I'm slowly proceeding with my first vacuform.
I had always wanted to build one since the times of Chris Ellis books back in the Seventies, when his skills made vacuforms look an easy way to model such exotic subjects like the Martin Mauler, Horten IX, Fairey Firebrand, U-2 and many other, that were only available from Airmodel, Execuform, Rareplanes and a few others. In a certain way, this build is a necessity: I feel like I would never be a "complete" modeler without having tamed at least one vacu kit. On the other hand, my big brother gave me a lesson - actually building (and very cleanly building) a few 1/72: Ikarus IK-3, Lippish DM-1, IAR-80. I am still waiting him to finish his Airmodel 1/72 Horten IX, started back in the middle '80s... Are you reading, PP ?
By the way, this would be an happy modeler if any main plastic injection brand would produce a 1/48 Fairey Firefly Mark.V or a Fairey Firebrand, both Sabre and Centaur powered. Am I the only one?
Back to the AJ Savage. I "dremelled" open the front gear pit and jet exhaust, being careful not to exceed in removing the plastic.
For the exhaust tube, I thinned the edges of an Aluminium tube, first roughtly with an X-Acto knife, then Dremelled the edges and finished with sandpaper (various grades). It will be cut approx. at 1 cm leght, closed on one side with a printed representation of the engine.
The right fuselage is almost ready for closing. I fixed the cockpit using some plastic-card supports:
Note the position of the nose gear box, that I rebuilt from plastic card.
Behind it, barely visible is a heavy duty steel nail as a ballast to keep the kit from being a tail-sitter.
Considering the ballast already packed in the nose section, this will be a rather heavy kit.
Inside the fuselage jet opening I glued some sections of toothpick as guides for firmly fixing the exhaust section. They will prevent the exhaust section from falling inside the fuselage once this will be closed - a catastrophic eventuality.
It's hard to believe this is your first vac kit, looking at how well you're proceeding with this. You've obviously done your homework in researching building techniques. I feel the same way about vac kits - I feel the need to build at least one, just to prove to myself I can actually do it! It's all looking great!
RCAF Trimotor Pt. 1
Postwar RCAF Pt. 1; Postwar RCAF Pt. 2; Postwar RCAF Pt. 3
Kanal Kampf: A Spitfire Story
Cold War Incident
The Lucky Mig
Previous WIP Builds:
Mad About Migs Pt. 1; Mad About Migs Pt. 2; Mad About Migs Pt. 3; Mad About Migs Pt. 4; Mad About Migs Pt. 5; Mad About Migs Pt. 6;
Mad About Migs Pt. 7; Mad About Migs Pt. 8; Mad About Migs Finish
Matilda Makeover Pt.1; Matilda Makeover Pt.2; Matilda Makeover Pt.3; Matilda Makeover Finish;
The Big Spit Pt.1; The Big Spit Pt.2; The Big Spit Pt.3; The Big Spit Pt.4; The Big Spit Pt.5; The Big Spit Pt.6;
The Big Spit Pt.7; The Big Spit Pt.8; The Big Spit Pt.9; The Big Spit Pt.10; The Big Spit Pt.11; The Big Spit Finish;
Me109 Pt.1; Me109 Pt.2; Me109 Pt.3; Me109 Finish;
Vickers Tank Pt.1; Vickers Tank Pt.2; Vickers Tank Pt.3; Vickers Tank Pt.4; Vickers Tank Pt.5; Vickers Tank Pt.6; Vickers Tank Finish;
Connies Pt.1; Connies Pt.2; Connies Pt.3; Connies Pt.4; Connies Pt.5; Connies Pt.6; Connies Pt.7; Connies Finish