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F.140 Vickers Super VC10 (with Special Feature Flashing Lights)


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I've never actually seen one of these, with or without lights. 19/11 would be so far out of my range it would as well have been £100.

I do remember the real thing at Prestwick when I was a kid. The BOAC livery is just so stylish. 

John 

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On 18/01/2024 at 09:48, AdrianMF said:

An early application of fibre optics! 

Yes indeed, and I am trusting there will be no light leakage from the ‘fibres’ other that at the extreme ends. I will need some coloured cellophane to get the colours right though. The instructions include some ‘blackout’ painting of internal parts with black but  good sealing in of the light sources will be key. I’m unsure if all the cabin windows are supposed to be illuminated. Will the flashing bulb work or not, that is the question.

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I've started the 'technical' part of the build with all the electrical components fitted inside the base - no soldering required Pat @JOCKNEY, as the connections are either a wire wrapped round a screw or pushed inside a ferrule and bent over, which is then is held inside a connecting socket.

 

jVVndes.jpg

 

The wires then travel up inside the stand leg - only dry fitted at the moment. The leg has the standard clip on top which slots into the underside of the fuselage - it will rotate but only in the horizontal so no 'climbing away' poses possible.

C6PGBE0.jpg

 

The instructions say to make all connections to the bulbs before cementing into the carrier - there is a clear plastic section attached to each for this purpose. This was fiddly as the wiring insulation is pretty stiff and I marked the +ve wire to make sure I didn't get the connections reversed. That flashing bulb is being handled very carefully as it is the star of the show. Oh, and I painted the inside of the clip in section in 'baggage hold silver' rather than black as this is definitely a model kit and not a toy!

 

oVXSHJf.jpg

 

Then came the moment to test by pushing the button on the stand... I tried to load a video of the moment but without success so here is the main bulb lit...4NBAmVi.jpg

 

...then the flashing bulb lit..and eventually started flashing at about one flash per second. Will this do? You betcha!

Igmdmuc.jpg

 

There is a light shield for the flashing bulb and you can see from below that it is not entirely sealed as light escapes from underneath - some plastic sheet will be required.

cvojwjU.jpg

 

The instructions would have you run the wires from the stand and through the hole between the undercarriage doors, the small oval one seen below, before making the connections. Basically, the kit has to be complete by that stage so time to put the flashing lights away.

66ysH0Q.jpg

 

I dry fitted the other undercarriage doors and the flaps to see how it is all supposed to work 'with extendable flaps and retractable undercarriage'. A lot of fettling will be required here.

psoJKNz.jpg

 

Also, I don't really want the model to be trapped on the stand by the wires so I'm going to look at another way of routing/connecting them so they can come out with the removable bulb carrier section or be disconnected completely to let this VC10 fly free!

 

Next, I'll have a look at the internals and check that the 'light tubes' work. Good fun or what?

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With two of the three bulkheads glued in the starboard half of the fuselage, a dry run of the lighting tubes and lower strobe positioning was tried. The upper strobe on the tail looks high and the rear navigation light looks long but these can be pushed in a bit. I think there will definitely need to be more screening of the flashing bulb inside the fuselage to try to direct only at the strobe lights (with red cellophane to add). I don't want flashing cabin lights! Looks like more thought will be required to ensure the rear cabin lights get their share of illumination unless that light tube is designed to 'leak' at the sides. More testing required.

yibe2aa.jpg

 

awwXbJz.jpg

 

FDGPKAP.jpg

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This is looking just fantastic, so glad the bulbs still work after all these years. A real model to test yours skills and make you think up solutions to possible upcoming problems. Really enjoying this. 
Cheers.. Dave 

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6 hours ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

Have you any idea how the flashing bulb works? Does it make a noise as it clicks on and off, Car indicator style?

Aha, good question! Yes, being an engineer of the electrical fraternity, I was wondering that as well. Initially, I thought it may be some sort of capacitance type circuit in the base that built up a charge then lit the bulb element briefly but I 'Googled' it and came up with the following: 'The bulb has an extra piece of metal at the top called a bi-metallic strip. The current runs from the strip to the post to light the filament. When the filament gets hot, it causes the strip to bend, breaking the current and extinguishing the bulb'. The strip then cools and straightens up again to then re-make the circuit and light the bulb filament again. The process then repeats.

 

This makes sense because you can see in the picture below a standard type bulb filament in the normal bulb on the right but what looks like a different metal half of a filament in the flashing bulb on the left. The wonders of physics!

 

J8g6EEs.jpg

 

I was a bit worried to see '2.5V' on the base of the flashing bulb when I first picked it up as it is being driven by 2 x 1.5V batteries for the kit. Anyway, it seems to be surviving the 3V OK. Maybe flashes a bit faster than it would on 2.5V.

 

My next journey into practical physics is to make sure the plastic 'light tubes' perform as intended. I expect the light to bounce around inside them, reflecting on the inside surface of the perimeter (the principle behind fibre optics) and only enter and leave by the ends. However, one of the light tubes has been positioned directly behind the cabin windows so is 'leakage' out of the sides supposed to illuminate the windows? Also, looking at pics of VC10's, there are two prominent lights either side of the nose and there may be other landing lights on the front undercarriage leg and below the wings so have I enough spare clear sprue to work some magic there?

Edited by Ventora3300
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1 minute ago, Ventora3300 said:

bi-metalic strip

 

Thank you. So it is based on the (old school) car indicator systems then. It's cunning to fit it all into a small lamp, I've never seen that before.

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2 minutes ago, stevej60 said:

This is a brilliant project looking forward to the rest!

Many thanks Steve, I'm enjoying it. I've bored my son many times with the story of how I eventually decided what to do at Uni, i.e. electrical engineering. - I built a 'morse code set' from bulbs, wire and batteries (helped by my Dad of course) for a secondary school project, to send messages between rooms. Funny how I'm messing about with bulbs and wire again and @Bertie McBoatface's comment about a working morse key....!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 18/01/2024 at 07:52, theplasticsurgeon said:

I remember having that kit as a kid.  My dad built it for me, I remember him complaining about fitting those light tubes.

I'll be very interested to see how this builds up, and its shape compared to the Roden VC-10.

 

Thanks, Tim. Your Dad's complaints were well justified as I'm finding out while doing all the dry fitting of light tubes and wiring - they all keep springing in totally different directions! See below. (I thought I had a Roden Super VC 10 hidden in the loft but can't seem to find it at the moment - I wanted to see if there were more surface details I could add to the Frog kit).

On 24/01/2024 at 16:05, stevej60 said:

This is a brilliant project looking forward to the rest!

Thanks Steve, I think there is a long way to go...

 

On 23/01/2024 at 20:04, Rabbit Leader said:

This is looking just fantastic, so glad the bulbs still work after all these years. A real model to test yours skills and make you think up solutions to possible upcoming problems. Really enjoying this. 
Cheers.. Dave 

Thanks Dave. I think the bulbs come from an era when things were built to last - just like this kit! I'm really trying to plan ahead and spot all the potential road blocks on this one so that there is the minimum of wrestling the kit together once the cheatline decals go onto the fuselage - it will be delicate.

 

On 23/01/2024 at 14:19, Johnson said:

Gonna look great! :D

 

Charlie

Thanks, Charlie. I think I'm slowly collecting the knowledge of what finer details could be missing from the Frog version of the VC10 - there's two landing lights on the nose for a start, which will have to be lit, of course.

 

On 20/01/2024 at 19:38, John said:

I've never actually seen one of these, with or without lights. 19/11 would be so far out of my range it would as well have been £100.

I do remember the real thing at Prestwick when I was a kid. The BOAC livery is just so stylish. 

John 

John, I seem to remember from when I was a boy, a favourite uncle flying up to Edinburgh from London and mentioning 'VC10' to my dad - must have been he wished he had been on one or seen one in London because they were the best thing since sliced bread at that moment. I don't think VC10's did any internal UK flights though.

 

 

To test how the lighting looks once installed in the fuselage, I brought the wires into the fuselage through the hole provided and it was a real struggle to connect them up again to the 'bulb pack' that clips in underneath. I don't think a great amount of wire has been provided and I can't see how there is enough length to allow for the wiring running inside the stand leg.

 

Also, one of the connection screws on the constant bulb interferes with the bottom of the central bulkhead inside the fuselage, which incidentally sits directly over one of the window openings rather than between. If I move the bulkhead back behind the rearmost of the locating ribs then that should solve both problems. I ran the supply wires through the other holes in the middle bulkhead but of course these will need to remain clear for the light tubes from the wings. I thought it was the wires fouling the central bulkhead but maybe the top of the screen on the flashing bulb does as well. It's all very tight in there.

ukIcIrd.jpg

 

Kitchen lights out and VC10 lights on! Other than the poorly fitting 'Bulb pack' for which I now have a solution, the light escapes anywhere it can! This is a picture with only the 'constant' bulb illuminated and the light tube behind the fuselage windows and at the extreme end of tail is doing its job. However, the light is noticeable brighter where the 'constant' bulb sits directly behind the front windows and pours out of the cockpit windows and front wheelwell.  

Y0QVNPH.jpg

 

When the flashing bulb comes on, everything gets that little bit brighter, including the lights below the fuselage and at the front of the fin , thank goodness. In real life, you can see them flashing but they do seem to be picking up some light from the 'constant' bulb at all times. 

Dlzpns1.jpg

 

All this testing tells me that I'll need to add in some more screening inside the fuselage to try to decrease the lighting level at the front windows and cockpit and screen off the 'flashing' components from the 'constant' components. Also, I think the front wheelwell will need to be boxed in and careful sealing of the main undercarriage doors which are under the fuselage between the wings will be required.

 

I also did a trial fit of the wings while containing their light tubes and because of the various bends, I think I'll need to open up holes in the middle bulkhead to let them slide into place more easily - all this with the extra screening in place inside the fuselage! A lot to think about here.

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All this trial fitting will pay huge dividends in the end Mike. I’m wondering if some of that black spongy packing material that some of us use for  masking and internal blocking may be of benefit in various sections of that cabin? It just may diffuse the lighting in the right areas here and there. 
Cheers.. Dave 

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13 hours ago, Rabbit Leader said:

All this trial fitting will pay huge dividends in the end Mike. I’m wondering if some of that black spongy packing material that some of us use for  masking and internal blocking may be of benefit in various sections of that cabin? It just may diffuse the lighting in the right areas here and there. 
Cheers.. Dave 

Thanks Dave and that is a Top Tip from you. The packing material is flexible and won’t need the accurate shaping and positioning that plastic sheet would require, so will compress and seal up to the inside of the fuselage nicely. I think I”ll need something a little less opaque for screening for the front windows though. Maybe some clear plastic / bubble wrap. Also, got to avoid a cabin fire starting from the hot bulb! All the best. Mike.

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On 02/02/2024 at 09:44, TonyW said:

I never thought I would ever see one of these models being built. It's a joy to be following along.

 

Completely agree, 

Considering the age of the kit, for it to have been supplied with interior lighting is amazing.

Modern kit manufacturers seem to have lost their way.

Great stuff Mike :like:

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On 02/02/2024 at 09:44, TonyW said:

I never thought I would ever see one of these models being built. It's a joy to be following along.

Thanks Tony, no pressure then!

 

On 03/02/2024 at 21:40, JOCKNEY said:

 

Completely agree, 

Considering the age of the kit, for it to have been supplied with interior lighting is amazing.

Modern kit manufacturers seem to have lost their way.

Great stuff Mike :like:

Thanks, Pat. With all that in mind, I'm taking some extra time to get the best out of all the possible working features on the kit.

 

Before completing all the work before closing up the fuselage, I need to check out the fit of the front undercarriage. The leg mounts on a pivot and actually has a cam which allows locking in the down or up position.

VcKVjC2.jpg

 

Here it is locked in the up position - the wheels still proud of the fuselage profile! Also, the cam on the leg looks to be fouling the position of the front bulkhead but there is a slot in that bulkhead so this has been provided for. The front wheel bay doors are thinner in thickness than the fuselage and there is no locating lip inside the wheel well for them so some more work required to provide something for the doors to close against. If not, they will just fall inside and disappear. 

XotxscA.jpg

 

Here's how the front undercarriage looks with the fuselage closed. The doors will close up that space as they sit closed once the front undercarriage is down

T9MVJ0P.jpg

 

0nKq3CV.jpg

 

If the undercarriage is ever to be in the up position, it will need to be pushed past the current lock position on the cam so a bit of cutting will be required to let it retract enough so the doors can close.

SeABl4C.jpg 

The other opening which doesn't have any lip is the one for the cockpit glass. The glass is a good fit to the profile of the nose but I'll need to put some additional plastic in there to stop the glass sliding straight in and also disappearing into the fuselage - a nasty experience which I have had in the past.

0MSZJpE.jpg

Edited by Ventora3300
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2 minutes ago, Ventora3300 said:

 I'll need to put some additional plastic in there to stop the glass sliding straight in and also disappearing into the fuselage - a nasty experience which I have had in the past.

0MSZJpE.jpg

 

Oh yes, been there done that ! :rage:

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I said previously that I had a look but I don't have the Roden kit of the Super VC10 as a comparison. I do have the Airfix Standard VC10 to compare against for any details which may be missing from the Frog kit.

 

Here are the fuselages, Airfix on the top. The Airfix kit has all the various aerials along the top and bottom centre lines which can be copied on once the Frog fuselage is closed up. I think I will cut in the nose landing lights and the intakes on the bottom of the fin before painting.

 

cnB81zj.jpg

 

This is the position of nose landing lights on an RAF VC10 and there is also a light on the front undercarriage leg.

M2MXY2W.jpg

 

Main wings next, Frog on top. On the upper surface, I'll need to add in wing fences. The Airfix kit only has one fence just inboard of the ailerons.

01D3Hiz.jpg

 

However, there are a couple of different references as to number and position.

u1LznFy.jpg

 

Jl0jTQi.jpg

 

qkWjhZv.jpg

 

Comparing wing under surfaces, Frog on top. The item missing from both kits is the underwing landing lights, position as per the reference below.

iG316X7.jpg

 

uMdUf61.jpg

 

Here are the stabilisers, Frog on the right, with the positions of the tail lights, of course.

SQAK7Ok.jpg

 

I've drilled out the front landing light positions. Parts of the clear sprue trees will fit in from inside with a bit of thinning down. May even conduct a bit of the inside light as well.

yUl31Pr.jpg

 

Also the landing lights which rotate downwards below the wingtips. Spot on to use some of that light conducted out to the wingtip navigation lights, if that is possible.

lhx6VAX.jpg

 

 

Edited by Ventora3300
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I need to get on with some painting before items can be mounted inside the fuselage. First, I'm doing the inside frames of the windows in black - looks better then the bare plastic showing when the window glasses are mounted in the holes. I'll do this from the inside with some masking tape on the outside to limit black paint running through

 

FcuhbPx.jpg

 

Also, to avoid 'steady' light getting into the 'flashing' light tube, I'll paint the outside of it (but not the ends) silver to reflect light away. I'll also paint the tail and wing steady light tubes where we don't want light to leak out and be seen through seams etc.

AR3srz6.jpg

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It's fascinating to follow the build as it progresses. The extra detailing you are adding is further icing on the cake for me.

 

That Anglia van in the B+W picture above sits perfectly next to the aircraft. The two of them just scream 1960's to me.

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Super work. It's like watching two worlds collide.

 

FWIW aluminium foil makes a very good and adaptable light proofer as long as it doesn't touch anything electrical (obvs).*

 

Regards,

Adrian
 

* says the man who once shorted his car's internal lighting with a DIY reflector to make the courtesy light brighter 🙄

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On 10/02/2024 at 17:00, TonyW said:

It's fascinating to follow the build as it progresses. The extra detailing you are adding is further icing on the cake for me.

 

That Anglia van in the B+W picture above sits perfectly next to the aircraft. The two of them just scream 1960's to me.

Thanks Tony. Where am I going to get an Anglia van at 1/144?

 

On 10/02/2024 at 20:36, John said:

The BOAC VC10s were things of beauty. 

John 

The were indeed and I hope this one at 1/144 follows that trend.

 

On 11/02/2024 at 17:25, AdrianMF said:

Super work. It's like watching two worlds collide.

 

FWIW aluminium foil makes a very good and adaptable light proofer as long as it doesn't touch anything electrical (obvs).*

 

Regards,

Adrian
 

* says the man who once shorted his car's internal lighting with a DIY reflector to make the courtesy light brighter 🙄

Thanks, Adrian. All kind comments appreciated. I'll keep the foil in mind. My worst 'electrical' mishap with an old banger (the Ventora in fact) was while holding the live feed and touching the contact on one of those 'bull' horns, the long ones like a trumpet, to see what it would sound like. The current flowing was so great that I got an instant arc which welded my index finger to the +ve terminal!

 

Some more progress on the VC10 with the light tubes painted to limit light ingress/egress in all the wrong places plus a bit of extra screen around the flashing bulb using plastic sheet and packing material a la @Rabbit Leader.

 

N3iAwIt.jpg?1

 

The frames of the windows are now in black and I spent a fair few hours putting lips on the front undercarriage bay and the place where the bulb pack clips in. With the front wheelwell doors being thinner than the thickness of the fuselage, I had to build down inside the gap to try to get the doors to sit flush with the outside and they are very hard to ease into final position. Not very pretty at the moment and the starboard main wheel well may be redone now I've had a practice.

I put filler on the inside seams of the doors to eliminate light leaks from there. Also, there was no lip on the slot where the engine pylons locate so I blanked them off to give something for the engine assemblies to register against.

 

EoZm3Ml.jpg?1

 

XhndsnB.jpg?1

 

EdsdxuR.jpg?1

 

 

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There’s lots of preplanning and forward thinking going on in this build Mike, you’ll need a charter flight holiday to Spain in a real VC-10 once you’ve finished up! 

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