Builds By Baz- Full scale Mk II Colonial Viper

sandbagger

Master Member
I first had this idea years ago, along with a couple of other projects I may move onto after it. With all the iron man stuff, photography, astronomy and knife making going on, it didn't look like I was ever going to do it.

A few years ago, tried a paper model from online and just blowing that up and started a life-size cardboard version, but didn't like the shape of it. After sitting in my shed for nearly a year taking up space, I destroyed it.

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Next I grabbed a Mobeius kit and took Vernier caliper measurements from the physical model and multiplied them by the scale factor of about three. I made a concept model three times the size in cardboard and wood, threw some lights in it and worked out how the modular sections will assemble on site for transport and pull-down.

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I only built one side of it so the other side can stay open for future visual planning. I mirrored a couple of photos for fun. (above)

I've been collecting plywood and foam, among other materials for many months. For the last couple of years I've been trying to get shop drawings out of any CAD specialist willing to help, but I understand it's a lot of work for free and it's a big ask to dedicate the time.

Even using verniers and blowing it up three times, brought inaccuracies I can't accept, so I really needed to get dimensions accurate.

Now that I have a CAD expert helping me, I finally have accurate shop drawings and have started on the first two and a bit metres of the nose.

The craft will use a variety of materials to make it, depending on strength/safety and where it is needed. The majority will be plywood frame, some aluminium longerons etc for strength, polystyrene foam fill for sculpting, then skinned with fibreglass.

The cockpit and undercarriage will be constructed in such a way that it is safe to support and adult's weight and then some.

The entire ship tops out at 8.4 metres in length.

I have big plans for the rest of the ship, but I will tell the story as I go, rather than skip to the last chapter.

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Since my first thoughts of this years ago, I was dismayed to go online searching for blueprints, not finding any, but finding at least two other full scale Vipers out there. One is in full aluminium and a little further along than mine, the other is a plywood, completed and recently unveiled in Manchester. I think they are both 1978 versions, where as mine is the reimagined 2003 version.

Just goes to show what can happen if you don't act on your dreams right away. Someone else will!
 
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sandbagger

Master Member
Grinding the ends off the stringer screws.





Next stringers plotted out for cutting tomorrow. I have a full day on it tomorrow, so should get a fair bit done. Might even get started on polystyrene bodywork if I'm not interrupted. Not holding my breath though.


 

sandbagger

Master Member
I got quite a lot done today. Finished all the horizontal and vertical stingers in the nose. Then some strategic weight reduction was in order. I broke my 30 year old hole saw set, so it was off to Bunnings for a new and better set.


Once I plotted out all the vertical stringers I removed them and cut the centres out of all the formers.


Tomorrow I will attach them permanently and fix some aluminium longerons along the top and sides to lock it all in. Mission accomplished, the frame is now set to be rigid and light.


To see WIP photos click here





 
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sandbagger

Master Member
Help? Trying to find some reference as to scale, (dimensions) of this panel so I can start making it.

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sandbagger

Master Member
http://www.broadcaststore.com/pdf/model/7123/7123.pdf

I found this pdf on the consol specs for the entire unit. Looks like it's anywhere between 19 to 22 inches across. If I can establish the actual length of the control panel, I have a scale to work from.
 
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Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Awesome let me take her out for a spin when shes done and I will tell you how she flys! :thumbsup
 

sandbagger

Master Member
I got about three hours of frantic cutting, drilling and grinding done this evening.


All the horizontal and vertical stringers are now secured, along with three longerons along the top for dealing with tension force. As there is compression on the bottom caused by the weight cantilevering over the front skid four metres back from the tip of the nose, there will be a lot of compression on the bottom, particularly closer to the skid. The rear former will need to be reinforced with a solid plate/mounting points. More on that when I get there.


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sandbagger

Master Member
To start building the body of the fuselage in layers, I found some Sikabond foam construction adhesive at Bunnings. Messy stuff, but does the job well and once you understand how it flows, sticks, spreads and behaves generally, you get the hang of it pretty quick.


The foam I am using is a combination of soft and hard, but when it’s free recycled packaging and produce boxing, one can’t be too fussy. At the end of the day, once shaped, it will be coated in fibreglass anyway. I’ve built it high and then done some rough shape-cutting with the hot wire cutter. The nose was a little tricky because of all the angles, so the next spaces between formers should be a lot easier.


I think my hot-wire cutter is running a little cool at nearly two feet long, so i’m going to have to hit the calculator and see what I need do do to turn up the heat.


Later tonight/tomorrow afternoon I might get a chance to shape it more with a rasp and sandpaper. I have shaped foam before in a small scale and it’s surprising how smooth you can get it. Larger surfaces are obviously easier than intricate hand-models.








 

joberg

Master Member
Excellent work there mate:cool One of our member here is building one out of aluminium...Eager to see your project come to life!
 

sandbagger

Master Member
Today I couldn’t do much while babysitting, but while miss two watched on in the back yard sunshine, dad drew templates and threw balls of screwed up paper at her. What fun dad! Giggling her head off!


A total of about an hour today was all I could manage. I cut some formers for the second half of the fuselage, finishing at the firewall forward of the cockpit.











I also spent about five minutes with some 60 grit sandpaper on the nose polystyrene.




- - - Updated - - -

A wire brush is another useful tool for styrene shaping.
Ok for removing MASSIVE amounts of foam in a hurry and VERY messy.

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Excellent work there mate:cool One of our member here is building one out of aluminium...Eager to see your project come to life!
Thank you sir. Yes, I discovered him way back when I was a fair way into my first full sized cardboard Viper that I inevitably scrapped. It's been a long time and the man must have a full life as progress has been pretty slow.
 

itsgreg

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
To start building the body of the fuselage in layers, I found some Sikabond foam construction adhesive at Bunnings. Messy stuff, but does the job well and once you understand how it flows, sticks, spreads and behaves generally, you get the hang of it pretty quick.


The foam I am using is a combination of soft and hard, but when it’s free recycled packaging and produce boxing, one can’t be too fussy. At the end of the day, once shaped, it will be coated in fibreglass anyway. I’ve built it high and then done some rough shape-cutting with the hot wire cutter. The nose was a little tricky because of all the angles, so the next spaces between formers should be a lot easier.


I think my hot-wire cutter is running a little cool at nearly two feet long, so i’m going to have to hit the calculator and see what I need do do to turn up the heat.


Later tonight/tomorrow afternoon I might get a chance to shape it more with a rasp and sandpaper. I have shaped foam before in a small scale and it’s surprising how smooth you can get it. Larger surfaces are obviously easier than intricate hand-models.


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Looking brilliant!
Using surform tools is a great way to shape your foam, they make really quick work of it. It's what I use for all my patterns, including stuff this sort of size.

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