Painting the internal cabin walls of the LCP is a bit like the Forth Bridge, it never ends! More touching up and painting large wall sections carried out. Painting is a slow process as manpower is restricted due to the current pandemic and it is at least a week between each coat. The accompanying photo shows the standard of finish being achieved on the cabin roof, the light diffuser is one of the two originals we have.
One objective with the LCP and T86 radar refurbishment is to eliminate corrosion, most of which resulted from poor storage conditions after withdrawal from service. It is not only the large items that became corroded, we also treat small items in out attention to detail, e.g. the face plates of the 13 Amp sockets in the LCP, the accompanying photo shows a refurbished socket re installed in the LCP. The original condition of the sockets is also shown.
Work has commenced off site on fabricating new acrylic light diffusers for the LCP. The commercial cost of moulding new diffusers for the quantity needed (seven) is prohibitive so a ‘do it yourself’ approach is being attempted. First task is to create a mould and the accompanying photo shows the result, imperfections in the mould will be filled and smoothed.
Now that the internal faces of the LCP roof sections have been repainted preparation work has stated on the cabin walls prior to their repaint. The accompanying photo shows the cabin wall where the Zero Volts test set resides before rub down. The engrained dirt is plain to see.
Most of the LCP roof lights have now been replaced after refurbishing. The accompanying photo shows one of the refurbished lights refitted to the freshly painted roof .
As only two of the original diffusers remain we are pushing ahead with plans to recreate new diffusers as near to the originals as possible.
Apart from applying a few more coats of cockpit green paint to some fittings on the sides of the LCP cabin walls the three main roof sections are now complete.
Next step is to refit the light fittings which is the main task for next Saturday. All seven fluorescent light fittings have been refurbished, reassembled and tested. See the accompanying photos (apologies for the inadvertent advertising) showing a before and after.
The original fluorescent tubes were replaced by LED tubes a few years back.
Work will continue off site to fabricate new diffusers in a style as close to the originals as possible as only two original diffusers survive. A reminder that these are the two styles fitted followed by an experiment to put a curve into a flat sheet of diffuser material.
The current repaint of the LCP cabin internal walls is taking time as two coats are needed due to the poor condition of the original paint. The accompanying photo showing the L Rack end of the LCP cabin
Six roof braces and fittings have now been returned to the hangar following refurbishment off site. See the accompanying photo. The photo includes the refurbished screws used with the roof braces, one screw was found to be chromed after it was paint stripped rather than painted. Is it Bloodhound’s equivalent of the Navy’s golden rivet (Google it)?
When the LCP was acquired it had two types of light diffuser fitted, two of the original opaque style and three replacements made from prismatic acrylic and two diffusers were missing. A task is in hand to fabricate new diffusers based on the original design and the first stage is to create a mould over which the diffuser material can be shaped, see the accompanying photo showing the mould made from one of the original diffusers prior to finishing. Next, it’s finding suitable diffuser material as near to the 1964 diffuser that can be found.
Internal painting of the LCP continues and after all the preparation it’s time for a top coat Here is a clip from a training video to get an idea of what it looked like originally
The repaint is making a dramatic change to the inside of the LCP as the dirt encrusted and faded paint of 55 years ago is covered over with a fresh coat of cockpit green. This photo shows a repainted section of the LCP cabin.
One of many items we still have to resolve is replacement of light diffusers. There are two different types fitted and we would like to return to the original fit. Here is what they look like and are wondering if any of our followers has someone who could fold sheet acrylic (2mm opal or 3mm prismatic) to the right profile as spares appear to be unobtainable. Remember we have no income other than our own funds so a freebie would be preferred. They are 66cm long 13.7cm around the arc, 10.9cm along the chord and 3.6cm from the chord to the circumfrence.