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1/18 P51C Mustang "Lopes Hope the 3rd"


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thanks chaps :)


little bit more done this weekend, but the little bit was actually quite important (& time consuming) in terms of dictating the success of the cockpit structure..


..I need to not only get the side walls right, but becuse I want to build up parts like sidewalls, floors etc seperately, I need to make sure I have sub-assemblies that can slot together when it comes to actually completing the cockpit 'pod'


one part of this will be the floor where the fuel tank sits and where the 'A' frame and seat will be mounted - this was a laminate of the detail layer, a full thickness PE strengthener and a thick card sub-floor..




..one thing that soon became obvious was I got the bulkhead positions wrong (the slots in the floor..) - I took them from where they would be not allowing for the slant of the 'A' frame, but given the 'A' frame is at an angle, it moves where these slots should be


I used a template to set the angle of the 'A' frame... the upper plastic card bit has an angle at the front...




,,and taped up before adding lots of CA and strengthening bits where they can't be seen under the floor..




..I had to partially destroy the jig to get the sides out last week, but I figured a way to re-use it and spent hours fettling the parts so the floor sat correctly with the A frame in position and the slots for the bulkheads..






..the trickiest part is the bulkhead that goes where the big slots are - this is in bits in the real one and bolted together - I made it one piece so need to thread it onto the floor like cotton into a needle and twist it into postion..


..this means I have some tidying up to do around where the floor & bulkheads meet..




.. this is all now correctly positioned and I can use this when it comes to assembling the second bulkhead permanently to make the floor sub-structure unit..








..coming together..




..next I need to think about the fuel tank that sits here - I meant to design it in 3D but didn't get round to it and now my free trial has run out - I might try balsa and tissue or something as it's quite an organic shape & covered in rough self sealing rubber..


until next time..








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Yeah - kind of glad to see this excellent work.  I am in the middle of a really tough build myself in 1/18.  And sometimes I get a little sloppy and accept less than the best - mostly because I know that we (we meaning serious modelers) can on our worst days far outperform most model manufacturers when it comes to accuracy and detail.    But for me, my best effort is so much better than my sub-par efforts.  So you help me be more patient and more meticulous.  Keep up the good work.

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thanks chaps - very kind :)


so next in the God knows how many parts I have to make is the fuselage fuel tank - for this I have a few pictures of the actual tank fitted in Lopes Hope and made a few mental notes about what needs to be done in terms off construction. First thing is clear, it is quite an organic shape, being made to sit tightly in among all the formers in the fuselage behind the pilot (more of which later..), second, it has a quite uneven surface where various fittings are added, and lastly it looks like a round pole framework at the top over which the bladder sits..


..having trouble with photobucket so will add that pic in later..


the first step was to make a balsa blank and add the profiles scaled from the factory drawings - here is the bottom plan..




..then the top profile with all the fittings added and starting to shape it..




..then the top was recessed and the tubular frame added..




..to get the finish I wanted I decided to try tissue - this is at least 30 years old from a Guillows kit.. several layers were applied and washed in with diluted PVA..




..the fittings had strengthening doublers so these were added from bare metal foil..




..something I had already worked out was that the complete tank would not fit in the assembled fuselage structure as it has to thread through the fuselage formers, so I cut it in half and then painted it black.. (Tamiya semi-gloss with a drop or two of future..)




...I am quite pleased with the results and I can.now start to add the detailed parts safe in the knowledge it just about squeezes through..






..and slotted into place ..








..and with the seat mocked up in position..




..that's it for now - having fun with this one :)




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