Cougar model in 1/32 scale
Matchbox / Revell Puma Helicopter Conversion
The Cougar vertical tail is much larger than that of the Puma. The chord was extended aft (about 3 mm), bulged fairings were added made from card and Milliput. There is also a large ventral fin and this was made from card. (note: you should account for this when estimating the overall fuselage length)
The Cougar tail rotor has only four
blades. Using 4 out of the 5 Puma blades , it can be made with some reshaping.
As the tailrotor diameter is 15 cm larger than on a Puma (= 5 mm in 1/32
scale) , this was achieved through the rotorhub. Also, from an old tank
from the spares box, the conical fairing was made.
Also, the horizontal stabilizer of the Cougar got an "reversed slat". Made from card and strip, this was added to the kit's stabilizer.
The lower side of the tailboom of
the Dutch Cougar has various antennas and smaller fairings. These were
made from card and some putty.
The sponson has a floating gear. This was made as a separate part with several layers of card and putty, sanded to shape.
A float gear pack is also present at the lower fuselage nose. This was
again made from card and putty. It's shape requires quite some work here.
It was decided to also show one engine compartment and the gearbox area. This will add interest to the model.
Two models of rear gearbox fairings
were made: a normal one, and one with special JDD fairings attached (more
on that later....).
(Note: the rotor gearbox bridge for maintenance as made and shown here is not symmetrical... it will be replaced later on).
The engine door at the left side will
be kept detachable. It has a kink with a working platform for maintenance
crew. This was all made with sprue and card.
Next, lets look at the Cockpit fuselage area.
First was the addition of the cockpit roof. This required a longer roof that was made from card. Fortunately, the Revell Puma kits were issued with the intake filters (called MPAI: Multi purpose air intake) to be set in front of the actual engine intakes as seen on Dutch Cougars.
The intake filter have inner nose cone. These were made from the tip of spare 'bombs'. These cones can move and close or open the intake. The positions vary depending on the pilot controls. The intakes may be seen with different left and right openings.
The roof was faired in with some putty. It was assured that later on the clear cockpit windows and doors can be added later on. (note: Cockpit detailling will be considered later on)
There are also air intake compressors
near the sides of the engine intakes. These were made from some card.
The fans were made from very thin card with cuts made for each blade.
The Cougar cockpit windows are similar in shape as those of the Puma. However, larger lower windows should be integrated in the longer (radar) nose. Also, do not forget to remove the moulded raised frame in the middle of the center windscreen. It is simply not there. Sand off and re-polish using finer grades and sandpaper and Tamiya polishing compound. It is noted here that the cockpit glazing will be installed as late as possible to prevent damage to the clear parts. The cockpit itself has two pilot positions and jump seat between the two bulkheads. Some details were added here such as a floor at the front and a new instrument hood was made from card as well as the EFIS instrument panel.
The engine exhausts can be of different type on a Cougar and are also inter- changeable. Normally, as with a Puma, a protruding exhaust pipe can be seen as provided in the kit.
Sometimes, the pipe is not fitted and an exhaust JDD (infra red suppression fairing) is fitted.
Dutch Cougars often fly with these pods and they give a nice touch to he model. So it was decided to scratch build 2 JDD fairings and to make them also inter- changeable on the scale model. The pipe was thus cut off the engine part.
The JDD fairings are seen here. Made
from scratch card.
The JDD pods have some rods and rotating points, made from plastic.
The Cougar main rotor has four blades with a larger length and curved tip. The model rotor blades will be set in a folded ship deck hangar position. The Dutch Cougars can be operated from naval cargo ships and have foldable rotor blades.
The rotor blades need also some other modifications. First, the innner parts of the rotor blades need to be changed for the AS 532; there should be a fillet in the inboard curved section and this was made from card.
As two Puma kits were used for the conversion with 8 blades available, the extra blades were be used to make the longer blades including the round tips. The blade arms inboard were shortened at the inboard section.
To strengthen the blade attachment points, with a small drill holes were drilled in the blade root areas ready to insert a piece of metal rod (use a paperclip!).
This is a very precise job. The rod is bended for each blade according the required folding angle. Each blade was clearly marked to its position.
Also a completely new hub was needed,
made from various parts. NH90 experience has been used by Eurocopter to
get an advanced rotor head.
This work takes quite some effort
and time to get right.
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Created November 6, 2005