Little toy helicopters

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by Mysta2, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    Hello friends. I've been working on a project "for my kids" for a little while now.

    Given the interest that my Calvin and Hobbes thread seems to have generated, I thought some people might enjoy this build too. Also posting progress is a nice medium pressure motivator to keep moving forward.


    I've got a 2 year old son and a 4 year old daughter and we recently picked up one of those Brio train tables and put it in my sons room. It has a crane on it which can pick up these little shipping containers with a magnet and deliver them onto the train cars. It also has a heliport and a kind of crummy little chopper. I love helicopters and like to say that if I hadn't become a model maker I would have been a helicopter pilot (or at least mechanic) So I decided to make a little squadron of cargo helicopters for those shipping containers. Something cool and identifiable, but robust enough that I could let the kids play with them.


    Started with some sketches:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    This all started with the idea that I wanted to make some custom trains
    [​IMG]
    but I came to the realization that the clunky dimensions of the original trains are driven by their function, and the ones that I wanted to do would never work on the track.


    Also drew up a bologna slicer
    [​IMG]
    I made that one to fit two containers, but it's a bit long. I don't know if this one's going to pan out.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  2. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    Fixed the first post so this one no longer makes sense
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  3. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    LOVE the Loewy train!!!
     
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  4. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Mysta2, go with the Tarhe! Here is some reasons why:

    1. Actually used commercially (well, by fire fighting companies mostly) and could carry containers. Of course, the 'boxes' that hooked to the helo were custom military items, but that can be waived a bit if:
    2. The 'containers' could be forest fire fighting 'command centers' to be airlifted to the site of fire "events". Built in story line.
    3. Also can have a chem-tank attachment, as seen HERE
    3. For regular shipping containers, could use a 'sling load'. Have a shaft off the main rotor to act as a spool for two cords with hooks (blunt or magnets...) that would attach to the front and rear of the container for lifting. The cords could come off the shaft, run fore & aft over small pulley 'points' (either actual pulley or just smooth pins) and then drop off the bottom of the boom fuselage. Attached to the MR shaft, spinning it could retract the cords (or use a separate shaft arrangement that sticks out a side (transverse) so you can have a free wheeling rotor for play... yeah, probably a better idea.) Sling load capability allows for "lift" of many different loads (vehicles, track, train stock, etc.)
    4. The 54 just LOOKS cool with it's 'bug legs'...

    Well, you did ask! ;^P

    Regards, Robert
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  5. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    After getting the sketches to a place that I was happy with I scanned them and brought them into Illustrator where I refined all of the lines until I came up with this:

    [​IMG]

    Using those splines I can create templates to build the 3D data in Surfcam

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At this point I have to break the parts down into machinable sections. You can see the Chinook already laid out in the configuration that I’m going to use to machine it. Other than the engine cowls and the pocket for the magnet I would have been able to do the whole thing on only one side, as it is I have to flip it once.

    rbeach84
    …not to mention 60mph straight up unloaded!

    No worries mate, I’m making all of them, in triplicate. They’re actually already cut and assembled. I just figured I’d roll this thread out in more or less chronological order, and I’m still trying to dig up some photos that I know I have but cant find.

    Plans (subject to change):

    V22 Marine One. Pic I’ll be stretching this one a bit and making a full white top even though the real thing isn’t actually cleared to fly the president.
    V22 Boeing testbed pic
    V22 Japan deployment pic

    CH47 Antarctic pic
    CH47 Army pic
    CH47 Mountian rescue pic

    CH54 Canadian air crane pic
    CH54 desert pic I’m trying to think up a slick way to make those sand boxes
    CH54 Army pic
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  6. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    You're on the bleeding edge of the 'make your own toys' tech, aren't you? ;^P You sure these are all for the young-uns?

    RE: the particle filter 'boxes', certainly looks like a single part, just need two of same, flipped over (symmetrical), eh? Or are you referring to the actual fabrication vice the design?
    R/ Robert
    BTW, any Army 'bird' with orange on it is a training a/c/
     
  7. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    Well you did notice that I put for my kids in quotes right :)

    I've often wondered about that orange, thanks for that info. I just like it for a nice shock of color on a drab scheme.

    Are you a pilot?
     
  8. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Oh yes, definitely more colorful - not that is difficult considering the "usual"!

    Another 'tidbit': the dark green paint (which almost appears black) of the modern US Army helicopter has some ususual properties. I was taking digital images of an AH-1F helo at the American Helicopter Museum (near Philly) a few back and the camera was having trouble auto-focusing on it. Something in the paint was throwing off the IR of the camera's rangefinder (of course it was!)

    Guess that stuff really works!

    To answer your question, I flew the thing in my avatar, once upon a time... Seasprites! If you find a full size copy of the image, you can see the Playboy 'bunny' logo on the underside of the radome (tan thingie on the under-nose.) And no, I never flew that particular machine! ;^) Great machine, but it took it's fair share to the Locker...

    R/ Robert
     
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  9. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow, I think you're gonna have more helicopters than trains when this is done.
     
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  10. Hagoth

    Hagoth Well-Known Member

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    Another cool project! This is looking nice. Thanks for being willing to share your ideas and the wonderful results you can produce from them.

    So... you love helicopters. I'll be looking for you input on a future project of mine. :D
     
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  11. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    I've been meaning to sketch up a little AH-1 for the series, it's one of my all time favorites. Maybe a single engine and a super. I wont hold the fact that it can't pick up a shipping crate against it.


    If I do another batch I'll see if I can't make a couple of Sea Sprites and send one your way.


    Originally I wanted to do all of them out of acrylic so they could have nice clear canopies so I bought a length of 3" acrylic tube and started with the Tarhe
    [​IMG]
    This is running on our 4 axis table, so it can machine the whole thing out in one single operation rotating 360 degrees while it cuts. Pretty darn cool way to mill something, solid rod goes in, helicopter comes out.

    I was really pushing myself to cut them all out of a single block of material to make them as bulletproof as possible. This worked great for the 54, but the enclosed cargo area of the 47 and V22s meant I would need to get a really small cutter in those corners and I thought my breakdowns were pretty robust so I laid them out.

    [​IMG]
    I thought I had more shots of this but I can't seem to find any, but I think you can see the four pieces that I cut to assemble my Chinook puzzles, basically three walls and a roof.

    [​IMG]
    and here you can see my frosted CH54 lollipops.

    [​IMG]
    All the blades are black ABS, I used a straight blade to drag a chamfer along all the trailing edges to make them look just a little less flat and lifeless.

    And the whole gang
    [​IMG]
    For the Ospreys I used the 4 axis table for the wing/nacelles and the body, and cut the nose out on one of our vertical mills. I know I have some pictures of this in progress, I found at least one this morning, but I can't seem to dig it up again. If I do I will post.

    I have no problem with that :)

    I look forward to it.
     
  12. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Awesome stuff. What's keeping the blades in their sockets? Are there bearings in there?
     
  13. Hagoth

    Hagoth Well-Known Member

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    I hope you were responding to me? That would be awesome! :D

    Holly cow man! I love your tools! These are coming out awesome! Wow! :cool:cool:cool

    Would you consider posting a video of one of these getting cut out and being assembled?
     
  14. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    I'd love to post a video, my phone is so crammed with "other" that I can't shoot more than about 30 seconds of video. So I think it's time for an upgrade, I'll have to do that first. They're all cut though so it will have to wait for the theoretical second round.

    Yeah Mike, once they're painted the bearings will be going in. This was another one of my peeves about the toy helicopters, the loose blades suck. Mine will be much better.
     
  15. Hagoth

    Hagoth Well-Known Member

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    As it is related topic wise... here is a sneak peek of my helicopter project. This is all I'll share for now as I do not want to hijack this very cool thread.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    hagoth
    Technically I was referring to rbeach84s post. I thought it would be a cool gift since he used to fly them. Sorry, I know that was confusing, I actually started that post several hours before I finished it, which was before you or mikes responses. I only wrote the last half of it much later.

    Did you model that helicopter? Your design? Is it a fixed/rotating wing? I could definitely use some help in the modeling department, mostly for my motorcycle projects.
     
  17. Hagoth

    Hagoth Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, that's ok. Robert should get one of those.

    Yes, I modeled the helicopter. It is an original design of mine. I wouldn't mind collaborating with you to to help out with modeling. Send me a PM.
     
  18. pengbuzz

    pengbuzz Well-Known Member

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    Really liking that helicopter!
     
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  19. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    Played a little last night with what might become the second round:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Mysta2, these are looking very nice. It is a funny thing, when I was a wee lad, one of the best things about going to visit my cousins was the chance to play with them - they had Brio trains and Revell plastic ship models, which we used to play 'war in the Pacific' using towels on the table (as islands...) But of course, they didn't have any helicopters!

    Thanks for thinking of the Seasprite; weird beasty, it has quite a bit of asymmetry built into it that I always thought was interesting, but then most a/c with such a long service record end up with some interesting things going on...

    Cheers! Robert
     
  21. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    I finally got some paint on my helicopters yesterday. I was at a stage to paint some of the final parts for my Spiff Saucer and given that my hobby time is fairly limited I had to make sure and get everything painted that I could manage.

    But first I needed to fill the drive shaft hole in the CH54s. The driveshaft detail on this toy was a bit of an afterthought. I was looking at a lot of photos of CH54s to find a paint scheme to use and decided that the tail of mine needed a little more detail, and thought adding the shaft would be perfect. Fortunately the front cabins are flat on the sides so I was able to clamp them into our vise at an angle and line up the drill perfectly on our Bridgeport milling machine. This of course left a hole in the end of the tail I had to fill.

    [​IMG]

    This is one of my most common uses for wide masking tape, I squeeze glue, and “bondo” and whatever else out onto a strip of it and as soon as I’m done with it, I can just pull it up and discard it. Sometimes I’ll use a big sheet of cardstock, but I usually regret that because it’s big and tossing it with one dot of glue on it feels too wasteful, I’m tempted to not discard that as soon as I’m done with the glue, which leaves a puddle somewhere in my workspace that is hard to see and easy to forget about. At some point you will end up setting your nearly finished part in this puddle of glue and really ruin your day. It’s better I’ve found to use tear offs like the tape.

    [​IMG]
    Hole: gone.

    The nose of this thing is kind of a bear to mask. It’s a weird shape, and I want that lower line of the greenhouse dead level with the ground and right across the apex of the nose. How to do this; first I had to measure approximately the height of that apex off the ground. I came up with .3” so I cut a bunch of strips of masking tape to this width and ran one around the bottom of each cabin and against the ground to show where to start the mask. From this point I can just basically butt the larger mask right up against this line. Once it’s secure, I can cut all the rest of the mask detail.

    Small tip here: rarely do you ever want to use the factory cut edge of the masking tape, it’s often a bit rough, and depending on how you tear the tape might also want to curve. Cut a nice straight fresh edge to work with.

    Steps 1, 2, and 3
    [​IMG]

    For this first round of paint all I needed was to have the mass of the greenhouse masked out. It’s kind of weird to think about but what I’m actually painting here is the green that I want to see inside the cockpit. If that doesn’t make sense, it should in a few more posts. The mask will become more complex when the real colors go on.

    In most cases there are one or two surfaces that don’t see paint and often you need to get creative to figure out how you are going to be able to hold a part by those surfaces. In the case of the CH47s and the V22s I could use the cargo bays as I wanted those to be the green that I’m putting on the inside of the CH54s. But the only surface on the 54s was inside the bearing cup. I have a bunch of bamboo skewers but they are way too small, so I wrapped them in tape until they weren’t too small. I use this trick all the time to mask holes. The diameter builds up really fast, usually faster than I expect it to. Typically you want to cut it too long so you can just unroll a little and test again until it’s perfect. If you have a bunch of holes the same size to do, you can take a little more time with the first to get it the perfect fit, then unroll it, measure the length, and cut all the rest to that length and they will be perfect first try every time. Also you can get a nice taper fit if you cut the first end at an angle.

    [​IMG]

    In the paint booth and ready for paint, I’ll be shooting the green first which will go on the CH54s and the Spiff seats followed by white primer on all the helicopters and the saucers, and then red for the saucers.
    [​IMG]

    Green first, then primer. I really hammered the living daylights out of the CH47s and V22s with the primer. For the look that I want, I really wanted to bury any imperfections and smooth them out. Also I plan on using this primer white (which is a little yellower than basecoat white) for the final color. If I can put down enough primer so that I can sand out any imperfections without going through the primer to the plastic I can just mask out the other colors and leave the white as is, saving me a paint step.
    [​IMG]

    All the paints I used, and some of the results.
    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Hagoth

    Hagoth Well-Known Member

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    These are looking very nice. Such cool tips!

    Ever used green Frog tape? I just heard about it the other day. I have yet to actually try it out. Apparently it has a gel sticky side that keeps paint from seeping under it. The example of where it was used came out very impressive.
     
  23. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Cool process! Can't wait for the 'unveiling'. Your masking challenge on the '54's lower window line brings to mind a waterline masking problem I had, which I marked using a contour gauge (is that the right term?) I made one ad hoc the other day using a normally pretty useless Xacto two-ended alligator clamp 'tool' ("Third Hand with magnifier") - picture HERE. I just mounted a shapened #2 pencil between the two clamps and adjusted the level until the point was hitting the correct height. Then I could drag it across the surface to mark a consistent height all the way around the piece which I then laid my tape along... actually, this last time, I was scribing a line on a compound curved surface. Trick is getting your piece mounted 'square' on the flat reference surface before marking.

    Hagoth, I was under the impression that the Green Frog tape only had its moisture-activated sealing material on the factory edges but I could be wrong on that, having never used it. One great tip for masking is to spray the piece with a light clear coat to seal the masking tape. Since it is clear, any bleed under isn't a problem for the colors underneath the tape.

    Regards, Robert
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  24. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    Robert
    You're talking about a height gauge and that is a great tool for exactly that. Contour gauge is the thing with all the pins.

    Jeff
    I have heard of Frog tape. I looked at their website and it seems that the "paint block technology" is activated by latex paint (maybe water?) so you might have to sponge it down for it to give the benefit. We use automotive vinyl, blue, green and yellow tape here in the shop. I've never had a need to find anything better.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  25. Hagoth

    Hagoth Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I'll have to get some Frog tape and try it out. Here is the build thread that brought it to light for me.

    http://www.resinilluminati.com/showthread.php?t=16289&page=6

    No details were given on pre-activation before painting. The edges from the green tape came out very nice. Looks better to me than the yellow mask applied everywhere else.
     
  26. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Ah, right! I knew that...I have at least two contour gauges in the tool box! Only good for getting 'first draft' shapes, though. Too easy to shift in the frame, takes a light touch. I think I've heard the tool I'm thinking of called a 'surface gauge' or 'surface height block'. I've since gotten one from MicroMark as a present that has a two-ended scribe. I'm still learning how to use that one!
    .;^P
    R/ Robert
     
  27. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

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    While I was shooting my saucers red I thought I should take advantage and shoot at least one of the helicopters too. There were a couple more that needed red, but sadly I didn't have enough time to do all the masking so I had to settle for just this one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This one was supposed to be my mountain rescue one, but I couldn't resist putting the stripes at a slight angle and I wanted to make the red a little more orange, and it just kind of ended up the exact Coast Guard color palette and scheme. So, I'll roll with it.

    In the picture it looks pretty blood red, but it's really a little more orange than it seems to show here. The lights in the paint booth kind of throw everything out of whack like that.
     
  28. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    That looks awesome (and no, we're NOT in the Lego movie, dang it!) ;^P
    Regards, Robert
     
  29. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Slo-Mo - B u m ppp!

    Regards, Robert
     
  30. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    These are beautiful!!! Makes me wish I was a little one so I could play with them!!!
     

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