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1/32 Fleet Air Arm Sea Vampire F20

thierry laurent

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1 hour ago, r0t0rdr1ver said:

How is the fit on your kit so far with the main gear bays once you place the wings over top? I just found more nasty surprises on mine.

I closed and taped the top and bottom wings together to trap the landing gear bay walls while the glue dried with them in their correct position.  I noticed the interface cut outs in the wing in the nick of time. 

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2 hours ago, Alain Gadbois said:


Check the position of the instrument panel. I believe it should be a bit more forward, ie at the edge of the windscreen. I will also check on my side to be 100% certain.



Hi Alain. You're right but you cannot move it further without modifying the interior sides and floor and reducing the IP's width. So, I'm still assessing what to do. As I wrote the plastic thickness is probably the culprit. I will have to cheat somewhat!! :whistle:<_<

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I should have added the following picture to clarify.




This one shows you why it is very complicated to move the IP forward. The lower panel edge is actually located against the round top of the front landing gear bay. So, you must move forward that bay to move the IP but this implies recreating fully the floor and moving the front bulkhead... And this creates a cascade of other issues. This is also one reason that may explain why the kit upper nose is a little bit too large. The more I'm looking at the kit, the more I think they did their best to do acceptable compromises because of the plastic thickness! Either you have to underscale noticeably all internal components, either you do compromises here and there...


To help in locating the IP in an easier way, it is also recommended to decrease the thickness of the edges. Before:








This helps noticeably to locate the IP. This also allows locating it some fractions of a millimeters down.


I'm wondering if I will not drastically change the approach to solve the front landing gear location. I will probably modify what I did to lengthen the bay if as I'm more and more inclined to think the LG leg should be moved closer to the front. This would also be easier to modify. I will have a look at that tonight! :mental:

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Hi Guys,


I was right, lengthening simply the front of the LG bay results in a wrong location of the LG leg! It is now located too far backwards and this is quite visible on a Vampire model. Hopefully, I had an idea to solve that! If you cut in two parts each side of the bay, you can insert a shim of plastic to lengthen it. I had Evergreen strips with a width of 2mm. I simply doubled them to get the correct thickness. Actually, it is probably far easier to do that BEFORE assembling the bay. At least, I won't follow the same (painful) process when I will build another one! The picture shows where the cut needs to be done.




If you lengthen the sides as I did, you have to add less plastic to the front. So, I sanded part of what I had added yesterday. Here's a dry fit. The length of sprue is simply used temporarily to keep the correct width.




You can see that the front still needs to be sanded. Obviously that process also requires the lengthening of the bay ceiling. It is easier to add a strip on the straigth edge.




And here's another view of the bay. To me this looks like a plastic snail, don't you think so...? :mental:




Now, we can see the front LG leg has a correct stance:




And here's the result after final sanding/cleaning:




And the other side:




Another problem solved!!! :yahoo:Working that way means that only a very small amount of putty will be required when both fuselage halves will be assembled.


Now, I will have a look at the ammo chutes holes!



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Hi guys,


As promised I had a view at the ammo chute holes. If you look closely at that picture, you can see that the bottom of the rear bulkhead is visible whereas it should be located forward.




Not a major issue. I will just add plastic strips to simulates the gun breeches. The kit is giving four small wall photoetched parts (PE23 & 24). This is a good idea as it allows to get a correct scale thickness. However, the parts are obviously very souple and glueing them correctly with CA glue will be a risky business. So, I used sections ultra-thin plastic strips I purchased three years ago from a Czech reseller (unfortunately neither Evergreen nor Slaters make similar ones).




Making four is quickly done:




It is indeed easier with plastic parts!




Still a little bit of tuning with putty is required but I will do that when I will use Magic Sculpt here and there!


Another box can be ticked!

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Hi folks,


here's one good picture I found. It looks the IP is very close to the windshield edge but not against it. Look at that picture giving a lot of interesting details:




This also shows how the cockpit rail looks like. Some work will also be required there!

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I forgot adding that I checked again yesterday the location of all internal components. The rear bulkhead is actually intended to be located right in front of the ammo chute holes. However, the problem lies in the fact this is a short-run kit but with the fitting tolerance of a Wingnuts kit! I mean everything has been designed without 'tolerance' but as it is a short-run kit, this is not so simple. I think that my cockpit correction is possibly complicating as well the correct location of the bulkhead but between different issues, I'm choosing the solving of the worst one first, even if this may result in some negative side-effects! So, I will simply remove the central section of the bulkhead located under the floor and add some strips of plastic to simulate the chutes and the breeches. I had a look at the kit assembled by Meindert. He did not correct the cockpit sides as I did and he still had the front LG bay location issue. So, even OOTB, you cannot assemble that kit without issues.


Finally, I think it would have been better to design the kit with a fuselage pod made of a left and front sections. We would not have that stupid cockpit seam. Obviously, this would have resulted in more external seams to cope with but this would have been easier. Moreover, this would have opened the path to two-seaters releases!


Oh well, at least we have a very clean fuselage-wing transition!

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7 minutes ago, Ali62 said:

Good picture Thierry, I have just email you a scan of the Airfix instructions may help, also a few other bits as well.


Thanks very much Ali! This will be very useful to say the least.


It is interesting to see that the Airfix kit is also showing some space between the IP and the lower edge of the windshield. Actually, I was convinced there was a little bit of space when I realized they added without problem the defrosting tube on the later Vampires! The IP is probably located a little bit too backwards but as I already wrote, such a kit is only the addition of more or less acceptable compromises!

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