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Friday, March 8, 2019

Vacuform canopy

Well, you certainly must have heard that. I really do hate using superglue. I decided to stick my toe in the (resin) pool slowly by dealing with a couple of photoetch bits and a vac canopy, before I started working on cockpit parts for the N1M and XF-103. Given my history, I’m probably lucky that my toe isn’t permanently attached to a resin part right now.

All the usual problems that I have historically had with superglue made their appearance; sort of a Greatest Hits of Unfortunate Modelling. I couldn’t get the stuff to hold on to the canopy long enough to get it straight and in place, the photoetch baseplate in the Arma Hurricane wheel well shifted while curing, and bits of my skin became permanently bonded to the Latecoere 298 that was getting the new vac canopy. I left the canopy to cure for an hour or so, then picked it up the model and the canopy promptly fell on to the floor. The pet-hair studded floor. So now the canopy has pet hair I’ll need to extract. It seems to bond that just fine, and virtually instantly. But not the canopy. I had to hold it in place for something like 25 minutes before I was confident enough to put it down again. I think I got the canopy fairly straight, but there are gaps on both sides of it. Gaps that wouldn’t be there if the cyanoacrylate had any sticking power for non-organic items. Honestly, white glue would hold it in place as well as this stuff, and it won’t hold much of anything. But the canopy would need to be cut precisely enough where spittle would hold it in place, and I don’t think my 62 year old fingers can still manage that. Still, this one is as good as I'm going to get it at this juncture.

I stated that I intended to move outside my comfort zone for this. And I well and truly have accomplished that mission. Whether I want to continue will depend on results. Not discouraged yet, but the initial trial was not a thorough-going success. We’ll have to see how things develop. Practice should help with the rough spots, but sooner or later I’ll have to confront the “life is too short for uncooperative kits” concept.


  1. Get some accelerator, makes all the difference.

  2. Y'know, I do have some accelerator somewhere, so I'll have to dig it out. I was a bit concerned about the effect it might have on the canopy itself and the acrylic Future dip it had gotten. But if it simplifies the process, I'm game to try it.