avatar_chrisonord

vac form kits, am I right to be terrified by them!!

Started by chrisonord, January 24, 2010, 05:26:03 PM

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chrisonord

I have been looking at some vac form kits of planes I would really like in my collection, BUT  :o
I have looked at several vac form kits and and nearly had a brown trouser moment.
Yes I admit it vac forms make me touch cloth :lol:
So just how bad/hard /easy/evil are these kits to build?
I would like to have the confidence not to ruin one of these things but I just don't have the steady hand or the bravery not to fubar one.
All comments and advice will be much appreciated.
Cheers,
Chris.
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If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!

TsrJoe

'mistress mannerheim' on the site built the 'Combat Models' 1/32 scale Horten 229 vacuform as only her second model (the first being a 32 scale Revell Hurricane) altho admittedly the lack of detail did p.. her off a tad

vacuforms are a bit hit or miss, iv built q a few over the years, the better end of the range, my favourites used to be 'wings 72' literally assembled like kits once sanded from their backing, others eg, early 'Airmodel' required a little more work

im sure to anyone with a few kits and conversions under their belt (and a spares box!) a vacuform kit should not pose too many issues... go on give it a go  :drink:

cheers, joe
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Hobbes

Vacforms require a bit more patience to build, but otherwise aren't that bad. Sanding the parts down to the correct thickness is a crucial step that you'll have to take slowly, with lots of test fitting.

You could always start by cutting out a few non-critical parts (e.g. bulkheads that will be hidden inside the fuselage, or fuel tanks) and sanding them down. Once you've done a few parts you'll get a feel for the process. 

Brian da Basher

Vac forms aren't as difficult as they seem. The main difference is cutting out the parts and sanding them down. Before cutting out the parts, I like to trace a pencil line around them as a guide. An Xacto (or similar) knife with a sharp blade is a good idea. One nice thing about vac forms is they usually have a lot fewer parts than an injection-molded kit.

Since vac forms usually aren't very expensive, maybe you could get an extra to practice on. Knowing you can fudge the first one should make it easier.
:cheers:
Brian da Basher

Weaver

Or even cheaper, get some vacuum-formed plastic packaging (the blister-pack type) and practice cutting the shapes out of that. it's not exactly the same plastic, but it'll help you get the feel for the technique.
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kitnut617

Here's a sequence of steps to do when cutting out the shapes, this is not the only way but I find it the best way if you're just starting into vacuforms.  The thing is not to go berserk while doing the sanding though, take your time.
If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike

pyro-manic

What about a Vacforms GB? I know there was one a few years ago, but it was before my time. Or maybe a "try something new" GB, where people build something they've never done before - resin, vacform, scratchbuild, wood, etc?
Some of my models can be found on my Flickr album >>>HERE<<<

kitnut617

When sanding the fuselage sides and wing halves it's important to have a very flat surface to attach the sand paper to, an old table top for large models or even a thick piece of glass (just beware of the usual hazards when using this).

I bought these sanding bars from an RC Model shop, this type has some sticky back sanding paper in rolls which can be quickly attached.
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sideshowbob9

I own about 5 vacuforms and I am terrified by them! There, I feel a bit better now.

A big thanks from me for the advise above guys.

chrisonord

A big thankyou from me too........again.
Seen as I already answered this thread earlier today :huh:
Chris.
The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!

pyro-manic

Chris, I'm planning to do my first vacform this year - an old Airmodel kit of the XF8U-3 "Super Crusader". What are you looking at building? We could do a mini-GB and build them at the same time?
Some of my models can be found on my Flickr album >>>HERE<<<

Green Dragon

My first vac was an Airmodel kit too, Blohm und Voss P.212, and it still isn't finished 10 years later!  :banghead:

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thedarkmaster



must admitt i don't find vacforms too hard, i like them cause they are generally cheap and the only way to get that kit  ;D  ;D
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kitnut617

Quote from: sideshowbob9 on January 25, 2010, 08:39:26 AM
I own about 5 vacuforms and I am terrified by them! There, I feel a bit better now.

A big thanks from me for the advise above guys.

I've got maybe about 100 of them, I picked up a 'job-lot' of about 40 only last year, the seller didn't want to split the collection up and really I only wanted a few of the kits in the box.  The subjects are all Canadian used aircraft orientated.  The smallest vac I've got is a Fleet Fawn (I think it's the smallest) and the largest is a C-5 Galaxy and they're all 1/72 scale.  My next vacs I'm going to build are a Combat Models CC-177 ( Canadian C-17) and a Transport Wings CC-150 (Canadian military Airbus A310) and I was going to start them last year for a GB on Britmodeller but I'm afraid that plan went out the window, still trying to finish off the STOVL Canberra I started for another GB over on that forum --- oh well!

On second thoughts I've got well over 150, I nearly forgot about the box of CF-105's I got with the VP moulds I bought.
If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike

Hobbes

There's another thing: when building a plastic model, almost any mistake can be corrected, using the tools and materials you have on hand anyway (e.g. putty, styrene stock, and glue).
Even if you've removed too much material, you can always add some putty or styrene and try again.

I've seen this on my first vacform build:
http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,16354.0.html

I've modified that kit in a few places (undercarriage and exhaust). The modifications were made with simple styrene stock, even bits of sprue. The bits inside were going to be hidden anyway, and anything visible can be sanded down and painted so the modification/repair is invisible.

Really, it's difficult to mess up a kit beyond repair.