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Paul T23/03/2020 20:30:16
7110 forum posts
1202 photos
2 articles

Dear All

Like many members with poor health I have locked myself away in an attempt to avoid this terrible virus.

Given that I could be isolated for many months I have decided to build a model that I have wanted for a very long time, a ¼ scale WW2 Hawker Typhoon, yes I know its not a boat but the Typhoon is one of my bucket list builds along with a Mosquito and Seafire.

To help with cutting out all the bits I have abandoned the bandsaw and invested in a 40w laser.

For the thick end of £300 it is a considered purchase which bumps up by another £200 when you buy the ancillary bits but it is the most amazing machine and cuts to a tolerance of +/- .01mm.

Instead of hours of back breaking work on the bandsaw I just press the button and drink coffee whilst the machine does all of the work.

Yes I still have to work up the drawings on CAD but instead of printing out templates I simply convert the drawings into SVG and send them to the laser cutter.

I will post some photos tomorrow.


ashley needham23/03/2020 20:50:52
6488 forum posts
218 photos

Hmm...could do with one for my saucer (death Ray)...

Look forward to seeing this Paul. Bit of a game changer in the cutting stakes. Presumably cuts Acrylic and so on?


Ray Wood 223/03/2020 21:22:21
1914 forum posts
684 photos

Hi Paul,

I will follow with interest, being a life long aeromodeller, the tech has moved on, a friend has printed me a Spitfire 67" span made of 50 modules beautifully 3D printed its a work of art, but it's really a massive Airfix kit. Electric powered.

Will the Typhoon be a flying model?

Regards Ray

Paul T23/03/2020 21:22:45
7110 forum posts
1202 photos
2 articles

Hi Ashley

Yes it cuts Acrylic like a knife through butter.


Bob Abell24/03/2020 06:02:36
8847 forum posts
2758 photos

Hello Paul........Long time no talk?

I'm really impressed with your latest hi tech adventures of late

I also like the Hawker Typhoon. A lovely powerful design that proved it's worth towards the end of the war

Looking forward to the build very much. Like Ray, I am an RC enthusiast, having built dozens of planes. The most memorable one was a 1/4 scale piper Cub with an OS four stroke that swung a 20" prop

It was easy to fly. I was a privileged member of the Woodford Model Flying club and it was exciting flying on the AVRO airfield........In the footsteps of the Lancaster and Vulcan etc

Anyway, please show us what you are up to please

All the very best, old man


redpmg24/03/2020 08:01:46
81 forum posts
9 photos

Just be careful with it and protect your eyesight - Laser Radiation is not good for you or your sight - presume at the price it is an enclosed unit. . The eye surgeons use lasers which use limited power and a strictly controlled beam . A flash off something from 40w is enough to blind you for good and do further damage - can also cut a finger off if you are really careless or casual about safety . (has happened - but not to me) - So treat the Laser with respect.

Have owned and used a large commercial laser for over 10 years now - better half has owned one since the early 90/s. So not trying to be a scaremonger - just trying to give a bit of advice.

They are so useful when making things - but you also have to put in a lot of effort drawing items to suit. - always laugh when i hear - oh that's easy - you just put it in and the machine does the work - without any idea of the work behind the drawing for "it"

One small tip - if you are cutting something very narrow - say 1 or 1.5mm / (1/16 strip) don't forget to add the width of your laser beam or it will be clearly undersized - on ours I add between .3 and..5mm depending on the size and material being cut . When cutting balsa strips at a fairly fast speed I use .3 added ie 1.5 use 1.8 , 6mm use 6.3 etc for the true size when cut.. Components are not a problem since they are designed to fit together - and all of them loose the .15mm or so beam cutting width..

Good luck and enjoy your machine - it is a real step up.

Chris Fellows24/03/2020 11:05:23
666 forum posts
376 photos

Hi Paul

Good to hear from you again.

Interesting that you have bought a laser. Something new to get to grips with.

Doubt I will be getting one (I've only got a scroll saw so far) but how big are they and can you do laser etching for e.g. deck planking.


Paul T24/03/2020 12:15:35
7110 forum posts
1202 photos
2 articles

A few photos





Ray: I tried 3D printing but the parts were to heavy plus the fact that my 3Dprinter is quite small so I couldn't print the larger pieces. Yes it will be a flying model but not sure if it will be electric of petrol, electric will be easier but have limited flight time, petrol will sound better and have a longer flight time but the bits of engine sticking out of the body can ruin the look of the model.

Captain Bob: The Typhoon and Tempest were very impressive aircraft and, for me better than the Spitfire, the laser will let me cut out all of the parts but I don't know where I will keep the plane when it is built, at 1/4 scale I will need a hanger. Photos of Spitfire and Seafire for you and Ray.

Red: I researched this for a long time before buying it, I also bought a good pair of laser goggles at the right frequency for the 40w laser. Thanks for the cutting tip.

Chris: You can get a good idea of size from the photos but the actual cutting area is only 300mm x 200mm , it etches very well and is ideal for etching complicated deck planking.

The laser itself is a decent piece of kit for the money but the 'support kit' that comes with it is cheap and best replaced with better equipment.

For example the supplied fume extract is a cheap fan and a paper hose, I replaced them with a good 'inline' fan and steel hose.

The laser has to be water cooled and the supplied equipment is a small fountain pump that you are advised to place in a bucket of water and hope that it cools the tube, I replaced it with a sealed chiller filled with distilled water.

Last of all I added an 'air assist' which blows air over the cutting point and really helps with a decent cut, for my first attempt I used an airbrush compressor but this overheated so I replaced it with a large air pump, usually used with large fish tanks.



Edited By Paul T on 24/03/2020 12:25:42

Colin Bishop24/03/2020 12:55:15
4476 forum posts
6055 photos
396 articles

All very impressive Paul, do keep us posted on progress.

And keep safe.


Bob Abell24/03/2020 13:13:26
8847 forum posts
2758 photos

Hi Paul

Sounds like you've made a rod for your own back?

Didn't realise you had made these large planes?

Looking forward to the Typhoon build, a small model could be electric powered, but a 1/4 scale sounds a bit iffy?


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