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We have started a building project for the SAAF Museum for the 60th commemoration of the Korean War which has now been completed.

The completed model was handed over to museum curator Chris Teale and staff on Friday 20th August 2010.

You can follow the build progress here. Here is a link to a forum post of the restoration of the full size, No.372

Wednesday 17 March - The Workshop Prep

Bobby, Bruce and Simon popped around and we got stuck into re-arranging the workshop into a more usable format. The Festool table was turned through 90o and a door was placed on top to protect the surface. The whole area was cleaned and prepped for the build. There are still a few areas in the workshop that need to be tidied up, but that is for another day. I didn't get a before photo, but here is what it looks like.

The Sabre is on the operating table. Nurse, pass the sanding blocks...

Workshop prepped for building

Build Day 2

Tonight was day 2 of the build. It was spent rubbing down the fuzz and wing and filling in the impressions with body filler. We added the wing tips with epoxy and cotton flocks.

All hands on deck: Andrew and Bobby did the wing.

Sanding the fuzz and wing1

Simon and Bruce gave the fuzz a good going over.

Sanding the fuzz and wing2

Bobby on the Dremel prepping for Filler.

Prepping for filler - Bobby on the dremel.

Simon applying the filler to the fuzz.

Filler going on the tail

Check the cool camo' on the wing!! Pity it's going to get hidden again when the next filler coat gets sprayed.

Well, that's all we got up to on Monday night. Setting aside a dedicated evening to build has proven to be quite successful so far and long may it last. It's been fun having the guys around and we are all learning from each other. SoI think these sessions are going to grow from strength to strength. When the camera from Day 1 comes back home I'll upload those too.

Peter Vergeer arrived early. It was great to see him again, as he now spends most of his time in Jozie doing Project Management. Other the other hand it was not so good as he dropped off 2 planes to fill up the nice tidy workspace, thanks Peter!!

Build Day 3

Simon brought Bobby along and I thought we weren't going to get much building done with all the chatting and catching up. Peter was making his way out when Dion Thompson arrived bearing Toko fuzzes and wings. He also had a very sweet Erwin from Podovin Composite Modelbau - more details here.

Anyway, even though there was plenty to talk about and oogle over, at last some building took place.

Simon attacked the filler on the fuzz. After sanding down the filler, Dion used some aerosol to mist the rear of the fuzz.

Using aerosol to mist the tail

Bobby finished the shaping of the wing tips. These are now ready for glassing which will take place during the next building session.

Wings tips nicely shaped waiting for glass

Bobby finishing off the lower rudder section after the spray mist had dried.

Bobby shaping the lower rudder post

To assist in shaping and finishing the tail, Dion had an inspired moment and I was able to provide...We'll pull a glass tube off the PVC pipe and use that to round off the tail and provide some meat for the final shaping.

PVC tail pipe jig

And, that's how this evening's build finished. On the way out, Dion showed us his Toko moulds that were stuck away in his car. A bohemoth set of moulds that need some TLC. Now that these nights are in the swing of things, it looks like there will be a never ending stream of things to follow. Until the next night...

Build Day 4

Seems like the build nights have been moved to Tuesday nights now due to school activities. The sacrifices we make for our little ones... Lee Hope joined us tonight to "steal with his eyes" as he put it. Lee is in the throws of moving and needed some inspiration for his Bf-109. Bobby and Bruce arrived shortly thereafter and the guys got going.

First item on the agenda was to wrap the PVC pipe and get a cloth and epoxy tube off it. Wax paper was secured with sellotape and the whole thing rubbed down with RAM Wax release wax. 49g cloth was rolled 3 times around the tube and cut with an Olfa Rotary cutter - it cut really well. A credit card was used to work the epoxy in and squeeze the excess out. Here is a photo of the finished work waiting to cure.

The glassed tail-pipe waiting to cure

Next item on the agenda was to glass the wing tips. Bobby gave a demo on how to round the tips.

Bobby curving the cloth around the tip

Working around the tips takes a bit of care - but the end result if worth it.

I chirped Bobby to have a go and we traded places.

With Bobby on the camera, me doing some work, for a change. Lee was keeping everything secure and Bruce had his nose in the reference material checking on details.

I have been debating whether or not to put leading end protection on the Toucan's wing. We debated various methods and there is a write up here on how it was done.

By 22h15 we were all done. The start of next week is a school holiday followed by a public holiday on Tuesday, so we'll have to play it by ear as to when the next building session will take place. Until the next night...

Build Day 5

A really cold and wet evening here in Cape Town tonight. I received my copy of "Lift Ticket to Norway" in the post this morning and was watching when Lee arrived. Bruce and Bobby arrived around 7pm. Simon was a bit later, also stuck in the mayhem traffic. We finished watching the epic adventure around Norway and headed into the workshop. The priority of tonight's mission was to work out how to do the gunports as per this photo taken by Bobby of the restoration taking place at Ysterplaat.

The tail pipe moulding was not as successful as we had hoped. The wax paper got a little stuck to the PVC pipe. I split the moulding lengthways with a craft knife and removed the tube. Bobby cyano'd the cut back together to form a tube. A test fit revealed a perfect fit for the cosmetic work that needs to follow.

Tail pipe inserted into tail

Whilst Simon, Bobby and Bruce got stuck into measuring the plastic scale model that Simon brought along and the reference material from "World Aircraft Information Files", Lee got stuck into trimming the excess cloth off the wing tips.

Trimming the excess cloth from the wing tips

Once done, it was out with the trusty sand paper cutting back the excess resin and cloth.

Sanding the cloth back

After plenty of deliberation, Simon and Bobby go going on measuring the position of the litho plate section for the gun ports. Firstly by marking out the estimated position using a tape measure as a "straight edge" on the curved surface.

Positioning the gunport location

And then by "eyeballing" the position relative to the tail.

Eye balling the correct position

The position of the 3 gun ports on the plated section was then marked out.

The marking out of the gun ports

I had some 3/16" brass tubing in the scraps box, which turned out to be a pretty good fit for the gun ports. A template for the elliptical recess shape was made on the sanding wheel.

Sanding the gun port recess into the brass tube

The shape was then transposed onto the fuzz and recessed using the ever trusty Dremel.

Recessing the gunports into the fuzz

A dry fit was made and the result is very promising.

The first look of the gun port on the fuzz

As it was getting late, we decided that this was a logical place to stop as we had achieved our objective to wax the gunports. After a late coffee the guys left and the story was told. Until the next night...


Build Day 6

Lee sent his apologies and the Northern suburbs gang of Bobby, Bruce and Simon arrived in the Stardestroyer "Executor". The rain was pouring but that did not hinder the enthusiam to get cracking where we left off last week. Simon brought some ABS plastic and Chloroform to start making a go of the cockpit.

Whilst Bobby marked out the otherside of the gunports and cut the slots, I cut and sanded the remaining 5 gunports on the sanding disc, using a jig to keep the angles consistent. We then used a dowel wrapped in masking tape to hold the tubes whilst they were tacked into place with cyano.

Gunport prep - other side

Bobby mixed up some epoxy and added cotton flocks to make a gooey paste that was run on the inside of the fuzz to secure the tubes.

Applying the cotton flocks mix

A view from the inside with both sides done.

The inside scoop

Meanwhile, Simon and Bruce had been taking measurements from the Plastic kit and converting them to the size of the Sabre. The conversion tables seemed to vary greatly as the scale length and scale width did not match. After much head scratching and fighting with calculators they settled on a scale and started marking out the cut lines on the ABS.

Marking the plastic for the cockpit

With the cuts made, the half-cut fold lines were scored and the sides folded. However, the ABS is really brittle and the half-cuts acted as perfect cut lines for snapping. To overcome the setback, the corners were reinforced with some cut-offs and glued together with the chloroform. The rolled ABS proved a tad bit challenging in getting straight sides...

Glueing the cockpit sides

All in all a great evenings build and it didn't end too late - we are getting better at our time management.

Until the next night...


Build Day 7

Having spent the weekend moving the comapnies office and making sure all the IT equipment was up and running, it was great to have the guys around for a building session to distract my thoughts to something more pleasant. The usual gang arrived. Lee was unfortunately called off to work to repair an Exchange Server and the rest of us got stuck in.

The gun ports really took shape tonight with Bobby sanding them flush with the fuzz.

The sanded gunports.

And another view, note the score marks where the lithoplate will go.

Another view of the sanded gunports

With the problems of the folded ABS from last week, I decided to heat the ABS in the oven on a marble slab we use for pizza's. At first it look promising, but the oven was a little too warm and the ABS got too soft and started wrinkling. Nothing ventures, nothing gained. Nothing gained as it turned out this time.

The rudder area was next to get some treatment. A good dose of epoxy and cotton flocks was mixed and slopped on to the tailpipe to build it out.

Building up the tailpipe.

A view to a kill.

The rudder post was then attached with 4-minute epoxy. 6mm Supawood was cut into 20mm wide lengths, covered in masking tape and used to clamp the rudder skin to the post.

Clamping the rudder post

When the rudder post epoxy had cured, the strips were removed, coated in pink release agent and then clamped to the tail area to provide some shape and support to rear. This will cut down on the amount of sanding and shaping required.

Shaping the tailpipe with cotton flocks

Simon was also called out to drop off some plans just down the road and left Bruce to carry on with the measuring and marking of the cockpit seat. By the end of the night the seat had been cut, a template for the chair made and the chair cut out.

Cockpit chair and measurements

Shaping the chair will be left for the next build.

Until the next night...


Build Day 8

After quite a long lay-off due to most of the guys being sick, we finally had a building night again. Bobby got stuck into the tail section and started mass removal with the drum sander. The drum diameter was an almost perfect fit for the tail pipe.

Mass shaping of the tail pipe

Once the bulk was removed, the finer work was done using the Dremel.

Tail detailing with the Dremel

The low spots in the rudder and a few holes were then filled and left to cure.

Filling in the depressions

Meanwhile, back on the bench, Simon and Bruce where busy making the chair. Here they are bending the chair sides using a heat gun and various clamps and jigs.

Bending the cockpit chair

The final product...

The bent chair

Doesn't look like much now, but then again, nor did Cinderella, before the Fairy Godmother waved her magic wand.

Build Day 9

With Bobby away in Kimberley, the show must go on.

Simon did a brilliant job constructing the chair which I primed with Grey primer.

Chair with primer coat

Bruce cut back the gunports that were extending into the cockpit space whilst I cut back the filler on the tail.

Tail sanded back

Bruce trimmed the clear canopy and Simon trimmed the supplied canopy interior so we could get a sense of how the "scale" canopy would look once it gets closer to completion. Here is a mock of the progress so far.

A mock-up of the canopy

And from the side...

Tets layout showing off the chair

Times flies when you're having fun and so the end of another build night drew to a close.



Build Day 10

Tets layout showing off the chair


The gunports are being opened up from the lithoplate



The gunports really looking the part



The canopy being masked for paint



Added some more detail to the seat



Some foam was added to a commercial pilot to add some legs



Pilot with shaped legs having a test fit




The fuss has been filled and is awaiting sanding



The lithoplate needed some filler as it was proud of the surface



Bobby scrapping the filler around the lithoplate edge



The dents in the wing needed loads of filler too


Build Day 12

A night of flatting the primer coats



The tail pipe was brilliant for spraying


A nice throat was made to hide the gunports and cockpit


It's all coming together now

The pilot looking resplendid


Grey and Yellow are complete and the decals are positioned for sizing


The cokcpit with instrument panel





The handover to the museum

The Sabre taking centre stage at the Exhibit

The Sabre taking centre stage at the Exhibit

Looking great in an aggresive pose

Great close-up of the nose area

Pitot detail was added to the right wing

The tail showing off the pin stripping