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F-23A in 1/48

F-23A YF-23 hobbyboss 1/48

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#1 F`s are my favs

F`s are my favs

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 11:52 AM

What a kit! I just got the infamous YF-23 kit in 1/48 and although i could possibly start it after quite some time from now, i`m opening this thread now. I came across a few marvelous builds here and there, but could not managed to find the best build. So i`ll try to make the best one :) My vision is of a real F-23A conversion such as if it was the chosen plane in the 90`s. In brief, i`ll try to make the exact same outlook (painting/weathering) of a typical Raptor as of nowadays, but will also make all the corrections/edits/improvements that had to be implemented in the prototype version... once upon a time. :)) I know about the yf-23.net site and most of my references are from there. Nonetheless - just a quick stroll through the HobbyBoss`s kit:

image.jpg

image.jpg

And that`s it - just 2 sprues except the main surfaces and the clear parts. But the details are amazing in terms of quality. The occkpit is ginormous. I couldnt resist to testfit the main surfaces - they all are from 2 halves. What a plane!

image.jpg

image.jpg

If i love the Raptor 9 out of 10, this Black Widow is 8.5 out of 10. (of cource my first place is still for the STOVL Lightning II). So i could deffinitely say that this is strictly one of my most faved planes. It`s huuuuge for this scale... just about the same as the Blackbid in 1/72:

image.jpg

Thx for lookin! I`ll develop the build more thoroughly in ARC, but will update it here too, when/if i start building it... some day.
This plane rocks. Just starring at it is making me feel :wow: :tumble: :wow:.

Edited by F`s are my favs, 30 November 2017 - 09:59 PM.

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#2 Jennings Heilig

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 07:35 PM

I know everyone at Northrop thought they had the better airplane, and that it was killed off by politics.  It was *surely* better looking than the pregnant guppy that is the F-22.  But Lock-Mart has more money for lobbyists than Northrop did, so here we are.


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"It's all part of the show..."


#3 F`s are my favs

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 08:19 PM

Jennings, awesome thoughts, I agree. And especially for the "pregnant guppy" - hehehh, exactly, but it's quite beautiful too. Its vertical volumes are pretty appealing, yet the rhomboid arrangement/shapes of the intakes is the thing I like the most in the Raptor.
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#4 Chek

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:38 AM

It was only when I saw the Italeri 1/72 models of the YF-22 and YF-23 side by side back in the '90s that I appreciated how much more enclosed volume the YF-22 Raptor-to-be had, which is an important consideration for stealth designs.

 

I agree the Northrop design is much prettier and more interesting, and as Jennings alludes, PAV-2 (87-0801, the light grey one) was the fastest of the four ATFs in terms of supercruise capability (Mach 1.8 without reheat). Although top speed was artificially red-lined at Mach 2 for all the ATF airframes as the stealth coatings then used began to delaminate above that, and none of the contenders employed the vari-ramp inlets needed for Mach 2+ flight..

 

What's interesting to me is that Northrop's FB-23 derivative has eliminated the deeply sculpted topside 'valleys and hills' of the original and embraced internal volume as a virtue just like the YF-22.

 

FB-23-4.jpg


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#5 F`s are my favs

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:58 AM

Oh wow, I had no idea about such "B" version.... The nose kinda reminds me of F-111. Yet the "rugged terrain" on top is what gives the charm of the F-23. I'll try to smoothen all the curved shapes for a proper conversion. ;)
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#6 F`s are my favs

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:29 PM

Hi guys. The cutting and sawing started... i got a rotary tool, which facilitated the cuts quite a lot. :) Indeed, the major recreation of the new shape is done, but still not finished for taking beautiful pics. The intakes were widened, the engine faces too, and then i cut the intakes for easier mounting and further reshapement:

 

photo_2.jpg

 

photo_5.jpg

 

The rudders: their profiles are thinned with a couple of mm from the bases. This is how they looked before, as they were oob:

 

photo_3_1.jpg

 

After instalation of small PE pieces to keep the corners sharp and edgy:

 

photo_4_1.jpg

 

Now they are glued, so now i have to extend them a little bit more too, further thin the profiles by scratching and sanding the outer sides, sharpen the edges, and will take comparison pics. Thanks. Cheers!


Edited by F`s are my favs, 30 November 2017 - 09:32 PM.

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#7 Chek

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:51 PM

After installation of small PE pieces to keep the corners sharp and edgy:

 

Hi Milan,

 

One tip I can offer at this point, which I learned when making the Contrail XB-70 vac many years ago, is to first lightly sand your edges

to get them perfectly straight.

 

Then anneal some landline phone wire in a gas flame, then pull it through a pad of wire wool to strip off the chrome leaving bright copper wire.It can then be rolled flat (the heating takes the spring out of it) between a steel ruler and a glass surface (or anything hard and flat enough). Then superglue it to the 'ledge' you've sanded on the edge of your model part. 

 

After five minutes or so, your edge can then be wet sanded to a good, clean straight edge (or even a knife edge if you need it sharp like on a Valkyrie) which will be perfectly straight and consistent, and won't chip or go wavey like non-metal reinforced edges can sometimes do.

 

You can of course duplicate curves from your drawings where required, or just butt joint the wires at angled corners.

 

HTH


Edited by Chek, 30 November 2017 - 11:54 PM.

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#8 F`s are my favs

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 06:15 AM

Got you. Really sounds nice and i should try it, but at first glance i don`t think i have the wire required. And btw the plastic of this kit is rather hard and i`m just about sure that the edges in their entire lenghts could easily be thinned and sharpened. 


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#9 Tomcat14

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 02:17 AM

Looking foward to this build as well. I have one I am going to do next year sometime to.

 

Chris


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#10 F`s are my favs

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 10:13 AM

The intakes thing is undergoing a major reconfig from the fuselage side too. That`s the silhouette before:

 

photo_1.jpg

 

photo_2.jpg

 

photo_3.jpg

 

And after rounding the leading edges of the intakes lips, and gluing the front halves of the intake ducts to the fuselage. There are a couple of bundles of stretched plastic rods to change some continuations (very hard to explain with words what is what). And a major change of the slopped areas between the intake nacelles and the nose-to-fuselage conjunctions. And the nose and tail sections are split from the fuselage piece as well. Yet the highlight here is the change of the area around the intakes. Still plenty of things to do with the lower fuselage.

 

photo_1.jpg

 

 

photo_4.jpg


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#11 F`s are my favs

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 10:14 AM

oups, + that pic too :)

 

photo_5.jpg


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#12 Tony T

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 01:08 PM

I know everyone at Northrop thought they had the better airplane, and that it was killed off by politics.  It was *surely* better looking than the pregnant guppy that is the F-22.  But Lock-Mart has more money for lobbyists than Northrop did, so here we are.


The Lockheed design incorporated thrust vectoring and a no bow frame canopy, the Northrop was slightly faster in super cruise. Sort of even-stevens. The politics, if any, were in choosing the P&WA engine over the GE submission and the B-2 running over budget and late whereas the F-117A had met its targets, giving the Pentagon more confidence in Lockheed's programme. (Don't get me started on F-35...!)

I had no idea how inaccurate the Hobby Boss YF-23 kit apparently is - difficult to recall the exact inlet geometry after 25 years.
A pretty jet, the YF-23. I always wished the Northrop-Grumman A-12 Avenger II had made it to flight test status.

Looking forwards to seeing more

Tony
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#13 F`s are my favs

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:13 PM

Nice insight, Tony!

Btw the HobbyBoss kit is not that bad for the YF version. Of couse the leading edges of the intakes were quite thick, and another issue that i know was the entire shape of the curves on the upper fuselage. Even on the prototype - the end of the humbpack/the beginning of the engine nacelles was an area with rather smooth transitions, whilst on the kit there were some strange bumps and things. Nevertheless, i plan to make them look like they should, on the F-23A variant. :)


Edited by F`s are my favs, 02 December 2017 - 11:16 PM.

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#14 Chek

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 06:31 AM

Milan I'll just mention this as you're at the point my 1/72 YF-23 stalled.

 

As with the HB kit, the Italeri intakes needed extending and modding, and due to the layout and angles, getting two symmetrical openings wasn't easy

So I used my phone wire and superglue method to attach two duplicate wire outlines. The interiors and exteriors can be worked back from them and smoothly blended in

 

Unfortunately, I sanded them razor sharp before discovering better photos showing there should be a blunter, a rounded lip. I just haven;t had the opportunity to re-do them using thicker brass wire. The boundary layer bleed hole grid squares will probably get destroyed, so I hope I can find a suitable textured heavy foil again. I can't recall if it was from a butter or yoghurt packaging now. But with adding the pre-bent wire shapes you can be sure the openings on both sides match perfectly. Just remember they're mirrors of each other if you do.


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#15 F`s are my favs

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 08:03 AM

Nice method, Chek. Btw I use a thin stretch of tape to measure two exact same lengths (for the mirrored parts). And since I'm doing a conversion, I'll have to add a zig-zag pattern all along the intake lips, which thankfully makes (the zig-zag shape) every slightly unparalleled imperfection impossible to see. For the boundary air grid - I don't worry at all, cause right in the middle of the "ceilings" I should add huge half-cone pieces, which play the role of a diffuser, almost like the Blackbird intake cones, and they will be some of the most noticeable parts nearby the intakes.

Edited by F`s are my favs, 03 December 2017 - 08:04 AM.

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