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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Hosted by Tim Hatton
Best Starfighter Ever?
Cosimodo
#335
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 - 03:05 PM UTC
I reckon you're at least a couple short but then I only have 8 fingers and two thumbs so may have lost track somewhere

They look great and probably even better under a coat of paint. I have never had the confidence to do that for a whole fuselage so bravo!

cheers
Michael
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 - 12:48 AM UTC
Rivets. Some people count them. Some people make them. Sometimes - in our world at least - they are a source of intense controversy. The F-104 it seems is covered in the blighters. They are not apparent in every shot you might look at, but a close up walk around reveals the extent to which the Starfighter relies on them to keep it together. Zoom in on some of the photos in the Prime Portal link below and youíll see what I mean.

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/luc_colin3/f-104g_fx-47/

A quick look at the Italeri fuselage parts reveals some pretty rudimentary attempts to replicate all this. After a bit of deliberation I decided that the only course of action appropriate was to do something. I had think about how. After all from a distance you can barely see the rivets and I suspect age has made them more visible in the references I was looking at. So the plan is to put them in with Rosie the Riveter but when it comes to painting I wonít use a very dark wash. Iím hoping this will add texture and interest to the look without over emphasising it. The shots below were taken after some fiddling around with light to make the work easier to see. Iím doing the work now because each fuselage half sits steadily on the desk. Once they are joined the tube shape formed will roll around and add to the difficulty. So here are the rivets. Anyone counting?





Have a great day,

Steve
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 09:51 PM UTC
Steve,
The electronics bay is really starting to take shape with the combination of PE and your scratch building efforts. Impressive for sure.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 01:14 AM UTC
Hey Joel

Luckily most of what was taken out was simple flat planes. I think I could have repaired it if everything went wrong, so that got my confidence up as I reached for the razor saw.

It turns out that Eduard does provide a sort of shelf that fills most of the gap. I missed it when I was concentrating on avionics themselves. By the time I realised I had already scratched in some basic items so now there's enough detail to do the job.

Et voila...



Thanks for looking in and have a great day,

Steve.
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 07:07 PM UTC
Steve,
You're certainly fearless when it comes to cutting out major sections. I'm not so sure I'd have the internal fortitude to do what you did.

Since the resulting cut leaves the area next to the electrical boxes open, I'm assuming that there is a PE plate that goes under it for the other side d etail. So you just fill it in with sheet and putty?

Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2018 - 01:56 AM UTC
Consequences. It seems like everything in life has consequences. A consequence of test fitting the avionics pack inside the fuselage is the realisation that thereís a gaping hole once it is in place.

It's a bit exaggerated in this photo because I'm holding the parts together, but you can see the problem:



Neither the Italeri kit nor Eduard offer us anything to fill it. That left me thinking Iíd have to scratch some details, and that in turn had me checking the gun bay area because it needs a lot of modification to fit the Eduard parts and it is right next to the area of fuselage I need to work on. I didnít want to be hacking away removing chunks of plastic with delicate scratch building on the other side. One misplaced finger and details would be squashed. As a consequence of all that I made the major modifications needed to the gun bay before I started scratching the extra detail. The pictures below tell the story.

This one shows the reverse side of the gun bay - right where I need to scratch some extra interior details - and the Eduard instructions (showing the other side). Red means cut - serious surgery!





After sanding with 320 grit, 600 grit then 3000 grit sanding sticks and little bits of sanding sponge to get into the corners:



By the way, I finished off the switches on the junction box using the reverse end of my trusty rivets, supergluing them in place and then sanding them all down to the same height. That, combined with adding the last of the PE got me the finished thing. Hereís the item as it was and as it is now. It feels like it was worth the effort. Phew!



SteveAndrews
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 02:30 AM UTC
The last week has been spent wondering how to authentically reproduce the rows and rows of buttons at the front of the avionics pack. I thought long and hard about using Archer or HGW rivets but in the end decided they wouldnít give me enough depth. I looked again at the Eduard PE part and drew the same conclusion (again). That took me back to scratch building. After some unsuccessful experiments on a thick sheet of plastic card I decided that I really had to put the work in. Iím going to reproduce every little knob, well actually just enough to give a good impression of the original, and hereís how itís getting doneÖ

Starting with this plain surface.



I used double thickness Tamiya masking tape - made by simply sticking one strip on top of another - to mark out the rows. The tape sticks of course so it can be positioned on the part and the double thickness stops it from wandering when I push a pencil against it.



After a few failed attempts with wonky lines or uneven spacing I got a good guide.



Next up I ran Rosie the Riveter 1/32 scale, along the pencil lines. That give me a row of evenly space depressions which I opened up further with a small point and then drilled right through.



After some sanding to clean up the mess I was left with this.



It actually took less time than I thought, and looking at it now Iím wondering if I will simply leave it like this. Even though I have holes rather then raised buttons I could get away with it - the visual effect is similar because the buttons are black. But then it wouldnít be the best I could do. So now I have two ideas to make the buttons, which areÖ

Ögoing to be revealed in the next instalment. Hmmm, maybe Iíve been spending too much time watching Netflix. S1E7 coming soon.

P.S. This gem has helped me to keep my sanity while I figured all this out, at least thatís what I tell myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvFH_6DNRCY
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 01:33 AM UTC
Hi Joel

Thanks very much. That's a great idea to use white glue to soften a shape. I really like it and I've made a mental note to give it a try. Yup it's a cool video of the F-104G, and talking of video I'm experimenting a bit with my own and hope to have some more soon.

Have a great evening.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 10:28 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Youíve hear the expression ĎThe devil is in the detailí. Well, there have been moments recently when Iím sure that is literally true. As a piece of stretched sprue springs out of my tweezers and flies off into oblivion for the third or fourth time, I feel the torment. However, patience and perseverance pay off in the end. The avionics bay is now starting to look more like an impression of the real thing. Have a look at the real thing here (or at least a version of it. These shots are taken from an F-104G):

http://www.rolfferch.de/F104G/html/avionik.html

And here is where the scratch building has got me so far. This component isnít finished yet but itís reached the stage where I start to feel like something with proper detail is emerging. Compare theses shots to the ones of the kit supplied part a few posts back and you'll see the difference.





And thereís a challenge - all those little buttons at the back are going to be a real pain to reproduce one at a time. Eduard supplies a PE part but its more like a decal. Thereís no depth. Iíd love to avoid hours of work with dozens of microscopic bits of plastic. I can feel my sanity slipping already. Any ideas?

Oh, and talking of the F-104G, take a look this cool film with some lovely detailed close ups:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKv9lsdln7E

In the meantime have fun with your plastic guys.



Steve,
The Electronics bay is really starting to come alive with all that detail. As for those toggle switches if I wanted to make my own, I'd use stretched sprue, then once installed a coating of white glue to give them a more realistic shape.

I watched about half of the vid so far. The close-ups are really amazing.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 11:28 AM UTC
Hey Richard

No problem at all. I'm pleased to get the reminder. In fact it is using all those little rivets that I'm trying to avoid in this case. Your post reminded me about the Archer products and I'm going to check them out again, so thanks for posting.

Have a great day,

Steve.
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 06:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text



And thereís a challenge - all those little buttons at the back are going to be a real pain to reproduce one at a time. Eduard supplies a PE part but its more like a decal. Thereís no depth. Iíd love to avoid hours of work with dozens of microscopic bits of plastic. I can feel my sanity slipping already. Any ideas?






Hi Steve - beautiful work you're doing here ! Have you considered Archer Resin rivets for the buttons in question ? If you are not familiar with them they are 3 d but printed on decal film and come in a variety of diameters , spacing and patterns and all can be cut apart down to a single rivet ( or button in your case ) if needed.
Keep up the great work - Richard

Addendum - Oops ! I just read in one of your previous posts showing you used resin rivets for screw heads so obviously you're aware of them - sorry for cluttering up your blog !
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 02:34 AM UTC
Youíve hear the expression ĎThe devil is in the detailí. Well, there have been moments recently when Iím sure that is literally true. As a piece of stretched sprue springs out of my tweezers and flies off into oblivion for the third or fourth time, I feel the torment. However, patience and perseverance pay off in the end. The avionics bay is now starting to look more like an impression of the real thing. Have a look at the real thing here (or at least a version of it. These shots are taken from an F-104G):

http://www.rolfferch.de/F104G/html/avionik.html

And here is where the scratch building has got me so far. This component isnít finished yet but itís reached the stage where I start to feel like something with proper detail is emerging. Compare theses shots to the ones of the kit supplied part a few posts back and you'll see the difference.





And thereís a challenge - all those little buttons at the back are going to be a real pain to reproduce one at a time. Eduard supplies a PE part but its more like a decal. Thereís no depth. Iíd love to avoid hours of work with dozens of microscopic bits of plastic. I can feel my sanity slipping already. Any ideas?

Oh, and talking of the F-104G, take a look this cool film with some lovely detailed close ups:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKv9lsdln7E

In the meantime have fun with your plastic guys.
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 12:47 AM UTC
Hey Joel

Thanks very much. There's a photo etch part that forms an open box of sorts. I've no idea what it actually represents, but maybe someone else does?

Have a great evening,

Steve
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 08:53 PM UTC
Steve,
The detailing is really starting to make a huge difference. What goes into the huge opening on the other side of the boxes?

Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 12:53 AM UTC
A little work with some delicate photo etch, and bit more scratch building and the part is starting to look like the real thing. There's more to do but you get an impression of where it's headed. And just for good measure the reference shot is here too.





Happy modelling guys,

Steve.
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 08:52 PM UTC
Iíve tried everything short of using the Force to persuade my camera to take video close-ups but it is just not cooperating. After some frustrating attempts to film, Iíve returned to the old school method and posted some shots here.

Eduard offers some really nice PE to enhance the rim of the avionics bay, and a bit of surgery is needed to make sure it will fit later. This presents a problem in one area, as the part that needs removing is hidden deep. I decided the best way to get at it was to split the single avionics bay in two. Some careful work with a razor saw did the job, and I could reach it. The thin blade made clean cut and it will be an easy repair.

My reference photos show a lot of potential to add detail. Eduardís PE will help but it wonít do the whole job. I stared scratch building the screws on the side of the electronics and added a rim around the forward area from stretched sprue. I also added some thin strips of plastic card to simulate the lips over the cooling vents. Hereís what a few happy hours got me.







Happy modelling guys,

Steve
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 11:45 AM UTC
Hey Joel

Yup, another good technique for sure. And those magnifying glasses are now essential kit for me. They even help to locate the extra long eyebrow hairs I seem to sprout these days :-) Thanks for watching the video, despite the mixed quality.

Has a great day,

Steve
Cosimodo
#335
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 11:43 AM UTC
Nice video Steve.
I guess the approach I would have taken was to have used a saw along side the "boxes" as you did but then used a cutting disc on a Dremel 2 or 3 mm back from your required cut across since you didn't need to keep any piece of the removed plastic and then used a blade to tidy it up.
Looking forward to part two.

cheers
Michael
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 05:57 AM UTC
Steve,
Just watched your latest video. I had to laugh when you put on your magnifying glasses due to old age. Been there a long, long time wearing Optivors. 1st 3x, now 5x, and 7x before to long.

As far as the removing all that plastic, for the big chunks, I usually drill a pilot whole so I can get the tip of my Exacto saw in and start cutting the back 1st. Then I do the cuts from the side in. I find that usually the hardest cut done 1st, makes the whole process go that much faster and smoother. But that's just me.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 01:11 AM UTC
Hi guys

Right, full service is resumed and the latest instalment is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRlkfzbyoIc

I'm having trouble with my webcam still, so I'm sorry for the poor focus and resolution especially at the beginning. I hope you get something from it despite the not so great quality in places. I'm learning.

Happy modelling,

Steve
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 01:22 AM UTC
Hi Joel

I'm hoping to start this weekend, all being well. It will be a bit experimental so I hope it works out.

Have a great day,

Steve
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 03:01 AM UTC
Steve,
Looking forward to your Vlog on how you go about super detailing the electronics bay.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 01:55 AM UTC
Before closing up the two sides of the fuselage thereís one last job to do. Thatís assembling the electronics bay behind the cockpit. Italeri offer us a fairly good representation moulded as a single item. With some care when painting and a bit of scratch building this could be made to look pretty cool. Itís only when you take a look at the extras Eduard offer that you see how much potential detail there is to add. Eduard give us a mixed bag of the pre-painted PE that Iíve already fallen out of love with and some much nicer traditional PE items. I might be in danger of going on too much about the printed PE, but really in the case of the electronics bay it amounts to little more than a thick decal with mediocre printing. On the other hand the unpainted items seem to glow with helpful detail. Check out the shots below and see what you think.









The first step in uniting the PE and kit part is to remove detail from the kit part. Iím going to try and vlog how I do this and in fact take us through the whole process of building this little part, so watch this space for a link.

In the meantime I made a small correction to the interior of the engine. The piece representing the compressor blades and after-burner ring doesnít sit in the middle of the engine as it's supposed to; it seems just a bit too small and it flops around. After some head scratching I decided the best way to correct this was to add a ring of thin plastic card where the part mates with the larger piece. I chose the thinnest card I have (sorry I have no idea of the exact thickness, but think printer paper) and cut a thin strip, then glued it in place. That proved to be too thick and prevented the engine halves from mating, so I sanded it down with Tamiya sanding sponge until the fit was good.



Thatís all for now but keep watching for the vlog.

Happy modelling guys
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 01:49 AM UTC
Hey Joel

It's a pleasure - feels a bit like coming home. Thanks very much for the welcome. Normal service is restored.

Have a great day,

Steve

Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 02:22 AM UTC
Steve,
Welcome back.

the modified heads up display really does look good.

Joel