Vacuform kits

Hi
One of my projects for the near future is a vacuform kit (Dynavector Sea Vixen) This will be my first vacformed kit.
Does anybody know of a useful link regarding the building of such a model? (how to...etc.) BTW: My dictionary says Vixen is either a word for dragon or a female fox... which one is right for this aircraft? I'd say Dragon, but there is one squadron that used a fox as a squadron emblem on the fin... TIA Ingo
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Ingo Degenhardt wrote:

If it's British then the female fox is more generally known (and chosen) as it holds more a place in storytelling and country folk knowing what it is they're hunting!
Richard.
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run away, as fast as you can, dont look back..............im, 50 ive built models years ago,.and started back up appx. 5 yrs ago doing all those injection molded plastic rare/oop/$ kits from the fifties /sixties,.and collect-aire resin kits$$,ive built one vacuform kit,..will never build another one ,..........this hobby is for enjoyment,.not as a second job.good luck
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vacuform kits are a challenge, but are FUN. there are several good articles on line about building vac kits.

built
another
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RLGIRSCH) wrote:

Reasonable people can differ, though. I find vacs much easier than resin kits, since the warping, if any, is easier to correct, and they are styrene (or in the case of multi-media offerings, mostly styrene), which is more forgiving than resin and doesn't require epoxy or CA for an adhesive. The big problems are that some vacs are pretty crappy molds to begin with, and it does take a while to get the hang of separating the parts from the carrier sheet and prepping them for assembly. Vacs are closer to scratch-building than any other scale medium (except maybe balsa kits like Guillow's), so inevitably one develops some scratch-building skills along the way.
If you really want to do a subject that is only represented by a vac kit, just take it slow, and take heart in the fact that most any screw-up with a vac can be corrected--it just takes a lot longer to build. The Aeroclub pdf is well worth reading, BTW.
Mark Schynert
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On Thu, 13 Nov 2003 17:10:48 +0000, Mark Schynert wrote:

Where can this be found?
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Rick DeNatale wrote:

Rick:
    Try here:
http://www.aeroclub-models.com/files/VacForm.pdf
                                Bill Shuey
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Ingo Degenhardt wrote:

Ingo:
    Kalmbach publishing company puts out a soft cover titled "Building and improving vac-u-form models". Good book, look for a copy.     I will admit that the Dynevector Sea Vixen is not what I would call a beginner's vac-u-form. I would get one from Falcon of New Zealand or Aero-Club as a starter. Aero-Club's deHavilland Venom series or Falcon's Supermarine Spiteful would be a better starter.
                                Bill Shuey                             certified vac-u-form addict
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Ingo - this may be a bit late, but... I think that the vixen referred to is the fox one. deHavilland weren't real big on imaginary animals... except for the Dragon Rapide.... (ahh well, there goes another theory :) ).... I think you'll find that it just followed on from dH's then policy of using 'V' names for their twin-boomed a/c - Vampire, Venom, Vixen. There were some Brit a/c of the time that were named after mythical creatures - the Westland Wyvern comes to mind (what a shape - so cool) - I'm sure there are others.
Have a look at http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/ -this is a good site for Brit a/c lovers.
RobG (the Aussie one)

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On the Aeroclub Models web page there is a great free for downloading article in PDF format about building vac kits. More than worth the price. It's a joke people ;^) not the article, the price bit, sheesh ;^)
-- Mike in Bellingham, WA - USA
"No man is so hated as he who will drive the speed limit"

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Have a URL? www.aeroclub-models.com is nothing HTML gibberish.
Mike Franklin wrote:

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I've tried twice to build a vac form kit, single engine fighter, one in 1/72, one in 1/48. I've bought the books and seen the videos. I just have no idea how one does it. I've seen some beautiful examples others have done. But, then, I've never finished a marathon or spent 40 days in a plastic box in London, either. It takes a special talent just to cut out the pieces and make them the right size and shape.
I've often thought that if a vac model maker had a process to cut out the pieces and then sell the kits, I and many others might acutally try again.
May the force be with you on your challenging new journey. Jerry 47

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I haven't built any yet, but I have an Airmodel H-13J and a few other vacform kits laying around.
However, I just recently had an idea (or dream?) for a tool that could be helpful in cutting such kits. I'll make one and try out if it works.
The basic idea of the tool is this:
A small wooden square block, about the size of four dice stacked two-by-two, suitable for holding firmly between the thumb and index finger. The corners are sharply defined on one of the short sides, the others are rounded for comfortable handling.
From the sharp corner, there is a slot, angled at 45 degrees, in which a normal small straight-edge Xacto-blade will fit. The blade is held in position with a screw, and can be adjusted, so an appropriate amount of the point extends beyond the corner of the block. This should be about 1.4 (square root of 2) times the thickness of the plastic sheet to cut.
To cut a part out, the outline of the part is simply traced while pressing the vertical edge (above the blade point) againt the part, and the horizontal edge against the sheet.
This should leave an exact remainder of the thickness of the sheet all around the part, with one side sloping 45 degrees. To remove this, another side of the block is used.
This side, which is probably the upside from the tracing action, also has a slot, at perhaps 40 degrees. The blade can also be fitted here with a screw, and a hole is drilled above the edge, all the way through the block. This should work just like a micro-"plane". The blade is fixated parallel to the side, protruding the same amount. Now this is used to remove the remaining edge of the part, simply by using it as a plane.
In my imagination this seems to work perfectly, and a part like the body half of a H-13J should be cut out and cleaned perfectly withing minutes.
How it works in real life is of course another matter entirely: so please let me know why this is not going to work. I know this is contrary to the traditional method of cutting vertically and sanding afterwards. But then, that just sounds so *tedious*.
-Lasse
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Actually most writings have you score at an angle to lessen the sanding needed. As for planing plastic edges, good luck without an actual plane. Fingertip "violin" planes might work as might the smallest Rahle plane (Swiss made, uses single edged razor blades instead of traditional irons). Keep in mind plastic dulls edges much faster than wood.
"Lasse Hillere Petersen" wrote:

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not really...I'm no contest winner but I love vacforms...just cut around the edges and start sanding.Then glue together like a regular kit.You just need to add a lot of the little details,but thats what spares boxes are for.

I've seen a few do that(can't remember offhand who,sorry)but the price goes way up and number available goes way down...
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I made the jump with the Dynavector 1/48 TSR.2: I just HAD to have one. I agree, the Aeroclub article is very useful, and the TSR.2 had some tips from Taro with the instructions, too. I used a white-board black marker (the dry wipe type so I could rub it off easily after the part was out) to draw into the angle between the part and the carrier sheet, and then sanded away with a combination of sandpaper taped to glass or a sanding block, depending on the part until you could see the black through the sheet, and then watched the extra carrier sheet peel away when it got paper thin. The main tip was to drop in Taro's recommended braces and glue them in before doing the sanding. (He suggests cutting strips of plastic card or rectangular section and dropping them across the larger sections (e.g. main fuselage components) so that they settle to where they fit, and then gluing them with liquid cement)
Mine went together OK, and looks like a TSR.2 (albeit one in service in a naval strike reconnaissance role in about 1980, with wrap around camo). I'm not _rushing_ to do the Aeroclub Meteor NF.12 (to build as a TT.20) that I also have, but I think if you have Aeroclub or Dynavector kits, then you're on the safest foundations you can be for getting into vac-form building.
Best regards, Matt

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that is part of the fun, cutting the parts out.

female
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jerry 47 wrote:

I've been trying on and off for years but I finally got one the other year when i picked up a Dubena Yak-17 cheap. I guess one could say I cheated because I used several pieces from an extra PM Yak-15. I'm doing something similar with a Formaplane FH-1 by using parts of an Airfix F2H-2. The first 'pure' vac kit I've gotten decently far on is the Wings-72 Ro-57. It has gotten to the painting stage and I'm looking for some props for it. It's quite the cutie and not very large for a twin-engined fighter. Oddly I bought it second-hand and the previous owner had cut out all the parts. It then was a short sanding job and some scouting through the spares box for some interior details for the major assembly to start.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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I used the Airfix Hs 129 props.
It's quite the cutie and not very large for a

This was my second vacuform model; I still hadn't got the nerve to do it gear down. Lots of spares: cylinder banks from Hasegawa Zeros, exhaust stacks from Monogram P-36 kits. The seams were pretty bad, and I laid the decals right over flat paint, but my major mid-wing surgery to correct asymmetric dihedral worked like a charm.
Mark Schynert
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Works okay for me? Try:
http://www.aeroclub-models.com/files/VacForm.pdf
HTH Andy

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