Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Getting over my Modeling slum with my sudden new interest - Commercial Plane Modeling

Since my Bali trip early this year, it had been quite a while since I took a plane trip anywhere so imagine my fascination when I took to the skies again - just like a little kid flying for the first time. I have to say I enjoyed the plane trip immensely.

This resulted in my sudden interest in commercial planes (since I am predominantly a Sci Fi guy) and I was having somewhat of a slum in scale modeling for over a month now. I decided why not do something different, something I'm currently interested in. Of course this doesn't mean I have given up on my sci fi stuff, just trying something new.

And working on commercial planes was something really new. I have never ever build a passenger plane let alone collect them, and suddenly I am able to identify a Boeing from an Airbus. Since my AirAsia trip was on an Airbus A320 and back with the Boeing 737-300, I started my collection on these planes, then slowly progressed on to the wide body crafts. I decided on 1/144 scale as these seems big enough to satisfy my desire to scratch build stuff on my kits (I do have a few in 1/125 scale as well, but I am not touching 1/200 scales - too small to do anything on these)

Of course I still need to finish up my Bali trip experience on this blog which I had put on hold for a while first, then on to my sci fi highlights, but just to let all you wonderful folks now what I am up to at the moment, here's what I am doing.

I am in the midst of converting my old Revell 1/144 scale Douglas KC10 Extender into a Commercial DC10. The kit I had was this (I bought it then cause I thought the kit was so cute .. I can't explain that too)

I want to convert that baby to this - Malaysian Airlines DC10-30 9M-MAS (or MAT). The current craft have a new MAS design on her now but I am settling for this design because .......................... well, the only decals available for a MAS DC 10 is for this one - pre 1980ish.

I managed to get a hold of such a decal sheet for the old MAS Livery (I'm not sure why commercial plane's decals are called Liveries - took me a while to refer to them as that too). However, the liveries are incomplete as there are no windows. And the decal sheet seemed very plain.

I managed to locate another more accurate livery for 9M-MAS/T - this one with the windows and much clearer images of the logos. Its from TwoSix Decals but I was told it may take 2 months to reach me ... oh well, I can still get the kit ready first.

Initial test fit trials - the parts fits together beautifully but typical with Revell's kits, lots of flashes to clean.

My plan is to re-create the DC10-30 in a landed position with its flaps, slats and air brakes deployed. The 3 engine reverse thrust will also be engaged. Did lots of research on this craft since I had no idea how the engine reverse thrust looked like for a DC10. The below image surmise how my kit will be posed.

I also did some research to see if anyone has attempted this conversion before (looking for tips) but the only information I got was from the image below (I got this from arc forum.net but I can't find the bookmark now. When I do, I'll hyper link it - lots of interesting info there)

The above image depicts a DC10-10 while the KC10 Extender below is a DC10-30. Lucky for me, 9M-MAS is a DC10-30, which means I don't have to cut much of the wing fairing (that's that huge protruding area underneath the aircraft holding the wings). But before I can detail my kit, I had to do a lot of butchering on her. That housing base for the refueling rod (located on the rear under belly of the KC10 kit had to go.

Then I started to "cut cut" the flaps, air brakes and slats to separate them from the main wing. I used various scribers for the job.

And after 4 days, this is what I have achieved. I decided to lay out the pieces in formation just in case I get confused which part goes where.

I still have the engine housing to work on, as well as those things that help hold the flaps down during take off and landing (I'm not sure what you call them)

Some clean up on the fuselage seams ....

And a massive hole I need to fill up - that was where the refuel rod housing was formerly located.

I'm actually surprised I got this much done despite being down with stomach flu. But hey, if commercial airline modeling can help bring back my scale modeling Mojo, then its good to be cutting again. I will update this when I have more done.

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