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airscale

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  1. howdy folks ..just a little update as not had much time this week.. you can see here that where the skin panels on the fin & stabilisers end, it drops down to the bare fuselage shape - this is a problem for adding all the fillets around this area as when you burnish soft metal to get the complex shapes of the fillets, if it stayed like this, the fillets would distort where the existing skin ends and would form ridges... ..that means all that area needs to be filled so the surface onto which the fillets are added is perfectly flat - even a seam line can show through.. ..the first step is to get a tape template of the missing area and cut a sheet of plain annealed litho to go there.. here this bit covers that area and the side of the tail fillet... ..then it is stuck & burnished and all the seams filled so it is one contiguous surface.. ...I also skinned underneath by the tailwheel well.. ..the fillets will come next and be quite involved - I only have drawings for the early P51B version without a tail fillet.. ..you can see how they sit on top of the aircraft skin.. ..and I have some good photo's of the fin fillet to work from.. - just need to unpick the order they go down - this fillet will be added later as it goes over panels I won't add until the cockpit is in place and the rear canopy are is built up.. ..back soon with more.. TTFN Peter
  2. evening folks - regular Sunday installment I want to get the tailfeathers skinned next, so I used the usual process and scaled a factory drawing to get the rivet pattern - this is the first step after sticking the drawing on litho and scoring & adding rivets.. ..after it has been burnished flat, there is an access hatch in each surface, upper and lower so I had already had these made in PE and I use a brand new scalpel blade to go around it, then drill the corners, make a hole in the middle & score into this so I can break away the waste.. ..then the rest of the waste around the panel is broken away and it's taped in position.. ..stuck down with the hatch added.. ..upper & lower.. ..the leading edge is done is softer, thick foil like ali that is taped down to a butting straight edge and worked over the leading edge - where it meets the panel on the other side it is pushed hard so there is a step where it laps over it and then stuck down & the step sanded away resulting in a perfect join.. ..guide tape is used to follow the rivet lines from the main tailplane panels to allow LE rivets to be added... ..same process for the fin - here you can see the leading edge folded back on itself ready for fixing and some rubber pipe protecting the trailing edges of the tailplanes.. ..and where the LE panel meets the main panel you can see the step that gets sanded away.. ..I actually later taped scaled drawings to the LE panel to get the rivet pattern right ..one of the two lower fuselage panels - this has a number of hatch cutouts in it and will set the datum for all panels to follow so needs to be right... ..with the hatches added - the bigger one with holes in needs domed rivets adding one by one when I can be bothered to drill all the holes.. and the rear is starting to take shape - unfortunately, again all this will be painted - in this case the whole empennage will be matt black... ..away for the week on business but hopefully have something done next weekend TTFN Peter
  3. evening ladies & thanks for stopping by seems the last few weeks has been a bit slow, but to be honest I have been hard at things, learning from a few mistakes on the way and redoing stuff I wasn't happy with.. ..the first thing was to finish skinning the leading edge of the wings at the underside wing root - I needed a smooth surface to skin onto as this had all been chopped about to add in the frames & ribs in the landing gear well.. here, at the top you can see the curved sub-skin added... ..there is a lip / ledge the gear door sits on so a jig was made and some annealed 'L' shaped litho bent to shape and painted.. ..these were then added and filled flush with the new skin so I can put soft annealed litho on top of both without it picking up the uneven surfaces below - here before filling.. ..then the panel itself was made by getting a tape template of the shape and cutting it short at the curved edge to get the lip.. .. I then forgot to take a picture of the finished panel, so onto the wingtip ..I started by cutting the straight edges where the wingtip panel meets the other panels, then this join was taped down and the shape burnished to follow the curves. Once this was done a straight edge was added at the very tip where it will meet the underside tip skin.. once I had the main shape, the fastening rivets were added and here it is seen hinged upwards before adding the impact cement to fix it.. ..before sanding smooth, the shape is pretty good anyway.. ..and the final wingtip - as it is going to be being painted, any tiny blemishes can be dealt with using primer or filler.. ..the bulk of the last couple of weeks was spent prepping for priming as I know alclad is so unforgiving.. I also replaced the landing light panel three times as I just couldn't get it to blend properly with the surrounding panels and actually found when I fitted the main skin as I rolled the leading edge skin over the edge, it was not all stuck right onto the surface so I had this hollow area that kept crushing and denting - it was all pretty frustrating.. ..to add to that, after finally etch priming both wings, I found the primer easily coming off - so after a bit of research it turns out etch primer has a best before date - if it is not fresh, the acid in it goes off and it is basically like paint rather than etching and grabbing onto the surface that all needed stripping, the rivet depressions cleaning out and the whole prep process done again... anyways, I got some proper single pack etch primer from Phoenix Precision and have just painted the first coat - I am impressed when thinned 50/50 it goes on well and preserves much more detail than my old primer.. ..you be the judge ..that stuff needs 36hrs to etch the surface so after that I can get a look at further prep for an alclad finish - though that stuff is pretty fragile so not sure what stage to paint it as I don't want to damage it and even taping up the wings is a risk as I have had it come off with masking tape.. more next time TTFN Peter
  4. now this I can't wait to see -it's a kit I would love to build and now I get to live it through you Peter wonderful! Peter
  5. morning folks ..I set myself a target of getting the wings skinned before I go back to work tomorrow, and it is pretty much done.. ..I went by this factory photo of where the filler was used on the leading edge (posted under fair use) and as can be seen, it does not extend to the wingtip so that panel was left detailed.. ..a tape template for the main panel.. ..and after annealing the leading edge and some fine fettling to fit all the rear panels the skin is added... ..a piano hinge was added to the forward gun door by scoring lines on a sheet of litho and bending it double so the edge is upright - this was let into a slot in the wing.. ..the gear leg mount access panel & gun ports.. ..and the basis of the wings is done.. ..getting there... TTFN Peter
  6. evening folks ..still plugging away on the wing skinning - the goal is to replicate what you see below on everything behind the mainspar as all forward of it is filled and smooth on the real airframe.. ..some useful shots from aircorps restoration of Lopes Hope.. ..there is litle point showing panel by panel, so here is one panel's story.... I start by making a tape template from household masking tape and burnishing it down to the edges of any adjacent panels with a cocktail stick followed by a pencil mark capturing the face edge of them.. ..this is the forward gun access hatch.. ..then the tape is stuck on a sheet of litho and all the edges scored with one swipe with a scalpel.. the original drawing is scaled to fit this panel and cut out.. ..with the scaled printout stuck to the panel, any rivet detail, or openings are added - rivets one, by one with an awl of different sizes.. any swarf is cleaned up, both surfaces made scrupulously clean and the panel is burnished face side down on hard acrylic sheet with a large metal rod - this gets all the 'pillowing' out where the metal deforms under pressure - afterall all we want is a nice round flat indent representing a flush rivet.. ..the waste is simply broken away by using a hold & fold tool - where I can holding the part, not the waste - a couple of wobbles & it breaks away with a surgical edge.. ..the panel is then positioned and one edge taped down so it folds back on itself but returns to exactly the right position once the contact cement is added to both the panel and the wing.. ..I mask around it to avoid having to clean up every time - the masking must be removed immediately or the glue starts to go off and if the tape is pulled, it pulls big rubbery sheets of adhesive with it.. ..same process repeated on every panel.. ..and now both wings are complete behind the spar - there are some slots added to the wing in front of the gun panels where I will let in a piano hinge.. ..I have been thinking about how to skin the forward part and have decided not to do panel by panel with all the rivets like I did under the wing. I am just going to skin it in two big sheets rolling around the leading edge with zero detail... the idea being that the original was filled smooth and the detailed panels will be almost impossible to do that to so why bother - there are two detailed panels on the leading edge - a panel to get to the gear leg mounts and the landing light so I will leave openings to add those (I stripped the old landing light panel off as I wasn't happy with it).. ..thats all for next time though.. TTFN Peter
  7. what a fascinating build Ernie - this is not only technically superb, but is going to be a real jaw dropper compared to a camoflage Lanc fully tuned in Peter
  8. afternoon ladies just a quick update on the panel skinning on the P51 - not much to show panel by panel, as the process is pretty much the same but the lower wing is almost complete so time for a few pics.. ..the C model has quite a large outlet for spent cartridges and a chute assembly that can be seen through the hole, so first up is the panel and the chute.. ..I don't really know what the little slots are for - venting maybe.. ..the two were assembled and a hole routed into the wing to make room for it.. ..the panels that define the shape of the gear door opening were done next, with some structure along the edges the doors sit on when closed.. ..and this is where it's at... ..the panel behind the gear opening will be left until all the filling of the leading edge is done as it has domed screws and is left natural metal as seen below and if I add it now these will likely get damaged by the sanding / prepping process.. ..lower wing done otherwise.. ..will do the upper wing next and I am on leave all this week so hope to get lots of it done.. TTFN Peter
  9. evening Mustang fans so, since the last update I have been trying to work out what is going on with a P51 wing skin surface - I know there have been useful threads on the forum but I can't seem to find them so am asking for any advice to be offered right here if you know about this stuff here is what I know - I know filler is applied to certainly the front of the wings, I know on the Oshkosh Grand Champion resto of Lopes Hope (and they are as nuts about detail & accuracy as we are..) the wings were also painted silver all over apart from the gear doors, and the lower skins over the wing fuel tanks this pic shows how they did it.. ..and another.. ..on a couple of upper surface ones I can definately see a few panel lines on the leading edge near the wing root, but curiously on the bottom it looks completely smooth.. I toyed with not skinning the wing and just doing it smooth, but then I saw this pic of Lopes Hope wing being done.. ..all Aircorps Aviation WIP pics only show the leading edge being filled to about a thrid of the chord, so my current working theory is that I will skin the whole wing with aluminium, fill to the line I can see they are doing and then paint the whole wing apart from the panels they also leave NM.. ..now then - this is where I need a spot of help - does that sound right? hopefully someone knows a lot more about this than me and can give me some pointers while I get on with the skinning.. ..speaking of which I had better post some actual work.. ..I stitched together multiple factory drawings to try and get the layout of ribs, stiffners and access panels - printed these to scale and stuck them to the model with pritt-stick paper glue.. ..then I cut along every line with a scalpel so I could draw it out on the wing - after doing so I brush water on the paper & strip it all off.. I started the skinning with the Nav Light panel - taking a template from the model & blending it with drawings to get the shapes and lines of rivets - the holes were dremmelled out with a wide based triangle burr.. ..after rivetting it needs washing in thinners as the awl I use for rivets actually punches out a tiny disc of tape & these can come free and mark the metal as I burnish the part on a hard surface to flatten out all the detailing.. ..the light lens bracket was one of the extra bits of PE I did when I did the 1/24 airscale Hellcat cockpit set.. ..added that panel & moved onto the next - this one has a tricky oval access panel and sets the position of the panels above & below it as it sits below the wing spar - here I am using tamiya tape to hold it in position so I can just fold it back, add the contact cement and fold it into position - the masking tape stops me getting glue everywhere I don't want it.. ..then the other panels were added and the area cleaned up.. ..I always work synchronosly so that I don't get bored repeating an action later on, so the same panels are made at the same time for the other wing... this side has a big lens in the leading edge for a landing light so I haven't got to that yet.. ..in other news, i made castings of my prop blade master, cleaned them up a bit and shot a coat of mr. surfacer.. ..they still need more sorting out, but they do fit the prop hub... ..and I think starts to give that unmistakeable P51 character to the nose.. ..so yes, I do intend to skin the wings and then cover it in filler.... I must be mad.. TTFN Peter
  10. Hi Gaz - I had the part 3D printed in Ali, but I then needed to skin it so it was twice the work! I have made up a master prop blade which took tons of research and shaping, but I have no pics and now it is encased in rubber to make a mould so we better move on.. now I have the aluminium to skin the airframe I have been thinking about where to start.. I looked at the wings and thought I could do those before working towards the fuselage and the major outstanding work which is all the cockpit integration & frear canopy area.. ..with that I chose this panel with the formation lights... - this is a useful pic as it shows rivets / panels and areas I will need to cover.. ..as soon as I started looking at it, I realised I had masses of shaping work yet to do on the wings - a bit of a pain given there is a lot of fine detail in the wheel wells to be careful with and which would have to withstand some pretty rough handling ..the aileron housings at the tip were 9mm high instead of 3.2mm which shows how wide the rear face of the wing was - I had to get the household sander out and take loads off - all the way down to the internal foam in places.. I also found the wingtip was the wrong shape so I made a brass core the right shape.. ..this was let into a slit I made in the wing.. I have already removed lots of the rear part of the tip - the original had a big thick and wide trailing edge to the fine point at the aileron edge.. ..once the rear of the wing had been thinned, I decided to replace the aileron housings as they had pretty much been sanded off.. I took some 'L' shaped brass and added it - here the top one has been added, and a sheet is taped to the wing to get the sit of the trailing edge of the 'L' at where it will meet the wing skin.. ..so they look like this... ..finally after 2 solid days of effort, filling, sanding, adding, taking away, I could start on the lights.. Here I have drilled out where the lamps go and have rebated the skin to take coloured perspex blanks that have been cut & polished from thicker sheet.. ..made the lamps by putting soft ali over a hole on a chunk of brass and resting the ball of a tiny ball pein hammer over the hole and whacking it with another hammer - viola, a domed punched disc.. added a bulb from clear stretched sprue held up to a flame so it rolls back on itself into a round.. ..the blanks are then CAd to seal them in (so no dust can get in) and sanded / polished to the wing surface, plus the tips are finally shaped.. ..I also added a thin false panel along the leading edge (which you might just be able to see) so I can align all the wing panels to it and stuck some discs on the formation lamp centres so I can put tape over it and burnish & mark the outline of the skin panel that will go there.. ..then I timed out, so the first skin panel to go down will be in the next post - once that starts I am hoping to really get stuck into it so by May / June I have most of the skinning laid down TTFN Peter
  11. superb job Nige it really flicks my switch when I see thorough research and fuss free tips on how to improve a kit - no kit is perfect and I think HK have done an astonishing job in getting this out to market - for that they should be thanked & congratulated and I know Neil would love to see how people go the extra mile to take his canvas and make it their own... nice job Peter
  12. well hello folks can't believe a month has passed since I last posted an update... I have not been idle though - I have done a lot of 3D modelling for the tailwheel, main wheels (for which I am getting help!) and the spinner (of which more later..), in between I have also released an airscale instrument panel set for the Hobbyboss 1/32 B24 Liberator and also worked with Airfix to master this airscale cockpit set for the new and mind blowing Airfix 1/24 F6F Hellcat - the decals for all the instruments & placards are in production, but the PE is done.. ..as for the P51, when I had the Hellcat PE test shot done, I also added a load of extra P51 stuff to the fret so I make the most of one-shot production, Part of that was the stainless steel side panels that surround the exhaust ports, and I also made a fold up box structure that is the structure that surrrounds and supports the exhausts themselves.. ..Also seen here are the 3D printed exhausts from Model Monkey - huge shout out for these as they are exceptional quality and amazingly are hollow so are ultra realistic.. ..these were folded and the details added before the boxes were added to the outer panels - the exhausts are not yet fitted so they can be painted & added at the end.. ..and so onto the spinner - this is one of those things that has sat in the back of my mind as a niggle since I started this build - it is unfortunately unpainted on the real aircraft so had to be made in metal - a bit like skinning a tennis ball in sheet aluminium - very tricky.. ..I actually bought the HpH 1/18 Merlin engine model hoping to cheat and get a good basis for the prop & spinner from that, but it is very crude - the spinner is a solid with four peg holes in it to take the blades - there is no reference to the cutouts on the real thing, so that was a 70 euro write off (though I think I can use the blades so may not be dead money...) I restarted my Rhino 3D programme trial and got to work modelling the Spinner... ..when I went to get it printed at Shapeways, I noticed you could choose polished Aluminium so I thought well that would be brilliant as it would save lots of messing around with skinning as I could just polish the part - so at great expense (150 euros) I ordered it with the hub done in plastic.. ..two disappointments... one - it's not polished at all, it is more like a carbide burr in texture, and two, somehow I got the hole cutouts wrong as two were in the right pitch for the blades and two were in the opposite pitch.. ..that said - it is aluminium, and after filing & polishing is just like a cast part - don't know how they do it, but it's bloody clever.. ..as the cutouts were wrong, I knew I had to skin it, so I made a tape mask and started with the lower section... ..with this skin added, I taped it to the top part to mark another tape template with where the cut-out holes were on the next bit of skinning (there are 3 - bottom, lower of the top cone, and the tip) ..this skin needed rows of 3 rivets adding so I made up a jig I could do this accurately with.. ..I was hoping after adding this I could get away with the spinner tip being the base aluminium part, but there is a lip that can just be seen.. ..in doing the tip, I nearly gave up as turning one sheet into a fully compound curve sheath without a visible seam proved very difficult - I don't have any in progress pics, but at this point the bulk of the shaping has been done and the skin runs up over the lower part - I was hoping I could just sand & file this away for a nice close fit (I should have started with the tip & made the lower panel fit it, not the other way around..) ..once it was all sanded away, I was really happy with the result.. ..the prop hub was painted and added to the base.. ..and it is a perfect fit.. ..it feels great having got that done - everything else is easy by comparison I also have the right sheet aluminium that Brian (Out2gtcha) kindly shipped from the US on my behalf so can now start skinning the airframe.. ..a milestone I think, and hopefully the start of more regular updates.. TTFN Peter
  13. Love it I am not a huge jet guy, but I know this is one of the Holy Grail's of modelling and I can recognise & enjoy seeing real modelling skill on display.. Excellent job Cees Peter
  14. crikey thanks guys - I am very grateful for your kind compliments and it is you guys I consider my primary judges who I must do my best to please not much of an update, but it is still a fair few hours work.. I added the main pipes that go in the front of the weel bay roof - these are aluminium tube with insulating tape for the black bits and foil tape for the clamps.. I also made up the uplocks which are tiny parts made from scaled plans and also the gear door sequencing assemblies that are another set of tiny parts with connecting rods.. they are the bits in and around the square holes in the bay roof.. ..and the other side.. ..it may be difficult to grasp the size of these parts so here it is with a 5 amp fuse.. ..starting to look busy.. electrical wiring next, then I think most of what I wanted to do here is done and I can close it all up and protect it and start work on the fuselage structure around the back of the canopy which is entirely absent at the moment... TTFN Peter
  15. hi folks so, I am really glad this week is over - just look at all this piping... I got some 0/6 and 0.8 solder from Amazon which was all I could think would be silver, but flexible enough to be able to bend.. the inherent problem in this is that is also easy to bend by accident, so I would roll it flat using a sheet of balsa and a book (so as not to scar it), slide a brass tube along it to where I wanted to bend it and then bend as needed. This works but for stringing it through holes, through or behind fittings it was an extremely tiring, demanding and frustrating job.. one I could really only do for 30 mins (or a pipe) at a time.. I made loads of fittings and parts the pipes connect to and while I don't have in progress pics, now I have done the bulk of it, and added the door retraction jacks, I took a bunch of photos of where it is at... ..and in detail.. ..so thats it - my eyes hurt onto the uplocks & all the big pipes in the big hole at the front next... TTFN Peter
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