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1/72 Concorde - nose and visor fix attempt


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In 2015 I bought my first 1/72 Concorde, (the Revell moulding from Brooklands museum) which quickly went into the stash once I had reviewed other online builds of the same kit and realising the numerous issues and inaccuracies, I decided it was not something I had the time to work out how to correct. Since then, I have followed many other builds of the kit online and appreciated the detailed explanations that other modellers have shared in order to correct the kit - most importantly the front end which is so very inaccurate. I've ended up with 4 of these kits 8 years later and have finally found the energy and time to try my own fix to the kit with the intention to produce 4 variants with their nose and visors in different positions and in 3 different BA liveries.

 

My employer has just purchased a decent 3D scanner and suggested I produce some raw parts with the modifications/corrections for scanning and for him to print off in 3D - it's an experiment as much for him as making the parts myself. If it works, then maybe to then go on to produce them as resin aftermarket options as Mr Braz has never committed to a solution for the nose despite assuring me a few times that it was on the list of possibilities. I've been assured that my rough working will be made good once scanned and tidied up before printing so I shall be interested and keen to see the final results.

 

Being sure most readers of this will be all too familiar with the issues surrounding this models front end, I shall only list below what I have done to modify my base kit prior to the scan process:

 

  • reduced the visor length, reduced the visor slot on the nose cone
  • corrected the nose hinge point - it is too far back on the kit
  • added inside sleaves to the visible edges of the nose cone and made the lower hinge area of the nose cone deeper
  • made a front pressure bulkhead piece - this will be added once the fuselage halves are together
  • filled the front stabiliser insert trench - it is in the wrong place and at the wrong angle on the kit. I intend to use photoetch for these P & Starboard later on. 
  • added the correct cockpit side window profiles - the kits are wrong on the clear plastic window piece and leave a nasty ridge which is difficult to fill/repair without risk of damaging the clear plastic. Individual clear parts will have to be used for all of the 4 side windows.
  • various modifications to the front bulkhead area
  • produced a single cockpit insert, raised the pilot seats and added a jump seat (spare seat from one of the other kits) - I hope to use some 1/72 pilots; their legs wont be seen so the position of the seats allow for better pilot/cockpit detailing
  • corrected the shape of the pilots front instrumentation panel top so that it fits correctly behind the kits front clear window part.

 

I have not yet got so far as to start work on the skirt that sits under the visor which is attached to the visor and sinks down into the visor well within the nose cone - that's for another day once the scanning and printing is complete.

 

Please excuse the number of photos below but I do so for the benefit of others in the future who may also wish to reclaim their 1/72 beast from the stash and give it a go.

 

I've had to use tape to hold the parts together but they fit snuggly without any of the kits dreaded monster sized gaps between nose and fuselage using both hands,

 

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Below: visor down, nose being worked on and before I decided to correct those side windows which are the wrong shape and size.

 

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below: my attempt to correctly profile the visor down position

 

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The visor correctly reduced in size - what comes off the clear part gets put back into the nose cone and filled/sanded

 

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If the ruler helps you below, this is how much you need to take off the nose cones lower tongue to correct the hinge point

 

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Below: holding it together by hand... this shows the modified flightdeck instrument panel piece which sits directly behind the front pressure bulkhead insert I made - the large upside down V shape is the area that the kits clear cockpit window part sits in. Without the visor skirt, the visor well looks empty.

 

I've heard it said that every one of the 14 production Concordes varied slightly and the flight engineers panel remains a complete mystery to me. I have seen from numerous other builds of the kit that modellers have moved the panel backwards as it imposes of the 1st officers rear side window slightly. I visited G-BOAF in Filton a few weeks back and no matter where I stood on the starboard side, I could clearly see the side/edge of the engineers panel from outside that very window, so I have left the panel in the same position - after all, it's only a model.....!

 

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BELOW: Tape is holding the nose cone in place below - the gap disappears when using both hands to hold the parts together. The picture also shows the side window frames I have added in the correct profile and the filled front stabiliser fin trenches are filled. The front bulkhead piece is also shown uninserted. The visor well is in the correct position here and I am hoping the 3D scan process will iron out my wobbly nose cone surface textures.

 

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the great big triangular blob below rectifies the gap and hole behind the pilots front windows and sits just behind the front pressure bulkhead part i have made

 

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The single piece flight deck insert. Seats raised and brought forward. My pilots will have no legs but shall be visible waist upwards!

 

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Below: the front pressure bulkhead piece I have made - it's not quie the same as the real thing but it serves an important purpose later on when the visor skirt is added to the kit. The skirt still needs to be made

 

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I've never been one for finite interior detail on civil aircraft but this lady is big in 1/72 and the inside of the flight deck is visible from the outside, so I lined the interior walls on the fuselage to add a bit more bulk to what can be seen of the flightdeck 

 

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The pre-scanned nose cone with the all important edge lip skirting and correctly shortened lower hinge tongue

 

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If you had them in your hand, they would look more acceptably profiled than the picture below - I've modified 2 of my nose cones for scanning and they look good sideways on and with the correctly shaped visor inserted. They do differ though, one of them will accommodate the visor up in supersonic deployment, the other has a different inside lip to allow the visor and visor skirting to fit in the nose drooped position for taxi/take-off or full droop snoot landing

 

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I shall be keeping an eye on this thread closely! Still think it's criminal how no one has tried to produce an accurate Concorde, here's to hoping the 20 year anniversary of her final flight might spark some attention to Airfix!

Let me know if you need any reference photos, I'll have plenty from looking after DG at Brooklands and can easily pop down and get more if needed!

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Alas, accurate 1/72 replica requires far more than just visor correction. I haven't yet seen a successful attempt to correct the biggest problem of the kit, its belly. It is too wide and too high. I tried but stalled long ago

 

Far-too-wide.jpg

 

Far-too-high.jpg

 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Sheepie said:

I shall be keeping an eye on this thread closely! Still think it's criminal how no one has tried to produce an accurate Concorde, here's to hoping the 20 year anniversary of her final flight might spark some attention to Airfix!

Let me know if you need any reference photos, I'll have plenty from looking after DG at Brooklands and can easily pop down and get more if needed!

Thank you for the kind offer - we were trying to get married on BBDG but Brooklands couldn't / wouldn't provide any assurances that the public would not be closely following my bride-to-be up the isle behind her so we backed out and have stuck to a church booking instead!

 

If you can get into her flight deck, please can you get some nice close ups of the skirting below the visor - I know many were different as the fleets underwent their D checks but I'm stumped over whether they are pitched slightly upwards in the middle or flat from left to right - many thanks in advance.

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41 minutes ago, Pin said:

Alas, accurate 1/72 replica requires far more than just visor correction. I haven't yet seen a successful attempt to correct the biggest problem of the kit, its belly. It is too wide and too high. I tried but stalled long ago

 

Far-too-wide.jpg

 

Far-too-high.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Hi

 

Quite co-incidentally, someone else contacted me about the problem you note above and have provided me with a very easy fix to the height issue, although saying that, I am nowhere close to actually undertaking their problem solving guidance. As to the girth of her underbelly, that is something that will have to remain however the height fix significantly improves what you get left with from what I can see from the provided help from elsewhere.

 

I have finally returned to my built but not painted (1/144) ICM TU-144 as a filler-in while I wait for the scanning and printing of parts for the Concorde - and that really was a nightmare so far as wing-root gaps and attachment above and below was concerned - I seem to remember we crossed swords a number of years ago back in 2018 when I first started work on it!

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Incredible work on your part in reshaping and modifying some really small and intricate parts.  These are certain to vastly improve the final product's looks!  I'm not much of a Concorde fan myself, but I'll definitely follow along because I build large 1/72 aircraft.

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1 hour ago, Pin said:

Are you going to move nose wheel well and/or filling in cabin windows ? 

 

Hello - yes, I aim to fill the windows and move the forward undercarriage bay forward by what looks to be about 14mm. That process does not bother me too much as I enjoy that type of plastic surgery - and I guess that once I have worked out how to do the first kit, I can quickly do the same for the remaining 3. I am aiming to build all 4 in tandem so I can stay focussed on addressing all the issues at the same time.

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22 hours ago, Gimme Shelter said:

If you can get into her flight deck, please can you get some nice close ups of the skirting below the visor - I know many were different as the fleets underwent their D checks but I'm stumped over whether they are pitched slightly upwards in the middle or flat from left to right - many thanks in advance.

 

Hoping this works! I'll upload a tonne of pics into my Google Photos Folder though that will have everything you could ever need! https://photos.app.goo.gl/EAqkxGJK1kopygSp6

 

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On 9/28/2023 at 4:44 PM, Sheepie said:

 

Hoping this works! I'll upload a tonne of pics into my Google Photos Folder though that will have everything you could ever need! https://photos.app.goo.gl/EAqkxGJK1kopygSp6

 

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that's a mega big thank you from me

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14 hours ago, Gimme Shelter said:

that's a mega big thank you from me

 

If there's anything else you need that's not in that album, give me a shout. It's a nice perk having a free reign with a Concorde (and the Simulator!)

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