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He 343 - Airmodel - 1/72 - Vacform


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Never having built a vacform and desperately needing another project(not) I decided to give this a go!

The assembly instructions:

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What's in the box bag:

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Resin bits too :)

 

I read that the best way is to draw around each part with a marker:

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And then cut each piece out, so you can see what you're doing when you sand them down:

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https://www.oldmodelkits.com/blog/plasitc-model-kits-how-tos/how-to-build-vacuform-model-kits/

I've done a few.

Take your time and don't rush.

Once cut out,check for any thin spots and back fill,em with you favorite filler.

Work out where you may need bulkheads,spars,reinforcement for undercart etc.

Scrap plastic,bits of tube and a fair spares box are your best friends for building vacforms.

Some of the best are Rareplanes,Aeroclub,Esoteric and Khee Ha,though there are many other makes and subjects out there.

This Scimitar is a Contrail vacform:

20210217_183900%5B1%5D.jpg

This Seafire is an Aeroclub fuselage conversion with vacform fuselage,Airfix wings and tailplanes

plus Aeroclub prop and undercart.

IMG_20200121_145848883%5B1%5D.jpg

Edited by Miggers
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Vacforms are good fun and I would urge anyone to buy a cheap one (and they can be had very cheap) and have a go. What’s to lose? *
Unless of course you have a recognised allergy to filler and abrasives.

The techniques do come in handy elsewhere. Personally, unwilling to spend, for example, between £20-30 for a second hand kit like an Airfix Halifax, I’m quite happy to take an old wreck of a build for a quid, reduce it to parts and start again with anything recoverable.

You basically end up with parts like vacform ones (minus the need for most bulkheads being made of course).

 

Anyway, apologies for the diversion, back to the Heinkel everyone…

*edited to add the caveat to on no account try the ancient Airmodel Lightning two seat conversion. Nothing resembling a Lightning can be made without replacing almost all of the supplied parts.

Edited by Huntsman’s Close
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Sanded and joined the wing halves together. Accidentally cut out a flap on the wrong side.

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Removed the cockpit area blank, and chopped off the tail. I'm building the B variant which has the double tail and rear turret. The replacement rear end bits were also added. Since I found the sanding tedious, I trimmed these down with a knife which seems to have worked well.

I cut a hole for the base of the wing to fit into, and I think I'll create a spar that runs right through both wings and holds it all together.

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The many engine halves were cut out and cut down:

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And now I'm attempting to make engines out of them:

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So far this is jolly good fun, and no harder than some of the poorer injection moulded kits. Definitely worth a go :)

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Been fine up to the now, but in your last post I can't see the photos at all in Chrome and only the first one when I try Firefox. It's like listening to the build on the radio. ;)

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10 minutes ago, Gorby said:

Been fine up to the now, but in your last post I can't see the photos at all in Chrome and only the first one when I try Firefox. It's like listening to the build on the radio*. ;)

Me also..

Back to vacs - I have buit a few, but all from the dim and distant where they were liitle better than plunge-moulds. I must have a look to see if any have survived loft-storage. Vacs from the late 1980s/'90s seem so much better that I have a collected a few for the stash recently, and have foolishly promised to build one this year. I'm watching (or at least *listening) to this build with interest.

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Onedrive, where the photos are hosted, seems to be having some problems at the moment. Hopefully it'll come back to life soon and the photos will appear.

 

'Online, on FM, AM, and DAB digital radio. This is Lord Haw-Haw'

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I briefly thought about modelling it in flight, but then the wheels wouldn't be used which seemed a bit silly.

So I cut out out the landing gear doors, which was quite tricky:

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Then I detached a resin wheel and strut from their casting lumps, drilled a hole in the wheel and pressed it onto the strut. Perfect fit!

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The problem is, the wheel/strut assembly doesn't fit through the holes. As can be seen here, the wheel should fold up into a position behind the wing within the fuselage, and fit fairly centrally to the wing in the down position. Heinkel used a similar configuration on their He 162.

However, the shape of the doors just don't allow for this.

As far as I can see, there aren't any original drawings of the doors, so I feel free to alter the kit designed ones.

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It's looking really good.

I'm not sure if you know that marker pen ink will gradually seep into the paint finish. Eventually the black lines will show, so I'd recommend removing as much as you can.

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Since the He 343 was based on the Arado Ar 234, perhaps the cockpit would be somewhat similar. With that thought, and the fact that it's too long, I sliced the nose off the resin cockpit. Applied some paint and added the front instrument panel.

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It still needs quite a bit more work, but I think it looks nice.

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The fuselage halves are together, and everything feels very rigid.

Here the wings are only slotted in:

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Being a lump of resin, the cockpit weighs quite a bit, so it may not need any nose weight. Fortunately there's space to add some at the end if it does.

 

Here the tailplane is glued in place:

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I'm not sure why I didn't photograph it from more angles.

I also enlarged the gear bay doors since there was no way the wheels could actually fit through them.

The rear remote controlled turret is shown in the instructions, but isn't included. I suppose it would have been opaque and fairly featureless given it didn't contain a person. I'll see what I can ponder into existence for next time, maybe.

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1 hour ago, Long said:

The rear remote controlled turret is shown in the instructions, but isn't included. I suppose it would have been opaque and fairly featureless given it didn't contain a person. I'll see what I can ponder into existence for next time, maybe.

I think that it would be pretty similar to the one used in the Ju 388. Probably the best thing would be to laminate some of the scrap backing sheet and sand it to shape, leaving a slot for the guns to fit inside.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I forgot about the turret and have been working on the engines instead:

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All four of the engine bodies are formed and I'm now making the front insert bits. The kit comes with resin pointy bits, no idea what they're called, for the front and back, but you have to come up with your own way of attaching them.

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10 hours ago, Long said:

The kit comes with resin pointy bits, no idea what they're called, for the front and back,

I'm reasonably sure that the front ones were electric starter motors.

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5 hours ago, Gorby said:

I'm reasonably sure that the front ones were electric starter motors.

In the Jumo, the starter motors were 2 cycle chainsaw engines. That little ring at the tip is a pull-cord to start it.

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