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"Stiles Skystreak" - Would Waldo Pepper Fly this 38 Year Old Airfix Chipmunk Conversion?


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10 minutes ago, Back in the Saddle said:

......Presumably you designed that yourself, using the film images as references?


Yes, I took a number of screen captures from the film, both from the ground and from the aircraft mounted cameras. I then used those to alter an existing Chipmunk drawing, matching proportions of one known part to get the size of another.

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I gave the landing gear and struts a squirt of primer this morning, during a spare 10 minutes. Generally looks ok, but I need to do a little filling of the areas where the struts enter the fuselage. I've also been having a ponder about the wire wheels. I've never been one to spend on after market accessories, especially if I think I can make something myself - I'm much too tight for that! So I've been thinking about making some wire wheels. Being so small, making enough wire spokes to look right is unrealistic, so I've been thinking of casting some clear resin discs, with hairs stretched across in multiple directions, embedded in the resin, to represent the spokes. It may not work of course, but I'm curious enough to give it a try. I think I have some clear casting resin left over, so as long as it hasn't gone off, I'll give it a go.

stiles_skystreak_029.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force
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The struts were filled today and left to dry. They are going to be quite tricky to tidy up, so I can see quite a bit of fiddling and faffing to clean up around them. I'm onto loft flooring tomorrow, so I can't see much happening on this for a little while. The part of the loft I'm insulating and flooring is around 14 x 13 metres and that's not all the loft space there is!

 

stiles_skystreak_030.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Well, here we are in a new year and I've managed nothing on the Skystreak over the holiday! Almost all of December, I was back working on my Dodge truck again, building a crane on the back. Angle grinding, hacksawing and welding taking the place of scalpels, wet & dry paper and filler. Far more effort, noise and mess than modelling, but I was pleased with the finished result. Having three hobbies is such a drain on my free time! New Year Resolution......I will finish the Skystreak this year!!

 

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@k5054nz I actually found some time this morning to work on the wheels. I'll have some pictures later of the initial stages of the wheels, but for now, the clear resin is drying in my curing cabinet, so I won't get to see what they are like until tomorrow. The resin is at least a year old and mixing a fairly small amount, I'm not sure how well it will cure.

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As mentioned above, I found a little time this morning to work on the wheels; or at least the first attempt at the wheels. I'm not sure how this will turn out so I may have a pair of wheels at the end of this, I may not! But here goes! I knew I had some rubber 'O' rings somewhere in the workshop and it took a while to find them. It was a pack of various sizes, none of which were small enough, so I kept chopping bits out until the ends curled around reducing the diameter to about 10mm.

 

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One was cut first, until it looked to be about the right size, then the second was cut to match. The ends were then joined with cyano. The tyre may look slightly too fat, but I'm hoping that painting a rim well help balance the look of the tyre against the wheel diameter.

 

stiles_skystreak_032.jpg

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Next, some 0.1mm wire, either stainless or ni-chrome ( can't recall ), was cut and taped out in a spoke pattern. They were stuck down to a piece of MDF covered in parcel tape.

 

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The rubber 'O' rings were placed over the spokes and clear resin poured into the centre. I knew it would slowly leak out from below, so it was left to thicken a little, topped up and a second weighted board placed on top to press the 'O' ring down into the wires. It was then placed in my curing cabinet to harden. I know there'll be some tidying up to do, if and when it cures. Being old resin, I don't know if it will fully harden or just stay rubbery. Time will tell. They don't need to be perfect as this isn't a competition model, so as long as they are reasonable, they'll do for me.

 

stiles_skystreak_034.jpg

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This morning, I peeled off the top weighted board to reveal the wheels. Not too bad, but a couple of large air bubbles in them.

 

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The excess resin on the outside could easily be trimmed away, but I concluded the best way to hide the bubbles was more of the same resin. It would have the same optical quality and so should hide the bubbles. I'd need to mix up more resin than needed to get the quantities right to get a good cure.

 

stiles_skystreak_036.jpg

 

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There were a number of micro bubbles in the resin too, as I don't have a vacuum chamber yet, but I can live with those.

 

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The excess resin and wire around the wheel was trimmed off with some wire cutters and given a light sand. It took some effort to chase the air out of the bubble hole after resin was added, but eventually I got there. I then added a little more resin on top to allow any air to rise away from the wheel. This would be sanded off and polished.

 

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After the wheels were left to cure again, the filler around the pylons was sanded and then primed again. That was as far as I got today.

stiles_skystreak_039.jpg

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An intake was added to the fuselage today. It's not a normal Chipmunk feature, so must have been something added for the film.

 

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After much consulting of screen captures, I drilled the wings for the rigging wires. Again, these were added for the film, one around the main spar position and one just behind the leading edge of the wing.

 

stiles_skystreak_041.jpg

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A blind hold was also drilled for a replacement pitot tube.

 

stiles_skystreak_042.jpg

 

After that, across the day, the Skystreak received multiple thin coats of white, baking between coats in my curing cabinet. It's now going to be left to fully harden before I handle it again.

 

stiles_skystreak_043.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Just letting you all know it's not forgotten, but with modelling being my third and least active hobby, projects can be on hold for some time. I got the guest bedroom finished, but with the good weather arriving, work has moved to the garden. I'm now building my new astronomical observatory ( second hobby ) and we're into military vehicle season ( first hobby ), so modelling is way down the list of priorities right now. The Skystreak is still on the bench in plain sight and keeps reminding me it's there every time I'm in the workshop, but the workshop is quite full with bits of shed being modified!

 

obsy032.jpg

 

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  • 7 months later...

I'm sure we'd all like to see the Skystreak progress, me included, but this year has been crazy busy with the house, observatory and garden. My workshop has been full of stuff most of the year and things haven't changed!

 

The pictures above show the workshop full of observatory parts. I was modifying a 12x8ft pent roof shed to the roll off roof observatory, but the wooden shed was only 50% of the job. There was a huge amount of clearing and ground works, including the pouring of around 1,000Kg of concrete for the footings and the two piers for the telescope mounts. That of course involved a huge amount of excavation!

We went from this when we moved in.....

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.....to this at the end of August this year. We also extended the concrete hardstanding around the garage for my trailer and moved the garden shed. There's lots more groundworks to do to the right of the observatory. A new lawn and a 1/1 scale garden railway!!!

 

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When we moved in, we found the old driveway gate behind the garage. It was somewhat rotten in places, but due to the fact that there used to be two railways that ran across the bottom of the garden in days gone by, I thought a railway garden feature would be a nice nod to the past history of the site. As a result, the old gate was restored to become a level crossing gate. I plan to lay about 16 feet of track beyond the gate, with wild flowers beyond that.

 

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As part of the next step of the garden project, we had 38 railway sleepers delivered to form a retaining wall between the old lawn and the new raised lawn and railway area. They all ended up in the back corridor and my workshop, drying out so they could then be painted with shed paint and bitumen. I can't even reach my modelling bench due to the three stacks of sleepers in front of it!

 

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The observatory is getting some good use, but that is still a second hobby, behind the 1/1 scale military vehicles. Modelling now comes at least third and usually behind the first two and house and garden jobs. I do want to get back to the bench, as I also have a 1/72 scale halftrack that my daughter wants to build, after having a ride in a real halftrack last year.

 

obsy380.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

It's been a tad over a year since I did anything on the Skystreak, but over the last week, my workshop has slowly turned back to a more organised state. It still has 36 railway sleepers piled up in the middle of the floor, but now I have a more or less clear work bench again. With wifey and daughter out for the day and it's too cold and frosty to be working on the military vehicles in the garage, I turned my attention back to the Skystreak. It really is a year since I had more than about 18 inches of free bench space, or the ability to actually sit at the bench!

 

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I'd left the project where I was trying to make some tiny wire spoked wheels, which are around 10mm diameter. I'd cast clear resin into a rubber 'O' ring, with thin wire laid across for the spokes. I had a few air bubbles, which were filled with more resin and that was where they were left. This morning, I wet sanded the excess resin off the bubble overflow and from the edges of the tyres, then drilled the axle holes. This was quite hard, getting a tiny drill to cut through the resin without the spokes pushing it off centre. After that, the resin was wet sanded again, leaving it slightly frosty and the wheels were trial fitted.

 

stiles_skystreak_045.jpg

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After that, the axles and oleos were painted silver and left to dry.

 

stiles_skystreak_046.jpg

 

The wheels were polished with some T-Cut and then painted with Klear, to try and help restore clarity to the resin. They are seen drying here and that's where I left it, coming in for lunch while everything dries. There's not a huge amount left to do on the model. Wheels on, rigging, a prop making and a windscreen. I think that's about it. I lost the pilot ages ago. I'm sure he's in a box somewhere, but I've no idea where, so I may have to raid the spares box again for another!

EDIT - The wheels were attached later in the day.

 

stiles_skystreak_047.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force
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The wheels were dry this morning, so I moved on to the next step. The way the wheels were cast, the wire spokes were laid flat on the board and so the ends of them overlapped the tyre. The excess was of course sanded away, just leaving a small part overlapping the tyre. The easiest way to fix this was just to paint the tyre in matt black paint and paint over the ends of the wire.

 

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Here's the outside of the tyre after painting and with the paint still wet. There are quite a lot of micro bubbles in the clear resin, when viewed with a macro lens, but you don't have to be far away before the bubbles vanish and you just see the tyre and spokes.

 

stiles_skystreak_049.jpg

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While the tyre paint was drying, I had a rake through the spares box for props and pilots. Some of the props were handed the wrong way, but I found one that was suitable, with a little modification. There were several pilots, but only one looked slim enough to be trimmed to fit into the cockpit. He's the one on the left.

 

stiles_skystreak_050.jpg

 

The prop needed some filing at the blade root, to reprofile the blades, more in line with the screen captures from the film. Both blades were filed and then brushed over with some plastic solvent to get rid of the rough texture. They still need a wet sand with some fine wet & dry.

 

stiles_skystreak_051.jpg

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