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    The next external section that must be addressed are the engines.     I did both of these at the same time, one step each back & forth because I wanted them to match as well as possible and if I was working on the same part of each one, I could use the other piece as a building guide.     First I removed the section of the kit supplied engine cover, basically cutting it in half, longitudinally, then putting a piece of an old model car motor in the space to simulate the Chinook's engine.     Then I vacuformed a piece of thin styrene over the piece I had cut away, cut the two A-Model vent holes in it, then cut two pieces of mesh to fit inside the vent holes and glue it all into place.     This makes a very realistic looking engine cover!

I had to be real careful when painting the mesh because if the airbrush stream is directed straight down through the screen, it messes up the silver on the old car motor piece.

    Now I will illustrate how I made the FOD covers for the engines; first, I found an old drop tank in my spares box that was the correct size, then mounted it in my vise with the end I'm working with sticking straight up.     Next I placed a candle on my desk, in front of the vise/drop tank, then held a piece of thin styrene over the flame (about 5" or 6") until the center past started to sag, then I simply laid it over the drop tank.    You must be careful not to pull down on the styrene or the cone will be too thin and impossible to work with. (take my word for it!)

    Then I carefully cut out the spaces on the cones where the mesh screens go, used these as guides to cut out the screen sections, just make them a hair bigger all around so they'll fit in the spaces.     Then it was just a matter of fitting them over the front of the engines correctly.

    I made about four of these before I got two that worked right or I didn't bend while handling them.

    The Aft Pylon required a little cosmetic work to be accurate, namely the part up where the fuselage meets the rotor rain shield, the shape of the inspection door, vent louvers and the addition of the Armor Plates and Tension Strips.     After scribing the new door shape, I filled in the factory groove with putty and sanded smooth.     The louvered vents replaced the solid/shaped vents from the factory and a mesh screen was used to cover the inside of the opening.

    Now with the major external parts completed, the model got it's first base coat of paint, which revealed the Chinook's unique lines.     You will notice that I had already scribed out the location of the Weapons Pylon on the Pod.

    It was at this point I had been working about a month on the project and I was beginning to feel like I was at a stalemate, so I took a couple weeks away from it to re-adjust.

End of "The Project Begins" section,
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