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Scratchbuilt 1/24 Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat

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Thanks KiwiZac.  I can tell you at least in terms of the Shapeways service, the details are very impressive and the cost is coming down. When I started making some prints last spring things were mildly pricey but it's come way down (like half). My costs to date (and likely the final tally), which include a number of learning mistakes, pegged  US $300 . The cockpit is about $60.  I'm not terribly efficient . I could have hollowed out some parts and done better at batching my orders to save on shipping.   It's such a different purchase when you are the author of the design work. It not only delivers a nifty scale model but also a lot of self satisfaction.  

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I think the 85% does help with the perspective of the task since you are shooting fairly high but will realistically have to settle for less. Not even sure a lot of personalities can work with this dynamic. You have to fool yourself into thinking you can do anything and then only later tell yourself it's OK to fail (a little). Perfectionists can give this a try but unless they can also deal with a significant failure rate they are very likely to give up in frustration (and worse their standards are so high that they "fail" a lot) . I'd probably categorize myself as a hard working dreamer who at times comes down from the clouds.  The more I work though the better I am and fewer trips down. It quite addictive that way. Much like golf I suppose. 


I'll watch for that thread. But by all means share the journey in any form. 


That's a good advice, Jim.


I always want to put all the details I can get into the model. But, If I ever want to finish it, I have to remove and simplify a lot. I ask myself "what will be visible on the finished model" quite often, and have started to make the 3D model based on that. (This relates mostly to 3D modeling/3D printing) So, on the Whirlwind I'm making, I've left the elevators attached to the tailplane since it's not important to me if I can move them on the finished model. This leads to a simplified hinge based on what's visible, like this:



Because, when I've put on the litho plates for covering the model, this is what's visible:




So, no one can see if the bearings are missing...


This is my 85%. I do deeply admire those that put all the details in and make all the control surfaces and landing gears movable, but I'm good with doing things this way and I have a lot better chance of finish it some day than loose myself in details...



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Gunnar. I think you have a wonderful sense of it all. In my progress I've dismissed a lot of details for the greater goal of finishing things, too. I started to sweat a lot of detail in the Fury only to later "let go". Being my first scratch build, there were just too many shortcomings and unpracticed skills to have invested more time and toil. Learned a ton and moved on. No regrets. I actually chose something well into the middle of my favorite planes list so that there was no crying.  The Bearcat (also something of a middle child), being my first 3D project is kind of changing perspectives on what I'll model and what I won't. Still, there is a sense of "85%" as a way to keep moving forward. Ultimately, I think I'll end up building a lot more planes with 3D. I've already started ordering books and made some 3D "sketches"  for SB number 3!    

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I have been following your 85% discussion. I hear you and understand. I am struggling with pretty much the same issues with my F-90 project. The farther along I get the more compromises I end up making.


I know that I will not be able to build the perfect model. But it is important for me to finish having invested over a year on this build. Hopefully I will be happy with the finished model. In the end it will look like an F-90, just don't look too close.



Edited by Dandiego
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  • 2 weeks later...

Welp, I'm back to physical assembly mode but it's been pretty slow. I tend to build in obsession mode where the project dominates my free time. Just not a lot of free time lately, and when it is free I'm not putting the Bearcat up high enough in the priorities. That's OK. I actually figured the last few months of the year would be a build rest for me, just to keep burn out at bay and spend more time with friends and family, etc. Seems the scratch building  crowd here is on the slow side in general. I hope to see that change, so let's go guys! I think we motivate each other. We do not have parts or directions but we have friends! 


Here's what I've come up with for the wing build. It's not all that original since this is actually how the Bearcat is built (basically). The wheel wells go deep into the fuselage so it's almost required to build the wings and the fuselage in an integrated way. I really like it and think now building wing around this strong basswood spar should go pretty well. It's got the vertical strength to hold a lot of weight, but do not think this will weigh very much at all. Looking back at the Fury where I really never had a wing attachment plan, i can't tell you what a struggle that was to get it right. So, maybe I'm getting smarter! Pain teaches us a lot of life's lessons.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Made some progress working out how to do the wing and have cut out a few parts and began sanding. I feel I'm out of the gate and making headway there. 



Due to the puppy and her amazing ability to find trouble, its been hard to disappear for hours and build, but I can create stuff on the computer in the living area of the house.  I really do not need any more 3D parts for this project so I've been playing around with 3D renderings of possible future projects;


Here's an LTV A-7E . Some call it ugly, but I think it's totally bad ass. It was pretty fun to do this and I learned a lot about the plane and 3D solutions to a complex design. It's quite interesting how the intake and fuselage merge at all their intersections. As a 1/24 project, this would be nothing short of massive. 58cm long! 



Another plane that has been high on my scratch build lists for a long time but never making it to the top is the iconic F-86. Here's some work on that lately. Something more realistic about this one. 



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