Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whoa! A new model in progress

Actually, I've got a lot in progress. An L-39 Albatross (my first 1/72 jet since high school), an Accurate Miniatures F3f-2 and an original issue AMT Mercedes 300sl. Respectively, they're waiting for Czech decals, oil wash drying and Tamiya to actually start shipping paint.

Today, however, I want to talk about my newest Biting Off More Than I Can Chew project. It's a very speculative What If; an AC-119-style gunship version of the Fairey Rotodyne.

I'd started the Rotodyne last Xmastime and tried to do it in BAE Livery but my stenciling was not great looking and the poor fit of the model meant that I'd removed some panel lines during seam filling. I shelved it until, at my last model meeting, a friend of mine (who says that he doesn't like doing WiFs) suggested a gunship version. He graciously slid me a 1/72 model of a 105 Howitzer and I was off.

Another one of my model group members is a former AC-119 pilot and offered some insight into what to do. I sketched out a basic floor plan based on his input, a Squadron C-130 book and some very small pictures on the web. I am trying to have a plan with this one so I don't get stuck and rule #1 is: NOT DO DETAIL WHERE IT CAN'T BE SEEN (see my Stranraer).

I started working on the 105 and crafted a mount vaguely like that on a modern AC-130. I then totally scratch built a 40mm Bofors. You'll notice that the Bofors is not super-detailed. This is in keeping with rule #1. I did a lot of test fitting and was going for the silhouette of a Bofors.

I then moved on to the difficult parts: rotary cannon. My pilot friend suggested that in addition to the 105 and 40mm, I should add two Vulcans and two miniguns. I found some pics of mingun mounts (not the ones that used aircraft gun pods) but there was only a single pic of a vulcan mount from an AC-119.

The barrels were individually assembled from stretched sprue. The miniguns only have four barrels but the Vulcans have a full six. There are no belts going from the ammo drum to the Vulcans as you will not be able to see them (lots of test-fitting and looking through windows to make sure of this). I 'failed' a bit on the miniguns and put ammo cans and feed chutes that you can't see.

Yes, I just noticed that the barrel group of the Vulcan is not straight. Don't worry, I'll fix it ;)

Here's the interior with all the parts. The thing on the far right is going to be the FLIR station. The window that have the kit clear in them will be painted over (embarrassment: I was scratching my head for a day or so of how to deal with filling the windows. Had some crazy ideas until I had the forehead-smacking moment)

And here's the view from the rear of the cabin. You can see why I'm not going all Stranraer on this thing.

My main worry is trying to do the finishing with all of the gun barrels sticking out. I know the fit will be just as problematic as before only now I've got all of these bits I can knock free.

Any suggestions?