Vacuum Formed: P-47N Part 13

The vacuum formed canopy is a great invention. I find these things to be very useful, and replace the kit canopy with a vacuum formed replacement whenever I can.

Yes. I am one of “those guys.”

I don’t find the vacuum formed (vac for short) canopy to be so difficult. I cut it out with a small pair of scissors.  

I cut along the line indicating the edge of the canopy. Can you see it in the following photograph?

How about now?

Cut up to a point near that line. Then finish the trimming with a sharp hobby knife. Make sure it’s a new blade. It’s worth the effort. On a really small model, the difference is noticeable.

I think there are two reasons that model builders develop a fear of vac canopies. First, they try to follow the bizarre instructions written out by people who try to use these things who have lost their near vision and haven’t been able to correct this with glasses, contacts or magnification. Secondly, they themselves are similarly afflicted.

You can’t cut what you can’t see. If you can’t see the line you are trying to cut to, then you need to get vision “help” to see it. Above all, don’t attempt to do something with a vac canopy that just doesn’t make sense. Don’t try to “sand” the excess away. That makes no sense. Don’t try to place the canopy on the model and cut away at it until it fits. That makes no sense. Finally, make sure that the canopy was made for the kit you are building. They are made to fit certain kits. You may be able to get around this but not on your first attempt. Give yourself a break.

The best and most wonderful vac canopies are made by Falcon Models of New Zealand. Wonderful, wonderful products.


2 Replies to “Vacuum Formed: P-47N Part 13”

  1. Dan, a question about canopies, normal or vac;

    What do you use to affix them? I always find I need to leave a little bare plastic on the model for normal styrene canopies, and depending on the aircraft, I can still see that plastic when I am done.

    1. This question made me think a little bit. I tend to use PVA white glue or Future (sorry!) to attach canopies, and if a canopy has some really weird setup I’ll use Tombo glue because that stuff will stick to anything. The Tombo glue can be a bit of a problem because it never becomes “unsticky” so you have to be careful. You can’t just wipe it off, either. Very stubborn. I’ve learned the hard way– no super glue, no solvent glue.

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