FN5 turrets for Wellington

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mickszysler
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby mickszysler » April 19th, 2019, 6:53 pm

Timothy,
I, like many others, have been following your progress through the years and are utterly amazed by your craftmanship and dedication. Is this model ever destined to take to the sky when complete, or is it intended to be a static museum masterpiece?
Mick

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » April 19th, 2019, 11:15 pm

Thanks, but it's not really craftsmanship. The hard work is really on the CAD side, producing the drawings for each part, and then some time-consuming and fiddly painting and cutting of threads etc. I'm self-taught on CAD, although I did an O level in technical drawing 35 years ago or so, which has helped a bit. Everything I've done on this project has been learned or researched over the last 3 years or so. A lot of it has been trial-and-error, finding out what the limitation are of SLS nylon 3d printing in terms of minimum thicknesses, or smallest details that'll resolve etc.


It's certainly my intention to fly the turrets, within a Wellington model. The whole point of the exercise was to mount FPV cameras in the turrets. I daresay I'll loan them to Brooklands whilst the airframe is being built, as they've been terrifically helpful over the years with research on the geodetic side of things.

To be honest, I've learned so much doing these turrets, that were I commencing the turrets now, there's a lot of areas I'd redesign, mostly from an 'ease of assembly' point of view. I may yet revise the design to improve that aspect, and cost out producing them as kits, in case anyone else wants a crack at 'em.

I have some surplus parts, so if anyone would like an operating 1/4.5 scale reflector gunsight, I can provide it as parts or assembled and painted. (Ian - I think you have all the required parts bar an amber grain-of-rice light-bulb)

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » April 27th, 2019, 9:59 pm

Well yesterday the most enormous - and unexpectedly so - delivery of "parts" arrived from the printers. For some reason, they seem to print multiple copies of the smaller components, far more than are on the drawings sent. So there was a fairly mammoth sorting session as I sorted and bagged parts before feeding them into the now well oiled system for processing prints from polishing to drilling to tapping threads, to airbrushing to lacquering if needbe. else to hand-painting, before they end up the "ready to assemble box", where-after the real fun begins!

The first job, however, is to rebuild the rear-turret LH door, to verify the design changes made will now allow the full-movement of the handle and latching bolt mechanism. It'll certainly be easier to put together I think. (I hope!)

The latest video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I14ZXCpX5Po&t=46s

- which is pretty much just a survey of the new parts that have turned up for the cupola, and a bit of footage of some of the new parts lashed-up atop the previously built turret stuff. I couldn't resist it!

So I expect that'll be it from me for a few weeks, until these parts start to be assembled properly

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » May 10th, 2019, 8:57 am

The last week or so has been sorting parts, getting a few reprints done, and painting parts with grey primer, mostly cupola parts. When they're assembled and painted I'll post a picture or two. In the meantime I've started collaborating with an amazingly talented German chap, -another "Tim" - who has produced quite the most incredible miniaturised working instrument panel for use with an FPV camera, and a far far better collimating gunsight than I was able to make. His gunsights are really works of art optically speaking, but are designed to be fitted as the gunsight for various fighter's fixed armament. Consequently he is able to achieve the focal length (If I understand the optics correctly) by having quite a long stem under the sight, which would of course disappear behind the instrument panel.


With the Mk III non-gyro sight as fitted to the FN5 turret, however, it's not possible to have such a "stem", so we're looking at bouncing the image around mirrors within the sight-box before it is reflected to a proper lens and thence to the reflector. Should be interesting!


Do please visit his Youtube channel, his work is quite extraordinary.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJm4ZSKF0ZT3guMskwZp3Eg

I've also put up a couple of new films
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQslWREMy2zKgQW4ASDuh6Q

When driven out of the workshop by paint fumes, I've been drawing-up the gunner's lap-strap - a bit of a bugger to draw it has to be said - it's not perfect, but it's fairly close. If anyone is able to tell me if the release to undo an RAF lapstrap of this type is fitted to be pulled with left or right hand, I'd be most grateful to learn!
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The lap strap - right way around? (view from rear to forward)
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In other developments I've established the stencilled warning on the exterior of the turret doors, and had this translated into Polish, having learned that all cautions and placards were translated into Czech or Polish for squadrons crewed by those nationalities. A stencil will be made to put those on in the closest font I can find to the exemplar I have.

An so it continues!

Alex Jones
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Alex Jones » May 15th, 2019, 9:08 am

Looking good Tim... I'm excited to see the cockpit :)

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » May 19th, 2019, 1:33 pm

LOL. That's rather a long way away, but I'll be looking to build a fully functioning instrument panel eventually, and whilst I'll not be building it for some years, it's interesting to see what's possible now. Air-brush issues have put paid to further painting of cupola parts, but the acid-etched brass-work is in progress, as well as the stencils. I've also made and fitted the two leather grab-straps per turret door, which the gunner reached behind to pull each door shut prior to bolting. Also completed are the four turret doors, hinges and connecting stanchions to which the hinges attach.


Yesterday I painted and fitted the 3d printed webbing "lap-straps". As with the seat-cushion these are able to be removed or folded back for the installation of the FPV camera (eventually). The printers sent me some 5 extra pairs of the 2-part lap-straps, so if anyone can use them (1:4.5 scale) let me know your postal address and I'll bung them in an envelope. These were designed to resemble a strap laying on the seat, rather than around a figures legs, so might not be appropriate if using a pilot or gunner figure.


The straps are attached to the seat anchor points with tiny brass shackles from Prime Miniatures, which one would need to source.

As I'm forestalled on painting and rams, the next jobs are to make the wiring loom and JST connectors, and to tidy away the rats-nest of wiring, as well as drawing the plugs to make moulds for the PETG cupola "glazing".

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Completed lap-strap on front turret seat
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Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » June 3rd, 2019, 9:22 pm

I've put a couple of new films on YT. The first is a look at the lashed-up Cupola structure. I can't proceed further with that until the brass parts arrive which will stiffen the members. The second film - slightly truncated due battery failure - shews how I attach SLS nylon parts together with machine-screws, by cutting threads or using internally threaded press-fit brass inserts (usually for blind holes), which may be of interest.

Note that cutting threads in ABS plastic doesn't work, the brass inserts are the only means I've found of creating threads in this type of plastic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UifJAvBqWCA Cupola film

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptCIMADBk1k&t=2s Tapping and Brass inserts

Otherwise I've just been painting all the tiny brackets and plates which will ultimately fix the "plexiglass" (PETG) panels of the cupola to the internal structure.

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » June 26th, 2019, 2:26 pm

Hi all,

the last couple of days have been spent building the internal structures of the cupolas, and hanging the front-turret doors. Some gap-filling is required, a little trimming and some remedial painting, before moving onto the rear-turret doors.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3mgS9NKpSk


Today the Mk III (non-gyro) gunsights arrived from Tim Noack. These we collaborated on to combine his optics and electronics into my rectangular shaped box beneath the sight. Each box contains a sloped mirror, a reticule and LED, projecting through a lens onto a sloped glass reflector. Currently the automatic dimming components are not wired in, leading the reticule appearing overly bright in the shot below. I could not get my stills camera far enough into the turret to obtain the correct focal length, which also means the reticule is larger than will be the case when the smaller FPV camera is set closer to the sight.

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Smoked filter undeployed
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Reticule overbright and overlarge for reasons above
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600sight closed.jpg
smoked filter (for searchlight glare) deployed
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Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » July 4th, 2019, 4:22 pm

A couple of new films up on YT, showing the Polish/English caution stencils and some footage of the new gunsight with automatic dimmer wired in. Apologies for the camera-work on the latter. The strap brass for attaching the cupola windows has now been ordered, and wiring in the various electrical services had begun. After much experimentation and research the hydraulic rams will now be operated pneumatically, which should allow for both sides of the cradle to be elevated and depressed with equal and simultaneous forces applied - something that wasn't the case with the "electric ram".

So, getting towards being finished now, time to make the initial foam plugs which will eventually be used to make the moulds over which the PETG can be formed. The very last task will be to paint, construct and fit all the "cosmetic" hydraulic lines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-twklq8s3s4 stencils

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQEOVeYPJYY&t=3s gunsight with new optics and reticule

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » August 11th, 2019, 10:31 pm

The last few days have been busy in the workshop: First I've been assembling the acid-etched brass straps which will hold the Perspex panels of the windows in place, and the rear-turret is finished, in that the outside straps are in place. Still to do is to bend and fit the internal straps which are bolted through the 3d printed supporting structure. The front turret is as per the rear, excepting I cocked-up one of the shapes required for the "wavy" strap that follows the peculiar border of the opaque quarter-shells and the aft-most edge of the windows. So that's gone off to be redone.


The wiring is all complete, with camouflaged or otherwise concealed JST/XA connectors. I spent a full day practicing crimping these before doing the actual wiring, which turned a bloody-aggravating initial slog into a fairly straight-forwards proposition!

I had to redo all the home-made decals I did previously, having discovered that the matt-lacqueur I'd employed to seal them made them all cloudy! Urgh!

The pneumatic rams are now all here, and awaiting some 3d printed parts before painting and fitting. The new parts are really only cosmetic, to make the miniature pneumatic rams more closely resemble the hydraulic ones on the real turret.


On Oct 27th I hope to be bringing the turrets, and a few other bits and bobs to the Gaydon event. It's doubtful that the rams will be fitted by then, but the cupolas should be more complete.


The other task in the workshop has been recommissioning my CNC router, after nearly a 2 year hiatus from working on the turrets. I discovered I'd forgotten and awful lot, so it's been a long old day carefully re-reading manuals, and re-aquainting myself with the darker corners of V-Carve Pro to relearn how to carve 3d shapes. As the cupola windows will be hot-pulled over moulds, I need to get the router working again to start preparing these shapes. I'm considering making the shapes in 3mm ply or 6mm MDF, bolting them firmly together internally. If I go down the "carved" route, it's time consuming but simple, else I'll need to interpolate the curvatures of the shape between in set of contours, and am very open to ideas as to the best material that will bond well to the ply or MDF, but also be readily sandable before a final smoothing material is added to make a smooth surface. Any guidance/hints/tips or flat-out guesses as to the best methods/materials here would be most welcome!


Pics/film to follow in a few days.

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » August 13th, 2019, 5:43 pm

Few more pics. Please excuse the rats-nest of cabling, it'll all be tucked out of the way eventually!


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old electrical (short) and new (pneumatic) ram
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Detail of renewed "Pyrene" extinguisher
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Detail of placard on ammunition tank cover
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detail of further placards
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Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » September 4th, 2019, 6:00 pm

Bit of a red-letter day here, as I fitted a matched pair of pneumatic rams to the rear-turret, and now the whole lot of moving parts can be seen operating albeit with the guns driving the rams rather than vice versa! Tomorrow I should be able to do the same on the front-turret, afterwhich there's "just" the cupola windows to fabricate and fit, the pneumatic lines to fit and camouflage, cosmetic hydraulic lines to fit, and the then finally some judicious application of lock-tite.

Other bits added lately are the gunner's toolkit, and the weather-proofing seals around the guns.

I am quite looking forward to finishing these now and making a start on the geodetic side of things.

Films - several uploaded of late - at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDOAf50UjFU

rams600.jpg
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Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » September 11th, 2019, 2:09 pm

Hi all,
I wasn't expecting to upload a new film quite so soon, but last night I connected all the pneumatic lines to the "distribution box" and thence to the rams. I substituted a pair of syringes on the supply lines to stand in for the yet-to-be-devised "fine tracking valve" and compressed air tank.


The results are fairly encouraging, and great to see working seemingly "by magic".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fry_xO3JGTo

Steve Mansell
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Steve Mansell » September 12th, 2019, 12:23 pm

You must be chuffed as punch! I think trying to work out the 3d geometry would have sent me to the funny farm.
Cheers
Steve

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » September 12th, 2019, 8:08 pm

Hehe, it did rather, not least because I've never understood how to create animations in Autodesk, so the only way to check for collisions was to plot the positions of all the moving components every 5 degrees of rotation of the axle, colour-coding each set of parts with the same axle rotation, and then to check to see if parts got too close, at which point a more detailed incremental plot would be performed, I badly need to figure that out. Omission of fixings - nuts bolts washers etc - caused other problems as some could only be put in if the build sequence was correct, and others were found to collide with stationary of differently moving screw-heads or nuts.


I badly need to learn how to do this properly, although it is a strength of Fusion 360 that if you can't figure out one way of achieving an end, there's nearly always another way of achieving it, albeit more work-intensively.

You know I've got it right as when the cupolas are fitted there's the faintest whisper as the moving parts only just barely skate past non-moving cupola structures. I'd prefer they didn't di it at all, as it necessarily means the window panels will need to be very accurately shaped and fitted, so as not to pull moving parts too close. Ho Hum!

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » October 3rd, 2019, 11:11 am

Hi all,

No new films as such this week, other than one of the mixed 3d printed plastic and brass tube "hydraulic" pipes. However I am attaching a number of stills of the superbly printed rear-turret "tub" which Helimadken did, for which I'm extremely grateful for, as without his assistance it couldn't have been done. I know that he spent many many hours on this, and he did a beautiful job. There's still some exterior hatches to add. The tub is painted British Interior Green inside, with some wear to a silver where the gunner's feet typically go, and also features the trapdoor for expelling cases. These trap-doors were initially a squadron innovation but were considered very worthwhile and became a standard feature until the advent of the FN20, where cases were expelled by chutes. The front turrets kept their canvas bags, as it was unwise to expel cases into the slip-stream where they'd damage the fabric.

I've also been fitting the cosmetic hydraulic pipes, now painted copper colour, and discovered that it was nigh impossible to fit these with the pneumatic hoses in situ. Consequently I've been disconnecting those and will refit later. Also added are the two Bowden cables which went from the fire-buttons to the top of the hydraulic valve stack, where they activated the valves responsible for applying hydraulic pressure to the sear-releases on the guns, causing them to fire. The peculiar routing of these cables was so that they cleared all moving parts of the gun cradle, guns and hydraulic hosing as they were all elevated or depressed. Not the best of pictures I'm afraid.

bowdens1.jpg
Bowden cables
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fitted pipes stack600.jpg
simulated hydraulic pipes on valve-stack
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helimadkentub600.jpg
Ken's "tub"
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Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » October 3rd, 2019, 9:13 pm

and a few more stills, now that the remainder of the hydraulic pipes have been glued on, and the Bowden-cables ditto. That about completes the front turret apart from the "tub". Tomorrow I'll be doing the same for the rear-turret, then refitting all the temporarily removed pneumatic lines. After that, it's "just" the windows to make. It'll make a nice change to salt these away and work on something new!

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ian redshaw
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby ian redshaw » October 28th, 2019, 9:54 am

Like everyone that saw your work at Gaydon yesterday Tim, they look even better in the flesh. Truly incredible attention to detail and they work so smoothly! Fabulous, many thanks for bringing them along!

Ian.

Timothy Huff
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby Timothy Huff » October 28th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Many thanks Ian, it was enormous fun, we were kept so busy that by the end I think we'd really only managed to look around two other exhibits, your (?) beautiful Roland and Dave Oakley's menacing looking Fw190, (and his really excellently made bespoke parts) on the table next to ours. Did you notice that on his home-made wheel-hubs the "stamped" numbers were deliberately very slightly misaligned to each other, as if the wheel had moved a little when they were "stamped"! - these on letters barely a 0.5 mm high! That is real quality, imho!

I shall have to make a better effort to look around the halls next year!

Now that the turrets are basically complete, bar for the Perspex windows, I hope by the end of this coming year to have the 1st prototype alloy channel and shear/gusset fittings made and assembled for fatigue/destructive testing, which will establish if the alloy build technique is viable - or not! (notwithstanding C of G)

I had a great conversation with Barry Sherborne who had some really useful knowledge and insights into the metallurgical side of things. (not my strong suit!) That alone made coming up to Gaydon worthwhile from my point of view.

stewart clifford
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Re: FN5 turrets for Wellington

Postby stewart clifford » October 29th, 2019, 7:17 am

Photo’s really don’t do these justice, fantastic work Tim. It was nice to meet you both and listen to how you’ve done it and your motivation for doing so. Thanks for letting us see them, good luck with the rest of your project.


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