Making the canopy (vacuum)

Tools 'n' Tips Article by Łukasz Studniarz



One year ago I was making the 1:72 Revell P-47 Thunderbolt.  Unfortunately CA's mists have had made kit's canopy foggy . I decided to make it on my own using the vacuum technique.  Today I will show you how to do it with 1/48 Spitfire canopy.  What we will need is: vacuum cleaner, scraggy plastic foil (using to cover the binding), wood or plastic box with holes and some free time of course :-)


1. Splice together the canopy parts

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2. Now make a wood box with many small holes on the top and one big one on the side the same diameter as the vacuum cleaner's pipe.  Next fix template (kit's canopy) to the top of it

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3. Then cut the clear plastic sheet with big surplus and fix it to the frame outline
4. Go to the kitchen and connect the wood box with vacuum cleaner and turn on the
5. Keep clear plastic sheet in the frame above the flame (about 30cm) until the clear plastic sheet gets soft and sags slightly
6. Then turn on the vacuum cleaner and as fast as you can put the hot clear plastic sheet  on the template. Vacuum cleaner will pull/suck the clear plastic sheet on small holes and make new  beauty canopy  :-)

It is important to turn the vacuum cleaner on before you move the clear plastic sheet to the vacuum forming machine.....which should be very close to the burner.  The clear plastic sheet will cool very quickly and to get good'll need to have the clear plastic sheet very soft. 

Good luck!

Łukasz Studniarz

Photos and text by Łukasz Studniarz