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Old Nov 10, 2010, 04:12 PM
Crashing but learning...
Wildweasel09's Avatar
Brazil, São Paulo, Sao Paulo
Joined May 2009
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Buzz now is a fighter pilot!
Very nice F4U coming out of the production line.

Nelson
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 04:22 PM
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's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Joined Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by Wildweasel09 View Post
Buzz now is a fighter pilot!
Very nice F4U coming out of the production line.

Nelson
Hi Nelson,

You're very quick! I like buzz in the plane. He looks pretty OK in that place. I also like the way the paintjob turned out. I have been trying multiple shades of green and grey when I got the idea for intermediate blue. Then at the last moment I decided on russian green instead of another shade of green. I also used the russian green on the FW 190 desert. It looks very natural. I am looking forward to seeing the plane in daylight.

Robert
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 04:36 PM
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Joined May 2010
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I am intrigued to find out how you make the canopies. That to me is by far the most impressive achievement!
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 07:17 PM
Gary
gklein's Avatar
USA, CT, Sandy Hook
Joined Dec 2009
824 Posts
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Originally Posted by Rotatorus View Post
Hi guys,

I thought I'd show the progress on the F4U corsair. Ready for paint right now.

Robert
Robert, I like your work on the F4U. I have another Zero on order and am planning on molding my own canopy as well. But to match your Buzz I may have to resort to my Kevin Harvick, NASCAR racer! Found him in the dollar store.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 10:44 PM
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's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
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Clear canopy

Hi guys,

Pulling your own clear canopy isn't that difficult. You already have an example of what you want to make (more or less) in the smoked canopy supplied. If you build your own vacuum former (search web and these threads) you can even use it to make exact copies. This is not my way (yet) so I leave it with that.

So you have your example and you need to make a plug to form a new canopy over. For this I take a solid piece of balsawood. I draw the outlines of my canopy on that (bottom, front, side). I do this slightly bigger and I make sure it runs through longer ( you will be trimming it with scissors anyway).

Next you start cutting of pieces. You might want to use a little saw to speed things up in the beginning by removing the larger chunks. I normally start with the sideview If you have your rough slighly oversized plug you take 400 grid sandpaper and start sanding and finetuning. I normally use paint to put on detailing but you can also make some in the plug. If this is your aim, you might want to use a harder wood instead of balsa. It will be a thougher job though because you need a perfect smooth finish to get a a nice transparant canopy.

Anyway, you do this and you end up with a canopy plug. Now you need to pull your canopy. You can use packing materials (blister) but I like to use sheets you can buy from a hobby shop. I have bought mine in the states through the internet. I use a heatgun to warm the plastic till it gets soft. Be sure to do this slowly and evenly over a bigger surface. if you point at one spot you will end up with a hole. When the plastic is sufficiently warm (experience yourself by trial and error), take it with two hands (watch out, hot!) and pull it with some force over the plug (you might want to think about elevating the plug to make the pulling possible. Remember you use some force so it must be stable and strong enough). Your plastic needs to be oversized to do this. Take a dish towel and put it over the plug where the form is ok and with your hand keep the plastic in place (mostly at the backside). at the front you are likely to need some additional pulling and forming. Try to do it all with the first pull and use the other tip of the towel to hold or press out any deformities. If you think it is ok, wait until the plastic is cooled down, blow to cool or hold under cold running water.

Re-heating to take out a bad piece after cooling ofter ends in disaster but you can try. You can put markings on the plug to roughly show where the canopy needs to be good and which parts will be cut away.

If cool, cut the canopy free from the plug. As before cut the canopy bigger and then trim small pieces while trial fitting on your plane. Remember that you need a place to put your glue. You might want to sink the canopy in the foam of your plane a bit. You will need some extra plastic on that clear canopy in those instances.

I hope this is enough for you to start your clear canopy projects.

Robert
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 12:31 AM
Gary
gklein's Avatar
USA, CT, Sandy Hook
Joined Dec 2009
824 Posts
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Originally Posted by Rotatorus View Post
Hi guys,

Pulling your own clear canopy isn't that difficult. You already have an example of what you want to make (more or less) in the smoked canopy supplied. If you build your own vacuum former (search web and these threads) you can even use it to make exact copies. This is not my way (yet) so I leave it with that.

So you have your example and you need to make a plug to form a new canopy over. For this I take a solid piece of balsawood. I draw the outlines of my canopy on that (bottom, front, side). I do this slightly bigger and I make sure it runs through longer ( you will be trimming it with scissors anyway).

Next you start cutting of pieces. You might want to use a little saw to speed things up in the beginning by removing the larger chunks. I normally start with the sideview If you have your rough slighly oversized plug you take 400 grid sandpaper and start sanding and finetuning. I normally use paint to put on detailing but you can also make some in the plug. If this is your aim, you might want to use a harder wood instead of balsa. It will be a thougher job though because you need a perfect smooth finish to get a a nice transparant canopy.

Anyway, you do this and you end up with a canopy plug. Now you need to pull your canopy. You can use packing materials (blister) but I like to use sheets you can buy from a hobby shop. I have bought mine in the states through the internet. I use a heatgun to warm the plastic till it gets soft. Be sure to do this slowly and evenly over a bigger surface. if you point at one spot you will end up with a hole. When the plastic is sufficiently warm (experience yourself by trial and error), take it with two hands (watch out, hot!) and pull it with some force over the plug (you might want to think about elevating the plug to make the pulling possible. Remember you use some force so it must be stable and strong enough). Your plastic needs to be oversized to do this. Take a dish towel and put it over the plug where the form is ok and with your hand keep the plastic in place (mostly at the backside). at the front you are likely to need some additional pulling and forming. Try to do it all with the first pull and use the other tip of the towel to hold or press out any deformities. If you think it is ok, wait until the plastic is cooled down, blow to cool or hold under cold running water.

Re-heating to take out a bad piece after cooling ofter ends in disaster but you can try. You can put markings on the plug to roughly show where the canopy needs to be good and which parts will be cut away.

If cool, cut the canopy free from the plug. As before cut the canopy bigger and then trim small pieces while trial fitting on your plane. Remember that you need a place to put your glue. You might want to sink the canopy in the foam of your plane a bit. You will need some extra plastic on that clear canopy in those instances.

I hope this is enough for you to start your clear canopy projects.

Robert
I have done this technique before. It's fairly easy. But I was scratchbuilding and did not have a model to work from. This time I am thinking of casting a mold from the existing canopy.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 01:51 AM
ExPat
Aero Andy's Avatar
Spain, Murcia, Mazarrón
Joined Apr 2010
1,600 Posts
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Originally Posted by Rotatorus View Post
Here are the pictures. Judge for yourself if it was a succes so far. Decals and markings still need to be be applied.
Robert
Hi Robert

I really like your F-4U conversion to British colours, well done on a great job.
Andy
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 04:44 AM
TEAM HILLBILLY
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Pass Christian, MS
Joined Jan 2010
2,366 Posts
Robert,

Nice explanation of how you do your canopies. One thing I might add is once you get your canopy plug sanded to shape you can use a couple of coats of WBPU to "seal" it up then go back and lightly sand it down again. Makes for a tough smooth finish. Also before forming if you coat the plug with some automotive wax it makes releasing your clear canopy easier (especially useful if vacuum forming.)
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Last edited by Eagle34; Nov 11, 2010 at 04:44 AM. Reason: sp
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 09:25 AM
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's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Joined Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by gklein View Post
I have done this technique before. It's fairly easy. But I was scratchbuilding and did not have a model to work from. This time I am thinking of casting a mold from the existing canopy.
I have tried casting a plug in the past with plaster. The result wasn't what I wanted so I abandoned it. This was mostly because of my casting skills (airbubbles etc). I would be interested how you go about it. What will you use to smoothen out the cast?

Robert
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 09:25 AM
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Thanks Andy!
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 09:29 AM
Gary
gklein's Avatar
USA, CT, Sandy Hook
Joined Dec 2009
824 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotatorus View Post
I have tried casting a plug in the past with plaster. The result wasn't what I wanted so I abandoned it. This was mostly because of my casting skills (airbubbles etc). I would be interested how you go about it. What will you use to smoothen out the cast?

Robert
Standard wallboard spackle and then wbpu? Perhaps.There is also a poyester based filler.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 09:33 AM
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's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Eagle34 View Post
Robert,

Nice explanation of how you do your canopies. One thing I might add is once you get your canopy plug sanded to shape you can use a couple of coats of WBPU to "seal" it up then go back and lightly sand it down again. Makes for a tough smooth finish. Also before forming if you coat the plug with some automotive wax it makes releasing your clear canopy easier (especially useful if vacuum forming.)
Hi Eagle,

I know that sealing it will give an even better result. I just don't know what this WBPU exactly is. I have read about it often enough. Point me the way please. The wax is a good idea, I'll remember that for future plugs. I really need a hobby room. Then I'll make me a nice vacuum former. That is really more economic on the sheets of plastic and the detailing is better. Also thinner plastics can be used and the canopy will be light. We'll see what the future brings.

Just now I made some small decals to add to the plane, ROYAL NAVY markings.

Kind regards, Robert
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 09:48 AM
The Earth got in the way!
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United States, OH, Canal Winchester
Joined Feb 2007
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I picked up the Mustang at the JR for $14. Can't wait to get it out.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 10:39 AM
Gary
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USA, CT, Sandy Hook
Joined Dec 2009
824 Posts
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Originally Posted by Rotatorus View Post
Hi Eagle,

I know that sealing it will give an even better result. I just don't know what this WBPU exactly is. I have read about it often enough. Point me the way please. The wax is a good idea, I'll remember that for future plugs. I really need a hobby room. Then I'll make me a nice vacuum former. That is really more economic on the sheets of plastic and the detailing is better. Also thinner plastics can be used and the canopy will be light. We'll see what the future brings.

Just now I made some small decals to add to the plane, ROYAL NAVY markings.

Kind regards, Robert
Robert, WBPU stands for water based polyurethane (some also use water based polyacrylic - I think that both work fairly well). The most used brand available here in the States is Minwax.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 05:04 PM
TEAM HILLBILLY
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Pass Christian, MS
Joined Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by gklein View Post
Robert, WBPU stands for water based polyurethane (some also use water based polyacrylic - I think that both work fairly well). The most used brand available here in the States is Minwax.
Exactly. Thanks you beat me to it, LOL.
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