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1/48 vacuform P-3C Orion; full build thread


ghodges
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A modicum of progress....

 

First, the original vac clear parts are badly yellowed. Unfortunately, the P-3 did not use any "gold" tinting, so I need to vac new one! Step one: pour the kit moldings full of plaster of paris:

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Here's the plaster parts popped out of the molds. The bubble window molds probably won't be used unless I have to because they're too oval. The canopy mold is too large for my Matte;l vac machine, so I'll have to smash mold a copy.

 

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Here you can see the main rear cockpit bulkhead and main cockpit floor. The opening is big enough that I'll be able to build the entire cockpit from the outside, after assembling the fuselage! :smiley20:

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And here's the bulkhead and floor showing the nose gear bay built onto its bottom. Now that I can set in place in the fuselage, I can proceed to building the landing gear! After that, I can check the fit and sit of the entire model on its gear! :smiley4: At least that's the plan........

 

Cheers!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Ok ... I'm looking on Your W-shop ... I don't know what will be easier in that case ... building from scratch or "OOB vacu" ? :-)

Very good lesson how to build bigger vac models. :smiley20:

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I have read on some modeling sites that if you expose yellowed plastic to ultra violet light, that you can get it pretty clear again. Never done it, so I don't know if it's effective or not. They mention using tanning lights, plant lights and even some custom made stuff. If it does work, it would come in real handy on projects like this. I know sunlight has ultra violet in it, but it can also melt parts and would take a really long time.

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Hmmm.....we do have Deb's tanning bed over on one side of Gil World......maybe it's time to tuck that canopy in there for an hour or so! :smiley16:

 

Someone also suggested trying Simple Green, and since I need it to strip my last car paint job, I might as well get some. By the way, does anyone know what voodoo hex you have to chant after killing a chicken at 2am on a moonless night in a month without an "R"....so I can spray GLOSS paint!! :blink:

 

Thanks for the encouraging words guys! I actually got the nose gear built tonight (@3 hours of work), but will wait to post pics until after I get the main gear built (hopefully tomorrow).

 

By the way....I claim to be the master of nothing, except perhaps persistence! :P

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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I'll be going to New Orleans pretty soon. I'll check on the voodoo chant and let you know. If you need it quicker that that, I can call my son and he can find out (he lives down there).

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Hmmm.....we do have Deb's tanning bed over on one side of Gil World......maybe it's time to tuck that canopy in there for an hour or so! :smiley16:

 

Someone also suggested trying Simple Green, and since I need it to strip my last car paint job, I might as well get some. By the way, does anyone know what voodoo hex you have to chant after killing a chicken at 2am on a moonless night in a month without an "R"....so I can spray GLOSS paint!! :blink:

 

Thanks for the encouraging words guys! I actually got the nose gear built tonight (@3 hours of work), but will wait to post pics until after I get the main gear built (hopefully tomorrow).

 

By the way....I claim to be the master of nothing, except perhaps persistence! :P

 

GIL :smiley16:

I saw a hint & tip one time recently which said if you want a really super gloss you should add a little Future to the gloss paint. Haven't tried it. If you do I would like to know how it works. If I don't blow my brains out on my self inflicted problems with the Devastator I may take on an F-1 car or such. Then I will try that hint.
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There will be a delay of a few days due to a 4'x4' hole that appeared in my ceiling this morning, due to the GARGANTUAN amounts of rain we got the last 5 days! The good news is that at least it waited to happen AFTER the rain actually stopped, and it didn't happen in the middle of the storm!

 

Also, Deb has me building shelving units in the "kids room"; which are now 80% done. Hope to be back working on the gear this coming weekend!

 

I have the rear main rear gear legs built, and now need to build a couple of bulkheads and then the main gear retractors that go from the bulkheads to the main gear legs.

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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  • 2 weeks later...

I HAVE been working on this dog...but Photobucket has been giving me fits, not allowing me to upload any pics! I'm having to use Explorer to uplaod pics and then go back to Firefox for browsing and posting..... :smiley29:

 

Anyway, I got most of the gear built. There are still some details that need to be added to the rear of the main gear legs. (scissors links, brake lines, etc.)

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You can also see the mid-point bulkheads that will be set into the main gear wells.

 

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Here you can see how they fit into the wells. There's a little "play" designed into them so that I can adjust their alignment. Also, I may rework the triangular ends of the main gear retractors, as I'm not completely happy with their look and fit.

 

I've also finally glued the wing halves together, and modified and assembled some Quickboost E-2 Hawkeye props. The next step is to assemble, trick out, and then mount the engine nacelles to the wings. Prayers to the gods of alignment will be greatly appreciated! :smiley2: More pics in a couple of days!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Looking good, nice detail. Being not much of a scratch builder, I admire the work put in to this. Pictures truly are worth a thousand words...keep them coming. It gives me ideas on how to do some things.

 

This got me thinking about an orientation ride I had on one of these when I was in the Civil Air Patrol back in the day. Took off out of Glenview NAS and attacked subs in Lake Michigan for a few hours and then came back and shot approaches for a few more. Not alot to see as there aren't many windows. After awhile we all couldn't wait to land. Still was a pretty cool time overall.

 

Bill

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The pantheon of progress continues! Nacelles are assembled....

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These took almost an hour each! :smiley24: They had to be glued first with liquid cement, then re-enforced from the inside with super glue. Next, the rectangular intake was built up on the bottoms of each with sheet plastic. Then the intakes on the front were opened using a VERY sharp knife (new blade) and a LOT of patience. They still yielded little splits and cracks that needed further re-enforcing. The last item added was a piece of plastic tubing to support the prop shafts. By the way, these have their first coat of Armory Primer white on them!

 

Next, the nacelles were tacked onto the wings with liquid cement...

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Here I have everything together to check the overall alignment of the nacelles to the wings to the fuselage.

 

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Here's a closer view of the fit of the nacelles to the wing, and yes! It is B-A-D!!! :blink: They will require copious amounts of filler to blend them into the wing! In the meantime, once satisfied with the alignment I filled all of the main gaps at the joints with Gorilla thick superglue. That gave me a bond that's strong enough to pick a wing up by the engine!

 

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These are the props. They're actually Quickboost resin E-2C Hawkeye props. Each blade was rounded at the tip and also sanded in the middle for the "wasp waisted" look, which seems to be the main difference between the two prop types. I then pinned the blades with brass wire and drilled the hubs to take the wires. The only problem after that has been that the resin seems to almost be impervious to superglue! As I've adjusted the blades for their angles and alignment, they keep coming loose! :smiley7: If that continues I'll just use epoxy next time around!

 

Still a L-O-N-G way to go, and it's looking doubtful it'll be done for the Nats, but I'll keep plugging away none the less! As always, questions, critiques, and comments are very welcome!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Got some needed things done today...the first I'm rather deviously proud of.... :rolleyes:

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"Push molded" the 4 dome side windows....taped some clear sheet to the triangle over the 3/8" hole....heated it over the candle flame....and pushed the softened plastic through the hole with the end of the ink pen! Worked like a charm!

 

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Got the 48 sona-bouy holes drilled out. Marked their places in pen, established each hole with a small drill, opened them more with a larger drill bit, and finished their shape at an angle with a carbide cylinder tool, giving them their needed oval shape. They will be cleaned up (inside and out) and blanked off inside to prevent the see-through effect.

 

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This pic shows the door scribed in place (highlighted with pastel powder for better visibility). Copied the door from the 1/48 plans onto a tape template, which was then transferred to sheet plastic to make a flexible template for the model. That was taped in place and used as a guide to scribe the door. You can also see how the rudder line has been rescribed and scraped to give the leading edge an airfoil look. The same had to be done to the ailerons and the elevators.

 

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Not exciting, but the first layer of filler is on the nacelles/wing joints! Nothing fancy here...just glopped Squadron white putty in place and smoothed it with acetone (fingernail polish remover). I'm SURE more filler will be needed after the initial sanding!

 

Well, enough for today! Cheers!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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Plodding along......

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The "contouring/blending" is done. Followed the initial coat of white putty with some Mr. Surfacer 1000, mixed with a LOT of vigorous sanding! The white is Armory White Primer, straight from the can. This stuff is GREAT! Goes on easy and drys fast; sort of a bigger, cheaper version of Tamiya Fine White Primer. The filler you see in the pic is (hopefully) the last added for touch-ups. It's some more of the Squadron White Putty, but thinned with good 'ol Testors liquid cement.

 

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Here I've begun making bulkheads for the fuselage. They'll serve both to strengthen it and to create compartments where some gear will be added, in the locations where the windows are located. For example, the compartment behind the cockpit (already assembled above) is where the forward bubble windows are, and will have a couple of seats and consoles in it.

 

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Here you can see the new sona-buoy tubes; how they were installed and how they look on the bottom. This also shows the test fit of one of the domed windows. It sits inside its hole on a ring just slightly smaller than the outer hole. That was made by cutting a hole in some sheet plastic and gluing it inside, as seen in the top fuselage, outlined in black. You can also see the mid-fuselage observation window. That one was simply made by cutting the hole, cutting some clear stock to fit, and then sanding it flush and polishing it out on the exterior.

 

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Overall pic of the sona-buoy arrangement. It should be more realistic than the original holes backed with sheet plastic.

 

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This gives a good view of the "ring" inside the window hole, the APU exhaust vent and door (scribed), the scribed intake grill, the reworked NACA "V" duct, and the scrap plastic antenna flare unit carved for the nose. The yellow thing is a tape access door for the flare bucket on the unit!

 

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This shows the left side antenna flare unit and the screen that blanks off the NACA duct to good effect.

 

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This shows how the screen is installed for the vent, the scribed intake grill, and the construction of the window hole.

 

Still more to do on the fuselage yet! There are small round flat windows to be added; 1 on the left and 3 on the right side. The compartments and their seats/tables/consoles all need to be made. Those will NOT be very detailed. Instead, they'll be general shapes, painted in blacks and grays, and added JUST to show some kind of "interior" if someone bothers to shine a flash light into a dome!

 

I'm hoping to have the fuselage interior done, windows installed, and the fuselage all closed up by our club meeting Thursday night! Cheers!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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NICE!!!! How much time a day are you working on this thing if I may ask? You get more stuff done in a day even with all of the scratchbuilding than I can building a "regular model". Great job.

 

Bill

Edited by WildBill50
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Thanks, but I have to admit to being fairly lazy, especially with a "deadline" of the Nats looming! The work you see above is over 2 "sessions" of about 3hrs each. That said, I skipped working on it for 4 days in a row. The only explanation I can give is that if I feel I HAVE to work on it, I don't want too! Oddly enough, once I get out to the bench and start working, I have no problem working for 3-5hrs straight; but it's GETTING to the bench that's been the problem!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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(Copied from my HS post)

 

That is coming along nice. I'm impressed with how well the engine/nacelle join came out.

 

I'll throw out a note to you, on the forward lower fuselage, that "antenna" you added is actually an ALE-47 Chaff/Flare dispenser fairing. The "acess door" you might have seen in reference pics is a cover plate for when you're not carrying "flare buckets". They are also carried just aft of the main landing gear in a different type fairing facing outboard. If you have the "In Action" book, there's a pic on pg 23 that shows them to good effect (the caption reads "line man" removing the landing gear safety pins, but that's actually an Ordy removing the flare bucket safety pin)

 

The forward station carries one bucket, the aft ones carry two buckets...each bucket carries 30 flares (the things that look like "dots") even though the caption says "36"...can't trust everything you read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, but I have to admit to being fairly lazy, especially with a "deadline" of the Nats looming! The work you see above is over 2 "sessions" of about 3hrs each. That said, I skipped working on it for 4 days in a row. The only explanation I can give is that if I feel I HAVE to work on it, I don't want too! Oddly enough, once I get out to the bench and start working, I have no problem working for 3-5hrs straight; but it's GETTING to the bench that's been the problem!

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

You Lazy Cur!! <whips cracking> Get to work!!!

:lol:

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Thanks for the info Andrew! Basically, I'm copying external features as seen in the P-3 Walkaround Gallery here on IPMS. I was aware of the flare units on the nacelles (which I still need to add), but wasn't aware of the front ones. I have no illusions about my model being accurate for any one particular version or "update" P-3C (especially when it comes to the antennas!); but the real exercise here is to succeed in building it! Thanks!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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