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Bell 412 Project

   Bell 412 Project 

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The Vario Bell 412  kit No.4120  construction project. This is Brian McKay's spring project.  This Giant scale helicopter will be a reproduction of the Canadian Air force CH-146 Griffon.  The Griffon is an slightly modified version of the 412.  The Canadian forces use this helicopter for military roll as well as rescue. 
Eastern Helicopters can supply you with decals of the Canadian forces to any squadron of your choice.

                                                     

Some Features:

  • Opening doors   
  • Scale landing gear
  • Benzin Mechanics
  • Zenoah 23cc Engine
  • 1600mm 4 bladed rotor system
  • Surface details
  • Antennas
  • WSPS
First Impressions:
This fuselage is the finest piece of glass work I have ever worked on I swear I wouldn't have to use a 1/4 of a teaspoon of filler.....unreal.  The sanding is 90% completed just the doors to go which shouldn't take more than half and hour to complete.  The number of panel lines, the fit of parts, the wood work, carbon reinforced doors, 40 degree gear box .....very very impressed!!!

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Here we have all the fiberglass parts in the 412 kit, the glass work is the best I've seen, almost every major panel line is molded in ready for detailing.  At the point of this photo all the deglazing is completed and the majority of the cut-outs are done, I decided to leave the large openings in place until the wood work is done this way the fuselage is easier to handle with less chance of damage. Deglazing was all completed using 400 and 600 grit wet/dry paper with a few drops of liquid detergent in the water as a lubricant.

 

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The 40 degree gear box requires assembly but it's a very simple process, the Vario pictorial instructions take all the guess work out of it.  The gear box is than mounted in a plywood former that is glued and than glassed into the rear of the boom at a given measurement.  The boom is large enough that I could reach up inside from the front to do the glass work.  The cut-out in the boom for the gear box will be re-attached using small screws and blind nuts, so try to keep the cut line thin and straight.

Click to get hi resolution photo

The tail drive and the 40 degree gear box have to be installed more or less at the same time by doing this you can insure that the drive shaft is straight and running smooth prior to glassing the gear box into place.  The installation of the tail drive is very straight forward, nothing more than making the opening in the top of the fin and inserting the holder and drive mechanism

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This photo was taken through the front nose cone opening here all the wood framing is installed and glassed in.  Because the floor of the fuselage is almost flat the process is very simple draw a center line on the floor of the fuse as well as on the wood work, line it all up and tack it in place with some CA than get out the cloth and resin and go at it.
 

Click to get hi resolution photo


Here we have the formers installed in the nose cone again it's only a matter of finding the center lines, lining it up and glassing it in place.  This wood work ends up supporting the cockpit dash board and so on so it's important that its right on the center line.  

To complete everything above took a Saturday and Sunday in the shop, the 412 goes together like fingers in a glove to say I'm impressed would be an understatement.
 

Click to get hi resolution photo


The doors and top deck are now installed, the top deck is no problem just a matter of lining it up applying a few drops of CA than glassing it in from the inside.  You can see the first application of filler applied to the seam, it will require a couple of coats to get a nice smooth transition.  The sliding doors take a lot of time but work very well and are worth the work they slide as smooth as silk.  I can't believe how quickly this kit goes together and the fit of the parts is incredible.
 

As you can see I've been busy working on the 412. At this point the decals need to be added along with a light coat of Dead Flat Clear overcoat to dull the finish and seal the decals

Here you can see some of the added details most of the panel lines were already formed in the glass work but I have added a few just for added looks.

No panel lines on the glass fins so with the tape and paint method a few were added just for appearances.

Every panel line seen here was pre-moulded into the glass at the factory, all I've done is add the rivets to bring out the lines

The blisters were made with Bondo sanded to shape than glued to the surface the rivets were added and the paint applied

I was concerned about the amount of heat that may build up in side the fuse if I fly with the doors closed so I decided to cut these openings and add screen for an extra bit of air movement.  On the full size machine these would be radiators, but the screen will do the job I need done

             These four pictures show some of the extra panels added for effect, the panels are made from Metal Duct Tape which is cut to size and applied to the fuselage....don't forget these must be rubbed down with something smooth before painting.  A metal kitchen spoon works great

This picture gives a fairly good shot of the details working together.....it should look good on those low slow passes

             The lighting in the hanger makes it very difficult to produce a good quality picture.  
This group of pictures were taken just prior to the first trim flights.  

 

    I'm pleased to say that all went well, we added power until the machine became light on the skids than checked one more time that everything was right.  Added just a notch more power and the 412 lifted off smooth with next to no tendency to drift from the spot.  A few trim adjustments were made and we now feel confident that we're ready for the first test flights.  It's hard to believe that a helicopter weighing near twenty pounds would require so little throttle to lift off, the combination of the G23 and the multi blades give incredible lifting power.

By:  Brian McKay

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Eastern Helicopters,  Canadian VARIO Helicopter dealer for the best "Scale R/C Model Helicopters"
100 Bosse Ave,
  Edmundston N.B  Canada  E3V 4A2
PH: (506)-737-8700
  Fax (506)-737-8701  Email: Info@VarioCanada.com
 
 

Copyright, 2005, VarioCanada.com. All Rights Reserved.