LEAP-1A Getting the main shape done

Good weekend everyone,

Today I want to give a very little update on the LEAP-1A status since I was able to continue working with the shape and add that sort of bulge characteristic of this engine.

There is still a little bit to modify on the bulge, have to move the mass a little bit forward and double check again with the blueprints. Once this is done, I will do a casting of this part in order to start adding the panel lines, following this step, I will then begin working with the pylons.

I also want to say that I am currently studying the next steps that have to be done with the B737NG cockpit project. This is what happens when you leave something for a while, you need to get back in time and check what was the last thing done in order to keep advancing from that point.

The B747-8F/-400F project is momentaneously on pause as I am gathering a little bit more material and once the LEAP-1A is finished, I plan to work alongside with the deck set and with the new FMC15i cargo loader, that will be the first GSE of this year that I will make, so I am hoping to make it as detailed and realistic as possible, I must give a huge thank you to my friend Michael who has given me plenty of reference photos to make this model as best as possible.

Now that the decal liveries are uploaded, I will try to keep them in stock as regularly as possible and will also focus on creating new ones. There are some colorful ones that catch my attention that I would really like to make, but there are also other older liveries non existant nowadays that are also my wish to make. I look forward to move onto a different model other than the A320/A320Neo/A350, so I plan to continue with a Boeing bird next.
I will also put special attention to liveries of aircrafts carrying the LEAP-1A engines since I have been a little bit more limited with the PW engines so far, most Neos are wearing the LEAP engines. A321Neo liveries are also on my plans.

 

Wish you all a very nice Sunday and hope to give another update on the next weekend, hopefully with more info on the current project’s progress.

Best wishes,
Guillem

LEAP-1A First work in progress

Hello everyone,

This weekend I have been working on the LEAP-1A engines after having made the P&W set for the A320 family, and I thought to share how is the progress so far.

Before I show the pictures of the work done, I want to show one that ilustrates the basic physical differences between both engine models:

As you can see, both engines are quite different when examined carefully, it may be easy to not to know which engine is which on a real aircraft at first glance, so one of the things I do to differentiate both engines is to look at the nozzle tip. The LEAP-1A has a little protuberant tube whereas the P&W don’t.

The LEAP-1A also features a very different shape on one of the sides of the cowl creating a kind of a lump. There are many other differences on the pylons as well, being the one for the LEAP-1A  a little bit longer. I am working on the shape with the real dimensions of the engines.

Here is one of the first steps that I’ve done:

I started by using one of the basic shapes of the P&W and modified accordingly, the outer ring is also wider on the LEAP-1A so I was trying to make that area while afterwards I realized that there wasn’t enough material on the inside to give it the proper thickness.

So I decided to sand down kowing that I was also making the engine shorter, what I did later was to add an extension in the middle to get back the distance I “ate” sanding that down.

At the moment the engine does not have that lump as it had in the second picture, but there is the main shape done, however yet to be polished and to have added the lump as well as other details.

I casted the engine as it is because that is the master part, if anything wrong happens to it, there is a chance of having to start all over again. This is a process that I do in certain circumstances pretty much like a “backup copy” so that in case anything wrong happens, you can go back to a certain point of the process.

There is still a lot of work to do, although I have used the basics of the P&W engine, after the cut I had to do, only a 20% remains from that engine and this will also be modified somehow, what I wanted is to make use of the P&W in order to have a “skeleton”, a basic shape to start working with.

You can also notice that the LEAP-1A is a bit flatter than the P&W whereas the P&W seems to be more rounded towards the end of the cowl, it has a more remarked slope.

Still a lot to do, but I hope this one won’t take me as much time as the previous engines did!

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

747-8F / 747-400F – Working with the side cargo door (2)

Hello everyone,

As I commented on the previous entry, today I would like to upload some of the process I made during the last days on regards the 747F project.

The cargo door still requires more details on the inner side, the two arms as well as some bits of wiring, the rollers etc. There are some minor differences on the panel between the -400F and the -8F, there are also some differences in the deck (besides the lenght) so I will work on the -400F variant later on once I have completed the 8F.

In the previous entries I comment on the issue I had with this particular area of the door frame, now that I have attached (only for reference) the door, I can see that the inner cover has to have an empty space, like a notch so to represent the space needed for the door to fit once supposedly closed.

There is also going to be all that detail for the reinforcement of the fuselage for the door.

Still work to do on the union between the door/fuselage, as I comment before, I need to correct that area.

Now that I have more or less figured out the SCD, it is time to plan very carefully the interior of this beast. Unlike a house, I will start from the roof, I will do so by continuing and modifying the cockpit floor, extending it to the resting area, there, it cuts and a second ceiling is visible. Having the mark of the deck level and having later the level of the ceiling, I will be able to see clearer where the side panels and their detail will go.

There is a Zvezda 747-8i on the way as I would like to do a port from this build in order to be placed on the Zvezda kit, as for somebody it may be easier to find a Zvezda kit than a Revell one, I also would like to do this port to open posibilities for those who prefer to work on Zvezda kits. It will be a challenge because both kits are completely different, a lot of surgery to do, but the Zvezda version will come later once the Revell variant is completed.

Within the next couple days I hope to upload some of the progress done on the livery decals.

Thanks everybody for reading!

Best wishes,
Guillem

747-8F / 747-400F – Working with the side cargo door (1)

Hello everyone,

I have been able to start working a little bit on the side cargo door and the first thing to do was to research the actual 1/1 inner space dimensions.
This has been quite interesting to start, at simple sight when the door is closed, it looks taller, but the actual opening looks more squarish. This is because of the space required for the rollers and the top cover where the two mechanisms are located, so the door actually sits on these areas as well as in the small frame around the opening.

It may be a little complicated to explain, but I hope to work on the next steps and have myself a better view and understanding.
At the beginning I thought that the original kit’s door dimension was wrong, but I do believe it was right.

The next photo does not show much but that I have started working with this area. Actually I had to include plastic on the sides of the opening as well in order to keep the dimensions in scale.

The brighter area is a plastic portion I placed that will be used as a guide to know where that cover and hinges will go, door will cover that area somewhat once shown in opened position.

I am not a big fan of real lights on scale models but I am a little curious in this case, because this cargo will have all its deck visible, I may try to add a few leds or a small led stripe on the ciling as I can imagine this freighter being loaded at dusk.

To me it was important to start another area and leave aside for a moment the deck itself. In fact, it was needed because once I start working on the interior panels, I would already like to have the door opening done.

I also must say that in order to not to forget why do I love to do what I do, I must find the time to build a completed model (A320) to fully and finally test the new decals that I am re adjusting. I have changed the distribution of the artwork so that it is easier to locate things, easier to understand what is what, I am still far from finishing adjusting all the artworks but I am on the way.

Motivation is very important in this aspect to keep working on projects, it is already hard to stay focused onto two projects such as this one and the B737NG cockpit and as a matter of fact, I found out that I am not good at combining both projects, mostly because it is always plan ahead.
I am working on stock units every day, it requires a lot of time and dedication, but I like it very much, only that I do not want to forget the essence of scale models, for this reason I think that the next A320 is not only going to be used as a test for the new decals, but also a project that I need to do to keep my dreams alive.

More updates on the next weekend!

Best wishes,
Guillem

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