Monogram Piper Tri Pacer Finished!

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Monogram Piper Tri Pacer Finished!

Postby ericg » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:54 am

Another one to add to the mix.

Whilst most guys rush into swap meets to find the bargains on the readily available Trumpeter and Tamiya kits, I like to look over the back of the piles for forgotten stuff and have found myself going towards a retro modelling theme of late. At the recent Model Expo in Melbourne, I was lucky enough to score these four kits.

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I actually found the Tripacer at a vendors table in the main show area, shrink wrapped and in pristine condition. I was aware that there was a large scale Tripacer available and had never seen one for sale, so as soon as I saw the box I was naturally interested. Whilst not having a scale printed on the box, after a quick google search I was able to see that there were a couple of opinions about the scale, being 1/33 or 1/32. MOney changed hands and I had it!

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The kit is about as retro as it gets, with its copyright date being 1957! This is a later boxing of the kit but it is still very old.

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I will be depicting an Aussie aircraft being this one:

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I added tin foil seatbelts to the basic cockpit as well as a simple headlining to cover the visible fuselage seam once it is closed up.

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In keeping with the retro feel of the kit, I wanted to be able to open and close the doors. The original kit snap and fit hinges were going to be way overscale and had the doors swinging wrong so they were removed and then replaced with thin aluminium hinges filed to shape, secured with brass rod. The both the front and rear doors have different style hinges and this is represented in the modifications that I made to the kit.
alot of shimming was required to have the doors tightly fit when closed.

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Last edited by ericg on Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby ericg » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:08 pm

Some more work. A quick stop whilst my 2 year old boy demonstrated unusual attitude recovery. He even makes engine noises which is pretty cute.

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Whilst trying to keep it as out of the box as possible, there are a few key things which I can’t let slide for the purpose of putting something different into our local ‘single media’ category. Enhanced category it is.

The kit featured long axles that poked a couple of mm out of the uncovered wheel hubs for ease of fitting I guess. This would render the model a bit unrealistic when finished, so I cut them off and installed wheel covers over the hubs as per my reference pic.

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As part of the process of making up a new one, I beefed up the nose gear leg by drilling a hole right through the length of it, then cut the oleo out, fitted a new brass oleo over some thinner brass tube and the inserted it into the holes. I also fitted a brass rod axle. The nose gear leg of the real thing features a spray deflector behind the wheel which is another omission from the kit. I fabricated a new one from brass rod and will fit the thin deflector plate soon. Also visible is an exhaust pipe that I have made from plastic tube. These small details should really make the kit look great when finished.

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It’s looking pretty good for a 61 year old kit.

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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby RayS » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:48 pm

Looks like there are some gremlins about, I am sure I posted a reply to your first post earlier today.

You are making fast work on this one, I assume you will be putting your vinyl cutter to work to masks for the regos and cheat lines, etc?
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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby bell209 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:03 pm

Looks like another stunning build of an unusual subject, Eric. Nice to see the GA aircraft getting some attention.
Rob

On the bench:
1/48 Westland Scout (converted from Fujimi Wasp)
1/48 Revell Tornado GR4 (from the IDS boxing)
1/48 Tamiya Lancaster B.III (Special)
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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby David E » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:07 am

Fond memories of building this 40 or so years ago, to a standard a very long way away from this!
I'm not older than dirt, but I do remember when it was new.
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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby ericg » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:28 pm

Thanks guys. Yes Ray, the mask cutter will be getting a hell of a work out with this build.

Some info on how I did the doors. I took some thin aluminium window blind and cut it into a rough hinge shape, then drilled a .3mm hole for the pin through each part for the pins. I then sawed a slit into the plastic where the hinge was going to be located (just visible behind each hinge) and then superglued each part in position. I then filed the hinges to shape with a diamond file. There is alot more metal in each hinge than what meets the eye as it is buried into the door and fuselage via the slits that I made which go quite deep into the plastic. The rear door was fairly easy but the front was alot more challenging as it has been built to represent a piano hinge and had to have no gap when open.

Rear door:

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I finished the nose gear with the addition of the torque link form plastic card and the spray deflector, which was made from the same aluminium window blind as above.



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The instrument panel with its weird slanted shape. I hand painted the `Piper` on each control wheel and also added some chipping.



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I then added the characteristic diagonal braces, made from brass rod.

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The addition of the braces required some surgery to the windscreen to allow them to fit.



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I sanded the windscreen inside and out with 800 grit sand paper, then smoothed it with a sanding sponge, followed by a buff with a nail buffing pad. I then used my rather risky technique of polishing it with a cloth flapper wheel and polishing compound to bring it up crystal clear.



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The small tail skid was also a fairly noticeable feature on the real thing, so I had to incorporate it on the model with some brass rod. Also visible is the bell cranks on the rudder which I made with plastic card.



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The kit undercarriage braces were replaced with brass rod. Visible in the pic is a small mod that I have made to the main undercarriage part where I have filled and scribed the centre section to make it appear as two pieces instead of one.



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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby qfa_tsv » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:07 am

Really coming along nicely
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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby David E » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:03 pm

The late Fred Harris would describe this as 'proper modelling".
I'm not older than dirt, but I do remember when it was new.
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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby ericg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Thanks gents.

Onto the paint stage.



I primed the model with my usual Tamiya grey fine surface primer, which showed up a few flaws that needed fixing with filler etc. I then primed it again with Tamiya white fine surface primer to give me a good base upon which I then sprayed a few thin coats of MRP white.



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I then started the fun bit! I selected a nice side on photo of the real aircraft which allowed me to be able to `copy' the scheme. Starting with the cool tail flashes, I used the draw polygon feature in Sillhouette Studio to find each point of the triangle and then used the edit points feature to adjust each line accordingly.



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I measured the size that I required the flash on the model using vernier callipers. I then drew a line corresponding to that size in studio and shrank it to fit that line. 



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I used a similar process to do the registration letters. I left out the middle of the O and D, which I will explain later.



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Using the Offset feature (which is one of my more used features, think roundels, wheel masks etc) I drew an internal offset on the O and D, which replicates exactly the outer shape and can be adjusted linearly rather than try and do it as per the above step.



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I used the same process for the curved lines along the fuselage. These were a little harder and required a few cut and fits to get right. Here is the completed sheet, with masks for the wheels,  fuel filler caps and the rest of the scheme.



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Re: Monogram Piper Tri Pacer.

Postby ericg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Here are some of the masks applied. The Oramask 810 makes it very easy to place each mask.



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I used Gunze Sangyo Sky blue with Mr Levelling thinner sprayed using low pressure for the scheme.



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MRP tire rubber was used so that it wasn't too black!



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Great success! A few areas of touch up around some of the raised detail (which I kept for the retro look) but overall, pretty happy with the models progress.



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