Current work in progress 1/48 airacuda

So, I took making a model kit quite literally. After a shift in job responsibilities I no longer have a workbench (wasn’t perceived to have enough to do) and have pivoted to engineering and design… foolish move corporate, now I have access to all the bells and whistles.

After some digging I was looking for a plane that hit the following criteria: rare/weird, cool, and non existent in 1/48.

I arrived at the bell airacuda, a great idea if you don’t think about it too much. The last few months I’ve been tinkering on 3D printable model and finally have an end in sight. What better time to share the progress? Just have the gunner positions left to model and it’s off to the liquid goo phase!



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Had to take a look at this one to remember what it looks like . . .

. . . yep, that’s a most unusual bird, good luck with this, I’m sure we’ll all be watching your progress!

Cajun

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Thanks, yeah luckily there is a Ginter book on this one. Been deciphering everything I can from there, turns out they did a ton of versions of this with all kinds of wacky modifications (tricycle wheel configuration, naturally aspirated, glass nose etc)

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Very weird and wacky … but great plan … looking forward to seeing this get some attention.

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Amazing stuff.

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Here’s a few more teasers as I complete the gunner areas. In hind sight, picking a plane with basically 3 cockpits was a bit ambitious.

I am itching to start printing though as the fuselage, landing gear cockpit, molds for vac forming the glass and outer wings are pretty much ready to rock.





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It’s entering the physical world! Got the first round of printing done and did a test pull on the canopy forms. Needs some tuning but pretty happy so far.





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Looking pretty impressive so far … Canopy came out nice …

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Thanks! Yeah I got another set of canopy bucks printing now for final pulls, gotta polish the heck out of them for maximum clarity. Thing that shocked me was the guess of 0.020” compensation for material thickness was spot on!

Now I’m thinking of printing the whole plane (exterior) in sections that I’ll convert to vac molds. I’ve got a crazy amount of .060” styrene sheets at work from test prints and fudge ups (work at a very large print house) at least that way I can justify to mountain of work that goes into surface details like rivets and panel lines on the resin.

Meanwhile I’m chipping away at finishing all my in progress builds from my old workbench. Had to move it/lose it from when I changed departments. Got a Boomerang, avenger, barracuda, hurricane, 2 bubble top p-47’s, Lancaster, and a mosquito that are in the end zone just need to do final touches.

Oh boy, when I do a role call that seems like a lot, but, my dad taught me a valuable lesson when I’d polish his navion (bare metal finish) Work on one small area at a time, get it right and move to the next section. Before you know it a wing is done, then both, then the whole plane is shiny and smooth. A lot less monotonous to focus on a spot versus a whole plane.

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