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That title though... Sorry, couldn't resist. :clap2:

 

I've received several requests to make replacement parts for the nasty rubber bladder parts included in the Trumpeter 1/32 F-14 Tomcat kit.
The rubber parts are difficult to glue, difficult to paint and some have even had them weep oils that ruined their paint. As with rubber wheels, there is the fear that they will deteriorate and completely fail in time.

 

While there are basically 3 positions for the wings, extended, swept and over-swept, I decided to only offer two, extended and swept. Those who want to do over-swept will have to do some filing and sanding.

Here are the swept position parts:

Bladder_Swept_1_zpsrpiidhar.jpg

 

Bladder_Swept_2_zpsnqkvn934.jpg

 

The bladders inflate using air pressure from the engines so there is some variability as to how much they inflate. I've found pics at cat-launch where they appear over-inflated while in others they have relaxed and the ribs in the under-structure show. I have made the (extended wing) bladders slightly relaxed to where the sub-structure barely shows. Those who want it to be more prominent can sand away material and those who want them more inflated can add material.
Here are the extended wing parts:

Bladder_Extended_1_zps1in7jbdk.jpg

 

Bladder_Extended_2_zps1va0ygxn.jpg

 

The stock kit has the wing glove sealing plate intersection with the forward section of the fuselage flush and have the rubber bladder notched to allow this. In reality the intersection should not be flush the full length, but flush at the front and raised at the rear. I made the bladders without the cut-out notch forcing the parts to fit properly. The parts in the previous pics are just sitting on the kit. Here you can see how they will look when everything is glued:

Bladder_fingers_zpsjcorxfxf.jpg

Also note that the gap between the sealing pates and wing in the previous photos shows the parts just sitting on the kit with only a little tape holding things together. The gap will be tighter on a fully assembled kit (sorry, no pics to show this).

 

The actual bladders are a Teflon coated canvas. They do get scuffed up and show wear. In some cases slight wrinkles show and in some pics it appears as though they have had large sections patched with slightly different colored canvas. Check your references for the plane you are building. I chose to make the bladders smooth and clean. You can add scuffing, wrinkles and patching if you choose or just (have fun and) replicate this and the weathering with paint.

 

I will be pouring more production molds in the coming days and making some simple instruction sheets (the parts are drop-fit so there's not much to write about). I'm hoping to have these ready to release in the next week or two.

 

:beer:

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