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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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 Post subject: Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
PostPosted: February 8th, 2018, 6:11 am 
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Here's a project I hope to start in the very near future. It will be the first time I have dealt with vacuformed plastic parts (let alone mating them to a normal injection-molded kit). I do this to learn what I am getting into when I plane to do a vacuformed 1/72 Martin P6M Sea Master. :shock:

What I hope to build is a Lysander P.12 (aka: Westland Wendover) with the Delanne tandem wing. This is a very odd looking aircraft which was designed for beach strafing should the Germans land on the coasts of England. Here's a pic of the real beast in flight:

Image


By most accounts it was easy to fly and would serve as quite a stable gun platform. Speaking of which, the rear turret of the prototype, which was never equipped with guns, used a Nash & Thompson powered turret for testing. Had the aircraft gone into production, it would have been equipped with four .303 Browning machine guns. It was also considered that it would be a good idea to mount two 20mm cannons on the main landing gear fairings for ground attack (one gun to each wheel fairing).

First I had to find a 1/72 Lysander model. Cheap. I say this as I didn't want to booger-up an expensive model for a project the likes I've not done before. I thought it would be easy. Well, that was wrong and not even close! I went to all my usual model kit haunts to no avail. Kits were either long gone or, if in stock, expensive (@ $20.00 USD). So I was feeling a bit let down by the time I posted "need" here on the forum. I was really happy, and I mean REALLY HAPPY, when a few members offered me a kit from their stashes. That was really awesome of you all and you have my sincere thanks. :) The kit I did receive was from mod and fellow forumite, Jeff S. :-D

The easy part, surprisingly was getting the vacuformed conversion kit. I got it on Ebay for around $7.00 USD.

Then came the search for paint in the RAF Prototype Yellow color. I was able to get that from Sprue Brothers with little trouble. So everything is now in place to start working of this unusual aircraft.

Here are some pics of the kits I have to work with:

Image

Image

Decals were the last hurdle to overcome. I went through my entire box of extra decals and found enough to complete the model (I'm pretty sure). I even have some of the prototype circle-P decals! I don't think they are exactly right for the scale of the model, but I think they will be close.

This will be on ongoing build as I need to find time to work on it along with online research in how to build vacuformed plastic kits. :shock: I'm also going to try a Blitzbau build so it is a month of firsts for me. Please feel free to chime in anytime with observations, ideas, or hints on how best to do this. That SeaMaster model is sitting in its box in the corner of my office and I can almost hear it laughing at me.


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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 8th, 2018, 9:56 am 
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Is that the one with the large tail plane and rear turret?

If so this will be fun to watch.

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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 Post subject: Re: Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
PostPosted: February 8th, 2018, 10:00 am 
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splash wrote:
Is that the one with the large tail plane and rear turret?

That's the one -- though I think the "tailplane" is more like a wing in itself. Never sure how long the thing would have lasted in the face of decent fighter opposition, but it did look like it could dish out significant amounts of unpleasantness to enemy grunts on the ground. Sort of the WW2 version of the AC-47 and its descendants.

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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 Post subject: Re: Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 6:17 am 
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I figured out the problem with Imagepost not working for me. Look like the last update to Firefox (v58.01) did something to any Java functionality. I had to reinstall the latest version of Java to fix the problem. Progress. :frown:


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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 2:53 pm 
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Wanted to add this one to my collection, it looks like a proper cut and shut!!. Will keep an eye on this one. :grin:

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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 Post subject: Re: Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 2:20 am 
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Why is he so confused ?
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I'll be kibitizing. Unfortunately I don't have the bench space to pull mine out and work alongside.

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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 Post subject: Re: Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 5:27 am 
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jRatz wrote:
I'll be kibitizing. Unfortunately I don't have the bench space to pull mine out and work alongside.


And I am quite happy you will be. :grin:

And I would certainly enjoy the build company too.


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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 7:10 am 
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I've now taken the first step into the wacky world of vacuform modelling. :ha: I went online and looked for a definitive source of how to cut parts from the styrene sheet - and found none. What I did find were many methods used by many different model builders. I settled on one because it seemed to provide the right mix of written instruction and photos of the process.

I first used a soft pencil to draw around the model parts in the sheet. I'm not sure why this is so important, but it is apparently something you should do (I guess it makes the parts stand out more for cutting and sanding??).

Image

Here's what the back of a parts-sheet looks like (in case you are curious).

Image

The next step, according to the source I was using for instruction (although other sites will have you do something different), was use a scribing tool to "outline" each individual piece (to help prevent cracking / shattering). I thought this unnecessary as the styrene was rather soft, surely the plastic wouldn't crack or shatter. Well, it did and didn't. I certainly saw some stress marks form when I used the scissors to cut away the parts from the sheet where I didn't do a good job of scribing. Lesson learned.

Image

After scribing, I then used scissors to cut the pieces out of the styrene sheet. I cut them out in rough detail, then, when the part was free, would cut closer to each part. Detailing cutting so to speak.

Image

Finally I ended up with the parts - all ready for sanding and fitting. I am NOT looking forward to that.

Image


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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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 Post subject: Re: Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 9:55 am 
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I think you are really brave to tackle this in public so to speak! If I ever consider a vac form, two things will happen;
I'll build it in secret, and
I'll take myself aside and have a stiff word with myself about ever doing that again :-D

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 12:37 pm 
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The pencil lines make it easier for you to know when to stop sanding, just sand the white line down to the pencil line and stop.

If when cutting out the shapes you leave a little surplus, when sanding this comes off as a thin slither which is also a good indication to stop sanding.

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 2:32 pm 
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Love the odd stuff, so watching.

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 3:08 pm 
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I suppose the clumsy looking ugliness of the design is exactly what makes the aircraft so attractive.

Frankly, vac kits scare me, so I've never ventured into the vac arena. With your start, it looks like you have a grasp on how to go about it. Your continued progress will be a pleasure to watch. Well done!


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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 10th, 2018, 5:17 pm 
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Oh man, that aircraft really does look like it's been built by a man in a shed :grin: I've never done any vacform work apart from using the odd replacement canopy and it's great to see the way you are approaching this, PW.

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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 Post subject: Re: Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
PostPosted: February 11th, 2018, 2:55 am 
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Why is he so confused ?
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IMO, a permanent maker is better than a pencil; you won't loose the line because the graphite falls/rubs off.

Also, think about scraping rather than sanding. I use a curved blade. It goes quicker and you have better control (of over sanding). If you don't scrape all the way (to the line) you can get most of it and make final sanding a lot easier.

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Airfix 1/72 Lysander conversion to a P.12 tandem
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PostPosted: February 11th, 2018, 5:32 am 
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First, thank you all for your comments, interest and moral support. :grin: I'm still waiting for that epiphany where I can understand why someone would want to build a vacuform kit! And for FUN no less. :lol:

Splash: Thanks for weighing-in on the need for the pencil lines. I kept that in mind when I began sanding the parts early this evening (nothing like trenching sprinkler pipe in the yard then going to relax by sanding parts :roll: ;-) ). It worked, like you said, as a sort of kind for when to stop.

John: I saw a few of the instructional web sites, for building vacuform kits, where they mentioned a preference for marker. I can see where it would be preferable to use and will do so next time (remember, this is practice for the monster that's boxed in the corner of my office). I will say the thought of scraping, in lieu of sanding, parts appeals to me MUCH more. That will be a "next time" technique as well.

I got several parts glued together but one assembly really has me wondering. The instructions are terrible so there really isn't anything to use there. This is for the assembly of the two fuselage halves and the two turret halves. I had to look online to even know what the turret might eventually look like. But I have no idea as to what might be the best method / sequence for assembly. Should I glue, then paint, the fuselage halves before going on to the turret? Or all at one time? Or assemble and paint everything, leaving the turret last?

I'll get some pics up tomorrow. Thanks guys.


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