Scratch Building Part 2

Hi Everybody

Welcome to the second part of my scratch building run-throughs. I hope you found part 1 of interested and that it's gone some way to make some of you want to give it a go. This week we move on to adding all the small details, first up will be building the structure that will serve to hold the avionics equipment in place. Following this we look at all the major components that make up the avionics equipment and how these are built and detailed, this will include adding wiring/pipework, knobs, switches and grills.

Looking into any open panels on aircraft you will always see some sort of support structure inside. Replicating this is a pretty straight forward step and won't take up too much time, however the difference it will make to the final look is quite substantial and will give the area that 'busy' look about it. Also at this stage we can add any shelving or partitions that are needed.
Good reference photo's are a help here but if like me your not a rivet counter, a certain bit of artistic license can be used to gain the look your after. Before any of the structure is built i add small strips of styrene to simulate the strengthening inside each bay. 

The image below is from my current Tomcat build.

The shelving was cut and placed in position, it was then fixed with thin cement. Some small detail as also been added.

The images below are from my S-3 Viking build, i think adding this detail really improves the final look.

With plenty of photo's at the ready the next step is to start building up the various electrical components that make up the avionics bay. These will be built from stock styrene and detailed with various grades of wire. To start with i cut out the basic shape of the part i'm copying, and before adding any of the detailed parts i make sure that the parts fit into the bay. Once all OK i then add smaller pieces styrene to build up the final shape of the part. Styrene is also used for the numerous buttons, switches and mounting feet on the units. To finish the build the associated wiring needs to be added, for this i use a variety of wires to get the look i want. To mount these i use a pin vice to drill small holes, the wire is then pushed into these and fixed with cyno.
I've had a few questions from you guys on how i replicate the small grommets that the wire bundles pass through when passing into the bay/cockpit. Below are a few images on how i do this, and the other cables/pipework that are present.

1 - For this i use an old ribbon cable from a PC but any small diameter multi-strand cable will be fine. I first strip around a inch/25mm of the sheath off and then cut the cable a small distance after the sheath has started again.

2 - A similar sized hole is drilled in the plasticard for the cable to sit into. A small blob of cyno is dropped in the hole and the cable placed in to sit flush.

3 - Once the glue has dried you can always trim the sheath if it's sitting proud.

The next set of images shows the other types of cable/pipework that i use. The red wire is used for electric motor winding, the others are lead and copper wire.

1 - To make life easier when making bundles of cables i cut a length of wire and fold it in half a few times, it's just easier to hold than a few separate strands.

2 - I then drop some cyno on the ends, and once dry cut off the 'loops' that formed when i folded it.

3 - To replicate the cable ties i just use some 1mm wide masking tape, it's best to apply a small drop of glue on these too as they tend to unravel themselves after a while.

4 - Lead wire - This has been folded as above and just twisted at each end.

5 - This shows each type fitted with some copper as pipework.

Below show the cables added to the avionic components i've built. Once i'm happy with the look i can move on forward to painting. For this build (Frogfoot) the parts were first painted Tamiya Black (Image 1) before a shot of Citadel Chainmail Silver (Image 2). The small details on each part were then picked out and dry brushed with powders (Image 3).

NOTE:- When building these components test fit them into the area they are intended for, as all your hard work could be for nothing!! (not that i know!)

Moving back to the avionics bays, once the cement has cured on the shelving etc, the bays can be painted and weathered. Most of the time these area's are left in primer colours, normally Zinc Chromate green or yellow. For this particular build, i've used a Tan/Brown mix. Once this had dried a quick brush over with one of the ProModeller washes was added for some light weathering.

Last but not least, all the goodies were fixed in place, i may add a few more details to finish it off. the good thing is more detail and wiring can easily be painted and fixed in place without too much hassle.

After last week's run-through, it's great to see some of the guys in the forum giving scratching a go too, nice one guys!!
Again, i hope this has been of some interest, there are probably many different ways to get the same result, but that's probably why we are all in here learning new tricks in the first place!
Happy Modeling