747-8F / 747-400F – Working with the deck (2)

Hello everybody,

I have been able to overcome what I think was one the most critical points of the B747F cargo set, which was to make the main cargo deck (base shape) and actually be able to create a sort of guide for it to be attached to the fuselage.

I don’t have many photos but I wanted to share one that shows the detail that the deck will have, so far the details are designed with the computer and yet to be placed on the deck itself.

The set will also include decals, so I have been taking note of the different letters and marks that go on the side walls. I noticed some differences between the 747-8F and 747-400F deck systems, the 8F is using some wheels to guide the cargo into the deck, so I may rework that area for the 747-400F set.

As a personal note I would like to say that temperatures and humidity are not helping me to work with everything as I would like to, it is not a personal complain but more a technical issue since humidity makes things harder to work with.

August has been a messy month, so from September I expect to have a more solid schedule and be able to do things in a better order. The change of decals is more work piled to do, but I am sorting that out. Up until now I did not have a catalogue and projects to work with alongside, so I need to set a schedule to designate time for both, keeping the store with items and work with new projects and decal liveries.
I know that if I run to do things, there will be bad results, so I repeat myself that I need to take the time that it takes to do it right, there is no such thing as rush into modeling and specially when you are offering your work to the public, so things must be 100% correct.

Speaking of decals, I have done more tests with them (although not on airline models yet) and I am surprised by the decal thickness, I am currently using a 7 μm decal paper (carrier thickness) which allows for 0 appearance of decal edges, I applied decal softener in my tests, but even without it, decal edges are practically invisible, with softener, there is no way to see where the decal cut is. As soon as I can, I will upload photos of these tests and I am planning to do a full video on the decaling process of an A350 model for a full decal test

Will be representing the Air China’s A350 with the 2019 Horticultural Expo colors, I think this one will be a good decal testbed, since it will have big and small decals, colorful ones, blacks and also white decals.

Best wishes,
Guillem

747-8F / 747-400F – Working with the deck

After starting the decal tests with the new printer, I am also trying to advance step by step with the B747F cargo deck project.

Before I get into more details about the cargo project, I am glad to say that I was able to improve the results over the first tests with the livery decals. Currently fixing the A350 decals, I’ve been able to make appear again the cockpit rivets and other fonts (such as those on the doors) which were way too subltle on the first tests, so I am glad to see that details are back, printer was also able to print the very thin subtle colored lines such as those for the cargo doors.
There have been several modifications done onto the corrected (reaconditioned) A350 decal sheet in order for them to be printed with the different equipment, so instead of reworking all the liveries done so far, I will apply the airline decals onto the A350 base sheet as I did while creating the artworks, expect to do the tests for the A320 soon. It will take some time to complete this, but I go step by step.

The positive aspect of printing the decals myself is that I am able to do as many tests as needed in order to be certain that details will be well represented, color tonality etc. I will soon take pictures of the decal test print.
I also had to learn the hard way some things, so I had to purchase more decal paper, but I learned from my errors and I am able to continue.

Now on the cargo bird:

As I was afraid, I had to remove a part of the inner fuselage where the wing goes, in order to keep the floor straight. I wanted to mess as little as possible with the fuselage, the wing root will also need a small cut, this is something that had to be done because the way Revell designed the wing union, did not have into consideration the interior space (as there is no interior in the kit).

One of the things I had to decide was how to work on the interior. The first idea was to create the interior separately and then place it on the inside of the fuselage, however, many things depend on the fuselage. For starters, the nose area will have detail which is attached directly on the wall itself, wing root needed the cut modification, L1 and SC doors have been opened, also, due the roof required on the compartment, the cockpit plastic part will be modified and extended as  per the hump room/resting room.

Another dependant situation is the attachment of the cargo deck, for which I made two rails with the purpose of deck placement.

The best solution and the more accurate one is to work directly on the fuselage. This will ease things for me and will allow me to make a better representation of what I try to do, it would be very hard to make the parts in such a way they would fit the shape of the fuselage, latches and actuators are placed directly on top of the nose cut, so I prefer to leave the fuselage ready in this aspect.

Side cargo door opening edges will also be sanded down to reduce plastic thickness and create a more realistic scale effect with the real airplane.

At the same time I was cutting the L1 and the side cargo door, I thought that while I was at it, it would not be a bad idea to open the other cargo doors since I was already adding the cargo deck. Thus this would be a completely full door set.

Perhaps it will be more costly for me to cast 85% of the fuselage with the full interior in it, but it will be easier for the modeler in order to avoid adjusting so many things, such as cutting the hump. So basically it would be closer to just builiding the two fuselage halves but with the interior. Of course having to make bigger molds will also represent using more materials, but I have in mind to use some additives to lessen the cost.

One of the negatives of doing such a big conversion, is that this one cannot be used with the Zvezda kit (at the moment) and only with the Revell 747-8i or 747-8F. However, if things go well and I can overcome the initial costs, I may do a surgery to the fuselage and replace the wing root and nose gear sections so that the interior can also be used for the 747-8i from Zvezda with Zvezda wing and nose gear unions.

For the 747-400F version, instead of re casting the fuselage and deck again, it would be specified in the instructions where to cut and what parts to use to make the shortened version.

Making half of the deck wasn’t easy because firstly I had to find the shape of the fuselage (on the interior) and another difficult aspect was to perfectly match the half of the airplane. If the deck was too wide, the fuselage halves won’t close, if it was too narrow, the deck would not join both fuselages.

By doing several tests, gluing the deck on one fuselage halve and placing this on a flat surface, I was able to find the center. Now that I have one half of the deck, I will proceed to make the exact same part to make the other half and join them together.

The deck will carry as many details as possible, so I am looking forward to work on this area.

 

Thank you all for reading,

Guillem

747-8F / 747-400F – First work with the nose

Starting to work on the nose for the 747-8F/747-400F cargo detail set. The grey colour is due putty being diluted to create a somewhat texture to the interior. Note that the 16 latches that keep the nose tight on the real aircraft have also been added here.

Floor is still not added as well as some other vertical bars that go across the end of the nose.

I plan to make the flaps of the nose with photo etched.

Making stock units – thinking on the 747-8F (and 747-4F?) cargo deck set

Hello all,

This will probably be my last post until I can have more stock units of the several items. As this takes a lot of time, I won’t be uploading the site with news about the other projects since I will be working with the stock also on the weekends.

People ask me about these items but I can’t really give a clear date, all I can do is just keep on going and doing as much as possible everyday.

parts, parts and more parts

The main thing is that last stock units were sold faster than I expected, thus most of items ran out of stock again (in the old store). For this reason, the online store is still not available because it would be meaningless to have it open without anything in it. After I finished the new molds, I am making the models that gave more trouble in the past, which is what I’ve been doing during the last week and that thanks to the new molds, I can produce a little bit faster.

These days I am working on stock units of the catering truck, the AST-1 pushback and the cargo loader at first, then once I have a little bit of most of the GSE items, I will publish the new store.

There are more decals for these trucks on the way from Wessex Transfers, so I am also hoping to put available the A320Neo PW engines with their decals.

 

With all this work, I only have time to think what I would like to do next, what steps to be done further with the 747-8F cargo deck set as well as the 737NG cabin.

I just want to mention that I am studying the possibility, since I am working with the 747 freighter fuselage, to give several options in order to convert either Revell’s 747-8i or Zvezda’s 747-8i into 747-8F and also into 747-400F and 747-400BDSF / BCF. I have gathered information and references and I can see that the 747-400F and 747-8F deck are similar, but the -400F deck would be shorter.

This would be:

  • Having a Revell-Zvezda 747-8i that can be converted to 747-8F in which elements included would be: the nose section, the upper deck section and the side cargo door section. This may be worthless since Revell already produce a 747-8F, but for example, there may be more freighter aircrafts operating the 747 than the 747 passenger type. Thus having a Zvezda kit would allow for this transformation.
  • Having a Revell-Zvezda 747-8i that could be converted into 747-400F, for which elements included would be: nose section, uper deck section, side cargo door, and other elements such as winglets and flap canoes, etc to go from the -8i variant to the -400F. Also a specified descrpition on where to cut the fuselage to make it shorter, stabilizer modifications etc.
  • Having a Revell-Zvezda 747-8i that could be converted into 747-400BDSF/BCF in which case all the elements of the point mentioned before would be included except the nose door as these conversions (BDSF and BCF) do not include such function on the real airplanes.
  • Having a Revell 747-8F (or a future Zvezda 747-8F?) for which elements included would be the nose section and the side cargo door section (as well as the main cargo deck, like in all other possible variants).

I know there is more and a lot to be considered in the previous statements, but since I am going to cut the fuselage, I think is worth to have other options, and I would like to design decals for freigthers and converted freighters. Me, personally, I do like the 747 freighters, maybe just a bit more than the passenger versions, the fact that there are no passenger windows on the fuselage, makes this a better canvas to show the airline logos and different designs.

I do not know if this cargo deck set will end up being a trans-kit, but while I am preparing the stock units, I will be thinking about it. When thinking about freighters, I do also have in mind the 777 conversion as well, which at first, should be smaller work than this one with the 747.

 

Below photo shows an old Revell’s 747-400 kit from which very little to nothing I can use, except to check the panel lines and compare the lenght of the -400 and the -8 variants. Below the 747-400, the 747-8F model with the new cut lines drawn, decided to go with the cut after the L1 door in order to make this door open to show the ladder accessing to the flight deck. This may make possible to make the first section of the deck to be attached inside the nose section, and divide the rest of the deck into two sections (middle and aft).

My points above mention the conversion of the Revell-Zvezda 747-8i into the freighter variants, but I haven’t specified about the conversions having/using a Revell kit. In my opinion, mosf of us airliner nuts we know about the deficiencies of the 747-400 Revell kit, so being the Revell-Zvezda 747-8i a better kit, I would assume these would be the base to go, and it is always possible to go from a Revell-Zvezda 747-8i into a 747-400, but that is another subject.

 

Best wishes,

Guillem

Boeing 747-8F – Cargo deck interior

Hello all,

These last few days I have been thinking about the next GSE and airliner models that I would like to do, and so I thought to start the list with a project that I have been wanting to do for a while.

This project may be a little long but I am sure it will be challenging and enjoyful. The lenght of this project will be determined from the process of secondary items that will be linked very closely to this project.

One of the parts that I like most of  making these models is to gather as much information as possible; numbers, sizes, and lots of photographs. That is the only way to do things properly in scale and I think it is a very important factor, because it is easy to do something a couple milimeters longer which would be about 30cm longer in the real element.

So from here, if anybody by any chance has access to one of these -8F or -400F freighters, I would be enormously grateful to receive reference photos that will surely help me a lot with this build and make it as accurate and detailed as possible.

This B747-8F project will consist of the representation of the fully raised nose cargo door and fully opened side cargo door, with a cargo bay which will include the interior panels that will cover the whole inside of the model. This project will also include decals, these will be used for several things such as panel illustrations, and other signs.

 

Two of secondary items that I mentioned before that may be build alongside this projects are; cargo pallets and a new cargo loader. The Commander FMC15i bridge can reach 3,55 meters, while the distance of the floor to the rollers of the B747-8F is of 5,05 m (lightweight aft) and 4,72m (heavyweight fwd). Thus the standard Commander FMC15i would not be able to reach the nose height.

That is one of the reasons why these loaders can also be supplied with a double sill, which would increase the elevation. However in this case I am still unsure about if I would like to make a new and bigger loader or create a variation with the double sill from the current model.

 

Things that concern me are how to build-add the whole cargo compartment inside the kit’s fuselage, which for this build, I am going to be using Revell’s Boeing 747-8F kit. But that is something I will be thinking about prior doing any cuttings.

This leads me to show a first photo where I intend to do a cut:

Naturally, the nose door will be cut out from the fuselage, but so will be the front section. The reason to cut from the mark I made is for some reasons:

1- Once the nose is separated, there is a lot of things going on in that front section, such as the different elements like the hinges which will be placed on the plastic profile, the structure right under the cockpit windows etc.

2- To ease on the building/adding the whole set. Although the nose can be considered a separate part, there is also going to be detail on the forward section, so I think that having that whole section will be later easier for everybody to just make a cut on the kit’s fuselage and incorporate the front detailed section.

The place where I situated the cutting line was decided based on the panel lines. I would not like to cut on top of a fuselage line, because when joining the front section, the addition of putty or the work with the sanding paper would erase that line. So in this way is very easy to glue the front section in a smooth area, add masking tape at both sides while applying putty or sanding and therefore conservating the vertical panel lines.

Obviously it is impossible to do a cut such as this without having to go through a panel line, but it is easier to do a small cut where the horizontal lines meet rather than a long cut where the vertical panel lines are.

3- It will be easier for me to work with both front section halves glued, since I will be placing the structure under the cockpit windows etc.

4- The connection of the ladder to the cockpit, which may lead me to make a cut past the L1 door so that I can make the door opened and provide the door already open in the fuselage. This makes me think that it is possible that photo etched parts (like the ladder) will also be done.

Cutting past the L1 may be the best solution, after all it is normal the L1 to be open while loading the cargo, so that is something I will probably do.

 

Another of the things that I will be taking into consideration is the possibility to port this to a -400F type. So I will take a look to see if the floor / rollers layout is different from both the -8F and the -400F.

A bit long project in which I should consider all possibilities before doing a cut, despite some of the new GSE items I like to make, the fuselage of this 8F is already on my desk.

 

In a few days I would like to comment on which will be the other items I would like to start, but in the meantime, I continue preparing the upcoming stock units of the items I already made.

Best wishes,

Guillem

 

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