Building the Nomad in 1/32… or 1/48.. or even 1/72

With ModelExpo all but a distant memory from last week I thought it appropriate that I put together a little page on the construction and potted history of the Nomad kits that were on display.

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For me it started about three decades ago when I was a strapping young Air Force type and had the odd opportunity to get up close and personal to the type, I have a very good friend who shared time with me at RMIT and was apprenticed to GAF and had an even closer association. Later on I met modelling legend Fred Harris and he was working on a scratchbuilt 1/72 version making use of a Matchbox Skyservant fuselage. Fred challenged me to build one having seen my 1/72 Mk35 Vampire conversion and so, with the help of the aforementioned friend, Graeme Morgan,  the 1/72 Uncle Les N22 was born.

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Years went by, models were built and sold, notable examples were the ones that went overseas to operators of the type and two that were built especially for Channel 9 for use on their Flying Doctors spinoff series “RFDS”…  it would have been nice if they’d told me the scene called for the actor to throw the model against a wall.. I wouldn’t have put so much time into it !  It came back to me in pieces with them asking me if I could just patch it up so they could do it again.

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From there I progressed to making the 1/48 version of the N22 along with a 1/72 N24.  ( Newer versions of these will resurface from time to time )  Later came the 1/48 N24 and further versions of the 1/72 kit.

Step forward to today, last year in fact, and I decided to build one in 1/32.  Armed with a Brother Scan-n-cut device, an UP3D printer, plenty of blades, loads of MEK and some coffee I set about scaling up all the data I have amassed and building a manscale N22.

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After renderings were done (thankyou Ian Shillingford for loads of help in that area ) I printed up some aerofoil sections (grey) and tail pieces (green) and a rudimentary nose section which was then worked over with Milliput.  The aerofoil section was cast in resin, multiples were made, stuck together to form a wing, which was then cast again as a single piece and used as a basis for building the wing (that beige coloured thing down there)  The fluting was done oldschool strips of styrene over flap sections as the 3D printer just couldn’t do the required resolution. I got away with it on the 1/72 version using extruded sprue and the 1/48 version made use of a tie-down strap that had the right serrations.

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Then the Scan-n-cut came into play, I cut all the fuselage panels three times over, twice in opaque with window holes in place, and one in clear to sandwich in between.

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Details were added, the printed sponsons were attached after being “fixed” with old school filler etc.

The engine nacelle was done in the 1/72 and 1/48 versions by virtue of shaping chunks of Milliput carved to make the shape, but in the 21st century I employed a 3D printer to make what you see here which, after smoothing over with MEK, becomes more like a model kit part to work with.

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The fuselage was put together, masked, painted etc.  The engines attached and the props (in the feathered position as per the real deal – amazing how many judges at competition haven’t read that note in my references…) were built from 1/48 Focke Wulf props and the spinners were the tips of an appropriate drop tank from the spares box.

I chose the first big one to be a cammed up N22 which in this case was easily achieved by taking the factory drawings, scaling to 1/32, cut up some printouts and using a combination of Tamiya tape ( first attempt via the Scan-n-cut failed dismally ) and the ol’ Blu-Tac with bits of paper.  Painting the whole thing FS30219 is the first step, apply the masks for the tan parts, airbrush 34102 green, apply more masks and then hit with black.

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That was ModelExpo 2015…. last year:

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Then a week before ModelExpo 2016 I decided to go without sleep and build two more based on what I had learnt from the first one.

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and I did it all again…  with a few short cuts including some resin cast parts for the tail and mid-fuselage.

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Here’s the real deal at Moorabbin:

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So there it is – a largescale Nomad, with more to come as I can afford the time and money to build them.  What follows here is some reference material – most of which can be seen in the instruction pamphlet that accompanies my 1/72 version of the kit.   ..and a question to those who have got this far – is there an interest for a 1/32 kit of this aircraft ??  I would consider doing it but I consider it commercially unviable as it would come out at around $400 a kit.  Use the contact form and let me know what you think. If there’s enough interest I’ll give it serious consideration.

I did some artwork for the models that I ended up building – here’s a selection.

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There’s another chap out there who has been a supporter of my Nomads and appreciated my humour in providing the instruction leaflet for the 1/48 version printed black on red paper.. making it nigh impossible when building by available artificial light whilst enjoying deployment in an Asian country.. so a big shout out to young Tony Rigby !

 

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Cathy Myors, another friend of mine who has her own personal Nomad family ( Noah & Normandy ) has been a terrific supporter of the model enterprises of Uncle Les and more importantly is instrumental in voluntary support of the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre in Darwin.

 

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Here’s the Applebee clan many years ago with my brother at Wagga.

 

Just added: Some pics from LSP.