1:72 scale parachutes

I am wanting to do a hanging display of a C-47 with a stick of airborne
jumping. My problem is....where to find or how to make parachute
canopies. I've thought of trying to make a mold form then use a heat
gun to shape bits of plastic grocery bag but I don't know the right
dimensions or how to get the correct profile. Any help would be
greatly appreciated.
Oren Truitt
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Never tried it, but how about this as a suggestion:
Shape a very thin piece of material such as silk over a lightbulb. Trim it to your satisfaction. Soak the trimmed material in a solution of white glue and water. Drape it over the light bulb and let it dry. If you cant get the material to come loose from the light bulb break the glass.
For opening and partially opened chutes use the same process with the glue soaked material but without the light bulb.
Anybody ever try this?
Oren wrote:
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Unless you use a big bulb, they'd be under scale. Real chutes are 28', IIRC, unless you're considering those goofy 'wing' chutes. Many years ago, I made similar 'jump scene' for my dad's birthday. He was a paratrooper in the Army during Korea & jumped C-119s mostly. Anyway, I used some 6" plastic domes from Plastruct for the opened, descending chutes & tissue made in sort of a streaming shape soaked in white glue for chutes that were in the opening stages. Fine thread made up the shroud lines. My dad died in '05, & I have that boxed up somewhere awaiting cleaning & restoring. As is, the domes are thick, but that was OK with me. You could maybe use them as vac patterns or use Tom's technique.
snipped-for-privacy@netscape.com wrote:
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Get some good photos as well, as you'll have to put in such details as the static lines, the "segment" appearance of the canopy, any air bleed holes, rigging and harness detail.
Don't forget the equipment bags on a cord, dangling from the para's harness.
Reply to
Chris Hughes
The German railway accessory company, Preiser, used to make plastic vac-formed parachute canopies as part of their WW2 range. I'm not sure whether they're in their current range and they were HO scale but they would definitely fit in a 1/72 scale display.
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Peter Mellor
Are you planning on having all the troopers under full canopies? If you are replicating several troopers exiting the a/c as they would be in a real drop not all of them need to have a full blossom. You could show the chutes in different stages of deployment, which could be done rather easily given you are doing this in 1:72 scale. The deploying chutes could be molded from Sculpy clay or epoxy putty. If you are doing it in a larger scale, foil or tissue should work well.
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Good ideas for all of you, thanks! I've been contacted by one modler who says he has some Preiser canopies that he will sell me. From what I have been told by a local model shop, Preiser no longer produces them. I've viewed actual military footage of sticks jumping from aircraft (and watched it live in Normandy in '04) and the 'chutes open very rapidly so all I really need to show is perhaps 1 or 2 in the process of opening. For the partially open canopies I was thinking of using a piece of sheer cloth stiffened with thinned Elmer's glue. Had thought of doing the same for the deployed canopies but was unsure of getting the scallops. After consulting with some very knowledgable folks (they jump with authentic WW2 pattern gear) the data they supplied is that a fully opened parachute canopy would have a hemispherical shape 14' in diameter with 28 scallop shapes at the edges all tapering to the center. I'm going to try making a scale form and vacuum-forming thin sheets of plastic over it. The risers (lines) are going to have to be made of extremely small thread, probably nylon. Yes, there should be 28 risers but I don't know that I'm going to go that far; it depends upon the level of difficulty.
The figures I'm going to get from modifying 1:72 scale sets of 82nd Airborne and British Red Devils. And I do intend to try adding the leg bags.
Once upon a time I made custom 25mm figures for people and did some masters for a molding company; hopefully I haven't lost my touch completely.
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It's up to you, but before I'd take those very knowledgable folks' words on the 14' chute, I d research elsewhere before I'd go to the trouble of making some 14' chutes in 1/72. Really, the main chute is 28', not 14'. Heck, the reserve shoot is 24', or maybe it's 22'. Certainly, neither are 14' !! Could they have meant the chute would be 14' at its height?
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This makes sense. A 14' radius to the sphere (okay, the parachute body is 1/2 of that sphere) would make a 28' diameter.
Reply to
The Old Man
I've used a glue available from Wal-Mart (if you are North America) called "Stiffy" which is used for stiffening material for flower type displays. I don't know how much different it is from watered down white glue, but I'd give this stuff a try, it works really well. I've used it for stiffening cloth draped over styrofoam bases for hills (wargame terrain).
Good luck, it sounds like a neat project - post some pictures somewhere if you can after it's completed! 8)
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Tim Marshall
The canopy, when laid out flat, is 28'. When inflated, the diameter across will be somewhat less, though I also doubt 14' - I'd say more like 20' across, inflated.
You might try posting on some of the military groups to find actual dimensions of not only an inflated 'chute, but also riser lengths, etc.
John Alger IPMS 10906 Charlotte Scale Modelers
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Hmm. I kinda doubt the diameter will change whether flat or inflated. It's not like the material stretches. It would be interesting to know where the official dimensions are taken, tho. I'm thinking the shroud lines are 16'.
out flat, is 28'. When inflated, the diameter
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