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Old 07-01-2020, 04:30 AM
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malachite malachite is offline
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Aircraft Instrument Panels and Canopies

I have been card modelling for quite a while with limited success, much to the delight of my grandson who gets the rejects, but have never tackled a model with a detailed cockpit or indeed a clear canopy. So, I have obtained a 1:33 scale model of a DH Vampire by Marek and the instrument panel consists of a sandwich of backplate, transparency and front plate with holes cut-out for the instruments on the backplate. I do have a screw punch but the smallest size is 1.5mm. Some of the cut-outs are smaller. How do I cut or punch them out?
The next question is what material do I use for the transparency (greeting card wrapper or something more thicker)?
And finally how do I make the canopy without making a plug and vac-forming (tried vac-forming in my aeromodelling days with a lot of disasters)?
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:13 AM
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gregbal gregbal is offline
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A number of craft and hobby suppliers carry 'mini' punch sets; Waldron (now defunct) used to do several, and I believe UMM does as well, though I am sure there are others.
They're extraordinarily useful for all sorts of applications...including punching instrument panels, which is what I acquired my first Waldron set for, some years ago.
Be warned, however, that like any fine (and specialized) tools, they tend to be expensive; but they pretty much last forever, so it's good value.


For a lower-cost (and lower-tech) approach, clean holes can be punched with a small awl or even a round toothpick. (For the latter, it's best to start with a needle hole, then expand as required with the tapered pick.) Backing the part with a regular cutting mat or flat rubber eraser can help control penetration and the size of the hole, if required.

Once the holes are done to your satisfaction, a touch of super glue/CA will harden the punched-out 'flange' section on the opposite side. Once dry, the excess can be cleanly trimmed away with a single-edged razor blade or a sharp #11 blade.

Last edited by gregbal; 07-01-2020 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:50 AM
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murphyaa murphyaa is offline
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Another method is to use brass tubes. Find one of the appropriate diameter, then use an abrasive to sharpen one end. Then you can either push it through the paper, or hit it with a small hammer.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:51 AM
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willygoat willygoat is offline
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I've had some success with a simple Pin drill set. You can usually pick them up for just a few bucks. Mine has bits from 1mm up to about 2.5-3 (toothpick size).
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:46 PM
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malachite malachite is offline
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Re. Punching holes

Thanks for the advice thus far. Might try the pin vice and drill bits first.
Gregbal - as I am in the UK do you know if the mini punch sets are available online and more importantly able to ship to the UK without costing double for the postage.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:28 PM
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gregbal gregbal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malachite View Post
Thanks for the advice thus far. Might try the pin vice and drill bits first.
Gregbal - as I am in the UK do you know if the mini punch sets are available online and more importantly able to ship to the UK without costing double for the postage.
Sorry...I have no direct knowledge of UK suppliers (other than perhaps ordering items from Hannants maybe once or twice a year). You might try checking craft and hobby suppliers (including those catering to model railroad enthusiasts), or any 'small tool' supplier like those for jewelers.
I suspect other UK hobbyists could direct you to good sources, if you can contact local clubs or forums. You might try Britmodeller.com -- an excellent site and group, albeit more directed toward the 'plastic' side of the hobby.
Good luck with your hunt.


Greg
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:52 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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It comes down to how much use you wil get out of a tool like that.
If you plan on building a lot of Aircraft, and punching out a lot of Instrument panels, then a punch set can come in handy.

I bought one that I came across just because it was cheap...not because I felt I needed it.
And because it had a .5mm punch (with .5mm increments).
I didn't expect high quality, but I was VERY surprised this set:
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



But...To be honest, its easier to grab a fresh #11 blade and put on my 4X reading glasses
and do it manually.
Keep the blade upright, perpendicular to the part...
Don't try to drag or move the blade in a circle!
Make little stabbing cuts all the way around the hole you want to create (until a round part is removed).
I've cut some very small holes this way.

...with a little patience, and a steady hand, you can do this in under 5 minutes:

(This panel was cut by my hand before i bought my punches)


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Old 07-05-2020, 04:08 AM
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malachite malachite is offline
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Airdave that's impressive. What scale is that pane and what weight of card is it printed on?
BTW found an internet provider of hole punches here in the UK and have purchased a set of 4 ranging from 0.5mm to 1.2mm for 2.83 each. Will see what the quality is like when they arrive.
Do you have any advice re. forming the canopy without vac-forming?
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:01 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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That Jug is 1/33 scale.

if I remember correctly, the Panel is just 2 (or 3?) layers of cardstock...176 gsm most likely.
(65lb....but I do use 110lb cardstock-200gsm on some projects)
I don't think I used any thicker card there.
Just print two panels...and mount both to another layer if you want more thickness.
Cut the gauge holes in one of the panels.
I have seen some builders sandwich clear plastic between the layers (for the gauge glasss).

...
Canopies are my kryptonite.
I have already documented my experiments with vacuforming.

My issue is always with how to glue plastic to itself, and to the paper model.
I struggle with using CA glues and PVAs just don't work for me.
I struggle even with flat glass panels...often I use double sided adhesive tape.

For a full formed (bubble) style canopy, I usually resort back to the paper canopy and shape it the best I can
unless I must have a clear canopy, then vacuforming is the best way to go.

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Old 07-30-2020, 09:09 PM
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Vacuforming is great if you have the equipment, but lacking that, try crash molding.


You will need to make a plug the shape of the canopy. Carve and sand from soft balsa or sculpt from Milliput and sand it smooth. Epoxy a holding stick of thin dowel to the bottom of the plug. Next you make 2 flat plates of lite ply or balsa with matching holes the general shape of the canopy base only a few mm bigger all around. Clamp a piece of clear sheet between then. Heat this over a stove burner or even a Bic lighter until the plastic is soft and then jam the plug down though the holes in the plates. This stretches the clear sheet and forms your canopy. You may have to make several to get the hang of it, but clear sheet is cheap.

HTH
sp
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