Author Topic: Cessna T-50 Bobcat 1:32  (Read 3070 times)

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Cessna T-50 Bobcat 1:32
« on: March 24, 2010, 12:09:18 PM »
Jeff, awesome work with the Bobcat. She is a beauty to behold.

P.S. I placed a copy in the Model of the Year post.


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Re: Cessna T-50 Bobcat 1:32
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2010, 10:24:17 AM »
Thanks Lou.

I'll post some in-progress photographs...

For measuring the strut lengths and getting things aligned, I made a jig by tacking some wood scraps to a board using a hot melt glue gun.  Rubber bands and thumb tacks help hold things in place.  
The white paint on the tail is thick flat white Rust Oleum paint and is supposed to represent the metal saddle fairing in that area on the real plane; the area was first masked off with a double layer of masking tape.  After the tape is removed the thick layer of paint stands above the surface.

The next photo shows the engines and propellors.  The cylinders were modified castings from an old plastic model with the crankcase made from epoxy putty and laminated styrene.  To align the cylinders I used a photograph of the front view of a Jacobs 7 cylinder radial (I think from this website); the photo was printed out in 1:32 scale and the parts made to match.  The silicone rubber mold is in the upper left with the master engine next to it.  I usually spray the molds with flat black paint-- it seems to help cut down on bubbles and may make the mold last longer.  The next attachment is a close-up view of the engines.  Valve push rod guides are Evergreen styrene rod; ignition leads are from wire.

The propellers were made from laminated Evergreen styrene sheet and the hubs are from bits of Evergreen styrene rod and tubing.  The propeller company logos were drawn on using the mapping pen and inks shown in the photo.  I first scratched on an oval using the template then colored it in.  The yellow ink is translucent and needs to be applied over a white base; luckily the white ink is very opaque.  Those inks were from a Hobby Lobby store and are handy for applications like this.

The engine cowlings and floats were covered with cheap aluminum foil using Microscale metal foil adhesive shown in the photo.  I followed the method described in an article in FineScale Modeler magazine in 2002.  The article can be downloaded in pdf format from this link:
I used a buffing wheel in a Dremel tool to polish the cowlings and that seemed to work out okay too.

The struts were made from flattened K&S 1/8" aluminum tubing.  I first inserted round toothpicks (with the pointy parts cut off) into the tubes before flattening them between two pieces of metal in a bench vise (the wood prevents the tubes from collapsing in on themselves and provides a base to attach metal pins).  The V shaped bits are from steel wire and are supposed to represent the bracing wires found on the real plane.  They are overscale, but this model needs all the bracing it can get.  I labeled the struts with bits of tape to make re-assembly less difficult.

I wanted the model to represent one of the machines used by Northern Consolidated Airlines in Alaska in the 1950s, and found several black and white photos of them on the Internet.  The only color photo I could find was an extremely small resolution thumbnail.  The breakthrough came when I stumbled upon a 1/2 page size Kodochrome shot in a 1957 issue of National Geographic magazine (a photo of that photo appears next to the model).  The NCA logo was made in Inkscape and is based on a logo I found on an airline timetable website.  To make the decal all I had to do was print it out in the correct size on MicroMark decal paper.

The stand base is from pine, based on a pattern I made in Inkscape and printed out full-size.  The stand is 3/8" Plexiglass clear acrylic from a home center.  I drew the shape free hand and cut it out using a jigsaw.  The rough cut edges cleaned up nicely with sandpaper.  The label was made in MS Word using the Word Art feature and printed to size on photographic paper.  I laminated the label with clear contact paper and applied it to the base using double sided tape.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 11:02:26 AM by JeffH »

Ken Pugh

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Re: Cessna T-50 Bobcat 1:32
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2010, 11:56:46 AM »
Well done, Jeff, and thanks for the details.  I have been waiting for the opportunity to try some foil application though I will experiment with other adhesives.  I have seen colored inks in the hobby store and it is great to see they work so well.  I have the dip pens so I will give them a try, especially seeing the white is opaque.  White and yellow lettering is something I am searching for good methods to accomplish.


Ken Pugh


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Re: Cessna T-50 Bobcat 1:32
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2010, 05:03:59 PM »
VERY neatly done, Jeff!

The larger the scale, the higher the standards; I salute you.

I've been gathering info for a Northern Consolidated T-50 in 1:72 for some years & couldn't help noticing the old color photo shown in one of the pix. Is a scan available? I have many others here, but not that one...