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  1. 1/18 Spitfire Mk. XIVe - Race #80

    Hi Cees - I just use thin CA and a pin to apply it - a bit of careful handling and mostly it ends up without disasters little more done - the cockpit needs bulkheads so I started with frame 10 which is one I had the lining etched as part of the set as it has a load of equally spaced holes.. I cut out some sides from litho and put a bit of plastic between them to space them.. This set the scene for a lot of repetative bending, folding, cutting and filing to make many of these kinds of structures.. ..in this case I folded the sides of the etched part and then annealed it to try and shape it around an aerosol can as it is curved in cross section.. ..then went on to add other bulkhead parts and lateral stiffeners - the ones with small fasteners were little sods and I almost wished I didn't try and make them like that as they took ages to get the fasteners made and fixed.. ..same sort of activity to get the parts done on the top half, except here for a bit of variety I could at least start to make the box section where the canopy winding handle and chain guard will go... ..the key here is get the groundwork done on which to build all the interesting details... ..lastly, I want to try and match the sidewall I am making to the bulkhead and then adapt the cockpit 'pod' I cut away from the fuselage to fit, To do this, I have made the jig to hold the sidewall match the shape of frame 11 - sort of like this... ..the problem I haven't solved yet is matching the walls to the floor as the cockpit is quite open and all those half bulkheads on the sidewall need to somehow be continuous across the floor later.. one for a bit of headscratching... TTFN Peter
  2. 1/18 Spitfire Mk. XIVe - Race #80

    evening folks umm - there is a big hole in my aeroplane... ..I cut the cockpit away with a slitting tool in a dremel for a nice clean cut - the fuselage & wings are still very rigid so no worries about compromising strength.. the first thing I wanted to do was check the PE against the inner dimensions - in places the walls of this 'kit' are pretty thick fiberglass, plusI designed the PE from the Monforton book so thought they may not match... started with the seat bulkhead (Frame 11) and the Instrument panel.. ..thankfully both fitted really well - I thinned the walls of the 'pod' but was pretty careful as the glass mat gives the shape strength and I worried if I went too hard it would just crumble in my hands.. no issues though and it turned out ok.. certainly good enough for government work... ..with frame 11 off the fret I started to fiddle about with some assembly to make a change from the hackathon I have been on... the frame starts with a main part and a rivet outline... ..with a strip of card added around the inner circumference to give depth and some brackets or fishplates found on the real thing.. made up the seat mountings from brass stock and more PE parts - there are a couple of seat quick release latches that figure on the horizontal cross brace so included them.. now I have figured out my dremel workstation I also drilled all the parts to bolt together... ..and the two main sub-assemblies start to come together.. ..and dry fitted,, ..couldn't resist trying it with the seat.. ..much more to do, but this is turning out to be a very rewarding build - just hope it stays that way.. TTFN Peter
  3. 1/18 Spitfire Mk. XIVe - Race #80

    morning all ... hot tip time... yesterday I told the family it was International Mens Day - that got me a good solid day at the bench without chores or disturbance so I got the control column nearly finished... surprised they didn't google it, but hey... ..I started with making the pressing that shrouds the control chains that go from the grip to the base of the stick and all the control wires - it's a complicated shape and I pondered how to do it - I tried grinding from solid stock but that failed - in the end I tried emulating the original as a sheet pressing... again, a paper template to get the original, I added the two sides I would fold up, and here I am trying to cut out the centre for where the column itself will go.. ..this part has about 2 hours in it - all the time I was terrified I would slip and bend it as it is quite fragile - once you do that it's terminal... ..the final part with the column itself - I used reference pics to make exactly what I see... ..and the sub-assemblies ready to come together - one fake mini-bolt holds it all together... ..it was fiddly, but once together, I just put a drop of CA on the retaining nut and it was done.. ..as a bolt was used it moves freely, here we are rolling to the right ..I still need to add the back plate and some gubbins at the rear of the grip mounting and then top it off with a curved pressing that rounds off the big lower plate and then it really will be finished.. TTFN Peter
  4. 1/18 Spitfire Mk. XIVe - Race #80

    evening folks kit has not arrived yet so I have had to busy myself with some other parts.. ..today is about learning and experimenting and that the first solution is not always the best option.. it also seems some crap has got into my camera so sorry about the black smudges here & there.. ..I started with the control column - I scaled a drawing and found an appropriate diameter rod to start trying to form the very distinctive loop shape.. ..it was actually a really hard shape to make - I also turned a brass spigot on my dremel (must get a lathe..) to mount it into.. ..the real one has two rings on either side to give better grip I guess, so I made these too.. ..I tried getting the rubber effect by using heat shrink tubing - it took ages to slide the tubing over the rings and around the circumference - the first one is on the right below - I wasn't happy as it looked too clunky and not textured. This gave me the idea to use guitar string so I made one from that... with this one I just could NOT get the tubing around it and over the rings so I tried others where I put the tubing on first and bent the shape... ..many attempts later.. ..I also tried to make the part the grip actually sits on - I made a paper template and then folded it up from brass sheet - on the left the first attempt - totally fried by my mini blowtorch - I am still a serious learner when it comes to soldering.... on the right take two when I used a soldering iron ..another in the long line of trial and error was the gun button - I figured an air racer wouldn't have one, but actually the mounting is part of the casting of the grip so I thought I would leave it on .. again, at the top the first attempt was to scribe lines into soft ali pipe which I thought I would section and bend around to give the grooved button... fail... at the bottom a section of X-acto handle I worked up which worked out much better.. ..the finished front of the button and it's housing.. ..and all the parts combined,,, ..it's a really iconic part so I hope I captured it.. TTFN Peter
  5. So, this is the picture that changed everything… This is a Spitfire Mk. XiVe (ex TZ138) being raced in Tinnerman Air Races at Cleveland, Ohio piloted by James McArthur placing 3rd on September 4th 1949. The next day McArthur left the airfield at 6:00 am with the winnings and the aircraft leaving no trace of his destination. As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it – bare metal, civilian not military, beautiful lines and right up my street. I had been struggling with fatigue on my F7F and after a bit of soul searching decided why not do both? I found a few more pics, and in fact she is still flying as C-GSPT in Canada.. I looked at the Airfix 1/24 Spitfire Mk. 1a kit and what might be involved in converting it to a Griffon, low back Mk. XiVe, certainly a possibility, but through a culmination of events I went for this… ..it’s a 1/18 Seafire FR47 available by order from HpH at 450 Euros without shipping and is being sent on Monday J. I went for it as it’s bigger and needs less outline work to correct this to a Mk. XIV than taking a Mk. 1 all way up to the later marks.. I have the Monforton book which while it doesn’t cover the Griffon versions it has remarkable detail & drawings on everything Spitfire, so I am already part way through drawing up some bespoke PE for it which is scaled up from what I have pending for the 1/24 kit.. ..I also couldn’t wait while it was being prepared so thought I would get started on something, and thanks to Tony Taylor’s exceptional pics of the seat (I found them on a forum so I do hope he doesn’t mind me re-posting..) I decided to start here.. ..so first up I prepared the rear braces by scaling the drawings and using them as templates to form & bend up the parts.. ..made up a kit of parts either turning on a dremel, forming from litho or using RB Motion car parts.. ..assembled the parts and made up pistons etc from tube & rod.. ..added the start of the seat mounting & adjustment frame – working from such accurate scaled drawings is an amazing bonus as it fits like watch parts and lines up properly provided care is taken.. ..onto the seat itself – I decided to make this from litho even though it is a resin/paper moulding, just because I like to work with it.. ..I annealed a part of it so I could shape the sort of ‘pocket’ thing on the side – as I was working I also referred to David Glens book on his incredible 1/5 scale version… ..there is a uniquely shaped depression in the seat bottom for the parachute pack, so I made a plastic card ‘plug’, fixed it to a thick base and worked annealed litho around it with a coffee stirrer stick.. ..again, making up a kit of parts, including folding a lip at the back of the seat so it will meet and support the seat back.. ..a dry fit of the parts so far.. ..making the seat back – I drilled it so I could use micro rivets to fix it together.. ..used the Monforton drawings to scale templates for all the parts, here I am starting on the fittings related to the seat height adjustment lever.. ..and the finished adjustment lever bits & bobs.. .. I was quite impressed to find with careful assembly it actually works! ..lowest position.. ..highest position.. After a week, that bit is finished and I like how it has turned out.. - this is assembly number one of what will be a long term project.. I hope you will join me on the journey.. ..also, as it’s a Spitfire I am looking forward to getting a lot of advice as I go, as I learn about the airframe and the long list of subtle differences between Marks, versions and variants – I only wish Edgar Brooks was around to keep me straight – in a way I hope this becomes my tribute to him See you soon folks.. TTFN Peter
  6. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    evening folks it's been a while and things have moved on a bit, so here is the latest on the big cat.. ..I set myself goals to move through the stages needed to get a bird like this done - "make the nacelles, so you can skin the wing", "sort the landing gear geometry out so you can detail the nacelles", "skin the lower wings so you can build the nacelle internals" - I have to discipline myself to do these steps so there is some order to the approach and things don't clash with each other.. ..the current goal is to get the lower wings skinned so I can get the nacelle structure built, so I thought as it is the lower wing just go for it in one big sheet.. ..I marked out rivets, panels and use colours to tell myself whether to rivet from the back (so domed rivets) or stop points so I don't rivet through a panel etc.. restoration photos are great for this as you can see panel & rivet details - unfortunately it is much more difficult with a Dark Blue GSB F7F sitting in a hangar which is what most of my reference is - but I think this is near enough... ..then after at least an hour's work the panel is fully detailed - here is the template being peeled off.. ..I also masked and wire woolled the roof of the U/C bay as the litho plate has a sort of coating I am not sure will take paint, so I stripped it down & will metal prime it.. ..I will be cheating as this will need to pretend to be the wing top skin, as I don't want to go chopping the wing about ..and fixed it in place.. ..another little challenge on some of the top wing skinning are some vents in what is the U/C bay roof - they literally are just holes I think to maybe let hot air created by the engine out of the U/C bay.. I cut some thin slits in the panel and tried making a shaped punch to indent them, after experimenting I had to make a female part to stop the vent mishaping or becoming too big - better to find that out on a test part than a panel you just spent time on.. ..they turned out ok though.. ..and thats it - stage complete - the undersides are done and I can start on the U/C bays... ..and to give a sense of scale, here it is with a 1/32 Sea Fury - the only other model I have completed since I re-started in 2010... ahem... TTFN Peter
  7. 1/32 HK Models Mosquito B Mk.IV

    boy that is one nice paint job.. ..I want to paint like that when I grow up.. stuning build Jeroen Peter
  8. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    evening folks ..thanks for stopping by.. so, it's engineering time - some serious structural work to sort out wing spars and mountings for the main undercarriage.. first I thought about how to mount the U/C in the wings - the answer was a chunky brass plate that also could be used to tie in the wing spars as one unit and allow me to slide them in and out of the stub spars while I build the wings.. ..I clamped it all up and fearful of burning the whole thing to the ground soldered together with a torch - I put some metal clamps on the spars before they go inside the airframe as I hoped they would act as a heat sink and not cause any disturbance to the fuselage... ..cleaned up the joints and it is rock solid.. ..made up the other side.. ..the main gear leg is perpendicular to the spar, but is canted at an angle to the wing chord...it is also a solid leg until it gets in the nacelle then it is a mass of rods & arms. I can't model it like that, I need a rigid mounting so will have a mounting tube to slide the leg into... ..the geometry is complicated so I mocked up a nacelle and the gear door openings (the cut-out at the front) with an old spray can lid so I could work out where to put the mount.. ..I also don't trust my eye as the whole airframe has been built away from jigs or any kind of traditional keel so I hung the plan over my kitchen table and worked out where on the mounting plates the fittings should be by working from the wing leading edge so they are correctly positioned... ..and with some careful setting up was able to solder on the mounting lugs... ..the structure seems to look ok and equal, and importantly if I balance it where the gear will be it is not a tail sitter (by quite some way) so the resin nose & lead weight worked... ..the 3mm card wing cores sit above these and have cutouts for the air intakes - I also made a wing root rib which along with a few more half ribs along the wing will be the points to sand the balsa down to to get the core right... ..lots more to go, but it's a start... TTFN Peter
  9. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    evening folks ..just a few quick snaps now the U/C is pretty much finished.. ..added the gubbins to the retraction arm which must be part of the actuator - there is also a little junction box like thing that has a pipe coming out of it that runs along the arm and back up into the bay via the noseleg.. ..added the actuator arm and taped up a spacer to protect it.. ..calling this done.. TTFN Peter
  10. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    evening folks been beavering away and now on torque links.. the rusted to hell bits on the right in this pic from Chino - note they seem handed so not just two simple triangles, plus they have a flat centre with sides so are likely a casting, and have lightening holes... ..so where to start... measured off my plans and marked out some sheet - always drill any holes etc first it is much easier when you have something to hold on to rather than do it afterwards when it is a fiddly little bit... ..worked up the parts and scored and bent off a very thin strip for the sides... ..added some tube to each end and started to add the walls from strip.. all this is CA'd together - I was too scared to try soldering it.. ..used tiny bolts to assemble them and the main parts are nearly complete - just the retraction arm to go... ..thats it for now.. TTFN Peter
  11. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    Hi Cees - not for the tailplane, no but I think I will need to for the wings...
  12. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    evening folks thanks for stopping by ...back with a bit more F7F madness... ..so todays challenge is not mission impossible, but it is mission difficult... - I need to make this... ..it's the nosegear leg I took some photo's of at Chino - note the crazy geometry and different shapes in the casting.. ..I traced out the structure from the plan I have and checked it - I started with one part in appropriate diameter tube I had which turns out is copper (I think..) ..I have no lathe, or milling machine or any of the tools needed to do this properly so I just used a big household drill chuck as the 'vice' and various drills and tools in a dremel to work holes and shapes - first up was the angled central casting... ..for the yoke i put some steel rod into brass tube and bent it - I left some sticking out so I could bend it to get an axle for the wheel.. ..seemed to work.. ..now to fix the yoke to the casting I needed a pin or rod and this needed to be strong - I had no alternative but to try and learn a new skill - soldering... ..I watched Paul Budziks really helpful video and got myself some kit.. £30 GBP all in.. ..this was my first go and no you should not learn on the parts you are making, you should learn on practice parts ..the top image is it after soldering - a bit of a mess, the bottom image is after clean up and actually it worked out pretty well.. ..after a fair few hours I had made a fair few interlocking parts to make the basic leg structure.. ..they dry fit together and I need a LOT more practice soldering before I try and assemble it together (I also can't seem to solder to the copper I used when practicing?) .then I got some shiny new kit - this is a combined soldering iron & blowtorch as I was struggling to get the gun to heat the parts enough to do a good job.. ..I tried the first part and soldered the rings to the copper core - seemed to work... ..and then to the leg itself - this is when what Tim said would happen, happened - some of the other parts went out of alignment as the whole thing heated up... ..I tried to correct it but it started to make it worse so left it... ..then made up a bracket for the retraction arm and held the parts in tweezers... ..cut some thin slivers of solder and rested them where the joints were - a few seconds blast with the blowtorch and capillary action ran it into the joints... ...I use a fibre brush type thing in a dremel to clean off the flux and oxidation - quite pleased with how it came out... ...still many more parts to make, but the basics are coming together.. ..I know it is more like engineering than modelling so not too dull I hope - but I need to do a fair bit of this so the big old bird doesn't collapse on her belly the first time I set her down TTFN Peter
  13. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    woohoo - tailplanes are done.... ...just dry-fitted and need to finesse the little flared tips a bit and fill them with thick CA to keep their shape, but other wise happy with how they turned out... ..more importantly, the experiment worked - I now know I can do the wings this way TTFN Peter
  14. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    Thanks Cees pretty sure it won't be a tailsitter - I made the nose from solid resin and cast it around a massive lead fishing weight - if anything it will be a belly-sitter as the gear collapses worryingly I have been crazy busy with real life lately - got a lot going on in the day job and have been away a bit so time at the bench has been limited.. ..I did carry on with the tailplane and added the rear skin - this was not annealed as it was flat which means the trailing edge is stiff to shroud the elevator. I also started to work some pewter into the radiused tips of the tailplane.. ..same process - a tape template, I thought I could do this rear part in one piece and left the rear edge a bit longer to shape the curved shroud.. ..more burnishing to get the compound curves - the front parts had to be two part as I couldn't get it to form as one.. ..not much to say about the rest, but it seems to be going ok and the tip is now complete.. ..and in place on the airframe - there is a gap where it meets the fuselage as it is a loose push fit, when fixed later on it should be fine.. ..gotta do the other side next.. TTFN Peter
  15. 1:24 Grumman F7F Tigercat N7654C

    evening folks thanks guys for stopping by and your advice - I know having watched me make multiple balls ups in the past you have my best interests at heart ..this is new to me so thought I would give it a go.. ..first I shaped the tailplanes by rough sanding - the finish doesn't really matter as it will be skinned. I primed a couple of times so I could get a sense of the shape and to try and impart some rigidity I coated them with future... ..this seemed to work - they certainly didn't deform when I squashed them between my finger and thumb, but would scar if I dug a nail into them.. ..I thought the easiest way to skin would be bending the litho around the leading edge, so I tried it with some scrap.. ..marked out the panel lines to trace onto the tape template I was going to add.. ..covered in tape and drew out the panels.. ..tried to get a clean fit where it will meet the fuselage.. ..peeled it off and marked out where to rivet and score panel lines - I should have scored last as adding rivets makes the litho bend slightly along each row so it starts to curl up - in straightening it out I nearly broke the scored lines and ended up with lots of small panels instead of one big one... ..put the adhesive on both sides and after fitting to one face quickly covered the panel in tape so I could burnish down on the leading edge and fold it over without kinking... the tape helpfully held it all down until the glue started to go off.. ..and the finished panel.. ..so, it seems to work and is pretty resilient which bodes well for the wings - my worry now is the stub spars for the wings won't be man enough as everything is getting pretty heavy now - will have to think on that one ..one last photo of the airframe so far to remind me I am building an aeroplane not lots of little bits of one.. TTFN Peter