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Jessie The Jeep

My Flying Control Jeep

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Earlier this year, I started to change my Jeep more along the lines of a Flying Control vehicle. Lynne didn't want the whole vehicle checkered, so I started out with a warning checkered flag and Flying Control across the screen. This was seen on the 'Route To Victory' tour.

 

In early August, after a bit of searching around, I picked up a second summer top for the Jeep for the bargain price of £20! That was painted checkered to help the overall impression, but Lynne still didn't want the Jeep to go checks.

 

After joining a newly formed USAAF forum, someone posted some pictures of original Flying Control Jeeps, one of which shows a jeep with a checkered canvas, but the rest appears to have remained green. Now having seen an original like this, I felt happy to keep the bodywork of my Jeep green.

fc_jeep1.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Having looked at the other Jeep pictures, I decided my Jeep still needed further work. On the original F/C Jeeps, several of them had a lighted direction box on the back to give instructions to a pilot following the Jeep. I liked the look of this and set to making one.

 

Power will come from the Jeep trailer socket with the arrows connected to the Jeep indicators, 'STOP' connected to the Brake lights, and 'GO' to the Headlights. The mounting position will be high up on the rear of the Jeep, leaving as much of the checkered canvas showing but not too high as to stop it from fitting through the garage door!

 

The first step was the basic light box, which will have dividers within it to separate the various light compartments. It will attach to the Hood bows with a steel framework.

fc_jeep2.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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The lighted face of the box is 4mm clear styrene, matted with 240grit wet & dry paper to frost the glazing and allow paint to key to it. The arrows and text will be masked off prior to painting black, and they will possibly tinted with coloured acetate or glass paint.

fc_jeep3.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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The first picture is of the masked clear styrene. The next picture shows the styrene painted black. After the tape was removed, it would allow the light to shine through the arrows and letters. It looks blue in the photo, but that's just the daylight creating that effect. I would have preferred the styrene to be one long piece, but to keep costs down, I was making this from my scrap box and the styrene was left over from when I made my Jeep winter doors.

fc_jeep19.jpg

fc_jeep16.jpg

 

 

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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The box was dry on Saturday morning which allowed a good sanding, then the dividers were fitted to form the various light compartments. Bulbs and wiring were also fitted. The bulb fittings were also home made to save money.

fc_jeep14.jpg

fc_jeep15.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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To hold the light box to the Jeep, I welded up a framework that bolts to the hood bows. Two half round sections bolt to the bow and then the frame is made from 1 1/4 x 1/8 steel strip. The second picture shows a close up of the mount. In this view, the front of the Jeep would be to the left. The box sits on top of the long horizontal strip.

fc_jeep21.jpg

fc_jeep22.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Lastly thing on Saturday evening, the masking tape came off the clear styrene. The STOP needs a red filter behind it, the GO will remain white light.

fc_jeep23.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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The steel frame was primered on Monday evening, and had its green added Tuesday. The box was also painted two coats of black, so that just needed the glazing screwing on. With all the paint dry and hardened off tonight, the box was bolted to the frame and the frame fitted to the Jeep. Here's a close view of the frame mounted to the hood bows.

fc_jeep31.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Last night the red transparent paint was added to the back of the styrene over the word stop. Several layers were added, gradually building up a more dense transparent covering.

fc_jeep32.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Very clever and nicely done , now in addition to its aircraft taxi duties should anyone following you on the motorway fail to understand its meaning they will have a difficult time in court !

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Wow what a good idea and very well manufactured!! And another addition that will make you even more visible on the roads :)

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Next step for the jeep is a radio to talk to the aircraft. I wanted an aircraft BC-348 radio, but at £150 complete on Ebay, I wasn't prepared to spend that. I want the case empty for a 12v battery and other supplies inside, so my other option was to make one. Here's the photos so far.

 

Steve

bc348a1.jpg

bc348a3.jpg

bc348b4.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Latest progress. The radio box is now in primer, and just needs a few areas filling and sanding, and most of the knobs and dials are made and painted. Handles and a few other small components still need making. A divider inside the box keeps the two batteries separated from the inverter compartment. I also still need to make some form of mounting tray.

bc348c3.jpg

bc348c4.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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And a couple more. Progress has now halted until tomorrow at work, when I'm hoping to get some scraps of something called 'Chemiwood', a very dense hard foam to carve the handles and other small features from. Attached is an original BC-348 picture, though a slightly different model.

 

Not looking too bad, even if I say so myself!!

bc348c5.jpg

bc348c6.jpg

bc348.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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You could always stick a cheap supermarket battery amplifier and a MP3 player inside. Thats what I've done total cost £6.50 from Tesco. Use Audacity free from the web to record voice messages and add static then just loop it. Very effective with the side effect of playing music while you go. :-D

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I don't need to add an MP3 player, I'm ahead of you already! The new 'radio' box is just to hold two 12volt batteries and inverter to run the CD player in the other crate in the back of the Jeep, which has two large speakers that can carry the sound a long way. It was originally powered by a caravan battery and inverter in another wooden crate on the right wheel arch.

 

In addition to 1940's music, I've got several aircraft engine sounds intermixed. The number of people who hear the aircraft and look up is comical! Bodge and I are also hoping to put together some Flying control to Aircraft Radio Chatter to mix in with the aircraft sounds.

 

Steve

crate.jpg

crate2.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Well it's almost finished now. Last night after work I spent 8 hours in the workshop getting it to the almost complete stage ( just waiting for some toggle switches through the post ).

 

First job after I got the 'chemiwood' was to make the handles on the sides of the radio. I started with a block the correct length and height, but wide enough for two handles. The profile was then cut on the bandsaw, and the shape sanded smooth. The piece was then run through the saw lengthways to create the two basic handles.

bc348c8.jpg

bc348c9.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Then final sanding to shape was done using 'Permagrit' needle files before finishing with wet and dry paper. Here's the handles after final finishing, just awaiting the mounting holes to be drilled; and the painted handle mounted to the radio. Real slot head machine screws are used for the details on the front face of the radio.

bc348d2.jpg

bc348d5.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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With all of the knobs, buttons and handles made, but most not yet fitted, it was time for the lettering. These were applied with lettraset rub down transfers.

bc348d6.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Last pics now with the radio in its virtually complete state ( until the toggle switches arrive ). I'm very pleased with the way it has turned out, for very little cost and around 24 hours work. I could do with making a data plate for the front too, but haven't decided on the best way to achieve that yet.

 

Once the switches arrive, they will be wired up to isolate the batteries from the mains inverter which will fit in the space in the right hand end of the radio. Next step will be to make a mount to fit it to the Jeep right hand wheel arch.

 

Steve

bc348d9.jpg

bc348e1.jpg

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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The toggle switch arrived to day, so that was fitted tonight, along with the batteries and inverter. A mount was also made to raise the radio up a little in the Jeep and allow access to the rear locker. Tomorrow night it should be fitted in the Jeep.

bc348e6.jpg

bc348f1.jpg

 

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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that is a gem. You couldn't kindly do an articale on how to, and what materials are used and how to work them etc? I'm sure a lot of us would benifit from it. :flowers:

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