Author Topic: First model for 2014-Pitts Special  (Read 1209 times)

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Balsabasher

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First model for 2014-Pitts Special
« on: January 18, 2014, 05:39:45 PM »
This is my first model for 2014,a diminutive Pitts Special made from bits of balsa swept up from the workshop floor,it was built inside my bungalow away from the workshop as its just too cold to work outside at the moment so I used a big polythene bag and taped it to each leg of my jeans on top of my knees so there was a receptacle to catch the dust and debris as I carved away,when you sand into the bag you snap shut your legs to contain the dust,then open the big bag again to continue,it works great and stops the dust from flying everywhere,those big bags you get mail order stuff in are ideal for this purpose,you need the clear ones preferably as you work inside the bag and the light shines through.

After assembly the next stage was to paint it without any smells,dope is out indoors so I went back to my youth and used the same system that served me well back then,firstly you mix up some flour and water into a medium paste,then with a soft brush you cover the balsa all over quite thickly,then you place the model into a microwave and zap it for 2 seconds,remove the model and sand it down using the kneee held plastic bag again,next mix up some slightly thinner flour and water and apply another coat,a quick flash in the microwave and another fine sand,the surface is very smooth and ready to take paint,I used my artists water colour paints to colour it then sealed everything off with oxgal solution another artists standby.

Time to build it was two evenings work approx four hours,a solid that cost nothing to build in an household environment in the warm while the rain pelted down outside,here is the results of my labours,judge for yourselves.

Barry.











Will

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Re: First model for 2014-Pitts Special
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 02:26:01 AM »
Nice Pitts, Barry, does the flour and water mix harden the balsa or just smooth the grain for painting?  What did you do instead of microwave way back when?

Will

Balsabasher

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Re: First model for 2014-Pitts Special
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 03:43:00 AM »
It does both Will and also makes an effective stopper at the same time,the microwave treatment replaces waiting for the water to evaporate back then it was simply sitting on a radiator which took much longer,poster paint was used in my early days as it was free,we had a kindly art master who let us fill up pots of colour to take home and do paintings to encourage us,I soon found the formulae to make up camouflage colours from the bright pigments.

Balsa bundles then were 6d thats six old pence of fine offcuts to make scores of miniature models,then there was the woodwork class which provided wood from the scrapbox,once again the woodwork teacher once I showed him what I made was sympathetic to my requirements,thin wood came from those lattice type fruit boxes from the greengrocer who also provided me with mostly green coloured tissue for my flying models,although it was not wet strengthened I got through by lightly spraying it with watered down Lion gum,no fancy spray just a knife drawn against a bristle cleaning brush which spattered the water onto the tissue which was laid onto stretched cellophane and then peeled off the stiffened tissue,if the sun was out then tissue production was much easier,I came from an upbringing of make and mend and improvise with rebuilding and repainting rusty push bikes and applied this to my creations,even today I like to build from junk and scrap it gives more satisfaction to re-cycle.

Barry.

lastvautour

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Re: First model for 2014-Pitts Special
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 07:46:41 AM »
In the day before microwaves, I recall setting fire to the oven one day trying to dry out a piece of pine. I never thought of using the micro wave to dry out my future/flour paste. I wonder if 2 seconds would be enough or if it would be safe to try it. I should give it a try one day when the misses is out.

Regardless, nice Pitts Special. I love the airport scene as well. Tell us about how you did that and what scale is the Pitts Special.


Lou

Mark Braunlich

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Re: First model for 2014-Pitts Special
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 07:49:11 AM »
Very nice Pitts Barry.  Those Rothmans Pitts were very inspiring back in the '70s.

Balsabasher

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Re: First model for 2014-Pitts Special
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 05:28:58 PM »
Lou dont put Future in there it will stink out the microwave and could explode,with the flour mix you only need a quick few seconds zap,its to 1=72nd scale from a plan that came in the Rothmans booklet,the runway is on canvas light and compact  painted with acrylics.

I noticed that the local candle factory use microwaves for making up the candle moulds,they were covered in wax.

Barry.