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giles

1/48 Hesagawa Hughes 500MD Defender

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This will be my Virgin GB - I will attempt to complete a small helicopter in 3 months... after a hiatus of more than 20 years from my last completed model.

The bird I had in mind wore a unique splinter camouflage. I originally wanted to build it straight OOB and just play with the colour scheme. To be fair, the kit is nice enough - at least the fit is good. But, I could not stomach the lack of details. So, I will scratch some bits, will try not to go OTT.

I have a couple of colour pictures from a Koku Fan magazine, but I don't have sufficient information to paint an "accurate" scheme. I am missing the entire left profile.

Any info, pictures or colour plate you guys have would be gratefully received.

Hope to start cutting sprue over the weekend and will post some shots as the bird progresses.

Cheers,

Giles

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Giles, it's good to see another Hughes in this GB. Hopefully we'll both have 'em finished before January. Good Luck.

LD.

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... it's good to see another Hughes in this GB.

Hughes it is then! Sounds more appropriate than McDonnelll Douglas, Boeing or MD...

Made a start on detailing the cabin and cockpit :nanner: Going was a lot slower than I expected :crying:

Scratching my head trying to figure out what should go inside the rear cabin. I vow not to over-scratch but the transparency is too big to ignore, but I don't want you to stare into an empty cabin. I need more black boxs :tumble:

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Hughes it is then! Sounds more appropriate than McDonnelll Douglas, Boeing or MD...

Made a start on detailing the cabin and cockpit :worship: Going was a lot slower than I expected :crying2:

Scratching my head trying to figure out what should go inside the rear cabin. I vow not to over-scratch but the transparency is too big to ignore, but I don't want you to stare into an empty cabin. I need more black boxs :thumbsup:

Here is a link to a walkaround on an Israeli Hughes 500MD Defender.

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/isaac_gershman/md-500/

The Israeli Defenders were heavily modified during their service but I think most of the boxes in the rear cabin are accurate for standard Defenders.

LD.

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Here is a link to a walkaround on an Israeli Hughes 500MD Defender.

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/isaac_gershman/md-500/

Thanks LD. Been there, done it already.

Isaac Gershman's pictures were helpful, but most of the TOW related black boxes have been removed when IDF decommissioned their 500MD.

I just need a convincingly busy rear cabin.

I have an oblique shot of the splinter Hughes demo bird. The boxes I can see from the cabin window seemed to be all "black" :lol: and laid on the cabin floor.

On a side note, I noticed that although the Hughes splinter demo bird carried the TOW pods, they were not wired up. May be the demo bird was not full equiped with all the TOW related black boxes (for better performance at airshow)??

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A quick update - made some progress despite having been on the road (work related) for the last week or so.

49 days to go and counting...

Almost completed the detailing my "black boxs" in the cabin over the last two days. The boxes laid out on the cabin floor looked sufficently convincing from outside the cabin windows. I am happy enough with the result to consider leaving one of the cabin doors open...

Have just started detailing the cockpit.

- Usual plastic card drilled/punched out for the instrument panel. Will probably use Hasegawa's IP decals from 20 years ago. :thumbsup:

- Initially thought of re-making my own flight crew seats (stretched sprue frame + tissue paper canvas). Realised not much can be seen from outside unless I open up pilot door. We'lll see.

I don't have a camera with me right now. Will try to post some pictures later today or tomorrow.

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I don\'t have a camera with me right now. Will try to post some pictures...

Apologies first for the blurry photo. I have taken some pictures, but I need a better camera and/or picture taking skill!

So until I do that...

500MDcabin.jpg

The first thing I did was to sand off the kit\'s incorrect details on the cabin floor and redo the support struts at the correct spacing.

Please telll me I am sane :thumbsup:

Edited by giles

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I have been looking forward to seeing this build......................no mate you are not sane, but that is a good thing!

Nice work so far

Cheers

Anthony

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Please telll me I am sane :bandhead2:

Perfectly sane ... and a talented modeller too!

Great work.

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44 days left

Completed my "black boxed" cabin, but did not prime and paint over the weekend because of wet weather. I am posting another blurry picture of the bits (sitting on my cell phone) for the weekly update.

The cockpit is getting along... slowly. Will use Hasegawa's IP decals from 20 years ago as base for IP sandwich. Flight crew seats trimmed - looked "passable" viewed from outside. Other bits in-progress. Still have the overhead switch panel which needs to be dry fitted to the bubble canopy.

Kids have started school holidays, we probably need to go away for a short holiday early December, so I wouldn't have much time for the build. Hope to get all the interior completed by this weekend and paint them over the weekend and close up the bird. May be another week or so for the rotar head and the external, then the paint job.

I reckon I need at least two weeks for figuring out the splinter camouflage scheme, masking the many small bits (probably cutting my clumsy fingers in the process) and spray the bird. So, it is goona be close.

IMG_3776.jpg

Edited by giles

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Finally got round to priming my cabin interior with Tamiya Fine Finish out of a spray can. This primer is lacquer based and works pretty well! Now I have grey boxes. :nanner:

Some minor details like overhead switch panel (attached to bubble canopy), cable guide (attached to cabin ceiling), etc. and the TOW sights still require attention. Otherwise, things are slowly getting there...

Opened up the pilot door and managed to draw blood in the process.

Re-learnt two lessons:

1) never use unsuitable tools (I haven't found all my "proper X-Acto" so I used a cheesy pen knife - although quite blunt, it cuts flesh just like a cheese knife cuts cheese)

2) never cut towards self (even with a good knife!)

Another discovery to share with you - lead foil from wine bottle closure (the stuff they seal over the cork) makes very good nose weight. The foil is easier to use than BB shots or fishing weights. Although I suspect you'll have a fairly large amount for a really nose heavy model, for some reason, the foil affects the "feel" of the completed model. Despite being so small (sitting easily in my palm), my half-build 500MD feels kinda solid, not just heavy (I stuck some foil into the gap underneath the pilot's seat in the cockpit area). May be this only happens with "premium" wine lead foils, since the cheaper bottling use a plasticky shrink wrap in place of the more expensive lead foil. :)

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Repainted black boxes in semi gloss black, with the cabin in gunship grey. Looked more like it.

Still fiddling with IP - not totally happy. The TOW sights are next in line. Oh, there is no overhead switch panel attached to bubble canopy on the MD500! :)

One stupid question I meant to ask:

How "safe" is it to attach transparency with normal plastic cement?

I am using Humbrol's version in a squeeze bottle with a needle applicator for normal plastic to plastic joints. I know normal plastic cement would "melt" the the two surfaces to form a chemical "welded" bond. This characteristic would probably mar any transparency (however careful you are with application).

I would like a stronger joint than white glue. I am thinking of masking the transparent panels on the inside of my MD500 canopy bubble and sticking a thin plastic card (from the inside) to the centre non-transparent part of the canopy to simulate the correct thickness of the canopy framing when viewed from the inside (my pilot door will be open). I wonder whether I should take a "calculated risk" by dabbing just a little bit of normal plastic cement carefully on the required points, wait for that to dry up sufficiently, stick the plastic card, and keep my fingers crossed.

Any brighter ideas?

Cheers,

Giles

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Weekly update - 35 days left.

I bought a new digital camera and took some pictures... the results were not much better :worship:

Will try again later tonight.

Anyway, the progress (good) this week was:

1) TOW Sights done - finally, left paint job;

2) Flight Crew seats - seat frame done, will try tissue paper canvas...;

3) Still fiddling with IP;

4) Opened pilot door.

The not so good things that happened:

1) started on rotar, promptly broke two rotar blades from the rotar head;

2) posed the rudder panels, broke them at least four times in subsequent dry fitting;

3) scratch build TOW sights, managed to breaks parts of it when assembly fell off table

4) opened pilot door, managed to crack the fuselage

Besides my butter fingers, might there be something about vintage plastic (the kit is at least 20 years old) being more fragile? All my breaks were at the plastic parts, not the cemented joint... Anyone had experienced this??

Cheers,

Giles

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Some WIP photos

Mock up of cockpit parts

IMG_3802.jpg

Photocopied IP decal used as template for punching instrument bezel. After countless tries (punched the bezel margin too thin), I finally managed a workable one last night :) .

The seat frame are painted black. Will try to "uphoster" in tissue paper...

The promised TOW sights

IMG_3795.jpg

IMG_3797.jpg

I know it doesn't look like much at this stage. Will post painted picture hopefully after the weekend.

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Weekly update - 28 days left.

It is going to be close...

Not as much progress this week as I hoped - I didn't manage to close the fuselage.

I left my camera at the restaurant where we celebrated my daughter's sixth birthday yesterday. Will have to go back to get it. So no photos today...

Anyway, what I did since last update;

1) Flight Crew seats uphostered in moleskin :taunt:, not so in the actual bird I know but I thought I'd exercise a bit of artistic license!

2) Rotar head restored and added details;

3) Pilot door and door frame patched up - looks OK to me now;

4) Polished transparency with toothpaste! I can't believe I actually did that, :bandhead2: soaking in future tomorrow.

A question re: future, if I do the following:

1) tint future with tamiya's acrylic based transparent green,

2) brush that green tinted future on the anti-glare panels to be tinted on my MD500 bubble canopy

(i.e. other parts of the bubble canopy would not have the green tint)

3) wait at least 48 hours for the green tinted future to cure properly,

4) double dip the whole bubble canopy in future again.

Would the green tint run?

Just wanna be sure this harbrained idea is workable...

Cheers,

Giles

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I have never used Future before this, since my last modeling outing was more than 20 years ago...

I have Futured my MD500 windows. Now, I may have a problem...

I did it after I have detached the transparencey from the sprue, so there is nothing to "hold" the windows without marring the still wet transparent panels while Future dries. I have, as an emergency measure, "set" the transparency "loosely" into the unpainted window frame. Now that the Future is almost dry to touch. I could not get the panels out! :thumbsup:

I have thought of using Future in place of white glue to stick the windows but obviously after finishing and painting the window frame and interior.

What should I do?

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I have never used Future before this, since my last modeling outing was more than 20 years ago...

I have Futured my MD500 windows. Now, I may have a problem...

I did it after I have detached the transparencey from the sprue, so there is nothing to "hold" the windows without marring the still wet transparent panels while Future dries. I have, as an emergency measure, "set" the transparency "loosely" into the unpainted window frame. Now that the Future is almost dry to touch. I could not get the panels out! :bandhead2:

I have thought of using Future in place of white glue to stick the windows but obviously after finishing and painting the window frame and interior.

What should I do?

Windex will remove future and not damage the clear parts. Shouldn't hurt the other plastic either. I have had several misadventures with future and Windex always worked for me. Hope that helps.

Ray

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Windex will remove future and not damage the clear parts. Shouldn't hurt the other plastic either. I have had several misadventures with future and Windex always worked for me. Hope that helps.

Ray

Thanks for the advice Ray.

Actually, I have already got them out. Couldn't stand the suspense. Just like scar scabs... just had to pick at it :mellow: .

I managed to pop two windows out from the inside. Had to carefully pry the edge of the other two with an X-Acto blade. ended up with slightly cracked/chipped edges because I thinned the edge (the extra backing part that will not be seen from outside) so that the windows would fit flush with the fuselage.

No real harm because it is not really visible from outside - I can fill the inside and sand and then mask and paint over to cover up.

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Windex will remove future and not damage the clear parts. Shouldn't hurt the other plastic either. I have had several misadventures with future and Windex always worked for me. Hope that helps.

Ray

Well, it looks like there is no escape from Windex, Future's evil twin...

Things went really well with my Futured windows (shine, baby, shine) until I tried to stick them (after carefully masking on both sides) to the fuselage with Future. The Future has very low surface tension and managed to wick under my masking :( for a couple of the windows. So, I had to pry the windows out (again), clean up the mess with Windex and soak them in Future (again)...

No harm done to the transparency, but this sets me back. I will be traveling next week... now I am not so confident about finishing before the new year....

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Finally back from traveling... to tackle the lil' helicopter

It ain't all plain sailing...

1) the 2nd Future soaking turned out crystal clear - real glad I did not have to watch it cure

2) fitted the windows with hi-end white glue (aka Micro Kristal Klear)

3) carefully filled up gaps between transparency and window frame with Tamiya putty

4) carefully sanded - all was fine and dandy until I accidentally scratched the opposite side of the Futered window :thumbsup:

I guess it is one of those days... I rested opposite side of the window on a soft tissue, a fine grain of something sharp managed to find its way in between... :doh:

5) controlled :( my urge to smash the scratched window....

6) sanded and polished the scratched window

7) resigned to 3rd soaking in Future

My other exciting adventure today involved trying to assemble a decal jigsaw... :lol:

I used my 20+year old Hes decal for my instrument panel. The decal looked fine (surprisingly not yellowed), but promptly disintegrated when I tried to nudge it off the wet backing paper. I didn't really feel like painting my own dials, so I did my best to re-assemble the pieces. I plastered the resultant decal jigsaw liberally with Mr Mark. Will Future it before I touch up.

Will post some pictures hopefully in a few days when the dust settles.

Edited by giles

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Sorry for the lack of update guys.

Has been a hectic week... dance performance debut for paying public (not me - my 6 year old daughter), family outing, then younger daughter falling ill upon return...

I almost gave up on the windows when my Mirco Kristal Klear gave way after I have laboriously sanded and polished the scratched window to perfection (taking a large chunk of putty with it). I had enough, so I just used plastic cement!

It turned out OK enough - the joint was certainly stronger. I left it aside for a few days and then re-puttied over the cemented joint and cracks between the transparency and plastic frame. Despite repeated attempts of sanding, re-puttying, re-sanding, I could not get back a smooth enough finish (as before the scratch). In the end, Mr Surface saved the day. The consolation of this round of battle is I now have scale thickness windows and doors! :crying2:

IMG_4190.jpg

You can see the two detached doors with the sanded down and polished windows. The two windows stuck to the other fuselage half in contrast look really gunked up (on the outside, inside has been sanded down and polished) with Micro Kristal Klear residue. I tried cleaning with wet tissue, but without much luck. May be the Kristal Klear reacted with the Future? I have absolutely no idea why the residue is so stubborn. Anyway, I may just sand the windows on the outside as well...

Other things (very little) done over the last two weeks.

IMG_4197.jpg

20+year old HAS decal jigsaw for my instrument panel. I just touched up a bit and added a red blob for one dial. Will add my punched IP bezel on top of the IP decal later.

The TOW sights was more or less entirely scratch built... the detail and colour is not an exact match but I don't think you'll see much when it is installed.

Cheers,

Giles

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Sorry for not making much progress lately - it is obvious that my mini OOB (that was the original intention anyway) build will not be completed before 1st January.

It has been a hectic run up to Christmas... we went away for Christmas, so not a chance to do any modeling :rofl: .

I will post some updated pictures of the bird as it is at this point in time.

I hope to finish my splintered MD500 (fingers and toes crossed) by the end of January.

In the meantime, congrats to all who completed their build, and thanks to all who looked in and gave comments/ideas. It has been fun.

I raise my paw for Helicopter GB Part Deux :woo: !

Happy New Year! May each of us at least complete a helicopter in 2009 :) !!

Cheers,

Giles

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Here are some pictures I took... I really need to learn how to use the camera for closeup shots... these are the best I could manage in the meantime.

IMG_4289.jpg

1) I am definitely getting the hang of building helicopters... it involves repair of (repeatedly) snapped off rotar blades... notice one blade is still a little off :worship:.

IMG_4290.jpg

2) the fuselage halves prepped with gunship grey. The white plastic bits are added to give additional support to the cockpit/cabin floor and rear bulkhead.

IMG_4303.jpg

IMG_4302.jpg

3) the (in)famous window transparency and pilot's door frame after countless (re)sanding and the 3rd soak in Future... at least this baby looked scale thick :worship:.

IMG_4295.jpg

4) the ^#@! doors and the cockpit/cabin... notice the rear cabin door has been sanded down to the original plastic.

IMG_4305.jpg

5) cockpit and moleskin covered seats viewed from top... ignore the gaps on top of fuselage, the halves have not been glued yet.

IMG_4304.jpg

6) full frontal view of cockpit in closed fuselage, note TOW sights and cyclic sticks not added yet.

Until, the next progress update... Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Giles

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Keeps coming along very nice! :thumbsup:

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