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Amodel VMT Atlant with Buran (oh dear me)

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A while back, I decided to finally get started on this monster. And a monster indeed it is....




As you can see, the box is quite a bit larger than my cutting mat of nearly 60 cm. Don't let the boxart fool you, despite the huge image of the
Myasischev 3M Bison carrying a giant fuel tank, the kit is actually of the small insert in the top right: the same modified 3M Bison, but fitted
with all the stuff needed to transport a Buran airframe, which is also included.


Now the interesting part - my friend has challenged me to get this done in time for Telford next year (next year being 2020). So with any luck,
you'll be able to see it there in all it's ginormous glory. Well, finishing it in time isn't a problem, I could have this done next week.
The problem is I want it to actually be presentable...


And so, let's look in the box. What on earth did I get myself into...


First off, as with all A-monster kits, the main parts are cast in some kind of fibreglass resin, and the folks over at A-model have already glued
the major components together for you. Which basically means the whole Buran airframe has been reduced to a single part.





This thing is huge.  I'm going to need to figure out how to keep this detachable for transport. Anyways, A-model has glued the parts together,
but they did nothing else. And that leaves you with the huge and ugly seamline.




Hopefully it won't be too hard to fix.  The nose section als has a seamline, and already some of the panelline detail around the jets is lost.




Also, it's not so neat all over, judging from the extra bits and bobs we'll have to get rid off near the backend.




And this plastic (and I use the word in the widest possible sense of the word) is ugly.

Oh well, on to the Bison airframe:




It's a bit bigger than the Buran itself. We'll need to add the cocpit section to the fron, which will add another 10 cm or so. Oh dear.

Unfortunately, the quality on this part is a little below the quality (again, a word used in the widest possible sense of the word) of the Buran,
as is clearly demonstrated by this:




And it almost looks like the guys at A-model have tried to putty over some gaps....




And the tail section will need some extra work as well.




Let's see, what else do we have.  Oh yes, two wings.




Unfortunately, the part you see with each wing has actually already broken off, and it's thick. Fixing that will be fun.




Lots of panellines, but dirty again.

And then the biggest surprise - this is how they have envisioned you attach these huge wings to the fuselage:




Yup - two tiny little stubs. Which by the way are way too large for the locating hole they're supposed to slot into. That's not going to work.
Especially since I would *really*  like to keep these detachable for transportation purposes as well. Perhaps a huge brass rod through the
fuselage, where two brass rods in each wing can slide into. That will depend on how much of those jet engines you can see once done,
because a bit of brass rod in the wings will go right through there. Time to do some thinking.


And a first time putting her together.





Last bit of this material is the two vertical stabilisers. It's similar to what the US did with the 747 to carry the space shuttle.




I'm surprised by this material. Look at this side-by-side shot of the wings. No, it's not a trick of the light, it really is a different color.
And it definitely needs a good washing.




Then, to complete the model, you get a few bags of A-models crappy plastic without any locating pins and major fit issues.
Right now I'm not even bothering yet getting this out of the bags.





Fortunately, the glasswork is somewhat acceptable. Not perfect, but could have been worse.
And it's so small you probably won't see much of anything anyway




Then we move on to A-model's instructions, and yes, again I use the term loosely.


First off, since the sprues of plastic don't actually have any part numbers on them,
you'll have to reference the parts layout in the manual to find your stuff.


Which will be fun with a good 30 unnumbered sprues.....




Each step in the guidelines gives you all the part numbers needed. That many parts in one step can't be fun to do. Paint instructions are
in (gasp) Humbrol. Ugh. Have fun converting that to something decent.





Wow. The Buran is not a one-piece part. You actually need to add the cockpit frame. And it has a "full" cockpit to go with it.
I hope that part 325 has a decent fit....



Painting instructions for a single aircraft. Yes, one. You didn't really think there'd be more, did you? I don't know, maybe there were.




Decals. Separated over 3 sheets, and the kit does include the decals for the version with the giant fuel tank on the roof. There's a number of
decals with stencilling, and although my cyryllic is a bit rusty, I doubt the text is actualy readable.



Not sure how these decals are fonna behave, we'll see when I use the ones for the instrument panel. If I screw those up, not much is lost.

So let's get started. To see how this "plastic" behaves, I've decided to do two things:  
sand the seam on the Buran nose, rescribe the detail there, and then primer it to see how it stands.






However, this line appears a little wonky.




I've looked over the rest of the model, and the quality of the panellines is a bit hard to determine.
So I decided to go a different route: first let's primer up these parts, and then check the panellines.

You be the judge: I'm pretty happy with them actually....





This bit on top will need some filler:




Except this bit of course.




Well, every journey begins with a first step. This will be a long journey....


PS: Thanks to Flankerman for getting me into A-models nightmares (yes, it was that An-22 build that got me hooked...),

for giving me a starting point with his build here, and for providing some nice reference shots.


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I've been working on this one for a bit now, so I'm just gonna dump everything upto now here. Progress will be much slower from here on.


I've been working on the seams on the Buran. They're pretty sandable, but the problem is this glassfiber/resin stuff isn't very thick.
Or there's just air bubbles in it, because several times after a sanding, holes started popping up. Which is annoying.

Anyways, I've also started on the Buran's cockpit. First off are the sidepanels, which are one piece, and then you basically add
three very very ill-fitting panels to them, leaving huge seams.
I decided to fill them up with gloop (styrene sheet dissolved in Tamiya Extra Thin), as the windows are large enough that you will be
able to see inside.


And here's everything I need laid out after cleaning them up best I could.


Next up: let's see how well this cockpit cover fits, and how much of the inside will be visible once it's in place...


Oh boy. While the front side is wide enough, the backs are too wide, which will cause some stress when I glue it on.
Which will be fun as you can't use extra thin. I wouldn't trust normal super glue,
so I'm gonna see if the tube of 2-part epoxy I have is still usable...


The windows will need some work as well. Large seams that need filling. Which means I'd better paint this bit on the inside too.
Masking the windows off on both sides shouldn't be that hard, they're large enough...

And here's the parts together. The center console is still a loose fit, the rest is glued in place.  It's a bit simplistic,
but you're not going to be able to see most of it, so I guess it will have to do. The entry way doesn't have a hatch,
which I assume it would have. You wouldn't want your pilot to fall through it. No hatch included, and this sits directly on the main fuselage.
So that bit had better get painted black, and then I'll decide on scratching a hatch cover.


After dryfitting it in place, you can see what I meant.


And with the cover on. Nasty seams on all sides.


And a shot to see what will be visible. A real ugly center console. That needs work.


And the first actual problem. So far, it's merely annoyances that can be fixed with some patience.
In the image above, I have the cover tacked in place with Tamiya tape. When I pulled it off, along came large chunks of primer.


Now this thing had been cleaned already, perhaps I'll give it another wash. Maybe a rubdown with an old sanding sponge to give the primer a better
grip, but I don't recall ever having Tamiya tape lift up the  Mr. Surfacer primer coat. This is not good.

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Posted (edited)

Well, time goes on ever so slowly. And slowly, progress is being made.

First off, one of the few images I could find:


When I showed this, someone asked if that's a bison, and the aanswer given was 'basically yes with a different tail end'.
Well, they did a little bit more than just change the tail end:


Anyways, this update has 3 things in mind
-  the cockpuit itself needs to come together
-  there's this nasty issue of paint not sticking
-  and a surprise.

Let's start at the beginning.
The easy part is the cockpuit. there's gotta be something there, you're never gonna see it, so it doesn't matter too much.
Which is a good thing, because as you've seen the kit provided parts are a bit rough around the edges. So you slap it together,
put on a coat of primer, some paint and a little wash.




It will suffice.

Next problem: paint on the glassfiber resin. I washed the parts again, very very thoroughly, and then again.
And then I went at it again with the primer. By now there's also dozens of imperfections, air bubbles,
and a rather large step showing up that need fixing. But - at least the primer's staying on after masking.








It looks simple, but this took me the better part of 3 weeks...

Anyways, now for the first issue that really needs attention. If you look carefully at the photo I started with,
the Buran is affixed to the Bison via a trio of struts. And A-model have modelled this the same way: three struts.
The two at the back have a small locator tab and the Buran has two small holes. No way you can glue that properly.
At the front, there's one strut with a flat top, where the Buran sits on. No way that's gonna hold either.
Plus, I kinda want the Buran to be detachable for transportation reasons. And - if you look at the photo,
you'll see the Buran doesn't just rest on the front strut, the front strut actually inserts into a hole in the fuselage.

A-model gives you this:


So that tiny square is a panel that opens up, like a wheel bay door. Problem is, if I cut that out, the strut won't have anything to sit upon,
and there's no way to add some kind of ceiling or box or anything because this thing is given to you as a single piece.

So we break out the Dremel. Nice to see I didn't buy that thing for nothing as I don't recall ever using it.
Time for some surgery with the cutting wheel, and even though I'm doing this outside, a respirator and my glasses just in case.




Now this hole won't be an issue as the cockpit will completely cover it.


Then we cut out the little panel on the bottom




And then a slight snag. My plan was to glue a piece of plastic card onto the hole and let the strut rest on that.
But this fibreglass stuff is thick, little over a millimeter, and the strut won't actually reach the card before
the sides hit the fuselage and it won't go in any further.


So I need to make the strut a little higher. Fortunately, I have some square brass tubing which works.


But now when I glue in the plastic card, the strut won't go in deep enough.

A good thing we cut this thing wide open, so now we can actually reach inside.
Althought the sanding around that square hole was a nightmare.




And now it looks like this


That's more like it. I'll need to take a closer look at the two pegs at the back, but this has a good chance of
actually becoming a bit stable for display purposes. Although I doubt it will be stable stable....

Last for this update:  there's a rectangular hole in my cockpit floor


Now I'm by no means a Buran expert, but I'm thinking it's some kind of access hatch. Which now peers straight into the fuselage and
the ugly bits in there. Which you will never see but it annoys me. So that had to be fixed as well. So grab some styrene strip,
build a little box and paint it black. The box sticks out at the bottom, but since there's a big gaping hole there now,
that won't be a problem.




And by now the chairs are glued in, and we can theoretically glue the cokcpit in place, but the roof/window/canopy part in place
and but a new tube of filler to get that to sit flush against the rest of the fuselage. that'll be fun.....

Edited by PSM
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Posted (edited)

Now technically I doubt I have the space to properly display this beast once done, but that's why I want it to be
with detachable wings and Buran. The Buran is easy, I haven't figured out how to do the wings yet, and make sure
it looks good when attached. No magnet is going to hold that wing in place....

Anyway, progress is made. And brick walls are hit. Let's start with progress.
I glued the Buran cockpit in place and glued the canopy in place. With a considerable dallop (sp???) of 2-part epoxy glue,
and then a large amount of superglue to fill the seams. It ain't pretty, but it's on.






And a good 2 days later, we hit it with the roughest grit FloryModels sanding stick.




It feels pretty much there already, so blast on more primer to see how bad it is.




Actually, not bad at all. The stark line on the top is to be a panelline anyway, and there's a few holes in the left corner of the bottom photo.
The rest is pretty much done. It needs some smoothing out but still, a lot better than I had hoped it'd be.

Onto the next problem. The aft landing gear bay needs to get started on. So first up, is cutting them open.
Fortunately, I ran into some saw blades for my Dremel, because otherwise this will be hell. Judging from the look of the blade afterwards,
it might have overheated a bit.

Note: please for pete's sake do this outside, with eye protection and with a respirator. The sawdust flies everywhere,
and despite my glasses, which technically are regular and not safety goggles, I still got some of that dust in my eye.
Nothing a good cry won't fix, nothing like tears to clean the eye out...








And then it's time for cleanup.



And btw - yes - that muck you're looking at has to be sanded smooth for the wheelbay to actually have a chance of fitting.
No way to get a sanding stick or Dremel in, so that's going to be require some old fashioned 80grit sanding paper and a lot of
elbow grease.

Looks good. However, this is how my Flory stick looked after a few minutes of wet sanding:


This stuff eats sanding stick for breakfast. Good thing the good people at Breveco have a 2day delivery, even in these times.

And then we meet our big friend Mr Brick Wall. First all, let's get the parts needed: a roof, a front and back, two sidewalls, and some piping.




True, it's white so you can't see a whole lot yet. Trust me when I say it's rough. Some parts have locating pins.
The other part doesn't have locating holes, it has raised detail where the hole is supposed to be,
so you need to drill those out first. I don't know how well you can see it, but this part is supposed to have 4 locating holes.
You see two, and the two raised thingies.


And this is what the back is supposed to look like in a bit. When I'm done. Which is not a bit, but several hours in the foreseeable future.

I hope.


Not exactly brilliant.

Anyway, time to see. At first glance, you'd think you would just build the whole wheelbay and slide it in through th nice hole you made.

You would be wrong, as this is what the good designers over at A-model have thought up:


Oh dear. Not only does it have to go in through the front - only the back and roof go in through the front -
the rest gets built in situ when this part is solidly glued in place.

And with the fit issues, that's gonna mean issues. Big ones. So let's see, can I get it in through the bottom?




No. Maybe I can slide the whole assembly in through the front....


Guess again.  * sigh *

Oh well, let's solve that problem another day. Let's get on with some detailing, because I didn't like the detail on the parts.
So some was cut off and replace by styrene or lead wire or metal wire. As if this kit didn't need enough TLC already.














The metal part here is my replacement for the plastic part next to it....






And now I really need to start thinking on how to assemble this, because I ran into yet another issue.
If I'm supposed to glue the roof and back wall together first (see instruction #4 to do that) and then slide that in
(instruction #5 tells you to do that), then how am I supposed to do that if the back wall doesn't even fit through
the flippin hole????


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Wow Patrick - that is some progress... hats off to you...:thumbsup:


Are you going to try and build the wheel wells in situ ?? - you're a brave man.....


It's probably too late now - but I took this photos of a mockup Buran cockpit section in Moscow in 2008...




I'll be following with interest.....



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Wow. Just wow. This is one of those kits (or a combination of kits) that I would like to build. In a perfect world.


Will be following with great interest!

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12 hours ago, Flankerman said:

Wow Patrick - that is some progress... hats off to you...:thumbsup:


Are you going to try and build the wheel wells in situ ?? - you're a brave man.....


It's probably too late now - but I took this photos of a mockup Buran cockpit section in Moscow in 2008...




I'll be following with interest.....



Interesting pic. I wonder how the pilots are supposed to get into their seats? There's no clearance on either side. Maybe they slide out? Manning the thing under gravity must be a real project. I suppose the USA shuttle had the same issues to deal with.


Anyway, you've certainly got your hands full with this kit. It's great seeing how you have managed to overcome each obstacle. Press on!

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Posted (edited)

Time for another progress report. Judging from the amount of photo's perhaps I should do this more often.

Also - it's going all over the place with this build. Can't be helped, a lot of stuff needs to be done, and a lot of thinking required that puts subassemblies on hold.


First part of this update is progress on the aft wheelbay. The detail is mostly there, but it's not very cleanly molded, not very sharp, and all a bit fiddly which makes cleanup a nightmare because the bits are so fragile. And the fit of course is mediocre at best. Last time I showed you the first bit of detailing. We have continued.

First I managed to break this bit



Which isn't a major issue since I planned on replacing it anyway. Good thing I bought a soldering iron long ago. Good thing it still works...








I'll probably add some more in here at a later stage, so far I've just tried to reproduce what was already there.

Also, after much debating, I finally came to a decision on how to insert the wheelbays. I found Flankerman's build on ARC, and he has
some experience bulding these monsters. Unfortunately, his build has been on his shelf of doom since 2010 or so, but there's a few things
I can take inspiration from (aka: copy). The best solution for the wheelbays is to cut the fuselage open, build the wheelbay, insert it as
a finished item, and then restore the damage.

So we take a wheelbay, and carefully and neatly cut a piece of fuselage off on a panelline. The offcut needs to be kept, as it will make
restoring the damage a lot easier if I only have to glue this bit in place and then fill and sand the join. I cut off a piece on one side,
that should do the trick, but if not, I can repeat on the other side. Again, this is the aft wheelbay, so repeat for the front one.






The roof there still needs some work.

Next item on the agenda: the cockpit.


Bulkhead, chairs, shouldn't be hard. Except the part where the bulkhead doesn't really fit and the chairs are...
well, it's because I know they're chairs, otherwise it'd remain a mystery.




The two halves aren't much better









Well, let's get to building some chairs.



Nice. those floor thingies fit into a slot in the bulkhead. But then you get to see a nice piece where that happens. So that's gotta be filled.
I doubt you'll see it once  we're done, but let's not take any chances.

Meanwhile, on some Russian forum, I came across another build of the Bison, and yet another build that never gfot finished.
The only finished one I've seen is on britmodeller, but that has only the images of the beast when done. Not all that helpful. Anyways,
this Russian guy had added a little detail to the chairs in the front. The two high ones have a mechanism with which they can slide down
for easy access. I don't know if that's accurate, but it looks nice. So, out comes the styrene.


Which when put together looks like this.


It's probably a bit out of scale, but it was a nice exercise. I should probably have tried my hand at making some more PE.

Last for this post, the glasswork. There's two eyes on the sides, which apparantly can be closed. Not sure if I wanna do that yet.
The glass for this is actually not bad.


There's also another window. With a little sanding it goes in, but there's still a seam. Not sure yet if I'm going to fill this
and sand smooth, or build the framework and then try to make the windows with PVA. I might have to try it out and see if
it works.



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Posted (edited)

Next up:  aft landing gear strut.


A lot of small fragile parts that need cleanup. And if you're like me and are worried if this is going to be strong enough to carry the weight
of the Bison and the Buran on the roof.... especially since the real thing has a metal pipe that's the actual strut, and in this kit, those are two parts.
That don't touch. (parts 134 and 142)




And all is to be supported by part 138. Which I neatly broke in two because there's a big sinkhole right in the middle where
142 attaches.



So I drilled hole in both ends, stuck a pin in it, and superglued the whole thing together. At least it'll be a bit stronger now than it was.


Still fiddly


So 142 slides in here, 134 slides in the other end, and there's a bit that connects both. That goes like this.


It could be just me, but those two supports look like they're too short. By now, I also drilled holes in 134 and 142 and stuck a pin in it
so at least they're actually physically connected as well, hoping that it will be a bit stronger then.

So more surgery needed.








It's not 100% straight, but if I'm reading the instructions correctly, that's not going to be a problem.
If it is, we'kk just cut the brass off and do this again.

Next problem. I was looking at how to fix the wheelbay doors in place when I noticed this



Dear mr A-model, can you not come up with a single part that first properly? So, staying true to this build, I decided building them from
scratch was probably going to be easier than trying to lengthen what I have. Which was also very very crude and needed work anyway.

So bring out the styrene sheet again. What you see below is attempt #3....

First, I'm thinking a double layer of styrene as base, then another piece over the top ina  curve. And the keep it in a curve,
some formers shaped appropriately. Then use brute force, superglue and kickewr to bend it and keep it in place,
and once dry, a rought grit sanding stick and perhaps some filler if need be.














Now they need some primer once the filler's dry to see what we have. And to figure out how to attach them, the instructions would have
you use 2 tiny hinges per door. I doubt those would even hold the weight. Oh yes, and this piece to keep them in the correct place.


I can't even clean that up properly, so that's also gonna have to be scratched.

And lastly for today: the intakes. They don't have to look nice and all, since I plan on using FOD covers. I want a big brass rod going through
to ensure the wings fit properly because I don't trust glue and those two pegs per side. And I think you'd be able to see it. Or maybe not.
Anyway, if I do plan on using FOD covers, I have another problem to solve. This is what A-model gives you.


Actually they don't look all that bad. But where the heck did I leave the other one. Yes, the other one. This is 2x for intakes and 2x
for exhausts. And this beast has 4 engines.

Alas, A-model only provided me with one sprue, and according to the instructions, this sprie is a single, not a double. So they basically
give you FOD covers for one side of the aircraft and screw you. * sigh *

Anyways, the lovely fir of the intakes speaks for itself. Until next time.














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I can see where you are going wrong PSM......... You are spelling 'Amodel' incorrectly !!!   :whistle:


It's all one word - capital letter 'A' - followed by lower case 'model'.....


No spaces, no hyphen, no capital letter M - just a single word 'Amodel' - it's right there on the box!!!


On a more serious note - you are doing great work and I admire your progress :worship:


Keep overcoming all those obstacles - it is very character-building and I'm following with admiration....



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Posted (edited)

I need to get this aft wheelbay thing solved before I can move on.


First off, lets get the two parts of the roof together, by giving it something more to hold on to
that just the thin parts that fit together.







I finally figured out how this works. You build up the box of the wheelbay, then you build up the gear strut,
and if you do it right, you can just slide said strut in when all the build is done. Which will prevent things breaking,
which is good. So, on to the parts that do the sliding.




Drill out some holes, not sure if I'm supposed to but still.




Then the whole things gets a coat of primer




Followed by AK's Dark Aluminum




The strut itself, and attached to the sliding bit






And later, when all is in place, it's supposed to just slide in this way




Next up: more work on the endless supply of holes and damage on the fuselage seamlines and wing seamlines.
Lots of superglue and filler.








But alas, we're getting there, but not done yet.  The only problem is that everytime you take a sander to the filler,
you open up more airholes in the material 😞






And the wing's even worse. Tiny airhole, material looks weak, so you put your nail to it and bang. Woops.










And since it's completely hollow, the regular superglue doesn't really do much, it just flows off before you can even
hit it with kicker. This was done using copious amounts of 2-part epoxy glue which is a lot thicker. But even that didn't
get the job done in one go.


In the mean time I also fixed the broken off bits up a bit. You shouldn't see much of them in the end, but I'd rather
fix them and have that not be necessary and not do it and run into issues later when I can't get to them anymore.








Vertical stabilisers are getting the same treatment, and then I notice this




Those hinges are very very much not similar. So there's basically three options:

- keep as is and hope people don't notice

- try to fix it by getting rid of some of the material to make them more similar

- cut the whole rdder off, get rid of the hinges and rebuild them


I'm thinking the third option is easiest, but extra work. And before I can even try I need my order of CMK razor saw blades
to come in, because the only one I had shattered when cutting out the fuselage strips to make room for the wheelbay.

The gear bay doors are done. not perfect, But I'll take it.




And then the last for today: I think I've figured out how I want to attach the wings.
The plan is easy but requires some precision drilling of holes, and I don't have any fancy equipment at my disposal.
So that will be fun.


First off, I want two 4mm brass rods to go in where the red is. Then, I add 3mm brass rod where it's blue, and they'll be
sticking out of the wing the same length as the red rectangles, so they'll basically stick through the entire fuselage.
Then the green will be 2mm brass rod. If done well, it should all slide in nicely, and provide a pretty stuff construction.
But things need to be perfectly aligned, or this is never going to work. And there lies the problem which I have not yet figured out.

The purple bits are going to be magnets, so that when the wings slide into the fuselage, the magnets will keep them together.
After that, I can simply detach the wings for easy and safe transport.







In theory, this will work.....



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You're doing some great work there PSM - the fibreglass resin moulds seem to be at the end of their useful lives with all those short-shot holes to repair.


My 3MD had a much better surface finish - I didn't have to do that much repairing :- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/modl_3md.html


(I can't believe I started it TEN years ago - and it still isn't finished!!!)


BTW - I crawled up inside the wheelbays in the example at Monino - the pics are at the bottom of the page linked to above.....


Keep it coming PSM - your work is an inspiration.....



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Nice photo's. The aft wheelbay is pretty much together now, not sure if I can do much in there anymore but I'll have a look. I'm working on the front one now, so plenty of room there. Thanx!

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  • 4 weeks later...

after my previous major update, on April 29th, I'd promised myself not to wait so long until the next update.

Guess what - I failed. It's been a whole month to the day, and I have 112 pictures of the past weeks worth of work to show for it.

But relax, I won't throw them all at you in this one update 🙂

Unfortunately, the daily live shows have come to an end today, which is sad since there's no way I would have been at this point without them. I need them to get my daily dose of a good 2 hrs bench time 🙂

Anyways, I've been working on the gear, gear bays, joins of wings to fuselage, even more filling sanding filling and sanding on the wings and the fuselage (and still not done...), intakes and exhaust area, and cockpit section. The only thing done at this point is the wheel wells, so I'll limit myself to that in this update. And that's still a good 50+ photo's to go through 🙂

To start off, work has commenced on the front gear strut. Which is rather different from the rear one. This first together, than it goes on to something else, and well - all is very fiddly.


So I added some more brass rod to make things a bit more sturdy.





This is the actual strut, and that U shape fits onto a horizontal bit to which the wheels will attach. Very weekly. More brass rod needed.



And that should leave you something like this.


Note that even more rod was used to secure the vertical bit the the horizontal bit.


And to cover up the end pieces of the rod, I punched out two circular discs using my punch-and-die set that I bought at least 10 years ago yet never ever used before.



In the end, this didn't work out since the holes were slightly misaligned so I kept breaking bits. In the end, I just glued the whole thing together.

But, at some point it lookes like this:


The front strut also has a support beam (2 actually) in the wheelbay, and one of them is supposed to fit with two stubs into two holes.
Holes that don't exist and stubs that are so short it won't stay in, and so I grabbed the brass rod yet again.


We'll get back to this piece later.

In the mean time, back to work on the aft gear bay. It was pretty much done, until I saw some pictures.
If you remember, mine looks like this when you look at the side:


The left side of the image is the front, so I guess that makes the side farthest away the starboard side wall. There's two things of note on that wall:
- the openings with the yellow pipe, and the X to the right of it. Now the wall closest to us also has these holes in it, and there's supposed to be something behind there
to fill those holes. For which we recreated the kit parts, and our representation looks like this:


And while true - it's better than what we started with, it's not much like this


And so I decided to recreate something a bit more detailed for both walls.
Firstly, that means this completely ndisfunctional connecting bit has to go.


And that leaves this


The weird shape is the backside of that bit with the X on it, which is supposed to represent some metal box attached to the sidewall. No metal box on my kit.
Oh well, we'll get to that too. But this needed to be straightened out a bit.


And then the fun begins.





You can see I also added some bits and bobs to the sidewalls of the front wheel bay here, which were rather empty. I'll be adding some wiring to that as well.
After which it will look like this


Now, looking back I didn't do this the easiest way possible, as with all the card glued into place, it's hard to make the pipes go all bendy inside and still
fit them where you want them. Oh well, you'll hardly see any of this at all, so I'm perfectly happy with it. It looks decent, and a lot better than what I had.

And here, the thing is glued into place.


Remember I mentioned that metal box? In the photo I saw, that was green so it stands out. Good thing I have a decent supplu of plasticard

First draw it on paper to make sure it sized correctly (and yes, that is the actual shape of said box)


Then glue some stuff together, here side by side with that addition to the walls


And finally we get this


And when it's in place, it looks like this:


So much for that.

Onto the wheel bay box itself. All parts were painted with Ak's aluminum.


After which it was decided that it's very very bare, and so needs detailing.
you've already seen that happen.

So all that's left now is to show you the photo's of the finished wheelbays. With all the detailing added from the spares box, and the wires, and such.

At this point, my workbench looked somewhat cluttered....


Now - lots of pictures.









At this point, before gluing the wheelbay completely closed, I needed to put in that strut you saw earlier. There's another bit that supports that to the roof of the
wheelbay, and that together is all that holds the strut in place. Not a problem. But when you turn it around, that is all that carries the weight of this model.
I'm not convinced that's going to work., but I have some time left to consider my options.

That however did not apply to this part:


That's way too slimsy, and as you can already see, it's going to get a make over.



More pictures:









Finally, just for size - as a side project I built up this little cute mpoed thingie. It's in 1/35 scale, so scale-wise it's twice as large as the bison.....



Until next time 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just went through your thread and was cautious, at first, before continuing because you were really bashing A-Model ... then, looking at your skills to repair and build, you've impressed the heck out of me!


I've built a few Shuttles,  ( 1/144, 1/72, 1/100 ) all 40 year old kits and the fit is really poor, so I can relate to your issues ... but you've solved 'em beautifully!

This is a pleasure to watch come together! Thanx for posting and keep at it!





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Smallish update today.

The cockpit section's not completely done yet, but progress is made. As usual, parts fit is deplorable, and plans were made. And executed.

First off, on the side of the cockpit section, there's 3 windows. The clearpart didn't fit all that well. Not extremely bad, but still.


SO I pondered making a frame out of plastic strip, and ficing that nice. Then afterwards, make the windows out of PVA glue.



In the end, I thought the PVA glue might not work in the square windows. Well, not exactly square but still. Hmm.

Next up - when the fuselage halves are mated, on de underside there's a protrusion and more windows. I think this might be the worst fitting part of the kit unfortunately.

First I glued the clear part to the plastic.


And that's supposed to fit here


Hmm. These next photos don't do bad fit justice




Now usually, you glue the parts into one half of the fuselage, then glue them together. I had no hope whatsoever that would work here, and after many testfits
I decided it would be doable to glue the fuselage halves together first, and do everything else after. This also had the advantage that I could poor some lead
into the nost to prevent this one from being a tailsitter.

So first, glue the sidewalls in


Finalize the pilot bits


Glue some pieces together


Weigh out a good 60 grams of lead scrap bits we had lying around at school (that means everything in this jar)


And dump about half of that into the nose. All this lead in the very front should do the trick, but it didn't all fit.
So some will have to go back, and that means even more. This 60 grams would be enough, but no longer I fear.
My poor landing gear.


Well, with all that lead, superglue and PVA glue thoroughly dried it was time to glue in the instrument panel.


And then back to some windows. I'm not sure how well you can see it, but this clear parts doesn't exactly fit. And so I took some advice from Phil,
and just grabbed a sanding stick, beat it into submission, and cleaned it up afterwards.




I also got the window thingie on the bottom done. Tactics were the same - sand the part and the fuselage until it fits somewhat flush, glue it in place,
fill the holes with styrene filler, and then sand the heck out of it and polish it up again. The front window will be see through, but you won't see into
the fuselage. There's another clear part glued on top that will be inside, and I decided to frost that up with a few swipes of a sanding sponge.
Probably not that accurate, but it looks nice and prevents people from being able to see the mess inside 🙂




All that's left now is the two eyes on the side (am I gonna do some eyelids, probably), the window on top and the seat that's needed there.
The main canopy is on now as well, with a hige step between it and the fuselage, so that's being fixed and will need a few days drying time between
evaluations. more on that next time.

The amount of parts left in the box is becoming very very low....



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And with this update, I'm out of new photo's again 🙂


This update deals with a lot of time wasted unfortunatelt 🙂


First off, I'm definitely going ahead with my plan to make the wings detachable. Which requires holes drilled in the fuselage to accept brass rod,
but also in the wings so they can slot in. And that requires precise drilling. Which is not my forte. Which shows.

My best effort means marking the hole in the fuselage that I drilled




The two black lines are visible when looking from above




And then you can pass the lines onto the wings when holding them into place




This is roughly the idea




These are the 4mm pieces that go into the fuselage and wings. I n one wingslot I'll glue a 3mm piece, and in the other a 3mm piece and a 2mm piece.
The other wing will get the same, but will only get the 3mm piece where this wing ahs the 2mm piece. That way, when sliding the wings into place,
both rods in both wings and the fuselage will all carry 3 pieces of brass rod: 2mm in 3mm in 4mm. That should mean it will be pretty solid.
I hope.


Now I'm not sure if it's slightly off (it probably is because without the rod it fits slightly better) but I'm left with a small gap.




There's also a step on the bottom when the top is flush. So, I need to fill this gap in a way that won't fix the wing into place.
Fortunately, I've been watching some Garage Kit YT channels (in preparation for my next GB entry), and that's given me a tip on how to do that.

More later!


Both wings held into place






And looking from the top to see if they're not terribly whacked




I can live with this. I absolutely can.


Next up, I thought I'd add some magnets to fuselage and wings to help keep them in place. So, another few holes drilled.




But with the magnets in place, alignment is off. One of the magnets is slightly misaligned, and then you're completely screwed.
Of course the brass rod will keep it in place so it won't be this bad, but I'd rather not. And so I even spent another
2 evenings hacking the magnets back out.








Oh well, I'll have to try this again sometimes to perfect this idea.


Next up - repeat for the horizontal stabilisers. They only need 2 pieces of rod in the fuselage and 2 in the stabs, so should be easier.










Next item on the agenda. Intakes. I'm still not sure if I want to show them, or use the (ill-fitting-so-need-to-be-replaced) FOD covers.
So I glued the laves together, destroyed another Flory sander getting it smooth enough to actually fit into the holes in the wings, and then
was left with huge seams on the inside and no real way to sand that properly. So I grabbed an old trick: pooring in white latex.






The idea works, but I think it was a little too thick...




And then get out more sanders to get rid of the excess of latex.








So this took am evening to poor, a good week to thoroughly dry up, andother 2 evenings of sanding.

And then I decided to bin them, because one of the rods for the wings is poking out the wing, so I can't use the intakes without you being
able to see that piece of rod sticking out. Oh well.

Fun bits.


Remember all that sanding on the top of the fuselage seam?


These are two photo's taken holding it against the light, looking into the aft wheelbay and aimed at the window. On the first photo,
you can practically see through the fuselage. On the second, I hold my finger on the outside to block the light to make it more obvious.






Last up this update: the intakes and exhausts. I dread his, because it wasn't going in. First off, see how it sticks out.




And I can't get it to fit. On one side, the white plastic pretty much mates with the wing. On the other side, there's no way it's going in.




So I've been scraping and sanding at the wing bit to get the height down in the hope I can get it to fit somewhat decent. But after 3 evenings,
I'm giving up hope.


And then I notice this. Not sure how well you can see, but the bulges on the white bits and the bulges on the wings don't exactly line up.






And then I have this facepalm moment. I grab the other two pieces for the other wing (yes I had triple checked the part numbers) and look - it fits.
It goes on, the bulges line up.




A model screwed up the part numbers.








Well, now you know why a lot of time was wasted.....

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