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Aerotech Mew Gull


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Thank you very much, Shaka!


I've been working on those seatbelts, which have the uncanny ability to absorb any and all spare time I put into them!  Still, progress is being made.  I'd love to show you, but the lens on my camera broke!  It was a Tamron zoom, always worked fine, and then suddenly stopped zooming.  So I poked about a bit, and something broke loose and started to rattle.  Then, it not only wouldn't zoom, it wouldn't focus, AND the iris wouldn't move.


I think it's dead, Jim. 



So I bought a new Canon zoom and hope to have it here tomorrow, and then I can go back to photographing the battle.

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Well, I got the new lens a day early, and it's sooo nice to have autofocus and  steady shot and so on!


Turning back to the Gull, here's my progress so far with the belts (I'll postpone working on the shoulder straps until after I've glued the fuselage halves together):












You obviously can't see the steel plate in the cockpit, but I'd know it was missing, so . . . :)


Anyway, I'm now finally at the stage where I can glue the fuselage together, which means the end is almost in sight, since after the fuse come the wings, the tailplane already fits like a dream, and I can easily attach the rudder, ailerons, elevators, and gear.


In fact, all that's left to do really is glue in the fuel tank (after I've had a chance to work on and glue in the joystick), do the instrument panel, assemble and attach the shoulder belts, then work on the canopy (gulp!), a few sundry bits of P/E, and then a nice paint job.


Now I do have a question: am I better off using cyano or epoxy on the fuselage?  I ask because even after days of fettling, the fuse still wants to spring apart a bit, so there will always be pressure on the joins.  This would normally indicate epoxy, but I've also got bits that must be glued exactly right to make sure the sections are level (the rear underside is particularly bad).  I'm thinking of combining epoxy and cyano, using the latter to "spot weld" tricky joins, and then bringing in the epoxy for the heavy lifting, as it were.  What would you guys do?






PS I'd just like to thank Photobucket for making me re-do every last image.  Big thumbs up!  :mental:

Edited by Mark_C
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Exactly what you described, Mark. Use cyano for spots for an instant bond, but epoxy for the rest for that "I know you're gonna stay fused for life, beyotch, feeling!".


But take my input with a grain of salt as I've never built a resin kit.


Keep going!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just some more updates here.  I haven't given up on the old girl, although there were some discouraging problems.


First, I used cyano and epoxy to glue the fuselage together:






As can be seen, there were massive gaps all around.  Whether it was because the fuselage was warped, or I made a mistake, I don't know.  But there they are.


I used gap-filling cyano with accelerant as filler, because I'm used to it with plastic kits.  I find it very easy to use: dribble it on, zap it, wait a few seconds for the stuff to turn white, and then start sanding.   It starts out softer than the plastic or resin (so there's less chance of damage), sands down to a feather edge, and if you have to add more there's no waiting.  The only problem is that it continues to harden over time, so you can't wait too long to start.  You're pretty much committed to the session, otherwise the stuff becomes very hard.


Here's the fuselage after some filling and sanding:




Looks terrible, doesn't it?  Like I didn't fill it at all!  But that's because the cyano polishes clear.  If you do a finger test, you can tell very easily what's been filled and what hasn't.  I also use well-thinned silver acrylic paint along the seam, because any problems are easily seen.  I use the old Polly-Scale Oxidized Aluminum, which I've had for over 20 years.  I wish they still made it - it's some of the best metallic paint I've even used.


Below you can see the seams after I brushed on the paint.  One of the best things about it is that a paper towel dabbed in alcohol takes the paint right off.





Most of the seam is fixed.  There's a gap in the little circle, but it won't be seen because a P/E piece drops right in there and hides it.  The only area I still need to work on is the nose, which I attached before I took the photo.  And the wings are attached, as are the tailplanes and rudder, of course.


Here's the spine, which also looks a lot better than when I started:





Here's a photo of the underside, after wings were attached but before I filled and sanded:




Biiiiig gap, as you can see.  But it's fixable.


One thing that does disappoint me about this kit, though, is the way some things just don't fit.  For example. look at the P/E flap.  There's something wrong here - either the flap corner should not make a 90-degree angle, or whoever designed the kit didn't make sure the resin had a 90-degree corner.  Because, as you can see, the flap just doesn't fit.  It either fits on one side or the other, but not both.  And not only that, the flap is either too long, or the bay is too short:




Now, I can understand how "modeling skills are required" with cottage-industry manufacturers, and I'm willing to do my fair share of work, but it does disappoint me to see things that just don't fit, just couldn't fit.  I found this very frustrating, especially after the banana-shaped fuselage, the elevators of two different thicknesses, the rudder that refused to fit . . . honestly, I very nearly gave up on this little fellow.  But I discovered I have more skill than I thought, because so far, I'm beating it into submission.  And here's one way I did it:




I threw away the P/E flaps as essentially useless (apart from anything else, and despite exquisite care, they both bent when I removed the nubbins.)  I replaced them with custom-cut pieces of 0.10" plastic sheet, with a small piece of 0.05" plastic underneath and closer to the wing leading edge to make a step, so the flap would now be the same depth as the wing in front, and taper nicely at the rear.  And the fact that only one flap has a 90-degree corner is not obvious at all.  I'm happy with the result.  (You can also see how well the filler worked on that massive gap).


Before I finish, I wanted to show you how I dealt with the wings.  As the kit is designed, the wings are a single piece and include the entire underside.  There are slots in the fuselage which you can see here, where the wing slots in:





It took a LOT of fettling to get them to fit, including massive thinning of the fuselage bottom enlarging the slots very carefully, and so on, but the wing finally fit.  Except you can see that, even though the wing is actually straight, there's a much bigger gap on the starboard side than the port side.  I didn't want to risk damaging the area with a lot of sanding, so I used Apoxie Sculpt as a filler.  It seems to have worked well.  I pushed it in, rubbed it smooth with a wet finger, removed the excess with a wet toothpick, and generally fettled it gently till I filled the gaps on either side:











A quick dab of metallic showed that the Apoxie did a good job:




By the way, the nose was also a nightmare.  In order to make sure everything was straight, and panel lines met across the fuselage, the left side was nearly 1/8" longer than the right side.  It left a nasty gap all along the starboard nose.  I figured you'd all seen enough gaps to interest you, so I once again used 0.10" and 0.05" plastic sheet to fill the gap - you can see it there.  A little plastic glue to weld them together, a little cyano to fix them, and done.  The excess plastic was easily carved away and left almost no gap.





If you got this far, thanks for reading this overly long installment.

Edited by Mark_C
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Good work, Mark, and worth all your efforts. :goodjob:


Gotta say these Aerotech kits are a bit disapointing quality-wise, especially compared to other resin offerings like Silver Wings or Lukgraph, which also happen to be cheaper ...

(And for more money, Fisher kits are so much better as well)



Edited by MostlyRacers
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Thank you very much, Hubert.  I hope you will soon have the opportunity to return to your Sikorski.



And thank you for your continued encouragement, Shaka.  It means a lot.




All my modelling has come to a grinding halt of late, as life brandished a big "stop" sign ...


I too hope to be able to come back to my S-39. In fact I think I could fill a "Clear the Shelf of Doom" GB all by myself :) ...



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What? A banana-shaped fuselage, Elevators of different thicknesses, a rudder that refused to fit? And a not-so-90° corner?


Well. That's all?


No wing or fuselage halfes of different lenght, no paperthin cast areas, no open holes, no hidden bubbles under th surface that pop up during sanding? No canopy glazing that is smaller than the cockpit opening? No shattered small parts? Resin hardened in all places?





Lucky man - you've got an exceptional well cast resin kit :yahoo:


Resin kits are a special breed. Anything goes :help:



:hi: to the club!   :goodjob: so far!


Enjoy the build!

- dutik

Edited by dutik
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"No wing or fuselage halfes of different lenght"


Nope, got that.  Left side several mms longer than right side.


"No canopy glazing that is smaller than the cockpit opening"


Wait and see.  The canopy right now doesn't look so good . . .



But the build isn't over yet!  There's still time to find bubbles!



Hahahahahah - sigh.





Edited by Mark_C
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,


Looks like I won't be making the deadline.  It's rained solidly the last two weeks, which means the paint jobs have been ruined, and that's put me way back.


I originally tried priming with white primer, but it refused to dry for days and days, and had a nasty texture.  I sanded it down and then coated it with gloss white, but something wasn't right:




It might be hard to see, but the paint was so thick it was obscuring details.  And then I noticed the mass balances on the rudder were waaaay off, sigh.  So I decided to start again.  I spent a good couple of days with lacquer thinner and sandpaper, and got all the paint off.


I then coated with Tamiya Flat Aluminum, based on reports that it's a good undercoat for their White:






It was a lot easier to apply, and it actually dried.  I sanded it down with some paper towel, and it seems pretty smooth, though I will have to recoat the port area, I think.  I also fixed the mass balances so they look better.


I also started work on the canopies.  As I mentioned earlier, the cut lines are very faint, and that caused me to ruin one.  Fortunately, I have three more!  I decided to use my remaining original canopy as a test bed, and dipped it in Future to protect it from the next step, which was to pour plaster of Paris into it:




The plaster is there for two reasons.  First, it provides a strong, sturdy base for the canopy, protecting it from being bent too far.  Second, it makes it easier to see the cut lines.  The canopy really stuck at first, but I was able to gently pry it off.  The Future did a great job of protecting it, and I was able to wash it off with some ammonia and then re-dip it.  The image above shows it with its new coat of Future.  I should now be able to dribble a little Tamiya silver onto the canopy and use it to help define the cut lines.  To clean it after, I can just dip the canopy in ammonia (which vaporizes Future AND Tamiya paint), and the re-dip in Future for clarity and protection.  Whew.


Anyway, as I said, I don't think I'm going to get this guy done by next Friday, and I don't want to rush the job.  But I will keep working on it.

Edited by Mark_C
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Good progress on a tough build, Mark!


Anyway, as I said, I don't think I'm going to get this guy done by next Friday, and I don't want to rush the job.  But I will keep working on it.


If that happens, we can move it to the Shelf of Doom GB for you, if you like.



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