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Airfix 1/48 Vampire with a twist


gingerbob
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Hi all,

 

Apologies for the fuzziness, but this is what my "top half" looks like:

 

5UQiORa.jpg

 

A quick test fit on the bottom suggests that the nose twist wants to force the bottom along with it, which worries me a bit.  I know that various other bits should help with rigidity, but I don't want to end up with misalignment.

 

So, for those who have the kit or have already built it, was your part straight?  If not, what did you do about it?  I imagine I'll try the hairdryer approach, but I wanted to run it by the hive mind before I committed myself.

 

bob

Edited by gingerbob
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  • gingerbob changed the title to Airfix 1/48 Vampire with a twist

Update: I did a bit more examining.  The above was true when I let the wings meet each other, which they did readily.  However, to my surprise, when I held the two pod halves together, they snuggled up pretty easily, leaving the wings going off in different directions (picture an X-Wing).  That makes me think that it might turn out better than it had seemed.  I'm hoping that by the time the spar/bulkheads, intake trunk, and intakes come into play everything will come into line.

 

Nevertheless, I'll do some more test fitting- I don't want to assume everything will be fine, then discover that the booms are askew and the nose wants to go off on a left-hand turn.

 

Are vampires right or left handed?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Bob,

I am building two of these together at the moment. One is perfect, the other has a similar twist but on the bottom half.  Having already read your post before I started I did look but did not see any twist ( because I looked at the tope halves of course) . It only really became apparent once I had fitted the intakes , front and rear spars and the U/C bay walls. Oddly on one of he kits I had real problems getting the latter together, the other fitted with a " click" perfectly.  That led me to look more closely and that's when I spotted the lower half twist.  Like you I am hoping the two halves will straighten themselves up when glued together as otherwise I may have to try to warm the plastic and try to correct the twist. What was the outcome for you please? 

Frustrating to get such warping on new modern kits. I guess they have been pulled from the moulds too quickly - poor QC yet again? 

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Mine was twisted like that but on the left side (viewed from the front) only much much worse. Still some test twisting suggested that it could still be built because the twit was in the upper half and the internals mostly attach to the lower and straight (in my sample) half.

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I wouldn't hold your breath about getting a replacement from Airfix. I'm still waiting for a replacement canopy for my 1/72 Phantom that I requested on November 18th last year...

 

:shrug: :unsure: :fraidnot: :swear:

Edited by Simon
typo...
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OK no worries Bob. I'll update this thread with my progress although my issue is " lower" compared with your " upper". 

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by yesterday afternoon, the glue had fully dried on all the spars, intakes and undercarriage bays.  Test fitting the upper half to the twisted lower half suggested that glue and clamping alone would not reset the nose so the front gear would hang perpendicularly, and the  port side joint on the side of the nose would have been frankly horrible and definitely visible inside the cockpit.  Out came a hair dryer and some gentle twisting. Surprisingly this seems to have worked and whilst not perfect, the joint will be tidy enough on the inside that I don't think it will be too visible,  Even on the " good" kit, I do wonder why the designer chose to have that seam line clearly running through the sidewalls when there is nothing to hide it yet it has to be fully painted in advance of applying glue to the seam. A separate sidewall as per Hasegawa practice would have been a much better solution.  I also found that even though the cockpit floor is seated fully on the moulded ledges, the upper half would not sit cleanly on either kit. I sanded the shoulders and lower sides of the rear bulkhead and this seemed to improve the fit.  I also had to trim off the lower of the 4 " pipes" that protrude beneath the box added to the starboard sidewall.  I definitely glued that exactly on the moulded lug so cannot see why that would be fouling the floor on both kits. I wonder if just the thickness of the paint inside the cockpit was enough to effect the fit.  Have to admit this kit is losing its shine for me and is becoming a bit of a chore to build.  Having built 3 Alleycat resin kits, I found those less trouble than this mainstream injected kit.  Of course it could just be me as there have been several reports of good builds here on BM.

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I rechecked the various parts and eventually removed the floors as I wondered if the lead shot I had glued in the void beneath was interfering with fit.  Re glueing the floors it did improve the cockpit side seams very slightly, however it's still a squeeze to close the halves and still did not resolve the 4 " pipes" still fouling the floor.  I've now added the seat, stick, and IP's carefully test fitting until the glue dried. I then added the tail booms. One of these was effected slightly by the " twist" in that the wing spars have been forced of position out by the tiniest fraction . I was able to resolve by a little sanding of the attachment point on one side in the area that will be hidden by the upper and lower fuselage halves. It does seem that the twist has caused the tiniest misalignments in multiple parts that are contained within the clamshell halves.  One example being the U/C bay liners. On one kit they almost click into place. On the warped kit they do on the starboard side, but on the port  side I has to trim them to be able to fit into the locating slots in the lower wing. I think this is because the twist has increased the dihedral on that side fractionally and that has effectively shortened the wheel bay.  It's tiny and not really visible to the eye but all the little  misalignments seem to add up.  I'll be gluing the top and bottom halves bit by bit over the next few days trying to ensure the best possible fit.

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Thanks for continuing with your experience.  I'm a little concerned that adjusting other parts because of the warp will only accomodate your warp, rather than work to counter it (in other words, "build it in").  The problem, of course, is that it is hard to see what the ultimate effect will be until everything is together enough to check alignment of things like the horizontal between the booms.

 

I do agree that a twist to the bottom half is probably more critical to alignment than a similar twist to the top (though getting the cockpit in happily might be an issue). 

 

bob

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I agree Bob, but what I have tried to do is to reduce that effect where I can but as you say, it's hard to judge until all the parts come together.  I got as far as applying glue to the leading edges today and the " twisted"  kit is looking a lot better. If I can close the port fuselage seam cleanly I think it will be OK.  In your case, I think the issue will be stopping the IP being removed by impact with the side pieces of the IP since the centre part is fitted to the top half, the other two to the lower with no tolerance for the gap in the middle.

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Yeah, I hadn't even thought about the "jam fit" of cockpit area with the top shell until you brought it up!  It is definitely difficult to "test fit" far enough forward to catch every pitfall.  Honestly my philosophy in recent times has been to trust the manufacturer before assuming that something is "just tooled wrong" (or really more like Reagan's "trust but verify") but sometimes you just have to depart from the sign-posted path and find your own way!  (Note that none of this philosophy is specifically aimed at this kit or Airfix.)

 

I had good intentions of messing with models today, but it was a 2-hour school delay due to nasty weather, the kit I thought I ought to be focusing on didn't motivate me, and what I really wanted to do was read/nap in bed, which I achieved.  Not that the day's over, but it does get a bit chopped up into bite-size pieces now.  (Monogram F-18 for Group Build is first "priority" just now, but I did think I should look some more at the Vampire, thanks partly to you, and also wanted to drool on a 32nd Revell Hunter.)

 

Good luck,

bob

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I would have a good look at it and if you are not confident you can salvage it, take it back to where you bought it for a replacement. It's definitely made the build have less joy than I had expected and it should not happen.  Poor QC at the factory.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I finally glued the entire airframe except for " moving" parts.  The seam on the warped kit on the port cockpit side is slightly visible inside as a small step- will need to hide that with some matt black paint,  the other kit fitted well with persuasion from 3 clamps in opposing directions and tape.  Looking at photos, that seam is not a visible panel line - it could be a demarcation between the wooden and metal parts of the cockpit pod but in all walkarounds I can see no line there at all so I have started the filling and sanding process to remove completely. The tail plane fitted perfectly between the booms which suggest the twist was thankfully removed at the rear. The only other area I needed to fettle were the inlets as they tried to push themselves back out away from the wing. A little sanding at each end fixed that.

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My  vampire kit was slightly warped but for the most part the fit was pretty good'. I did have to do some grinding to get the two fuselage halves to come together. I think the problem was the seating of the floor. Almost ready to glue the top and bottom fuselage together. the right front might need some clamping. (starboard)The Vampire has always been one of my favorites.

When I was young and coming home from our cottage I saw one crash into a field off the road. Just the tail was sticking out of the ground!  I later learned the pilot parachuted to safety.

Cheers, George

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well here I am some 15 days later and still those curved side seams keep reappearing under primer!   I have seen a couple of builds on line where they are clearly visible so I am not alone.  I've tried superglue, Mr Surfacer, Tamiya surface primer, and finally tonight Milliput  as a filler and impervious barrier coat ( because I wonder if the lacquer based primer is softening the Airfix plastic).  Hope fully onwards and upwards tomorrow as long as Storm Eunice doesn't  intervene.

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On 13/01/2022 at 22:38, Trenton guy said:

because the twit was in the upper half

 

That would be the pilot... :whistle:

 

Sorry, couldn't help it! :coat:

 

Just came across this thread while 'researching' builds of the Airfix Vamp before buying, and have to say it sounds almost as bad as building a Classic Airframes one, so I think I'll stick with those I have stashed. I built one of their FB5's years back and don't recall problems like this (maybe selective memory though!)

 

Keith

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10 hours ago, keefr22 said:

 

That would be the pilot... :whistle:

 

Sorry, couldn't help it! :coat:

 

Just came across this thread while 'researching' builds of the Airfix Vamp before buying, and have to say it sounds almost as bad as building a Classic Airframes one, so I think I'll stick with those I have stashed. I built one of their FB5's years back and don't recall problems like this (maybe selective memory though!)

 

Keith

I have read several glowing build reviews including here on Britmodeller, and those having " fun" like me seem to all have had a part that has twisted ( probably removed from the mould before the plastic has cooled sufficiently).  If I recall myself, the CA kit was hard work as the separate resin intakes did not fit well, the booms were challenging and the cockpit needed some grinding to fit.  Overall the Airfix engineering is very good, especially the booms.  I think key is getting a kit without a warped upper or lower clamshell, and then making sure the cockpit floor is seated perfectly on its 4 mounting points.  My second example without the warp still has a faint seam I need to remove, but nowhere near as hard as the warped version. I suspect that if I had not been  building them together, the " unwarped " one would be finished by now.

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3 hours ago, neilh said:

I think key is getting a kit without a warped upper or lower clamshell,

 

But that seems to be the problem with Airfix kits at present, such variable quality - as with your two Vampires it appears to be a 50/50 chance of getting a 'good' one - which is pretty much my experience with them in the past few years. Which is a real shame as they're making some great subjects.

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Did manged to get mine together by glueing one side and back and front at a time, but found now that I have painted it  that I  have put a small crack in the fuselage behind the cockpit while clamping the last side into place!

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