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On Heather's Workbench - Strike Hard, Strike Sure: RAF Bomber Command 1940


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8 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

hope he is on course for a turn for the better


Thanks Adrian! Mr H has up days and down days. He’s no spring chicken, and I think we both know he’s not going to get better. It’ll be the stubborn genes from his family that’ll keep him b*ggering on until the bitter end.

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Day Job


These beggars have been keeping me busy. I’d built the 32 basic frames some time ago from excellent little PE nickel-silver kits. The bit that had been really scaring me was installing the cosmetic spring and axlebox detail. I’d commissioned a 3D design and print for those as the trade couldn’t provide the correct parts. It’s been a lot easier to put together than I feared. Once I got stuck in, yes, it was utterly tedious and boring and repetitive and drove me nuts, but with decent podcasts and a playlist of favourite tunes loud on the hifi, it’s only taken a few days all told.

 

I need to work out how to paint the things without gumming up the springing. Perhaps a bit more time on the Shelf Of Doom while I work it out.

 

I shall treat myself to a weekend of plastic bothering as a reward.

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4 hours ago, Heather Kay said:


Thanks Adrian! Mr H has up days and down days. He’s no spring chicken, and I think we both know he’s not going to get better. It’ll be the stubborn genes from his family that’ll keep him b*ggering on until the bitter end.

Very Churchillian. That's the spirit. Best wishes to you both.

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35 minutes ago, Heather Kay said:

Day Job


These beggars have been keeping

me busy. I’d built the 32 basic frames some time ago from excellent little PE nickel-silver kits. The bit that had been really scaring me was installing the cosmetic spring and axlebox detail. I’d commissioned a 3D design and print for those as the trade couldn’t provide the correct parts. It’s been a lot easier to put together than I feared. Once I got stuck in, yes, it was utterly tedious and boring and repetitive and drove me nuts, but with decent podcasts and a playlist of favourite tunes loud on the hifi, it’s only taken a few days all told.

 

I need to work out how to paint the things without gumming up the springing. Perhaps a bit more time on the Shelf Of Doom while I work it out.

 

I shall treat myself to a weekend of plastic bothering as a reward.

Thoroughly deserved too!

 

I gave up my N-gauge plans. I could make things that ran okay and I could make things that looked half decent, but I failed to achieve both at the same time!

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58 minutes ago, Heather Kay said:

These beggars have been keeping me busy. I’d built the 32 basic frames some time ago from excellent little PE nickel-silver kits. The bit that had been really scaring me was installing the cosmetic spring and axlebox detail. I’d commissioned a 3D design and print for those as the trade couldn’t provide the correct parts. It’s been a lot easier to put together than I feared. Once I got stuck in, yes, it was utterly tedious and boring and repetitive and drove me nuts, but with decent podcasts and a playlist of favourite tunes loud on the hifi, it’s only taken a few days all told.

 

I need to work out how to paint the things without gumming up

May I ask what the bogies are due to go underneath, Heather? And are they OO or N gauge…?

 

Nige

Edited by Galligraphics
Fat fingers…
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33 minutes ago, Galligraphics said:

May I ask what the bogies are due to go underneath


You certainly may! They’re going under 16 Great Eastern coaches, which will be finished in early LNER teak livery. They are destined for a P4 4mm scale layout in Shropshire.

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10 minutes ago, Galligraphics said:

And fun to paint, I imagine…


Yes. We (client and I) have agreed to engage a professional for that. I could manage the teak effects, but couldn’t do the primrose lining.

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I promised myself that much of this weekend would be dedicated to plastic bothering.

 

Huh.

 

The elephant in the room on this build has been "adjustments" required to some substantial resin castings. I have attempted to clarify the problem, which you probably already know about if you’ve been following this thread.

 

Avro Manchester


Exhibit A: starboard outer wing casting. I hope the jury can see, m'lud, the upper and lower surfaces are basically flat.

 

Avro Manchester


Exhibit B: port outer wing casting. A bit bent. Well, actually, it’s not bent at all. The lower surface is pretty near straight. To my mind, that means the mould bulged outwards causing the upper surface to expand.

 

No amount of heat and gentle pressure would overcome that. So… 

 

Avro Manchester


… it looks like the area I’ve marked with a soft pencil will need attention from abrasives of various kinds.

 

I'm not really in the mood for that today. I just want to be inhaling solvent cement fumes and gluing plastic together. Dare I cast my eyes elsewhere and open another box? 
 

(Don’t mention Masters. That problem will have its moment. I’m thinking of some other little projects that might satiate my craving without taxing my braincell too much.)

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I endorse a mojo restorer. Looks like you have thoroughly earned it on multiple levels.

 

Find a manufacturer whose name starts with "Tamiy" or "Academ" and promise yourself not to look at any reference material!

 

(Do NOT, under any circumstances, pull out a kit of an obscure 1930s biplane on floats made by an Eastern European kit manufacturer in the 1970s :))

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Rather than start another aeroplane kit, I’m pulling various vehicle projects to the bench. Essentially, fiddling about updating or correcting things that have niggled me for a while. Nothing too complicated.

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Time to eat that frog. *

 

That misshapen port wing. It scared me. What if it went wrong? What if I break it? What if, suppose, but… ? :frantic:
 

Avro Manchester


I have a bit of thick ply offcut, I think from some kind of flooring. I use it mostly as a base when soldering stuff, but it’s reasonably square and true. With some lolly sticks taped together, and a block of 12mm softwood, I arranged a sort of jig that could hold the wing steady while I attacked it with various tools. I took the precaution of laying masking tape on the casting to avoid too much unnecessary damage.

 

Avro Manchester

 

This is the starboard wing. I’m trying to get the port one to be close to this.

 

Avro Manchester


:shrug:

 

I thought I was closer than that. Oh well, more coarse sanding sticks. In fact, I couldn’t be bothered to photograph any more progress. Let’s just say it’s never going to be an exact match for its opposite number. I also discovered it had a droopy tip - quiet in the cheap seats! :nono: - so I arranged clamping to force the tip into a better place with the aid of a hairdryer.

 

The wing is still not perfect. However, I’m going to admit defeat and say it’s good enough. I want to get on and finish this model before I properly fall out of love with it.

 

 

 

 

 

*I'm sure I’ve recounted this parable before. A worker gets to their desk and finds a massive ugly frog sitting there. They know the frog must be eaten, but instead they get on with all the easy jobs. The frog remains uneaten by the end of the day, and is still there next day. The parable is you should eat the frog first thing, in other words get the hard stuff done straight away, so everything else you do is easy. 

Edited by Heather Kay
Typos. Must proof read more often.
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To avoid tackling making spars and whatnot for the wings (there’s that frog again :tmi:), I headed for the tail section.

 

The Manchester tail was the cause of much concern. The original prototype showed some disturbing stability issues with the as-designed twin tail. The small vertical end plates were supplemented by a central fin, made larger for the production aircraft. This is now termed the Manchester MkI. The stability issues were lessened, but numerous changes were made throughout the type's life. The MkIa added the upper dorsal turret to the mix, for example. Eventually, after trial and error, the tailplanes were extended and taller end plates fitted. This proved successful, and the central "shark fin" was no longer required. This design was carried through to the Lancaster.

 

The Blackbird kit includes parts for the original tailplane and shark fin. If I was building the later production a Manchester, I would be using the Airfix tailplane parts.

 

Avro Manchester


As ever, I’ve fretted over making the tailplane for ages. Endless dry fitting of the horizontal tailplane (designed to replicate the Airfix interlocking system, which is nice) has taken place. While there is a slot and tab for the end plates, I didn’t trust CA to hold things firmly. That stuff is brittle, like the resin. So, I worked out a system to include brass rod pins. First, I drilled two holes from inside the fin slots. I didn’t mind they would break through to the outside, as that was part of the plan. I then dry fitted the fin to the tailplane and drilled into the tab, using the first holes as guides. The brass rod was pushed home and snipped off as near flush to the outside surface as I could get.

 

Avro Manchester


Some careful filing later, and I hope these won’t show when the model gets painted!

 

Avro Manchester


The port assembly was carefully pushed into place on the fuselage. A drop of CA was applied from inside, after aligning the unit to the wing stubs up front by eye, to tack it in place. Then, I ran CA along the fuselage-to-tail joint top and bottom, letting it wick into the joint. That made a fairly strong joint, but I plan to apply some 2-part epoxy resin to the inside joins later. Note the slot cut for the central fin.

 

Avro Manchester

 

Here you can see how the starboard assembly slots - more or less - into the fuselage and port tailplane. To be honest, the tabs needed to be a millimetre longer to actually rest on the opposite side's slot and ensure the units are aligned properly. As it is, it’s a push fit into the fuselage, then align by eye. CA was applied as for the other side.

 

Avro Manchester

 

There will need to be a little filler, as the aerofoil section of the resin tailplane isn’t quite the same as the Airfix one. This leads to a gap at the leading edge. As I’ll need to do some tidying of the CA around the roots, that can wait for the epoxy to be applied. 
 

Wow. Some progress. I’ll fix the shark fin a little later in the build. Let’s get the carcass looking like a plane first. Now to think about those wing spars again. 
 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Heather Kay said:

Eventually, after trial and error, the tailplanes were extended and taller end plates fitted

The wider span tailplane was introduced fairly early on in production, the "lancaster" taller endplates were pretty late on to make the mk1a. Both modifications were fitted to earlier (but not all) examples.

 

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3 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

You'll be glad when it's finished :)


Too right! Of course, one of the big injection moulding bods will come up with a kit after I’ve finished it.
 

(We can hope.)

 

Spars. The resin outer wings weigh a fair bit, and the instructions do say it is wise to arrange some kind of spar or support to help keep things glued together. I spent a productive hour or so working out I hadn’t a clue how to go about making suitable spars. I tried some brass tube, then some styrene strip, and considered some brass rod. I wasn’t thinking properly.

 

Avro Manchester


There’s a void moulded in the resin wing root. By its nature it needs a little careful opening out with a chisel. The obvious thing is to fix something in the outer corners that sticks out and can go into the donor kit wing.

 

Avro Manchester

 

Here is said donor kit. Two helpful spaces are arrowed. Both are clear of the Vulture nacelle casting. I checked that early on. 
 

My mistake has been, I think, thinking I need separate front and rear spars. My current thinking is to create a U-shaped bracket affair that is glued into the resin wing.

 

Avro Manchester

 

A bit like this. If I use 1.5mm brass rod, glued into the resin wing root with epoxy resin, it’s soft enough that I can tweak the angles to better match the Lancaster wing stub. Hopefully, that will cover the dihedral as well. 
 

I think that experiment will have to wait for another day. I need to knuckle down to the Day Job in the coming week. Still, fair progress at eating that frog, I’d say.

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14 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

 

I think that experiment will have to wait for another day. I need to knuckle down to the Day Job in the coming week. Still, fair progress at eating that frog, I’d say.

 

Great progress. More like a whole family bucket of Doc Hopper's French-Fried Frogs' Legs! 🐸 🐸 🐸 

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