Well, I had the surveillance
pods all finished, and then I was talking to John at Gearbox Hobby,
and he said "dude, you are SO lame! You built camera pods
without a working camera? I thought EVERYTHING was going to
work!" Chagrined, I went home that night and went back online and
ordered a bunch more lenses from UXSight.com, and a pair of 900 MHz
cameras (so as not to interfere with my Spectrum's 2.4 GHz). I
wanted to build 2 brand new ones from scratch for two reasons:
First, in case I screwed up completely, and second- I hope to swap the
originals for some copies of resin bits from the Carbon Airwolf being built by Ben
from Cine-Scale and Jean-Yves from www.airwolf.fr.
I should mention here that the French Airwolf site has photography I have
not seen ANYWHERE else! He really has a collection. In
addition, his Airwolf (same exact fuselage) is further along than
mine, so I have the opportunity to see their steps before I leap...
Here is an example of one of his unique pics:
Anyway, the first step is to
re-build the boxes, again using the Cine-Scale unit as a
template. This time, I really laid into the 2-parrt clear coat,
to create a perfect fillet inside the joints. This saved me tons
of work, and gives me a really nice platform to build from.
Last time, I made almost
everything out of Delrin. Solid, but impossible to glue,
everything had to be blind-screwed together! This time, I made
about two thirds of the parts from basswood. The surfaces have
to be puttied and sanded to hide the grain, but final assembly will be
easier. It is really important, as the pod will be
"sealed" inside the fuselage, set inside a window, and
fiberglassed on. If a part were to fall off, it would require
Cylindrical parts, like the auto focus
assembly on the upper camera were made on the lathe and mill:
Most of the lenses were
used "as-is", but there are a TON of smaller cameras in the
pod. I resolved to do them ALL, and lathed down a bunch of extra
lens assemblies to harvest the smaller lenses inside them for the
You can see below, the
center cameras, with their side-looking lenses, which are fit into
"glamour" washers from a T-Rex 600. The art on the
focusing ring was created in Photoshop at 1200 DPI, then printed onto a
label. Coloring the side of the cut labels with a sharpie removes
the "label" appearance, and thin strips of aluminum tape
finish off the focusing ring.
Just prior to final
assembly, here are all the components of the Surveillance Pod Rev
2.0 I am much happier with this version so far, although I have spent
over a week on this darned things!
Prior to final assembly, we
test the Color Video cameras to make sure they function. Once
attached, they would be a pain to swap out!
Now we assemble everything
together (I ended up using screws as well as JB Weld), just to make sure
I don't have to remove these pods EVER.
And here I am holding One
of the pods against the opening, to see what it will look like (of
course, a tinted window goes over the whole thing)