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Modern ejection-seat handles made easy

FSM-RT0114_01

I’ve never had much success painting the striped release handles on modern ejection seats (at least in small scales). Instead, I scratchbuild them using different colors of sewing thread. Typically, I’ll knot 6" lengths of black and yellow thread together at one end, slip them through a paperclip, then tighten the loose ends in a swiveling pin vise. I clamp the paperclip to something flat and rigid, like a ruler, then spin the pin vise to wind the threads in a tight spiral. When I’ve achieved the desired effect, I clamp the pin vise to the ruler as well (keeping the threads taut) and coat the coiled thread in white glue to bind and smooth it. When the glue is dry (about 10-15 minutes), I have a single coiled strand flexible enough to shape. I can use it for face-curtain and seat-front release handles or the knife release switch on the side of the seat. The one shown here goes in a 1/72 scale Prowler.



Tip submitted by:
Greg BaleTowson, Maryland

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