Vacuforming canopies

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by cmdrted, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Well the plastic I like to use is the stuff you get from MicroMark catalog, pictured below. I've played with recycled stuff, ie from kids toys there is usually many flat pieces you can use. The best stuff that doesn't give too thick a canopy is the K&S stuff in .015 thickness. When I cut it into uniform size to fit the frame I end up with @ 6 pieces per sheet and I calculated it out to @ 25 cents a canopy. I bought a Huge sheet of PVC clear at .020 thickness 4"x8" for @ 20.00 and it comes out to @ 6-8 cents a canopy. The .020 can be used but you have to heat it dangerously close to meltdown to get a great scale thickness. This is what I used for the finished P-40 canopy that I'll show you later. It is just a tad too thick but acceptable. I prefer the .015 but no-one makes a 4x8 sheet here in the US. I'll try to find all the spares I have in various plastics to show some of the possible outcomes.
  2. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  3. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Hi guys the next installment will be soon, there are a few things I have to gather in the next few days, but the aircraft bug is starting to tug again and there is a canopy I'll vac and take some pics while doing so.. (Read wife is going shopping this weekend maybe then). As for the easy way outs for vacuforming machines, the Gold Standard is the Mattel vacuform machine. You can still find this gem on Ebay now and then. Its Pros, self contained heating, vacuum source and plastic frame holder all in one. The cons, It is an old machine and spares will have to be jury rigged if it breaks. The work area is small @ 4" x 5" if I remember right. These aren't prohibitive cons and most 1/33 scale canopies will fit this area. There is a company on the web that sells ready made vacuforming stuff for us hobbyists. It looks similar to the basic box type, you have to use an external source for heating and vacuuming, ie the standard spouse vacuum cleaner. The other con is the price on the things were expensive @ 100.00 + US from 2-3 years ago. This seemed alot as the thing was very similar to the scrap wood box I made for less than 5.00. The pros are it is an already assembled product, no scavenging for stuff around the house. They make them in all kinds of sizes, the frame for heating is already built and you don't have to jury rig anything. They recommend using your oven as a heat source. Making the molds is still up to you. Anyways more later...

Share This Page