For Inspection Aero Engines - A Wright idiots guide

Today at 3:20 PM

I wonder if we are missing out on a hints and tips sticky, Si showing how he did his superb tail hook colours on
his 1/32 SBD, one from daz of wiring and landing gear superdetailing from scratch, one from PFgen on the gunsights and coloured periscopes on his Bradley, and one from me about how to do small scale health and safety signs and hazard warnings (just about to do these on my 1/144 scale SR.N4) maybe one on how to do 1/35th scale firearms colours, from Brewmeister. we could keep the chatter out of it, and just have it as something you can pop into for tips.
You can blame @SPROCKET321 for this, seeing as he's come up with another "bright" idea, a tips, ideas and "how to" thread, seems I've been dicked to talk about aero engines for some odd reason :)

The first question to answer is "why bother", and if you're asking yourself that question, the answer is don't bother, as it will just do your head in Instead, just use what's in the kit, lets face it, on most modern kits the visible section is quite acceptable with a decent paint job, especially on the smaller scales such as 1/72 & 1/48.

If, however, you do decide to tart things up, you've got a few choices, in this case we'll look at the options for the Eduards 1/48 scale F5F-3 Hellcat.

1 - Tart it up with some details from an etched set, this example is for the Hobbyboss version, note the wiring harness for the engine on the top left of the picture - the problem with this is......well, its flat, its supposed to be round, so a slight problem for the detail freaks out there :)

2 - Replace the engine block completely, normally with a AM resin block such as this:
F6f-3 Engine .jpg

Now the sharp eyed people out there might have noticed that while the engine its self is well detailed, its missing something, in this case, the push rods, hence the predrilled holes and all the bloody wiring harness & fuel lines, so not only have you got to work with resin, you've also got to fettle it to fit your kit and then do some scratch building to replicate the missing items.

3- Modify the kit part, this is where you lose what's left of your eyesight, hair and sanity as we'll see in part two
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Part two - What do we need?

Well, some basic tools and materials might help - the only real non standard tool is a collection of really, really small drill bits, typically around the .01mm to .03mm size, such as the ones reviewed here otherwise its the normal collection knifes, sanding materials, fillers etc

Apart from the normal odds and sods of plastic sheeting, rods etc. A selection of various sized wires would be handy, lead wire if you can find it, copper wire can be picked up cheaply in the likes of hobbycraft and old cables (knackard HDMI for instance) are an excellent source of fine wire.

Hopefully, you'll turn the engine from the collection of odd parts into something that looks like an engine

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Part 3 - Don't get to hung up on getting everything spot on, we're not trying to build a working example, but to build something that will pass muster from the normal viewing range, so a bit of research helps in picking out the key details - in this case, its the wiring ring, the leads to the spark plugs, rad hoses, the shape of the air filters and some of the main pipework including the push rods

Main ring knocked up with copper wire, its about .3mm, the push rods are nothing more than stretched spur, the holes are being drilled out for the sparkplug cables

The connecting pipes are staggered, I did try wire, but in the end reverted to spur

First set of plug wires going in along with the mods to the airfilter housing, which is nothing more than some waste plastic sanded to shape and detailed with the bolts made from spur inserted into the pre-drilled holes and trimmed to length
Test fitting BTW is a good idea as you go along, the rear pipes need to come back over the other pipes an attach onto the main ring


Ok, this was taking the piss slightly, but one of the main features that is visible is the cranked pipe coming off the housing, so a short section of pipe has been fitted into the hole that had been drilled into the housing and once dried, drilled out

In this case, because its a multipart assembly, its gets pre painted in its base colour

Couple of washed with thinned paint to bring things out
Finally weathering with black/brown washes and some dry brushing with gunmetal and sliver paint


And mounted on the plane


Now, it did take a bit of work, the kit engine is only 4 or 5 parts - on that engine build I lost count around the 120 parts mark :( was it worth it? I'll let you be the judge of that, all I'll say, is that was my first attempt at adding that level of detail to an engine, and while it can be frustrating, its within anyone's capability to do something along those lines given a bit of time and patience