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44" AB update

JJL567

Alphans
Hi all,
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and new year. The forum hasn't seen much of me lately, although I do have a quick scan of the headlines every time I go for a quick surf.
I have been extremely busy with the AB! Those of you who saw it in October, probably remember it as mostly a white subject devoid of any panel detail. I can say that you will certainly not recognise it now!
As I have recently obtained much better reference photographs of Eagle 1 from the recent fanderson event and others, I chose to remove many of the panel lines I had applied, and correct them. This in itself, took quite a few weeks, so I spent some time going backwards in order to start going forwards again if you see what I mean.
Once this was done I started to apply the mixture of airbrushed panels to all four leg pods, followed by a dusting of Microgloss varnish (introduced to me by DX - what would we do without this guy? :thumbup:) and the application of technical decals supplied by DX. These decals are gorgeous, and there are enough there to cater for any mishaps should one go wrong! A final coat of Microflat and some very gentle weathering finished the task. All four leg pods are now complete in all respects!
Next the big passenger pod! Again, all the panel lines were corected to match my new reference photographs, and then the different shades of panels were applied. Lots of small decals here, which I used from the Hannants decal set of parallel stripes available.
Incidentally, use of a calculator was crucial through all of this, as using something to scale from featured on the relevant reference photograph you are using at the time, allows you to calculate sizes of small details such as panel line spacing, and even decal placement. Taking into account that the AB does have various inaccuracies, so where this applied a bit of draftsmans' licence was used. Having said that though, using scale calculations obtained I regularly did checks from other reference datums from the photographs, and was pleasantly surprised that inaccuracies were fairly few and far between!
The Alpha crests, again supplied by DX (superb), were of great help, as since each side of the passenger pod has two, these were used as scale calculation datums all the way.
When all the airbrushed coloured panels on the pod were finally complete, a coat of Microgloss varnish was applied in readiness for all the tiny decals (and there are many - have a look!). I found the Microgloss coat absolutely crucial, as it allowed the decals to sit down without any silvering at all. Very satisfying indeed, for that painted on look.
Next the decal solution was cleaned away, and the final coat of Microflat varnish was dusted on to seal in the decals and finish as required.
Have you seen the tiny orange Maltese cross on the port side of the pod?
This took some work, but it's on as well. There is a black cross on the opposite side too I believe. Interesting, as a recent picture of a launch pad posted by DX, showed one right there on the surface of the pad near the eagle! Can you shed any light on these crosses DX? :think:
As for underneath the pod, I charged my airbrush with a Hannants colour known as 'exhaust' and using some card as a mask dusted some lines and details on, again working from reference photographs available.
Only last night, did I screw in the four passenger pod 'feet' (which received a light weathering using pastels sealed in with Microflat) into position. Done!
This weekend, I begin panel line/panel application to the rear engine assembly. For the curved nature of panel lines on the fuel tanks I'll use Dymo tape as a guide for my fine Bic biro, first stuck to my forehead to rid it of it's sometimes over adhesive quality. My wife asked if she could pre-print a message on a piece, and leave it once in position on my forehead. When I asked what message she was going to apply she replied...

"Get some sleep!" :shock:

:(

Later

Jon ;)
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
The cross on the launch pad is four Sasco year planner stickers (triangles with rounded corners). The tiny orange clover leaf on the original Eagle passenger pod is hand painted in what appears to be orange Humbrol enamel.
 

JJL567

Alphans
Thanks DX. :)

I masked and airbrushed mine, and can confirm that Humbrol orange was a perfect match.

:)
 

JJL567

Alphans
To start with, here is a picture of the AB crew.
The pilots are the original resin moulded figures as supplied with the kit, which were really quite nice mouldings.
The surround to which they are fitted, I have copied from Eagle 1.


 

JJL567

Alphans
Here is the beak, which was supplied by Chris Trice. This was a joy to build.
I'm afraid it replaced the AB beak, but it was an absolute must.
I have made quite a few modifications/corrections to the panel lines and shapes since this picture was taken, but I think you get the general idea.
Docking clamps are all scratch built from brass, whilst sensor dishes are those supplied by Chris sprayed with Alclad.
Decals were supplied by Chris also.
The beak you see here is not finished, but WIP.


 

JJL567

Alphans
Some more views of the beak interior...



The docking piece I built, actually stays attached to the rear of the beak with a blob of blue tak! This way I was able to leave alone the moulded door detail on the associated walkway...



Once in situ, the beak looks quite snug when in position for a test fit...



And from a distance...




Finally, a view from above. Remember these pictures show the model devoid of any panel work, or final detailing. All of the panel lines and assorted tapes you see here I removed and did again! I'm never happy with anything I do these days - sign of old age I fear!

 

JJL567

Alphans
If I may commander, I would like to post a few more.

Thanks for your comments thus far!

Now for some detail shots. Namely leg pods. I worked from Eagle 1 as she looks today. These are stock AB kit parts, with a zero tolerance for air bubbles...




With careful panel line work, and using the superb technical decals supplied by Chris Trice, some interesting details can be obtained...

Here is the stock AB passenger pod...



and the end view...

Not forgetting that little orange clover leaf design recreated here...

Underside view...

Finally, some door detail to finish our tour of the AB passenger pod...

Enough already!

;)

Jon
 

JJL567

Alphans
A taste of what's to come...

I'll be showing you my completion work on the modified rear engine assembly.


To prove she stands alone and unaided, here is a scale shot of the big bird on my Fender strat guitar case.
she is heavy - over fifty pounds I believe!
(The Eagle you understand :jest: )


Bye for now

:)

Jon
 
Well must say great work my eagle is still in "dry dock"
by the way i have forgot what size the stands offs for the jigs need to be
(or maybe i never knew :D ) i have some stuff that is to big for the landing struts of the 12" but way too little for the 44" (stand off mat.)
or does it really matter? (the size of the stand off) well let me know i will try to be back on here too long

thanks before hand ( all the model that i worte about were from "The Box" i have 6 or 7 more upstairs :D ) saw one at hell-mart (a tank)
but didn't get it got too much going allready :D
 

JJL567

Alphans
Did I mention before that the AB has gas?

I was test firing the passenger pod base in Chris Trice's front room one afternoon, when James Murphy managed to snap this shot.
This photograph has been used with kind permission, so thanks guys!
(Note. I'll explain all about the jets later on in another posting)

:drunk: Smokey!
 

Mark42

Chief Eagle Pilot
Nice work and it did look great, though one word of warning to others. I believe airbrush propellant in the 1970s was Ozone-hole producing but otherwise harmless.....todays planet-saving green version is highly flammable, one lite cigarette and the blast could put you on the Moon! :D
 

JJL567

Alphans
Eagletwo, I'll post some information on the jet system shortly. ;)

For those of you who are interested I took a snap of the airbrushes I have been using on the Eagle, and thought it would be nice to feature it here...

Top is the Devilbiss Super 63 Model E which has a permanently mounted colour cup.
Centre is the Devilbiss Super 63 Model A which has no colour cup but a reservoir in the body of the gun.
Finally there is the Badger 100GXF, which I have modified to a 100GIL configuration (merely changed the needle and head from fine to medium)
Mainly I've used the Badger for most of the panel work, it's been an absolute joy to use! Not bad considering it cost me less than ten pounds off eBay! As for the other two airbrushes they've been great for all the general weathering work. These are just three of the many fine airbrushes available on the market today.
For larger paint jobs I sprayed straight from the can, whilst working to a strict preparation regime. As well as using the best paints you can, preparing the surface, working in the correct conditions, and using good technique are all crucial for the perfect finish.
I can remember starting out, one disaster after another until I got the advice I needed, and found out where I had been going wrong.
The difference was like night and day!

Anyway AB fans, here we have probably the most talked about part of the AB Eagle - the dreaded rear engine assembly:-

Frame sub-assembly (shown with upper and lower tanks in situ)...


Inside view. Note how I've used screws as opposed to pins to hold the two frame pieces together. The four holes you see are for the fixing screws which hold the entire assembly to the rear of the Eagle. The four studs are brass rod, for strength and location. These locate into pre-drilled holes in the rear framework section of the Eagle...

I found that by using screws the whole assembly could be held together very tightly. Should the need arise, they could be removed later on if a strip down for repair or modification is needed - you never know!
As the screw heads were visible between the frames on assembly, the heads of the scews were carefully filed down to the frame contour so they could not be seen. The cross head recess in each screw remained, should they need undoing at a later date.

Rear looking forward. Note brass centre tube, restrained by a single screw passed through a washer fixed with epoxy resin inside, at the other end...


Side view. The cross brace pieces were added after the two engine frame pieces were screwed together. Brass rod was used to pin each end of each cross brace. First one end of the brace was located on the first brass pin already in place. Next, the brace was pushed into position and the final brass pin was inserted through the frame to lock the brace in place. Finally epoxy resin was neatly spread around each stem for a neat finish.
If you look closely, the four brass studs which protrude and act as locators for the assembly when screwed to the rear of the Eagle, actually serve two purposes - they pin the cross brace ends as well! This makes it easy on stripping the assembly should you need to at a later date, as all you do is grip the studs with a pair of pliers and tug - no drilling required!


Next come the attachments. (Note all pipe work is brass)...

Note panel work is finally complete prior to decal application.


The angled hole in the frame near the mounting bracket of the upper fuel tank is used to pass a brass rod through which locates into a corresponding hole drilled through the spine framework of the Eagle. This works as a locator, and as added strength to the extremely heavy engine assembly...

It should be noted that the fuel tanks were both shortened to the correct length, and hollowed out using a Dremel motor tool!
For all dimensions I refered to the superb CAD plans by Chris Trice and Daniel Prud'homme, so I won't go into stating dimensions here.

It may have been quicker making new tanks from scratch, but the AB tanks are a joy as they're pre-threaded for the engine bell fixing screws...


Another crucial modification to each tank, was the addition of the brass channel for mounting the fuel tank to the frame, after removing the hideous brackets as standard in the kit...

The corresponding fuel tank mountings on the frame, I made from brass. These were soldered to brass airline tube and inserted in line in the frame using epoxy resin and brass stock for strength and location into the white metal.

To follow, decals applied, the engine assembly can now be assembled so we can view the results...

Stay tuned! ;)

Jon ;)
 

w8cmp

Alphans
Wow...having got this model to build and having studied the parts in detail, I'm stunned.

Where did you get the screws to join the frame sections together and what sort of size are you using ? I think I'll go down that route myself.

Lovely job on the panel work...
 

JJL567

Alphans
Thanks Chris.

The screws I used were purchased from my local DIY store.
I quote the label:-

M & J Products
5/8" 4g
Hardened Twinthread
Code 7251.

When drilling the white metal I always used a pin vice. I found things happen too quickly using power, with truly disastrous consequences!

The fine Bic pen panel lines, and lightly sprayed coloured panels have been coming out well on this model.
I find an application of Microgloss varnish, prior to the decal application and Matt finish, gives the lines and panels a gorgeous depth.

Jon :)
 

JJL567

Alphans
Well here we are again, more pictures to show! :pics:

I've managed to assemble the engine unit for some pictures to see the finished and detailed parts together for the first time.
This is stock AB, but remember this whole unit has been shortened along with the fuel tanks...



Close-up of the left tank. Note the tiny circular decal and the interesting panel detail which draws the eye nearer...


And the other side...



Close-up of the right tank...


And finally the rear end view...


The screws holding the tanks in position will be dusted with white primer during the final stages of finishing the model.
The panel lines do look rather busy, but when this unit is joined to the rest of the model things begin to look more balanced from a distance.
The final marathon is applying all the coloured stripes which encircle many of the cage pieces and spine framework. Some will be applied to the engine assembly also.
Now lets see, where's my masking tape?

More soon. ;)

Jon :)
 

Warin

Alphans
A work of art!

Beautiful. An inspiration to us all, I think.

I thought the panel lines looked a little TOO much, but how often will people be close enough for them to be anything other than a great detailing job?
 

Rdrunner

Alphans
Awesome as usual Jon :thumbup:

That last shot, reminds me of the walkaround pics I took of the F15E's
exhaust ( jet blast stains ) :D
 

JJL567

Alphans
Thank you for your kind words.

With regard to the panel lines and creating them using a fine biro pen, don't make the same mistake I did by leaving part of your model in direct sunlight otherwise they will vanish!
It's common sense of course NEVER to leave models in direct sunlight.
:)

I too am a jet fan, and remember standing and looking into the rear of an English Electric Lightning just after it had shut it's engines down.
Only thought that sprung to mind was...

'barbecue'... :hungry: 8) :beer: 8) :dance: :cheers: 8) :knockout: :zzz:

;)
 
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