Following on from rebuilding and conversion of a 1:43 scale P-3B ORION model into the newly refurbished RAAF AP-3C ORION for TENIX AEROSPACE, DMG was asked to build a new version from scratch. The original model was returned to the US following shows in Australia and TENIX had a requirement for a model of their own. This was to be a slightly bigger model so was built in a scale of 1:35.
A smaller kit model in 1:72 scale was purchased and built to enable us to take measurements and contours to form the new model. This model was to also have some working features which included navigation lights with working strobes and all four propellers needed to operate.
Using a section of 90mm plastic drain pipe for the basic fuselage section and nose and tail sections were turned from timber, fitted into place and fibre-glassed. Tail fin and stabilisers were constructed from timber and then cast in Polyurethane resin with panel details cast into them. These were fitted into place and the assembly put aside whilst the wings and engines were constructed.
The wings were constructed around a long tapered box section which would form the centre section of the wing. This would give the wing great strength as well as form a conduit for the wires for nav lights and engines down to the centre of the fuselage for connection to power. The wing was wrapped in styrene sheet to get the correct aerofoil shape leaving spaces in the wing where the engines would be fitted. The void between the centre box section, trailing edge and leading edge of the wings were filled with expanding foam. This foam gave the wings a very firm structure.
The engines were created in craft wood and shaped. These were then cast in polyurethane resin as all four front sections were identical. This meant only the rear sections of the engines had to be crafted individually. The fronts were drilled out to the diameter of the small 12 volt engines and fitted into place after testing and feeding the wires through the box section. Other details such as props and observation windows etc were also cast in resin.
Once this was all fitted together and quantities of builders bog added to flare the wing roots into the fuselage, the model was polished with wet and dry and primed with auto primer. The wing walkways were sprayed in dark grey and masked up so the rest of the aircraft could be sprayed in overall dusk grey. Roundels and the squadron markings were hand cut from sign-writing vinyl sheet whilst "WALKWAY" and "NO STEP" markings where printed using laser decal paper and applied to the model. Many of these techniques we used to build this model are being used to construct a 1:35 scale RAAF C-130H HERCULES also for TENIX.
These models will be used for various air shows and conferences and be on display in the foyer area of TENIX AEROSPACE in Melbourne.