Airwolf Surveillance Pod Version 2


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, 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 .   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 major surgery!



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 smaller cameras.



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) 



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