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Scratch built 1/24 South African Aerotek Ace prototype – Part 1

My first post on iModeler (first ever post of a project online!) and I have chosen a unique prototype built in South Africa in the late 80’s as a tandem turbine trainer replacement for the agiing South African Airforce Harvard instruction fleet. I attach an overview of this beautiful aircraft which lost out in the race for the SAAF replacement programme to the Pilatus PC7 MK2. Limited details of the aircraft specification are attached. I started by doing basic 3 view drawings from pictures found online and started the wooden moulds as I have vacuum formed the parts for the fuselage. I started this project in late December 2020 and am making good progress and will share updates accordingly.
I hope you enjoy!

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.


19 responses

  1. Great one! You should als check Marc Barris' updates here!
    https://imodeler.com/members/marc/

  2. Thanks Michel, I have seen Marc’s fantastic work over the years as I have a special interest in the SAAF aircraft. Marc is a brilliant scratch build modeller!

  3. This is such amazing work, Adrian @adrianstarling!
    Building from scratch is for me, one of the most fascinating aspects of our hobby.
    Looking forward to your progress.
    Welcome aboard!

  4. Welcome to the group Adrian. I am sure you will find this modeling community to your liking. Looking forward to see more of your work!

  5. What a fantastic project Adrian! Welcome aboard iModeler.

    Perhaps you may want to start a thread on the project in the "Groups" section on this one - that way (at least I think so) it is a lot easier to follow the progress from start to finish, instead of having to sift through the headlines section. I would like to suggest the "Work-in-progress, Aircraft" group.

    Now, of course it is all your decision, just do what you find works for you! No matter where you will place the "log" I will be following this very exciting scratchbuild project. Thank you for sharing @adrianstarling.

  6. Many thanks Erik, I will certainly transfer the project to Aircraft, Groups and thanks for the help.

  7. Welcome Adrian.
    What a fantastic project to enter this community.
    I'm definitely going to follow this build.

  8. Many thanks John for the kind words, I will keep the updates coming!

  9. This is a cool project, and a very nice-looking aircraft! Too bad it didn't make the cut.

  10. You are right Greg, great design needs recognition!

  11. Scratchbuilding airplanes is way outta my league but I have scratchbuilt some freightcars (1/48) in my railroad hobby. I always say it's like building a kit but you have to make all the parts first.

    Watching this with interest, some real, honest modelmaking here.

  12. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Welcome to the forum Adrian.
    Very nice and appealing project.

  13. This is going to be good, looking forward to your updates, welcome to the best modeling site around.

  14. Many thanks Marc, I must thank you for getting involved. I have followed your builds very closely over the years and we have similar aircraft interests. I have currently got 2 main builds ( Ace and Mirage F1az) on the bench and 2 hanger projects (Atlas Kudu and Cessna 210 Centurion) all in 1:24. Hope the Albatross is going well!

  15. Update time – I have shown the fuselage/ canopy wooden mould bucks ( 1/24 scratch Mirage F1 AZ in the background) from which the parts were vacuum formed in 1.5mm ABS and the individual parts were cut from the sheet. I then started building the wing root connection, cockpit floor and front gear bay housing as a single part. The tail fin and rudder will be hinged and form the structure of the two fuselage halves. In my opinion, this is the key element of the fuselage as it lines up everything correctly and ensures that the fuselage/wing and front undercarriage all align later at the assembly stage. Currently all parts are only tacked in place to check the fit. Onward we go and enjoy the pics!

    13 attached images. Click to enlarge.

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