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ericg

RAAF special occasion Mirage buggy Major breakthrough!

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Posted (edited)

I was inspired by a photo that I recently found on Facebook that I felt would be a great thing to make in 1/32 scale. I have been looking for a project that would be something different to the usual aircraft model, without taking me too far away from my preferred genre. This ‘thing’ seemed to have been wheeled out for special occasions and was based at RAAF Butterworth in Malaysia whilst our Mirages were stationed there. Whilst not strictly an aeroplane as such, it was based upon the Mirage and saw a great deal of action from pilots who were celebrating particular milestones. I hope it is suitable for a build log in this part of the forum.

 

Firstly, the pic that inspired me. (Copied from the ADF Serials Facebook page). 

 

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I recalled that I had seen pictures of a couple of the pilots that I have done builds of recently with them sitting in this contraption, so I got in touch with Sean Trestrail and asked him if he had a pic. He sent me back this one, and I decided there and then that I was going to build a model of it, with him sitting inside it. This moment was captured after Sean’s 1000th Mirage hour.

 

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I haven’t used my 3D printer for ages, so I took the opportunity to get it back into action quickly printing out 2 x 44 gallon drums and a cone scaled to 1/32.

 

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Next up, I cut some wings and a tail out of plastic card.

 

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I then assembled the parts to see if the project was feasible.

 

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I hollowed out the ‘cockpit’ in the forward drum and made up a pilot out of a few different figures that I had laying around. By the time he is finished he will be mostly made up of superglue, as the original body of the pilot was standing and the arms and legs have had to be significantly modified.

 

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A quick dry fit to see how it fit together. I primed it with SMS primer filler, which once sanded down has smoothed the layers of the 3D printed fuselage and nose. 

 

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I scratch built one of the small wheels and copied it to make the two main wheels, and also made up the front wheel in a slightly different pattern. I made up a higher tail and have been playing around with the pilots head and tweaking the posture to match the first of Sean’s pictures as above. As can be seen, there is virtually no evidence of 3D printing under the coat of Tamiya fine surface primer. 

 

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Edited by ericg

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There was something resembling a Hawk here at R.A.F. Valley used for similar purposes. I think it was giving to a local Air Cadet unit a few years ago.

Shame I never took a photo of it.

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Posted (edited)

I have been in touch with Kevin Bricknell and Noel Furber, both ex Mirage pilots that have been involved with previous projects of mine. They both have had a ride in the buggy and sent me pictures of the event. First up is a small video of Brick in the buggy. To me, this stuff is absolute gold and preserves the memory. click on the pic below to view.

 

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I moulded the first parts of the buggy today. This is my first draft of the resin parts so that I can check how they all fit together and see if it is going to work as a kit or not. 

 

First up was the boxing up of each part using lego like pieces. I constructed the casting blocks that the parts sit on using modelling clay.

 

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I vacuum degas my silicone to ensure that it is bubble free. Whilst it is quite possible to pour the silicone moulds without degassing, if you are going to pressure cure the resin using these moulds then you will need to degas to ensure the highest possible quality.

 

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Parts demoulded! the second best part.

 

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Examining fresh resin (the best part if it goes according to plan). Very pleased with the outcome.

 

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A test fit of the parts.

 

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These are the products that I have used. I have added a grey pigment to the resin as it looks alot better than its natural cream colour.

 

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Edited by ericg

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Very cool idea, I absolutely love this kind of project - the execution is perfect as usual!  It seems other air forces use similar "devices" to celebrate milestones, last flights etc. 

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LOL, I was watching the video and thinking "blimey, Australian ground crew only wear swimming trunks." And then I saw why :-)

 

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Brick sent me a pic of him after celebrating 5000 hours total time. 

 

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I finished all of the parts for the buggy and assembled my first ‘test shot’ for fit and to se how it was all going to work. I think the main undercarriage is a little too close to the fuselage so has reworked the master parts of the wings to move them further out and will re-cast these.

 

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As I wanted to do Sean’s buggy, I cut out some panels from Thin aluminium sheet and glued them onto the fuselage.

 

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Painted, just have to change the wings. 

 

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Still a lot to do. I will build the trailer and also the tug and am working on designing a small decal sheet.

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Eric, it's coming along well.  I can't believe that you are going to do the trailer and tug as well.  I suspect that, should you go ahead with a kit, you will have many customers for it once the word gets around.  I know I'll be one.

 

Incidentally, you can just see the end of the red carpet in that 5000 hours shot of me, so I just thought I'd add a colour shot of the beginning of that agonising journey to ritual humiliation:

 

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One more thing, when I order my copy of the kit, you can leave the model of TTail out.  In my version,  I'll be replacing that with a model of a REAL fighter pilot.

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Eric..

 

Ooh another Epic build with Mr.Brick as your inspirational guide. :thumbsup:

Great start and look forward to your  AMAZING build with whistles and bells on it.:piliot:

Loved the video. Mr.Brick.. you are one COOL dude Sir. :coolio:

 

Keep it coming Eric.

 

:clap2:

 

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On 6/24/2019 at 10:20 AM, Brick said:

Eric, it's coming along well.  I can't believe that you are going to do the trailer and tug as well.  I suspect that, should you go ahead with a kit, you will have many customers for it once the word gets around.  I know I'll be one.

 

Incidentally, you can just see the end of the red carpet in that 5000 hours shot of me, so I just thought I'd add a colour shot of the beginning of that agonising journey to ritual humiliation:

 

miraged.jpg

 

One more thing, when I order my copy of the kit, you can leave the model of TTail out.  In my version,  I'll be replacing that with a model of a REAL fighter pilot.

 

Another excellent pic Brick.

 

I received the Aerobonus United tractor and mocked up the combination with a scratch built trailer. The United tractor is of course not the right type but I purchased it to give me an idea of size and breakdown of parts. It will also serve as a useful basis to convert it into the tractor that I need. This has led me to a small stumbling block! The picture of Sean and Bricks buggy have it hooked up to a tractor that I am simply not able to find enough reference to do anything in detail with. The other pictures I have of this celebration, including Bricks video, feature a Clarktor CT20 tractor of which there is plenty of references for. I was able to discover that the tractor in the other pics as mentioned was Australian made by Domino Industries Group and there are some very good pictures of later models but unfortunately the trail goes cold on anything earlier. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

 

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