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Jeff bashes a "Bagger"


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I will be attempting a Westland Seaking AEW (Searchwater) conversion based on the Alan W Hall article appearing in SAM on March 1984. It featured the Fujimi Seaking with selected bits from the C Scale set number 2. This set features many items found on Westland SeaKings like the orange crop ECM and the port side fuselage strake plus many other bits. The Fujimi kit features a six bladed tail rotor saving me a bunch of time.

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For my references I will be using both the SAM article and Aeroguide number 10 which is based around the SAR Seaking. That will help me fill the gaps. I have in my collection a rather old SAM decal sheet designed around the Falklands campaign but just may provide for me the needed decals if I chose a particular scheme.

Cheers

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OK, this morning I have started construction with cleaning up some parts, drilling needed holes for antennas etc, and laminating some balsa as didn't have any the correct size.

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Also spent some time adding C Scale parts like the fuselage strake and orange crop gear. Same as indicated in the Alan Hall article. And as he states, it saves much scratch building time.

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Noticing that the flight deck bulkhead does not fit very well to the cabin wall, I made a bulkhead out of sheet.

Thanks for looking everyone and cheers

_________________

Jeff S

Edited by Jeff S
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Stage two of the A W Hall build. In preparation for interior painting, I checked the fit of the fuselage halves and the cockpit glass. Everything seems in order. Next to the model is the balsa block turned to radome mold. It was carved and sanded by hand using a correct diameter ring to make constant checks for size. Two coats of sealer was laid on. Aero Dope is what was used that had the talc already mixed. If you have never done this before, when dry, the wood has a very powdery texture to it. It actually turns white. Using a light grade sand paper the block was rubbed down. The wood became very smooth. Everything was topped off with two coats of clear coat. A demarcation line was drawn on to mark a cutting area once the mold is made.

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Some more bits were added from the C Scale set. Mr Hall really did not state exactly how much of his set was used.

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On to some interior painting now.

Thanks for looking and cheers everybody.

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Stage 3 is when some gremlins entered the workspace. I broke off a cyclic for the co-pilot and it is MIA. A replacement was taken from a Testors/Fujimi Sea King release. As usual the missing part will turn up after the kit is done right?

The old Fujimi decals for the instrument panel and center console would not separate from the backing sheet. After careful trimming they where glued on. Like JRatz, I may need Merlin standing by to get this thing completed.

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Here are the remaining C Scale parts of which some will not be used in this conversin. The FOD cover was pitted pretty bad so I reall had to file it down.

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Thanks for looking and cheers everybody

_________________

Jeff S

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Well stage 4 is short on content today. I now have the fuselage halves together. Also the sponsons, horizontal stabilizer, dorsal radome and engine fronts were added. The seam rub down will begin. Overall the fit is wonderful so this will not be an issue. Time will be spent also finalizing how I will bash mold the Searchwater radar dome. Still need to make the mate for balsa shape to it into. The picture does not show it well but the side glazings are in place.

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Thank you for looking and cheers everyone.

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Hi Jeff,

Looking good, but covering that yellow up is going to be fun; best of luck!!

Are you doing it in a dark sea grey, or medium sea grey scheme?

FredT

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My intention is to do a HAS2 or 3 that was converted over. That way I can get away with the smaller radome on the dorsal. Believe that makes it an overall RAF Blue Grey. Feel free to correct me however. I do not have the large 88 for the sides so I may do a Falkland era with the dark roundels and black lettering. I have the old SAM sheet with all the lettering and numbers etc.

Reference the Yellow. I plan on putting on a primer coat of grey to check for flaws and that should make it easier to cover. Yellow is wose than black for modelling.

Thanks for the rotorhead picture on UAMF as I plan to fold the blades on mine also and didn't quite understand. A W Hall's photos are dark and far away to see the layout on what blade goes where.

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I realise that this question is a bit late, but what exactly is a "bagger"?

The name "Bagger" was a nick name for the SeaKing AEW as the large radome on the side is essentially a bag covering the radar. When the device is powered up it inflates like a vacuum cleaner bag. Like you would say "My friend is a 'Bagger' pilot".

Cheers

Edited by Jeff S
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Another quick update on the Sea King AEW. This morning I have finished the other form for molding the Searchwater radar dome.

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Upper left is the main rotor blades after clean up. Upper right is the six bladed tail rotor waiting for the glue to dry. I broke off one blade during clean up. Lower right is a color card. Have been experimenting with RAF Blue Grey with black to see how the lettering will contrast.

I have also primered the tail section to highlight any flaws in seams etc.

All for now. Thank you for looking and cheers everyone.

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Yes the Fujimi kit is a little nicer than the Airfix one. The selling factor for me was: Dorsel Radar dome, six bladed tail rotor and the glass fits really well. All comes with the kit. And.....Mr Hall used that one in his article.

The error may be on my end but the struts for the sponsons were to long. In order to assemble the sponsons at the right angle to the fuselage, the struts were longer than the location holes on the fuselage. So i nipped them off and will re-adjust. Fred, did you have that problem?

Cheers

Edited by Jeff S
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Well, the project seems to be moving along smoothly. The next milepost will be attaching the sponson struts and getting them faired in. I have selected the sheet stock that will be used in molding the Searchwater radar dome. Maybe a couple of weeks. Like they used to say in the US Army, "Stand by to stand by, there might be a maybe."

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It was finally time to put away my childish fears and get to the spirit of the Alan W Hall article. Crash molding the Searchwater radome. Along the way I have learned a couple of things worth sharing.

1. Select the right thickness of sheet styrene. Most of the stock I had was either to thin or to thick. A very cheap source for sheet styrene is the hardward store. Purchase plastic FOR SALE placards. At under a buck (U.S.), sheets run around 12 x 15 inches. The thickness is aound 20-30 thou.

2. Best to find a consistant heat source. Tea lite candles may not be enough. The small burner on the stove (wear oven mitts) works fine

3. Use steady, light, pressure when drawing the form over the mold. Too much and it tears through. Not enough and it will mold incomplete.

4. Above it all take your time, you will be rewarded.

This image shows failed attempts. The plastic got to hot, then not hot enough so that the mold would not slip over the form.

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Finally, I was able to mold several "keepers". I think I have a thing for yellow plastic?

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This was the final configuration of the mold and form. Hindsight tells me next time to use clothes pins as they handle heat better.

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So what have I learned from Mr Hall up to this point? Molding sheet styrene is a cheap, simple way of converting an existing kit. Most of all it is light weight compared to resin so attaching these pieces are a little less stressful on the model.

So now, it is onward and upward in the project. Trim up the good copies I have and press on.

Thank you for looking and cheers everyone.

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A rather short update today. Dry fitting the windscreen, tail rotor, and half of the main landing gear. Still have a little seam work and attention around the engine intakes to take care of. White glue (Elmer's) is my choice for filling larger gaps. In the foreground is the Searchwater radar bag which has been fitted onto it's mounting base and primed. Some more work in clean up is needed there also. A total of six useable bags were molded in case of screw ups.

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In the photo you will notice the Orange Crop gear, antenna stancheons and other lumps and bumps which Mr Hall used from the ED Models (C Scale) set. The FOD guard is finished and in the box for attachment later. The overall finish will be RAF Blue Grey but I will admit the overall gray scheme would be sharp too.

All for now and cheers everyone.

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Today's update is small but rather important to the big picture. I have completed construction on the Searchwater radar dome. It is primered and ready for final painting. The attachment arm was made from rod mounted to a disk. The disk was cut from sheet with a regular three hole punch. The door has a mounting piece added . My plan right now is to drill a small hole in the door, run a piece of sprue through the hole and mount the attachment arm on the spruce. The whole idea is to make the radome retractable for whatever reason. Alan Hall elluded to this in his build article.

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To the right is the beginnings of the rotor hub and the folding of the blades. There are a lot of nice pictures on the web on how this works but I am taking my time here as not to srcrew it up to badly.

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Thanks for looking and cheers everyone.

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Jeff/Brews - it doesnt "retract" as such , but folds aft through 90 degrees because in flight it sits lower than the fuselage.

Jeff - Looking good ! Sorry didn't spot your earlier question re the struts length - AFAIK didn't have that problem on my HAS.5 (but it was 1986 when I built it so memory is dim!)

Here's a picture of the real thing and its cut-away door (from 1994 in the Adriatic - this was only time we skimmers saw the carrier boys in the real action area, when we told them we had the BBC on board and they did us an airshow).

FredT

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Edited by gengriz
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That's OK Brews because I wonder if I understand how I want to do it myself.

First, drill a hole thru the mounting plate on the door (thats the white rectangle piece). Than I will drill into the mounting arm on the radome. Next I will attach a piece of stretched sprue( or rod) to the attachment arm and poke it thru the hole on the door. Now comes the hard part. Trimming the sprue as close as can be to the door, a tiny button of plastic will be glued on to hold everything in place. If the sprue is tight enough it should hold the radome in place without any assistance. Now if the glue gets slopped, at least the radome will be setting in it's stowed position. If not I will be able to demonstrate how the radome is lowered and raised.

Would be interested in any other ideas anyone has.

Cheers

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Fred, that picture is wonderful. Many thanks. YOU ARE DA MAN. Yes, the word I should have used is rotate. The problem I had with strut length was due to the fact that I reversed the two strut pieces during assembly. The correction was easy to do as not much glue was used. Painted the rotor blades today and masked off the windshield for fuselage painting hopefully tomorrow. Will post update then.

Cheers

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In this update I have completed the assembly of the radome, mounted it on the door and painted it. I had an idea on how to make the radome rotate up and down. This was eluded to in the Alan Hall article. I drilled a hole thru the door and one more hole in the retraction arm. Adding a piece of rod to the arm, the part was slid thru the door and capped on the inside with a button of sheet styrene. IT WORKS! Now for what ever reason I can demonstrate how the radar works. Also today, the rotor blades were painted.

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This shot is of the inside of the door showing the mounting button and what is left of the rod. That will be trimmed off eventually.

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Thanks for looking and cheers everybody.

_________________

Jeff

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In this update I have completed the assembly of the radome, mounted it on the door and painted it. I had an idea on how to make the radome rotate up and down. This was eluded to in the Alan Hall article. I drilled a hole thru the door and one more hole in the retraction arm. Adding a piece of rod to the arm, the part was slid thru the door and capped on the inside with a button of sheet styrene. IT WORKS! Now for what ever reason I can demonstrate how the radar works. Also today, the rotor blades were painted.

100_4516.jpg

This shot is of the inside of the door showing the mounting button and what is left of the rod. That will be trimmed off eventually.

100_4517.jpg

Thanks for looking and cheers everybody.

_________________

Jeff

If you are going to show it stowed I think it should be deflated first but you might need to check that.

Ted

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