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Mirage IIIO 1/32, Scratchbuild

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That's damned clever, what a great solution to the wing droop problem! It's so good to see this underway again, I reckon you've earned yourself a cold beer or two. :)



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Here's where last post got us up to.  Most of the major components are now at least roughed out and can be stacked up in a sort of stuck together fashion, but the different bits don't really interlock much. In fact  at this point the entire fuselage is just sitting on top of the wing assembly, which makes the entire profile of the model completely wrong.


It's time to cut some rebates so the different bits will slot together.



First though I thought I would add some insurance to prevent a tail-sitter. I'm fairly confident that this one won't tail-sit but there's no harm in being careful. Here I've drilled out a hole in the center of the nose-cone, plugged it full of small fishing sinkers and sealed the whole thing up with automotive putty.  I repeated this weight-adding exercise in a few spots in the fuselage as well and am now very confident that all will be well.  Prior to final gluing I'll do a test to be absolutely certain.



Anyway, obviously I need to cut a rebate in the bottom of the fuselage so that the wing can sit in its correct location and not just act like a bookshelf.  No photos of the actual cut being made but there's no real need. All that's required is a bandsaw cut in the correct spot that matches the curve of the top of the wing.




Here's the result.  Note how the wings now nestle into the main fuselage parts.  Just ignore the slice of plywood between the top of the wing and the fuselage as I subsequently decided against having it there and you might never see it again.  What you cannot ignore of course is the fact that the central spine of the fuselage (the bit that contains the cockpit) and the tail, now both sit far too high relative to the rest of the fuselage.  They too need rebates trimmed out of them since at this stage they are still just sitting on top of the wing.



Here's the surplus at the root of the tail that must be cut off to ensure that the wing and tail don't clash.



Once that bit is cut off the tail root, the tail sits in place quite nicely.  Obviously a similar rebate has to be cut from the central fuselage piece.



Once that's done and the whole thing's stuck together with garish lime-green masking tape she looks like this...



and from underneath; like this. Note that the ventral fuel tank is just balanced there at this point.



Ta Dah!  Looking more 'Miragey' than ever!  👍



That's it for now.   


I think the next step will probably have something to do with the air intakes.



Best Regards,

Bandsaw Steve

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It is a strange feature of Australian linguistics that almost any noun that is either multi-syllablic or compound is likely to be reconfigured.  The standard method is to preserve the first syllable and replace the final one with 'ies' 



  • 'Photograph' becomes 'Photie'
  • 'Picture become 'Pickie',
  • 'Tradesmen' become 'Tradeies' 
  • 'Barbeque' becomes 'Barbie'
  • 'Football' becomes 'Footie' 
  • Australian becomes "Aussie'... and so forth.

Having never actually served in the RAAF I cannot be sure, but I'm willing to bet two shrimps and a dingo that they used 'droppies' (and not 'drop-tanks') on just about every Mirage mission.   


So let's make a couple of 'droppies' shall we?


First though I promised to cut some rebates into the air-intakes (airies?) on this thing?  It's pretty self-explanatory really but here's a couple of 'photies' to show the process. 



Note how I've also cut out and started carving the dorsal spine.  No rocket science.  It's not yet fully carved to shape but it's getting there.



The process with making the 'droppies' is very similar to that of making the nose-cone.  As you can see, here I've reverted to a set of 'standby' drawings enlarged to 1/32 as the master set does not include drop-tanks.  First take a bit of aluminum lithoplate and cut it to match the shape of the tank.



Also measure and record the final diameter of the tank, here 14.05mm, this is the width that we will have to turn the dowelling down to.



You can hand-carve these things but it's way way easier to turn it with a lathe.



Just keep lathing away and slowly bring the piece down to the shape and size indicated by the lithoplate pattern.



Getting there...



It's important to keep working on both tanks at much the same time,  i.e.  do a little bit on unit 1 and then do the same thing to unit 2.  This way you give yourself the best chance to produce two items that are close to identical. 



As you get closer to the final shape and size switch to a fine-tooth rasp.  As you get even closer, move to coarse sand-paper and finer and finer grades as you get closer to the final shape / width.



Getting close now...



Looking pretty good. The trick is to get them looking identical.



The lathe can only get the ends so fine though, so cut them off and then...



Sharpen the tips up with a chisel.



These are not finished yet,  there's more sharpening to do and they still need fins and pylons, but I think they are definitely adding to the look of the thing.



And from behind.




So - the droppies are mostly done and we are home in time for tea and biccies!


See you next time Mirage fans,


Bandsaw Steve


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3 hours ago, Brandy said:


Since they are wood, does that make them "woodies" too?


No, definitely not.

‘Wood’ is a one syllable word so the method does not apply. Besides over here the word ‘woodie’ already has a separate meaning and it’s a little bit rude! 😮 


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Your droppies are beauties mate! 


I've been practising my Aussie for the Ashes....😉


I have a feeling it will beAussies 5, Pommies  0. 😱


Seriously though, that is wonderfully practical and thorough work. Looks like you're having great fun too!



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19 hours ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

Besides over here the word ‘woodie’ already has a separate meaning and it’s a little bit rude! 😮 

I know, that's why I mentioned it!



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Why Jarrah?


Often when I discuss scratchbuilding model aeroplanes with people they are surprised that I choose to use jarrah for the main construction and not balsa.  Jarrah is a heavy and hard wood and in those regards it's the dead opposite of balsa. This post will show you why I choose to use it.


Here is where we will start.  The main parts of the Mirage are now mostly completed although there's still at least one more major component to go on the underside. The 'cockpit and undercarriage muse' was upon me this week so that's what I've been working on. 




First mark up where the cockpit cavity must go.



Then attack each half of the central bit of the fuselage with a scroll saw.  A fret saw or a bandsaw would also work but I've now got the hang of the scroll saw and am really getting to like its speed and accuracy. 






Remember that there are two halves to this central bit so both must be cut out. We then place the two sides together and file off any inconsistencies in finish or shape.



Note how thin the floor under the cockpit can be made. I think balsa would have broken, or at least bent, by this stage.  Jarrah is extremely strong and even cut this fine is completely unyielding.



Now we have to start carving out the front undercarriage bay which is immediately under and behind the cockpit cavity.



Hollow out each side of the UC bay using a craft knife and chisels.



The UC bay has now accidentally broken into the bottom of the cockpit cavity.  This was not really a surprise because the two cavities (cockpit and undercarriage) are so close together. Now the entire front of the aircraft will be held onto the main fuselage by just two narrow slithers of wood, one on on each side, just under the pilot's seat.  This is why I use jarrah; we need its strength.  



Here's another view of those two little bits of wood that will hold the entire front of the aircraft in place.



Now it's back to the scroll-saw to cut out some space for the rudder pedals and the pilot's feet while leaving a cowling in place for the instrument panel.



Here's how the project looks now.




And here's how she looks beside the Kifr C2.  When I built the Kfir I had ideas of building it on its undercarriage but in the end that never happened. I'm going to make a more determined effort with this Mirage.  I want it to sit on its own wheels.



That's it for now, 


Hope to post again soon.


Best Regards,

Bandsaw Steve




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51 minutes ago, RichieW said:

Jarrah looks the right choice then! It must still take a lot of nerve to make such intricate shapes with wood. It really is looking the part now.



Yeah it does get a bit nerve wracking. The worst thing now would be to drop it on its nose. 

By the way although I keep referring to jarrah I really just mean any carvable hardwood. Internationally mahogany is much better known and more available and I’m guessing would do just as well.




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6 minutes ago, Brandy said:

Blimey, that cockpit has some very effective air conditioning! Might be a bit cool at 30,000 feet though.


And at  supersonic speed I suspect the sticky tape might come adrift! 😲

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38 minutes ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

And at  supersonic speed I suspect the sticky tape might come adrift!

Gidday Steve, considering that's all that's holding it together that would (no pun intended) bode ill for the pilot.


Seriously, it's looking very good and you've made me put my thinking cap on again, re hulls. Looking forward to the next installment. Regards, Jeff.

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Very nearly had us believing that this was being made from scratch, but a quick search on Scalemates revealed that this is actually a commercially available kit! 😡


...and if you want proof, here's a picture of the spru(c)es :






On a serious note, I'm watching this build come together in awe.





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