It time to get some more work done on my Thunderhawk. The build is a complex one and today’s work was to try to get to first full dry fit. It was all about cleaning the big bits, sorting any warpage and, if time allows look at mounting for wings.
Today’s parts will be the lower fuselage (the HUGE bit) upper fuselage, (front and rear) the nose section and the wings.
One of the big issues with kit is what I call “scaring” on several parts. Mainly the big bits, this seems to be a casting issue. As you can see on the photos, it’s a step on the side of the some of the part, about 1mm deep, running in an uneven line. This is not a casting or mould line, but it’s a real pain.
Scaring on upper front hull front
Scaring on lower fuselage
To clean these scars I have found that I need to scrap with a sharp edge of a modelling knife. Once it’s fairly smooth I then use a medium grade emery board. I then polish it off with a fine emery cloth (sometimes known as Wet and Dry Paper). This smooths the surface for painting.
Dry fit on the front fuselage
The top front of the fuselage is made of the nose section and the upper front fuselage. The 2 parts fit together onto the lower fuselage. I found that they did not meet and I tracked the problem to the upper fuselage. It had a slight warp at the front.
Now, we all know that the easiest way to bend a warped forge world part right? Soak it in hit water and bend it straight. I. tried it it but it didn’t work. After looking around, I found people using hair dryers to straighten thicker resin parts. I tried it out and it worked out ok. I re shaped the upper fuselage. The fit is much better, and will now only need some small filling. As this is quite a obvious part of the kit, it needs to be perfect.
Once this was done I cleaned up the front end. The front end was a bit of mess, but it cleaned up pretty good. I dry fitted the front ramp and I had to straighten the front hatch aperture. This was easy to do and it worked well.
Next up was the big fuselage part. This is a monster part. It as 3 areas of scaring. These were hard to clean as the rivets got in the way. It cleaned up ok. Next was the bravest think I have ever done.
The thunderhawk kit does not have any mounting for a flight stand. Now I want this in the air and I am planning on making a custom stand. I think a 15mm acrylic rod will hold the weight. It’s hard to know until I can mount the full kit. Taking a power drill with 15mm hole bore to a £400.00 kit gives you shakes. I measured up location, twice to be sure. My plan was simple. I will fit a thick brass rod that passes through the fuselage. Supporting each wing. I will sheath the central brass rod with heat shrink, (normally used in electronics). I will cut a grove into the top of the acrylic rod. This will help protect the top of the rod and hold the model in place.
Once the hole was drilled I started on the wings. This was an easy task. Both had scaring on the leading edge. It was a simple task to clean them up, but once I tryed to fit them I found the alignment a nightmare. This task is going to be a challenge. So for now I am calling it quits.
That enough for today and time to clean up. The study now looks like a resin bomb has gone off. Better get the vac out. All in all, the kit is coming along well. The core fuselage lines up. The nose fits and worst of the scaring is behind me.
Here is the wip shot to end the day.
Till next time. When me and the Wings will have a fall out.