1:75 Boeing 747SP – FINALLY FINISHED!

Well, it took 18 months on and off, including completing another model in between, but today I can finally say that this model is finished.

Many lessons have been learned, several attempts to get the paint job reasonable, readjusting the wing box section, fitting the wiring and electronics, and many other trials and tribulations on the way, but in the end, I am pretty happy with the end result.

Most of the details were hand painted, either with a brush or an airbrush. I ended up making decals for the engines, and the “City of Gold Coast – Tweed” wording.

I struggled with the silver paint on the fuselage and engines, in the end resorting to the fact that the uneven, dull effect I ended up with is more realistic to the natural tarnishing of polished aluminium, which is close to the real aircraft with unpainted fuselage sections after they loose their post delivery shine. I was also able to mimic the difference in the surface reflections for each section of the engine nacelles.

So, now it’s time for the big C5 Galaxy, and it’s going to be big, literally, about 1.4m long. And, I will post more regular progress updates on this one.

Anyway, here is in SP in her finished state, and a few progress pics along the way, but before I go, a big thankyou to my Friend Manan for his great work on the electronics for the lighting and engines.

Finished…

In Progress…

1:75 Boeing 747SP – Update #20

Happy New Year, although we are nearly in February of 2019, and I am welllllll overdue for an update…thankyou to the anonymous reader who commented requesting an update. But a lot has happened since my last post in October, not so much though on the SP, well it won’t appear to be that much as most of the time spent was fitting and testing the navigation and cockpit lights, and chasing my tail with the paintwork.

Speaking of the cockpit, I shaped the windshield out of a piece of flat Perspex then heated it in the oven before moulding it to fit the cockpit cavity, which was fun, and I was happy with the end result. The windshield can be seen in the photo below sitting on top of the fuselage before it was fitted in its final position.

My biggest headache was with the silver paint I used on the fuselage and wings which seemed to react to the blue masking tape I have been using, so I’ve been fighting a loosing battle trying to keep the silver areas looking decent with touch ups and respraying. As I have said before, this model is for myself so I’ll have to live with a few imperfections, but on the upside, a lot of lessons learned for future models.

Im pleased with the Nav lighting and the engine lights, although the landing lights are very bright, so I might consult my Avionics buddy to see what he can do to reduce the brightness. Apart from that, the model is in the final detailing stage, though I admit, it has been for a while, so hopefully I will post another update with the completed Aircraft before March…

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1:75 Boeing 747SP – Update #19

There has been good progress since my last post, but is has been very time consuming. The detailing of the fuselage with logos and windows using 3D printed stencils and an airbrush has provided some challenges and valuable learning’s for the next model I build, but overall I’m fairly happy with the end result. The key to using stencils is applying light coats and allowing time to dry a little before each coat. This prevents bleeding under the stencil. On the flip-side, it can can also result in slight ghosting around the edges if the stencil is not in complete contact with the surface, so having the paint thinned down to the right consistency will also help. A cotton cue tip with a little window cleaner helps tidy up around the edges where required.

In the avionics department, fitting of the circuit board and connecting the engines has been challenging but rewarding. With limited space inside each engine nacelle, its been rather painstaking connecting the wiring, testing to make sure both the motor and LED work in each nacelle, then carefully packing the wiring into the nacelle without breaking any connections.  After testing, all 4 motors with LEDs were running, but after replacing the temporary connections to the circuit board with permanent ones, at the time of writing, I had 4 motors and 3 LED’s working…so I’m still troubleshooting to fix that 4th LED…it might be call to my avionics buddy for some advice…

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Recreating a Memory…

There are certain moments in life as you grow up that will not only stay with you as fond memories, but also stay dormant inside you like a seed, until something triggers that seed to germinate and grow into something bigger and potentially have a major influence on various facets of life such as career, hobbies, lifestyle etc. One of those moments for me is when I first went to the Airport in the mid 1970’s and seeing those Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets close up for the first time…I wish sometimes that I could go back in time to relive that moment.

That moment was one of those seeds that eventually germinated into my love for commercial airliners and led me to start photographing them, then building models of them out of wood. I also became very fascinated with Jet engines, and the operational aspects of Commercial Airliners and Airports. All of this is what led me to create FraserAeroArt, which is a way of bringing out those interests which are manifested in me as strong creative urges. So FraserAeroArt is about turning those creative urges into what I call, Aero-Art…

Another aspect of my Aero art is evolving thanks to modern technology…3D Printing. Whilst I place a strong emphasis on my handmade Airliner models, I have entered the world of 3D printing which combined with my abilities in 3D Computer Modelling, I can now recreate my memories of that first visit to the Airport in 3D, then turn it into a physical object…I never would have dreamed of being able to do something like this 40 odd years ago…

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1:75 Scale Boeing 747SP – Update #18

Before I start, Its been about 6 weeks since I’ve provided an update on this blog, although I have made a few minor posts via my Instagram page, I do realise that my updates to this site must be much more frequent to keep those who take the time to read them more engaged and interested in what I am doing. In saying that, it’s a bit of a catch 22 because it also means I need to make more time to work on my models, or AeroArt, to provide more variation in my content, and keep my readers on an interesting journey from start to finish, not to mention ensuring I’m putting time into the top priority in my life which is my family. Then there is my full time career, which I hope to transition from, and into a full time AeroArt business…so I now the SP is nearly done, I will begin posting weekly as I start on the next long awaited project which is the 1:50 Scale C5 Galaxy which my customer has been very patiently waiting for.

Now that I have got that off my chest, I’d better talk about the SP which I must say has dragged on in my view, but has also taught me a lot of lessons, especially when it comes to painting and patience…the winter is always difficult when it comes to painting in lower temperatures, because you need to allow a lot more time for the coats to dry. On this model, setting it aside for a few days has not been enough, and consequently resulted in surface cracks and lots of rework. Because this is my own model, I’ve had to live with a few defects as constant reminders of my lessons learn’t. Overall, I am still pretty happy with the results so far.

The other problem I have had, is with the metallic silver paint I’ve used, which has not coped well when masked over with blue painters tape, often leaving blemishes on the paint surface requiring fine airbrushing to fix, even after being left for a week before applying any tape. All this has resulted in a much longer finishing process than first hoped.

On a more positive note, I started the hand finishing of some of the finer paint lines on the wings and horizontal stabilisers. I’ve also created some 3D printed templates for the QANTAS logos and wording which I will also hand paint with the exception of the Winged Kangaroo on the vertical stabiliser which I may airbrush.

My fellow aviation enthusiast, former Airbus Engineer and avionics buddy Manan, has provided the electronics and wiring which is ready to be fitted. This will happen within the next week, so it’s not much longer before the SP will come to life, and a big thanks to Manan for his efforts so far….stay tuned…

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1:75 Boeing 747SP – Update #17

A sneak peek of the detailing progress so far…The wings have proven a bit tricky in terms of the painting. The big lesson that I have learned is that you can’t trust drying times stated on the paint cans. I usually apply several light coats a few minutes apart, then leave for 24 hours….but then I find an imperfection, then try to fix it, reapply more coats throwing the whole system out. So the paint job on the wings will have to be redone in some areas, simply because I am not happy with the result…not to mention the masking tape stripping some of the paint away as I removed it as well. But I couldn’t resist putting The fuselage and wings together to satisfy my own curiosity to see how it would look, which is the pic you see in this post. The biggest learning for me is making sure all the imperfections in the raw wood are removed before the priming stage, albeit they are hard to find sometimes until you apply the paint.

On the more positive side, I have been successfully 3D printing the exhaust nozzles fitted to the rear of the engines and a few 3D printed stencils to help with the fine detailing such as Airline logo’s and window and door stencils. I draw these up in 3D modelling software first.

Overall I am pleased with the result so far and looking forward to posting the next update which will be close to, if not finished for this project.

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1:75 Boeing 747SP – Update #16

Finally reaching the home straight on this project which started about a year ago (I did complete another 747 during that time I might add), it is good to know that this aircraft will soon get a face so to speak, meaning it’s time to decide on the livery. The Airline is a no brainer, because this aircraft will remain in my hands, it will of course be Qantas.

The last decision is which Qantas Livery to paint the aircraft…The Two Boeing 747SP’s operated by Qantas were delivered in the 1970’s “Orange Ochre” livery (this had the orange strip along the windows and the winged flying Kangaroo). The SP’s were then repainted in the late 1980’s with the new Flying Kangaroo design introduced in 1894. Both Aircraft were retired with the same livery in 2002.

Alternatively, like my Qantas Concorde, which in reality, never existed,  I could follow a similar approach and paint the SP in the most recent 2017 Qantas livery. I’m still deciding. The pics below show my 1:400 scale diecast version in the 1970’s livery.

However, before I get too carried away, there are still several coats of primer – putty to apply before more sanding and minor filling to remove imperfections which the grey undercoat makes easier to spot. Then I can start applying the colour and bringing this aircraft to life.

Between now and my last post, there has been a lot of work to prepare the wings, engines and engine pods to house the wiring for the lights and drone motors. In addition to the nav lights on the wing tips, each engine will have an internal LED along with a drone motor, and LED landing lights will be installed on the inner leading edges of the wings. The pic below also shows the entry points of the wiring into the engine pods and into the engine itself. Prior to final filling of the wiring tracks, all wires were tested to ensure there were no breaks. After all, I’d rather replace a faulty wire now as opposed to finding out after the wings are all painted. My Avionics buddy, has also completed the circuit boards which will be added in the final assembly after painting.

Lastly, there is a bit of 3D printing to do, which includes the engine inserts that will hold each drone motor and LED light in place, and the exhaust nozzles at the rear of the engines. I will also be 3D printing a few stencils to assist with the finer details to be applied to the final paint job and livery.

On completion of this project, I will be staring work on my largest project yet…A 1:50 scale C5 Galaxy. I’m already working on the plans for this, with is another client order…

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