Resurecting a 1964 Aurora 1:48 Chinook

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    I had been thinking about what it would be like to do a full scratch built restoration on a Chinook Model, including stringers, formers, wiring and crewmembers, but seeing as how the 1:48 kits are so rare these days, the possibility seemed remote at best.    During early Spring, 2001, Dave Knudsen contacted me in regards to an old Aurora Chinook model that he'd found in his attic which had once been built, but now lay in pieces, asking if I would like to take it and attempt a re-build; what a challenge!

The day it arrived in the mail was memorable because it almost got lost when he mailman delivered the package four doors down. (woooah, I bet that's never happened before... NOT)    Anyway, I opened the box and poured out the contents on my kitchen table.     As I held the fuselage up to look inside via the excised slide away ramp door, these visions started dancing around in my head of the possibilities! ie: "Fully detailed interior, much like what one would have seen had they looked inside the real thing." and "Maybe even functional cabin lights that can be turned on and off by the observer?"    Well, needless to say, I was being consumed by the prospects of it all! ;-)

    Out of much curiosity and day dreaming, I started dissecting the old model, which Dave had originally built as an ACH-47.    I planned on just making the stringers next to the windows, but with such an open fuselage, only a full restoration would do.      To remove all the ancient layers of paint, I used "Easy-Off" oven cleaner with an old toothbrush. (very messy and smelly)     After all the old paint is gone I used "Pledge" Furniture Polish and a solt cloth to buff it to a 'just out of the box' finish!

    There are a couple of area's on the Aurora kit that need extensive modifications to be accurate; the most noticable two are the Forward Pylon and Chin Bubbles.     Let's look at the Chin Bubbles:     the kit has the Chin Bubbles looking like the ones on the early CH-46 models, where Chinook Chin Bubbles were larger and ran all the way up to the outward bottom corners of the windshield.      I referenced actual photographs to get the exact lines, then drew them into the plastic with a permanent marker, then scribed along those lines with my scribing instrument.    Now in a plastic container (flower pot from the Dollar Store) I poured almost full of plaster.      While the plaster was setting up, I sanded the ridges/seams down that was on the nose of the assembled fuselage, then sprayed a light coat of PAM onto the nose.

    When the plaster was about halfway between liquid and solid, I placed the nose of the Chinook model into it for about a minute, then pulled it out.

    If I'd done this too early, the plaster would fill back in once I pulled the model out... too late, and the surrounding plaster would bend and crack... anyway, I let it completely set up overnight.      The next morning I sprayed a bit of PAM into the plaster mold, and poured some more plaster into it... 6 hours later I took that blank out, the chin bubble scribed lines are visible in the blank, now it's ready to vacuform the new chin bubbles.     You can see in the picture above, how I had filled/re-cut the No.1 Gunners Window and scribed all the panel lines & rivits into the fuselage.     Scribing was VERY time consuming but had to be done to make it look right.

    On to the front Pylon detail: the first thing that's noticable is the back part of it is too high.      Looking at a picture, I scribed out the true lines and marked them, then using my Drummel Saw, cut the back portion of the pylon off from just behind the rotor head to the mark I'd made on the aft part.     Now I held a piece of sheet styrene over the place I'd cut out and marked where the overlapping rim should be and cut it out.     I then glued it in the empty space, filled the angles with putty, then after they dried, sanded them down to proper shape.

    On the sides of the pylon, I drilled several small holes in the plastic, then layered putty out to desired thickness.     After the putty dried, I sanded it down to shape... this part is easy as long as you don't get too carried away with the sand paper... :-O

     You can also see a sampling of the scribe lines and rivots in the plastic. *Reference Pictures*

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