Project updates; LEAP-1A, B747-8F/-400F deck, A350 new sharklets and decals

Hello all,

Here are some updates on the current projects:

LEAP 1A engines:

I’ve been able to start working on the pylons. My initial idea was to use the 50% of the PW pylons, but decided to start fresh. This is a very rough shape, pylons are glued to the wings and now I will put a little bit of putty for two reasons; 1- make sure that the fitting to the wing is 100% perfect, 2- finish to give volume to the pylon, when looking from the top, the pylon is thicker towards the inner side. After putty is applied, I will then remove the pylon and continue sanding/giving a more three-dimensional shape.
I am also going to do a light modification on the lump, I will try to make the edge just a little bit more sharp.

 

B747-8F/-400F deck set:

Although it may seem there hasn’t been a big update on this project, it has definitely been a very important step. I have been able to prepare the unions on both fuselage halves for both; the ceiling and the deck.
In order to make the ceiling easy to place I did the following steps:

  • Filled up with putty the left top side of the fuselage in order for the ceiling to be placed in one position and one position only.
  • By using putty and from the inside of the fuselage, I put putty between the ceiling edge and the fuselage wall, upon putty dried, ceiling was removed and a mark was left for the ceiling to sit on precisely.

Having completed these steps and knowing that both the deck and ceiling fit inside, I am starting to consider the two remaining areas; the rear final deck section and the cargo holds.

Cargo holds will definitely be easier to make since they have flat surfaces which appear to have the same profile shape of an LD3 container (or vice versa). The step to do on this matter will be to open the cargo doors and set a floor inside leveled to the door, then from there make the two remaining walls.
Because of the deck touches right on top of the cargo doors, the main deck will also be the cargo holds ceiling on the other side.
I am also considering to leave the cargo holds “built in” the fuselage.

About the rear section deck; this will be a set of deck/ceiling/rear wall that will fit inside the tail cone in one position. The main reason why I think to do this is because although the -8F does not have a pax door there, it does exist on the -400F and some BDSF models (pax converted to cargo).

I am also starting to work on a minor cargo stuff which I hope to upload next week.

A350 New sharklets:

There are still some things that need to be done but I am currently decal testing these sharklets in order to start to design decals for all airlines, my intention is to serve these sharklets with decals to chose from similar to the GSE decals choice at the store.

White of decals:

Although results proved me that printing two separate layers on top of each other is not fully viable due offsets, I double checked using two separate decals and in my opinion, two layers of white decal does look opaque white on a black surface.

I first put one white decal, removed the excess of water and once it was settled, I placed the second white layer on top and the result is as seen on image above, decal was placed on a black plastic surface. Placing the two white layers when required (visible white) is actually easy to adjust the second decal to fit the first one and it does not take much time/effort.

I take these matters very seriously because before selling these things I was a customer (still am) and I want these decals to be as they are expected to be, I would have not continued with them if I knew the white wasn’t possible but overall I am very satisfied with the result and I am currently working on new liveries, during the week I will put the current ones of the store back in stock again.

 

As  the 747-8F/-400F deck project is advancing, I wish to start soon the new cargo loader, before that I plan to release the LEAP-1A engines and the A350 new sharklets.

Best wishes,
Guillem

 

747-8F / 747-400F – Working with the deck (6)

Good afternoon,

The rear section of the cargo deck is finally done, adjusted into place and also a new middle rib was made (since I wasn’t happy with the result of the previous one), this rib holds into place the edges of the middle and rear deck.

Everything is done so that everything can be mounted and fitted together. The rear deck has two beams where the final rib gets into place, this way the deck, once fitted together, won’t have other position than that.

I am planning some changes in the schedule, so I will dedicate more time with these projects. It all looks plain and dull and empty so far, but that is the required base for the detail. I expect to make a initial cast of the entire deck to make it as finished in order to see what the detail and color would be.

Notice on the “mouth” photo, the left sidewall (looking from the front) has the edge smoothened whereas the right side still has the plastic edge which will be covered with putty and sanded soon.

Next step; continue with the ceiling.

I want to take this chance with this post and say that I am currently working on the livery decals. They are not available as I am waiting for material and I am taking this time to do some improvements. I am working into making the white more opaque for certain decals, thus there should be no need to put 3 or 4 layers of them, another area I am experimenting with is mixing color decals with white decals, this is a very big challenge for me right now and still can’t do many tests due lack of material (still on its way). I will decide what to do once I experimented a little bit more with this because if I think I can present something better, then it is worth the time.

Best wishes,
Guillem

LEAP1-A progress, A350 new sharklets and continuing the B747-8F/-400F deck.

Good Sunday everyone,

In a scale of 0 to 10 my current stress level is at 12, not feeling too happy neither, could it be the spring coming.

I must admit that I am struggling to keep items in stock, cast those tiny parts and then prepare/clean them takes time, it is not just take them out of the mold and put them in bags.
However, I go step by step because it is the only way to not to drive oneself crazy. During the next week I expect to upload the 1/144 AST-1, A320 galleys/cargo holds, belt loaders, a couple GPU, A319, A320, A321 sharklets, WiFi antenna radome and hope to start casting more baggage carts and catering trucks. PW Neo engines are on hold once I finish the LEAP ones for a multiple mold casting since the current mold said “I give up”.

As you may have noticed I am not good at keeping decals in stock neither. I am currently awaiting more material and also working on new liveries, A320Neo (PW) China Southern and would like to start a few Frontier A320Neo (LEAP) as I feel there is a progress on these engines currently and would like to work on LEAP liveries as well.
I wish that I could get material and have some margin to not to end up with 0 papers to print on, most of the decal sets takes almost two A4 size papers and I guess I am still learning about keeping enough material.

In any case and leaving aside how I am feeling lately, I would like to upload a few photos of the progress done so far on the LEAP engines, A350 new sharklets (this was started a long ago) and the tiny process on the cargo deck.

This is second stage casting where I engraved the lines and reworked the end of the engine cowling.

Do not think too much about the upper flap on the engine cowling, I will probably take that away when placing the pylons and re work it again on top of both areas.
I will also fix a few things around the final section of the cowling, fix the shape a little bit. So next step will be to cast the second master part and add the left and right pylons.

As for the A350 new sharklets, I am currently polishing  them and fine tuning a few things, my goal is to have decals available for them so customer can chose which airline goes with these resin sharklets (or none).

 

The tiny progress I was able to do with the 747-8F/-400F deck project is this:

The final portion of the deck is being fitted, fits well on the right side, but a lot of work to do on the left side. I would like to dedicate a whole weekend to work on this because I want to keep things moving.

I wish I could feel more motivated, I guess there are too many things I am doing and I don’t have spirit for all of them to work on simultaneously, this and other things are putting me down for a while, will try to keep things in order to work better and be more optimistic.

Best wishes,

Guillem

 

 

Advancing little by little with current projects

Hello all,

This weekend I did a very tiny step on the current projects but it was a very good step for me to know where I am with these and what is coming next, alternatively I also have two good news.

On regards the B737NG cockpit:

I’ve finally got a piece of a composite fiber panel which is 10mm thick and that I cut down to 30x30cm, later I draw a grid of 5x5mm so that I could place all the elements of the 1/12 B737NG cockpit and start to see where everything has to go.
I am going to be using this grid for reference and symmetry since one of the steps I want to do later is to start with the glareshield and that will lead me to complete the front section structure.

Now, to hide all the rear side of the panels, I’ve considered two options; make just a flat wall or make the actual B737NG shell, so a portion of the cockpit would actually be a portion of the fuselage.
One of the things that I must keep in mind is to prevent the cockpit to have lots of shadows and therefore become dark, so I am studying every possibility and the same applies with the overhead panel. Perhaps the best choice would be to do half the shell such as a “cutaway” model and thus allowing the cockpit to have plenty of natural light.

While positioning the different elements, I realized that some work has to be done on the FMC pedestal panel and the throttle quadrant structure for them to fit better. I will actually set the center of the elements on the FMC pedestal since from it, every other panel follows.

Before I move onto the glareshield, I will finetune these unions as well as those for the MIP/sidewalls.

 

As for the B747-8F/-400F deck set:

I have been able to add  two new ribs which are fundamental to hold the deck as well as be a part of the AFT cargo holds. Now that the two rear ribs are made, I will proceed to make the last section of the deck.

I am also starting to study how the rear end wall will fit in the tail section. I am trying to avoid to end the deck with just a circular part with the shape of the fuselage, what I intend to do is create a conic effect as the wall gets smaller inside the tail cone.
This rear wall will be fitted in the fuselage section and will then fit inside of the tail cone once this is attached to the fuselage. The deck set won’t include the tail cone, so that will be cut off from the fuselage kit and placed onto the casted fuselage.

One of the things I am concerned about is that if I add a “false” cone to create that effect, the model may go “nose up”, so I am also considering using ballast towards the front section of the fuselage.

 

I am advancing very slowly with everything, perhaps I should restructure my schedule but I don’t want to leave a project for too long time or else I will forget where I left it. This coming weekend I would like to at least have the LEAP-1A engine with the panel lines engraved and complete the rear section of the cargo deck. As for the B737NG cockpit, I will require a longer “session” to do the steps mentioned at the beginning, but now that I know what do I have to do next, I feel more confident and wishing to start adjusting those panels very soon.

On regards the two good news; one is that this past weekend I have been experimenting with a filler for the polyurethane resin and I am very happy about how it performed, this will therefore save a lot of costs to produce the B737NG cockpit since I want to make the different panels and pedestals solid, saving costs with this material will also represent in a cheaper price for the product. I liked the initial test very much, so I am really looking forward to make use of this on the cockpit.

I am also considering using the filler for the 747-8F/-400F cargo fuselage, but for that I still need to do another test.

The second good news is that I am doing some tests in order to achieve the white of the decals to be more opaque on bigger dark areas. It does not mean that the whites aren’t opaque now, but that I may be able to add the white with less decal elements. This will only work on bigger decals such as tail logos or the overwing emergency exit marks.
It is something that I am still experimenting with but that the upcoming liveries will be designed having this in mind.

Wish you all have a very nice week!

Best wishes,
Guillem

747-8F / 747-400F – Working with floors, ceilings and fuselage.

Hello all,

This weekend I have been able to work on the B747-8F/747-400F detail deck project and I have bad and good news.

Bad news is that the deck is now useless, I had an issue while trying to remove the original paint that covered some details resulting in the multiple bending of the deck. To be honest, I was never happy since then every time I looked at the deck. This issue ocurred several weeks ago and is one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to advance as much as I liked with this project.

The solution has been to start a new one, this is where I can say the good news; having learned a lot from the previous deck, I will remove the original system I had to hold the deck into place and instead, I will be using vertical walls, this will allow me more free space to work on the aft and fwd cargo bays and the same part that will hold the deck, will also be the part that delimitates the cargo bays.

The first step  I wanted to do prior working with the new deck was to cut out the tail section, this will save a lot of material when casting and reduce costs, plus ease things when adding the rear wall. For this step I used polyester thread, it broke several times so in such cases is better to use nylon threads.

Cutting with thread, the thickness of the cut is minimal. I cut approximately 2 mm from the vertical panel line, I will make sure to precise everything in the instructions.

Photo above shows the first portion of the deck. Another thing that I learned was that the deck is way too long to make in one piece. It would no be an issue for casting but it would be for placing. The final deck will consist of three portions.
The roof will be solid, and the decision for this is purely for ease of placement. Many things have to be done having in mind that later, this will have to be build and parts must join perfectly, having a solid ceiling will ease the building process.

The floor of the cockpit (marked with the brown arrow) will have to be modified to make that area solid.

In the photo above there are two things to notice:

One is the sidewall marked in light brown. This is the area that is actually seen from outside, thus the whole wall will have details and decal markings according to the real 1/1 aircraft. This area is very important and I am aware that detailing must be done as much as possible.

The second thing to notice is the blue section. You can see the vertical wall that I made in order for the deck to rest on it. In the previous version, the deck was going to rest on a solid part between the two rails just behind the nose gear. These rails as well as the solid block would have given me a hard time when detailing or even opening the cargo door, thus making the forward and rear walls (note that only the rear is made at the moment) I will have plenty of space for detailing the FWD cargo bay.

The vertical wall will also have detail where the arrow indicates. This will be the wall within the cargo bay, so the same part that helps keep the deck in place, will also be a part of the FWD bay.

As I was mentioning earlier, all of the parts must join as best as possible, hence I added a thin line that will indicate precisely where the vertical wall for the cargo bay will go.

Here it shows the work so far on the deck. Note that the middle section still does not fit perfectly with the first section, but that has already been corrected as I also needed to do some adjustments for both fuselage halves to fit together.

It may seem a lot of work and a waste of time after the first deck work. However, by doing this again, I somehow got more energies and hope for this project, because I wasn’t 100% happy after the issues appeared with the first deck.

I am still not sure what I will do with the several rails or tracks on the deck, the first version I used 0,5mm thickness parts, but I may go a bit thinner this time to keep these in scale.

The FWD bay wall has an extra part on its rear which is actually the part that holds the middle section of the deck.

This is a view from the tail side. Note the gap on the ceiling that I have to fix. I do not think it will be seen from the Side Cargo door nor the nose door, however, since it is a structural point, it must be fixed.

This is how the project is so far. Next weekend I will start the LEAP-1A engines, thus there won’t be more updates on this cargo bird until a couple weeks. I may work with it during the week depending on the work with the items I need to make, but this has been a very important update for me, even if I haven’t done anything new, I have been able to redirect the project and most important of all; feel happy with it again which is really needed for working in such long tedious projects.
I am not forgetting the B737 cockpit project, but everything takes time and I only have two hands 🙂 wish time could stop sometimes…

Livery decals will be available on February 15th, things are getting finished and I am about to start the first prints. There is still some work to do on the A350 instructions. I am also working on the white decals, will be able to make them more opaque after adjusting some settings.

I want to apologize for the delays that have been produced during this long time. Sometimes things aren’t as easy as click a button, adjustments have to be done and tests had to be done as well.

Next weekend I expect to start the LEAP-1A engines and hope to update the blog.

Best wishes,
Guillem

 

 

747-8F / 747-400F – Working with the deck (5)

Hello everyone,

I would like to upload some of the progress that I was able to do with the 747F deck project on last weekend.

This week is a little crazy since it is holiday today and it will be extended till Monday. However, there is not much time to lose so even I reduced to 3rd gear for being national holiday, I still keep on preparing units and working on the 747F project.

Currently making more baggage carts, belt loaders, AST-1 and catering truck. I am also planning the Leap 1A engine for the Neo family, project that I set date to be ready on February at the latest. I will be using the PW as a base instead of having to do a full scratch built like I did with the PW, and although both engines are quite different when looking carefully, it is better to start with some shape (specially pylon-wing union) than starting from zero.

Now onto the progress that has been done on the freighter project:

I have made the floor of the crew rest area which is also the ceiling for the cargo compartment, this was needed as it is also a basic structure for the interior. Not planning on detailing the crew rest area since it won’t be seen from the outside. I may leave the holes for the windows for those who prefer using the clear plastic, but for my build I will have them covered and a decal will represent them.
Revell made a mistake on the upper deck windows, since the 8F is still using the traditional -400 windows for that area instead of those from the 8i but made it right on the L1 door window which also preserves the “old” window style.

After having made the crew rest area, I attached what will be the ceiling (still not all of it is placed), since the ceiling shape change at about section STA1500 towards the end of the fuselage. By adding the ceiling first, I can now see what sizes the side walls are going to be and add the detail on that particular area. The upper side of the ceiling (the one that isn’t seen) will be solid and have the same shape as the fuselage so that it can be easier to place on the concave shape of the fuselage. There isn’t too much space on that area so it won’t be a problem on regards material quantity.

This cargo set will also include the cockpit because there is a lot going on on that area. As you can see from the picture above, the entire base of the cockpit will be putty-filled so that the ceiling is flat on both the cockpit and crew rest area.
Cockpit base will also include all that detail on the edge that is actually seen from the outside. I also marked where the ladder will go, actually corrected instead of standing at the front of L1 door as I mistakenly marked firstly.

I am also not forgetting the cargo bays, I think that it would be a good idea since I have this model open in such a way, to include also both cargo bays. This will also help me to represent the new cargo loader which will feature these different sill height positions, so my idea is a diorama with four cargo loaders fully loading this freighter, nose door, side cargo door and both cargo bays.

I am advancing a little slowly because these modifications require planning and sometimes things do not always come out right at first.

Hope you like this project so far! I am really looking forward to it because it will also give me the chance to create new GSE specifically for loading such giant birds.

Best wishes,
Guillem

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