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1/32 Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- May 16/17 Ramp Hinges


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#31 chuck540z3

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 04:07 AM

Thanks Guys.

 

A few points before I get started if you can please indulge me.

 

1)  Although I will try to make this bird as accurate as possible, I am not a big stickler for exact details as I used to be.  Beauty trumps accuracy all day long for me recently, which is why I stuck an A-10A cockpit in my A-10C build 2 years ago.  The Cutting Edge A-10A cockpit is the best resin cockpit I have ever seen, so it stayed, right or wrong.  More on that later as you will see.

 

2)  I am always looking for tips, especially from you guys who have built this model before and I am always open to new ideas.  I have some questions already at the end of this post.

 

3)  I may or may not take your advice.  Please don’t take that as a slight if I don’t, because I am always weighing the work involved vs. the potential improvement.  Sometimes I just punt and move on if I don’t think the effort is equal to the reward.

 

4)  If I screw up, please let me know publicly.  I’m a big boy and I’ll never be perfect, so pointing out my errors might help others.  Conversely, I might not have made an error, so it gives me a chance to explain.

 

5)  Like most of you guys, I build in spurts, so if I don’t post for a month, I haven’t given up on the build.  I don’t have a “shelf of doom” yet and I don’t plan on starting one any time soon.

 

6)  I will be referring to Jake Melampy’s “Modern Eagle Guide” a lot as I go through certain details and any technical stuff I yak about will be straight from Jake’s book.  I freely admit that I know almost NOTHING about the Eagle and I’m not showing off with my technical know how.

 

 

So here we go.  As shown in the first post, I have both the Aires and Avionix (formerly Black Box) resin cockpits.  Aires is famous for excellent resin detail that doesn’t fit and it invariably is too short in one direction or another, which is usually easy to fix.  BOTH resin cockpits have horrible instructions, so a lot of construction is hit and miss.  Here’s the Aires pit, which is for a “Late” F-15C.

 

 

Cockpit1.jpg

 

 

Here is the Avionix one and I’m not sure if it’s an early or late version, but it sure has a lot of parts!  I’m liking this pit already for ease of painting and detailing.

 

 

Cockpit2.jpg

 

 

Now some close-up side by side comparisons.  Notwithstanding that the Aires resin has missing handles on the Internal Counter Measure System (ICMS) components in Bay 5 (See, I’m quoting Jake Melampy already!), the Avionix resin on the bottom is a lot more detailed.  Handles are added later using wire.

 

 

Cockpit3.jpg

 

 

Front cockpit is sort of a tie.  The Aires pit has nicer throttle handles (Avionix are separate), but the Avionix pit has a more detailed oxygen hose spaghetti on the right.

 

 

Cockpit4.jpg

 

 

The Aires front instrument panel, however, blows away the Avionix one which is not even as good as the kit part.  Further, the Avionix pit doesn’t have the detailed glare shield/coaming.

 

 

 

Cockpit5.jpg

 

 

The Avionix seat is more detailed, but much harder to paint the tiny detail like seatbelts.  The Aires seat has separate brass seat belts and other bits on the previous pic, so the nod again goes to Aires.

 

 

Cockpit6.jpg

 

 

With the above info and already knowing that the Aires cockpit is a bit short front to back, I will be using a composite of both the Aires and Avionix pits.  I will use mostly the Avionix pit, but I’ll use the Aires instrument panel /glare shield and the seat.  I might even use some kit parts and I will definitely be adding some scratch built parts and plumbing here and there.

 

 

First order of business is to remove the side wall detail from the kit parts.  I find that using a sprue cutter to get off the big chunks off followed by this sanding bit in a rotary tool works best.  Avionix cockpits are famous for being too fat with the side walls attached, so I will no doubt be doing some more grinding of plastic and resin later to keep the fuselage from swelling.

 

Cockpit7.jpg

 

 

 

There are not many things I truly hate in modeling, but cutting off big blocks of resin is surely one of them.  It’s very dusty and dirty and it’s hard to handle the parts without ruining fine detail. After the majority of the base block is cut off with a razor saw, I rub the base on a sponge sanding block to smooth things out and erode a bit more resin as required.

 

 

Cockpit8.jpg

 

 

 

Dry fit on the kit front gear well the cockpit sits on, the front and back parts fit within the front fuselage reasonably well.

 

 

Cockpit9.jpg


Edited by chuck540z3, 23 February 2016 - 01:45 PM.

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#32 chuck540z3

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 04:10 AM

But on closer inspection, there is a bit of a gap at the front, where the front tab does not meet the kit part.

 

 

Cockpit10.jpg

 

 

Going back to the drawing board, I made up a few of the kit cockpit parts to see how they fit.  The gap is even bigger!

 

 

Cockpit11.jpg

 

 

There is also a hole in the kit part and Avionix pit that lines up with a hole in the missing top fuselage halve, but for the life of me, I cannot find any reference to this hole in the instructions.

 

 

Cockpit12.jpg

 

 

It is possible to force the front tab down when the cockpit is enclosed in the front fuselage and glue it down, but I hate forcing things and I still want to know what the hole is for.  A screw maybe- and the instructions just forgot to mention it?

 

 

One more question.  I note that the front landing gear leg should be installed when the front fuselage halves have been glued together.  I was think of opening up the hole in the metal leg to allow a later installation- like at the very end of the build.  I HATE landing gear hanging down during a build.  I'm always worried about damaging it, as I was with my P-38L project.  Any workarounds for this?

 

 

Thanks for any tips and tricks you can provide.

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck


Edited by chuck540z3, 23 February 2016 - 04:13 AM.

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#33 FunkyZeit

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:43 PM

Cool. You gonna make it to the edmonton show this year?

 

Justin



#34 Peterpools

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:57 PM

Chuck

Terrific comparison between the Aires and Avionix sets. Excellent decision on going with the best of both but my vote would have been to use the more detailed Avionix seat as well.

Looking forward to settling in and being along for the entire journey.

Keep 'em coming

Peter


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#35 dmthamade

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 12:41 AM

That tab with a hole in it never connected to anything. You're good to let it hang not touching anything. I always installed the nose gear when prompted. Never did find a workaround for it but never did cause it damage during build. It's a very sturdy piece of white metal.

 

Don


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#36 Tomcat14

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 02:42 AM

Gonna be a Terific build chuck. I think you plan so far sounds good enough for now unless you needed to adjust it along the way in the build. Good Luck and I will keep this one one my Radar.

 

Chris.



#37 Scotsman

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 11:55 AM

Looks to be an epic build - to make for an easier build as regards fitting the wings , attach the upper wing halves to the upper fuselage piece  that way the annoying step that usually results from adding the complete wings to the assembled fuselage is removed .. other than that have fun ..

 

colinR


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#38 chuck540z3

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 03:40 PM

Cool. You gonna make it to the edmonton show this year?

 

Justin

 

Hi Justin.  The answer is not likely.  A 600 km round trip is a long way to go in one day and I did it once a few years ago.  While I enjoyed the model contest and won a few medals, the drive just wasn't worth it.

 

 

Chuck

Terrific comparison between the Aires and Avionix sets. Excellent decision on going with the best of both but my vote would have been to use the more detailed Avionix seat as well.

Looking forward to settling in and being along for the entire journey.

Keep 'em coming

Peter

 

Thanks Peter.  I have been working hard on fitting the Avionix cockpit into the front fuselage and although I'm winning so far, it is a very big job with trimming and dry fitting hundreds of times.  I remember doing the same thing with an Avionix pit in my F-4E build and I bet it took me a month to get everything tucked in there correctly without swelling the front fuselage.

 

 

That tab with a hole in it never connected to anything. You're good to let it hang not touching anything. I always installed the nose gear when prompted. Never did find a workaround for it but never did cause it damage during build. It's a very sturdy piece of white metal.

 

Don

 

Thanks Don.  I suspected as much, but it's great to hear it from a guy who has built 5 of these big pigs.  Tamiya must have had plans that changed, because the front tab sure looks like it was made for a screw.

 

As far as the front landing gear is concerned, I'm not worried about breaking it as much as damaging it once I paint and detail it.  We'll see what I can or cannot do when I get to that stage.

 

 

Looks to be an epic build - to make for an easier build as regards fitting the wings , attach the upper wing halves to the upper fuselage piece  that way the annoying step that usually results from adding the complete wings to the assembled fuselage is removed .. other than that have fun ..

 

colinR

 

 

Thanks for the tip sir!
 


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#39 logical

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 05:39 PM

I'm beginning to regret ordering the Aires pit for my F-15C now.


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#40 chuck540z3

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 07:02 PM

I'm beginning to regret ordering the Aires pit for my F-15C now.

 

 

Don't.  Of the two resin cockpits, it is still the best- overall.  Unlike the Avionix pit, it has a nicely molding glare shield and PE instrument panel.  The fit issues are easily fixed if you don't mind a bit of a spacer at either the front or the back (or both), which I don't.  The detail is still quite good and far superior to the kit parts.  The only reason I'm using mostly the Avionix pit is that I already own it and I'm unlikely to build another F-15C.  I will also be using a few other Aires resin parts over the Avionix ones because they are a bit better.

 

Chuck


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#41 Marcel111

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 09:05 PM

Chuck, GREAT to see you start this project! This is the exact F-15C subject I have been dreaming about for a while now, so I'll be following very closely (as I would do anyway). Since I have just now come across this thread for the first time, I may have glossed over a few items but here are some quick inputs from my side to add to some pointers to those you have already received:

 

1. Pay attention to the bulge over the rudder actuator (or lack thereof) on the subject you are creating vs. what the Tamiya kit gives you. There is quite some rudder bulge variation among F-15s.

2. I would personally go for the ELTA EL/L-8212 Jamming pod, which is always carried on the port forward Sparrow station, as can be seen here: http://www.airliners...-15C/1486605/L/. The pod will be more visible on the finished model and is also a far more capable piece of equipment then that old dead gecko pod. Wolfpack makes a nice resin model of the pod in 1/32.

3. Regarding the reputation of Aires resin not fitting well, the fit on their newer stuff is phenomenal (the Aires cockpit and wheel wells I used on the Revell 1/32 EF-2000 fit perfectly without any sanding etc. required at all).

4. Whatever you do, don't confuse FS 35109 with FS 35190. FS35109 is the darker blue on the aggressor Eagles, while FS 35190 is the darker blue on the aggressor F-16s, people seem to get them confused all the time which is why there are all manner of aggressor F-16's out there with an obviously too dark shade of darker blue (FS 35109 is somewhat darker than FS 35190).

 

Cheers,

 

Marcel


Edited by Marcel111, 24 February 2016 - 09:21 PM.

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#42 chuck540z3

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 10:45 PM

Chuck, GREAT to see you start this project! This is the exact F-15C subject I have been dreaming about for a while now, so I'll be following very closely (as I would do anyway). Since I have just now come across this thread for the first time, I may have glossed over a few items but here are some quick inputs from my side to add to some pointers to those you have already received:

 

1. Pay attention to the bulge over the rudder actuator (or lack thereof) on the subject you are creating vs. what the Tamiya kit gives you. There is quite some rudder bulge variation among F-15s.

2. I would personally go for the ELTA EL/L-8212 Jamming pod, which is always carried on the port forward Sparrow station, as can be seen here: http://www.airliners...-15C/1486605/L/. The pod will be more visible on the finished model and is also a far more capable piece of equipment then that old dead gecko pod. Wolfpack makes a nice resin model of the pod in 1/32.

3. Regarding the reputation of Aires resin not fitting well, the fit on their newer stuff is phenomenal (the Aires cockpit and wheel wells I used on the Revell 1/32 EF-2000 fit perfectly without any sanding etc. required at all).

4. Whatever you do, don't confuse FS 35109 with FS 35190. FS35109 is the darker blue on the aggressor Eagles, while FS 35190 is the darker blue on the aggressor F-16s, people seem to get them confused all the time which is why there are all manner of aggressor F-16's out there with an obviously too dark shade of darker blue (FS 35109 is somewhat darker than FS 35190).

 

Cheers,

 

Marcel

 

 

Thanks Buddy.  Do you have a pic of the "rudder actuator" you refer to?  I want to make sure I know what it is before I modify anything.

 

The use of the AN/ALQ-188 "dead gecko" (LOL) is purely nostalgic.  When I was at Nellis in 2007-08 time period for their air shows and took most of my pics, I saw one of these lizards on the F-15C Aggressors and was asking one of the pilots about it.  I took a pic of it (see Post #16), but I believe that was on an F-16 instead.  My guess is that they don't use them on Eagles any more, but they sure did when I took all my pics of this particular subject.

 

Thanks for the tip on the correct Blue.  For those who are interested, here is a comparison color chart I just looked up comparing the two Aggressor Blues mentioned:

 

http://colorserver.n...fs=35109 35190

 

I'm also glad that Aires may have changed their ways.  I have their nozzles for the Academy F/A-18 kit which are too small, the resin wheel wells for the same kit that are too short and the F-4 engine nozzles that are also too small.  For this cockpit set, the cockpit is about 3/16" too short front to back.  Not a huge deal, but it is a bit of a pain.  The good thing about Aires resin is the casting quality is always very good to excellent.


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#43 jmel

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 03:48 AM

Great start, Chuck.  I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.

 

Although I'd have chosen a jet from my upcoming Eagle sheet.   :)

 

I like the comparison of the two cockpits.  Avionix sure did a better job on the Bay 5 boxes!  I had to add quite a bit of stuff to the Aires Bay 5 to make it look right and 'busy enough.'

 

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#44 chuck540z3

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 04:11 AM

Great start, Chuck.  I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.

 

Although I'd have chosen a jet from my upcoming Eagle sheet.   :)

 

I like the comparison of the two cockpits.  Avionix sure did a better job on the Bay 5 boxes!  I had to add quite a bit of stuff to the Aires Bay 5 to make it look right and 'busy enough.'

 

Jake

 

 

Thanks Jake.  With you and the other F-15 experts out there, I have my work cut out for me to try and replicate something half-way realistic.  I'm looking at your book right now while I'm fiddling around with the resin cockpit parts and I'm happy to see quite a few differences from Eagle to Eagle cockpit, so have a bit of leeway on what should be there or not.  As painful as it is to get the Avionix resin pit to fit, it does fit if you're careful.

 

A quick question for you or anybody else.  Just forward of the torpedo shaped canopy remover is a red bar that connects behind the seat up to the canopy.  I don't see it described in your book, but it's in at least 12 pics.  It's really banged up, so I think it must be a temporary canopy brace- hence the red color.  I that correct?

 

BTW, I'm really looking forward to receiving your new "Modern Eagle Guide Second Edition".  I really need better pics of the top of this jet!

 

Thanks,

Chuck


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#45 sax003

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 04:20 AM

Thanks Jake.  With you and the other F-15 experts out there, I have my work cut out for me to try and replicate something half-way realistic.  I'm looking at your book right now while I'm fiddling around with the resin cockpit parts and I'm happy to see quite a few differences from Eagle to Eagle cockpit, so have a bit of leeway on what should be there or not.  As painful as it is to get the Avionix resin pit to fit, it does fit if you're careful.

 

A quick question for you or anybody else.  Just forward of the torpedo shaped canopy remover is a red bar that connects behind the seat up to the canopy.  I don't see it described in your book, but it's in at least 12 pics.  It's really banged up, so I think it must be a temporary canopy brace- hence the red color.  I that correct?

 

BTW, I'm really looking forward to receiving your new "Modern Eagle Guide Second Edition".  I really need better pics of the top of this jet!

 

Thanks,

Chuck

 

Hey Chuck,

 

I'm excited to see this come together!  From what you're describing, those red braces are just that; safety locks.  Since the canopy system on the F-15 is hydraulic, if there's leak or a bleed in the system, the canopy will fall.  Those locks prevent it from doing obvious things while someone's working in the cockpit.


Edited by sax003, 25 February 2016 - 04:25 AM.

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