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Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

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Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Old 10-27-2003, 11:11 AM
  #1  
Gordon Mc
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Default Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Last week I started builing the Mick Reeves 1/6 scale Hawker Hunter.

I got kit # 1, and Mick told me this morning that he has sold 14 kits so far - so if any of you out there are building this kit too, feel free to share!

I've spent about 10 to 12 hours on the kit so far, and already have the wings framed up ready for skinning with proskin, plus the fuselage repaired where some shipping damage occured, and I have just started working on the fuselage formers.

I have some pics that I will post later, and I'll probably do a high-level overview of the construction here. I won't be doing a detailed build-log like I did for the Super Bandit several months ago. That one took a substantial amount of time to do (probably 60+ hours), and it got lost in the shuffle when we moved to the new RCU, so I really can't justify spending that much time doing that kind of thing here again without having control over its lifespan.

What I think I will do, is put together a Word doc explaining the build process, showing photos of areas not covered in the manual, pointing out some minor mistakes (it is kit #1 after all), and detailing additional info that I glean from conversations with Mick during the build. I'll then make that doc available to any of you who are building the kit.

Note that this may be a disjointed build. I had originally planned that my next building task was to be replacement wings for my Super Bandit. However, since I'm now in my third month of waiting for the wing parts, I gave up on that for the time being and that's why I started the Hunter last week. Depending on how things go, I may choose to swap over to the Super Bandit again if the wing parts for it arrive ; also, I have not yet decided just how much time I want to spend on detailing this model. So, please have patience if you do ask for Hunter build info from me - it may come in disjointed spurts.

Later,
Gordon


BTW, Dave Platt's "The Jetset" video collection also deals with building a Hawker Hunter - his onw one, rather than Mick's kit, but nevertheless it is a perhaps worth a look for anyone building this kit - the section on cockpit detail is pretty good.

[edit: typo]
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Old 10-27-2003, 11:50 AM
  #2  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

ORIGINAL: Gordon Mc

I won't be doing a detailed build-log like I did for the Super Bandit several months ago. That one took a substantial amount of time to do (probably 60+ hours), and it got lost in the shuffle when we moved to the new RCU, so I really can't justify spending that much time doing that kind of thing here again without having control over its lifespan.
Gordon, the Super Bandit review is still here:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/BVM_..._305904/tm.htm
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Old 10-27-2003, 11:57 AM
  #3  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

ORIGINAL: maverick
Gordon, the Super Bandit review is still here:

Ahhh .. it finally came back ! Marc did not merge the review forum when he transitioned from the old to the new RCU, and when I contacted him about it he was unsure what could be done about it after the fact.

I think I shall now go get a webscraper tool and take a copy of the SB review to archive in case it goes aaway again.

Thanks for pointing out that it came back !

Gordon
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Old 10-27-2003, 12:07 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

I too, have been interested in this kit. What's your impression of the quality, glasswork, retracts, gear/brakes etc. Does it have intake ducting or bypass. Is the pipe double or single wall. What were the shipping costs? Anything that you could offer to help make up my mind would be helpful.

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2003, 01:00 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

ORIGINAL: tp777fo

I too, have been interested in this kit. What's your impression of the quality, glasswork, retracts, gear/brakes etc. Does it have intake ducting or bypass. Is the pipe double or single wall. What were the shipping costs? Anything that you could offer to help make up my mind would be helpful.

Thanks!
The glasswork is very good. A reasonable amount of surface detail is moulded into the fuselage, the two fuselage halves (seperable, for transport) fit together very nicely, and the hatch cover is also a nice fit. There does not appear to be any C/F, kevlar, or other such material used - just plain old fibreglass. The 'wetting' seems about right too - enough resin used to do the job, without excess anywhere. The pre-joined seams are well done too, and should need very little work to smooth out before painting.

The model uses main-wheel brakes now, unlike the nose-gear brake system that Mick used on models such as the Lightning. I have no idea yet how effective they will be, as I have not tried activating them. The nose gear leg is quite a nice looking casting, with dampening action on it. The main gear legs are plain (not meant to look scalke at all). The wheels look nice enough, but the tires seem a little on the soft side for a model of this scale. I would not be surprised to find out that the tires sag & wear more easily than the hard-rubber tires that I am used to.

The retracts - well, this is not a $1000 gear system like I am used to on most of my jets, so that needs to be borne in mind when asessing thsese units. The retract unit seem pretty light, and may not take enormous amounts of abuse like some of the more expensive gear will, but my impression so far is that they seem adequate for the job in hand, and are cheap enough that you can repair or replace parts if you do manage to screw them up. There is some slight interference on at least one of my units (discussed that with Mick today, and will be trying out a couple of ideas soon), and there are a couple of little things that I will be changing (will describe and do photos later), but so far I don't see any reasons to complain. Will reserve full judgement for whan I try operating them.

No bypass is used. Intake ducting is supplied "flat-pack" - you ned to cut the material and roll it to the correct shape.

I don't recall what the pipe was, but Tam may 'pipe' up here - he had a look at it last week. Failing that, I'll try to remember to take a look when I get home.

Can't help you on the shipping costs. I just called Mick up and said that I wanted the kit plus every option that he makes, plus some spare polyply and a spare canopy, and I got a bill for the whole deal. No idea how much of it was shipping, what the conversion rate was, etc.

Gordon
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Old 10-28-2003, 01:07 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Hi Gordon,
here is a pic of Mike Beachyhead's favourite Hunter. I have many detailed pics if anybody needs some.
It really makes a for a pretty sight in the air...
Cheers
Andre
[img][/img]
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Old 10-28-2003, 01:17 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

[img][/img]
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Old 10-28-2003, 06:03 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

ORIGINAL: Gordon Mc
The retract unit seem pretty light, and may not take enormous amounts of abuse like some of the more expensive gear will Gordon
Come on Gordon.. you don't dish out enormous abuse to landing gear do you?
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:38 AM
  #9  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Andre - I'd love to have any pics you can supply of Mike's aircraft. I'll PM you my email addr and maybe you can send them that way ? The Reeves kit is an F-6 BTW - any idea what marks Mike has ?

Doug - of course I don't dish out enormous abuse to my landing gear ... but in case I have Chris help me out with the first few flights, I have to think about his landing style

I took some pics last night, but couldn't post 'em due to some problems with my PC. Will try again when I get home tonight.
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:37 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

ORIGINAL: Gordon Mc
Doug - of course I don't dish out enormous abuse to my landing gear ... but in case I have Chris help me out with the first few flights, I have to think about his landing style
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:23 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

The kit arrives in a rather sizable box
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:29 PM
  #12  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Unfortunately there was some slight damage done during shipping. I discussed this with Mick and he said he'd pack things a bit different. You can see that for the fuselage, the damage was done by the way the box containing the pilot figure was packed on top of the fuselage, and some impact during shipping did the dirty deed. It looks worse that it really was though - the dents popped out to the original shape fairly well, and I just needed to repair one crack sideways across the nose, plus another crack along the fuselage upper-to-lower join.

The Fin former F11 was also broken in a couple of places, but was an easy fix.
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:36 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Here you can get an idea of some of the parts included in the kit.

The first pic shows the fuselage formers, all plywood, and all nicely machined. The fit of the formers to the fuselage is prety good, such that thin CA (or in my case, PlastiStic) can easily hold the formers in place until such time as you get around to epoxying them.

The second pic shows the wing parts. The ribs around the landing gear are again plywood. The other ribs - I've seen Mick refers to these as "lite-ply", but they don't look like the kind of lite-ply that I am used to seeing. The material actually looks more like balsa-ply.

Finally, you can see the landing gear : retract units, struts and wheels. The main wheel tires seem like hard foam, whereas the front tire is a rubber shell with air inside.
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:43 PM
  #14  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

The size of the model is kinda interesting ... here's a couple of shots of the fuselag side-by-side with a BVM Super Bandit, for size comparison.
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:48 PM
  #15  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

The hatch cover is all fibreglas, including fibreglass stiffeners rather than the more traditional glass shell and plywood stiffeners glued around the edges.
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:49 PM
  #16  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

WOW looks like a nice plane, I love the size.

Except the size of the hatch :-(
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

The kit includes a handy stand that is used not just for field support when the model is finished, but also for aiding construction.

The plans call for the end pieces to be hinged, with wire braces to support the ends when the stand is erected. I chose to do things a little differently, using 1" x 1/2" hardwood strips to create a "slot" for the ends to fit into. The base of the stand is subdivided for holding tools etc, as well as for holding the ends just now.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:09 PM
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Wing construction is pretty simple.

The main spar is plywood with holes routed out of it. The ribs are simply inserted sideways through these holes, and then rotated until they lock into place in the spar. Very neat, very simple, and pretty close to foolproof in terms of ensuring proper alignment of each rib.

The leading edges (2 of them due to the saw-tooth at mid-span) are keyed onto the front of the ribs via notches, and the ply rear spar is similarly notched for insertion from below. The entire wing assembly can be slotted together without any glue being used, and yet it is rigid enough to pick it up off the building board so that you can inspect it.

There were a couple of mistakes that I had to correct here - but they were fairly minor. One rib was incorrectly cut and had to be replaced; also ribs R6 did not have the hole cut in them for the wing-tube. There were also some slight mistakes in the instructions, but nothing earth-shattering. Bear in mind, as I said before, that I got kit # 1 - so these minor issues are completely expected.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

The fuselage can probably be glued together if you wish, but the plans call for it being built as a two-piece assembly that you bolt together.

The main task of holding the fore & aft sectiopns together falls to two formers - F9 and F10. One glues in at the end of each fuselage half, and then the two are aligned via dowels, and secured to each other via 3 bolts.

The manual gets the two slightly mixed up in terms of the labeling in the parts diagrams and one of the pics, but it should be obvious that the smaller former goes in the rear fuselage, regardless of whether you want to call it F9 or F10. Here you can see the rear section.

Note that the instructions are generally quite high-level, and not every part is covered. This means that its important for you to read the instructions multiple times, and scour the plans until you understand what goes where. Doing this will e.g. ensure that you realise that F11 has to be glued into the rear fuselage section before F10, even though the manual just dives traight into F9 & F10. Again - not a problem if you take your time, plus you need to bear in mind that this is not a multi-thousand dollar kit that will be bought by hundreds of people... it's a niche market kit that provides you with the parts you need, and assumes a certain amount of thought will be put into the construction by the user.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:34 PM
  #20  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

After gluing F10 in the rear fuselage with PlastiStic, I bolted F9 to F10 and aligned the fuselage halves in the stand, then tack-glued F9 into the forward fuselage half... but first (there's that "planning" thing again), it's actually necessary to insert the F3 & F4 assembly into the fuselage. All other formers can be slipped into place afterwards, but the F3 to F4 assembly that holds the nosegear in place won't fit through any of the openings so needs to go in through the rear before F9 is glued in place.

Regarding F3 & F4 and the landing gear plates that join the two formers - the parts fit together perfectly in a way that has F3 & F4 perpendicular to the gear plates. This is not how the asembly must be when finished though - as the fuselage plan shows, you need to cant the formers forward. I made some small lite-ply trinagles that would ensure the correct alignment, as well as giving a little more bracing.

The black parts on the underside of the gear plate are the rubber grommets. These neat little parts are inserted from below, and contain a threaded brass insert at the top. The screw that hold the retract unit into the mount goes through the rubber to the brass, and when you tighten the screw up the brass part pulls downward causing the rubber to expand. This provides for a certain amount of "flex" in the mount.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:39 PM
  #21  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Last pics for today.

These show the basic proportions of the aircraft now that I have temporarily mated the wings to the fuselage.

So far, all is going well. The only area that I really have any trepidation about, is skinning the wings - just because the use of proskin is new to me.

Later,
Gordon
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Old 10-28-2003, 10:45 PM
  #22  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

Awsome Gordon:
She is really coming together.

Dave R
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Old 10-29-2003, 06:31 PM
  #23  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

I have been trying to send emails to Mick reeves and I never get any response I would like to get this kit. What is his email?
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Old 10-29-2003, 08:34 PM
  #24  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

http://www.mrmodels.fsnet.co.uk/
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Old 11-09-2003, 08:32 PM
  #25  
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Default RE: Building the Mick Reeves Hawker Hunter

I've now installed more of the fuselage formers (omitting the engine mount one for now until the choice of engine is made, to allow for varying mounts), framed up the elevators & stabs, and have started working with the proskin covering. I elected to start with the smallest parts first, building the elevators and then the stabs, to get some experience with using this stuff before moving on to cover the wings.

Here are a few more pics showing some of the latest progress, including one wing laden down with weights while the glue holding the proskin covering sets:
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