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CAC Boomerang A46-217 “Hep Cat” Finished.

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Having just finished the O-2 and now back from ScaleACT, I pondered my next build. I usually have a play around with a few of my old works in progress for a few days after I finish a build and see if I can work out an old problem that caused me to shelve it in the first place. Sometimes I pick up a new kit but am left feeling guilty that I still have many unfinished kits that wouldn't take too much effort to get back on the bench. One of the things that I got out of attending the show in Canberra was that I really don't do too much WW2 stuff, preferring to lean towards aircraft either side, or civil aircraft. Not that there is anything wrong with that at all, but it was time to look at doing something from that era. I had a play with some of the more popular Tamiya kits, and felt as though these have been done to death, and put them away until after I have ran out of challenges. I like resin kits, esoteric aircraft and also try where possible to do something Australian, so this kit ticked all of those boxes. First released by Montex, The kit that I have is the newer Alleycat release featuring new clear vac formed parts, and some remastered resin parts. I am still yet to settle upon the exact aircraft that I am going to depict but have been inspired a little by the pic below. My modelling guru has told me `ìt's time to do figures', so this might be a way to start. 




Armed with a couple of reference books and a hot line to the gentlemen at Red Roo models for the tricky detail questions, I got started on the kit.




First up, the panel. The kit comes with a photo etch part that forms the face of the panel which sandwiches an acetate sheet with the instruments printed upon it. It lacked the thick rounded glare panel that covers the whole panel and directs the instrument lighting and I wanted to depict that. I have always preferred to use Airscale instruments, so I also wanted something to fit those. The only option was to scratch build a new panel. I am all for pushing myself into new ground with each build and thought I would try and get my mask cutter to cut a new panel for me. Not having cut plastic before, it was time to give it a try. I took a photo of a panel from the Airframe book, and uploaded it to the Sillhouette software and traced around the pic. This was for approximate position and shape only. I then measured and stretched the cut file to size, to fit the kit and also to fit the Airscale instruments.


Just visible is a thin red line around the outside of the panel and the inside of the instruments. This is the line that I have told the cutter to follow when it cuts the plastic.




Here is the panel, freshly cut in plastic.




I beveled the edge of each instrument hole to give it its rounded look with a dremel grinding stone. I also added the 4 small bumps that cover the light globes from small disks of plastic card, smothed over with Mr Surfacer and then I primed the part to give it its smooth look.




I have test fitted the Airscale decals to ensure that the holes are roughly going to match them. Here is the turn coordinator in position.




I added a few extra details to the panel then formed up some building blocks for the Silicone bath.




Always a good time when you have freshly mastered parts in silicone!




The new panel in resin.




It has a nice 3D look to it and should look great when it is painted.




Test fitted. As the panel is shaped differently to the kit, there is a little modification required of the kit part behind the new resin part.




The top 4 instruments have been cut off and re made with plastic rod to fit the corresponding changes to the front part of the panel.




As can be seen, I have already done a fair bit to the kit, including assembling the inner frame. Some of it has been pinned with brass rod to make it stronger, as i prefer to clean up the parts when they are all glued together. I have added some small brackets to the rear and top of the headrest, as well as replaced some of the tubing with plastic rod.



Edited by ericg
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Fantastic choice Eric, I'm super excited to follow this one.


I admit I was wondering why you were bothering to make a replacement IP, then you showed the PE part...solely based on warbird photos, your piece is infinitely superior! It really captures the look of the Boomer's panel.


I'm settling in for this one.

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Thanks a lot for the comments guys. I am considering making copies of the panel for sale, so if you want one, please PM me.


Some more work. The electrical box in the cockpit is made up of a resin part and photo etched face. The resin part is considerably smaller than the photo etch that is designed to cover it, so I ditched it in favour of scratch building a new box from plastic card.




There is plenty of scope for extra work in this kit, including many switches and knobs in the cockpit. I drilled out the holes for the various systems switches and inserted lengths of brass rod to represent each switch.  No need to get the correct length, that will come when all of them are snipped off at once with side cutters.




I added the long bar that protects each switch using the same type of brass rod. I also added a knob from plastic rod.




There is a flat panel inside each wheel bay that the kit represents with photoetch sheet, meant to be bended along one side. The fold line is only partially there and was hard to bend correctly, so I made up some new ones with thin plastic card.




These are then added inside each bay, attached to triangular photo etch parts. Rather than glue all five of the triangles in place and then attaching the panel, I have only glued each outer part, then attached the panel to ensure that it was level, then gluing in place the remaining three parts.





Edited by ericg
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