I finally finished the Sperry Ball Turret. After a test install of my original scratch build, I realized that the shaft mechanism was too long and allowed for too much drop from the stowed to deployed or lowered positions, so I had to rebuild the shaft to correct it. Much better now.
While I'm waiting to figure out what color to paint the interior and also to figure out the sequence in final assembly, I thought I'd start work on the Vector Resin engines. They are really beautiful, but I realized that if I used them as is, the props wouldn't turn as the prop shaft is molded in as part of the entire assembly. So I decided to modify them so the props would turn. There IS an easier way to do this, that is simply drill a hole through the center of the assembly and use a styrene rod with a cap on the back to hold it in place, but the original prop shafts are so well done (they have SPLINES for goodness sake!), so I devised a way to modify them so the props would turn and still keep the original prop shaft. Even though that will be buried inside the props when I'm done. Can't help myself. So here's what I did (times 4):
Here's a shot of the engine as is (haven't added the front 7 cylinders yet):
First step is to use a jeweler's coping saw and cut off the front attachment plate and prop shaft:
Next is one of the hardest parts. Using the very tip of the Exacto knife cut out the prop shaft from the mounting cover:
Next drill out the back end of the prop shaft so that you can inset a small rod which will help mount through what will be the cap into the rod which will be used as the full shaft:
Next, after smoothing the recently cut front surface of the engine, start a small hole in the center. If you HAVE a drill press, that will help, but I just kept an eye to make sure it stayed "square" as I drilled. I also started a second hole in the back to minimize any error.
After you've finished the small pilot hole, use a couple of increasingly larger drill bits until the hole is large enough so your new shaft will spin.
The next step is to create a new cover plate to help hold in the new shaft:
The next step requires a bit of patience. After you've put the back end of the shaft on to the larger cap and original prop shaft, drill out the front of the engine to the LARGER diameter of the "cap" but ONLY as deep as the THICKNESS of the cap. This allows the shaft to slip all the way through the hole you drilled but only until the larger cap hits the bottom of the larger hole and also allows the cap to spin and sit JUST BELOW the front surface of the engine. The parts should look like this:
After you drop the new shaft in, carefully glue the new cover plate to ONLY the front of the engine so the new shaft still spins:
And then finally take the original cover which you cut off and glue it over the scratch built cover:
Lots of work, but I know I'll be glad to have props that spin.