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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 47

IN PURSUIT OF PERFECTION - THE EUROFIGHTER IS TAKING SHAPE

 

 

 

After the excitement of the Duxford Flying Legends Air Show last Sunday it was down to Earth again on Monday and getting into the swing of things domestic and also working on the Relish Models sponsored Revell 1/32 Eurofighter. I have gathered all the extra after market goodies I could shake a stick at, and it was now just a case of getting on with it.

 

 

If you had seen last week's Column you will have noticed that the excellent Two Mikes Resin APU exhaust had been fitted and, in my view, this simple little addition really makes such a difference to the look of the fuselage.

 

 

I have been doing a huge amount of dry fitting runs trying to iron out any problems before any 'fitting in anger' commences. The fin, sans rudder, has also been dry fitted and is a nice tight fit - perfectly perpendicular - always a good sign. The remainder of the top of fuselage acoutrements have also been dry fitted and, so far, everything seems to be coming together quite nicely.

 

 

I mentioned last week about the apparently different type of plastic Revell have used on this kit, compared to their plastic on the C17 Globemasters I built earlier this year. The Eurofighter plastic seems to be almost brittle - it is definitely much harder. Because of this, I decided that I would dispense with my normal Tamiya Extra Thin Cement and use Ambroid Pro Weld which I feel is a tad more 'heavy duty'.

 

 

I have tried to photograph every operation along the way. Last week, I had glued the two fuselage sides together satisfactorily enclosing the cockpit tub less the ejection seat. As this meant the instrument panel was rather vulnerable to handling accidents, I checked the instructions to make sure that the cockpit coming could be fitted at this time so that it could safely anchor the instrument panel. This was therefore fitted out of sequence.

 

 

Once the fuselage sides had cured, a sanding session ensued to give an interim inspection to the joint seal which was surprisingly OK. It was then a case of assembling two sub assemblies: the main gear wheel wells (not forgetting the pipe work painted 'steel') and the engine intakes/nose gear well assembly. As these are to be finished in white, I sprayed the relevant areas with a Halfords White Plastic Primer. It could well be that this will suffice as the final finish for these items - we shall see.

 

 

Once dry, the assemblies were then glued to the fuselage bottom/wing bottom surface assembly which is just one huge piece of plastic. Once this piece had been offered up in a dry fitting run to the fuselage proper, the whole assembly was then carefully glued together, section by section, securing with Tamiya tape and clothes pegs as I went. This was now beginning to look like a Eurofighter Typhoon (did my ears deceive me, or was that an "about bloody time" in a Yorkshire accent I heard as I typed that sentence!) I'll tell what, dear reader, this is one BIG aeroplane.

 

 

Due to domestic activities, the airframe had been left for a couple of days which enabled it to cure nicely. Now it was time to have a go at probably the most crucial part of the build in terms of aesthetic appearance, and that is the fitting of the top wing surfaces. Magazine articles had suggested that this was not too good and required a certain amount of filler. Filling is not a problem really, but some manufacturers seem to make a better job of wing /fuselage joints than others. I spent about four hours carefully offering up each wing top half in umpteen dry fitting exercises trying to get the surfaces to mate perfectly and I think I have almost succeeded, but only by adding some wooden blocks in crucial places to provide the necessary support. To give you an idea of the size, the total gluing length of the top wing surface to the fuselage side and the bottom wing is 21.5 inches! And that is one wing!

 

 

I have a box of wooden tea/coffee stirrers (they look like lolly sticks) and I cut two of them up into 1 inch sections. Three 1 inch sections were then glued together with superglue to make a block which made the perfect height. I then glued two of these lolly stick block assemblies onto each side of the fuselage as shown in the photographs. A few more dry runs to make sure everything was OK and then it was back to the Ambroid Pro Weld and gluing and taping section by section. I kept the tips open by using some lolly sticks to try an ensure the wing to fuselage joint was nicely squared up.The result is 95% good - a certain amount of rubbing down will be necessary but I think hardly any filler will be used. I am not a great lover of filler so the less I use the better.

 

 

When Graham (our Relish Models genial host) sent me the kit a while back, I noticed there were a few 'sink' marks on the leading edge slats which I said could easily be rectified with some filler. What I discovered was that these sink marks can be simply rectified by rubbing them down. There are only two very small 'panel lines' to be wary of and these can very easily be rescribed.

 

 

Now the fuselage and wings have been glued together, it is time to give the whole assembly a rest for a day or so to give the adhesive time to cure.

 

More next week.

 

Peter.
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