Kitbashing a Vampire Into A Rocket Plane Pt III

There are only a couple things better than spending time at the work bench to ease the workdays tensions. A couple times during the day I had to visit the Man Cave to search for something I needed and each time I walked past the bench this project called my name. At one point I had to stop pick it up and give the paint a rub down with a piece of paper towel to smooth it in preparation for the next step. I also drilled a few small holes in preparation of inserting the gun and cannon barrels, cryogenic fuel over pressure vents and the wingtip tank mounted landing/taxi lights.

gunbarrelsfangsAdding a little bite or offensive punch to shoot down the intended foe. I originally thought cannons and cannons alone but figured that was just too much for some targets. Swatting down a V-1 Buzz Bomb with a slow cycling heavy cannon might not be as effective as machine gun with a high rate of fire. So, why not one of each. Using a drill bit and a round (rat tailed) file I was able to make the recesses for the barrels along the front lower section of the nose. An interest and functional reason for placing them here is the canard doubles as a flash suppression guard while firing during night operations.

I used two different diameters of stainless steel tubing for the barrels. Each will also receive either a sleeve that will be inserted inside or around the outside to give it a thicker wall appearance.  Using some Medium Thickness CA, I applied some to the the opening at the aft end where the barrel enters the fuselage. I held onto the barrels keeping them aligned (pointing them in the right direction) until the CA setup…this took just a couple minutes.

taperdrill1Each wingtip mounted fuel tank received a light. One is more of a spot (landing) the other more of a flood (taxi) lens. These were sourced again from the spares stash. Simple clear styrene parts left over from some other project or donated by a discarded kit from someone else. I used Weld-On #3 which I applied to the tank liberally then placed the clear lens in the recess. One of my favorite methods to install lenses like this is to use my Dremel and a tapered bit. Slow speed and a slight amount of pressure creates a nice pocket for the light to set into. Test fit often to make sure you don’t get too deep or too large of a hole.

After these have had a chance to cure solid I will mask around them then dress the edges up with a polishing stick to make sure the flair into the tank smartly.

nozzlespaintedThe canopy is masked, I still need to create a bulkhead to fill the void between the dorsal fillet on the upper fuselage and the canopy. A piece of styrene cut to fill the inside of the canopy will solve that.  The fiddly bits are always the most difficult!

I gave the rocket nozzles a little color to make them pop. The landing gear parts are now set aside so I can start to clean them up, paint and assemble. Once the decals are on and weathered, I’ll install them.

Time to get my day started, I’ve been penning this chapter while sipping my morning coffee and catching the news. I’ll return to this project hopefully later today after I give the Night Lark a little attention.

The colors seem to be a bit more correct in appearance in these images, more of the green shows up…shows what using different cameras can make.

Did you miss the previous chapter to this story? Ready for Chapter IV!


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