Building a Vacform
About Vacform Models.
The information and photographs in this guide is for the benefit of modellers who have never attempted a vacform or wish to build a vacform kit in the near future. Before I got into vacforms, I, like most was very sceptical and I kept putting it off, it wasn’t until Tom Probert (Tom’s Website) kindly donated me a VacWings72 Chance Vought Seawolf which got the ball rolling..
Typically, a vacform kit consists of one or two white plastic sheets depending on the scale, a clear sheet with canopy/glazing areas and depending on the maker of the kit, either resin or white metal extra details and finally a basic decal & instruction sheet.
The instruction sheet is normally a A4 piece of paper with an exploded drawing of the aircraft showing what parts go where, with notes pointing to areas on the kit how to improve it. Some instruction sheets have profiles showing a colour scheme and markings.
Onto the kit – Rareplanes 1/72nd McDonnell XP-67 Bat
You can see in this photo, that I have gone around some parts with a green permanent marker. (See below)
Next step, and normally the first stage of any vacform kit is cutting away the excess plastic. This is where the green marker comes in. You can either cut away closely to the kit part like I have or get some scissors and cut around the kit, leaving about 5mm then sanding the excess away. I’m not a fan of doing it like that, I like to take my time and cut around the main parts, which leaves you with this…
Once the part you have cut is free from the backing sheet, you are left with this. You can clearly see below, where you have to sand away. The area below the green line, up to the green edge. Don’t rush this part, as you will end up with a plane looking like a banana once it’s joined together. Sanding sticks are a huge help here!
A dry test fit of both fuselage halfs together. As you can see, the white lip needs some work to make these two fit together properly.
Close up view of the nose.