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1/24 F6F-5 Hellcat--In Flight


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OK Lads,

 

Construction continues. Currently building the wings. Each section is like a mini kit itself. Everything fits incredibly well and care has to be taken lest something go wonky. I'm not an expert on molding things, let alone designing kits, but there's a ton of the little sprue nubs on the interior parts. I'm guessing they're designed to allow the liquid plastic to flow and not have short-shots. Here's how many I cut off the parts for one outer wing section...each has to be cut and carefully sanded for the best fit. Not complaining mind you, just an observation for others. Also if you look at the top of the instructions,  you can see the call outs for for which version you're building.  Very easy to follow along and explains things very clearly,  which makes it a joy to build.

20201115_164716

 

Before I buttoned up the center wing section, I went ahead and painted the wheel wells and gear/tires. The kit makes it easy here as there are gear doors designed to be closed and nubs for the main mounts, so you're not trying to cram everything in there.

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As I work on finishing the wings, its time I start thinking about the display and how it will mount (plus power etc.). As with the first post, I have an idea of how it'll look, but need to start visualizing it. Here's a shot with the Tamiya 1/72 Zero I'll be using to do a little forced perspective. 

 

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I haven't built an airplane sitting gear down and parked in I dont know how long. Airplanes belong in the air and I like displaying them in a dynamic scene. I use all sorts of display stands ranging from ones you can buy at a craft store to making my own. During the initial Covid lockdowns I started making a square block with 2 2x4s and cut to shape. Works quite well and is hefty enough to provide a stable base (which will be important with the size of this project!)

Here's some recent examples:

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IMG_1296

 

IMG_0205

 

I actually started cutting wood this afternoon, but wasn't happy with how it was turning out, so stopped. Need to rethink how I want it to look--ths Hellcat is so big and heavy that the base can't be too big, without making the overall height too high. It also needs to be wide enough to be stable and not top heavy. Rest assured though,  I'll take plenty of photos to share how I build it.

Thanks for following along.

-Peter 

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Hey Peter, those are quite cool !  One thing to consider when engineering these things

is the height and shape of the configuration (like I'm sure you know this already).

I found that lowering the height and putting a curve in the rod helps keep it from being

unstable (easily knocked over). The difference is that I use acrylic rod, heated in a pan

of boiling water and bent around a jar. Without going into the physics , it has been a

more stable platform in my experience.

 

Px2urhL.jpg

 

Inserting the rod into the side rather than the top gives it more balance and the flex in the

rod gives it a little shock absorbance.

 

UrfPqvM.jpg

 

acf1I8G.jpg

 

You can also rotate the model on the ball at the end of the rod to help in the balance

if necessary.

 

rLaefFP.jpg

 

Svc7jYL.jpg

 

88aLEU8.jpg

 

vXjHZ0O.jpg

 

These are all 1/48 but the same principles apply.

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21 hours ago, Rockie Yarwood said:

Terrific displays, Peter! I really like Lt. Brubaker's panther!

 

Cheers,

 

Rockie

Thanks! I was on a roll and had one sitting in the stash. It was about as OOB as I get these days.

16 hours ago, MikeMaben said:

Hey Peter, those are quite cool !  One thing to consider when engineering these things

is the height and shape of the configuration (like I'm sure you know this already).

I found that lowering the height and putting a curve in the rod helps keep it from being

unstable (easily knocked over). The difference is that I use acrylic rod, heated in a pan

of boiling water and bent around a jar. Without going into the physics , it has been a

more stable platform in my experience.

 

 

Thanks, and you are correct! Getting the CG nailed is always part of the equation. I used to do thiose acrylic rods, but honestly they gave me fits trying to heat them and get a curve I was happy with. And I’ve always loved those bases of yours. The one for the Mustang is exquisite. Must’ve been a bear to cut and router those edges?! I made a spade for a VA-196 Intruder display and that thing gave me fits...turned out well and the recipient was pleased with it (I give most of these away at the end of my builds).

-Peter

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5 hours ago, easixpedro said:

Thanks, and you are correct! Getting the CG nailed is always part of the equation. I used to do thiose acrylic rods, but honestly they gave me fits trying to heat them and get a curve I was happy with. And I’ve always loved those bases of yours. The one for the Mustang is exquisite. Must’ve been a bear to cut and router those edges?! I made a spade for a VA-196 Intruder display and that thing gave me fits...turned out well and the recipient was pleased with it (I give most of these away at the end of my builds).

-Peter

 

Thanks Pete,  yeah getting the bend took me awhile to figger out. I cut the length a little longer than I needed

and laid it flat in a frying pan of boiling water. I used a mayonaise jar to bend the radius. I made these 4 in rather

a hurry back in the early 2000s as I need a quick and inexpensive way to make a few bucks. I still have the 262

but the rest I sold on ebay for a pittance (hey it kept the lights on ! )

Yes the star and bar took doing some geometry on paper to get right. The cross ( my original idea from back in

the '90s) is just 4 plinth blocks from home depot with 90˚ angles cut on one side. It's fun anyway. I agree with

Rocky, your Toko Ri Panther is quite cool.  :thumbsup:

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The attention to detail by airfix when designing this kit continues to impress!

 

Check out the mechanism for the flaps. They're labeled port and starboard...!

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I'm about ready to close up the wings. Have a bit of finagling to do. The fit of the parts is so tight, they even show you where to sand. Everything fits so well, its readily apparent when you've goofed. Patience is key (not my strong suit). I'm fighting a bit of a gap around the .50s, so that means my earlier construction was a bit off...nothing a bit of sanding wont fix, and totally my fault. 

 

Also took me forever to figure out what the clear parts atop the wing are. Of course Bill Reese had the answer in his oft quoted and excellent write up about a/c interior colors. They're blue formation lights. Most photos, especially B&W ones, you can't even see 'em. I'd never noticed them, but Airfix caught it and they're there.

 

More soon

-Peter

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This kit looks very cool!

 

If they did a 1/24 scale Corsair, I'd be back in for sure.  The Hellcat is pretty tempting.   I love 1/24!

 

I  like that you do wheels up. Planes should look like they are flying. They just didn't  look right hanging from the ceiling with the gear down. 

Edited by JeepsGunsTanks
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8 hours ago, JeepsGunsTanks said:

This kit looks very cool!

 

If they did a 1/24 scale Corsair, I'd be back in for sure.  The Hellcat is pretty tempting.   I love 1/24!

 

I  like that you do wheels up. Planes should look like they are flying. They just didn't  look right hanging from the ceiling with the gear down. 

It is the nicest kit I've ever built, by a long shot!  Then again, I have a penchant for old Monogram kits, which are difficult at best, especially if trying to close the gear doors... Agree a Corsair would be cool. Honestly, I would love an SB2C. Will never see it, but a fellow can dream. Then again, not sure what I'd do with a model that big. That's the main reason I haven't pulled the trigger on the 1/32 B-24J that I've been hankering for. Of course the cause of this is several flight deck scenes I've built over the years, all 1/48th and easily 30"x30"--my wife isn't exactly keen on an entire section of the house dedicated to airplanes (?!).

-Peter

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The nice thing about big kits, is my big fat fumble fingers don't mess up the really small stuff.   When I got back into kits, back around 2005, when I built the RC 1/16th scale M26. It was so much fun, and I had all the tools and paints, so I bought a 1/35 M26 from Tamiya, and that was a blast, cause their kits normally go together easy.  My next purchase was a Dragon Tiger I, one of the smart kits, with tons of options and photo etch, and typical Dragon fit issues and man.  I ended up just giving up on some of the photo etch stuff, and never finished the kit. 

 

I really wish someone did a Sherman in 1/16th that wasn't an RC kit.   The full interion 1/35 stuff is really calling me. I might get enough money in a Christmas bonus this year, but also broke a damn tooth... Dental should cover... but tooth V plastic tank... Hard call...  LOL anyway. 

 

 

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On 11/21/2020 at 1:13 AM, JeepsGunsTanks said:

The nice thing about big kits, is my big fat fumble fingers don't mess up the really small stuff.   When I got back into kits, back around 2005, when I built the RC 1/16th scale M26. It was so much fun, and I had all the tools and paints, so I bought a 1/35 M26 from Tamiya, and that was a blast, cause their kits normally go together easy.  My next purchase was a Dragon Tiger I, one of the smart kits, with tons of options and photo etch, and typical Dragon fit issues and man.  I ended up just giving up on some of the photo etch stuff, and never finished the kit. 

 

I really wish someone did a Sherman in 1/16th that wasn't an RC kit.   The full interion 1/35 stuff is really calling me. I might get enough money in a Christmas bonus this year, but also broke a damn tooth... Dental should cover... but tooth V plastic tank... Hard call...  LOL anyway. 

 

 

I can't stand PE. Mostly because I'm not good with it, but also because I think that replicating a 3D object with something that small and for the most part 2 Dimensional doesn't cut it. There are certain uses, but I tend to steer clear of it. And I'm totally digging this large monster...there's details that just aren't available in smaller scales. 

 

And here's some progress from this morning.  Started teleworking again as Covid numbers skyrocket locally. Might get some more done this week as I'm not dumb enough to rip apart the rest of the kitchen before Thanksgiving...

 

Heres the base. Its 3 pieces of scrap 2x6 lumber that I trimmed down to a 4" cube. There's 1x4s wrapped around the outside. Its nice and hefty and will support the kit nicely. Next I'll cover it all in styrene before painting it black. If I was a better woodworker,  I'd just make a fancy pedestal and stain it, but I'm not. Learned this trick from a figure modeler's page.

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And cause I liked how things were looking, I drilled a hole and started messing around with the metal rod. You can see some of the expanding spray foam that I've got laying around for this scene. I'll have more pics of that later. Pretty pleased with it thus far--the Hellcat actually balances on the rod, so it'll definitely sit well once everything is epoxied into place. Need to set it so the Hellcat pilot is pulling up and rolling away from his victory.

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Hopefully more this week!

Thanks for following along!

Peter

Edited by easixpedro
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We're cooking with gas now!

 

Wintery weather and telework means some bench time whilst I mute myself during meetings.  Managed to get the tail section assembled and glued on to the empennage. Pretty slick--if (big IF) you are careful while gluing, everything is positionable, including the trim tabs. My goal is to have the pilot doing a loaded, rolling turn. In real life, it's a good way to overstress your aircraft, in combat I'm gonna cut him some slack... So the goal will be to have the elevators pitched up for a climb, the ailerons for a right hand turn and a bit of rudder to counteract the torque as our intrepid aviator pours on the coals with that big P&W. I'll position them as I get closer to painting, as I don't want to knock them about and muck up the works. I've also decided on a Randolph bird as I love those white stripes and masking/painting them will be much easier without the elevators in the way.

 

In the interim, I have worked on the metal rod--bent it a bit more to shape and put a big "L" bend in it so it goes straight into the fuselage. Previous pics it was just jammed in there, nearly to the tail. Here's a couple of pics just perfectly balanced there. I'll get some better pics of it next time to show how I've done it (too excited to see how it's going to look to take more pics!) It's also getting BIG and hard to photograph...

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Approaching some decision points as to motorizing it or not, as the next steps will be working on the motor itself. Now's the time to figure it out while I can still run wires etc. In theory, I could run wires down the foam/smoke and to the base. I've done plenty of motorized things in the past, and honestly I'm torn--nothing replicates a spinning prop like a spinning prop. But I want something that will be sturdy and not likely to fail (the motor/power source). I'm thinking a mini solar panel, as the base needs it's weight to support everything. If I hollow it out to make room for batteries, I run a real risk of messing it all up.  I'll think on it and figure it out here shortly.

-Peter

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Long Holiday weekend here in the States. Not much to report, as I'm waiting to make a run to the local craft store for some brass wiring to make the ignition harness. But waiting for the shopping crowds to disperse a bit before going. Also need to see if they have a small electrical motor and maybe a solar panel as a power source.

 

Here's the engine as it stands. It's a work of art. And it shows how much work JayW and Brian have put into either scratch building or using resin. There's 24 parts in this shot alone, and I'm cross-eyed from just building OOB! All I've done so far is hit it with Tamiya rattlecan aluminum. Will weather it a bit before I do the harness. 

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Have to make a decision on motorizing this before I can button every up. Hopefully I'll figure it out this weekend.  Till then

Peter

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