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1:72 AH-1G Vietnam Cobra "Dr. Oldsmobile" WIP - Vacuform Canopy Fit

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  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by Stazie190 on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 1:54 AM

Hi Pawel,

I tried to take a lot of pictures of my Cobras when I was in the Army and so I wouldn't forget the tail numbers and use for model building references in the future, but I can't find or remember what the last digit of my AH-1S(Mod) serial number was. I think it was 15293, or 15294. We had 6 AH-1S(Mod) Cobras in C Company 228th AHB and we looked at the maintenace records from birth once and two of them came off the assembly line back to back as G models, served in Vietnam, were shot down same week so they were like twins that followed each other around the world and ended back up in Texas re-built as S(Mod)s. One of the twins was deemed mine, but we worked on all 6 in our company.

I do know the AH-1P I crewed was 0-22697. A picture of it is in Mike Verier's book Cobra the attack helicopter, page 51, bottom picture. I have some really good pictures of it while we did maintenance on it in the desert.

Funny you mention the interior canopy yellow lines, I've skipped these on all my previous models because its such a pain in the rear to paint and was going to try cutting thin strips of left over yellow decals and give that a try. I'd like to make some custom decals for this and the canopy jettison molding on the interior canopy on the S(Mod), P, E and F versions.

I to am finishing up the interiors on Special Hobby's 1/72 S(Mod) and 1/48 G model. I like to work on a couple kits at once. I figure if I'm building one kit, might as well build two and save painting sessions in the spray booth. :)

If you build another cobra after a G model and want to put the canopy jettion system in and the Helmet Sight System (HSS) in, I can share the manual drawings for these of what it looks like. My last kit I scratch built both pilot and co-pilot's HSS rails. Every kit leaves these out. Eduards 1/48 PE for the G model has the HSS XM128 box in their kit though and used thin chrome wire for the HSS rails. 

Looks like I'll have to set up a Photo Bucket account and start positing pictures. What do you use posting pictures in the forum?

 

Thanks,

 

Tom

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, November 3, 2022 5:06 PM

Hello Tom!

Thanks for the serial numbers, I'll try to look 'em up browsing Vietnam photos, like I wrote I find it fascinating how those snakes changed over all the years.

Cutting strips of decal is my go-to method for working inside the canopy (and not only for that), but my take on it is I take leftover clear decal film and paint a portion of it the colour I need, then I cut thin strips (or other shapes) and apply them where needed.

I also work on two or three kits at a time - sometimes it's the same type (like I did building my Loaches), most of the time something completely different to be able to take a break from one model to another.

Detail pictures or drawing s are always welcome, at least in my threads - but the G cobra used the pantograph sight, right?

What do I use for posting pictures? As it happens I'm renting a server that I use for hosting my web page, and I also use to store my pictures where I can link to. Please check out that web page: www.vietnam.net.pl - go to "Exhibits" to see my Vietnam era models.

Looking forward to seeing the pictures of your models - Have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 5:45 PM

Hello!

As usual with me it took a long time, but I have finally outfitted the insides of the canopy. I made the framing with a clear decal that was painted first, then cut to stripes of the right width - the gray ones are about 1,5mm wide, the yellow ones are about 0,7mm wide. I have also added the door handles with 0,5mm wire put through holes drilled in the canopy. I have also added some details from the MPM PE sheet - those were glued with white glue. Amont them are the canopy release handles Tom mentioned - those are extremely tiny, hard to see even in those brutal close-ups. I think it's time for the photos now:

1:72 Special Hobby AH-1G Cobra by Pawel

1:72 Special Hobby AH-1G Cobra by Pawel

1:72 Special Hobby AH-1G Cobra by Pawel

I think it's about time to close the cabin up - thanks for looking and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 8:25 AM

Nice job on the canopy.  It looks great.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by Stazie190 on Friday, November 25, 2022 1:25 AM

Hi Pawel,

Looks pretty good. Now I wished I put put yellow strips on my interior canopy myself but I already scratch built and installed the helmet sight system (HSS) rails and cables on the interior side of the top canopy. The AH-1S(Mod) had a black interior so the yellow border would have really popped against the black interior. I'm doing canopy doors open to to match my 1/48 scale kit I just finished. I think I'll do the yellow strips on my 1/48 AH-1G though , I'm almost done with the cockpit and canopy pieces are primed and interior painted already so I probably get to that this weekend.

The vaccum form canopy looks good to. I've always wished kit manufactures would just inject the frame and make thin vaccum formed clear pieces instead of injecting one big thick piece, but thats wishful thinking, unless I made my own kits. :)

Oh, I was going to tell you, I confirmed what the serial number was of my AH-1S(Mod) cobra was. I was looking at some of my Army pictures for interior references for color and wear patterns and I had my magnifying headset on and low and behold the radio call sign placard was visable in a shadow on the instument panel on the left side. It was serial number 15641, built in 1967 and I searched google and found out was in the 7/17 calvary, C Troop, 1st Calvary division. Sure enough the two brothers I told you about S/N 15642 was also in the 7/17 Cav C Troop in Vietnam. I also googled another serial number 68-15139 I took at Fort Eustis Virgina training and it's one of the famous Cobras "Squatter Swatter", apparently there were two named that. Microscale makes decals for it but I can't find them on e-bay so I might just make them.

Sorry to chatter on, I was going to ask you about your vaccum form canopy and how you made it?

I also looked at the US Army Painting and Marking manual TM 55-1500-345-23 for the interior yellow strips on both doors for the AH-1 and the spec says they are 0.5 inches wide and the color is FS33538. It looks like a standard insignia yellow for color.

1/72 Scale= (0.007 inches/0.176 mm) wide.

1/48 Scale = (0.010 inches/0.026 mm) wide.

A couple quick notes with the Special Hobby G kit before you paint the exterior, remove and fill the pitot tube port on the upper left side of the rotor tower. The G model's pitot tube was on the nose and wasn't moved to the rotor tower until the TSU for the TOW missiles was mounted on the nose on all models after the G series. The G series also had 2 options for the landing light. If you use the clear nose tip landing light, get rid of and fill the landing light on the bottom behind the M28 turret and vice versa if you use a solid nose tip, then use the landing light on the bottom behind the turret.

 

Also early G models deployed in Vietnam did not have Environmental Control Units (ECS) installed. This cooled down the cockpit especially in the hot environments. I’m not sure when they switched over, and/or modified old cobras, however you can easily tell if its installed or not by if there is a circular vent on the left side panel right behind the pilots canopy. No vent, no ECU if you wanted to depict a early G model, especially one with the tail rotor on the left side.

 

Thanks,

 

Tom

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, December 1, 2022 6:50 PM

Hello eveybody!

Gino - thanks a lot for your kind words!

Tom - I don't think that would work (with that vacuum inserts on an injected frame) - the edges of the glass are most critical and almost never look good. I'm an advocate for large clear parts - like on the Huey I think the entire front should be transparent, that would give us a nice Huey at last. Recently it looks like the industry is slowly getting there.

By the way, like I wrote - the vacu canopy I used here wasn't made by me, it's a product of a Czech company called MH Models, and I like it a lot. BUT I made a machine for making vacu canopies and I also made some - you can read about the machine here:

https://cs.finescale.com/fsm/tools_techniques_and_reference_materials/f/23/t/151922.aspx

Good info on the serial numbers - and yeah, "Squatter Swatter" is one of the more well known Vietnam Cobras.

OK, so my yellow strips are a couple of 0.1mm wider than they should be...

Good info on the variants - my Cobra will have the tail rotor on the left side, but have a solid nose tip and the landing light behind the turret. The kit doesn't tell you to put the pitot on the rotor pylon, but I just checked - the place to mount it is really there, I will fill that and sand it flush - thanks for pointing that out!

Thanks a gain for the comments and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Friday, December 2, 2022 9:25 AM

That's impressive work, especially for that scale. Very nice.

BK

On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

2022 Completed:

1/12 Bandai Mandolorian

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

1/48 Hasegawa D3A1 Type 99 Val

  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by Stazie190 on Friday, December 2, 2022 2:06 PM

Hi Pawel,

One reason I don’t like full vacuum formed canopies, or full molded on the cobra is I like to do a canopy open version from time to time. Some kits like Italeria and Revell 1/48 scale kits mold a break line to allow this. Otherwise you need to be very careful and precise sawing out the canopy doors with full canopy molds if you want doors open. I like Special Hobby’s kits since they mold the canopy in 5 pieces and you can pick which version you want.
I experienced an issue last night with the 1/48 scale Special Hobby G model putting the canopy doors on. I’m doing a canopy closed version since I stole the canopy opening struts for my S(Mod) and as I was fitting the canopy doors on and they wouldn’t fit because the door handles interfered with the side armor plating. Either the plating is too wide, or the outside handle was molded too far aft since I matched up the inside handle at the center line positioned with the handle forward. You can get away with the co-pilot/gunner’s door position if you split the left armor plating first like it should be since this plating was two pieces and the forward piece slide inwards and aft towards the fire extinguisher. Bell split the plating to make it easier getting in and out of the cockpit even though I can’t tell you how many times I’ve still bashed my leg on that damn corner of the plating getting in and out. The pilots door interference was too unsolvable without major re-work so I had to remove the interior handles. I’ll have to remember this on my next Special Hobby Cobra kits especially canopy closed versions.
I think your interior yellow stripe width is fine. I realized the manual reference I told you is for S(Mod) series Cobras and above with black interiors. Apologies for that. Squadron’s Gunslingers in Action No.1014 pages 25 and 26 have good color photos of both door for an AH-1G and it looks like they are over 1 inch on both sides of the door seam line. The interior handles are also black and yellow striped.
If you ever build US Army single engine AH-1S(Mod), P, E or F in the future, a lot of the repair manuals are available in PDF for free at liberatedmanuals.com. Look for TM 1500-234-XX for the S(Mod) and TM 1500-236-XX for the P,E and F models. You can just search for AH-1 to see what’s available. The -XX at the end of the manual number are the types of manual for that model Cobra and there will be a -XX after that for the volume, or -XX-XX, just read the title if it’s worth to down load. Such as the wiring diagrams are not.
 
The 2 serial numbers I have for Squatter Swatter are 68-15139 and 16369.  S/N 68-15139 was a production block 3 Cobra, converted to a S(Mod) and ended up as a training aircraft at Fort Eustis Virginia and that’s the one I have pictures of the interior. S/N 16369 pictured on Squadron’s Gunslingers No.1014 book doesn’t fit into the serial number block information I have for Vietnam Cobras. Microscale Decals no. 48-280 also has 16369 so either my production block info is wrong or the Squadron Signals book is wrong. Just a hunch, 16369 could be a OH-6A serial number based on the book saying highly decorated scout pilot Hugh Mills flew Squatter Swatter for 2 months. I can't find any other information on this S/N.
 
Thanks,
 
Tom
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 1:48 PM

Hi Pawel:

 Listen, I need you to send me your address there in Poland. I want to send the funds for the "Mossie" before they are spent! Please Make sure you do not omit any info on the return address. I want it to get to you before Christmas!! Doc

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