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1/72 AVRO ARROW - the Astra Vacuform

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I have about 5 of the Astra kits in my stash I also have 2 HC kits. 1 "New Tool" and the earlier offering with the actuator fairings molded on the wrong side of the wing. The fairings are an easy fix just cut them out and place them in the correct position on the opposite wing.


Very interested in your build! Are you going to use the kit decals? 






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Geoff M, Thank you, and yessiree, this is my fun. 


Emvar, thanx for stopping by! Hope to see you at HeritageCon, be sure to say "Hi'!

And yes, I'll use the kit's decals. I've met Howard, and a couple years ago asked him about these 40 year old decals. They SHOULD be good but I may want to spray some Clear over 'em. But I'll hafta test one or two. I'm gettin' close to using 'em!



She's got her major assemblies attached and is ready for the first Primer coat ...







With all that sanding, the tip of the Tail was rounded off so I attached a scrap piece o' styrene and will file it down





The MLG wasn't looking correct. The torque links had to be offset, so I took them apart, glued on a tiny block to attach the shock strut and bored it out





The photo's dark but i'm holding two Aluminum tubes, the smaller ID fits into the Bogie. Plus these scratch build Landing Gear will be nice and strong to support the model. Though, it'll spend most of its time on its back, in a box!  ;- D





I spread some putty along the base of the tail. and with a Q-tip dipped in Nail Polish remover, mild Acetone, smeared it into those little gaps. It sanded out real easy!





... and with some 240 grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel, I thinned the Exhaust cones a bit.




After much putty and sanding, I think this little model is ready for another coat of Primer and then a coat of Gloss White.

The NLG and MLG will get some attention and then final assembly, and Decals ( we Canadians pronounce this 'dekkle'  :^ D


till next posting!


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Thanx Dutch, but I'm just cuttin' and gluing some plastic. It's great relaxation in these bizarre times!



As I was looking at some MLG reference, I realized my MLG Bogies were too thick ... so I cut out a spare Bogie and instead of gluing the 2 halves together, per the instructions, I'll just use 1 half, and glue on a strip of .010" styrene ... which is between my fingers. The old one is in the clamp.


The 2 Bogies, before trimming, and the Aluminum Tubes will be inserted into the styrene tube which will be cut and trimmed and glued off-centre on the Bogie.







I had sanded too much material off of the wheel halves and was gonna try and get away with it thinking, no one would notice. But ... I would.

So, my Buddy, who designed and developed this Vacuform kit, had an extra kit and brought it over. I cut out new wheels and I'm happy.

New one on Left, misshapen old one on Right.




With the Furnace on, it's dry in the house and while I was handling the model it slipped outta my dry hands and got jammed between my workbench and compressor and the tail and spine got damaged. The air was quite Blue for a few minutes ...  ;^ D





... and after a few minutes and trying to think of a way to put some pressure on the Tail / Spine, thought of just using Tape ... and it worked nicely!





My Buddy also brought over a spare decal sheet so I could try out these 40 year old items to see how viable they are ... and ... uh ... they shattered.




But after a quick spray of Krylon Clear, they seem to be just fine!





The Landing Gear were re-built, Brake lines were attached using Copper Wire and they'll get a coat of paint.




With this extra / spare Vacuform Arrow kit in my hot little hands, using this 1st experience of making a Vacuformed model, I may just build another Arrow ... to, you know, reinforce my skills and compare the build time!


This little Arrow is gettin' close to the finish line!


Thanx for taking a peek!


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Emvar, I hope it looks good enough to show.

I'm gonna bring my old 1/48  Arrow too ... plus a bunch o' Real Space entries.   ;^ D



I fretted about the sanded off surface detail and how could I bring it back, but just a little.


I was watching cracker jazz's scribing 'tutorial' and these elements are too small for my big hands and lack of skill ... but, when I build my Real Space models, surface detail, like access panels, I create using Aluminum Foil strips. 

And I did it here too ... this raked angle shows no surface details. But my pencil indications are visible.








I'll hafta see how they look under a coat o' Paint.


A little Light Grey pre-shading and a coat of Gloss White from a can ... I'll touch it up with some Model Master Insignia White




Inboard of the MLG you can just see 2 little ducts or vents I installed.

They're just aft of the Speed Brakes, which'll get installed a bit later.




I'll let this cure for a day or two and add the landing gear and some paint on the nose and tail, but no Day-Glo Red. Then decal it.



And today, February 20, 2023, marks 63 years since our wonderful Canadian government cancelled this advanced aerospace project and cut all the flying aircraft up for scrap. This decision still sickens me. 




This Arrow is close to being done. I hope the decals hold up and it's smooth sailing ...



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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress has been a little slow because as they say, the last 10% takes 90% of the time ... or something like that!


I do NOT enjoy decalling anyway, but these 40 year old decals were a bear. Even though I had done a test and found out that they shattered in water, and then sprayed another coat of Krylon Clear, they were still very fragile and broke up on the model. So-o-o-o, I sprayed another coat, let 'em dry for at least a day and tried 'em out again ... cautiously.


Then, they did NOT want to slide off the backing sheet ... annoying, frustrating and I needed to take a few breaks, if you know what I mean ... !




My buddy Hugh had given me a couple of sets of decals and I used 'em all, due to breakage and shattering.




I didn't want to even try the large WALKWAY decals and while referring to my photos, I realized the Decals were too thick by 1/2. I mean, the lines were too wide ... so how on earth can I apply thinner lines? I had to think of a solution for a full day and thought of using thin tape ... and by jove, I had some 35 year old Graphics tape that was 1/16" wide ... GREAT!


I used the paper copy to mark out a guideline and applied the tape ...




... and it looks good enough for me!




I've got to do some surgery to my scratch built MLG because they may be a little too tall, but the finish line is just a hop, step and a jump away!


Thanx for visiting! 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Was that friend Sun Tzu? ... or Carrottop? Thanx Dutch!



For the last 10 days I've been struggling with the landing gear. I couldn't figure out a way to dry fit 'em so ... I just glued 'em on and hoped for the best. Well, as you can see the angle of the Bogies were way-y-y off.





... and I had to disassemble them both and think of a way to get 'em to look right. I wound up adding a bit o' styrene to the Bogies to lower the front wheels a degree or 2. Those added bits will get trimmed and fit in a second.




I also made new wheels from one of the extra kits I was given. The axles are short lengths of Piano Wire.




To dry fit the MLG I thought of using a short Tube, slicing it and using it as a hinge point for the MLG. Glue it to the wheel well and snap the shock strut in and out at my leisure!





... and installed. It worked very nicely! I was able to nudge and adjust the angle of the shock strut.





The wheels weren't seating correctly so I added a shim to the front of the Bogies. Trimmed and glued and it gave the wheels more material to bite into.





When I was happy with the shock strut angles, I added the final damper to the MLG.





The NLG also got installed. I added some styrene bits to this item too.





The last bit were the speed brakes.




And I'm calling this model DONE!


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Before starting this Vacuform kit and seeing how few parts were involved, I really thought it would take no more than 3 weeks to build.

It took 9 weeks. And as it's my FIRST Vacuform, I learned a helluva lot! The next one, not too soon though, will take advantage of lessons learned!


I'll bring it to the HeritageCon in 2 weeks but there are enough little flaws that it won't even get an Honourable mention ( I sure hope no Judges are watching this! ) ... but it'll be lovely to see an Avro Arrow on the table.












Hugh, you did a nice job developing this kit and I hope I did it justice!


Thanx for stopping by Gents ... I really appreciate your visits and comments!


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Nice work.  Great work on landing gears adn fit  --Vac. do require a bit more patience....You pulled it off effortlessly!


It has been a while since I have done a vac.  I have a 1/72 Wings XF-90 Penetrator to do  This will inspire me to bang on....on the F-90



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Gentlemen, I thank you!

CJ, kellyF15, Thadeus, Emvar, Geoff M, Dutch, scorvi ... I really appreciate you visiting and commenting.

Scorvi and kellyF15, as this was my FIRST vacuform kit, I had no idea what to look out for.

But it shouldn't be terrifying. The only issue I had was sanding off too much material. Before starting it, I thought, due to it only having 25 parts or so, that I'd get 'er dunn in 2 weeks ... but because of my not-too-careful sanding, it took that long to correct my errors.


But it was a fun build. I did get frustrated at my own poor planning, but it turned out alright. Emil and Joe will see it at HeritageCon in a week or so, along with one other Arrow of mine ...  ;^ D


But here's a few closer-up images. I do enjoy adding detail to my kits ...
















I'm already planning to build another Arrow, but it'll be the NEW tool, 1/48 Hobbycraft Arrow as a ... cutaway.

It'll be a long term build and I hope I live THAT long!  ;^ D


Thanx again Gents!



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Anytime  Vac. are a learning curve.  You started with a decent one.  I rec. people who havent done a vac. before to start with a decent one.  The Dynavector kits used to be the go to for a starter vac. BUT now there are less and less manufacturers of vacs.   


I now tell some people a good place to start is a Falcon conversion or even a Falcon kit.  It is good to have the detail parts in white metal or resin to expedite the process ...or a well stocked spares bin.   The old Combat vac. kits were to go to for 1/32 modleres that wanted certain types.  They are still pretty decent outlines...I think someone bought the molds and selling them with resin detail parts.


Good =to see your work! 



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If you need aftermarket for the 1/48th scale build let me know. I have several unopened oop North Star Hobbies cockpits. I paid just a bit over retail. I'll sell one to you for what I paid. 

We will definitely talk at Hamilton. I'll also bring the pit incase you want one.









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Emil, I've got a NorthStar Cockpit and the MasterCasters aftermarket stuff too ... so you don't need to trundle anything down for me.

I traded with a fellow ARC'er, Aurora Mark, just before this virus stuff hit the fan and I haven't seen him posting anything since then.


So I'm all set, even though half the Hobbycraft kit will be eliminated to see the guts!  ;^ D


Thanx very much Emil! I'm already looking forward to the show-w-w!

See ya there!


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