Here are some images of the 'white thing' Rain is predicted again this weekend and todays humidity was only 88%, so things are looking up... for more delays!
Since the last mock up was done, I have masked up the model and squirted it with Tamiya fine white primer. This I have then sanded with 150 grit (if neccessary), then 600, then 1200, then 1500 and finally a dry sand with 2000 to 'polish the primer'. I have lost a lot of the rivets I did before, so I have resolved to do the rivets with Archers transfers, the tail is done and the reshaped canopy will be next.
Looking at the canopy previously, I agreed with many of the comments that the canopy looked a bit out of shape. There is not really much I can do about this, so I thinned down the skirt on the back and then sanded the 'hump' I had on the top right down as far as I dared. It will always look a bit inaccurate I feel though, my vac forms just don't provide that perfection that you would expect from a kit manufacturer
Here is a pic of the canopy as it is at the moment
Some extra details that have been added include the fuel caps and the step for the pilot. On BOF this step appears to only be on the pilots side in front of the leading edge.
Underneath of BOF, I have added the hopper linkages, as well as what I assume to be cable cutters? I had some decent shots of these and I am pretty happy with how they came out. Piano wire is starting to become my best friend for strength and scale applications
The final photo I have is just of BOF as she appears at the moment. Still needing more rubdowns in areas to prepare for riveting. I have had to contend with a few pinholes, scratches and depressions which the primer coats have shown up well so far. Liquid paper and super glue have been my solutions to most of these.
I am getting to the stage where I will be able to add the raised rivets (which are very obvious on fletchers), white gloss coat, then vinyl mask, then add more colour... then lacquer, then weathering. Seems like a couple of days work, but I can imagine it won't be ;D
Maaaaaaate she looks magnificent! If you still produce a kit I will buy one from you (at least one so I can build CBG in her 300hp guise.
Have you had much progress since the last shot? I can't wait to see the finished item, with some clever photography and weathering (or did Mike Sr keep her in pretty good nick?) you could easily fool viewers into thinking they're looking at the real BOF.
BOF is currently waiting the last coat of primer, I can't believe how much primer I have used actually. There were a few depressions and the like I had to fill and in the middle of it... everyone in Australia appeared to run out of fine white primer!
However, the hold up has made me do extra things to the model that I was originally prepared to overlook. I have added the tie down brackets that go under each wing and under the tail.
I am also trying to build the courage to dril the last remaining holes for the canopy rail. Before I can do this I need to add both rails permanently to the canopy, as once the hopper end is bent they can't come off.
Have just got an e-mail, the primer is on it's way!
As for weathering the model, BOF was cleaned pretty regularly, but the model will have to show some evidence of working. A bit of fertiliser dust on the rear fuselage and tail assembly. A bit of flung cow dung under the wings and nose wheel, grease on the hopper and a bit of dust around the top of the hopper.
Will aim to update as soon as significant progress is achieved... there are many hours of hard work currently been done but it does not show
After a hell of a time this arvo trying to get the canopy rails to fit, I have had some success. This has meant though that I have broken a little bit of the canopy off and have some patching to do now.
3 hours of bending piano wire and I am beginning to get crazy, angry and frustrated... I will leave BOF as she is for today with the canopy nearly fitting well and with evidence it will slide open.
Canopy moves quite easily along the rails so I am quite happy with that. With the rubber sealing strip, the small gaps between the hood and the windshield should not be noticeable.
Think i might do any more with just open or closed canopies... it is not worth the pain
Post by agalbraith on Mar 12, 2010 18:20:45 GMT 12
Thanks for the update Mike, she looks stunning!
All of your workmanship has certainly paid off. I know what you mean. Sometimes I can spend hours on the BK and it looks as though I have done nothing..................actually I have done nothing for a while. The Auster rebuild seems to have taken precedence lately!
Well done indeed
Last Edit: Mar 12, 2010 18:21:34 GMT 12 by agalbraith
Hi Dave, am still working on the fletcher. Well actually just got back to working on it. I got a bit distracted you see...
I took advantage of the downturn at work in Oz to make a visit to Egypt and the Emirates. Absolutely amazing and very worth it. I was unfortunate though to just miss the end of the Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi by a few hours.
Fletcher progress is getting to the point where I will shoot the first coat of Gloss white in a week or so. Then I will be adding raised rivets before putting another few light coats on.
Well it is time to reinvigorate this thread, BOF has been sitting in the display cabinet while travel and rugby occupied most of my spare time (and in reference to the latter, made me too sore to do much modelling!). However she is back out of the display cabinet now and on the production line...
Inspired by a boys own trip of 3 weeks absorbed in topdressing, I am primed and ready to go. Observing Neville's ag models at Gisborne was great fuel... next time I am in Rotorua I would like to be able to show him some of my wares.
I have spent a week so far on making the pitot tube assembly and the anti-collision light. The former I had a few goes at as I needed it to be to scale and it was hard to achieve the shapes while balancing strength and other requirements. I found my stocks of piano wire to resistant to shaping, the pitot I made first go was massively over scale but I couldn't work it to any smaller shapes. Eventually I found some paper clips that seemed to be stronger than the average, thin and also workable. To ensure that I got the shape right, I had to make it in two pieces and then carefully grind out half the material in each where the join would be to make it appear 'seamless'. My eyes are still trying to regain their focus now!
The light was made from excess clear sprue that was shaped, then sanded with ever decreasing grit paper until it was polished. This will be shot with clear red.
This was the only light on BOF, yet it was often visible to all in Otorohanga as it trolled back after dusk or performed a bit of night spraying in the district...
Anyway, small steps but it is getting the ball rolling again...
I have been back working on the fletcher again. Rugby training is a burden on time resources at the moment, however it does ensure I am more productive with the time I get. (helps to have the cricket world cup on in the background...)
I have been reworking the external oil cooler and the propeller. I had made attempts before to do these and although I was originally happy with my first attempts, the propeller hub was not only lacking detail, but it had also lost shape. The oil cooler was too small and also too 'solid', it should look like a car radiator.
To improve strength and durability, I made the oil cooler out of square aluminium tube with plastic fins inside and aber mesh on the front and back. This is currently masked up so I cannot supply an image at the moment. It has been sprayed with Alclad steel lacquer and is looking very good. I will try and post an image on this by the weekend.
The propeller barrel is plastic tube sleeved with brass. This means that it can be realalistically thin yet strong. There is a bit of a prominent step between the barrel (where the oil seal would be) and the propeller and this helps illuminate that also. The hub also needed to be round and more detailed, this was done with a Waldron punch, some brass sheet, brass tube and some model car detailing switches to represent the bolts holding the hub to the barrel. The holes for these wsitches were drilled into the brass with a pin vice, using an archer decal as a reference.
The blades need to be finished off, then it will be painted with alclad dull aluminium, the grey for the barrel and hub, before the black is applied to the back of the prop and then the yellow tips. I am still looking for a copy of the Southair logo used on the propeller, it is red and black however my photos can't zoom it with any detail.
Thanks for looking
The new hub+barrel before priming. The original attempt can be seen to the right
for scale, the hub next to me Xacto knife. I am crosseyed and having issues focussing long distance now ;D
Dry fitted, the new hub sitting on the prop. Will be made into one unit once the barrel-to-blade issue is cleaned up.
Working on the mainwheels and the disc brakes at the moment. The wheels have taken me a while as I have never really 'scratched' or modified wheels before. The Fletcher mainwheels are quite unique in a modelling sense so it was always going to be difficult to get anything close off the shelf, so I decided to have a go at making some wheels.
I was originally going to use small R/C wheels, however they just looked a bit to skinny and tall. When measuring them they would look a bit balloonish and also affected the stance of the model. When I tried to improve the lack of hub detail, the expoxy and tire had a reaction and it just started to look bad.
Looking at modelling articles, I saw a way to modify tyres. I bought a plain set of True Details resin mainwheels and skinned these with thin plastic sheeting until I got them to the right height. Then to ensure they were wide enough, I just needed to add a thin smear of milliputt and then sand to shape. Sanding and shaping curves takes a long time and tried my patience, but I got to a point where I am happy. I have also added the flat spot where the tyre bulges whilst on the ground.
The 'disc brakes' are just washers with 3 fine sheets of plastic attached in the shape of the calliper. The callipers have been drilled to allow the fitting of 'bolts' later and also so the brake line (coloured wire) can be inserted into the calliper at the end.
Fletchers can look quite plain, so I am trying to ensure that the dangly bits such as the undercarriage and hopper are all done to as true a scale as possible as they will be more noticeable with no missiles and drop tanks in the way .
Thanks for the comments, they are inspiring when modellers block looks to fill out a development application in your creative headspot ;D.
Anthony I haven't forgotten, I am trying to gear myself up so I can cast resin. as I believe that will be the best way to copy the masters without wasting lots of plastic sheet. I will endeavour to keep you more updated through PM's in future.
A little bit more today, I took the opportunity to use a rainy day at work to complete the drilling of the wheels and to ensure the fit is square (the wheels may look like they are drilled off centre, however this is the inside of the wheel and will be covered by the brake assembly). This weekend I will have to get some paint onto the wheels and their hubs, then a bit of weathering might be in order. The callipers have holes pre-drilled into them so I can fit coloured wire into them (this is to represent the brake line) and then this will be feeded through the loop on the top of the oleo. From there it will follow the underneath of the wing to the drilled holes under the fuselage.
I am also working on the fuel drain for under the tanks, I will add that at the end when the straps go on over the tank.
I have also reworked the nose wheel assembly, it is now much more realistic. I will look to add an update on this also.
A little bit more cleaning up is required on these pieces also
Not meaning to be critical of such stunning work, but I cant help but notice the oleos are extended (with the stops against the strut) as they would be unloaded, but the wheels have the weighted bulge. whilst it wouldnt need to have the full "Fletcher squat" surely the oleos would be at part travel with weight on them? I may be wrong however - I haven't seen many early Fletchers to see how their oleos sit, so dont take it the wrong way, just an observation.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
It has been a while since I updated this thread... as in the quest for ever more detail I have decided to try and do some basic 'photo etch' for my model ;D. This meant learning how to use my CAD program , learning the techniques for etching from those in the electronics hobby and learning how to etch . A few failures along the way, many months going over and over drawings but I finally have the final product.
Most of the products I used were actually quite affordable and easy to access. Everything except the etching tank I sourced from Jaycar. The technique I used is explained quite well at this website www.starshipmodeler.com/tech/fh_pe.htm . Rather than using the UV exposure method to create the 'protective screen' for the brass etching, I used Mylar paper to do the toner transfer method. Following the details in that site exactly, I was able to get quite nice results on my third attempt.
This picture shows a copy of the design and then the print onto the Mylar transfer paper. This design is printed as a mirror image so that when it is pressed onto the brass it be be correct.
Then having cleaned some brass sheets very heavily and lightly scoring the surface, the transfer paper is taped onto the brass before it is passed through a laminator
The laminator provides heat and pressure on a very even level. The toner is 'melted' from the transfer onto the face of the brass. I let this go through the laminator quite a few times. While watching the black caps having a bash around, I would just keep feeding it back through at the end of each over.
I didn't get any photos of the etching process, however my tank is a very skinny acrylic fish tank with an agitator and a glass heater. I got mine from wiltronics for $100. I used Ammonium Persulfate from jaycar as the etchant which was set at 55 degrees to allow the etchant to eat the uncovered brass away most efficiently. Although not as volatile as Ferric Chloride, it pays to wear rubber gloves, goggles and a mask while etching. In this photo, the sheet on the right has been etched and cleaned with Acetone. The one on the left is as it comes out. The back of the sheet I paint with red acrylic and cover with scotch tape, as recommended by the starship article. The back must be covered to stop the back of the brass from being eaten away!
The final cleaned etchings are next. Not all the parts came out. The fuel tank straps are too fragile and I will need to do these again. Some of the other parts have also had some undercutting or did not form properly. I have made lots of duplicate parts as well to cover this.
Well, hopefully now back to modelling and getting some of these things onto poor old BOF so I can give some progress shots.