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Monogram Ford Tri Motor build

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  • Member since
    October, 2017
Monogram Ford Tri Motor build
Posted by Jay Bones on Monday, October 30, 2017 7:51 PM

Trying to make the most realistic build of this kit.

 

The skin is made of corrugated metal, and the leading edge of the wings is difficult to get a smooth seam.  Traditional methods of trying to minimize the edges won't works since it's corrugated.

I've tried thin glue along the edges, and it's either too thin and doesn't hold or it's too thick and softens the plastic too much.

Also tried Bondo, which works well, but theres a noticeable gap in the corrugations.  And white tub caulk.  Same problem there.

Ideally I would like to be able to have a tight line where the corrugations line up (they do fine before gluing up).

Also, I know there's some trick to getting the windows to look more realisticly shiny.  Something that's sprayed on the clear plastic.

I know that model glue will cause the clear plastic to turn white, so I use clear silicone.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Monday, October 30, 2017 8:44 PM

Jay, are you going to build the airplane as Island Airways? A woman I worked with back in the '80s, grew up on an island in Lake Erie. That Ford was her school bus! When the airplane was taken out of regular service, the owner brought it here to Florida. I had the opportunity to fly on the airplane a few times. I think the airplane also appeared in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." I've been thinking about building the same kit as Byrd's Antarctic Ford.

Anyway, maybe try liquid cement like Testors or Tamiya to glue the wings together. Then a thin sanding needle to smooth the seam on the leading edge, between the corrugations. As for your clear parts, clean them with alcohol, let the alcohol dry then dip the clear parts in clear Pledge. The clear parts will be very shiny and clear. To attach the clear parts to the inside of the fuselage, use white glue or Formula 500 canopy glue. Make sure the white glue is cured before you glue the fuselage halves together. Before you paint, you can mask the windows with tape like Tamiya's masking tape.

I hope this helps you some...

OK. On the bench:

MENG 1/48 F-35A dedicated to my late brother Buzz.

  • Member since
    February, 2012
Posted by Liegghio on Monday, October 30, 2017 11:42 PM

Your suggestions should do the trick. My sister in law gave me this kit and I wish it was the Byrd expedition version. I would like to print my own decals and convert it to the ill-fated Miskatonic University  1930 Antarctic Expedition plane. There are lots of images on-line of the University's logo and expedition badges.

Indifferent

  • Member since
    April, 2008
  • From: clinton twp,mi
Posted by humper491 on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:35 AM
contact tanker builder in a message. he'll walk you through. he's a personal friend, when i talk to him later i'll mention this to him. he answers everyone. another that might be of help is fermis, also a friend, awesome a/c builder . ask questions, you'll get answers! to quote TB "model on"

Humper Beam

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:22 AM

Also, try posting the questions in the Aircraft and the Airliners and Civil Aircraft forums.  That indeed is a tricky kit, and you may get more help in those forums.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 1:25 PM

Liegghio

... I would like to print my own decals and convert it to the ill-fated Miskatonic University  1930 Antarctic Expedition plane. There ...

Indifferent

 

 
Hi,
 
As a Lovecraft fan, I can't wait to see your build.  Happy Halloween. Surprise
 
Pat
  • Member since
    October, 2017
Posted by Jay Bones on Friday, November 03, 2017 1:45 AM

fotofrank

Jay, are you going to build the airplane as Island Airways? A woman I worked with back in the '80s, grew up on an island in Lake Erie. That Ford was her school bus! When the airplane was taken out of regular service, the owner brought it here to Florida. I had the opportunity to fly on the airplane a few times. I think the airplane also appeared in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." I've been thinking about building the same kit as Byrd's Antarctic Ford.

Anyway, maybe try liquid cement like Testors or Tamiya to glue the wings together. Then a thin sanding needle to smooth the seam on the leading edge, between the corrugations. As for your clear parts, clean them with alcohol, let the alcohol dry then dip the clear parts in clear Pledge. The clear parts will be very shiny and clear. To attach the clear parts to the inside of the fuselage, use white glue or Formula 500 canopy glue. Make sure the white glue is cured before you glue the fuselage halves together. Before you paint, you can mask the windows with tape like Tamiya's masking tape.

I hope this helps you some...

 

 

Thanks man!

If the woman you knew grew up on Kelleys Island, chances are I knew her.  And this plane was in service until around 1980.  Then the people who owned is (Island Airways) realized it was too collectable to continue its daily service and sold it to a collector.

He moved it to Florida, and I heard he had it stored in a hangar that hurricane Andrew flattened.

The museum here is rebuilding one, with plans to paint it in Island Airways livery.

As far as window glue, I use a clear hard drying product called Shoe Goo.  The cockpit windows need to go in after the fusilage halves are mated, but the ones down the sides go in before.  I'm even going to put a little charcoal construction paper down the center so you can't see the insides when displaying or looking closely.

At one point in the early decades of it's service here, they had curtains on the windows and wicker chairs.  When I flew on it the seats were metal frame with a more durable surface.

Great tip on the sanding needle!  Never would have thought of that...

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:35 AM

On the model the control bell cranks are molded as part of the surface detail.  They are superimposed on the underlying corrugated surface.

 

 

As shown on tha attached photo, the cranks actually stand proud of the surface.   While fabricating replacement cranks is a relatively simple matter, removing the molded-on cranks without damaging the underlying the corrugated surface is more problematic

  • Member since
    September, 2015
  • From: The Redwood Empire
Posted by Aaronw on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:39 AM

For the windows, I dip them in Future floor polish. It protects them from glue fumes and covers minor blemishes. It can also be use to glue them in place. White glue also works well for glueing clear parts.

 

As far as the seam, look at photos of the real thing. There is a prominent seam along the leading edge of the wing so getting the wing to go together well is not really as tricky as it first seams. 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:44 AM

EdGrune

On the model the control bell cranks are molded as part of the surface detail.  They are superimposed on the underlying corrugated surface.

 

 

As shown on tha attached photo, the cranks actually stand proud of the surface.   While fabricating replacement cranks is a relatively simple matter, removing the molded-on cranks without damaging the underlying the corrugated surface is more problematic

 

A reasonable strategy there might be to put tape around the cast on detail and sand it down as much as possible, then make another one and glue it on top.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Saturday, November 04, 2017 3:39 PM

Yeah, Jay Jay, putting the windows in from the inside is a pain in the butt, for sure. On the bench right now is an Italeri B-17C/D. I'm having to glue in all of the little clear windows before the fuselage halves go together. I'm using Testors liquid cement applied with a very fine brush to glue them in. I want to make sure they stay in when I mask them for painting. Two of the little windows over the nose area can only go in after the fuselage halves are glued together since they are on the seam. Ugh. I'll probably paint the windows black on the inside since seeing through them isn't necessary anyway. At least the waist windows, canopy, and nose go on after the fuselage is complete.

OK. On the bench:

MENG 1/48 F-35A dedicated to my late brother Buzz.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Sunday, November 05, 2017 10:24 AM

If the window openings are'nt too large you can make your own with Testor's window maker or Bondic laser glue. Simply fill the window void with glue and let it dry. Testor's takes a while to dry but the Bondic stuff is instant.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, November 05, 2017 10:45 AM

fotofrank

Yeah, Jay Jay, putting the windows in from the inside is a pain in the butt, for sure. On the bench right now is an Italeri B-17C/D. I'm having to glue in all of the little clear windows before the fuselage halves go together. I'm using Testors liquid cement applied with a very fine brush to glue them in. I want to make sure they stay in when I mask them for painting. Two of the little windows over the nose area can only go in after the fuselage halves are glued together since they are on the seam. Ugh. I'll probably paint the windows black on the inside since seeing through them isn't necessary anyway. At least the waist windows, canopy, and nose go on after the fuselage is complete.

 

I find the white glue type window cement, like the Testors or Micro Scale, is just not strong enough to mask over without risking them coming out after fuselage is glued together.  I find the UV hardening (laser) stuff is the answer- much easier and even stronger than epoxy.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    October, 2017
Posted by Jay Bones on Friday, November 17, 2017 9:25 PM

fotofrank
...I think the airplane also appeared in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."...

Maybe.  It was the first successful steel bodied airliner in the 30's.

But I saw that movie and thought it might have been another 3 engine, possibly Junkers.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, November 17, 2017 9:42 PM

Aluminum, actually.

Yes that one in Florida was in the movie.

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Cave City, KY
Posted by Watchmann on Friday, November 17, 2017 10:09 PM

Jay, I'd love to watch your build.  I put one together when I was a kid, and I've got the arctic version in my stash.

There's one making the US airshow circuit.  Reserve your seat now!

https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/flight-experiences/fly-the-ford-eaa-ford-tri-motor-airplane-tour/ford-tri-motor-tour-stops

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, November 18, 2017 9:11 AM

There is a crying need for a decent Ford Trimotor kit!  The only two I am aware of are the Monogram/Revell 1:77 scale, with all the problems noted above, and the old Airfix models.  I understand that it is not a military aircraft, but there must be some interest in civil aircaft.  The old Airfix kit is in some ways even worse than the RM kit, even if it is in the right scale.  The fit is bad, especially in those critical struts that hold the engine nacelle (they are too short).  Those nacelles stick out in the breeze, and with individual struts it is almost impossible to get the nacelle in the right place- the struts should be part of the nacelle casting, or at least a single strut casting with nacelle pieces fitting around it.

We need a newer kit of this historic aircraft.  Maybe Airfix would do new molds.  Their latest offerings are really nice- I wish they would try again on the Ford, with the same care as their new offerings.  Or at least someone!  Please, a state of the Air Ford!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, November 18, 2017 10:00 AM

The Airfix kit also poses challenges to get the luggage compartments on the underside of the wings to fit.

Another one I'd like to see is the Fokker F-7/ 3M.

Frog had a model of the Southern Cross, now hard to find.

 

  • Member since
    October, 2017
Posted by Jay Bones on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 8:42 PM

[quote user="Watchmann"]

https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/flight-experiences/fly-the-ford-eaa-ford-tri-motor-airplane-tour/ford-tri-motor-tour-stops  [/quote]

Yeah, they were here this summer.

Considering I've flown one before, THE Island Airways Tin Goose I wasn't going to spend that kind of coin.  Now, when the Liberty Air Museum restores theirs and offers flights for fund raising...

 

Also, how would you recomend getting a sharp paint line.  The corrugations make painter's tape end up looking like a saw.

Thought about using some water soluable white glue (Elmer's) and using it to make a barrier under the tape, spray the blue then after it dries wash the glue away.

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Cave City, KY
Posted by Watchmann on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:31 PM

Jay Bones

Also, how would you recomend getting a sharp paint line.  The corrugations make painter's tape end up looking like a saw.

Thought about using some water soluable white glue (Elmer's) and using it to make a barrier under the tape, spray the blue then after it dries wash the glue away.

That, my friend, is a good question. I've tried something similar with Microscale's masking fluid, but the result wasn't sharp either.  It was difficult to build up a thick enough layer and achieve a straight line.

You might try some tests on the wings before you start your build.  Then strip the paint off before you start building.

I would try some Tamiya tape or Frog tape (cheaper than Tamiya).  Both are thin paper which make it easier to get in around curves, and I image the corrugations.  Cut it in 1/8" strips (or thinner) and burnish it down with a round wood toothpick.  Thin strips are also good for making curved lines.  Then cover the large areas between the stips with wider tape.  Remove the tape soon after the paint dries to the touch.

Are you brush or airbrushing the color?  If you are using an airbrush, be sure not to shoot the paint so it will be driven under the tape.  Keep the airbrush perpendicular to the model surface.

As I recall, the cockpit window was hard to install.  I would consider cutting the cockpit roof off, then install the window, then glue the roof back on.  Follow with putty, sanding, then paint.

  • Member since
    October, 2017
Posted by Jay Bones on Thursday, November 23, 2017 12:41 AM

Don't have an airbrush, so was going with rattle can.

On an aborted build last year I used green Frog tape, and used the round toothpick to settle the tape into the corrugations.  And when I sprayed I made sure to not be forcing any paint under the tape edge.  Still had some areas that came out with a jagged line.

On the plus side from that build, I have all 3 radial engines done with good detail.  Sprayed them lighter black then used jet black and silver on toothpicks to highlight detail.  Sprayed the propellers silver, then taped off for the colors.  Even did a little blue on the prop hub (as I'd scene the real Tri Motor had.  Painted them blue but the radials would leak oil which would darken the edges closest to the engine.  Probably also from the heat baking said oil onto the hub covers as well).

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, November 23, 2017 9:34 AM

After masking, spray on another coat of the base color. That way Your leaks wont show.

go easy on weathering commeecial transports. Not a good look for the passengers. Everybody knows what an oil leak is.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 7:51 AM

Hallo ! 

 Listen . For those pesky horns . Cut them off .Then take a lining gouge ( a wood working tool ) and rescribe the corrugations . It's tedious but looks great when done .

    Once you have the grooves back then file and sand till they match the surrounding surface .

 It shouldn't be that hard , If I remember right that kit's plastic was pretty easy to work like that . Mine when I built it was at least 20 years old .

 Age didn't seem to affect it much .

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