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Westland Wasp HAS 1: 'Ambuscade Flight: XT778'

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Apologies in advance if I pass out during today's update but I bought a shapeless cardigan of the 'comfortable' variety today and as a consequence am sitting here chronically overheated but resolutely refusing to take it off. In terms of overall style it won't worry Dave Starsky - and possibly not Rab C. Nesbitt either after it's been on for a week solid - but it's the first I've ever owned.


Bit emotional tbh...


On 18/11/2022 at 15:20, perdu said:

Thank you Tony for clarifying the nest of pipe-ry.


It will allow me to ignore them* again next time I make a Wasp or Scout but will let me know what they don't do on my models.

 I shall remind you of this wildly optimistic statement as you construct the oil feed system of your 1/72 Scout from strands of human hair Bill... :winkgrin:

On 18/11/2022 at 16:34, bootneck said:

Wonderful stuff Tony and I am following every aspect of your designs.  I use Fusion but there is no way that I could achieve that level of detail which you are demonstrating.  I really, really want to get better at it though, and I shall keep practicing. :rage:

Characteristically kind sentiments from you Mike - for which my thanks.

There is no way that  I could consider reproducing many of said details without your valuable input on the project. :thumbsup:

On 18/11/2022 at 16:45, AdrianMF said:

ve been away from this thread for a while but now I'm happy to report my cheeks* are tingling once again, after having had my gob well and truly smacked!

Nice one Adrian - now you know how I feel watching you producing those biplane masterpieces! 😁

On 18/11/2022 at 18:58, Navy Bird said:

I kinda prefer sculptors of the Phydias or Polykleitos variety.

And who could blame you? 💪

Saw this whilst browsing a secondhand bookshop in town earlier and thought of you:


On 18/11/2022 at 19:24, bigbadbadge said:

Lovely engine renderings Tony, great job

Thanks Chris. Wer'e going to be hanging around this part of the helicopter for a while yet so I may as well make the scenery pleasant. 😄

On 18/11/2022 at 20:03, Pete in Lincs said:

Are you sure that pipery isn't a reproduction of the London Underground somewhere near Camden?


I'm actually just basing this whole section of the Wasp on the tangled wires from my mobile's headphones but don't tell anyone Pete.

13 hours ago, giemme said:

Too late, I looked....

Things were so bad in the UK during the 70s that for a period 'foreign' food was only available to the public in the form of model kit:


Amazingly all four of these meals tasted identical.


Almost becoming de rigeur on this thread at present is the need to start with a corection to my previous work.


You might recall a while back when working on the MRGB that I realized the front opening of the Nimbus' air intake wasn't a complete circle but had a cut-out to accomodate the oil pump sticking out of the stbd rear side of the gearbox? As that region of the engine is so heavily masked from view by intervening features I realize now that I was fooled by the cutaway drawing in the Nimbus brochure over on the Jetpower site into making this cut-out symmetrical to both sides of the intake.


The Nimbus manual I bought last week has already earned its keep by making me aware that this is wrong.


The port cut-out in that diagram is a cutawy feature of the drawing to show inner detail, but confusingly makes it look like an actual feature. Long and short of it is that this has been corected now:


As this involved unpicking a lot of design steps along the timeline it was quite a challenging task to remember which which way I'd built some of the features on the side which also needed bringing lower down the stbd side of the intake casing:


A-aaaand that same error explains why I had so much trouble plugging the oil feeds from pump no.1 into the bottom of the oil tank and had to angle them (inaccurately) downwards to fit. Now they can run freely at the correct angle due to there being more space lower down to fit behind the front engine support:


This also let me redraft those two pipe runs in a more pleasingly accurate layout amongst the neighbouring runs. I'm currently calling that above shot 'Pete's Camden'....


Corections done it was time to go forth in a spirit of optimism and fortitudfe to generate some new potential errors.


The oil cooler - no escaping the need to build it as this stage as it needs pulmbing in to the oil network. You can't miss it, said cooler being that blooming great thing that lies along the port side of the engine deck like a cross between a hairdryer and a err...well if you've seen the 'Hatchet Harry' scene in Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, you'll know what I mean.


Unfortunately the oil cooler section is missing from the oil sysem chapter in my copy of the manual, along with the 'lethal warning' section:


 - the latter filling me with a certain level of concern that I'll end up responsible for a scale workplace accident later on.....


I do have a detailed drawing from the Wasp manual itself for both cooler and mounts though so along with photographs, enough to proceed with. In fact this is one of those occasions when photographs can also lead you in the wrong diretion as many of the close-up photos of this region out there have been taken with either wide-angles lenses or smartphones which give misleading visual cures regarding the relative size of the cooler to the engine. I meant to post this excellent tweet a while back in order to help people understand why drawing visual conclusions from photography can lead you astray if you don't realize the inherent level ofdistortion involved:

Also baffling me from photographs alonewas the question of how the oil cooler was in fact powered, but which the Nimbus manual has also thankfully  cleared-up (I'll get to that in a moment).


I won't bore you with the drawing process but this is the basic structure of the setions bolted together:


Reverse (and less visible) side:


Two things to note with the above view. Firstly the front shape of the intake: the manual drawing shows this as circular yet unless (ironically!)  I'm  being fooled by the photography, the opening also appears to have a pronounced 'beak' like profile in many front 3/4 images of this region:


Image credit: Key Aero

Is it possible that like the exhaust fork there were two different variants of this item? I've no idea. Secondly, (as you've no doubt surmised) that square peg at the rear is most definitely not an authentic feature but returns us to my earlier mention about where the oil cooler gets its power from; the peg will enable the cooler to fit up accurately against the power train which protrudes  from the reduction gear box and feeds into it:


You can only see the merest hint of that structure in a small handful of photos so it wouldn'tt have been able to build tthatat all without access to an engine manual.


The three sets straps are an obvious feature but don't ask me what that tubular item bolted to the port side of the cooler is for. The fan at the back I did because rather weirdly I like doing such features:


 - even though a mesh will eventually obscure it:


I also sculpted that non-rigid rubbery looking material that joins the fan to the cooler tunnel in order to give it some representative creases.


Also necesary was to check the visual alignment between the cooler mounts and the engine deck. It should be possible to print the cooler and mounts as a single entity with the correct orientation however:


The clips for the straps should print Ok at this scale, especially as I had to exaggerate the size of them slightly for strength:




and further:


 - and further way:


I'll have the plumber round to get that connected up next time.


Out shopping today to find that if you hang around long enough in life then Ice Station Zebra inevitably comes back into fashion:


On the drive home from town later God sent me a message in the form of a cloud:


It said:

'Zebra party, radar reports second flight of aircraft.

Target Bravo. Same speed, same bearing.

Estimated one minute behind first flight.'
































Edited by TheBaron
ironically misspelling 'correction'....
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8 minutes ago, TheBaron said:

I'm currently calling that above shot 'Pete's Camden'....

All change!


9 minutes ago, TheBaron said:

 Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, you'll know what I mean.

Loved those films. I done a course didn't I?

The oil cooler = Large scale mechanical Mealy grub. Lovely work G'night all.

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Order of Service:

On 21/11/2022 at 19:55, Pete in Lincs said:

All change!

I heard you say that in the same tone as it appears in Genesis' Supper's Ready.... :laugh:

On 21/11/2022 at 21:50, giemme said:

Endless detailing... I love that!


 No-ooooo00000000 -




On 22/11/2022 at 09:22, Brandy said:

I have never said this before, but I have to admit Tony that your pipework is extraordinary!


Thanks Ian - you've made an old plumber very happy.... 😁


As is now the custom on this thread, we begin with a correction to- or perhaps stated less negatively - a better understanding of, previous work, in this case on the reduction gearbox slung below the rear of the Nimbus. As an area largely obscured from one side by the oil cooler and on the other by the gearbox details themselves, I'd built an essentially symmetrical structure with a free turbine governor on both sides (largely as blanking plate fittings in the front of the gearbox made it look  that way):


I'd grown more suspect about this arrangement due to hints of a different arrangement of  features in unmounted Nimbii and because of the messy way this made the power train from the oil cooler punch into the side of that port governor at a 90 degree angle.


Thankfully the Nimbus manual has a couple of explicitly annotated images of this region from that confirm there instead of a governor to port as well, there is a more truncated feature whose sole purpose appears to be providing power to the oil cooler fan like so:


That now looks:

a) more accurate

b) a damn sight neater than my original attempt.


Btw, that spigot-like think sticking out the top of that amended feature does appear to be tilted backwards on the real thing; there's a thin pipe which runs through it, the prupose of which I still have to discover. Also visible above is the way I've covered over the original bare front/plug arrangement of the turbine governor to stbd with a typical protective moulding used on operational aircraft:


There are multiple close-ups of this feature on the web, some museum/display relics having no cover at all, some more recent airframes with slightly different version of the moulding: this just happens to be the version I prefer for the way the ripples in the fabtric suggest the rigid parts underneath. That blade-like brass feature is the speed selector lever for the governor's actuator peaking up above from isiode the engine deck:


Even though a lot of that will be hidden by intervening structures and shadow on the model -  as on the real thing - I'm more content with the accurate 'feel' which this gives that region now:


I've probably become guilty by this stage of over-explaining a lot of the design-work on various small features - my excitement at actually starting to gain a *very* basic understanding of how this fantastical assemblage of parts is put together and controlled in order to dangle humans over deep waters is not necessarily the most rivetting of spectator sports however , so I'll dial back the discursive as much as possible...


The next part of the oil system to sort out were the suiute of connections to and from the oil cooler. Frankly I had no idea the principle this cooler worked on but by following the plumbing you can see that it it essentially a cylinder with two sets of cooling loops built around it - a front set for the engine itself and  rear set for the main rotor grearbox. Here are the connections for the engine ones in place:


 - and their corresponding junction with pipework from the engine:


Over to stbd there's a correspondingly chunky 'breather union' pipe leading from the oil tank:


I know the top of that feature looks like I made a right Hames of the bend but it really is that (tri)angular looking on the real thing!


The other end of that disappears down into the bowels of the deck through a critical series of bends which keep it free of the ECU mounting:


Directly back from that engine mount is another prominent feature of the deck - that perforated triangular tower onto which (I'm assuming due to shape and connections) is mounted an oil filter for the gearbox feed:


With the original being made from thin metal sheet this simply has to be a PE part. There's no way to fold it from a single part however so the front face can be soldered on separately and the printed filter attached then from the rear:


Pipework runs both forwards and inwards from this feature:


Forwards via a loop beneath the ECU mount and in front of the breather pipe, to attach to the oil pump at the bottom of the MRGB:


Inwards across the engine deck to attach to a rear loop on the oil cooler:


In the above you can also see the other MRGB cooler pipe which runs along the port lip of the engine deck tray before bending upwards to plug into the MRGB halfway up the side:


In summary then, this is the  - still unfinished - state of the Nimbus' oil system so far seen from underneath:


I'll need to catch my breath before studying the remaining runs which enter the engine at various points as well as features to the rear of the gearbox. Then I'll need to add a bit more to the top of the MRGB as there's oil pipes involved there too. :rolleyes:


Every now and again you have to remember to switch all the surounding features back on in order on to make sure that your pipework is in keeping with the surrounding features:


 Already it's getting very complex under there and I know in very short order this risks becoming a mass of detail which later causes major problems trying to subsequently which parts go where and so forth so I think before the next session, I'm going to start colour-coding up the different sections of pipework in order to remember what they are and how they're going to be printed as individual parts later on.


I'll leave you today then with an un-narrated series of renders showing progress around engine and deck so far:

















Thanks for looking-in and take care until next time.

Crocks of gold all round barman please:












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7 hours ago, TheBaron said:

I've probably become guilty by this stage of over-explaining a lot of the design-work on various small features

Well, I for one am enjoying your explanations immensely. And, I'm also very impressed with how you keep up to speed on the technical stuff.

That's both computer (far beyond my paygrade) and Helicopter (I'm mostly keeping in step, but never worked on these). 

So Anyway, If it helps to speed up your posts, and thus saves your valuable time, then I'll back up your decision to cut back the narratives.

In the meantime, thanks for another great update and have a great week. 

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I'm going dizzy looking at this.  


Guys, I have a feeling Tony isnt a mere mortal human being like the rest of us.  I think he is AI (ie an Artificial Inelegant....Intelligent  robot) and has been planted in the forum as an experiment to see if we can be fooled....ahhh but we modelers aren't as green as we are cabbage looking.  I figured you out and your secret is out......


Ooooh Look, here come the men in black :ninja:


Seriously exceptional work human or not, we love it!


Oh um if we are calling out scales...it HAS to be 1/32!


Cheers buddy




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On 27/11/2022 at 11:54, AdrianMF said:

Magnificent, Tony! Although I did wonder if you’d ingested a violin scroll at one point to keep us on our toes.

That oil cooler does have a quite singular sweep up and around at the back in exactly that way doesn't it Adrian?


Your grasp of geometry far exceeds mine - would that be some species of Fibonacci spiral?


On 27/11/2022 at 14:55, heloman1 said:

Wouldn't this be wonderful in 1/48th scale...

I know subtelty when it hits me in the forehead in the form of a brick Colin. :rofl2:

On 28/11/2022 at 08:56, perdu said:



6 hours ago, Anthony in NZ said:

Oh um if we are calling out scales...it HAS to be 1/32!

As there's some latent interest here I WILL do a little experiment and test print copies of the MRGB at both of those other scales as well for curiosity's sake. Be warned though that much of the detail captured here at 1/24th won't survive downward revision strengthwise, pipework least of all.... :winkgrin:


My maths is appalling - what % do I have to scale down 1/24 to get 1/32....?


At the current rate of detailing this may just end up as a Nimbus engine deck rather than full Wasp anyways! 🥴


On 27/11/2022 at 19:22, Pete in Lincs said:

Well, I for one am enjoying your explanations immensely. And, I'm also very impressed with how you keep up to speed on the technical stuff.

That's both computer (far beyond my paygrade) and Helicopter (I'm mostly keeping in step, but never worked on these). 

That's typically kind of you to say so Pete. :thumbsup2:


It's probably fair to say that both the CAD work and helicopter sides of the equation here are fundamentally a product of curiosity, in both cases translating into: what is that thing? how does it do that? The only constant  rule I set myself around this is that every build I do should require me to learn some new set of materials or skills.


On 27/11/2022 at 20:17, bigbadbadge said:

colour coding will certainly help you and us

I think so Chris. Given that in terms of pipework alone it'll end up at this scale representing the majority of those on the actual engine, I need to have some kind of logistical controls in place before things proceed any futher. Already I'm forgetting design and build decisions from the previous week!

On 28/11/2022 at 08:07, giemme said:

You really need to be a bit of a plumber to work out all these engine surroundings, don't you Tony?

Not if it's anything like the baroque plumber who did the fit out on our house when it was built Giorgio - most of the pipework you see me doing here is just a copy of our central heating system and not the Nimbus at all. 


That's just between you & me though! 😜

On 28/11/2022 at 08:22, mark.au said:


Dread to think what that comment was Mark that the mods had to censor all of it. 😁

21 hours ago, hendie said:

Wot he said 😀


I'm going to have to ask people to tone down the level of obscenity on here. I'm doing my best, honest.... 

18 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

@perdu is Santa??? 

18 hours ago, perdu said:

Is very definitely NOT

That's exactly what you would expect Santa Claus to say....

6 hours ago, Anthony in NZ said:


Guys, I have a feeling Tony isnt a mere mortal human being like the rest of us.  I think he is AI (ie an Artificial Inelegant....Intelligent  robot) and has been planted in the forum as an experiment to see if we can be fooled....ahhh but we modelers aren't as green as we are cabbage looking.  I figured you out and your secret is out......

01100011 01110101 01110010 01110011 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110010 01110101 01101101 01100010 01101100 01100101 01100100 00001010  !!


Taking a few days off from designing any new parts as I need sit back and take stock of what is currently here, in terms of:

  1.  Colour-code the aforementioned pipe/pumps combinations in terms of what will be printed as combined parts, and what as separate. I want avoid a completely unmanagable scenario involving lots of extremely frail lengths of 0.45mm pipes to stick together under and around the engine, so will integrate features as much as far as practicable for construction and painting purposes. The frailty of these components and the way they weave around spatially will, I think, require some fancy custom support work at the CAD stage of the kind both  @Fritag and @Serkan Sen have been demonstrating so impressively in their work already.
  2. Output new & modified parts into the .stl library.
  3. Output PE parts as unfolded design drawings to begin a brass library alongside the resin one. I'll print out a few of these brass bits on paper and use them to test that scale relationships with the printed parts are accurate, before committing to the building a PE master sheet. 
  4. Feasibility print of existing inventory to check for problems.

Thankfully  much more discipline has been imposed  this time around in Fusion in terms of breaking the overall project down into a much wider range of components. Whilst this has definitely made it much easier to switch on and off different features as required for various tasks, many components such as gearbox and engine elements are still  averaging about 200 or so drawings each, so I've long ago run out of plain-language names for things and am now reduced to naming 'benchmark' items in the drawing tree as a series of cryptic e.e. cummings-style abbreviations such as:  'opump_feedjun_stbd'.


I wonder how adults cope with this?


Having recently rekindled a fascination with the construction methods of Gothic architecture, I've been (slowly due to the high quality of information) feading Christopher Wilson's The Gothic Cathedral: The Architecture of the Great Church 1130-1530. Finding myself poring through the Wasp and Nimbus maintenance manuals as much as I have been recently I was struck by this excerpt on pp.11-12 of Wilson's introduction:


I find myself puzzling out a particular structure on the Wasp and not infrequently sensing the unrecorded ghosts of those responsible for the nature of the original designs, feeling my way around the decisions they took and the constraints which they faced. An interesting parallel!






















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2 hours ago, TheBaron said:

Having recently rekindled a fascination with the construction methods of Gothic architecture


I can understand that. After all, look at all those flying buttresses holding up your 3D printed parts.     :drunk:




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