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Making fuselage formers

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  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Making fuselage formers
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, April 2, 2020 9:40 AM

I build a lot of 1:144 airliners.  Some come with no interior decals.  I like to at least do a cockpit.  I find the hardest task for that is making the bulkhead that seperates the cockpit from the cabin.  My normal method is to make a small rectangle from a piece of paper and fold it in half.  I then draw a semi-circle on one half, cut it out and try to fit it into a fuselage half.  I then start snipping away at the circle, turning it into an oval or ellipse that fits.  But it is a time-consuming process.  I have tried forming solder into the fuselage, but it is so soft it does not hold its shape while I trace it onto the paper. I find I cannot fit copper wire into the fuselage well enough to get a good contour.  I have one of those wire contour gauges, and it is okay for large scale but does not work well enough in small scale.

Anyone found an easier way?


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, April 2, 2020 10:07 AM

I'll pass on a tip I use, learned from some '80s-era modeling magazine...might have been the old Scale Modeler or one of the IPMS/USA publications.

Use the thin styrofoam from foam-type egg cartons. All you have to do is rough-cut a blank of the approximate size...slightly larger is ideal...then just pop it in and glue with PVA or some other non-solvent adhesive. The foam neatly compresses to perfectly fit the contour with virtually no bulging or mis-shaping (if that's a word). Best to paint with acrylics; I occasionally tried the old Testors 'square bottle' enamels (my go-to during those years), which usually had no effect...but sometimes would start to corrode the material over time.

BTW, if you're of a curious nature, and have never tried it, 'test' any solvent adhesive or regular tube glue on egg-carton foam: it eats it away before your very eyes, just like acid. Definitely not recommended for modeling work. Big Smile


George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, April 2, 2020 10:09 AM

I suppose you could do the solder trick, lay it on paper and hit it with a shot of spray paint.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.


  • Member since
    January 2020
Posted by Space Ranger on Monday, April 6, 2020 3:04 AM

See here:

And be sure to check out the rest of Paul Budzik's videos. Together they make a complete course in all aspects of model building.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 8:54 AM

Say, that is a neat trick.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota


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