back to article Here at last, our 3D beauty: Vulture 2 spaceplane flies in

Cue the traditional portentous drumroll, fanfare of trumpets and roar of the crowd as we announce that yesterday evening, a bloke in a white van rolled up to the door of the SPB's mountaintop headquarters bearing a big box... The unopened box containing our Vulture 2 spaceplane ....containing the components of the Low Orbit …

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Lovely, but...

Could you have paid extra to have it arrive in one Airfix-style grid where you pop out the pieces yourself?

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*some assembly required, batteries and glue not included.

To get the best from your model you will require Humbrol paints HM2, HM11, M5 221

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Sand, Black, Field Blue, Signal Red ?

Eye-catching scheme.

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Eye-catching scheme.

Well, the plane is white already, so the colour scheme works very well.

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Coat

It just needs..

Sprue-cing up.

Sorry. The one with the propeller that won't turn, thanks.

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assemble it only to find you forgot to paint a bit you thought was actually not going to be visible, and then either try to disassemble welded plastic or say sod it and get a beer

then there is the inevitable "huh, extra bits, cool"

or finding out the next morning that the paint was not playing nice with the plastic, and you have a rather dali-esque model of a spitfire.

Those were the days, you never forget your first airfix, which generally came a long time before the first woman, but on the whole was probably more enjoyable and somewhat quieter...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> with the dichloromethane in one pocket and divorce papers in the other if she reads this :D

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plus:

transfers - a very fiddly way of acquiring a saucer full of torn, multi-coloured flecks of something considerably more fragile than tissue paper, and less likely to adhere to a coat of paint than powdered teflon

polystyrene cement - a material used to securely attach newspapers, tables, model boxes, etc., to models (but, incapable of securing a rotor head to a small Airfix Mi 24 "Hind")

I think my first one was a Hawk in Red Arrows colours (which I think turned out pretty well) - I just ignored the landing gear and glued the panels flush to the bottom (despite my dad complaining "It's not a proper model if you do that.") before asking him to secure it to my bedroom ceiling with a bit of string. (the excuse for taking the easy option was that my model was "...going fast, so it's not got its wheels out.")

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awright, good old Airfix

As an old Army brat who did two stints in Germany when Dad was sent there in the '60s, I actually became familiar with Airfix models long before building Revell kits like my pals back in the States. I got to build models of a wider range of aircraft of types not available from Revell -- Spitfires, MiGs, Hawks, Mirages...

Nice to see you're another one of those guys who built his fighter models with "gear up" in flight configuration and hung them from the ceiling. "...going fast, so it's not got its wheels out..." Damn, straight, dude; when you're cracking Mach 2, you don't want your gear down. In a room whose walls were painted white, light fishing line worked wonders. While a young pre-teen in the late '60s, the airspace over my bedroom desk often played host to mock dogfights between MiGs and F100s.

"transfers - a very fiddly way of acquiring a saucer full of torn, multi-coloured flecks of something considerably more fragile than tissue paper, and less likely to adhere to a coat of paint than powdered teflon..."

It took me several years to really get the hang of applying decals. The worst were the ones that came with my dragster models -- all those little logos for STP, Castrol, Shell, Cragar, Firestone, etc. that you see splattered all over the sides of racing cars -- but a couple of years of practice on those prepared me for laying the insignias onto the surface of a model F4 Phantom.

"...polystyrene cement - a material used to securely attach newspapers, tables, model boxes, etc., to models (but, incapable of securing a rotor head to a small Airfix Mi 24 "Hind")..."

That took me several years' practice, too, getting just the right amount of glue on the part, and improvising a temporary brace from those plastic racks that all the parts were attached to, to hold the part in the right position until the glue set. Attaching parts like propellers drove me nuts -- really small attachment points with not a lot of surface area for adhesion.

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@Sir Digalot

> Those were the days, you never forget your first airfix, which generally came a long time before the first woman, but on the whole was probably more enjoyable and somewhat quieter...

Cue the Roger Vadim blockbuster: "And God Created Airfix"

Actually in my day it was balsa wood, pins, razor blades, balsa cement and tissue paper ... and you could get the rubber band (motor) if you showed the shop your completed model, rubber being a scarce wartime commodity.

Bottle of banana oil dope in the pocket.

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Headmaster

Re: awright, good old Airfix

"improvising a temporary brace from those plastic racks that all the parts were attached to"

It's called a sprue, and as you probably guessed, it's left over from the manufacturing process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprue_%28manufacturing%29

I still pick up an Airfix kit from time to time, it's a good few hours of quiet contemplation (and some swearing as I glue the wrong bits together, or to the table, or the box, or my thumb, or the cat etc...)

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Pint

Blimey!

It's all looking a bit real now, innit?

Pint for the Southampton Uni and 3T chaps!

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Hot Damn...

We got to see this flying!

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Did they remember

to include the Allen key?

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DIY rules

But it isn't a flat pack and you cannot store books on it.

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Where are the markings?

I can't see the bits marked "Tab A" and "Slot B"

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Facepalm

Allowance for breakages...

Only the one set of parts? Surely you should have at least 2 sets for WHEN it conducts a freelance impact test on the only rock within a mile.

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Where did the design come from?

...because it's a rather unusual shape for a plane; fairly short wings, the big winglet things on the tips, big canards, and lots of straight edges rather than curves. Was any simulation modelling done, and if so, how well does it fly? Decent flight characteristics through such a wide range of air speeds and altitudes sounds like a challenge.

(Disappointingly, the shape, while stylish, is also rather unfriendly to simulating with Kerbal Space Program...)

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Re: Where did the design come from?

Those are forbidden words in these kinds of projects

http://xkcd.com/1244/

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I don't recall

Seeing many flame wars regarding your aeronautical projects.

Which is a shame as I'm used to seeing fervant comments relating to all things smart phone on el reg.

Which leads me onto why you chose Futaba?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I don't recall

The servos were specced by the design chaps. I have no opinion on the matter, although we shall see...

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Re: I don't recall

Several model flying colleagues have lost models using Spektrum 1st generation radio gear - mostly on Lipo powered brushless craft. It may point to the rumoured brownouts. I've always flown with Futaba although I currently operate a quadrocopter using Spektrum.

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Trollface

Re: I don't recall

Would you prefer they use Turnigy or TowerPro, instead?

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Anonymous Coward

So, the important question: did the design guys sneak a plastic cock'n'balls somewhere into the plane?

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Is there a special adhesive?

or are you just using good old epoxy?

I will say my epoxied EPO flyer stands up well to crashes, though I think it is becoming more epoxy then foam.

I might consider gaffa tape in future, just because it really is the stuff of legend...

first man stole fire from the gods, then he stole a roll of gaffa tape to tape the fiery torch to his head!

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Has the design been flight tested in a simulator then?

I'd hate for release to reveal that it doesn't go straight or glide back when the power is off.

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