix-dassault-mirage-iii-c-1-72-scale-kit-vintage-red-stripe-box

 

The only Mirage bearing a number is the Mirage 5 in order not to be mistaken with the Mirage III V (V for Vertical).

However she  is sometimes wrongly referred as Mirage V.

Cheers.

AV O

Edited by AV O
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  • Bandsaw Steve changed the title to Mirage IIIO 1/32, Scratchbuild

And you certainly aren’t allowed to ‘help’ by  encouraging me to build a 1/32 RAAF F111 - I know that’s what you really want me to do! - you are so transparent!

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Well, I guess being called 'transparent' is better than being called 'thick'! 🙂 And does a coffee count as 'Help"? 😁

On a serious note (if that's possible here) I think the F-111C with its wings fully extended is one of the most graceful yet powerful-looking aircraft to take to the skies. Personal opinion of course. But I also like the low delta wing Mirage too, this one and the Mirage 2000. I may do one myself one day, although it will have nowhere the detail I'm sure this build of yours will have. Also, it will be 1/250 scale to match those I've already done.

     I used to watch a video music clip on Youtube that had a couple of Mirages flying over a desert. Very nimble machines they were. But I haven't seen it for quite a while now. It may have been deleted. Pity.     Regards, Jeff.

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Hmm... this will be interesting - a beautiful French lady in antipodean costume.

 

I was at an airshow at RAAF Edinburgh when a pair of Mirages went supersonic at low(ish) level and broke glasshouses all over Virginia. Very memorable!

I've alway loved the Mirage and was very happy to get the opportunity to sit in one some years ago at the now defunct Classic Fighter Jets museum at Parafield. I was slightly surprised by how tight the cockpit was.

 

Love your work, Steve. As C.J. Dennis would say, "I dips me lid".

 

Dave

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Nice even-grained lumber there! Sort of thing you'd make a wind tunnel or test tank model from. The central fuselage strategy makes sense: watching with interest.

 

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So you like a challenge then?

At first glance the delta wing looks like quite a simple shape, but anyone who has built a Mirage III will know different.

looking forward to more.

Stay safe.

 

John

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7 hours ago, Red Rat said:

Hmm... this will be interesting - a beautiful French lady in antipodean costume.

 

I was at an airshow at RAAF Edinburgh when a pair of Mirages went supersonic at low(ish) level and broke glasshouses all over Virginia. Very memorable!

I've alway loved the Mirage and was very happy to get the opportunity to sit in one some years ago at the now defunct Classic Fighter Jets museum at Parafield. I was slightly surprised by how tight the cockpit was.

 

Love your work, Steve. As C.J. Dennis would say, "I dips me lid".

 

Dave

I was at that show too.  There was a lot of cloud cover and humidity as I recall which may have contributed to the event by lowering the speed of sound on the day.

 

AW

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I was at a Farnborough display in the ‘60s when a 74 Sqdn Lightning, ( one of the display team ) went supersonic just past the airfield and caused quite a lot of damage.

 

John

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28 minutes ago, Vanroon said:

It's a Miracle! 

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G

Hi @Vanroon

 

I remember talking to you about this as a possible project once at your place, back in the days when I was bashing the Mig-15 together. And yes - miraculously - I have finally gotten to it. Hope you follow along! 👍

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On 31/03/2021 at 20:20, brianthemodeller said:

Woohoo - he's off again! And this time I promise to try not to mention lights and sound modules...

I bet he does..

 

I love

a: a scratchbuild

b: specially yours

😄 proper jets

 

And a scratchbuild, lovely stuff

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