zaterdag 21 januari 2012

How I made the Brigand

I've had several requests to describe in more detail how I made the Brigand and Devastator in 1/72nd scale.
I'll start with explaining the Brigand. Sadly this will be a how-to without pictures: I've already built both Brigands I intend to build for the time being.
When/If I ever "need" to build a 3rd or 4th Brigand I'll update this how-to with pictures.

What you will need:
-1 Model of an F1U Corsair in 1/72nd scale. (I used an old Revell one, kit # 04112. It's an old, clunky kit with raised panel lines, but it was cheap....) Note: To save you some plasticard work, try to find a kit that has the rudder in two halves as part of the fuselage halves.
-.020"/.5mm and .040"/1mm plasticard. 
-A pair of small (2x1mm) rare earth disc magnets, if you want to magnetize the prop (which makes it harder to damage: to much force and it simply pops loose instead of bending/breaking)
-2.5 and 3.2 mm plastic rod/tube (for the guns)
-A spare canopy for the turret (fairly small, early Spitfire or Hurricane should do).
-Suitable bits to make the payload from.(In my case: a small bomb that came with the Corsair kit, 2 Nebelwerfer shells and 2 1/35 PaK shells...) 
-Something to make the prop spinner from (I used a part I cut from the drop-tank the Revell Corsair comes with.)
-Your usual model building tools

How to build it: 

Step 1: The fuselage:
Glue the two fuselage halves together per the kit's instructions but be careful not to glue the two halves of the rudder together.

If the instructions require you to assemble and glue the cockpit inside the fuselage at this stage, do so.

Step 2: Shortening the fuselage:
Just before the point where the rudder starts to rise from the fuselage, there should be a panel line. 
Use this panel line as a guide to saw the last part of the tail from the fuselage. Check that the two parts of the rudder are still separate and put the sawn-off part aside. 
Glue a plate of plasticard over the resulting hole, file flush with the fuselage.

Step 3: Turret:
Onto the plasticard plate you just glued on, build a turret to fit the spare canopy you have.
Use lengths of the 2.5mm plastic rod/tube to represent the .30 cal guns in the turret.
(Sorry, I can't give any more precise instructions on this. I always eyeball/improvise this step....)

Step 4: Building the tail rudders:
Trim and glue the elevators together into one plane (join them where they usually connect to the fuselage). Make sure the outside edge is straight, this is where you will attack the rudders/winglets.
Separate (saw or cut) the pieces of rudder apart from the stump of the tail you cut off in the second step. Saw off the lower 1/4th of them, save these pieces. Use the upper 3/4ths to make the rudder/winglets. 
Glue the lower quarter together, use these as the pylon that connects the plane of the joined elevator to the hull. Glue this assembly to the hull.

Step 5: The wings:
Assemble the wings, as per the kit's instructions. Wheels up or down? You decide.
Leave off any guns. Do not attach the wings to the fuselage yet.
Check the panel lines on the wing's upper surface. There should be a large panel over the guns, with two rows of 3 rectangular panels to the outside of these. Use the panel line that separates these two rows of 3 rectangles as a cutting guide and saw through the wings at this point. Your cutting line should run from leading to trailing edge. Make sure this cut is neat! You will be joining the wings back together along this cut later.
From the 1mm/.040" plasticard, cut the two directional stabilisers that intersect the wing.
You can use the hastily drawn and guesstimated template I used (see below) or improvise one yourself. ;-)
Glue the wings back together, with these stabilisers in between. Make sure the wings line back up.
Use the 3.2mm plastic rod/tube to make the .50 cals in the wings, 2 per wing. Glue one in the location where the centre of the 3 original wing guns were. Glue the second one at the bend in the wing. Pin these if you like them sturdy.

Step 6: The cowling and prop
Assemble the engine cowling (if a separate part from the fuselage) and magnetize the prop (one magnet in the prop, one magnet in the cowling/engine, where the prop axle would be. Watch your polarities!). Make and fit the spinner on the prop.
Next, cut a piece of .020" plasticard, as wide as the cowling is deep and long enough to wrap around it exactly once. Glue this around the cowling.
Plunk the prop in place.
Cut two pieces of .020" plasticard, wide enough to overlap the previous piece by a few mm front and read and each wide enough to completely wrap around the previous. Laminate these around the cowling, make sure the prop, when in place, just clears the front edge of these by a mm or so. Keep their curve as neat a possible.
Neaten up their front and rear edge and round of the edges. 
And there it is, your nice butch Brigand engine cowling.

Step 7: Final assembly:
Glue the cowling and wings onto the fuselage. Put in the fittings for the flying stand you want to use. Glue on the cockpit if you want to paint it solid, if not, leave it off until after painting. Fit underwing ordnance.
Make the retractable Zep-gear:
Take the hatches for the retractable tail wheel. Thin these down a bit, if they are thick pieces (they are on the Revell kit). Glue them onto the upper fuselage, between the cockpit and the turret, wide end towards the front, narrow end towards the rear. If needed, file them to be thinner still and match the curve of the upper fuselage. Take bit of putty/plasticard to fill the hole where the tail wheel would normally stick out between the hatches.

Step 8: Finished!
Sit back, smile, admire your handiwork...
(You're allowed to move it around and make flying noises at this point. I know I did....)

Step 9: Paint her up!
What colours? It's your plane, you decide!
Once painted, repeat step 8 to taste. ;-D

The Devastator will follow when I build the second one. To be totally honest though, I'm not a 100% satisfied with the way I built the first Devastator: It does the job and recognizable as a Dev. But, the lines of the fuselage are a bit off, and the forward view from the cockpit is a obstructed.  I may need to rethink that one, with a different plane to base the fuselage on.
We'll see.

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