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About Skyking

  • Rank
    Step away from the computer!
  • Birthday 10/04/1957

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  • Location
    Rochester New York
  • Interests
    World War 1, Pre WW2 US Navy, Golden Age civil a/c, classic aircraft prior to WW2.
  1. Hiya Guy thanks for stopping in. I appreciate the comments. Here's some more flash for you so don your Ray-Ban's and have a look. :) Spent the last couple of days trimming out the interior walls with polished aluminum trim strips. I used the aluminum tape, embossed the rivets then cut them into 1/16" wide strips and applied directly to the wall panels. The real aircraft's aren't polished, but I wanted the contrast and I think the effect looks pretty good. I also test fit the seat rails and seats in place. I have to ain't the cushions and add the seat belts yet, then I'll install them. Next area will be the mail handling/baggage area in front of the cabin and behind the cockpit. Nothing more than a couple of shelves is all it is so it shouldn't take long. I was a bit concerned how much of this will actually be visible, so I stuck the right fuselage half on to see, and sure enough, as I feared... not much. :-/ It's better with the door open, but adding that big honking wing overhead will further hide it from view. I was going to spend some more time with the seats, but at this point I think they will look fine. Thanks for looking. Cheers Mike
  2. Moving right along with trimming the interior, it's time to add all the fiddly bits and trim it out. Again for reference here's a shot of the actual bird: And the following will show how close I come to replicating it. I carpeted the floor with some left over Royal Blue velour from a cabinet job I did earlier this spring. It was much easier to use the self adhesive sheets than to sprinkle flocking material. Next to make was the polished aluminum covers that go over the bulkheads in the cabin. There's two big honkers right in the middle, and two smaller ones in the next station forward. I began by scribing two circles on a sheet of 1/8" RenShape. I then divided it into quarters and measured the outside dimensions and cut them out with a new #11 blade so they looked like.... ...these guys. After sanding them smooth I "plasticized" them with thin CA so that it makes the RenShape stiffer and a better base for the foil to adhere to. A quick trial fit and they look pretty close to the prototype in dimensions. I didn't have actual drawings or dimensions, so I did it the old fashioned way... by scaling it to other objects, in this case the windows, and giving it the ol' calibrated eyeball technique. Close enough for my requirements. And here they are all blinged out and covered in foil. They look pretty good and really snazzy up the interior. Next to make will be all the aluminum strips you see that trim everything out. I'll make them from .005 or .010 plastic strip and paint them aluminum. They are not polished on the actual aircraft so it'll save me some foiling work. I'll post some shots when that is completed. Thanks for following along, as always questions comments and critiques welcome. Cheers Mike
  3. Hiya Guy Thanks for stopping by. I'll try to keep the updates more frequent so your calander doesn't get stuck...lol. Hi Jim, thank you. Yes it's doubtful if I will have it done in time for Ohama, but Orlando is a definate as we have friends in Orlando we will be renting their house from for the week of the Nats, so you should see it there. Thanks for the comments on the mancave. It's my home within a home. Hi Matt. I will be using .010 clear styrene for the windows, dipped in Future. They will rest on the inside of the frames. There's a tiny lip all the way around the outside trim panel that will hold them in place. I will also have some slid open. Thanks you for the comments regarding the model and my room. Hi Kristian. Sweden in July sounds great, but not sure December through March. :) I know you'd have no issues convincing my wife either. Thank you TX. I appreciate the comments. Now on to today's regularly scheduled update... Now that the hard stuff is done ( I hope) I can move on to fabricating all the interior bits, and hope I end up with something that looks like this: The first thing I had to make was the wall and ceiling coverings, which are a printed hardboard trimmed with aluminum strips on the real aircraft. After playing around with some painting software, I found the best solution was to mask of a bit of the above image and save it as a smaller image. I kept copy and pasting it all together until I had a matted mural the size I needed. Then some magic tools in Photoshop blended it all together into what you see here. These were printed out in color and sized roughly to the size of my wall and ceiling panels. I made a total of four, even though I only need three, but odds are good I'm going to mess one up along the way. Some photo spray adhesive on the backside and they bonded well with my Renshape wall panels. These were then set in place in the fuselage, the window frames inserted from the outside and with a new sharp #11 blade, I trimmed to the frames for a neat fit. It's difficult to tell from the pictures but the effect is really good and I'm quite happy with the results. Next step was to install the door. I had the frame and door built up from an earlier post. Now it was time to stick it all together. I had PE hinges made that I formed together with a length of .010 piano wire for the hinge pin. These were sweat soldered into place on the door and door frame, and yes Virginia, they do open and close, although I'm not sure how robust they are and won't stress them by opening and closing them too many times. Here it is in the open position. When I display the model it will be flat up against the side of the fuselage so I had to make sure the window on the door lines up with the window in the fuselage. From the front. I'm happy with the way things are lining up. 50% preparation and 50% luck works every time. Next up will be to add all the aluminum strips, the polished aluminum structure covers, seats and other odds and ends. Then I can button this thing up for good and begin assembly. Stay tuned. Cheers Mike
  4. Egad I can't believe it's been almost 9 months since I did anything with this turkey. Now that I've gotten the need to finish a couple of models out of my system, I can resume work on this project that has languished a bit. I got the seats under control, now on to my next headache, the cabin side windows. It would be really easy to make one or two and have them turn out OK, but in this case I need to make 7 that are consistent in shape, size and alignment. I fiddled around with plastic strip and sheet stock, but it was impossible to keep the window framing consistent from one window to the next. I finally hit upon an idea, and after planning ahead and thinking it out, I came up wit this solution and it worked like a charm. It starts with a 3/4 inch thick hunk of MDF that I cut to a hair over the width of the window. I used my PE window trim panel for the template, drew it out, then cut it to width and sanded the round corners with a sanding block. I made this buck the exact width of each window. The next step was to take .032" brass strip, anneal it so it bends easy, and form it around the buck as you see here. After removal from the buck I have the basic shape. Pencil lines drawn on the buck served as a guide to where to trim the "legs" off for each window. These were then cleaned, fluxed and then... ...soldered to my PE window trim panel. I made the window frame just a hair larger all the way around. This will give a lip for the window glass to sit against without it being a perfect fit and to compensate for any variations in glass size. The completed left side window frames and trim panel, all soldered and ready for glass. It doesn't look like much but what you see here is 5 days of cutting and forming and soldering brass sheet and bars along with the photoetch I had made. The door is a PE brass blank with PE trim, and I did the window framing the same way I made the main cabin windows, with 3/32 x 1/32 brass bar formed over a wood buck then soldered in place. After that I cut corrugated aluminum for the door top and bottom and epoxied that in place, then sweat soldered the outside window trim and door trim over that, sandwiching it all together. The door frame is PE with 1/16" brass square stock bent to shape and soldered all the way around. The intent is to have a functional cabin door, held closed and in the open positions with magnets similar to what Tamiya uses on their Spitfire cowlings. Next will be to paint the frames Dark Blue for the outside and simulated wood for the window frames, cut the glass and install it, then proceed with the interior. In case some of you have not seen this turkey, here it is in the assembly jig I am starting. Everything is temporarily taped into position, but it gives an idea of the size of the model. With a 28" inch wingspan and an 18" overall length it's not huge, but it's no slouch either. Thanks for stopping by. More updates when the interior is going together. Cheers Mike
  5. Well it's been a while since I've done anything on this. Summer time is usually my woodworking and home improvement time, so most of the last 4 months has been spent converting this: Original Cave To this: New and Improved Certified Estrogen Free Zone Mancave. I built the custom cabinets for my display cases, along with built in units in the wall. I installed a suspended ceiling around the outter perimeter, with a raised ceiling in the center with halo lighting around the edge. I installed 3 inch LED Can Lights around the ceiling, plus all the display cases have built in lighting done so that the light illuminates the edge of the glass shelves in the display cases. I have yet to install the mirrored backs and glass shelves, then hang the doors and I can start moving in. New drywall, true raised panel wainscotting made from 3/4 MDF and all the trim is Phillipine mahogany. I've also got it prewired for Home Theater, A/V and Wireless Internet, so that when the wife and kids are watching their girly shows upstairs, I can be down here watching what I want for a change. OK to keep this post On Topic, let's get back to the Trimotor. Last installment showed the wicker seats being made, and one of the semi-final results. When I did a test install into the fuselage, something didn't look "quite right". They were too high in relation to the window sills for the passenger windows. I used the Cleveland plans for my dimensions for the seat artwork, and a quick double check showed they were right on the money. The problem is, the aircraft I am replicating as seats that are much shorter than standard issue Ford seats. So now I was in a quandary, and had two choices. Leave them alone and be done with it, or fix them. I hemmed and hawed about it for the better part of two months. If I ruin them trying to fix them, I am screwed because it's the only ones I have. Finally I sat down one evening and looked them over and was able to devise a plan. Looking at the seat pictures of the real airplane, I noticed that they were short under the seat, and mine had a lot of material there to work with. If I remove some from below the seat cushion, that will get me pretty much right on the money. A quick initial measurement showed them to be about 1 1/4 inches in height, and to get them to the right height I need to remove about 1/4 inch. I removed everything below this line, and cut free the section under the front of the seat cushion and moved it up and re-soldered it in place. A Wicker Junkyard. All the PE I removed along with some of the solder edging I installed. Here's the first finished seat. I have to add a little more piping on it to add some additional dimension, but they came out pretty good. I will trim back the seat cushions just before painting them so they fit within the seat. I needed to remove 1/4 of inch to get them to sit right. Compared to the picture above, It's just about right. The legs are a bit longer than they need to be as they will sit into holes in the floor. That will bring the top of the seat in line with the window sill, just as it should be. The acid test. Just about right on the money. Once the legs are poked into the holes in the floor they will be just at the right height. I'm glad now (that it's over and I didn't screw them up..lol) that I did it. It would have bugged me if I just left them alone, and it just shows once again that if you aren't happy with something, redo it. You will be much happier and the second time around will usually look better than the first too. Once I get these finished I can start adding the rest of the cabin goodies, button up the fuselage and begin assembling it so it can be skinned with more aluminum. My wood shop is now closed for the winter (no heat) so it's back to modeling time now, plus I have a nice new Mancave I can relax in. Thanks for stopping by. As always comments and suggestions welcome. Cheers Mike
  6. Hi mark that was my fear also Mark, and is what prompted me to try this. The "inside" of the chair that would be against the passenger's body is fairly smooth, so that'll be fine, but the outside definitely needed some help. I've since added a few more bits to it and dabbed some Mr. Surfacer and they are looking pretty good. It's only taken me about 2 hours for this one, maybe I can knock it down to 1 hour per seat for the rest..lol. Hey Guy, glad you stopped by And that's kind of the way I am leaning toward. If I can give the illusion of the strands overlapping each other through effective shadow painting I think it'll be effective. Of course if I was a real Steely Eyed Missile Man Modeler like you are I would have actually wove wicker seats like you did with your Camel...lol. Prop Duster, Bill, thanks for your comments and suggestions. One poster at another site suggested spraying with Krylon or Rustoleum from a can and lay it on fairly thick to soften the edges. That's another possibility. I just have to make sure I practice on something else because I have no extra seats in case I screw one up..lol. Cheers Mike
  7. Great progress Mark. It sure is a scheme you don't see a Mitchell in every day. Keep them coming. Cheers Mike
  8. Great progress Mark. It sure is a scheme you don't see a Mitchell in every day. Keep them coming. Cheers Mike
  9. Mark, Shawn, thanks for stopping by. Glad to have you following along. The last few days of modeling time have been spent on getting the wicker seats together for the Ford. In one of the previous posts I showed a picture of the PE set with the seats still on the carrier. In this update I'll show the steps I am using to make the raw seats before any paint work is done with them. The example you see here took me the better part of 3 hours to do, so they are pretty labor intensive, and I have four more to go... Yeehaw. Not. This first picture shows the PE blank before any folding was done. I included a ruler to give an idea of the size of the seats. Here in this picture we have the first seat with folding and soldering of the corner done. I didn't need to anneal these as I wanted them to stay somewhat rigid for handling purposes. I was afraid if they got too soft I'd mangle them before I ever got them mounted in the model. For the seat cushions I used Ren-Shape, cut into a 1/4" thick slab, then cut to length and width to fit the seats. These will be filled and painted dark blue as the pilot/co-pilot seats. After cutting to size I rounded off the edges with a sanding stick for a softer look. To give the seats some more rigidity, I CA'ed .032" solder along the top of the seat, and also around the base. It really stiffened them up and made them easier to handle. I will use Mr. Surfacer to blend the solder to the wicker brass, then paint them. If anyone has any suggestions on how to pick out the wicker with paint so it has more of a 3-D look to it I am all ears Chukw. :huh: As always thanks for stopping by. Comments and Critiques welcome. Cheers Mike
  10. Hey Awan. Yep I'll be bringing it along. Will you be back in town for ROCON in Septemeber? It'll be at the Radison in front of RIT again this year. The date is the 19th. Cheers Mike
  11. Hiya OM. These are 32nd scale OM so at least I'm not certifiable..lol. Actually the PE process made them a snap. My pleasure PropDuster. If it wasn't for some Old School modelers that took me under their wing when I was learning I wouldn't be able to glue two sticks of wood together. Everything you see me do is certainly within the realm of anyone on this board. Like I've said before, I often find scratchbuilding a subject easier than messing around with a poorly engineered or ill-fitting kit. Mark, Dave and Homes, thanks for following along. I do appreciate the support. Working on two subjects at once is new to me, so it helps to have enthusiastic supporters. Well as suggested earlier, the windows are cut out. Rather than drone on with endless narrative, I'll let the pictures do the talking. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to ask. As you saw on my earlier post, a couple of the items I had Photo Etched were the window frames for the outside, as well as a template to cut my windows. Here you see the template taped to the inside of the fuselage. I placed my interior tub in the fuselage half, and drew reference lines for my floor and fore and aft bulkhead. I then measured the distance from the rear bulkhead to the rear most window edge, and up from the floor, and that's where I placed the template. Because my template is about 2MM oversize all the way around, I had a bit of a fudge factor for getting it placed. The outside window frames will cover up the joint between the glass and the fuselage side. I roughed out the openings first... ...and then used a new #11 blade and slowly trimmed to the template. The template worked like a charm. Even though these didn't have to be dead on and perfect, they turned out pretty good. Once the outside frame is placed over the opening, it'll all be nice and uniform. Here's the right side, with the windows cut out. I used the rearmost window as a guide for the placement of the door. I overlaid the door over the window so they lined up, and taped it into position temporarily. You'll see why in a bit. Here's a view of the left side, with the outside window frame taped in place to check for correct clearance and alignment. You can see the uniformity of the PE frames are much superior to anything I could have done by hand. I have about MM to play with all around my window glass. The reason the door was taped temporarily in place was so that I could put the door template in place. This I also taped in place, and did the same process for this as I did the windows, except this time I left about 2MM all the way around the inside of the template. The template will serve double duty as the door frame, and the lip will provide a place for the door to rest against in the closed position. The door I also taped in place to check for alignment with the frame, and how it rested in the opening. It's right on the money. I was a bit anxious to see how visible the interior is after the windows were cut out. This picture shows that there will be quite a bit of it visible, which makes me feel a bit better, especially after all the work the wicker seats will be...lol And to put to rest perhaps the greatest question of this entire build... will the commode be visible once everything is buttoned up? I am happy to report that yes, you will be able to see most of the toilet once it's together..lol Next steps will be building and detailing the interior walls, putting the wicker seats together and placing everything in the cabin. Once that is done I can commence with assembling the major airframe components and make it look like an airplane. Stay tuned. Cheers Mike
  12. Great tutorial yet again Chuk. If you would humor a dumb question - do you use specific colors depending on what the base color is? Or do you just let it rip and grab a handful of random colors? Only reason I ask is I am a poor judge of color, and have no concept of complimentary colors. Painting has always been my Waterloo. Cheers Mike
  13. Oh sure... you rag on me for working on other things besides the Trimotor and look what you do... you do the very same thing. I have a hard time believing you can build anything out of the box Guy. You must have added a widget or a gizmo someplace. Looking forward to seeing more work on this one. Cheers Mike
  14. Hi Mark, Al and Holmes, Thank you as always for your comments. I appreciate them. I'll be getting some modeling time in this weekend and should be able to post some pictures. My planned work this weekend is cuting out the passenger windows on the fuselage and starting the interior work so I can get this buttoned up. Stay tuned. Cheers Mike
  15. Interesting build Mark, one of the more attractive military Mitchell schemes I think I've seen. Looking at the one picture of the nose it looks like you got it spot on. I would suggest you have these pictures handy as a reference if you ever show the model before you present it. Having gone through the "experts gauntlet" once before for building an accurate replica of an inaccurate display airplane, it'll save you a lot of explaining. Looking forward to more progress. Cheers Mike
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