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1/48 FM Lockheed PV1 Ventura

by Laurent “Angus” Beauvais

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Step 3: Assembling the Aircraft and Transparent parts

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The fuselage has to be glued in 3 steps to correct the shape defaults: first the bottom, one day after the top, and one day after the rear.

The horizontal implementation is definitively wrong, it has to be corrected.

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ALIGNMENTS

take care to all alignment. As shown on this picture, once I had finished the rear stabilizer, I have discovered that it was definitively not perpendicular to the fuselage, so I had to unglue all this, destroying all the mastic work, and rebuilt it.

 

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Take care also to the wing angle that is very important for the aspect of the model. When glued without the wheels, the yellow arrow must be about  49.5mm length, the landing gears verticals. A good way to control this is to draw a fictive line between the 2 wing tips, it must pass through the middle of the fuselage glass. 

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Other important detail, the carburator air intakes must be on a vertical line. So first glue the engine hood, and then only the oil radiator that are then not centered according to the gear boxes as they should be (well, this is m believe, to be verified).

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When positioning the wings, suppress the rectangle supposed to help you position the wings, they are too thick. Erase the wing interior so that it will be well flat, and same thing on the fuselage. You will see that the wing is much thicker than their receiver on the fuselage, just some more necessary putty. Observe too the boss below the cockpit that is not horizontal, to be corrected.

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Assembling the wing

Engine spindle (? not sure of the english word) do not have the same diameter on the upper and lower pieces, easy to correct.

 

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Landing gear boxes are detailed with various electric cables. The oil tank should be turned at 90°, but this implies destroying the resin part.

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Landing gear boxes have to be glued so that 1mm mm remains in front of the landing gear. Well, this is an estimation, as this does not leave enough space to position the gear trapmechanism. All this has to be positioned so that the landing gear are verticals at the end.

Trailing edge is much too thick. The Ventura is not a X15 and a lot of erasing work is necessary to obtain a realistic trailing edge.  This kind of details very important on a plastic model.

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Air "passage" are hollowed on the wing extremities, and corrected with putty.

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Of course when all this will be done, you will have to re-engrave the structure lines that have disappeared.
At this stage, you may be lost regarding the quality of your model. So I brush paint a bright Humbrol grey all over the model. The paint must be a brand new one to have a clean result. Then using a light you can see the defaults and correct them with putty.
last detail, the door: 3 reinforcement lines are made thanks to electric wire, and the clutch is created.

Transparent parts

The easy things being finished, let's start the real difficulty of this kit, send all the kit transparent parts to the waste basket and recreate them.

 First thing, the transparent part below the cockpit is not large enough. It is replaced by a cut cd box, painted on its back face with the 3 yellow/red/green colors, and once in plane the light shapes being defined thanks to a "patafix" bullet.

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Now let's thermoform the cockpit. The original part is not big enough on the rear

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So first, using aluminium tape on the kit parts, create moulds.
Then fill this with plaster, not a standard plaster, but an artist one that is hard as a rock when dry (stolen from my wife again). A screw is inserted in each tool for fixing purpose later on.
Here is the result just unmoulded.
You must now erase the external shape if you want to be able to thermoform correctly later on.

Now it's thermoforming time. I have retrieved from a contest a lot of lunch plate cover (the hostess definitively think I'm crazy), you need a lot of them because you will have to make a lot of try before success, believe me.

  • So fix the plaster shape in a clamp

  • Heat the plastic with a candle by making rotating movements. The plastic must be soft enough to be defrormed, but not too much or it will be to thin.

  • Then in a firm motion, emboss the plastic on the punch.

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  Now comes the delicate stage of cutting the part. It makes a lot of effort for a small thing, but the model will look much more realistic with this.

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Now you just have to put aluminium tape on these parts to figure the cockpit posts and then glue it with white wood glue

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Take care to the rear turret, the kit part is much too large, 21mm diameter instaed of 19 necessary to fit in the fuselage. So I reduced the mold part to a 18,2mm diameter, with a draft angle to allow molding.

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For the inferior part, I did hollow the original part (take care, make several test not to open too much), change its rear shape to make it vertical, then I glued inside my transparent part.

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On the real airplane, this part comes perfectly tangent to the fuselage, putty will be again necessary.

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All lateral windows have been cut in a cd box (5 rectangular ones, 1 circular)
It is then inserted by force, the inevitable gaps filled with white wood glue. On this picture the part looks less transparent than when looking with my eyes (flash effect I guess)

Take care, cd box transparent parts are very fragile, at the end I have applied on them a layer of Klir.

  Next Step : Painting and weathering.

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Photos and text © by Laurent “Angus” Beauvais

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