Jump to content

F-84F Thunderbirds - Vacform fuselage seperated


Recommended Posts

Well I’ve got a lot going right now however when an opportunity presents itself you’ve gotta pounce on it :D Ironically I had just started following Dave Culp’s vac form WIP’s when one of the guys at our Cincinnati club volunteered to start teaching how to build a vacuform model. So I’ve got my F-84F out of the box from Tigger Models and have followed along in the 1st 2 classes. There’s alot to this so I don’t expect to be fast. I’d also like to make a real beauty out of her so not going to rush anything. One note that came out of class 1 was kinda standard but way more entailed with a vac, getting all your pieces and extras collected for the build. Geez, i need a cockpit, jet intake and exhaust, wheels wells, wheels, the list goes on. My 1st big score turns out to be a care package from our very own Harold at AMS Resin! He had a cockpit and some main wheels, misc parts, and some drawings he’d started on that he graciously sent my way. Thanks bud!

let’s kick it off with the parts. Exciting stuff here i know :huh:

B12D354B-475B-42D7-81F4-BCAB296185FC-600

 

2BFB18F4-EBF8-4CC5-8194-AECC30FC4B16-600


This will be my 7th Thunderbirds aircraft. Only this and the F-105 to do. I need to figure out if it was NMF or silver paint. If anyone has any insight drop me a note in here. 
My next task is locating another F-84G for parts. Looks like the wheel wells will work perfect and the engine and possibly the jet intake could be modified to work as well. I posted a looking-for add so if you’ve got anything let me know on this as well.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mark_C said:

Cool!

 

BTW, this pic points at a bare metal finish, FWIW:

 

 

4902689575_47d96c70e4_b.jpg


 

As does this one:

 

history_003.jpg?format=1000w

 


thanks Mark! I hadn’t seen that 1st one at all. The 2nd one i only had in a grainy view when I blew it up. Looks like maybe my 1st shot at Alclad!! A double for this build, lots of new stuff to learn. The aluminum foil and decals just don’t get along well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, daveculp said:

This is going to be fun.  It's a good way to flex those engineering skills.  Following.


tons to learn for sure. I will start taking parts off the sprue this week i think…although my wedding anniversary is Saturday so I may be fooling myself there lol  

At any rate many thanks for the motivation and conversation on this Dave. Will be back for advice from you and others here, like our buddy Dandiego up above :clap2:, as I go!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Lesson #2 was all about separating the parts and sanding the forms off the sheet. Our teacher builds 1/72 and 1/48 vacs…the recommended tool was a pair of heavy kitchen scissors or a good metal pair of scissors, no plastic handles. Hahaha! Not for this big beast. I tried the kitchen shears as we do have a nice pair, alas they didn’t even score the .060” plastic :evil_laugh: out came the sheet metal cutter

69C32A58-69F9-4D2D-A17C-5D2E640D3CE0-600


homework for lesson 2 was a sanding board.  Chose 3/4” cabinet birch instead of 3/8”. Glad i did. Double sided carpet tape was recommended for holding it to the work bench. I’m sure that would work fine but i have a nice set of woodworking clamps. I put 8-1/2”x11” sandpaper on a 12”x12” board which left a nice open space to put the clamp.

35165161-3346-41B8-8AAD-C6C1F82CD4B3-600


next up was tons of sanding. I worked in sections. Taking each down till the marker started showing thru pretty clearly

D4E8B949-D6F0-4D4F-B4BC-E93499520CE5-600

 

33EDAF36-5BEF-4B97-9CBB-3D37444293E0-338

 

work it till the plastic is see-through thin and then just peel it off. The tail was the worst. On the other half I’ll start with it 1st. Seemed to be extra thick plastic here as it wasn’t drawn out much when it was formed.

B2481117-8CBA-4777-90B3-E1F5F9011190-338

 

FB2C4CA4-1BB0-4902-BE0A-F5DAB3FB11A1-338

 

and here is the end result

2D11AEB4-A40D-4F80-A92F-BC0B537170DB-600

 

this took a solid hour to do. I took my time. Sometimes only doing a few passes over the sandpaper before checking on the thickness of the plastic. For this piece i used the 120 grit paper all the way. It was recommended to go to 220 grit once the marker started showing thru. I think with 20 or 30 thousandths plastic that would be good. With this heavy stuff the rougher grit was definitely needed. So I’ll be working on this for at least a week :excl:

Edited by themongoose
Spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love a good vac build! I've only ever built one, though I do have several in the stash. A local expert once advised me to avoid the flat sanding board method, and instead, use firm sanding blocks, and work section by section. He said this is the best way to avoid the differential sanding that can occur when you're pressing down on a large part. I never got around to trying it, but thought I'd throw it out there anyway!

 

Kev

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, LSP_Kevin said:

Love a good vac build! I've only ever built one, though I do have several in the stash. A local expert once advised me to avoid the flat sanding board method, and instead, use firm sanding blocks, and work section by section. He said this is the best way to avoid the differential sanding that can occur when you're pressing down on a large part. I never got around to trying it, but thought I'd throw it out there anyway!

 

Kev


well i think there is merit to that approach. I was part way through and was wondering if I could possibly use my sanding block in some areas. There were sections that were sanding through faster than others and I was worried about oversanding some spots while trying to get through other thicker portions. 
some benefit to the way i set up the board and it’s thickness was that i could use the corners and edges to sand just specific spots on the large forms. In the end that’s why I didn’t switch to the block but it was definitely a thought. Would like to hear from some of you guys that do these, is there an approach you like or do you combine techniques for this sanding part?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Just a quick update here. I’ve successfully gotten the fuselage halves off the sheet. Note I switched to 80 grit. Way way better for 0.060” plastic. Cut my time in half. Used the 120 grit to finish sand the thin shaving off the edge (although my bet is it’s down to 220 now as it’s kinda worn out after that 1st half).

D5A887D5-BB8B-4CB6-86D2-266AF6686E2D-338

 

my definition of successful you ask…why when both halves line up :evil_laugh:

4DC26697-4A80-4765-BFE1-B2DCD26F38D0-338

 

52B0BF42-DF14-4AC1-8B06-FB729D49CE21-338

 

wow this feels good. This build is on track for sure. Off to work on sanding off other parts now. 
I picked up the Hobby Boss F-84G at the Indianapolis show over the weekend. My next big wip update will be when i start fitting the plastic into the  vac. Looks like i can accelerate this build with the intake, exhaust, and gear bays all from the kit. Harolds cockpit will finish it off. Too easy drill sgt, too easy…haha doubt it but it’ll be fun and this bird should look great!

Edited by themongoose
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • themongoose changed the title to F-84F Thunderbirds - Vacform fuselage seperated
  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Lesson 3 was all about supports, bulkheads and spars primarily. I’ve got all the parts separated and guess what haha there are 3 left and 1 right pylon! Fortunately it looks easy to sand out of a piece of sheet. Then only 1 wing section out of 4 is the correct length, and 1 side of the fuselage is deeper then the other. I picked a real sweetie to start my vac experience with!  
Fortunately the fuse only needs work at the nose where it’s visibly off by a couple mm.

D289112D-E2B3-4E53-9153-A48E83144DE5-338

 

What should help some is that the vac is similar to the injection kit in that the nse is seperate…except I’m gonna have to make a nose :frantic: guess what, we just got a 3d printer at work hehehe

0A95BFD5-A69B-4225-93BA-F50507F0DE9F-338


I’m using the kit cockpit to shape it all up and do some dryfitting. Once I’m close i’ll use the resin pit from Harold. Not risking any damage to it while I’m throwing this thing around and stuffing my contour gage into it to make bulkheads ;-)

AA72E3C1-F68A-461E-9478-BF2B0750184A-338


last idea I’d throw in is that building a vac requires all kinds of resources I’m learning. For the  lines, as there are a big ZERO on this vac, I had found this great set of Daco decals for the 1/48 scale kit. Bought if for these great panel line drawings.

9A1F729A-86FA-43BC-B09F-078AAA0F46C5-338

A couple months back while I was in Akron OH I toured the MAPS Museum there and did a detailed walk around of their F-86F. Panel lines on the Daco 3 view drawings match up correctly so I’ll blow it up and use it to start laying out panel lines over the coming months. Gonna be a slow build as summer is here, daughter is graduating, the El Camino engine needs to get running, and a few bonfire and bourbon nights will be had :clap2:
 

Edited by themongoose
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is excellent. Thanks for documenting your work and your attitude! My Fury was partially vacuformed around the cockpit. I had no idea where I was going but it really does not let you down. You get good at surface detail! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...