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  1. Hello all! Recently I purchased a 3D printer - Elegoo Saturn 2 - which has the potential to transform my modelling. Those of you who follow me know that my recently completed 1/18 scale build (F4U-1A Corsair) benefitted from a good bit of 3D printed parts almost all of which I designed myself but had printed by a capable fellow in the UK. Since then, I now have the means to do my own printing, if only I can get good enough at it. So my next project, if all goes well, is to create a very accurately shaped P-51 in 1/18 scale. At this point I am undecided whether to do a B/C variant (razorback) or a D variant (bubble canopy). My first choice would be a -B with a Malcolm hood modification, followed by a -D as a second choice. I would prefer not to do a straight up -B razorback (or maybe better known as a "greenhouse" canopy version), as Peter Castle (Airscale) has done his incredible Lopes Hope in 1/18 already, and I would prefer not to tread on that hallowed ground. The only available kit I know of a P-51 in 1/18 is from 21st Century toys or whatever it turned into over the years - a D model. They are long out of production but can be found on E-bay for inflated prices. I actually have one, but I will not be using it because it has too many inaccuracies. Years ago, though, I heavily modified just such an animal resulting in "Miss Velma": That satisfied my goals at the time, which was to take an existing large toy model and do my best to make it look real. Miss Velma, like many P-51 models in many scales, has shape inaccuracies, and can be greatly improved upon, and that is what I intend to do. So I have three important ingredients in which to do this: 1. Aircorps Library - they have a full set of engineering drawings for the P-51 variants, including "ordinate" drawings, which are tables of point coordinates that define the shapes of the outer surfaces of the aircraft (and even some inside shapes like throats of intakes). These ordinate drawings will allow me to create surface definition in any scale very accurately. 2. CAD modelling software - I have been using Rhino 7 for a couple years now, and it is indispensable for layouts, part definition, and 3D printing. I am no expert user, but I get by. 3. 3D Printing. This will be the first time I will have tried to make 3D printed parts the primary components of the build. Previously I have used it simply to augment an existing model. This is my weak link. I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to 3D printing. To start, I am in the process of converting point data, obtained from vintage engineering drawings, into Rhino surfaces - hopefully for the entire airframe. Here are examples of the point data vintage 1940's: There is also wing data that I have not shown. I can produce points in space from those tables, and connect them with curves in Rhino - like this: Very laborious and monotonous, I can say. Not too surprisingly, the Rhino model is showing what looks alot like a P-51. It better - the good folks at North American back in the '40's used the same data to build the tools used to manufacture the airframe. From there, and after some time-consuming schooling on primary surfacing, with classes available on YouTube, I used those curves to create a bunch of patches: Clearly I am not finished. Those patches can be combined to make a single compound-curved surface, or larger surfaces. I also have wing lofts, done a different way: P-51 wings have single curvature which is to say they are defined by straight line elements. Which is to say that you can have a contour at the inboard end, and a similar smaller contour at the outboard end, and you have fully defined the wing surfaces simply by lofting between them along straight line elements. That is what I did above. You see two lofts - the basic wing, and the inboard extended leading edge - a feature of the -D model, but not the -B model. That extended leading edge is also single curvature. Far and away the most difficult detail to surface so far has been the carb air intake below the prop spinner. After days of applying everything I learned in most of 14 classes I took on primary surfacing techniques, and episodes of tearing my hair out and occasionally walking off in a huff, I got this: It is not perfect, but any inaccuracies are measured in hundredths of an inch at full scale - which is infinitesimal at 1/18 scale. So, unlike a whole lot of P-51 models out there, this "smiley face" detail is deadly accurate. BTW - the Tamiya 1/32 P-51 has a very accurate smiley face, and I am convinced their designers had access to the point data that I have used. Next post you will see a test part of this detail, in 1/18 scale. I also have a complete surface for the prop spinner, done months ago: That was a breeze compared with the other surfacing efforts to date. Just a contour curve rotated around the thrust axis. In theory, if I can have a fully defined set of surfaces for the P-51, defined in Rhino in full scale, I can scale to 1/18 and create just about everything from them. A pretty exciting prospect, and easier said than done! Next post I will show the results of some test parts. I hope this build generates some interest; it's going to be a big challenge. P.S. - if any of you Mustang experts out there have any information on the Malcolm hood - like shapes and cross sections, well that would probably clear the way for me to do the B-model!
  2. I show here the culmination of approximately 4 1/2 years of on again off again work on what was a Blue Box Toy Corsair in 1/18 scale. The build thread can be found here: Here is a picture of it before I began the work: The aim was to convert it from a -1D into a -1A (VF-17 Jolly Rogers), greatly improve the realism in general, provide an openable engine compartment and engine accessories compartment, improve the cockpit and gear bays and landing gear. Along the way many new skills were learned including aluminum skinning and 3D printing (plus learning the computer CAD program necessary for creating digital parts to print), and my first use of the airbrush. Also, as has been the case with all my 1/18 projects, I made extensive use of original engineering drawings found at Aircorps Library, to help me scratch build parts. The first year of the project was dedicated to the R-2800-8 radial engine that powered the Corsair. Before installing it into the aircraft it looked like this: It is scratch built 100%, and many parts were turned on a mini-lathe. So that it would not be completely hidden when installed, I was compelled to make the engine cowl panels and accessory compartment panels removable. For your inspection, first the buttoned up shots: Photos are a bit amateur - sorry about that. I will divide this up into two posts. The next one will show some details, and shots with engine cowls removed. That is where you will also find my acknowledgements to all the modelers who helped me out - there are many!
  3. 1/18 scale Flettner Fl-282 V21 Kolibri 3D printed / scratchbuilt model After request, a 1/18 scale Fl-282 V6 helicopter with WWII Kriegsmarine markings built for a wealthy collector from Kiel, Germany. A second Luftwaffe’s Fl-282 V21 model followed for my own personal collection at home. Since the whole project cost (CAD design, 3D printing & model building) was entirely funded by the client, I did not hesitate to use the best available materials & machines to do the job. The text follows, is to describe the Flettner Fl-282 Kolibri (“B-0” series) helicopter as manufactured by Anton Flettner Flugzeugbau GmbH on early 1940ies, used by Kriegsmarine & Luftwaffe during WWII and scratch built by me as a 1/18 scale model, now days. Anton Flettner was a German aviation engineer & inventor who made important contributions on airplane & helicopter design. During the WWI, Anton Flettner developed remote control & pilotless aircraft projects, which culminated in the prototype Siemens Schuckert Werke 1000 kg wire guided air to surface missile of 1918. Following WWI, he directed aeronautical & hydrodynamic research institute in Amsterdam and during the WWII, he headed the Anton Flettner Flugzeugbau GmbH, which specialized in helicopters. It is believed that the firm was founded in Berlin in 1935. By this time, however, Flettner had developed the idea of counter-rotating, intermeshing twin rotors. Many of his advisers thought that the airflow disturbed by the intermeshing blades would make this system less efficient than one using a single rotor; but Flettner believed that any problems thus encountered would be more than offset by the reduced drag resulting from having no external rotor-carrying structure. His pioneer work is often overshadowed by the more publicised activities of his contemporaries Heinrich Karl Johann Focke and Igor Sikorsky; yet Flettner’s helicopter, was far superior to the Henrich Focke’s FW-61 and made a successful free flight several months before Igor Sikorsky’s VS-300 began tethered flights. Following pictures taken at Pfaffenwiesbach a district of the municipality Wehrheim, Germany. This artistic wall painting cultural monument, created by the local municipal council in memory of Anton Flettner who was the village teacher in Pfaffenwiesbach from 1906 to 1909. Although Anton Flettner built his helicopters for the German military, his wife Lydia Freudenberg Flettner was Jewish. Because of his personal friendship relationship with head of Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, Anton Flettner’s Jewish wife and their family safely moved to Sweden for the duration of World War II. Anton Flettner’s partner and confidant was Dr. Kurt Hohenemser, a brilliant and thorough engineer who developed the details necessary for the helicopter’s success. Dr. Hohenemser's father was also Jewish, yet the pair remained unharmed during their tenure together throughout the War as they worked to develop the helicopter for military use. While the final product could be factory assembled, Anton Flettner and his partner Dr. Kurt Hohenemser insisted that they were the only ones who were capable of assembling the complex intermeshing rotor gearbox assembly. However, plans for 1000 helicopters mass production were made, the project was disrupted by the destruction of the designated factory by Allied bombing. In following pictures, Anton Flettner is proudly posing in front of his Fl-282s fleet at Schweidnitz (today Åšwidnica, Poland), on October 1944. The first helicopter is a V14 registered as CJ-SH. Upon the WWII conclusion, Anton Flettner was held in the “Dustbin†interrogation camp at Kransberg castle. After 1945, Flettner, along with many other aviation pioneers, was brought to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip. He started Flettner Aircraft Corporation, which developed helicopters for the US military. His company was not commercially successful, but his work was shared with the Army Air Corps. Many of his designs, such as intermeshing rotor concept, saw widespread use in a series of postwar helicopters built by Kaman for the US Navy and USAF. Anton Flettner moved to the United States in 1947 to work as a consultant to the Office of Naval research and became the chief designer of Kaman Aircraft, creating the Kaman HH-43 Huskie, a concept with intermeshing rotors. He died at age 76 in New York City, USA on December 29th, 1961 and buried in Eddersheim cemetery at Frankfurt, Germany where he was born. In following photograph, Anton Flettner (2nd from left) meets Wernher von Braun (3rd from left).
  4. Hello folks. Some of you have seen my work on a 21st Century Toys (21CT) P-51D (Miss Velma) a few years ago, and more recently a P-38J (Lucky Lady), both multi-year mod projects. If you will indulge me, I intend to finish off the big three with a P-47 Thunderbolt. A nice winter project to get started. It will probably take a couple of years like the others. Then some day I will get going on the F4U Corsair, and then I will not have any 1/18 scale models left to modify. As is customary, I must show you the unmodified P-47 toy first, and then let you know my plan of attack (if there is one yet). Here are some shots of P-47D "Jabo": Unlike my last two efforts, I see no real challenges that risk not being able to be overcome, save one (the engine). If the engine doesn't pan out, I will just hold my nose and use the existing one. Although the toy looks as toyish as the others, I believe it has more potential for realism than either the P-38 or the P-51, where I had to live with some inaccuracies that were beyond my skills to fix. The biggest projects are going to be the landing gear, wheels/tires, wheel well, control surfaces, cockpit, and canopy glass. My previous two efforts had equivalent projects. But the big project they didn't have, that this one does, is an engine which can be seen. And that is the project I intend to work first. To see the engine up close, of course I disassembled the fuselage: As you can see, and not surprisingly, this is a BIG model. But you have to understand that the P-38 build redefined my notion of size. So I am not intimidated. The engine (unmodified) looks like this: That, my friends, is a somewhat plausible effort by 21CT at a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp. Note the cylinders only have the front half (the rear half being invisible). Anyway, I have decided that I will salvage none of it save perhaps the bulkhead it mounts to. Instead I will scratch build the R-2800, at least what can be seen looking into the cowling from the front. I will not attempt to include the exhaust or intake pipes, or the aft portion of the engine block. I thought about it, but no - it would be too much. I will include all 18 cylinders, their push rods, rocker arm covers, spark plugs with wiring, engine block, and all the clap trap in front of the cylinders. That alone will require hundreds upon hundreds of little parts, and will take me a few months I suspect. I found alot of pictures of the R-2800 (early versions), and wish I could get drawings but cannot find. Also I purchased a Vector resin 1/32 scale R-2800 shown here: It is a good representation, and will be useful for scaling and copying. First order was to determine the size of the engine - one has to consider the thickness of the toy's cowling (.07 inch) which scales to 1.26 inch full size. That means the engine has to be slightly undersized to fit. So I did all that layout work and out popped a cylinder size. Also I decided to construct the cylinders using 0.01 thick plastic for the cooling fins, and 0.01 inch plastic for the spacers between the cooling fins. Actually this is a little too thick and results in fewer cooling fins than the real engine has. But it is more than you typically see on R-2800 models I think. What you see here are flat patterns of cooling fins and spacers for the cylinder heads of the front row of cylinders (9 cylinders): Whaaaaaa? Patience. Here is the prototype cylinder I made a couple weeks ago: What do you think? I thought I would have to trash it, but it actually is good enough to use. Here it is next to the 1/32 Vector cylinder, and a photo of a real R-2800: Note the pieces that make up the cylinder head have a 90 deg bend, and a little port for the spark plug. The pieces of the cylinder itself are much easier - simply round, scribed with a circle template. That is all for now. I hope this generates some interest. Next post will show some results of some real drudgery - making cylinder after cylinder - nine of them. And perhaps the engine block which will be turned on the mini-lathe. Then one day the aft row of cylinders. Many challenges, and an unreal part count. Stay tuned.
  5. 1/18 scale Hafner Rotabuggy flying Jeep Willys Royal Air Force 1943 Solido diecast conversion & scratchbuilt The Hafner Rotabuggy (formally known as the Blitz Buggy or Malcolm Rotaplane) was an experimental aircraft that was essentially a jeep (actually a Willys MB) combined with an autogyro. It was designed by Austrian born British designer Raul Hafner of the AFEE - Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment after their development of the Hafner Rotachute enjoyed some success. The prototype was built by the M.L. Aviation Company at White Waltham in 1942. One of several failed concepts for the equipping airborne forces, the effort and risk in getting the Rotabuggy into battle would probably have outweighed its utility. Initial testing showed that a Willys MB could be dropped from heights up to 2.35 metres (7.7 ft) without damage to the vehicle. A 12.4 metres (40.7 ft) diameter rotor was attached, along with a tail fairing and fins, but no rudders. The design work was carried out by AFEE staff, while most of the construction was undertaken by R. Malcolm Ltd, with H. Morris & Sons assisting in the manufacture of the rubber hub. The serial numbers RD123 and RD127 were allotted for the two Malcolm Blitz Buggys, although they were never to be used. The basic Jeep was fitted with a pylon to support the two-bladed rotor and a fairing to carry the tail surfaces. The Hafner Rotabuggy, as it became known, was to carry a pilot and a small load, together with a complete tankage of fuel and spare wheel, spare tank, tools and snow chains. The pilot occupied the starboard front seat, but an alternative arrangement for a second pilot was made in the port seat with dual controls. The tail fairing was a plywood monocoque structure attached at four points to the rear of the Jeep and cabin. Because consideration loads were transmitted through the fairing in some conditions of flight and in heavy landing, the Jeep was strengthened locally at the points of attachment. The twin-spar tailplane had trimming flaps on either side which were adjustable on the ground by means of turnbuckles. Large endplate fins were set at a slight angle in plain view to give incidence relative to the local airflow. Replacing the standard Jeep windscreen was a streamlined sheet metal framework with perspex sheets. The remainder of the cabin was built of plywood. Access doors with large perspex panels were fitted both sides. A hole in the cabin roof accommodated the pylon, with allowances for movement owing to the elastic suspension. In the cockpit a special dashboard on the starboard side contained an airspeed indicator, a rotor speed indicator, a sensitive altimeter and a turnand- slip indicator. A standard telephone system via the towrope allowed the pilot to communicate with the tug pilot, the amplifier and batteries being located behind the starboard seat. The Hafner Rotabuggy, camouflaged, carrying RAF roundels and a prototype “P”.
  6. https://ipmsnymburk.com/forum/viewtema.php?ID_tema=39718&page_d=0&idp_d=0&idc_d=1&show_html= Text : In HpH Models company are also working on model of MiG-23BN fighter in 1/18 scale. It will be very limited edition at the beginning of which was a order from a foreign customer.
  7. Didn´t want to let this year end without showing you one of the models I finished 2016. But first I want to thank LSP mate Nick Karatzides for this kit and his tremendous work designing it! This is my first completely 3D printed kit, so it did not went without some hassle. Nick´s research and the design are shown here on LSP: http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=51976&hl=flettner Most of my trouble was based on the 3D printing. My kit was printed by Shapeways in the Netherlands, for I am from Europe. Nick suggested to clean the parts in white spirit only. But this did not work for me. The parts got stained after giving them a bath in white spirit, well seen here: So, I filed a complaint at Shapeways, strongly supported by Nick. Shapeways agreed to completely re-print the kit. Great customer care for a kit that costs some bucks! Getting the second print I thought about how to clean them. I placed some not this visible parts in my ultra-sonic cleaner, filled with destilled (!) water and some dishwashing detergent. Well, this went wrong, too... Also, my ultra-sonic cleaner broke down after some runs, it started to smell charred. So I ordered a new one, which ment even more expense. But well... In the end I cleaned all parts in destilled water only. Only water, no other stuff. Despite the kit parts having been cleaned from the supporting wax at Shapeways the parts still had lots of the wax on them,clearly shown by the water getting cloudy after some seconds. Don´t ask me how many litres of destilled water it took to clean all the parts! Nick designed all parts to a very tight fit. So I took outmost care to mask all locating pins and holes before giving the parts a coat of gloss black acrylic primer. Any paint on these points will make the parts impossible to fit! I guess it was from MiG, but I didn´t make notes on this. The main fuselage got a airbrushed in Alclad Duraluminium, to be followed by accents of Alclad Airframe Aluminium. Masking the rear part for airbrushing in a wooden base coat was intricate, for the part has this many details and is easily broken. Nick provides a template for the instruments, to be glued behind the part with the bezels on. But this template showed US instruments! So I checked my literature for pictures of the IP of the real Flettner. I then searched the Net for colour pictures of the needed instruments, resized and worked them in Photoshop. Also in Photoshop I placed and sized them onto a scan of the template and printed them on glossy photo paper on my colour printer. Much better! All in all this was a very enjoyable build and it looks great in my cabinet. Hope you like it as well! Here the pics:
  8. Does anyone know if the contours of the BBI 1/18 Corsair are anywhere near correct? Craig's(brahman104) rebuild of the P-38 has gotten me interested in trying to re-do one of those large scale monsters. Thanks, D.B.
  9. 1/18 scale Jukka Tervamäki JT-9T autogyro scratchbuilt model Having tried my (suicidal) virgin 40 minutes flight experience with a friend's homemade autogyro during my summer holidays with him on flight controls and me on the passenger's backseat, I can surely say that you really feel like a bird, sensing even the slightest airwave or gravity accelerating change straight in your floating stomach. As soon as I safely stepped on solid ground again and returned back home in one piece, I felt the iresistable temptation to try a 1/18 scale autogyro scratchbuild. The following article is to describe step by step the 1/18 scale Jukka Tervamäki Engineering JT-9T autogyro, designed by Mr. Jukka Tervamäki and currently flying by ultralight aviators around the world keeping the Mad Max II GyroCaptain's (aka Road Warrior) spirit alive! In the photo below, Mr. Jukka Tervamäki, with his latest (at that time) creation of the JT-5, which was a predecessor of JT-9, which I'll try to represent in scale. The basic JT-9 autogyro concept is about a tractor gyro design with good aesthetics and performance with fairly low power. A 1.7 m diameter 2-blades propeller is powered by HKS 700 or Hexadyne Aviation P60 diesel engines, both delivering about of 65 hp at 2400 rpm. The fuselage of the JT-9 is of normal steel tube construction covered with dacron fabric. On the other hand, the JT-9B model is equipped with an electric motor instead of a diesel engine, with only difference the 3-blades propeller and wider front cover to house the battery packs onto both sides of the fuselage. The model I'll try to build in 1/18 scale, is the two-seat trainer (as for the "T") JT-9T model, equiped with diesel engine & 2-blades propeller made by carbon fibers. Having the basic blueprint line diagrams in hand, it was easy to convert them into 1/18 scale with a photocopier and I began the scale model building, starting from zero using 0.25mm styrene card and plastic sprue. To make the construction look more interesting, I decide to build the model in a way that airframe should look like cutaway side opened and let cockpit detail be easily observed. In the following pictures, the real (one-seat) Alex “GyroBeast2” Lameko's autogyro JT-9, during the successive stages of building.
  10. 1/18 scale Instytucie Szybownictwa IS-A Salamandra 53 3D printed / scratchbuilt model The text following is to describe the 1/18 scale Instytucie Szybownictwa IS-A Salamandra 53 (1953 version) glider model building, as produced by aviation factories throughout Poland.
  11. 1/18 scale Bolkow Bo-102 Helitrainer scratchbuilt model The Bölkow Bö-102 Helitrainer was an unusual ground-based helicopter training aid that was developed and built by Bölkow of Germany in the late 1950ies. It embodied all essential elements of a conventional helicopter, but was mounted on an articulated gantry to allow a student controlled experience of helicopter systems. Designed to be mounted on a swivelling captive rig the Bölkow Bö-102 Helitrainer allowed trainee pilots to practice procedures such as engine starting, rotor engagement and manipulation of the flight controls. Many of the Bö-102's components, including the single bladed fiberglass main rotor were used in the company's next design, the Bölkow Bö-103. Looks like a kiddie heliride, a toy for big boys huh? Rolled out in 1957, this Helitrainer was powered by a Hirth 3-cylinder / 2-stroke 40hp ILO L3X375 piston engine rated at 30 kW, driving a simple 21 foot one-bladed fiberglass rotor with a counterweight. In all 18 of these Helitrainers were built operating throughout Europe, training military helicopter pilots. Although unable to fly, they were ideal for the teaching of hovering techniques and were replaced by dual trainer helicopters. The Bölkow Bö-102 Helitrainer offered a variety of advantages for a safe helicopter training and was developed in land and water based versions, both of which were semi-captive. The first training section was conducted on this model mounted on a boogie. It facilitated the training of starting, tuning the rotary speed, taking off, hovering, turning, and landing. Simple exercising device for beginners’ training. Safety risk minimized by captivation, yet limited flight maneuvers possible. This feature allowed the helicopter to rise to a height of 2m (6ft), turn around a vertical axis and dip at up to 6° but prevented it from flying outside these limits.
  12. 1/18 scale Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon HAF BBI - Elite Force conversion / scratchbuilt The following article is to describe step by step the 1/18 scale Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon Block 52, currently flying with Hellenic Air Force, conversion using the BBI - Elite Force toy model kit, bought from the States a couple of years before for less than $60 USD. Despite my enthusiasm when I finally got this 1/18 model in my hands, as soon as I opened the box which exceeds in length the 3 feet (!!!), I realized that I would face hard time and massive scratch building and I'd need to spend hundreds hours on my hobby bench to make it look descent. In the substance, it is not even a model to assembly but a game for children which could be ready in less than 2 minutes. The detail convinces only if you look the model from a distance while points such as landing gear system, engine nozzle, panel lines etc are real dramatic. Luckily, the model is accurate on dimensions and could possibly be used as a F-16 exhibit model that do not interest on conformity of colors, special details etc. So, I decide to begin the building from the zero and give life in this 82cm long monster with no detail (comparing to scale models by Hasegawa, Tamiya etc) but however this 1/18 F-16 toy has almost unlimited possibilities of becoming a high detailed scale model. It should be noticed that the model's airframe comes straight from the box already sealed and I had to open it and work it from inside. That's a hard work to do, because the fuselage remains stuck with internal reinforcing possessors and metal supports & screws that I should locate and carefully remove without causing any damage on plastic material. Following pics show the 82cm long beast, immediately after opening of packing box. I am already start thinking about finding the proper window to place this Falcon. By selecting heavy metal on my CD player (in order to become aggressive and get the “Friday 13th” feeling) and using a saw and a Dremel tool, I opened the fuselage, the basic airframe pieces were cut and useless parts such as landing gear, engine nozzle, a part of the air intake etc were removed and led to the garbage.
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