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Army_Air_Force

Max Holste Broussard 1/72 Scratch Built Masters & Models

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The decals arrived this morning. They look excellent. I ordered them from http://www.precisionlabels.com here in the UK, after preparing my own artwork. I'd tried a number of different companies and didn't get anywhere with the others. 

Some of the details are tiny and yet the serial on the tail, which is only a millimetre or so tall, is still readable. Here's the set of nine, followed by a close up of one set.

 

broussard175.jpg

 

The tiny shields under the roundels is only about 4 x 3mm in size. The aircraft serial number is the bottom set of black numbers on the rudder and "No 255" is still clear, even at such a small size. I'll start assembling the first aircraft after the weekend as I'm down at Breighton airfield tomorrow. 

 

broussard176.jpg

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And So It Begins! 

 

A year after my initial research trip, but after a delay due to needing to shipping another framed model, I finally got to starting the first Broussard model. Step one was to cut out the landing gear mount with a razor saw, scalpel and needle files.

 

broussard177.jpg

 

Once the slot got close, I used the landing gear brass strip to check and fine tune the width.

 

broussard178.jpg

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The original photo of the first fuselage was blurred, so I had to take this one of the second fuselage, using the shrunken first glazing for a picture of this stage. On the first fuselage, the flat seat on the fuselage was lightly sanded. The bottom of the cockpit was dry and then wet sanded until it sat down for enough that the top of the rear fuselage blended. It was then painted black before being dry positioned on the fuselage. It was aligned with the door joint on the main fuselage to ensure the correct fore and aft position. Thin cyano was then run into all the joints to secure it.

 

broussard179.jpg

 

While the fit was pretty good and that was a bit of a surprise, there was still a slight join line that needed filling. One coat of filler was applied and later wet sanded, then a second layer applied and left overnight to fully harden.

 

broussard180.jpg

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After a day out with the family yesterday, I got back to the Broussard today. The filler around the cockpit joint was wet sanded. On the port side, the bottom door runner got in the way, so was sanded off and will need to be replaced with a little strip of styrene.

 

broussard181.jpg

 

The centre wing section was added next. It was carefully aligned and attached with thin cyano. The wing overhang was ever so slightly over the thickness of my 6 inch steel rule. So the rule was placed against the side of the fuselage and the wing roots given a slight sand flush with the rule.

 

broussard182.jpg

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The 1.5mm styrene extension for the oil cooler was added next. Because the rear face of the cowl was the pouring face during casting, it gets sanded flat. To make up the full length of the oil cooler, the styrene is added to the rear after the cowl is sanded to the correct length. It was glued in place, trimmed close with a scalpel and then wet sanded.

 

broussard183.jpg

 

Attaching the cowl was tricky freehand. The front of the fuselage and rear of the cowl were quite smooth after sanding and kept slipping around. In order to line up the intake and oil cooler with the fuselage centreline top and bottom, I gently clamped the fuselage and cowl in a G-Clamp. This allowed me to check the top and bottom alignment before applying some cyano.

 

broussard184.jpg

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I made a little jig to attach the tailplane and keep it parallel to the centre wing section and square to the centre line. 

 

broussard185.jpg

 

Cyano was run into the joint and that was the tail attached.

 

broussard186.jpg

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The landing light was cut out of the leading edge of the port wing, sanded and painted black.

 

broussard187.jpg

 

The top of the fuselage was filled over the wing centre section joint and the tailplane fairing. There were a few pin holes along the spine in this first fuselage as I think I was a bit over active mixing the first batch of resin. The wings are now balanced in place for a feel good photo!

 

broussard188.jpg

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The start of the landing gear. The basic brass strip and the formed gear. The jig is a template to check the shape of the formed gear, rather than a former to bend around.

 

broussard189.jpg

 

I slotted the landing gear into the second fuselage and balanced the wings and cowl on top, just to make sure the very thin 1/32 x 3/32 inch brass would support the weight. It did.

 

broussard190.jpg

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The flat centre portion of the gear had the surface keyed and was then drilled to help with gluing. Now the next bit is optional I guess. The legs are tapered from top to bottom, and after a quick file, the taper was finished off with a wet sand  on some wet and dry paper taped onto a flat bench.

You could just epoxy glue the wheels onto the brass, but I wanted to give it a little more support. So after the brass was trimmed to length, a small 'V' was filed into the ends. This was then opened up slightly with a round file. A piece of copper wire was then placed across the width of the gear and soldered in place.

 

broussard191.jpg

 

The centre piece of copper was snipped out with some cutters and would be saved for the exhausts. The excess on the inside was then filed flush. The axles would be trimmed to length later. Other than that, I finished off the last of the casting resin with one more airframe. That was the end of another day, but the first model was finally looking like a Broussard!

 

broussard192.jpg

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I started with the landing light glazing today. I took a slice off the clear casting and slowly sanded it down to fit the slot. I drilled a shallow hole in the back which was painted silver for the lamp and after force drying it, the glazing was glued in, leaving most of its length protruding out of the leading edge. The excess was cut off and the remainder wet sanded flush with the wing skin.

 

broussard193.jpg

 

Here's the finished, polished glazing.

 

broussard194.jpg

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The port wing tip was drilled with a 0.5mm hole for the pitot tube.

 

broussard195.jpg

 

The filler on the top of the fuselage was given a first wet sand, along with the tailplane fillet. It will need primer before I can tell what else needs looking at.

 

broussard196.jpg

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Before moving on to attach the wings, two 0.5mm holes were drilled under the doors for the wire step. It was easier to do without the wings fitted.

 

broussard197.jpg

 

After supporting the centre section off the board and with the tailplane supported to keep it parallel with the board, I was ready to attach the wings. Two supports held the wing roots, at the thickest point of the chord, giving the correct height. The wing tips were weighted and the trailing edges wedged to lift the root trailing edge to match the centre section. Thin cyano was then run into the joints.

 

broussard198.jpg

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The landing gear was next. My instruction sheet sets the axle position measured back from the cowl front. To achieve this ( bearing in mind I have at least one more model sold in a finished condition ), I made another jig. I like my jigs. They sometimes take a while to set up, but it ensures things are square, symmetrical and repeatable. The wooden support held the axles while the side to side position was done by eye. Once I was happy with the set up, I mixed a little 5 minute epoxy and applied it to the slot. The brass was then pushed into position.

 

broussard199.jpg

 

After about 10 minutes to give a good cure, the model was turned over to sit on its legs for the first time looking like an aeroplane ( well, at least it does to me!! ).

 

broussard200.jpg

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The gear fillet was next. This piece is cast quite over size, so if you're a bit enthusiastic cutting the gear slot, there's still plenty of fillet to plug the hole! Excess glue was cut from the slot to leave a clean hole for the fillet to fit into. It has already been cut down in this shot. It took a number of trial fits to get it to sit down onto the gear and be about flush with the fuselage.

 

broussard201.jpg

 

Once the fit looked good, it was dropped into place and some thin cyano applied to wick into the joints to fix it in place. It just needs a light fill over the joints followed by a wet sand flush.

 

broussard202.jpg

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The aluminium wing struts start off as round tubes. These are squashed in a vice to give the flattened, more aerodynamic shape of the fullsize struts. The two on the right are the first and second goes. A piece of 1mm steel sheet in the vice limited how fat the jaws could travel.

 

broussard203.jpg

 

The root end of the strut was sanded into a 'V' to fit against the fuselage and landing gear. The outer end was chamfered to lie flush on the wing underskin. It is just balanced here as time ran out and my daughter arrived after a day out with grandma since it's half term holiday week. I'm on daddy day care tomorrow, so there's unlikely to be any progress on this, but my daughter's diorama my get some attention.

 

broussard204.jpg

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