Airwolf scale model recreation

waynem0

Active Member
Hi everyone

I have always been a fan of the Airwolf TV series. I know it's mainly US fan based but there are some like me in the UK and so I wanted to try to get a scale re-creation of Airwolf made to pay tribute to the pilot episode.

For sure I believe the original pilot together with plot and music score made for a great episode and caught my imagination all those years ago. Even the actors I thought were great.

But for me the star had to be the Helicopter and so this I hope is a tribute to all of the above but most of all "The Lady"

Anyhow, so a quest to try to get something which is worthy of display has begun. Not the nice 1/48 scale models which are available. Yes they look great in my opinion but not big enough in scale for a good display piece. So onto the larger remote control scale versions.

There are a few on the market and unless one is lucky enough to own a Larry Jolly Original, none I believe are exact to the filming miniatures used. They are just wrong in looks. There is the Funky, Vario and Century versions. I decided to go for one of the larger scale pieces, the Roban Airwolf. This has a pre-built lit cockpit and a good size but the fuselage is lacking in detail but looks great from a distance in the air even though the colour is wrong. Airwolf was not black in colour.

Now I cant fly for love nor money and to have all the money spent on a project in order for me to crash it is pointless. So I wont be wasting money on engines and servos I just want the thing to look great on display. Perhaps in the future but funds are limited.

So I have commissioned this as a major project using a pro builder and we will see how the project takes off.

This is to be based on the photo shown below in this thread and recreates Airwolf at the back end of the original pilot episode where Stringfellow Hawke goes after Moffett the original designer of Airwolf. Airwolf has been through hell and is flying through a narrow valley and is being shot at by a brigade of Libyan tanks and so the many shell hits which miss Airwolf hit the ground close by and cover the heli in sand and dirt and the heli looks battered and weathered to hell. This is something I wanted, not a shiny looking beast like many owners have but something a little more true to a weathered scale heli which has seen serious action.

I hope u all enjoy the ride those who have interest in this unusual project. Not something one sees in the UK!!! More to follow soon

PS the Roban Airwolf I purchased from a UK store and here is the link so you can see the size of this thing. Not a true shape but close.

http://www.quickuk.eu/products/4571/webshop_categories/roban_scale_helicopters/roban_-_airwolf_rch-awblx-8.html



Thanks for looking
Wayne



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waynem0

Active Member
So here is the first stage of the build. Note the comments from here on in are mainly from a pro-builder, not me so these are his updates to me as he builds this baby!!! I am no pro but he certainly is!

So the Roban Airwolf turned up and looks impressive scale wise. Paint a little bit poor and a gloss black colour, great from a distance but up close it isn't right, and no detailing to the belly at all. Lots of areas needing improvement and the guns which are plastic are bent. So re-tooling in Aluminium is the way forward. Awful stickers on the side windows sadly!!!!!!

After checking the model over again I thought i would list some of the modifications which are worth talking about.

Shorten main rotor shaft.
Scratch build interior roof panels with the white eyebrows in view (Prominent in many Airwolf shots from the front).
Make the new wipers a bit thinner for the look as these are too fat looking.
make interior beige panels for the doors and window surrounds to give the desired interior detailing thickness as seen from outside.
Paint the seats Tan colour, the same as the other interior panels.
Model, mould and cast the window relief edging strips. At the moment the windows have stickers on them. No good needs to be real looking window panels.
Cut rear exhaust vents into the panel just in front of the exhaust exit and back fill with black gauze. Add rivet details around all mesh holes.
Make all fasteners on the bodywork.
remake the door handles recessed into the doors.
Remove exhausts and rebuild with tapered sections to be seen through new panel holes.
Make stand from 10mm sheet steel with upright 15 to 20mm diameter tubing with adjustable angle
Scratch build lower body detailing, rails etc.
Remove the main gun assemblies, and get the main barrels turned from ally
Gun backing areas in the green colour.
Scratch build front nose panel edges and blend into cowling, then fit rivets to the flange on either side.
Change colour of main rotor and tail rotor shaft assemblies to the light grey seen on the images.
Back fill the mesh areas where no detailing is visible (so you cant see through it ).
Scratch build the rear lower “fin” on the tail and adjust the skid angle.

Once the messy rebuild work is done then get onto the painting. The exciting bit

Removed the windscreen, the wipers (which didnt survive intact, but no worries there ) and the doors.
removed the exhausts which were super tricky as they were bonded with loads of resin, but i managed to keep the nice edges of the original moulding, just a couple of chips which will ad realism to the final weathering!!, i had to take them out bit by bit with small pliers, but they came out so much nicer than i though they would !!
removed the tail section, and engine assembly for access to fit and bolt the stand armature to. also had to remove the tail rotor and tail assembly to do this. which is perfect.

I'm going to drill through the lower skin in a position where the hole can be covered with a panel
I've removed the guns, another tricky bit to get apart without cracking the fiberglass, but all came 100%. check the images for the shooting round corners look

i removed the rear engines, as they will need painting and weathering to match the main exhausts.
removed the main wheels in order to make the new sidewalls of the wheel well to match the screen shots and paint the undercarriage. I didn't remove the front wheel as i think ill make the panels to close it off, which also adds detail which will blend into the scratch built lower body panels and rails.
I've started the lower body detail layout. I'm off to get plasticard tomorrow as well as the paints. i will kitbash most of the fine detailing on the lower body.
I've cut the missing panel holes into the side of the fuselage just in front of the exhausts, ill get the right gauze and backfill them.
The images of the exhausts in chrome are not right (just a randon 50mm tube), its just a set up to see if the internal angles are looking ok. i will make custom exhausts with the taper shown behind these panels.
I've painted a couple of small hidden test sections where the tail fits over the body, to check for paint reactions

Cheers
Wayne
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waynem0

Active Member
UPDATE
ive got the paint now for the model,looking good, but i have issues with the pearl finish, mainly due to the paint shop having new owners with a more limited stock. !!

I've replicated it with a silver colour in a clear coat, but to be honest i don't like it much. I think with the weathering the finish will look just right without the pearl/metalic.

I got the brass tubing and ally for remodelling the guns, so they will all be straight.
got new mesh for behind the holes, as the floppy netting looked awful. pic attached. it will be black of course, so the old ones are now gone.
i am now looking for about 500 scale rivets which i will need to detail the bottom of the fuselage, I've tried a few methods, but I'm gonna need to drill each one before inserting it. Should be fun ! just waiting now for the samples to arrive.
bought the plasticard and various extrusion sections for the lower fuselage detailing, ill print it all out in CAD first so its all super straight.

started to sand the fuselage, which is a royal pain in the butt with all the rivets.

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waynem0

Active Member
UPDATE
I finished off sanding the main body section today, then started on the scratchbuilt lower gun detailing.

All glued on now, next stage is the rear of the gun detail and the filling and sanding of the edges to blend into the body at the front and rear. oh,, and more pipe work to be added for effect too in order to match the screen shot!
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waynem0

Active Member
UPDATE
Blend all of the ADF pod support details onto the main body. Starting to add a lot of detail now to the plain belly of this model heli and make this much more movie accurate. Much more work to come in the following weeks!
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Martin-El

Well-Known Member
Looks great and I really admire your attention to the finest details -
I too would love to do a scratchbuild but for me it has to be a 1:1 scale Blue Thunder...
 

Wes R

Legendary Member
Looking really good. I was gonna say this is a very expensive model then I realized it was meant to be flown remotely and that made more sense of the price tag. I was a huge fan of the show in the 80s too even though a lot of the stuff was over my head at the time.
 

dragnink

Well-Known Member
I can see you working on this with the theme song looping in the background. Great job so far, always loved the series!
 

waynem0

Active Member
Yes I love the Blue Thunder helicopter and I have a small scale metal version which looks great. I prefer larger scale for sure and so a 1:1 would be outstanding but where does one put it? Could always move into it I suppose :) Seen a large scale RC one done and it looked great.

- - - Updated - - -

Yes it is an expensive model for a scale display piece but in order to show off all the detailing and panel effects, it has to be large scale and so the cost has to be absorbed into my budget. Only way to have a really good impressive scale piece which looks the part visually! I am still a huge fan all these years later. Series 1 and 2 at any rate.

Looking really good. I was gonna say this is a very expensive model then I realized it was meant to be flown remotely and that made more sense of the price tag. I was a huge fan of the show in the 80s too even though a lot of the stuff was over my head at the time.
 

waynem0

Active Member
Funnily enough, it is being played as this is being built and the music added to the attraction for me in a major way. Best bit for me is at the start with Redstar control when u first see it with Moffett and of course the final battle at the end which is a symphony of many tracks and where String finds Gabrielle dying in the desert and goes after Moffett for revenge. Major battle scenes and a major influence for this project after all, this version is supposed to be based on Airwolf in the final battle scenes of the pilot episode. I hope I can give it justice. I say me but it is a pro builder doing the work, I am just directing how I want it to look. My vision, his skill but I don't believe one has ever been done this way before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I can see you working on this with the theme song looping in the background. Great job so far, always loved the series!
 

waynem0

Active Member
UPDATE
More work on the belly section. ADF pod removed and a hole cut into the belly section (with tear drop base effect) in order for the main support stand to be inserted into the fuselage. Securely mounted to take the weight and she will be displayed with undercarriage in the up "Flying position" with nose attitude slightly down and to the right. More detailing to the under side including cutting in the vent and oil drain areas.
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The Terminator

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow, what a lady :love my childhood sweetheart, the mach 1 helicopter and that music :love
That is starting to look rather amazing :)

If you haven't already I would highly recommend buying the show on bluray.
 

waynem0

Active Member
Cheers guys, glad u like the project so far! Must get on blue ray, I haven't done yet.
Ok onto next stage. Belly spraying and also note nose wheel undercarriage door will be made in closed position as if flying. Important note. Belly of the Airwolf model itself is flat pretty much. No profile shape. Well the real Airwolf has a lovely bell shape to rear of belly under the main engine exhausts. This is being created now by hand in order to give her the proper graceful shape underneath. Tricky build phase. Enjoy
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waynem0

Active Member
Ok onward to looking at getting the gun barrels done in Aluminium rather than the awful warped plastic.
Some rivet detailing now being added underneath and this will be rather extensive over the fuselage sort of a Nautilus effect in a way but will give it some mean perspective and will really stand out once painted. Tried lots of variations to get the effect of the rivets but only way in the end is to add sticky ones, Not a perfect scale but will look ideal. Watch this space. Notice that added kick panels have now been built and cut into the lower fuselage below the lower windows. This is so prominent in all the shots in the movie but lacking on this fuselage and so the addition of all these sort of details will really make the difference to the overall look. More to come!!
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