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RAAF special occasion Mirage buggy Lots of resin!

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Thanks guys, I will weather it a bit more than you see here.


Onto the trailer. I thought my luck had ran out on this one. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to locate any info about the trailer, let alone only decent photos. I looked at every baggage cart at the many airports around Australia trying to make one fit but was unable to find one with roughly the same configuration as the one the Mirage buggy sat on so that I could come up with a best guess for the model.


Luckily I was contacted by Max Johnson who had located an old trailer of the exact type used at RAAF Amberley. He very kindly offered to take photos and measure for me what I needed and because of his excellent efforts I am now able to construct an accurate rendition of the trailer. I figured if I was going to do this project properly everything had to be right, not just the buggy. Max supplied me with excellent photos of the suspension and axles but the best part was the technical measurements of the important parts of the trailer such as wheelbase, track, length and width of the deck, as well as the sizes of the chassis rails etc. Important ‘between centres’ measurements were also supplied for key aspects of the front axle and tow bar, which has meant that I have been able to make the entire assembly articulated. Thanks heaps Max!


First up, a comparison of my best guess at the size of the trailer deck (top) compared to the scaled down version of the real thing (bottom). It turns out that it is a 6x4 foot deck. I almost got it right width wise but was a bit too long as can be seen here. I was working only off the photo of Sean after all.




When I was examining the photos of the front axle that Max had sent me, I was surprised at how complex it was! I have never scratchbuilt anything like it before, so armed with my vernier callipers, plastic card and brass rod i set  about making each component. There is just under 40 parts to this assembly but it was quite straight forward and enjoyable to build. I did not set out to make it articulated in the beginning but it just happened that way. The brass pins are only small ones that will be replaced with more substantial ones later on when I am happy with how everything goes together. Of course I also want to get this into resin, which will be a challenge for another day.




It’s quite cool to turn the tow bar and have the wheels turn as well.




Can’t you tell that I am having fun!




The bottom of the deck. Now I just need to work out how to scratch the leaf spring suspension.












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More to the point what did he use to push the button! :o


Excellent build mate on a very unusual subject - looking forward to more.


Happy Days - Taff :D

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I carried the XA2 throughout my RAAF flying career. It was a neat little thing (that I still have) used to fit perfectly into the Flying suit shoulder sleeve pocket. Preset the F stop and shutter speed, Focus to infinity then hope for the best.

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I have been in contact with quite a few different RAAF pilots during my OV-10A build, all of whom were from fighter squadrons before doing a tour with the USAF as Forward Air Controllers. As a lot of them were ex Mirage pilots, there has been obvious interest in this project. One of the gentlemen who has assisted me with the Bronco build has been Peter Condon. He sent me a pic of himself in the buggy celebrating 1000 hours. He was also on the F-4E with the RAAF and has agreed to be a subject pilot of a future build.




Some more work. My good mate Dave printed up some ALPS decals for the number plates and the United Tractor logo on the sides of the bonnet. I am very happy with how these came out.







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On 7/9/2019 at 8:12 AM, TTail said:

Brick I see you next to a Dual .... must have needed some extensive re training or someone in the back "looking after Sir"


Eric, as always, you are an inspiration to the rest of the modelling community.  This is a unique modelling project, and one that I am sure will re-kindle a lot of fond memories from old Mirage hands, pilots and ground crews alike.


Alas, in my case, one of those memories is of the author of the missive quoted above.  I speak, of course, of that perpetual irritant Sean Trestrail, a.k.a. TTail, a.k.a. The Eternal Bograt.  As you know, as Commanding Officer, I had the misfortune of having to tolerate his presence in No 3 Squadron at Butterworth, Malaysia from '79 to '81, during which time I daily appealed to the heavens to inform me of what terrible offence I had committed in order to be punished with such severity.


        bograt (plural bograts)
       (Australia, New Zealand, military, humorous, derogatory)  A junior fighter pilot.


So, Eric, I wonder if you would permit me, just this once, to briefly hi-jack your build log to deal with this tiresome fellow once and for all.  If you grant permission, rest assured you will have performed a valued service to a grateful humanity.


No, TTail (or whatever other silly sobriquet you operate under these days) there was no one in the back of that IIID "looking after Sir".  The person in the back was a Channel 10 cine cameraman, who, as you well know, was there to record the pilot's eye view of that important historic event.  And I seriously doubt whether I needed any re-training, given that you never once beat me at any weapons event.  Not once.  And that's something that should have caused you grave concern, given that you were then in your prime as a fighter pilot, and thus would not get any better, and I was the doddery old Wing Commander still bearing the scars of four years behind a desk in Canberra.


Anyway, all that aside, there is one other thing, now that I think of it, and it is the nature of unfinished business.  


At the closing stages of Eric's build log on the Avon Sabre, you stated that you once got gunsight film of me.  Well, mercy me!   I'd never in all my days heard such an utterly outrageous claim, a claim that will surely echo in the halls of perfidy for generations to come.  I regarded it then, as I do today, as the absolute mother of all line-shoots.


         shoot a line
        To try to create a false image, as by boasting or exaggerating.


At the time, I was about to immediately respond to this most egregious assault on truth and historical accuracy, but decided instead to first consult a psychologist friend of mine.  Why, I asked him, would this fellow make such a ridiculous claim knowing that he knows that I know the said claim is a monstrous fiction?  Why?  What's he smoking?


"Well, Brick," the psychologist replied, "You have to remember that your former subordinate flies A380s these days.  Those guys spend endless, interminable hours sitting on a lambswool-covered aerial lounge chair, counting their gargantuan pay packets, and watching a bunch of computers fly the aeroplane for them.  As a natural consequence of that, their minds eventually start to drift, and they wind up fantasising about things they wished they had been able to achieve during their years on fighter aircraft, while at the same time realising that they were sadly short of the inner resources and skills essential to the realisation of such ambitions.  The sad thing is, however, that these fantasies eventually become more real to them that reality itself.  And so it is with your former subordinate.  He's clearly down at the bottom of the garden by now, gambolling about with all the fairies.


"But, look, he's clearly happy, albeit sadly delusional, so best leave him alone.  Let it pass is my advice."


So, in light of that advice, I did the humanitarian thing and did not respond.  I simply let that all-time classic line-shoot just ride.  After all, I'm not an animal.


Incidentally, before I depart, I must congratulate TTail  for his enviable skills with PhotoShop.  You may not know this, but that in-cockpit selfie he uses to accompany his identity in the sidebar has, in reality, been PhotoShopped to within an inch of its life.  Here is the highly doctored version that you are used to, in which my presence in my customary position in TTails six o'clock, and my usual surgical defenestration of his cockpit, has been digitally removed:




Well, I was fairly certain that I had the unmodified original in my collection somewhere, and eventually found it.  Here it is, before TTail got to it in Photoshop and created another warped version of the historical record, all for the purpose of a rather pathetic and ineffectual self-aggrandisement:




And one more thing.  I have not seen TTail since 1986, and had no idea how he was carrying the years.  Then someone showed me a recent photograph on him in his silly Walter Mitty flying suit at some Namchang-toting airfield somewhere, and I must confess that I was somewhat shocked.  Shocked, I say.  Age, it seems, has clearly wearied him, and the years have clearly been somewhat condemnatory.


So here's my final word, TTail.  The mark of a true fighter pilot is the way he carries his years in later life.  You are probably 20 years younger than me, but I look 20 years younger than you.  Here is the proof: my good self on the way to a concert at Château de La Roche-Guyon on the Seine (Field Marshal Rommel's HQ after D-Day) in July.  Look at it and weep with envy, TTail.  Not a wrinkle in sight.  Still taut and fit,  whereas the only way you can get your muscles to ripple these days is to stand out in the wind. 




Game, set, and match, methinks.





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Ahh Brick your missive made me giggle but I cannot let your fiction go unchallenged :)

Game set and match you say ?


I am impressed by your use of the term "photoshop" though your skills with it are clearly lacking. Your Etch a sketch graffiti attempt looks more like a cross between Salvor Dali, Picasso and Romper room. I do note your fetish like fascination with the Dual again. You also demonstrate a distinct lack of knowledge of fire control theory as the dual depicted is in pure pursuit rather than lead pursuit. The ventilation holes depicted are clearly of a size smaller than 30mm but perhaps more in tune with something that just came to a "Golden" hand :)


Rather than attempt to compete with your impressive crayon graffiti skills I will provide a raw image of you in your regular pose smiling for the camera :



Now you crow of your wrinkle free appearance and provide a James Bond like image of you as evidence. Alas how can we verfiy your lack of wrinkles  if we cannot  see below the Girdle like tuxedo and hirsute facial covering ... presumably there to increase your time in front of the mirror preening yourself each morn, or to mask the ravine like wrinkles underneath.  Whilst you sedately meander through the Ile-de-France on your zimmer frame I am pulling G and demonstrating exceptional Close formation skills still on a daily basis:



Come along to Fish head central to see these skills in action this November.


Then we come to to your self import that needed to be recorded for posterity by Channel 10 ... Gaffaw.

When the department of Defense needed the eyes and presence of a real  Steely eyed fighter pilot .... who did they call ?




Australia's Finest of course.


So Game set and match ? .....perhaps Checkmate.

Until next we joust old friend :)


Edited by TTail

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 Brick, and TTail-


You guys are killing me! :clap2:

One thing is for certain......I, for one, am glad our countries are allies! Thank you gents for your service!


Eric, could you perhaps laminate some strips of styrene, cut to the correct width and heat form them over some sort of die to keep their radii consistent? You could then just fabricate their mounts/clamps, and away you go!


Just a thought! Please keep the updates coming!


THOR    :ph34r:



Edited by bdthoresen

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Well done gents, thanks for the laugh!


Onto some more modelling. The figure of Sean was next up. I have never really done a figure before and have always wanted to learn. A few books and a tutorial from my good mate Simmo saw me through. I did scrub the paint off and start again 5 times before I was happy enough with this result. The macro photography, strong light and magnification on the screen are not particularly flattering, but he looks really good at normal viewing distance.








I then finished the master of the trailer. The chassis parts were completed, using Meng bolts to add detail to the rails.




I made one leaf spring suspension assembly, using thin strips of plastic card and aluminium foil.




All of the trailers master components together.




I spent some time boxing up all of the components ready to mould them using Pinkysil. Visible is my vacuum chamber which I use to de-gas the silicone.




I haven't done many two part moulds before , so I felt the trailer deck was going to be a great way to expand my skills in that area.


Ready to pour the first half. I have formed the pour hole and air hole from modelling clay. The pour hole is the conical shape and is designed to act as a reservoir for resin that will allow for it to fill the mould once the air bubbles are shrunk in the pressure pot.




The second half, once the modelling clay that formed the base of the first half has been stripped away. I have used a very thin coat of petroleum jelly on the pink silicone to allow the second half not to stick to it.




The first resin pour of the trailer deck.




All of the components of the trailer in resin.




The assembled resin trailer. Tricky little thing that has been the most time consuming part of the build! The Ubolts and other fitting were made from brass rod.






I used some Uschi plywood decal for the trailer deck. (Thanks Simmo!)







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