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44" AB update


Crikey, now there's a thought...another Eagle!


Whilst we're on the subject, you'll be pleased to hear that those spine straps have at last been dealt with. Read on!

You will remember that I used two screws for each spine strap, one into the lower cage, and one above it going through the spine framework. Both of these screws showed off their screwdriver slots for all to see, so I decided that the slots had to go!
Firstly the mild steel screws as supplied in the kit, had their slots soldered up and finished smooth. The slot in actuality, served no purpose as only slight finger pressure on the screw head was enough to prevent the screw from turning when tightening from the nut side with my new long reach socket tool.
The small brass screws below however, needed to be tightened fully home before they could finally be concealed using car filler.
Here we see the lower screws awaiting attention (the upper screw slots already filled)...

Illustrated below, an artists' palette knife is used to load filler into the recess, after the screws were removed, and their heads reduced down using a file, then reinstated, to allow room for the filler to bed in...

When dry, a careful sanding took place to smooth the filler to profile, ready for priming...

Masking tape is the Tamiya brand used exclusively in this build. Note the second from left strap, where the airbrush was gently pulsed to fill the now obvious minor flaws..

Again, my current number 1 airbrush used, is my modified Badger 100GXF...

Following this, the primer was allowed to dry thoroughly before gently sanding, and re-priming again to obtain a perfect surface ready for the top coat which is to follow.
Pictured below are the completed straps after varnishing...

I feel these look much better now, and I hope you agree!

More soon

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I thought I would post some more pictures of the beak, as I still continue to change the panel and decal work.

I'm never happy with anything I do!

More soon!



Forum Supporter
I'll second that!


That Eagle is a beauty, Jon....God bless ya for having the patience and the talent in making her. I just read your whole thread and I'm in awe.

BTW...I noticed the astronauts are both smiling...I'd be smiling too, If I were in that cockpit.



Hi everyone!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all.


Got some news so I have. As planned, I have finished this 44" monster bang on time.


Eagle is together! (Crikey it's enormous! :eek:)

Pictures are coming soon! (Photo shoot is next week)

Back soon,

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I thought it would be nice to carry on answering any questions that arise with regards to build problems associated with the 44" AB.
I quote below something I heard recently...

"My big challenge, apart from cleaning up the AB 44" framework, is getting the leg pods cleaned up so the angled surfaces are properly flat. There's a prominent ridge in the casting, and I really can't get my head around how I'm going to correct the problem cleanly with my limited arsenal of tools."

Let me say the examples in my kit were similarly, well, dreadful! :( My sympathies!

After rolling a leg pod (or two) about in my hands, and returning it (them) to the box on several occasions, I decided that the price tag of this kit was enough to give me the motivation to do something about it!
As an overview, the underside angles (or flats) of each of the AB leg pod castings were 'rippled' and distorted as a result of the casting process in which they were made.
My approach to this problem was using a file, carefully removing any resin material which was not supposed to be there. Firstly protecting the surrounding areas with a couple of layers of masking tape, so one careless pass with the file would only dig into the tape and not the resin. Although filling and making good damaged corners on resin castings is perhaps something that all veteran resin workman are good at, we don't need any additional work than that which awaits us on this occasion!
As with resin, work slowly,(and wear a mask!) and working by eye file each face down keeping your eye on the edges of the masking tape, which when scuffed will indicate that your filing is either at an angle, or you're getting near to finishing the removal of surplus resin material.
I know when I got to this stage I became suspicious that the appearance of the faces in some areas suggested that there were voids beneath the resin surface, that surface being only wafer thin and may break through at a later stage after all that painting and detailing work! :cry: Voids beneath the surface of resin must not be tolerated when it is so close to any detail, or an area that is likely to be seen, or otherwise.
I chose to pass a 3mm drill into the suspect area to see what happened and bingo, sure enough there was indeed quite a large void or hollow beneath!
Consequently I dug out every flat using small tools (mind your fingers here) and revealed all the fairly large holes which were sleeping beneath the resin surface!
I then broke away the shell like surround on each face, to leave a perfect 'pit' ready for filling in, and bringing the surface back to a flat.
Now, I had been given some super glue from work (no it's true!), which had just gone past it's use by date, so I opted to use this as a filler, the advantage being that it would run inside the voids and fill all the small caves perfectly. This is better than trying to campact car filler down, only for it to collapse in at a later date!
Additionally I sprinkled any waste resin pieces, or plastic bits inside to act as additional filling material and speed up the job.
Note these points however, when using super glue in larger quantities, this substance will generate heat, so do a bit at a time, and use more filling media if necessary (depending on the size of your voids) as mentioned above.
Secondly, for each face you will need to keep it perfectly level until the glue process is set. Don't get impatient and start to drip the glue all over the carpet when trying to see if it's dry. (I wear surgical gloves when painting and modelling, and it's easy to rip a paint or glue covered glove off, and put on a new one so you can get on.)
When this process is complete, you can load the remaining imperfections on each face with a lick of car filler (I scratched the surfaces with a sharp point to act as a key) and then gently return the surfaces to flat using sanding blocks. This stage is crucial, as you must NOT overdo things here. Preservation of the corners in these areas is very important so not to spoil the finished item.
The finish of these angled faces is up to you. I found that some additional filling and levelling work was needed to obtain a really good result, followed by a dusting of primer and so on.
But then again, I'm probably too fussy for my own good!

Let the picture talk, you can return the faces to something that is acceptable to the viewer...

Now go get that loft ladder!

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Jon I followed that. The masking tape is a great idea as the super glue is harder than the resin and its so easy to start removing the softer substance while working on the other.


Greetings big Eagle fans!

I can honestly say, that I really didn't think I would be drilling any more holes in AB Eagle 1.
After all, I've just spent the best part of eight years filling them in!


Well, conditions dictate that I have to drill at least one more, to accommodate newly acquired Eagle attachments.

Yes of course the Grab Arm, or arms, as soon there will be two...

In focus, is the front left leg pod, which we know by seeing the relevant episodes, the grab arm plugs into one of the panels on the top surface and swings left and right.

For those of you who have drilled holes in your beloved Eagle leg pods to fit the Warp Grab arm, will know that it's not the most enjoyable thing to do.

Let's drill! :thumbup:

I didn't fancy removing my leg pod at all to do this, as in actuality when it's held in situ in the big Eagle then it's perfectly positioned, and held fast for you to work on.
Providing you protect the surrounding areas, and DO NOT go mad with an industrial size drill all over the place then this will do.
Rather than using a drill stand, I placed a support under the leg pod in order to inhibit the acting suspension spring and provide a support for 'gentle' drilling.
For many modellers, perpendicularity of the drill piece when attempting to drill in the absence of a drill stand is extrememly difficult to achieve, and some would argue, impossible.
I used a technique that has worked for me in the past, without giving too many problems providing you work within this methods capability envelope - and that is important!
Using a drill stand (okay, yes I know) I drilled guide holes through a block of bakelite, so it would act as a drill piece guide when placed on the subjects surface. The holes were drilled close to the edge of the block ensuring that they would reach the desired point on the top of the leg pod.
Remember it's no good having a thin guide block, as this would serve no use, the drill piece would not be guided on it's way down through the block when drilling.

After studying actual photographs of Eagle 1, a few calculations were made and the hole was clearly marked out on the pod panel.
Next by using a pin vice, a hole point was made in the resin to facilitate the drill piece when offered from underneath the guide block.
The guide block was then positioned, the drill piece located in the hole, and drilling began by using a brand new drill piece twisted by hand.
Trick is, when a deep enough pilot hole is drilled, providing you're careful and work up through the drill sizes, you can then remove the guide block and finish using a small hand drill to the desired size.
That was perhaps rather a lot of typing for something so simple, but if I've managed to help someone avert disaster in a build sequence then it was all worth it!

Pictured here is the finished hole at the precise depth and diameter. (BTW, mark your drill piece with correction fluid as a depth guide)

Then followed priming, top coat, black biro panel lines, and the grey airbrushed panel was reinstated. Weathering was a very thin black wash sending the panel back to 'dirty', thus matching the surrounding areas. Weathering is as always highly subjective, and can only be done to one's taste, but don't overdo it!

All ready for the grab arm spindle, this shot shows the dirty panel seems to match in reasonably well in that vacinity...

Well that's it, back to the lobster claw then!

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