I`ve always been unhappy with Calibre wings method of attaching weapons/accessories to their models. The lugs snap off, they need sanding down to fit, the accessories fall off, and they chip the paintwork around the locator holes. I`ve used s/steel pins as replacements, but it`s still not the ideal solution. WELL I`VE HAD ENOUGH!!!
This was going to be a two pronged project.
, I wanted to replace the lugs and stores mounting holes with magnets. Especially the outboard wing mounted rotating pylons.
, I also wanted to convert the supplied self defence missile pylon to fit the outboard hard point. The `MR` version seems to have asymetrical stores as a standard layout. ELINT pod on one side. Self defence missiles on the opposite side. Since this version does not carry any other weapons, and Calibre include a full `M` version loadout too, i just needed to rob a pylon from one of the un-guided rockets.
Luckily my Neodymium N42 Grade 2*1mm & 1*1mm magnets arrived this morning, so i set to work.
First thing i did was to increase the size of the outboard wing hardpoint pylon hole. The magnets are 2mm in diameter, very slightly more than the hole. This was pretty easy to do using a hand vice. I carefully glued them in, making sure the polarity was the same on both sides of the wings.
I then cut off the lugs from the outboard pylons and drilled them 1mm in depth using a 0.95mm drill bit. The 1*1mm magnets were a shade under 1mm in diameter so it`s best to drill smaller first just in case. I placed the magnets inside the hole making sure they were flush. Since these are very small and fiddly i just smeared superglue over the top to set them in. P.S. It`s very important you get the polarity right, else you`ll be digging it out!!!
Believe me, i know!!
Anyway. Since a picture or two speaks a thousand words. Here are some:-
The following images show the stores on the aircraft. These magnets are quite strong. Since the 2mm magnets attached to the wing are very slightly proud, i needed to pack the rear and front upper pylons with thin plastic card. (I`ve left them un- finished/un-trimmed so you can see them clearer. This helps in two ways. It helps with correct vertical alignment, and, the extra friction on the underside of the wing stops the stores from rotating on the smooth surface of the magnet. (The missile pylon tended to rotate out of position, as the centre of balance is way off centre). This solved it. Painting the magnets may also help. You may need a pinch of blu-tac if you are displaying this aircraft in a banking turn however.
These are working extremely well. I`m delighted in fact. I also replaced the front lug on the drop tank with a 1mm*1mm magnet leaving the rear lug (as a locator) attached to see what happened. The rear lug is not a very tight fit in the hole but with the magnet on the front of the drop tank, it holds extremely well in place anyway!!
Here are some more pics with the wings in their various positions:-
All in all a good mornings work! No more broken lugs, chips or bits falling off!!! These little magnets are strong!! Of course this system can be used for any model. It`s simple to do. I Just need to do the rest of the stores and Su-24`s too.
Just get the poles the right way round!!! and between different aircraft too!! You don`t want to go and put the stores on another aircraft and find out they`re repelled!!!
Hope you liked it. Carlo4 out!!