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Attitude Aviation Buchon Conversion

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14 minutes ago, kkarlsen said:

Looking forward to this Kevin, although the 'Battle of Britain' Me 109's always annoyed me, they are somehow a part of our 'dna' too.


Cheers: Kent


Yeah, not my favourite subjects either, but that's what's in the box, and it will certainly make for something different on the shelf. I have the GMF conversion with Spanish Air Force decals to build at a later date to satisfy my preference. I'm tempted to build them concurrently, actually - but I reckon I'd be taking on too much.



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Another brief update. I'm continuing to work on all the nose pieces, with the next step being to install the photo-etched radiator face into the lower piece:



Fit here is almost exact, so placement has to be equally so, or it just won't go. It's important to position the two upper ends below the moulded ribs at the sides; this ensures good alignment and fit, but unfortunately it's not made clear in the instructions. In fact, the quality of the instructions is my only beef about this conversion set, as they trail badly behind the exceedingly high quality of everything else.


Note that the radiator grille is very see-through, so you can either put a bulkhead behind it somewhere, or paint all the internals black. I haven't decided which way I'll go yet, but the latter option is definitely the simplest!


I opted to install the front lower piece to the main nose section first, rather than attaching it to the main lower piece:




I think this allows for a better and more accurate fit, since it locks into place better this way, and the other piece sits very neatly behind it:




Note that I've also installed the plate that sits behind the spinner (not sure what it's called). As you can see, everything fits really well, and a lick of Mr. Surfacer will take care of any wider gaps.


Speaking of the spinner, I've removed, cleaned up, and test fitted those parts too:






Still a bit of work to do there, as the prop boss and blades are all separate pieces, and the blades themselves need to be modified in tip shape to be appropriate for this build. Unfortunately, no template or specific instructions are given for this, other than make them resemble Hamilton Standard units.



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Parts fit is amazing.  Top notch presentation.  Great definition.  I like the white background and minimalist shadow.  Makes everything seem to float.  Reminds me of the first  texture map.

Would you post a picture of your photo set-up?


Thank you.



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Thanks, fellas. Hoping to have another update for you soon.


17 hours ago, dodgem37 said:

Would you post a picture of your photo set-up?


I'll see what I can do!



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Just a brief update today. I was expecting to receive my order of styrene rod by now, so that I could resume work on the cockpit. Sadly, it didn't arrive, so I continued to focus on the prop. I started by removing the prop boss from its casting block:



You can see the moulded-in slots for the blades to slide in to. They have sloping sides to lock the blades in place, and as far as I can tell, what you see in the photo above is the correct orientation to accept the blades, so that they produce a propeller that rotates to the right when seen from the cockpit. The instructions are unclear on this point, so please let me know if I've got it wrong! It's not too late to change it, even though I've already glued the blades in place.


I mentioned in a previous post that the propeller blades needed to be rounded off to suit the aircraft I'm building. Rather than sweat getting them to look exactly like Hamilton Standard units, I just eyeballed it and gave them a few swipes with the sanding stick. The photo below shows a comparison with an unaltered blade:




And finally, the full set, ready to be attached to the hub:




How well the blades slot into their respective cut-outs in the hub is really down to how well you remove and clean up the casting blocks, as they go right over the top of this area on each blade. I ended up with a so-so fit, and a bit of filling to do around the area, but it has the potential to be better than I managed if you're more exacting than I was.


OK, that's it for now! I did try to snap some photos of my photography set up, but they didn't turn out well at all (oh, the irony!), so I'll have to try again later.



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My order of styrene rod finally arrived today (along with a set of HGW seat belts for this build), but I haven't had a chance to do anything with it. In the meantime, I've been taking care of the holes in the roof of the wheel bay, which are there to accept the optional over-wing bulges (they're required for the aircraft I'm building).


I started with a smear of Vallejo's plastic putty, and after leaving it for several days to cure (one of the gotchas of this product - don't try to sand it with less than 48 hours of cure time!), I punched out a disc of wet'n'dry paper small enough to glue (with CA) to the end of a cocktail stick, and used this as a highly-focussed sander to remove the excess:




Here's a closer look at the business end of the home-made micro-sander:




This work (along with the prop) needs a coat of primer before declaring it done, which I hope to take care of tomorrow.



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And here's the requested info about my current photography set up. It's basically a home-built table, a pair of cheap studio lighting rigs, and a roll of plain white continuous printer paper. Here's a photo I took of the raw set up, shortly after putting it all together:




The cutting mat is A2, and the table top is a piece of MDF, 80cm x 80cm. The legs are something I bought from the same local hardware chain (Bunnings), and screwed into the bottom fo the MDF. Probably around AU$30 all up. The two light stands came in a cheap set from eBay, and of generic Chinese manufacture. There are 5 x 15W daylight bulbs in each, hidden behind the diffuser covers. Each globe has its own switch, so you can turn them on and off in any combination you desire. More light is usually better in my opinion, so I always have them all on. I've only had on globe blow so far, and replacements were cheap and easy to find on eBay (again from China).


For a better idea of the size of the table, here's a photo with the HK Models Meteor posed atop it:




Plenty of room there!


Here's a photo I just snapped of the set up as it stands now:




The main difference is the large sheet of white paper I use to cover the table. It's slightly wider than the table (maybe 90cm?), and curves up into a vertical position, giving me a crease-free neutral background in 2 planes. The paper itself comes from a 50m roll of continuous printer paper (80gsm) that I bought from Staples online, and is held in place with bulldog clips at the front, and clear tape at the top. The real beauty of this set up, however, is that when the paper gets dirty or damaged, I simply remove it, roll out and cut another length, and affix it in place.


Lastly, the photo below shows the effectiveness of the lights. Note that the room lights are also on during this photo:




I also have a stack of A2 card sheets in various colours to use when white doesn't work so well as a background colour. I try to stick with the white as much as possible, but sometimes needs must. I just plonk the coloured card down over the white, and then remove it when I no longer need it. Easy!


Any questions happily answered.



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I got a bit carried away with this build when I should have been working on other things, and found myself all but finishing up the cockpit! Before that, though, I decided that I wasn't happy with the see-through look presented by the photo-etched radiator grille, so I fashioned a blanking plate out of styrene sheet:






I then painted the entire area with Tamiya's Rubber Black (XF-85):




And now I could finally attach this piece to the main nose assembly:




I've already run some Mr. Surfacer 500 around the join, but it probably needs one more go. I use the "no sand" technique of using a cotton bud moistened with Mr. Color Thinner to remove the excess putty. It's a much neater and cleaner solution than sanding, but occasionally you'll remove too much, and have to reapply some.


I'm operating on the assumption that the radiator grille in the chin intake was probably painted the underside colour; anybody know for sure?


Next up we have the cockpit, and I want to add a disclaimer up front: most of what I've done here is discretionary fantasy. I started with the intention of creating an accurate rendition, but it turns out the kit's cockpit sidewalls are totally inaccurate for a Buchon, and the conversion set doesn't supply any replacements. Plus, most of the photos I could find show relatively modern restorations, so I just decided to make it look interesting, and leave it at that. If you want an accurate Buchon (or even Bf 109G) cockpit, don't follow my example below!


The main cockpit insert is from the resin set, while the trim wheels, rudder pedals, and control column are from the kit:








I originally placed the rudder pedals at too-steep an angle, where they interfered with the forward bulkhead that's still to be added. So I had to break them off and reattach them, only to discover that the starboard one is now a little crooked. Oh well. I'm still deciding whether to add foot straps to them or not.


Cockpit side walls are the kit parts:






Still shaking off the rust with my brush painting, so I tried to keep things simple. Not my best work, but should be adequate under a closed canopy. Instrument decals and placards are from airscale. The yellow fuel line shouldn't even be there for a Merlin engine!


I just need to assemble and add the HGW lap belts to the seat pan before I can close up the back end of the fuselage.


Lastly, a shot of the finished prop, sans spinner, given a nice even coat of Mr. Surfacer Black:




Did the Buchons carry any kind of prop logo on the blades?


Thanks as always for looking!



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