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Mi-17 Czech Air Force...Probably!

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Basically I've been trying to sell my bike since early march but due to the weather, Covid, and the relatively short time until the TüV ran out it didn't move. So last week I renewed the TüV and replaced the tyres and lo and behold someone called to say they wanted it...The original plan was to sell it and buy something else as this one was only meant to be a temporary measure...However Covid has meant that my French job is being more and more delayed, necessitating an influx of cash🥺

Anyway today I said goodbye to my BMW and for the first time for 10+ years, I'm bike less (at least on this side of the world; I have two In Myanmar...) and likely to remain so for some time; not a prospect I'm relishing.... The weather was horrendous and the poor chap had a 150km journey home. He did at least get home safely...



Anyway enough of my personal problems and on with the other traumatic event of the day...fitting the fuselage halves together😱


A LOT of tape and the odd spring clip were needed...








I'm interested to see how it'll look in the morning. The worst bit(of course) is in the most visible bit around the hatch in the cockpit where the two halves join at the front. The underside of the cabin was also a nightmare as it needed pulling out to get it to line up. With hindsight I should've made a small bulkhead to support the long section. The banana tailboom doesn't look too bad but may have warped back by the morning🥴





That's it for today, hopefully tomorrow won't bring too many surprises when I take the tape off...




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Awesome detailing work Andy. Most impressive.


I'm sorry your bike had to go. Tough times for many of us.





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I feel like I'm talking to myself here, but you do get a better class of conversation this way😛

Anyway if anyone's actually reading this drivel there's good news and bad...Good is that we're off to France for the summer from next Thursday! Finally back to work after 3 months with no work and another 2 on very reduced salary🥰 Bad news is I need to get this finished by then or it'll be an enforced minimum 4 month hiatus. Mind you, looking at some of the WIPs on here that'd still be positively lightning fast😜


Right, let's get on with it then... Actually I lost a morning trying to find some knife blades. I didn't find any but I did find a model railway shop that sells Vallejo colours and Evergreen card and strip only half an hour away! Also the nearby DIY store has a large 'hobby' section with all sorts of useful bits and pieces, so it wasn't a complete waste of time😋


However it would appear the force is strong with this one; certainly stronger than my masking tape anyway🙄



Some filler will hopefully solve the problem as it's impossible to pull the sides together without doing damage to other areas. I don't know how this is going to work with the cockpit glazing though🤔



I also discovered a horrible growth on the fuselage that I hadn't found before...



Hadn't noticed this in the bad light last night. I really need to stop trying to do stuff after it starts to get dark... I did manage to get a blade between the halves and tidy things up though.



The engine bay covers got a bit of dirtying. Not happy with them really, but this is already the second attempt.



Likewise with the clamshell doors



The only other thing I've done is added the little details to the fuel tanks. Very little to do really but it was another thing to tick off the list. They won't go on until I've finished tidying up the fuselage seams.




These actually locate with two pins, but it looks like they're out of alignment-



The next assembly job is to start on the tail and main rotors which whilst reasonably detailed are still going to need some extra work. I'm waiting for the resin bits for the Main to arrive with the post so the first work will be on the tail rotor hub.


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On 5/17/2021 at 11:28 PM, Tomjw said:

Awesome detailing work Andy. Most impressive.


I'm sorry your bike had to go. Tough times for many of us.





Thank you😊

Yeah well although it’s my transport as well as my plaything we can’t justify running it as well as a car, but the news this afternoon that we’re off to France next week and hopefully have work for a few months is a relief. However our usual winter work is very unlikely to happen unless there’s a miracle so we still need to keep the belt tightish...although there’ll always be enough cash for this modelling lark I hope😋

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It doesn't feel like there's been much progress today as all I seem to be doing is little fiddly jobs, but I suppose there has been forward movement🤫


I thought I'd better see how the glazing was going to fit as the fuselage halves didn't meet at the top edge...Could be worse...


But it's going to need some work. Basically I think I'll have to do it in stages as it fits when various sections are distorted slightly. 



As I still need to do some filling and sanding first, I decided to mask the glazing. Not the easiest of jobs due to the compound curves.



Then some primer...



And finally some colour this evening- Looks like Kermit's Lovechild😋



I thought I'd try the Vallejo Liquid Mask on the Air con generator. Never used this before and just after I'd put it on I watched a video on Youtube that described how much of a nightmare it was to remove it from fiddly areas😥 Oh dear this is gonna be fun thought I...But actually it came off fine🙃







Then some wheel detailing...




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Then it was onto the whirly stuff. The main blades have had a coat or two of primer and I've done some work on the tail rotor.


Basic assembly before fettling



Then some hydraulic(?) lines. These were a monumental PITA and aren't brilliant, but my nerves and gorilla fingers can't cope with stuff this small🥺



Then the larger lines





I must say I'm actually quite pleased with this. However I'm very concerned about the tiny stub that's supposed to support all this! I may have to have a think about strengthening it otherwise I can see it heading floorwards in quick time...Apart from giving it a coat of primer that's it for today. The clock is ticking and I have a Docs appointment tomorrow as well as the rain finally bu99ering off if the forecast is correct, which means getting the e-bike out. But I'm sure I'll get something done...😉





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Not much to report but at least there's a bit of colour...


First job was working out which of the many blue/greys I have would match the blade colour. In fact there's a fair bit of leeway as there seems to be many variations in 'real life'; Sun, heat and cr*p from the exhausts all do their bit.



In the end I went for the Vallejo MA 71.337 Flanker Blue.



And 71.003 for the tail rotor blades.








Main blades go the same treatment.



Last job so far has been to touch up the chipped stbd engine intake cone and the engine cabling.



I'll probably wander up and add the darker steel colour to the blade leading edges. Probably won't get much done tomorrow as I've got to go for an interview with the Foreigners Department of the local government to justify my existence here despite having lived here for 20 years I now have to be interviewed, then I get a foreigner's ID card and if I'm working outside of the country I have to get a permission that normally takes two weeks😱 However the nice lady has said she'll get it ready for tomorrow... Brexit the gift(in the German meaning of the word) that keeps on giving🤬😡

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Posted (edited)

Welcome back viewers! Not much to report really...


Firstly, I now have a piece of paper from the government. I have no idea why but it cost me 50€(plus the fuel to drive there) so it must be important🙄



I did stop off at FRA though and snapped some pics of the Indian AF C-17 Globemaster that was on its weekly run to collect Oxygen apparently, on the way home...



Anyway back on topic. It's been mainly blades of one sort or another





I do so hate silver paint! It never seems to go on properly and the finish is always cr*p🙄 Also a bit of red leaked under the tape annoyingly.



Then onto the hub





That'll do for now.


Then the main blades







Some overspray to sort on the ends



I'd also been puzzling what to do about the parcel shelf that seemed to be visible on the CZ helis, then I discovered a pic of a model cockpit with a scratch built one fitted. So it was out with the plastic card again...





Then some lovely Evergreen strip.





Finally some paint and a chart😉



Last jobs have been trying to fit the glazing which is turning into a nightmare as nothing lines up. It's a case of gluing and taping a section at a time, as each piece needs the fuselage and glass pulled into position to line it up.



Whilst this was drying I started the masking. Liquid Mask on the windows, causing a couple to fall out and come loose🤬





Incidentally I had a delivery of knife blades, sanding odds and sods, and these things...



There are three different stencils and they've been useful in putting some detail back onto areas that have been sanded.



There's a company here in Germany dersockelshop.de that seem to stock everything you never thought you needed and it's very easy to get carried away with the shopping basket😆


Anyway that's all the progress for now. I very much doubt I'm going to get this finished by Wednesday evening so this will be something to look forward to on my return in the autumn. Wifey did suggest taking everything with us but the car would be full just with modelling stuff😛 We'll see how far things progressing the next few days...






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More disruption to my day due to us having to get a PCR test before entering France on Thursday. 160€ paid to a set-up in the basement garage of a health centre; All looked very dodgy, but at least the tests turned out negative...

On the Mil front there's not much to report apart from the glazing driving me nuts🤬😡 The fit is truly horrendous with gaps of several mm on the sides and deep grooves everywhere else. The problem is pushing edges into place and trying to tape them down such that they stay in place long enough for the Kristal Clear to dry(Think I'll go back to express wood glue next time🤔)

Anyway lots of filler, sanding, filler, sanding(rinse and repeat ad infinitum🙄) It's still far from perfect but will have to do, especially as there's a very good chance of damaging the glazing itself unless I decide attempt more tomorrow! 


























One of my first attempts at re-adding rivets...As my school reports always said 'Could do better'.



Meanwhile, the fuel tanks have gone on and the first coat of primer has been done too...





And the last job tonight, the hydraulic fluid sight glasses on the tail rotor were bodged and painted.


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Posted (edited)

Well it's official, this aint getting finished before I leave tomorrow morning! I had a good go, and probably rushed things which I'll probably regret and have to redo when I recommence😬

So the progress stands thus:


The masking for the underside/topside squiggly bit was a right royal PITA🤬 Tamiya tape, Pattex blu-tac stuff and masking tape.





Everything was primed then the light grey undersides were done. I then masked the border between the two and put on a coat of the initial lightest topside grey roughly where it should be. I didn't bother with masking as everything else was going over the top of it.





Once that was dry it was more masking for the green. 





This actually looks way too dark. I'd used the Hataka Czech colours for the greys but this was Vallejo's green version. I initially couldn't get on with the Hataka stuff the other week when I tried it on the internals but I thought I'd try some proper stinky thinners with it and that worked a treat; I was assuming it was water based but obviously isn't! I suspect I'll end up re-doing the green with the Hataka green even if they both looked identical🤔


Final job was taking most of the tape off and the liquid masks on the portholes as it specifically says on the bottle not to leave it on for too long and I suspect 3-4 months qualifies as 'too long'😋.  This caused more of the windows to pop out, so another job for my return...It'll keep me busy in the long winter🙄

Anyway, a long way from being finished but not too bad really...





Have a great summer everyone and I'll see you on the other side! I'm sure I'll keep myself updated on the progress of the many builds on here but will remain lurking until I'm back home...



Edited by 621Andy
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Wow, you get to do that as a job? You are soooo, lucky 😀


Looking forward to when you pick the Mil up again. I've enjoyed your build so far.





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18 hours ago, Tomjw said:

Wow, you get to do that as a job? You are soooo, lucky 😀


Looking forward to when you pick the Mil up again. I've enjoyed your build so far.





😋 Yep, when it’s good it’s great, but this last year has been a struggle what with Covid and then the coup in Myanmar as icing on the cake😢 But things here in the south of France appear to be getting back to normal at least...


Just heard that the rotor head kit has been posted today🤨 Hopefully it’s our usual postie and he leaves it in the wood kennel and doesn’t send it back🤔

Thanks for your comments on the build Tom, it’s appreciated and means I’m not completely rambling to myself😋...well no more than normal anyway😂

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  • 4 months later...

I'm back! Well actually we got home on Monday but it's been a bit hectic getting my feet back under the table so to speak. We had an excellent summer of flying which got extended due to Covid. My colleague is staying on for another two weeks but due to a course next weekend and dwindling passenger numbers I finished on Sunday.

It was looking like being a quiet winter work wise which would at least have meant plenty of building time, however it's shaping up to be at least reasonably busy; Time will tell how things pan out but I'm back to France for a month of winter maintenance and I have a meeting tomorrow at the nearby balloon manufacturing company who need someone to help out on the technical side😉


Anyway, I have managed to squeeze in some fettling...






I wasn't happy with the dark green as it was too dark. After much deliberation I went for the Vallejo Olive Green which seems a reasonable match and just oversprayed the dark green.


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The dark grey was next to go on. I used the Hataka Gunship Grey. As you can see I had some trouble lining up the joins between the colours-Must try harder😑




Then it was onto the more detailed painting; The exhaust surrounds...





I also wasn't happy with the cheat line between the upper and lower camo: Some pics show a random wobbly line, while others show a more regular wave. Either way, mine looked crap!














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The eagle-eyed will have spotted that the nose and tail have gained their yellow paint. I've actually found a pic of '0835' in this scheme which vindicates my decision to paint '0835' as per the '0837' scheme which does have yellow bits😇




Anyway here are some pics of the progress so far...




I appear to haver lost the door handle at some point today, but a clean up may rediscover it tomorrow...













I'm not happy with the scratches on the windscreen but they don't actually look as bad in real life🙄






Edited by 621Andy
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Oh, and I've had to do a mod to the tailplanes! When I joined the fuselage I forgot to put the sleeve in the tailboom that holds the fins on, so I've had to add a brass tube section, cut off the locating lugs on the tailplanes and drill them out to accept the tube...hopefully it'll look OK once it's assembled😬









Edited by 621Andy
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Well what a difference a day(or two😉) makes...Workwise, I'm now fully employed for the foreseeable! Turns out the balloon company are expanding their workshops and need someone to help out in various departments; they like the cut of my jib and are taking me on from December. Money is not what I'm used to at this time of year, but it's considerably better than sod all! This working for a living is going to severely curtail my building though🤔


Anyway, on with the elephant in the room: 2 steps forward, 1 step back seems to sum it up🙄 There have been some successes but also a couple of disasters...


I'll start with some bad news; whilst dry fitting the wheels to the lower u/c legs I managed to snap off one of the very spindly arms🤬  I tried re-gluing it with Contacta, Extra-Thin. and even resorted to CA but nothing would hold it despite leaving overnight... On top of this, I snapped off the axle in the wheel whilst trying to repair the leg!!!

I ended up drilling out the leg and the remains of the axle out of the wheel and fitting a bit of brass tube(bought in the closing down sale of our local DIY shop last year!).







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However...When I looked closer at the pics of the CZ aircraft, I noticed that the gap between the lower legs was actually faired in🤔 Sooo a couple of offcuts of Evergreen card to the rescue! I did the intact leg first so I had a reference and then cut the second one to the approximate size and tried to fit the missing arm and work out how much I needed to trim off...LOTS of swearing ensued as I needed three hands to hold it all in place. I gave up in the end and left it overnight with the triangle glued to one of the arms. I then very carefully trimmed it back bit by bit until it was the right size. This then became the brace for attaching the broken arm. 

It's all assembled now, but I do wonder whether the whole structure will support the now quite heavy fuselage🤫 I may have to make up a clear perspex support to sit under the fuselage between the rear wheels.








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Hi Andy, Just found this.
Didn’t know you were a “plastic brasher”

Whilst I view helicopters as aerodynamically, the work of black magic.  Good save on the undercart.😁





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Talking of the fuselage, I've been wondering how to attach the rear cargo doors bearing in mind if you have them open they're only supported on two tiny hinge points on each side🤫 In the end I decided discretion was the better part of valour and glued them shut! I wasn't particularly happy with the internals anyway.

The fit is awful but then it looks very agricultural on the real ones too.


It was then time to start adding the little details...including the missing doorhandle!



I used a chrome marker to colour it and stuck it in place on the sliding door and attached the door. As I'd managed to lose one of the side windows and several others were loose, I had a bit of a fiddle around to try and re-glue them. A right royal PITA but sorted it in the end, and cleverly disguised the missing porthole by using the one that normally fits behind the sliding door😉


I haven't added all the tiny little greeblys yet as I'll only break them off...However I'd got enough bits and pieces on to call it more or less ready for a coat of satin and time to face the decal mountain.

After having had a good look at the pics and the 2 different decal sheets more closely I've discovered that I can use the 0837 from the after market set and a few of the kit markings, including the roundels which are the low vis type.

I have to say the tiny Technomod decals are awful! They are so thin that they fall apart or fold over on themselves at the slightest touch. Luckily, quite a lot of them are duplicated on the sheet as instead of having one set for all the different modelling options, they've printed them individually for each depicted a/c. I still lost one or two but only a rivet counter will notice😋

Anyway, it's starting to look something like I had in mind originally. I'm going to have to make up some missing decals, including the CLV logo under the cockpit windows and the reg on the yellow nose panel.




















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13 minutes ago, Blogs On said:

Hi Andy, Just found this.
Didn’t know you were a “plastic brasher”

Whilst I view helicopters as aerodynamically, the work of black magic.  Good save on the undercart.😁






I'm a recent Covid convert😋 As with most people, I had a lot of time on my hands and access to Amazon...and now I'm hooked again! Bloody Corona has a lot answer for😉

Hope you're well matey😊

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12 minutes ago, 621Andy said:


I'm a recent Covid convert😋 As with most people, I had a lot of time on my hands and access to Amazon...and now I'm hooked again! Bloody Corona has a lot answer for😉

Hope you're well matey😊

I’m more of a ‘lurker’ on BM. I’m still happily collecting boxes but sod all time to stick anything together!
Still trying to complete my post-covid RTF and get my category back!

Good to see that you’ve got something to keep you busy and out of trouble nearer to home😁. Does that make you some sort of Bloon Consultant 🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🧐

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