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Would you purchase a clear resin canopy for the Bf110-G conversion set

Bill Cross

Who would buy a clear resin canopy for the Bf110-G Conversion?  

55 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you purchase a clear resin canopy to replace the vacuform one supplied in the kit

    • Yes
    • No

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Some of you expressed a strong desire for an AM supplier to sell a clear resin canopy for the Bf110-G conversion set (which comes with two vacuform ones that require some surgery and skill to replace the kit canopy). So I thought I would see if there's enough interest to tempt someone who can cast clear resin.


This is no knock on Pastor John's conversion set, which is awesome. He made a business and production decision to use vacuform instead of clear resin, and I suspect most modelers will be happy with the vacuform canopy.

Edited by Bill Cross
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I have recently expressed my admiration and thanks to John for his excellent conversion but also my slight anxiety about how the vac-form after section canopy is going to look and work, so if a complete IM or resin one of good quality, like Alleycats are, was available I'd certainly go for it.  Given the number of sets John has sold I'd say there was a buoyant market for anybody with the right skills.


Edited by mozart
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I 100% agree.

Johns conversion is VERY nice and exceptionally complete, but like Max, I'm still a bit wary about the thinness of the vac part together with the likely much thicker clear IM part.


As Bill stated this is in NO way a slight against John or the G conversion, as certain decisions have to be made when putting out such a massive, complete and expensive conversion like Johns G2/4 conversion is.


I personally would LOVE to see a nice clear resin full G canopy from the likes of FM&P or (more likely) AlleyCat.

Id buy one in a second if produced from a reputable vendor.

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 I wold have been interested if it was available when I started mine, I have also cut the vac canopy out and it seems to fit quite well to be honest. The one issue I see with a resin canopy for the G-4 is unless the vendor is going to make different canopies for the two different SM set ups you are going to have to cut holes in it which I am pretty sure will look a bit ugly and out of scale in thicker resin?


Just my thoughts on building this conversion first hand.


Regards. Andy

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The one issue I see with a resin canopy for the G-4 is unless the vendor is going to make different canopies for the two different SM set ups you are going to have to cut holes in it which I am pretty sure will look a bit ugly and out of scale in thicker resin?


When AlleyCat did their resin canopies for the T-6/Harvard, they produced 3 or 4 patterns/combinations to fit different Marks, so two for an F, G2 or G4 shouldn't pose too  much of a problem.


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I think it could be a good idea to discuss that with Gary who already invested a little bit in an injected part option...

I prefer to let the various artisanal AM manufacturers sort this out and make their own decisions. I would happily purchase one to save the effort and risk of failure with a vac canopy.

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I'm in ...


The vac parts don't look too bad at all ... detail and shape wise ... I suppose I could live with them.

BUT - I too, would buy a couple of resin replacements in a heartbeat ...


There's a little bit of distortion when viewing through them, compared to the IM kit parts.

There's also the differing thickness between the two mediums ...

I'm wondering how obvious all that will look when they're joined together?


When I bought the MDC Typhoon kit I wasn't too keen on the vac canopy ... so I bought a couple of resin replacements from Paul Fisher (Sea Fury).
They look a hundred times better.


Rog :)

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I prefer to let the various artisanal AM manufacturers sort this out and make their own decisions. I would happily purchase one to save the effort and risk of failure with a vac canopy.


I'm inclined to agree ...


I know that when I'd spent countless hours trying to organise things and scour for references and invested in a base kit that, in the end, after literally years of patient waiting, all came to nought ...

I wasn't too keen too just jump back in so enthusiastically to assist with the project elsewhere ...


Leave it open ... then whoever wants to pick up the ball and run with it, can do so without worrying who else is on the bandwagon.


I don't really care who does ... just as long as the part ends up looking good ... If it ends up like the Fisher Sea Fury canopy it'll be an investment well made.


Rog :)

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Hi Guys


I was reading this thread a little earlier on my break at work, and thought I would state a few points that I thought you would like to know.

Ok I hear many of you say....who is this bright spark that seems to know a lot or everything about this topic, well I shall give you some background to those that do not know who I am.

I am Alistair Mclean, I started Alley Cat, as of three years ago I could not continue trading and the business was purchased by Alec Smith, who still owns the products and company.

So I know and believe that I was one of the pioneers is doing resin cast canopies, although there were others and more are being added to the list as time goes by, I certainly know that along with the likes of Paul Fisher I was there right at the start. Over the years many people came to me for advice, and tried to get information out of me, some I told and helped other I did not for various reasons.

One of the first and probably one of the BEST clear cast canopies that I did was for the 1/48 scale Tucano kit that I released. However the masters for the canopy and kit were not done by myself but by a very good friend of mine, he then went on to do the 1/32 scale canopies for the Ki-61 / 100 family conversions that we released.

I personally was responsible the Harvard, Arado, Bf 109 G12 and other canopy sets that were added to the line, and if I am not mistaken, some of these, are still possibly the ONLY after market resin cast canopies that were or are sold JUST as canopy sets, i.e. not sold as part larger conversion.

When I was in business, I did all of the clear casting personally.......and boy it is hard work and costly. So let me explain a little


Pattern making

For the purpose of this example we can take the current topic i.e the Bf110, of which I have no personal interest in, in building one in 1/32 scale, but if I were to make a canopy I would need to do the following

Firstly you need to know that a particular items is NEEDED in the market for what ever reason

Then you need to research the feasability

Then I need to buy a kit, now doing a few online checks to purchase one in the UK currently that would cost say at least £100.00

From what I can see the new vacform part that is needed for this conversion is 'section' of the clear canopy part i.e. not the full canopy. To make that part shown in the kit review I know that it would take me possibly around 25 hours maybe more of work to get to a production mould ready for casting, and as a fair rate of pay of say £10.00 an hour that equates to £250.00

Then there is some material costs, although these do not add up to a fortune, they do add up, the most being that you may have to make two or three resin copies of masters or part masters along the way in developing the canopy, and or you may very well need to vacform a new basic 'shell' master that can be developed and worked into a pattern.

Oh and by the way the MOST tedious part is polishing and re-polishing the master to get it as clear as possible, and then you need to decide when to scribe, or frame the 'frames' and then the more you sand and polish you end up thinning down parts and edges you do not want to thin down. Even once in production each time a mould is made you need to re-buff the master and make sure no dust or contamination is on the master.

So to factor this all in for this particular project if I was to make the canopy I need somebody to cough up at least £350.00 to £400.00.................any takers.........ok so for a a cheaper base kit reduce the cost by the kit cost, and for a more simple canopy maybe from £250 to £150.00.




The silicon is a little more costly that standard silicone BUT your yield per mould is 50-75% that of a standard silicone mould.

The resin is 4-5 times more expensive than standard resin, and the failure rate is once again at least 2-3 times more than normal casting.

The process takes longer to cast parts, and all parts have to post cured in a oven for at least an hour, and then allowed to cool.


When I started in clear cast production about 10 years ago, I found a resin and developed a system with very basic simple casting and post curing process. All was going fairly well after battling for quite a while to get things right...then disaster struck, the chemical formula of the resin changed due to new EU laws etc. I was casting a lot of canopies for my sets in various scale and cast canopies was something I was KNOWN for in the industry, so it was a very stressful time for me as production got hit hard. Cut a long story short I tried about 5 other companies resins, I could not get any to work as I wanted, then my original supplier came up with a new product that did work again...yeah that worked again for a few years but then the same issue of material change happened again, that was more or less at the time when I had to give up the business, so did not impact me so much.


About 2 years ago I was trying to do some subcontract casting for Jeffrey of Hypersonic Models for his 1/48 Skywarrior conversions, to keep it simple I once again had issues with resin and other more mechanical issues in mould design etc. I desperately wanted to assist him as I felt as if I had let him down, we tried various places including HPH, and even they could not produce the said canopy to the standards that Jeffrey wanted. To be honest although Jeffrey has made a super master I just think that it is one of those canopies that always will be a tricky one to cast. I spoken to him fairly recently and I know he was managing to cast some himself, but still had a high failure rate AND guess what some of the resin product that he was using had a formula change, and believe me that does effect the process and takes time to get used to.


On my to do list through another 1/32 scale modeller is Andrew Birnie, is to do a new canopy in resin for the Trumpeter 1/32 A7 Corsair......well it is an ongoing saga as I just never seem to get around to it, but he has leant me a kit and information for quite a while now, so maybe one day that will happen, but as of now I am not sure how I will proceed with marketing, selling packaging and shipping etc. as I now have a full time job to contend with.


I ave recently being doing windows for some customers that do 1/76 scale model buses and have a company that is casting reasonable quality in clear, added to that I have done some 1/72 scale masters for canopies for another model company, but they are sourcing their own casting.


As for Alley Cat doing new stand alone canopies I cannot see that happening, especially in 1/32 scale, as he nor pattern makers that he uses really have the knowledge or skills. About August last year he asked me to do a fairly simple windscreen, in 1/32 for one of the models in the Alley Cat range, I quoted £50.00 to £75.00 and ever since I have not heard from him.

I have currently heard that MDC is doing his clear casting but there is now new stuff coming out, with clear cats parts especially 1/32 scale and larger.


So there you go, this is some insight into clear casting and some idea on time and cost, and I recon or even better I know if you speak to Paul Fisher you will get a similar if not the same story, as he and I have corresponded over the years, and although I know what I can do and did in the past was good, he I believe is even better, how he does it I am not 100% sure.


Do not get me wrong I am prepared to LOOK at any and all projects but I need help and ideas and possibly the person to stump up the money......in the next little while I will be seeing what my casters can do with larger type canopies, so there may be a turn key solution available.


If any of you would like to discuss anything in more depth and or further do send me a PM, and we can take it from there.


cheers Ali

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I'm going to chime in here by saying that all of the above by Ali is as close to the truth of the matter as you'll ever get...It's a nightmare, plain and simple as just when you get a reliable system going the material gets changed and you're back to square one.


I routinely decline to cast clear for people since I cannot guarantee they will get what they want  nor can I absorb the costs of the failures when I'm working at a reduced rate for someone else.


I'm certain that there would be a fair number of buyers for the 110 canopy, but as Ali mentioned it's a rabbit hole.One of the reasons  I don't much dwell on Luftwaffe subjects is the myriad sub variants that make almost any project an open ended misery. I am currently drowning in the research for sub-variants of the Skyraider and realizing that not all of them will sell well enough to justify their costs.


Back to my hidey-hole!



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Hey Paul


great to see you joining in, it is safe to say I even asked Paul to cast for me....hehe!!! he declined.

Paul I am waiting for the NAVY Skyraider I was not aware till the other day that you will be doing a dedicated Naval one, but I am glad that you are.


On topic again, if any body or a group of you really do want to get something clear cast and or patterned then do speak to me, and I will try and help but in turn I will need help with kit parts, good reference material etc, and we need to get some really good commitment / and or cash investment.



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