by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
In building historically based model kits we as the modeler / builder have to ask ourselves “. . . what is enough detail in scale?” To appreciate the small details one idealizes in a kit or aftermarket items you have to know what you are looking for. Resin casting is proven to be ideal for low volume and sharp detailed prototype kits. Most of the kits offered in resin would never be offered in injected moulded styrene plastic, due to the costs being prohibitive for such a small market. The problem with detail or upgrade kits is that the written instructions are often minimal and the average modeler has to sometimes guess what is intended. Think about it this way. Upgrading or detail sets are meant to augment a kit in ways that tend to make it look more like the original. Now a model is just a model but the beauty for many of us is in proportionate or scale details.
A common method for making a kit build look more like the original aircraft is to actuate the control surfaces. That is ailerons, elevators and rudder are shown as separate pieces with the trim at less or greater than center. Showing weight by bulging the tires is another method. The resin process allows for detailed parts to have bulges, couplings add unique shapes that are difficult to attain in the injection molding process.
Going to the ailerons, elevators and rudder, when you separate parts that are moulded together as one unit you often get flat edges at the cut lines and the originals had cupped trailing edges or beveled leading edges to fit in the cupped trailing edges. When you try to bevel a part to fit it will loose some depth in chord (distance from leading edge to trailing edge) and takes away from the over all area of a part. This can cause a misfit / mismatch of parts. In the following images I will attempt to show you the general improvements that can be added when augmented by detail or upgrade parts that are designed to add that scale realism.
01. Is a comparison of the Black Dog aileron (without cable actuation rod) laid on top of the Gavia / Eduard Alb. top wing. Note the general accuracy for the part. It also has the beveled leading edge. Often just routing the cut out with a small Dremel cutter will do but I recommend brass pins when match fine edges to fine edges.
02. Shows the comparison of the Black Dog elevator part to an Gavia / Eduard modified horizontal tail assembly. The assembly shows the elevator attached in a down position so it looks arched in this image. Note the modified assembly is ok, but would greatly benefit by replacing it with the Black Dog item. These are small or minute differences that often are not apparent to the neophyte.
03. Shows the comparison of the Black Dog elevator part to an Gavia / Eduard stock horizontal tail assembly. The assembly shows the elevator moulded in a centered position. Note the stock moulded part is ok, but would greatly benefit by replacing it with the Black Dog item. These are small or minute differences that often are not apparent to the neophyte.
04. Here the stock Gavia / Eduard kit engine exhaust horn (at left) is compared to the Black Dog item (at right). The Black Dog item is longer and bellowed. The shape of the exhaust’s trumpet mouth is readily noticed.
05 - 07. Shows the weight bulge moulded in the Black Dog wheel compared to the Gavia / Eduard stock wheel. Remember the original motor weighed nearly 300lbs. To show the wheels without the weight effect does not let the viewer see your build as unique.
08. At left we see the Black Dog seat and cushion. And at right the Gavia / Eduard stock item. The stock seat is little more than a flat .020 thou flat shim. Note the arm rests seen on the original item have been added in the resin piece.
09 - 10. Shows the best method for removing the resin mounting stump then the resin tree. Then sanding down the rudder to keep the beveled edge and avoiding damage. Scribe the part at the base repeatedly on both long sides then trap the cut area with a straight edge and push the edge down.
11 -14. Shows the sequence for removing the resin mounting stump then the resin tree. Then sanding down the vertical stabilizer to keep the clean edges and avoiding damage. Scribe the part at the base repeatedly on both long sides then trap the cut area with a straight edge and push the edge down.
15 - 16 Shows the sequence for removing the resin mounting stump. Scribe the part at the base repeatedly on both long sides then trap the cut area with a straight edge and push the edge down.
17. Compares the Black Dog resin header tank (at the bottom) to the stock Gavia / Eduard item (on top). The details of the resin part are obvious in this view.
18. Shows the stock Gavia / Eduard instrument panel (although painted by me) at left. The Black Dog unpainted version at right. Note how the Gavia / Eduard part is designed to only show the faintest simulation of the details. Black Dog adds the round instrument placards and gives you something to pin scale on / off switch levers to.
19. Compares the Black Dog rudder to its Gavia / Eduard (detached from the vertical stabilizer) counterpart. Note the differences in chord from the forward spine areas to the curved trailing edges.
20- 24. Here we see the method for detaching the Black Dog ear radiators and there comparison the Gavia / Eduard stock item (with PE rear faces).
25. The stumps, trees and resin dust (That makes excellent filler by the way) and the tools I used. While I could have used my Dremel multi-speed motor tool I also want to use caution in separating parts to avoid damaging the details. And the details are the whole reason for the upgrade kit. Also! The modeler should use paper breathing masks (to keep from breathing the resin dust) and goggles /safety glasses to protect your eyes of course.
When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE