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tberres2

Female Vacuform Mold For Canopies

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I read an article a few years ago about making female molds to vacuform canopies. A female pattern was made from the original and then the new canopy was formed in that mold. The method supposedly solved the problem of an oversized replica (from the plastic thickness). Does anyone out there have experience with this? What do you use for the mold? What release agent (if any) is used?

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If you check out Chucks build of the Me 410 in the works in progress, he makes a canopy during that build.

David.

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[...] Does anyone out there have experience with this? What do you use for the mold? What release agent (if any) is used?

I tried this when I got the Mighty Mini Globe-O-Former from The Kingston Vacuum Works.

I took three surplus canopies, mounted them on a base and poured plaster of paris over them. When I demoulded them, I sealed the surface with many, many layers of Future. After that, I drilled a few holes in strategic locations in the negativ molds and gave the whole contraption a try.

Although it did work somehow (I have to check for pictures when back home), I am not sure if the hassle is worth the result. I think that professionel negativ vacuum molds/forms are made of some sort of resin - so that may be a way to explore further.

Good luck.

Cheers

Thorsten

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Issues with negative vacuum molds are that you need to drill a number of holds into the mold especially in corners and where air can be trapped to allow the vacuum process to remove all the air from between the canopy and the mold. HOWEVER, if the hole is too big or too much vacuum then the canopy will have little bumps on it where the canopy has been 'sucked' into the holes!

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I read an article a few years ago about making female molds to vacuform canopies. A female pattern was made from the original and then the new canopy was formed in that mold. The method supposedly solved the problem of an oversized replica (from the plastic thickness). Does anyone out there have experience with this? What do you use for the mold? What release agent (if any) is used?

I copied a Falcon F86A canopy using a plaster of paris pattern, no release agent was used 'cause plaster of paris didn't stick to the vac plastic. Drilled a few holes in it and made some vacuum channels underneath and made it to fit into my Mattell unit.

worked ok for me

Cheers, Tony

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I read an article a few years ago about making female molds to vacuform canopies. A female pattern was made from the original and then the new canopy was formed in that mold. The method supposedly solved the problem of an oversized replica (from the plastic thickness). Does anyone out there have experience with this? What do you use for the mold? What release agent (if any) is used?

I went through the whole process when building an Airfix 1/72 Mosquito prototype. The webpage has a full report. It's a lot of work, but the results are very nice. I did not use any release agent btw

Rob

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