This could well be the final update before the finished photos are taken. Now my modelling enthusiasm has returned, this build had proved to be an enjoyable one!
One thing I've mentioned that could spoil a whole day was tackling the tail rotor conversion. Without trying to be technical, the Lynx is fitted with a spring bias unit housed at the back of the tail fin. In flight, this off-loads some of the aerodynamic forces acting on the tail rotor. On the ground, because of this very powerful unit, the Lynx should be parked with the right yaw pedal fully forwards.
At rest, the Lynx tail rotor blades are canted outwards, away from the tail fin. In their excellent 1/48 scale kit, Airfix have captured this beautifully. This photo shows a vertical red line with the kit tail rotor held against it, showing how the blades look when canted outboard.
For my conversion to HAS.2 standard, I need to make the tail rotor travel in the anti-clockwise direction (when viewed from the left side of the aircraft) but also lean each blade outboard from the hub. If I simply put the tail rotor on "backwards", the blades would cant inboard, which would be totally incorrect. The kit rotor as supplied, travels clockwise.
The conversion starts with cutting the tail rotor blades off the centre hub. Gulp!
I only cut off two blades at a time, as the rotor hub is too small for my sausage fingers to grip if I cut off all the blades. Re-mounting the cut off blades two at a time also makes it easier for me to achieve the outwards bias to each blade a little more easily as I have the existing blades to refer to.
One job that must be carried out on each tail blade is to cut off the "spike" that's sticking up near the blade root, and to re-mount this very small piece of plastic on the opposite side of the blade root.
It might be of interest that this spike-like item is actually called a Protruberence, and on the real aircraft, is a threaded rod. The idea was that weights could be added to the rods to balance the tail rotor.
Here's the assembled tail rotor in primer, having had all blades reversed and the pitch change spider unit fitted.
This next photo shows the outward bias on the blades, having been re-mounted. The correct angles were achieved with a sanding stick versus trial & error
Apart from painting, that's the tail rotor done and dusted. The outward canting of the blades is a small detail in the overall scheme, but one that I feel matters a lot. Of note is that in the Revell 1/32 scale kit, they've made no attempt to show this detail, but at least cutting the blades off the larger kit is a bit easier.
The main rotor blades were shown being modified in a previous update. The time arrived when I had to mount the blades to the hub.
In a "not again" moment, there are some MMM members that will know I have a bee in the bonnet about the Lynx main rotor blades being horizontal. On the real aircraft, there's hardly a millimetre of droop on the blades. On a model, this can be difficult to achieve, so I'll show my personal method of doing this.
Firstly, I put a peice of flat glass on my cutting mat. Mounting one blade to the hub (which is upside down) I tape the blade down in two places. I then mount the opposite blade and tape that down also.
As I have a sheet of glass large enough, I repeated this for the other blades. The rotor assembly is still upside down against the glass. I use the guide lines on the cutting mat to ensure the blades are correctly positioned relative to each other.
Hving got this far with the main blade assembly, I put the glass sheet with the blades on in a position where I can leave it undisturbed for at least 24 hours while the glue bonds. Once given this time, I hold each blade down firmly with my fingers while I carefully peel off the tape, causing no flex or strain on the blades, and when turned the right way up - horizontal blades! Simples.
As I write, the model has been fully painted and marked, with all aerials and probes fitted. I've made intake and exhaust blanks and hung the correct type of Remove Before Flight tags on the model, to brighten it up a little. I won't cover the painting as we all know how to paint and frankly, there are others on MMM who can do that much better than myself. Also, it means that the first time I reveal the scheme will be a surprise for anyone who hasn't worked out which unique helicopter this HAS.2 is.
I think this one deserves a base to sit on, so I'll have a stab at that before I finish the model. For Mark - this will be a small base - CockpitFest friendly!
Finished photos in a few days time. Thank you for your comments.