functioning cockpit canopies for the Buck Rogers Thunder Fighter

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Rhaven Blaack, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    After finishing the Buck Rogers Thunder Fighter in Stealth paint scheme, I decided to make this tutorial on how to make a cockpit canopy that will open and close.
    I will be making three canopies (the first one will be NON-CANON and the other two will be CANON).

    I am sorry for the poor quality of the photos, but I do not have access to a good camera right now, so I am using my phones camera.

    These are the parts that I used; Parts sheet with the canopy parts, 6 strips that are 5mm X 20mm, 8 strips that are 5mm X 10mm, and two sewing pins cut to 20mm.

    gluing the strips to the pin to form the hinge.

    After finishing this one, you need to make one more just like it.

    I attached the long strips to the hinge plates.

    Attaching the second hinge to the long strip

    After you have finished attaching the second hinge, attach the longer strips to the hinge plates. You now have a double hinge.

    Next will be the canopy itself.
  2. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator


    Here is the assembly of the canopy.
    While building this, I did not put plastic in for the windows. I just laminated each part three times for strength and rigidity.

    These are the pieces of the front part of the canopy

    front piece assembled and put into place.

    front hatch assembled and double hinge attached.

    Center piece is attached to the center part of the double hinge. This piece will be secured to the plane after the last back piece is in place.

    back hatch is attached to the back end of the double hinge.

    Rear part of the canopy is assembled.

    Next will be the final assembly.
  3. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Attaching the canopy

    This is the final part of this canopy.

    I have attached the rear canopy part in place.

    The main part of the canopy is now in place,

    Here is a side view of the canopy in place.

    Hatches are open.

    Now please remember that this canopy IS NOT CANON.

    Next will be the original "sliding" canopy.
  4. silveroxide

    silveroxide Well-Known Member

    I did not expect you to start on this project this fast, but great design on the hinged version. I will look forward to the sliding canopy. I have my Ideas on a sliding channel for the bottom edge but will definitely look at your idea. See you around the forums.
  5. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator

    Holy frak, that's creative! Maybe we could use this on some other project, too.
  6. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Thank you. I am quite curtain that something can be done with it.
  7. ASC Mclaren

    ASC Mclaren Member

    Very nice! I am thinking sliding canon version on the stealth that I m building. I am looking forward to the two canon builds!
  8. lehcyfer

    lehcyfer Member

    Looks fine. Great work, Chris!
  9. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Sliding canopy

    Here is the "sliding canopy". I had originally planned on having the hatched just sitting in place to give the appearance of "sliding", but decided to go ahead and make an actual sliding system.
    I know that this is not one of my better works, but this is only a "proof of concept". Had I built the entire model from the beginning (with this in mind), I would have done things a bit differently.
    I am modifying a TF that I made for a test build of the cockpit interior for this project.

    Front canopy piece assembled

    Front canopy piece in place.

    Rear canopy piece.

    Rear canopy piece in place

    Front canopy hatch. As you can see, I used pieces of tooth picks for the slide posts. (This was done for both front and rear hatch)

    Side view of front canopy hatch
  10. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    SLIDING CANOPY (continuation)

    Here is the rest of the build photos.

    Rear canopy hatch

    Center piece in place. slide rails cut on either side of cockpit interior.

    Front and rear canopy hatches in place

    Canopy hatches open.

    I realized that after I had finished this build, I should have started with the rear canopy piece and worked my way forward. That way everything would have fit better and tighter.
    OH well, you live and you learn.

    Next will be the QUAD canopy.
  11. ASC Mclaren

    ASC Mclaren Member

  12. silveroxide

    silveroxide Well-Known Member

    Not bad idea for using a tooth pick for the sliding post. My idea for the sliding post, is to use a paper clip bent to the inside config of the canopy with a L-shape tip at the bottom and using super glue to hold it in place or extending a tab at the bottm of the canopy and folding it over to hold the metal frame work in place. The L-Shape tip connector would then be placed on the inside edge of the cockpit opening. There would be four L-Shape wires to help keep the cockpit in place at the front as well as in the back. The extended front of the canopy would be a problem but with four post into the slide, it would help to keep it steady. I wish I could do a tutorial, but I am lacking my tools of the trade at the moment. Keep it up and hope to see more of your ideas as well.
  13. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    I like your idea for this style of canopy. If I had built the model from the beginning with this sort of canopy in mind, I would have worked on something a little more secure and along the same line of what your idea was. I was just using an already built plane for the tutorial.
    After you are home (and settled in), I would like to you a tutorial from you on this style.
    I have to say that I greatly enjoy viewing your builds and seeing just how you tackle various problems like this.

    Take care and stay safe.
  14. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Geez Rhaven, you don't mess around! Impressive, very impressive! :)
  15. ASC Mclaren

    ASC Mclaren Member

    I had been thinking of a C channel (possibly styrene) to be the guides and an L shape as the runners from the canopies. On the front I was thinking two, the back of the canopy and then at about 1/3 to 1/4 length from the back. On the rear I was thinking two, at the front and back.
  16. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Anyone consider the really long thin hollow coffee stirrers (they are usually red at 7/11 stores)? If you split on longitudinally, the other would fit inside it, providing a channel for mounting on the cockpit, and mounting the uncut tube on the fuselage. The cockpit mounts could be rather short, and easily manipulated as to facilitate movement and mounting. Just an idea. :)
  17. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Quad canopy

    Here is the QUAD canopy. In this segment, I made a different hinge system for the hatches. Instead of using a pin for the hinge, I used scotch (clear) tape and sticky labels (as you will see in the photos).
    I got the idea from Silveroxide, when he was talking about out to glue clear plastic on to paper to stick together with out clouding the plastic.

    This type of hinge can also be used for the two seat canopy as well.

    Part sheet (You will want at least three copies for laminating all of the parts)

    I took Scotch (clear) tape folded it onto itself. Next to it is a sticky label.

    I cut the tape into a strip (40mm X 6mm) and the sticky labels into strips (40mm X 2mm).

    I applied the sticky label strips to the tape (on both sides) to make a double hinge.

    I cut out and assembled all of the canopy parts (keeping the hatches separate).

    I attached the hinge to the underside of the center rail,
  18. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Here I have attached the hatches to the hinges.

    I double laminated the whole canopy for added strength and rigidity.

    I attached the canopy to the plane, with hatches open.

  19. silveroxide

    silveroxide Well-Known Member

    I assume that the canopy would be something like a gull wing effect folding up. That center channel for the attachements must be a B****, (Rhymes with witch) as thin as it is, it probably would be hard to control warpage. Did you place a strenghtning strip on it? It looks great, thinking and building out of the box.
  20. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Thank you for the compliment.
    Too right you are, it was B****wall1wall1wall1 to work with. It does not help matters when I have HUGE hands like bear claws.
    The tape that I used to make the hinges as well as laminating the whole canopy twice added to the strength of the center channel, so no warping.
    If you wanted to, you could run a 2mm wide strip of thin plastic down the entire center of the canopy to help strengthen it.

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