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He 343 - Airmodel - 1/72 - Vacform


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I have made a few vacs in my time. The quality can vary greatly, especially with the older ones. Not only were some brands downright crude, sucked the sheet onto a positive mould so all the detail was on the inside surface and out the detailed parts altogether, but similarly crude ripoffs of the better models circulated in significant numbers. I'd recommend never buying a kit unless you have first seen either it or a decent photoshoot of all the bits.

I'd also recommend converting/detailing a few regular injection-moulded kits first, as there is no such thing as a vacform built straight out of the box.

For the initial sanding down I strongly recommend wet-and-dry paper used wet. Main benefit is that the water carries off the dust, so neither the sandpaper nor your throat gets choked with it. No need to glue it to the backing, as the water will hold it in place (so obviously you want a waterproof backing), so you only need one backing sheet if you want to change grades or anything.

And do spend time thinking about reinforcing spars, bulkheads, balance weights and the like. A vacform shell is not as rigid as a moulded one and that sudden >CLICK!< followed by a sagging feeling and a widening joint is not welcome once you have started in on the fettling and finishing.

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