[WWI] vac wings

Joel Christy jbarchristy at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Feb 12 07:16:04 EST 2007

Hi Neil,
  I think your message to Carlos is misleading; I have built dozens of vacforms and scratch built many models in 1/72 using only one thickness of sheet plastic. Most vacforms I have seen by other modellers have also used one thickness and most of those I have posted should prove that one thickness is sufficient. There are exceptions and in these cased another thickness or even a built up wing may be necessary. I repeat what I said in an earlier message on this topic;
    Hi All,
  I almost missed this thread; as I normally only do vacforms and scratch builds I have usually found that one thickness of material suffices for 1/72 scale models. I use 40 thou styrene sheet for most wings but on occasion for bombers or exceedingly lonspan wings I will sandwich a piece of soft flower wire between a 40 thou tickness on top and 20 thou on the bottom.(See IM Vickers Vildebeest build this month) I agrre with Dennis that vacforms like the Rareplanes Gotha hold up extremely well over time; one of mine is at least 16 years old and does not sag or warp with age(unlike me!). I often create my own airfoil on 40 thou wings and have found that the strength created in that process allows me to have unsupported single sheet wings with spans of over 80 scale feet such as the Short Bomber or Curtiss HS2L. All of these are 1/72 scale; 1/48 scale is another kettle of fish. The best publication on all this is of course Harry Woodman's Scale Models Aircraft in Plastic Card;
 my Bible!

  Vacforms, to me, are a joy and one of my favourite mediums and I lament the fact that so few are available. At a recent model show I found next to no vacforms to be had from traders outside of Aeroclub; mores the pity. They not only make great models but the experience gained in making them simply keeps expanding the modeller's skills. I only hope theydon't fade away completely!

  Thanks Carlos, for an excellent post, I haven't seen a lot of made-up
vacs, many vacs are bought, but very few are built, so I can't really
on the question of too thin wings. I suspect you are correct that 

surface vacs are too thin. On the only vac I've built (Deperdussin
I skinned the top surface ala Harry Woodman, and used decal strips for
lower wing tapes, using the vac wings as blanks. I felt this added just 
enough thickness for the Dep wing. Building the Neiuport monoplane I 
interesting experience with the wing profile. What looks fairly simple
actually quite a complicated shape, and surprisingly thick, I had to
up the wing blanks with overlays  of thin plasticard which were then
puttied up. 
And this is on an early plane that I've always thought of as
/Neil C.

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