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So with all the main holes cut out, and the surface sanded and filled smooth, it was time to start fitting the bits in.
While these small bits fit well just from cutting the holes out, to get a really perfect fit, its best to cover the parts in a water based releasing agent, then apply a bit of car body filler round the edge of the hole and push the bit through. Then wipe the access filler off, and by doing it this way makes sure there are no gaps round the side when finished. Once the filler is dry the parts just push out, leaving you to sand the surface nice and flat to match the rest of the dome.
The logic surrounds, were simply apply a bit of filler round the edge, but the holo projector being a larger diameter ring, meant there was a slight gap at the back where the dome curved but the holo retaining ring didnít this just needed a thicker layer of filler applied to the back and lip, the retaining ring pushed in place. This way the ring is bedded down nicely, and when glued will be held firmly in place.
By doing it this way when the dome and parts are painted and finally assembled, everything will have nice clean crisp edges, no nasty gaps or wonky bits for people to see.
So with the hard work done on this bit, being the prototype was made, then a mould made of that, and then a cast made of that, to bring us here to the finished and ready for trimming dome.
Unlike making it in styrene or other sheet plastic, being made from fibreglass it needs no reinforcing parts inside, which give you the maximum amount of room for filling with things to work and pop up.
Itís now just a case of fitting them all in, and getting them to work
As the dome was made from a mould, prior to the mould being made of the prototype, all the various panels, doors and holes were marked on the prototype so they would be in the mould, then on the cast copy when made.
This means areas to be painted a different colour are pre marked out, and things to remove or cut out are marked too. This makes life a lot easier, and also means any mistakes were made and corrected on the prototype, so this should be perfectly marked out.
So the first thing to do was to cut out the sections that needed to be holes. I have a dremel alike tool with a long flexible drive shaft on, which makes cutting out much easier than trying to use a traditional dremel type tool. No bulky body, just a pen size tool, with interchangeable cutter on the end. This was used for the square holes, but as I have most size tank cutters these were used for the round holes, giving a nice neat finish.
Its actually surprising just by cutting a few holes just how much it changes appearance. With the holes cut I used a bit of car body filler so smooth over any joins or rough bits, then sanded it all flat with some fine sandpaper.
The work on this page is ongoing, so the page will be updated as it progresses :)
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These vent panels are my own creation based on the limited pictures of an R6 dome available. The only pictures I could find which were hand drawn, show a vent that matches the size roughly of the segment panel next to it, and has five slats.
So armed with that info, I set about making a small vent. I wanted it to have a slight lip as well so it could be pushed flush with the dome, and be secure at the same time.
The same filler process was applied to this for a snug clean fit.
From the pictures we know there is one at the front, but the back has never been seen, so its anybodies guess whatís there. As that was the case, I put one in the back as well. While we might never know the rear dome detail, being a newer model, with more gadgets in the dome, more cooling seemed only sensible.
As mentioned the progression angle from R5 to R6, it seemed correct to keep the lips round the recessed sections. It really looked bare without them, and they just finished it off nicely.
I am not sure what the rod type bits are meant to be, but again I opted to progress from the R5 and have all three different. The two side ones are turned from aluminium, and the rear one when done will be from copper.
They are held in place quite simply by having a thread cut in each end and a bolted from inside.
Also you can see in various pictures the scoring on the sides. This was taken from the picture available where seen and made up where its not. The front is quite clear in the pictures, but again the back is a guess. When R6 is finished, the dome will be sprayed satin white, and the scored section orange.
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As I was planning on having an extra 12v battery in the dome, to operate the latching realys, as one of the problems with them if the voltage drops below a certain level, they switch off, and I found when running several things at the same time the draw bring the power level down to below there shut of voltage and they disengage. This cause in the case of the periscope for it to just judder up and down, as the voltage rises and falls. By having a separate battery as they current they draw is very low they will always work, even if the main batteries run out.
It pivots on my own version of the robart hinge, which has an extra bit added which you can just about make out in the second picture as the straight top to the hinge arm. This extra bit allows for the operating arm to attach here and allow a solenoid to open and close it.