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Author Topic: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?  (Read 1856 times)

GOTHIK

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suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« on: 16 July 2015, 13:25:19 »
Which mini would you recommend using for this VTOL?

I want it to look reasonably like the TRO artwork (e.g., it looks kinda like the Commanche picture that I have attached, and has 3 blades on the rotor; so I'm not limiting myself to an IWM mini), and also look a small VTOL (e.g., 5T according to TRO3026 and TRO3039).

Thanks for the help guys!!!

Weirdo

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #1 on: 16 July 2015, 13:37:58 »
I've got some micro-armor Hueys waiting to be painted up for exactly this purpose. I imagine someone out there has to make micro Comanches, if you're really set on that look.
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Wikkid

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #2 on: 16 July 2015, 13:47:36 »
Check your messages 😉
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Ronin Actual

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #3 on: 16 July 2015, 19:01:26 »
I'm surprised GHQ doesn't?

worktroll

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #4 on: 16 July 2015, 19:17:48 »
You could probably do some conversion work on DA Crow minis.
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Draco

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #5 on: 16 July 2015, 20:20:39 »
Closest I've seen to the Ferret in mini form is GHQ's WZ-9B, a Chinese attack helicopter based off the Eurocopter Dauphin. Just leave off the missile pods, or don't and call them RL/10s.

You also might find the Chinook on Shapeways, just about everything is on there now.

Cazaril

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #6 on: 16 July 2015, 21:45:46 »
I have the mini and I have an idea... Give me until Monday and I should have the concept finished... If you like it, I'll tell you how it was done.

Caz

GOTHIK

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #7 on: 17 July 2015, 18:55:02 »
Which mini are you starting with, Caz?

Cazaril

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #8 on: 20 July 2015, 14:53:09 »
Which mini are you starting with, Caz?

Sorry I didn't get back to you until now... I didn't want to mention what mini I was planning to use, until I was sure it would all work.

Anyway... This is what I ended up with.







If you like it, I'll write up a "How-to".

And to answer your question, I started with a TEF Dragonfly from MicroWorld Games (at least I think that is who made it).


GOTHIK

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #9 on: 20 July 2015, 20:47:54 »
(Before saying anything else, thanks for doing that and sharing your results with me and the forum.)

WOW!  That's FANTASTIC!  That exceeds what I was even hoping for!

Yes, I would love to see that how to.

I'd also like to see it next to a 'Mech and/or an H-7 Warrior Attack Helicopter miniature from IWM to see how it's size compares to the others, if it's not too much trouble.


Cazaril

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #10 on: 21 July 2015, 10:27:26 »
(Before saying anything else, thanks for doing that and sharing your results with me and the forum.)

WOW!  That's FANTASTIC!  That exceeds what I was even hoping for!

Your welcome and Thank You for the kind words.

Before I begin, I'm going to apologize... I'm wordy. If it takes 10 words to say it, but three words to say it concisely, I'll use 30. So when this gets long, I warned you.  ;)

And, if you have questions, ask them. I'll do my best to answer them. If I don't respond in a day or two, PM me.

What you will need:

1 - Tef Dragonfly (if you haven't looked, they are $7.50 for three. I don't believe shipping is to bad, but that may depend on where you live).
1 - 20-723CHB Warrior Helicopter chopper blade - $1.00  (Caution: There is a 20-723WPB. This is the top propeller and gun. Also, not the one you want)

While I usually suggest a jeweler's saw (an I still do), for this mod a razor saw could probably be used.
You'll also need a set of regular drills (say sizes 1/16 - 9/64)... Note, I have the handle of a screw driver that had changeable ends and a chuck (similar to a pin vise, but bigger). This allows me to drill by hand. You can probably get away with a power drill or dremel, but please drill carefully.
A set of hobby files
A hobby knife
and Glue

Not a large list.

I'm going to break this down into two parts. The first "easy Ferret", is just that. It took me 45 minutes to get the basic shape and maybe another 45 of tinkering and refining it until I was happy. What you will end up with is the mini in the pictures attached (not the end version I painted), and honestly, it would probably do for a Ferret stand in... The "advanced Ferret" is the one I painted.

When trying to decide if you want to try the advanced Ferret, you may want to keep a few things in mind... It does take a little bit of skill/knowledge in sculpting. Not a ton, and I'm pretty sure the walk-through can get you through it, but it is something to think about. The other thing is that almost everything I do is a conversion or mod these days. Because of this I have built up a collection of brass, styrene, putty and tools not normally used by people who mainly paint. Between brass and styrene, you are probably talking $12-$15 and you will use minute portions of each one. The loctite putty I suggest is another couple of dollars. I have a set of sculpting tools that a friend sent me, which if you bought something similar at Hobby Lobby/Michael's, even with the 40% off coupon, I think they would still be $5-$10. All of this stuff costs nothing to me because I already own it, but for someone looking for a one-off Ferret, that is a substantial investment all at once.

What to do (An easy Ferret)

The large wing array on either side that gives the original mini its name has to go, so you'll need to cut them off. If you have to leave a little behind, do so. Just be careful not to dig to far into the side panel. It is better to file that down later than gouge it now. (Note: I found the first wing easy, because the other side helped stabilize it. When working on the second one, it wants to roll).

(Note: If you are the kind that likes to drill out Machine Guns and Lasers and such, before you do the next part, drill the nose gun. This will involve a pin vise and small drill bits that I didn't mention, but it is optional based on your preference).

Next up, chop the nose down and the gun off. On this cut you can afford to cut at an angle towards the back. What you want to be careful of is the gun, because you will need it later. You want to keep that cylinder piece it is attached to also, so try not to gouge it too much.

The Tail... If you are going to try the Advanced Ferret, you can cut the vertical tail wing off (if you do this, make sure to eliminate the bulbous part at the bottom and cut the part between the two stabilizer wings flush.). If you are stopping at the Easy Ferret, file the sides of the pod thing on top flat, so it looks like part of the tail. Do the same with the pod thing underneath. File the back edge of the tail so it is angling backwards more sharply. Do whatever little touch-ups it requires to make the tail "tail" shaped.

As for the stabilizer wings, I found them to be to long, so you'll need to trim a millimeter or two off each. When you are done, they will look chopped, so then you will need to file down the edges and do some general reshaping.

Underneath the fuselage, is a piece that looks to me like landing wheels. It has to go... When looking for your line, use the underside of the tail (between the engine pod and the stabilizer wings). This will require you to cut into the fuselage under the cockpit, but you want to reduce its overall height a bit anyway. When you are done, it should sit pretty flat (meaning that there shouldn't be a lot of gaps along the bottom, NOT that you should make the bottom flat... In fact, if done right, the only thing to keep it from rolling over should be the stabilizer wings).

Next comes shaping, and does it need a lot...

Just behind the air intake, is a little dimple I suspect was meant for a propeller (none came with the mini, so I don't know). Starting about there, but lined up to miss the two vents on either side of the air intake, file that whole section down flat with the top of the tail.

Next, just in front of the stabilizer wing, are two tiny little extensions. File them down flush with the fuselage.

Then work your way up and down both sides of the fuselage, filing down any protrusions and basically rounding the whole thing. If done correctly, those engine details on the underside of the tail should be ground down to nothing. You may want to also spend a moment reshaping the nose.

Reshape the nose gun so that the cylinder part is as round as possible (you still want a cylinder, so please do misunderstand and shape it into a ball).

That should take care of the shaping... If you are unhappy with some part, work until you like it. If you plan to try the Advanced Ferret, just know we will be adding material and shaping that, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

Find a drill bit that most closely matches the cylinder part of the nose gun, and drill a hole in the bottom of the fuselage, under the cockpit (you may want to gauge it based on the front of the machine gun not sticking past the nose of the Ferret). Make sure it is deep enough that the top of the machine gun touches (or almost touches) the bottom of the Ferret. (Note: you could just chop the gun flat and glue it on. But this should help keep it from ever being knocked off, and it is a lot easier to file down the bottom of the cylinder and the gun barrel... Because it is a little tall for what you want otherwise.)

Lastly, drill a small dimple in the top of the air intake housing... The Warrior propeller is going to be flipped over when we add it (so we get the dimple in the center facing up), and this will give somewhere for the nub to fit into (Note: if you are doing the Advanced Ferret, do not glue the propeller on at this time)... And since more than likely you cut the hole for the stand off when you cut off the landing gear thing, drill a new hole for whatever kind of stand you are using.

That's it! You should have something similar to the pictures attached (although yours should have a tail, if you are stopping here)... A nice little submarine Ferret.

If this is where you are stopping, I hope it came out well.

Next up, the Advanced Version.

Caz
« Last Edit: 21 July 2015, 13:15:08 by Cazaril »

Cazaril

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #11 on: 21 July 2015, 12:26:46 »
The Advanced Ferret

What you will need:

1 - Tef Dragonfly that has been modified per Easy Ferret instructions.
1 - 20-723CHB Warrior Helicopter chopper blade

Tools listed for Easy Ferret
Sculpting tools

5/32 Brass Tubing
.020 x .250 Strip Styrene
.010 x .020 Strip Styrene
.010 x .040 Strip Styrene

Green Stuff / Kneadatite / whatever putty you prefer.
Loctite General Purpose Repair Putty. Sold at places like Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowes, it comes in a tube and is dark blue on the outside. It has a white center, and works a lot like green stuff, except it sets in minutes and dries like rock. I'd say it was optional, but this stuff is very sand-able and that will come in handy.

What to do (Advanced Ferret)

First up is the .010 x .020 strip styrene... You need two pieces the length of the fuselage from in front of the stabilizer wings to the nose (a little over long is better than short)... Now look at the mini. See just below the cockpit hatch, where the beveled part meets the rest of the fuselage. Imagine a line just below that, running back to the tail. That is where you want to glue the styrene on it's .010 edge. This will create a little ledge that we will work our putty to... I would start at the stabilizer wing and go forward, because it will be easier to cut off any excess this way. If you find that the piece is bowing, glue the part nearest the tail down and then let it dry. Then add more glue further forward and let that dry. It may take two or three steps, but super-glue dries fast so it should take long. Also, make sure that it is securely glued down the entire length. I let a little bit be loose and paid for it down the line.

Once you have the styrene in place, let it set for a few minutes to make sure it is good and dry.

Next, you want to file the styrene you just added. Starting from just behind the intake housing, back to the end by the tail, you want to file it at a sloping angle with almost nothing left by the tail. This will allow us to tapper the additional material once we add it.

Also, cut any extra that extends past the nose, and round the styrene so it curves into the nose of the Ferret. Don't round the nose though, as the Ferret has a chopped straight front.

Mix up a small amount of green stuff (I'm always surprised at how little I really need)... Skim coat the bottom of the Ferret, working the green stuff so it rounds the bottom, and stopping at the styrene "shelf" we just added... When doing this, the idea is to broaden the underside, not increase the height, so don't have a large build-up on the bottom, just the most thin layer possible. You also don't want to bury the machine gun cylinder. We'll round that off later... Note: When working the green stuff, the firm border of the styrene gives you some help in cutting out unwanted excess. Just work it to the edge, and then scrape the styrene with your tool. If you are hitting anything when you scrape, you have too much in that area.

Upon completing that, I would suggest stopping here and letting it set (which can take 12-24 hours)... Can't tell you how many times I've tried to do just that "little bit more" and screwed up all the work I've already done. Actually, if I remember correctly, just completing the entire underside was a chore.

With the bottom cured, we are going to work a little on the tail... Assuming you've already cut it off, take your triangle shaped file and use one edge and grind a grove in the area between the wings, but don't go too far in front of the stabilizer wings. When we make the tail, this grove will act as a notch to rest the tail in.

Next, make another little batch of green stuff... This time, we are going to work on the top part of the shelf... Add a small amount starting at the nose and working back. For this part, you only need to go as far back as just past the intake housing... Keep the amount small, as you are just trying to round the fuselage to the shelf. And make sure you stay below the line of the cockpit... Once again, that styrene shelf is your friend and can be helpful in getting rid of excess.

When you've got the shape you want, once again set it aside and let it cure...

Next up, we are going to make the tail... Cut a thin disc of the Loctite putty. Now cut that in half through the middle (you can put half of it back in the tube)... Just so you know, once you knead it together the clock on this stuff is really ticking... You want to press the putty down on the top of the tail, covering the whole length from behind the intake box, to just in front of the stabilizer wings. Square it off as best you can and try to keep it close to the side edges that the shelf define (too tall is better than too wide, although if you are quick enough you can cut some of the excess out.)... Using your hobby knife, try to cut a line through any excess material from the back of the intake box, down to the shelf and discard. If not, you will bury your exhaust vents and cutting it back then isn't as easy as doing it now.

I like to give it an hour to set before I start messing with it again.

Once it has cured, you want to file the top flat, continuing down until you just start to see metal again. Then file each side flush with the shelf... When done, you should have a box that tapers back to the tail of the Ferret... Next, bevel the edge of the box going all the way back. Not much, but just enough to take the edges off. You'll have to eye up what looks good to you.

When you get the look you want, mix up another little batch of green stuff... This time we are going to curve the area from the back of the intake box, down to the shelf, but also moving forward some. If you look at the first picture I posted of my completed Ferret, you'll see that it curves, just under the exhaust ports. That is what we are looking for.

Also... If you haven't noticed, the top of the Intake box is slanted down in the back. Now is a good time to add a little putty to flatten that out... If you added the dimple for the propeller already, no problem, just use the edge of your hobby knife to scope out any excess that fills that up... And make sure the it is flat, not just on top, but on the sides and the back edge too (you shouldn't be adding any to the front edge).

And once again... Let it cure.

Once cured, we are going to build the tail... Take out a piece of the brass tubing, and a piece of the .020 x .250 styrene... Get your round file, and spent a few moments filing down the inside of the tubing (not too deep in, just around the opening and maybe 1mm-3mm back). Then grab a flat file and do the same to the outside of the tubing. The idea is to thin the walls a little, not flatten them... Once that is done, you are going to want to cut a thin piece off. When you cut the brass, you want something a little thicker then the styrene, so you have that nice ridge that appears in the drawing. This is another place you'll have to eye it up, which is why it is helpful to have the styrene piece out... Once you have the brass cut, spend a moment or two filing down any burrs it might have. I know, it isn't easy, but it will make it look better.

So about this point, I'm sure you are cursing my name and wondering why I didn't just use styrene tubing, which would have been easier to cut... My answer is experience. Or maybe I should say, "hard won experience"... I have used styrene many times, and have learned that while easier, it isn't always better. Do you know how easy it is to crush a thin hoop of styrene? Drop that mini just once and you'll find out... I've used sytrene for missile doors and watched them snap. I've used it for girders and had it break at the Mech's hand. Bottom line, there are places to use it, but that hoop wasn't one of them...

Now that we have our hoop, place it on the styrene so the hoops edges hangs over the edge of the styrene just a tad. Then cut the shape of the top and the front edge of the tail. Don't worry about how tall it is, you want the tail still attached to the strip of styrene at the moment. Round off the front edge of the tail... Now put the hoop back on the styrene and find its center. make a little dimple with a nail/needle/what ever... Find the drill bit the matches the outside diameter of the hoop, and by hand, start to drill... At this point we are just looking to scrape a divot in the styrene, partly because once you drill through, it will start to catch and that isn't good... So now you have your divot, with a small hole in the middle. Using your round file, work the hole until the hoop fits inside (you'll end up with a crescent because of where we lined up). If it is a little rough, that is OK, we can fix that, but make sure the hole is big enough. If you see any bowing of the styrene when the hoop is placed inside, it needs to be corrected... Once you have the hole big enough for the hoop, glue the hoop in place. Remember, that the excess hoop will extend out the left side of the tail and the right side should be flush... Now you can trim the styrene for height, but leave it a little bit too tall... Try dry fitting it into the notch we ground in the tail. It will most likely be at the wrong angle to look good. Take your file and remove the bottom until you have it angled correctly. Once you have the angle, file it down until you touch the brass hoop. This will undoubtedly make you lose the part between where you just filed and the open part of the crescent, but that is OK. Glue the tail into the notch and let dry.

Taking a piece of the .010 x .040 out and cut the end at an angle and discard. Then cut a small piece off and round the pointed end (In the third picture I posted of the completed Ferret, this is the piece on the tail that the stabilizer propeller attaches to inside the hoop. Don't make it as long as the tail, instead make it a little short. We will fill in the rest and round it to the tail piece with green stuff). Glue the piece on to the tail... Now cut a tiny piece of the .010 x .020 (slightly smaller than the interior diameter of the hoop, and glue it to the inside of the piece we just added for your propeller... Mix up a little batch of green stuff and fill in any gaps that you might have including a little in the bottom back of the hoop, if that fell off when you filed the tail down), and work some from the front of the propeller attachment piece to the front of the tail, rounding it off as needed... Let cure.

While that is curing... Cut the main propeller from the sprue (if you haven't already), and remove any mold lines... Next, drill the dimple on top just a little. Use a drill slightly smaller than the hub and don't go to deep. We are only trying to widen it and give it a little depth, not drill through it... Now if you'd looked at the propeller at all, you'll notice that the side we are going to have up is flat, and our bottom is shaped. Which is no good. So take a flat file and shape the edges of the propeller blades, tapering the back edge and rounding the front.

Finally, once the previous batch of green stuff has cured, go ahead and shape the machine gun, giving it a egg shape (rounded, but longer than it is wide). Work the edges down to the fuselage, but try not to add any height to the housing. Once you have it formed, you can take the edge of your hobby knife and kind of cut along where it meets the fuselage, giving it a little definition and making it not look like it is all one piece. Let cure.

Now it is ready for primer and paint...  O0

Note: when I painted mine, I didn't attach the main rotor until I was done with the rest... It made it a little easier to paint, and kept the propeller from being bent during the process. Depending on your style, this may or may not be necessary.

Good luck to who ever tries this... And again, if something is confusing or I seem to have left something out please post questions.

Caz
« Last Edit: 21 July 2015, 13:12:38 by Cazaril »

Cazaril

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #12 on: 21 July 2015, 14:00:09 »
I'd also like to see it next to a 'Mech and/or an H-7 Warrior Attack Helicopter miniature from IWM to see how it's size compares to the others, if it's not too much trouble.

As requested...

Attached are front and side pictures, with a Warrior and a Annihilator (one of the only minis I have painted that isn't an unseen, which not everyone has, or bashed/modded in some way that there is no guarantee it would be useful).

Caz

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #13 on: 21 July 2015, 14:06:38 »
Looks really good, but too involved for me. I'll probably just use a Warrior and Dremel the wings and chin turret down.
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Wraithcannon

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #14 on: 01 October 2019, 09:49:22 »
Just a heads up, I found a 1/300 scale Comanche helicopter figure from Heroics and Ros Ltd.

Do NOT order this figure in hopes of using it as a Ferret, LOL.

It is waaay too big.

I love the conversion that Cazaril made, it looks awesome, but I want about 6 Ferrets and that just seems like a ton of work to get one done.

I am looking at www.Picoarmor.com now, they have some 1/600 scale figures that might work, and I messaged him about making a Comanche.
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Wraithcannon

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #15 on: 01 October 2019, 11:33:23 »
https://www.picoarmor.com/product/z-19-8-pcs/

This looks like as close as they have right now. Would take some work, but I think it would fit well.
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Cache

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #16 on: 01 October 2019, 15:34:33 »
Use a Sprint scout helo for proxy.

Colt Ward

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #17 on: 04 October 2019, 12:35:35 »
Yeah, I use MWDA VTOLs as proxies.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #18 on: 05 October 2019, 20:57:59 »
you can get all sorts of 1:350th scale helicopters on amazon or hobby sites for between $8-12 for a half dozen. they are sometimes a bit fiddly since they have small plastic parts, but they look good and are close enough to scale. (they're meant for customizing naval model kits)
look for Trumpeter or Tamiya brand.

(they also sell naval aviation aircraft for those looking for good conventional fighter minis)

Cazaril

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #19 on: 06 October 2019, 14:04:20 »
This looks like as close as they have right now. Would take some work, but I think it would fit well.

The Z-19, if it is of a proper size, has potential... The best part is that the majority of the modifications needed are "removal" not "creation", so it would be easier to mod...

I'd remove the wings and missile launchers from the side, the wheels and struts that hold them, the stabilizer fins to the left and right of the tail assembly, it looks like the tail extends below the rear (round) propel enclosure and that would have to go, and the little nub on the nose too... I would absolutely keep the engines to left and right of the main propeller... You'd still need something for the nose mounted machine gun, but any small tubular piece and some kneadatite would work in a pinch... I have some ideas for how to install the rear wing, but depending on the skill level of who is doing the mods I might just suggest skipping it.

Caz

Cazaril

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Re: suitable mini for Ferret Light Scout VTOL?
« Reply #20 on: 09 October 2019, 18:26:39 »
As Wraithcannon pointed out, my TEF Dragonfly conversion is a lot of work and a Z-19 conversion would be much easier. Not married to my original idea, I wanted to give the Z-19 a better look, so I bought some.

Regrettably, the Z-19s are too small to use as a Ferret (Although for some, considering IWM isn't big on scale, they might not be so picky).

The Z-19 compared to a H-7 Warrior Helicopter:



These are listed as 3mm scale, so I wasn't really surprised.

For someone that the scale difference doesn't scare off, you do get 8 of them at a reasonable price. And that isn't 4 helicopters and 4 propellers, but 8 helicopters (I wonder if they sell the propellers separately, I never thought to look)

For me, these won't go to waste because I will use them as my custom Minion V.T.O.L. drone (used by the MDC-1B Metis Drone Carrier, similar to the Hi-Scout). As an unmanned V.T.O.L, they can be "too" small, and it won't really matter.

Caz

 

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