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1/72 AVRO ARROW - the Astra Vacuform

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This'll be my first Vacu-form kit to build.

In this age of personal 3D printing of model parts, I'm a bit of a contrarian. Is it gonna fall together or is there gonna be a lotta work associated with this ... I'm gonna find out!  ;^ D


i'm a Real Space model builder and Aircraft, although a love of mine, are rare in my hobby ... but the Arrow, holds a special place in my heart. As a Canadian, this Aircraft, and it's history, fascinates me ...


A photo that I'd like to model is one, taken back then, of the Arrow with a visiting Vulcan in the background. If this turns out nicely, I'll build the new Vulcan and make a Diorama of these two iconic Aircraft.


So, let's get on with this ... here's the, uh, "sprue" shot ...




A nice 3-view of the Arrow is included and decals from Arrow Graphics ... I hope they're still good after all these years!





I'll start cutting out the larger parts, Fuselage, Wings and leave the NLG and MLG till a bit later ...





... just score and bend ...




... so far, pretty easy ... now I just need to sand off the extra thickness.





I was pleasantly surprised by the fine surface detail. I always thought Vacuform models were just thin, flimsy, no detail pieces of plastic.

This looks like it's gonna build into a very nice model!




Till next posting!



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Nice one, Pete! I'm in.

What are those tiny dimples which are scattered all over the surface? Have they got anything to do with the vac-forming process?

I've noticed they are there on my husband's Aeroclub 1/48 Vulcan B.2 vac-form kit.

Is one supposed to sand them off?

I'll be following your progress on this.




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Major Walt, I have a good feeling about this little kit!

Gwen Phoenix, those little pimples are, IIRC, evacuation holes. When the air is sucked out, it needs to go somewhere and these holes allow that to happen. I'll just file, sand them off.

Snowbird3a, if you still have that little model, I'd love to see it!  ;^ D



I'm progressing on this, there's a lotta sanding. And I've managed to sand off some of my fingertips so you'll see band-aids in some of these pix ...   ;- (


I'm still pleased with the engraved detail on parts, like this exhaust cone ...





This former for the front/cockpit section shows my ruff cut prior to sanding




After some quick sanding on 400 grit paper, there's a little lip that comes visible. I'll sand up to that ...




Wet sanding ... after sanding off some skin, I tried crumpling up some Duck Tape for some gription, and it worked quite well on these slippery parts




The tape works very well with these smaller parts





On the 2nd round of sanding, I drew a red line to gauge my sanding depth ...




I may have sanded too much off the Fuselage halves ...





I want the model to have its landing gear deployed, so I need to cut out the doors ... drill some holes and saw it out by connecting those 'dots' ...






The MLG bay part will get some detailing but first I'll need to file the opening so it'll fit.





.. test fit, file, test fit, file ...




Thanx for taking a peek ... till next posting!


Edited by K2Pete
To correct a typo
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Many Thanx Dutch! I've also built a couple of the 1/48 Hobbycraft kits and the build threads are here on ARC ... back in 2009 and this one, so far, is really a lotta fun!


I forgot a couple of images so here they are ...


The wings' trailing edge won't sand down more than this, so I'll glue 'em together and sand them to a nice knife-edge ... after installing the MLG bays.





The ruff cut  ... lots o' filing to come     ;^ D





I'll hafta sand down this MLG bay part by half to fit inside that really thin wing. I've already cleaned up the cut    ;^ D




Alright, that's it for now!





Edited by K2Pete
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5 hours ago, K2Pete said:


Snowbird3a, if you still have that little model, I'd love to see it!  ;^ D

Thanx for taking a peek ... till next posting!


Well, since you asked;


here it is with a LS Pitts Special for size comparison



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Thanx for the peek Snowbird3a ... I now know fer sher that the Landing Gear can be built to look good!



This is gonna be an image heavy post ... this being my 1st Vacuform build, I'm making a lotta mistakes and I wanna show 'em to y'all. Please, feel free to make suggestions and comments on what to look out for. 


An interior view of the  cockpit section, the fwd former is too big ... 




... an end view ... that's quite a gap ...




Yes, the instructions say to split the formers apart, but I didn't understand the 'Why" ... now I do ...




I cut the fwd former in half and filed it down by about 2 mm ...




The aft former was already glued in so I had to file it down in situ ...





... ah-h-h-h, that's much better!




The result ...





The MLG bay needs a lot of shimming. I like to fill the gaps with styrene scraps and will trim after they dry.




Hold it up to the light to see where I need to fill some holes ...




The Exhaust cone with the gusset installed as well as the inside bits to indicate the engine.




I'll file and sand down the ends to make 'em flush ...




The wing undersides with some detailing in the MLG bays. I still need to do some fine tuning like filler putty and still more sanding.




That's enuff pix, onto the next posting ...


Edited by K2Pete
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To cut out the NLG door, I used a bit of Dymo tape as a guide and followed the scribed lines on the kit




I sanded off too much of the Nose Gear Bay and needed to shim it. I used .040" scrap styrene.




I also added a thick shim to the inside surface of the MLG bay to add some thickness to the Wing when it gets assembled.




Cutting off the ends of the Fuselage halves ...




And the former is too big, again ... so I shall file it down to fit ... Yes, I see the cut line indication but didn't understand why it was there ... experience, ah, 'tis so valuable!  ;^ D





Starting to assemble the subassemblies and I see this misalignment. The Wing tip is formed funny ... I coloured it Red and checked the alignment numerous times ... it wasn't me this time. But it'll be an easy fix.




The Red tip is visible at the top.




The subassemblies so far ...




And I filed and sanded off way too much off of the STBD Wing where it mates to the Fuselage ... 




... so I added a shim, 0.040"  and will sand and make it fit. The Port side too!




Okay, I thought there were more images ... but they're all here!  ;^ D


Till next posting!



Edited by K2Pete
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Putting the fuselage halves together using some styrene strip to strengthen the joint.




I also used some 0.010" strip along the sides and after it dried, some Tamiya Putty





The underside where the nose meets the fuselage there's a step ... I'll file down the fuselage former. by a millimeter, first ...






File and sand the edges of the intake




Per the instructions, I added a sheet of 0.015" styrene to the back surface and sanded that down too





On to the Landing Gear ... the Nose Gear strut is in clamps in the background and the Wheels are separated ready to get sanded down ...




I won't use the kit's parts but will rebuild the MLG with Aluminum tubing. I'm using 3 different diameters of it.

It'll be nice and strong to support the weight and I'll detail it as much as I can ...




I'll start putting the sub-assemblies together ... still, only about 55% done.


Till next post!


Edited by K2Pete
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Thanx Dutch! One of the main things I like about this hobby is the thinking part ... "... so this doesn't fit, how do I get it to fit? Or, this part doesn't look right, how could I correct it?" ... And then using my hands instead of 'clicking and dragging' ... styrene dust all over my glasses ... ah-h-h-h ... good times!  ;^ D



I had sanded off too much on the STBD wing so I stuffed a couple strips of styrene, snugly, into the gap and glued it to the wing and fuselage and clamped 'er down ... 




... and trimmed it.





It turns out that I've sanded too much material from EVERY part   ;^ P   and this Aft part was a little too low. I thought of sanding and filing it down to match the Wings but that didn't sit well with me, so, while sleeping, it occurred to me to remove this part and shim it with a strip of .010" styrene ... and it worked a charm!

The Red Sharpie indicates to me, where I need to file or sand ...


Removing it ...







... the shim ...





And that Aft piece now stands a little proud and the Exhaust cones won't sit flush, so I'll sand it smooth ...





With that done, back to the MLG ... the Torque links are ruff cut out.





... and with all the various struts and links. I just need to give them a fine tune sanding and then glue 'em up.




It's almost time to glue up all the subassemblies and get to the final sanding steps ...


Thanx for stopping by!


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Thanx Gents!

Geoff M, except for the amount of sanding and shimming, it's just like a 45 year old injection kit!  ;- D

Good to see ya here CJ!

RichB63, this is my 1st Vacuform and I'm really enjoying the effort ... I may do another one now that I know what NOT to do!

Major Walt, believe me, this in no snap, I should have invested in Sandpaper stock ...  ;- D



The Nose Landing Gear needs some lovin' too ... added the Torque Links and an actuator mount 





... the other side 




And that Trunnion is wrong so I'll quickly make another. It will not be seen inside the NLG Bay. 

Gotta nip this top part.





The intake splitters need a notch patched ... I'll use some 0.040" round rod and file it down




The ruff patching ... it'll get filed and sanded ...




...and filed ...





The seams need some attention ... time for some putty ...





The gap between the lower fwd spine and front section was filled with a piece of scrap styrene ... I guess I sanded off too much ...





Glued it and clamped it down. The step at the joint will get attended to, later ...





Edited by K2Pete
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The fwd spine was glued down and this rather large gap was at the aft end ... I thought it was supposed to be flat, the tail needs to be placed on it ...




But after finding some photos, there is a downward bend to this area, just not as pronounced as it is here. I may have to fill a gap between this spine and the vertical tail ... so I glued and clamped it to make sure it didn't spring back up





A long gap at the wing root was patched with 0.005" styrene strips




After the aft spine was glued down, there was a gap formed where this plastic bowed up.

I stuck a couple of strips of very thin styrene in between. 




As you can tell, I'm doing a lotta sanding and filing ... after gluing the Intake splitters, a small step appeared. It was too big to file, so I'll patch it and sand it. 

But there's also gaps between the fuselage and splitters ... those'll get patched too.




... a nice, crude patch. filing and sanding will make 'er look pretty!




The stinger at the aft end doesn't seem to fit ... at all!

The exhaust cones don't line up ... 






And after patching and trimming the spine, I'll attach the tail.

The locator pegs are piano wire




And there will be a gap that'll need to be filled under the vertical tail's aft bit.




Thanx for taking a peek!


Till next posting


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Many Thanx Gents! 

This isn't a lotta work, for me. This is where I get my fun from this hobby. Every kit i've built has had a lotta scratch building done to 'em, so this little effort, is easy stuff.


For instance, this kit had maybe 40 pieces, and I added 2200 more ...  ;- D




And this 1/48 Hobby craft Arrow ... highly modified NLG and MLG, and the Weapons Pack area opened up, plus I had built the Iroquois engine too ... nothing but FUN!




... anyway, enough of the trip down memory lane ...  ;- )




This little fairing had to be done ...




Here's a reference photo of the aft end and you can see this little structure on the exhaust cone.





... I'll just file and shape it.




The Tail didn't seat correctly, so I glued on a patch and will file and sand ... some more!




... file ... test fit ... file ... test fit ... file ...




... and that'll do nicely!





While dry fitting the 'stinger', I realized that the Engine Bay has a HUGE gap between the top and bottom halves.

So, with a small length of 0.010" styrene and a cone calculator, a little patch was made ... it'll block that gap.





The cone calculator suggested the arc cut out you can see in the background.




After the styrene patch on the intakes, I puttied it up and sanded 'em down ...




But there was still a gap between the spine and the wing. So a couple scraps of .005" , trim it, and it's done.





Edited by K2Pete
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I sanded off much of the surface detail so I scribed in the Weapons Pack outline




The 'Stinger' sits between the Engine Exhaust cones and it's made of a different resin. It's hard and brittle, but it IS over 40 years old!

It didn't fit correctly so I added a couple scraps of styrene and filed and sanded it down.




... much better!




Added the Tail Data probes and the Nose probe. The Nose used a sewing needle and the Tail's were piano wire.




There was a tiny step where the needle met the plastic so I added a bit of styrene and will file it down ...




... and that'll do ... just ... fine!





She's glued up and now, the landing gear get my focus.

This'll get a coat of Flat White as its Primer.






This little kit is coming together nicely!




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