Interior Detailing

    Now I moved on to beginning the interior detail work.     This was to be my first attempt at doing a complete interior scratch build and I'd planned on putting about 4 hours per day into it... little did I know then, but there would be MANY 10 and 15 hour days over the next 3 months before the interior would be complete!    The ACH-47 doesn't have any sound proofing in the cabin, so the entire skeleton would have to be reproduced from scratch.     This was generally done using construction paper and an old contour guage, then cutting out the pieces from the sheet styrene as near to scale as possible and figuring out the order of assembly so I didn't have to remove anything to make another section fit properly.

    I purchased a 12-pack of thin sheet styrene, used construction paper and scissors to make the correct shaped templates, then began cutting the stringers from the styrene.     I experimented with making entire stringer sections (from floor to ceiling), but that didn't work because I'd have to cut each one up so much when installing the former strips, they'd soon loose their shape, so I just made them in "upper", "mid" or "lower" sections.     I also added the longitudinal strips before placing the stringer sections.

    This is looking forward along the left side fuselage half with most of the basic structural features in place.     I placed stacks of sheet styrene on the bottom to allow proper fit for the floor panel later on; since the fuselage is two pieces, I had to build each side seperately so that it would mesh when put together.     I decided to attach the cross members to the right side, so the stringer sections you see here will look like one piece once it's together.

    Here you can see both sides of the interior and how the two pieces must mesh together when assembled.     Measuring, cutting and drilling all these pieces, then assembling them in the proper order was by far the most challenging aspect of this entire project.

     As you might have noticed, I had already started installing some of the hydraulic lines and wire bundles at this point, because it would be much more difficult after I put in the ammo box stands.     The wire bundles were made of several pieces of stretched spru glued together, then strung through the holes in the stringer sections. (I referred to the many pictures contained on the Websites: "They Called Them GUNS A GO-GO", and 228th/Guns A Go-Go, for detail accuracy at this stage)........ Sorry for the plug..{wink)

    You can also see the pieces of fine screen I have placed over the cut out holes on the inside of the fuselage.

    Here's a shot looking forward down the right hand side after the Ammo Racks and .50cal mounts were installed.     Also visible in this picture are the enlarged stringers forward, just above where the main gear are attached, which served as internal braces for the Weapons Pylon.     You can also see a couple of the wiring bundles in this photo.

     At this point, I had been on the project three months.

Page 2