DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby Warwick » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:46 pm

Thanks Brian,
My Vampire came out at 41lbs dry, a lot of the weight is in the wheels and undercarriage. We fly at a small model runway here in Kuwait.
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:27 pm
Location: Kuwait

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:52 pm

Finally a layout of the hydraulics I can live with. It seems to have taken forever to reach this point but I now have it tidy and well contained. I have installed a board with the R/C switch, an isolating switch for the turbine and a switch for the Hydraulic system battery. Both the latter two items have a charge facility at the board. There will also be a RX battery charge point there.

I’ve continued to test the hydraulics on a regular basis and I have to say, that apart from requiring to be properly purged of air as a result of my continuous un-plugging a re-fitting of lines, they have worked faultlessly. The biggest issue has been the learn-as- I- go process. It really has taken a lot of time but I don’t imagine for one moment it being as difficult should I tackle it again.
Hydraulic Tubing tidy up Starboard.jpg

Fetso have some nice little plastic retainer clips for 4mm OD tube and this has helped with the tube layout. You can see these nice little blue jobs at the base of the board. I’ve also plumbed the tanks and test fitted that set up and while it all needs a shoe horn it all fits. However, I can’t help thinking that I’m going to have to write a manual for it all!
I’ve also addressed the slop in the nose gear steering and increased the spring size in the compression strut while at the same time limiting the available compression. I’ve reduced the spring compression spec for the mains and increased the available fully compressed travel by around 4mm in order to make it sit more correctly. It actually needs more travel yet, but I can’t do anything about that right now. Oh yes, I’ve done some wood sealing around the engine bay as well. I though it would be prudent with both Jet Fuel and oil for the Hydraulics in the same location.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:37 pm

Time to fit brake lines in order to get the system up and working. I made these some time ago and the 1/16th Brass tube is a little on the large side. I have some 1.0mm OD coming but I’m not sure I can be bothered changing the whole deal. Anyway I set about making the straps to hold the hard piping in place. It was all a bit tricky but they hold well and in fact there is actually one to go in between the two pictured. I just couldn’t wait to try them.

They are made from shim steel, with 1/16th brass tube silver soldered at one end, drilled and threaded to 1.2mm. The other end is simply the shim material turned up as a tag, tinned with silver solder to strengthen then drilled to accept the 1.2mm clamping bolt.


I also modified the nose leg cylinder nipples. There are two different sizes in the picture. I drilled out the existing Robart fitted nipples and press fitted modified Festo Elbows (with 24 hour Araldite).
Modified Cylinder lines in.jpg

I have the 4.0mm OD size fitted to the model and a spare cylinder fitted with 3.0mm OD. I think I’ll mod the mains cylinders as well as I believe the pump is happier with the larger diameter feed lines.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Mon May 18, 2015 9:49 pm

Things have been a little random here, but I’ve managed to complete the brake line fittings. I took advice offered by John Ranson some time ago and coloured clear tube for the flexible section. I have it all plumbed up complete with pressure gauge. There are some nuts missing for final securing of the doors and the lower pipe junction.


I also have all the flap sections working with a JR Multi Box after some minor re-jigging of the mechanics. So that’s another chore off the list.
Take Off Flap

Half Flap

Full Flap

Next worry was a tail pipe and no doubt there could be varying opinions about what I’ve done here. Basically, I’ve used the front end of a Mick Reeves Venom pipe as the scale outlet. It comes with a slight “bell” on it, which when trimmed down a little looks much like the tail pipe fitted to Vampires.

Tail Pipe Outer 2.jpg

Tail Pipe Outer 3.jpg

I have no access to a spot welder so I have created 8 stand-offs to locate the inner working pipe using 3mm machine screws with nuts silver soldered on the inside of the scale pipe. Once set to hold the inner pipe they were trimmed off and also silver soldered and flushed off on the outside.

Tail Pipe Test fit 2.jpg

I have a little trimming to do on the fuselage outlet and there will be a small air gap around the outer pipe as well as the extractor gap between the pipes. The extractor gap is aprox. 5.0mm (3/16”) all around. I know this is small(ish) but the main pipe is only 300mm long (12”) and it will be fitted with a large Carbon bellmouth. The inner pipe is 20mm plus short of the short outer scale section .

I will be interested in any comments regards potential problems. I’d like to think it’s pretty much done and dusted.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby Warwick » Wed May 20, 2015 8:42 pm

Very nice work Brian. Looking forward to the next installment.
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Location: Kuwait

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Thu May 21, 2015 11:57 am

Thanks Warwick. I'm creeping closer to the finish line!

I have been concentrating on finalising the wiring…and there seems to be an awful lot…. and now have it as best I can make it, including the set up for the RX Batteries. I’m using “useful nose weight” by way of two 5 Cell 4600mhr Nickle Metal packs with High Voltage Leads to a High Voltage JR 11 Channel RX. I spent a good deal of time reducing all the servo lead lengths with in the fuselage to a minimum. The system will operate with the JR HV11 Channel R/X, a Mulitbox (or Matchbox as some may know it) for the four flaps and another Multibox for the Speed Brakes.

RX Battries 1.jpg

RX Batteries2.jpg

RX Batteries 3.jpg

So the pics here are of the underside of the nose. The Port side carries the hydraulic lines as well as the nose wheel steering servo lead. I have the nose wheel steering mixed to the rudder channel and also to the gear channel so when U/C Up is selected it centres the nose wheel, thus avoiding any mis-alignment in the tight space.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:33 pm

By way of a little light relief I started working again on the nose wheel tyre. I’ve had the basic pattern for some time but it needs detail. I am having the lettering cut from vinyl and looked at a couple of ways to get other moulded detail on. Neil Schrader did a similar thing with a Mosquito tail wheel tyre using a special tool on a tool post in a lathe.
I finally settled on using an ink compass loaded with Tamiya Acrylic paint and applied three or four layers to give an effect.
Nose Wheel Tyre Work in progress 2.jpg

Lettering was done with help from Neil Schrader with some art work and Gwyn Avenell with his vinyl cutter. Some of the letters and numbers needed a little tidying up at this size but it was an excellent base to work with. I added a couple of panels hand cut from regular sticky tape and that’s about how far I’m going at this point. The additional detail is lettering that’s too small to hand cut and I’m not about to spend thousands on a CNC mould! I’ll make a silicon mould and cast a tyre from pigmented Urethane. Then it will be a hub and that will be that.

Vampire NW Tyre detail.jpg

I’ve also allocated a space for the ECU. It will fit snugly on a ply plate above the hydraulics board. The last items are the fuel pump and the solenoids, the filters and the coms cables.
ECU Mounting Plate 2.jpg

The "mood" shot here shows the board tucked up the top and the intakes are at the left and right of the picture indicating just how tight the space is in there.
All pretty boring stuff but very necessary. In spite of it all being a very tight fit accessibility is not too bad. I have been able to trust the set up I’ve had in my previous jet and that was in a tight space as well. Once the system is up and running and proven to be satisfactory I’m hoping there will be little need for pulling things apart too often.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby Warwick » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:37 pm

Boring or not Brian I find it facinatiing watching good scale work develop.
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:27 pm
Location: Kuwait

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby Dale » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:32 pm

I know it is a bit of a ghost town around here, but i know the odd person does actually read this stuff! Keep up the good work.
(I should update my P-40 thread, it's actually very close to (second) first flight.)

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby Warwick » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:01 pm

Hi Brian,

I know it is the height of winter down under, no flying and lots of building.

Any update

Keep up the good work
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:27 pm
Location: Kuwait

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:35 pm

So, I they let me out of the nut house thinking I was sane but alas it is not the case as the pics below will prove to you all! (I wasn’t really in the padded cell but I might as well have been.)
In short I was planning to try really hard to get to the Jet World Masters but pulled the plug on that and as a result took to the airframe once again to correct mistakes confirmed by component drawings supplied by the RNZAF Museum. This is the start of the mod which fortunately requires adding on as opposed to removing.

The front on view in pic # 3 highlights the difference and smallish as it is it impacts on most profiles aft as far back as the rear edge of the top hatch.


More later.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:51 pm

I have made some progress on the next two stages. I had to balsa infill back to the front of the hatch, then modify the existing engine cover hatch to suit the new profiles. From this I will make a new Fibre Glass engine cover, a lighter one at that as the original became a little heavy as a result of previous mods.
Fuse top refinish 1.jpg

Fuse top refinish 2.jpg

And now it's symmetrical in front view.

In my travels around Auto Paint shops I came across the best putty Ive used. It’s a brand called Evercoat “Ever-Glaze and Spot Putty”. As you see it’s red in colour, dries quickly and sands beautifully.
Fuse top 8.jpg

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby CraigG » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:36 am

Incredible work, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

I recently acquired a 1/4-scale Vampire built from Sterner plans, it's not a patch on your model. I'd like to add some of the scale detail you have but other than a distinct lack of good data I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:16 am

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:01 am

Hi Craig

I've probably said enough about the Sterner Vampire - suffice to reinforce that it's a Sport Scale Model at best. Like all Vampire models I've seen however, it flies well and so my suggestion is that you do just that ... fly it and enjoy it.

Out of interest what's it's history? Thanks for the kind words.

Cheers ... Brian

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:33 pm

Back where I want to be finally, working towards completing some remaining details for the fuselage “pod”. I started out to make two Fuel Tank caps from a slice of Brass tube and a piece of G10, filled on the underside. I then cut a slightly oversize hole in the appropriate place on the upper wing skin surface, wound two layers of Tamiya thin paper tape around the brass.

I then set the above in place with some body filler then removed the cap and the taped when it was good and set. Taking the paper off and test fitting gave a very nice clearance around the cap and all done without a lathe.
Tank Cap 3.jpg

I plan to make a silicone mould for the caps however, to reduce the time to make another 5 pieces.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:42 pm

Catching up with myself here. I made a mould and have two of the six caps made. I used regular Builders Bog with some Aluminuim powder added.


You will see in the background also the first of the new top hatch lock covers..... only 9 to go!

Little by little the paint scheme is beckoning!

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:10 pm

I couldn’t resist putting some paint on the nose sections. I’m also adding detail screws to the lower nose section. These are from Optometrist supply outfit and have a 1.4mm dia head. The full size shows quite a lot of skin distortion around these screws, so I’ve done what I can.



I applied a light silver coat for the hell of it then the Dark Sea Grey. I just felt I had to paint something after all the Red Arrows work! The background shot of that particular corner of my workshop is less than complimentary, but that’s just too bad.


Then still in the painting mode and I have tidied up the front bulkhead to nose cowl tolerances. The full size has a chamfer on the bulkhead as opposed to an edge to edge fit. So working from the nose back the colour scheme will develop – sooner rather than later I hope. However there are a number of tidy-ups to complete along the way.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:20 pm

I had to re-make the two side hatches aft of the cockpit bulkhead, a consequence of reshaping the upper fuselage. It was a good time to take a second look, as the edges have a distinct turn down on the sides and along the bottom. The slots for the hatch locking handles are also rolled in slightly.

I was able to use the original hinges that I had made (a bonus), and the items now have a coat of etch primer. This will allow me to continue the finishing and painting process moving aft along the fuselage pod.

Why paint them Silver … because I could and they probably were prior to being cammod. The screw heads are yet to be filled and a tape applied to the hinge fixing to the fuselage.

The starboard side features the root extension that covered or allowed access to the air con.
Little by liitle it’s creeping on.

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby Allens1 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:15 pm

Have been a silent observer of this fantastic project Brian. Lovely model with amazing detail. It's a jet that has always had my interest since a child (12 yrs old) on a school trip to Woodbourne and being chosen to wear the full gear of a vampire pilot. Never forget the hanger full of vampires either. Thanks for keeping us informed of progress on this project. Allen

Re: DH Vampire 1/5th Scale prototype - Kit

Postby DH100 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:00 pm

Thanks there Allens1. I'm glad you're hanging in there! It's been a long time between drinks sometimes.
Something old and something new here. The space behind the pilot had to be rebuilt due to the mods to the upper fuse profile. The platform type arrangement is not fixed and was made some time ago. This is the mounting for the Hydraulic tank on the full size and I have yet to tackle that. Some more tomorrow as our foul weather is about to persist. (I also did some work on the new cowl catches for my Miles Hawk)



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