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· volunteercontentprovider
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I scored a TUS OH-6 last weekend at a military show for a great price. I knew it's not fully 1/6 scale, but I figured I could work with that. TUS made several versions of this chopper, much like Hughes Corp. did with the real thing. TUS seems to have simply applied different paint jobs on a single model. Whatever they were modelling, although the exterior is pretty good, the interior is some totally different version from the one used in Vietnam.



I've used a HT Slim for the pilot which helps a lot. I'm also going to remove the double bulkhead between the cockpit and the crew compartment -- that will give the cockpit a little more depth.

Okay, so here's what I'm aiming for:



And here's what I have:



First thing is to take the model apart (there are a lot of screws!) and remove both halves of the bulkhead. I'll keep the pilot's side and discard the other.



Chop, chop.

The opposite side of this piece is indented where the seats are, so i'll cover it with a thin layer of sheet styrene.



Here's the backside cut out with the first row of rivets in place. I am cheating with these rivets - they're bigger and fewer than on the real thing but at least they match the size and spacing of the rivets on the exterior of the chopper.



Test fit. Yes, I'm working on a new floor too, but I'm not sure if I'll use this one that I made, or do a better one. Anyway, on with the bulkhead.



Finished rivets, and first coat of primer.



Adding electrical conduit and access plate.



That's it so far after about 2 days. Thanks for looking!!
 

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Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

Heya, Spitfire!

Looks like you are off to a good start... I'm looking forward to seeing how your update comes out.

Thanx for sharing!
 

· I've been Minimoyzed
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Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

Okay, that's AWESOME! Looking good Val. :thumb

Nice ref pic too. One of the better ones, and its good for almost all models. I've been looking for one like that. Anyone who wants to mod the interior of their OH-6, or even AH-6 should copy this picture. I've worked on the MD500, and I still managed to never get a pic of the ones I worked on.

Nice work on the pilots bulkhead. Cutting away the top sections behind the head is how it should look. And the foot wells at the bottom are perfect. The post between the pilots head is where all the push rods for the flight controls that go to the rotor head, and gear box. It is actually a box, not a beam. The blurry little silver things at the top and side of the box is a map light. That should have one of those lttle coil cords to it. Steal a bit from a modern figures' comm unit. The little dealies between the foot wells, sticking out at cabin floor level are vent covers for heating. You made the box shaped channel at the top of the bulkhead. The silver box things that would be behind the pilots head are the inertial reels for the seat belts. There is an access panel between the foot wells. It should be bigger than the white rectangle you made. The ref show almost edge to edge on the panel and the foot wells. It's an access to the flight control bellcranks, that go up that centre box.

The cabin floor. :thumb working on the hat section channels. Nice. The third channel back also shows the access panels for the fuel tanks under the floor, on the forward and aft side of the channel. Both sides of the cabin. I got stuck under the floor once, with my arm and head trapped in the fuel tank area. Doing a repair in there, and it is tight.Panels are secured with screws or bolts(I can't remember, but I have access to maintenance manuals if you want that info). The 3rd channel is also the channel that the seats would hook into. They can be removed, or folded up against the cabin bulkhead/firewall.

I believe the instrument panel in your ref pic is the proper type. T shaped panel.

The bird in the ref pic has wire cutters. Above and below the canopy. Nam birds don't have those. Only 80's AH-6's had them, or civilian. For some reason the SOAR Little Birds don't have them. Haven't figured out why.

Noticed you took off the un-needed antennae over the cabin. :thumb Those should be windows on Nam era birds. Easy fix there.

I don't recall much ever being added to the aft cabin bulkhead/firewall. Usually just the aft cabin seat mounts at the bulkhead, and door frames. The machines were stripped down of all non necessary gear. Sometimes the noise insulation came out too. I noticed there is none on the gearbox housing on the roof in the ref pic.

Door hinges have been removed, so just the open slots are there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

Wow Cdn_Rhino - thanks for the wealth of info!!! Ryan tells me you are the resident expert on helicopters, so I really appreciate your advice! I've been working entirely from photos, with a lot of guesswork, so this is really helpful.

Nice work on the pilots bulkhead. Cutting away the top sections behind the head is how it should look. And the foot wells at the bottom are perfect.
Thanks, I wondered what those were.

The post between the pilots head is where all the push rods for the flight controls that go to the rotor head, and gear box. It is actually a box, not a beam.
I'm working on that now. It took awhile to round off the ends of the styrene rod but I think it was worth it. It would've been nice to be able to properly emboss the ridges, but my little workshop is what you might call pre-industrial!



The blurry little silver things at the top and side of the box is a map light. That should have one of those lttle coil cords to it. Steal a bit from a modern figures' comm unit.
I have a photo of that, and I have some curly cord. But what are the cylinders above the seats?



The little dealies between the foot wells, sticking out at cabin floor level are vent covers for heating.
You mean that thing right at floor level?

You made the box shaped channel at the top of the bulkhead. The silver box things that would be behind the pilots head are the inertial reels for the seat belts. There is an access panel between the foot wells. It should be bigger than the white rectangle you made. The ref show almost edge to edge on the panel and the foot wells. It's an access to the flight control bellcranks, that go up that centre box.
Dang! Okay, I can make it bigger. "Silver box things" are those the cylinders with wire coming out in the above photo?

The cabin floor. :thumb working on the hat section channels. Nice. The third channel back also shows the access panels for the fuel tanks under the floor, on the forward and aft side of the channel. Both sides of the cabin. I got stuck under the floor once, with my arm and head trapped in the fuel tank area. Doing a repair in there, and it is tight.Panels are secured with screws or bolts(I can't remember, but I have access to maintenance manuals if you want that info). The 3rd channel is also the channel that the seats would hook into. They can be removed, or folded up against the cabin bulkhead/firewall.


Access panel - is that what that extra layer of metal plate is? Prolly not rivets if it needed to be removed on a regular basis, right? Although if they are domed screws it won't make much difference. I can get hex bolts in scale though. Should I?

I believe the instrument panel in your ref pic is the proper type. T shaped panel.
Yes, that is going to be a major project to create. I found a really neat source of instruments though, and I've ordered a set to see what they're like. http://www.aerocockpit.com/en

The bird in the ref pic has wire cutters. Above and below the canopy. Nam birds don't have those. Only 80's AH-6's had them, or civilian. For some reason the SOAR Little Birds don't have them. Haven't figured out why.
What are the wire cutters?

Noticed you took off the un-needed antennae over the cabin. :thumb Those should be windows on Nam era birds. Easy fix there.
Easy, he says!!!

I don't recall much ever being added to the aft cabin bulkhead/firewall. Usually just the aft cabin seat mounts at the bulkhead, and door frames. The machines were stripped down of all non necessary gear. Sometimes the noise insulation came out too. I noticed there is none on the gearbox housing on the roof in the ref pic.
I plan to rebuild the aft bulkhead, mainly because I want to move it back about 1/2 inch. I really don't know why TUS didn't do this in the first place - there's room and it will make the crew compartment a little bigger.

Anyway, thanks again for all the great help. And good to know I'm on the right track so far.
 

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Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

That is major league nice work. I'm looking forward to this.

Looks great so far!
Makes me wish I still had my undamaged one...this is what I have

:lol
Dude... Looks like you've been shot down... :wink
 

· I've been Minimoyzed
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Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

Interesting. The ref pics in the second set are a different machine. I was wrong on the floor thingies between the foot wells. Not vents for heating. I'll check the manual on what those are. They are cover(s) for something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

Didn't get much time to work on the project today as I had to go pick up more supplies and various other errands. I am finishing the post, and decided to try the look of rivets up the cockpit side.



To the left you can see a grey piece of plastic, which is the standard post.



Painted.



The crew side. And, although you can't tell from that photo, I made the access hatch larger, and closed it with 4 hex bolts.
 

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Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

I don't know about "expert", but I do fix, and build aircraft for a living, and have done some work on the MD500, and a few Bell Helicopter products. I am uniquely qualified I guess.

Some quick answers before I head to bed.

Wire cutters, aka wire strike cutters. Since helicopters fly so low to the ground they have a bad, but not frequent tendancy to hit power lines, and other similar things. Wire cutters will snap the power lines and usually prevent the helicopter from crashing. You can see similar devices used on jeeps as well, since bad folks tend to string fine wire across roads, and cause havoc with drivers/crew.

"Silver box things"/cylinders above the pilot's seats are the inertia reels for the seat belts, easier seen in your second batch of pics. I think the wire coming out of the top is some sort of quick release in the event of a crash.

The cabin floor in the second batch has a mod done to it. The fuel panel access covers are a lot bigger, with round head screws. Screws usually attach panels as they are less likely to snag.

Moving the aft bulkhead/firewall back 1/2" will make more space in the cabin for sure. If you don't do any engine bay mods, it's a good option. other wise you take space from the engine bay.

The second batch cabin interior has some major avionics mod. Looks like 2 amps of some sort, and a bunch of wire bundles. That's not comon at all.

I'll copy the pictures, and fill them full of marks pointing to what is what. It might take a day or 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Pimp my Loach baby!

Working on the floor now. I couldn't fit as many of the cross strips as there should be but that's ok, I'm going for the impression, not perfect scale reproduction.

All the same, I just spent 3 hours (!) building this access hatch. There's supposed to be another one exactly the same on the other side. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow...

 
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