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chuck540z3

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chuck540z3 last won the day on October 3

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About chuck540z3

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 08/18/1954

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    Calgary, Alberta

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  1. Thank you everyone for your kind and encouraging responses. As I do at the end of every build, I write a magazine article on what I’d did directly from my WIP thread, which is one of the major reasons I do them in the first place. Reviewing this build from start to finish confirms that this kit is a real challenge to just put together and even more so to correct many panel lines and other details. Still, I’m pretty happy with the end result, which could never have been done with the old Hasegawa kit, so we modellers should be happy that this kit exists at all as a good platform to create a decent 1/32 F-5E. What we now need is a good resin cockpit, because the Black Box one that I used is super rare and almost impossible to find. The gloss black finish is another big challenge and although I’m also happy with how it turned out, I’ll never do another one. As expected, the glossy finish picks up any crap that might be in the air due to static electricity, which forced me to sand down and repaint several areas many, many times. Even after dusting off the model the best I could, you can still see bits of dust everywhere in my close-up pics above, so that will never go away. The other major shortcoming of this color on this model is the total lack of available red decals, as I described above. Even after making do with an assortment of decals and painting some with masks, I’m missing a few that should be there, like the big “AF” at the top of the tail. I suppose I could have found a way to paint those too, but there comes a time when you just don’t care anymore and need to move on to another project. As mentioned in my WIP thread, my next challenge will be another Kitty Hawk kit, in this case the T-6 Texan that I will modify slightly to a Canadian Harvard. After building nothing but iconic fighters for so many years (F-4, F-14 and F-18 twice), I need a new challenge with glossy yellow wings, where the dust should be less noticeable. BTW, my Spitfire below will be featured in the January and February Fine Scale Modeller magazine (2 parter), while my Eagle will be on the cover of a new FSM book on Modeling Aircraft, also in February. I’m really looking forward to see how these articles turned out! FSM "Modeling Aircraft" Cheers, Chuck
  2. This article should help. F-15E AIM-9X Upgrade Cheers, Chuck
  3. I don’t see anything “rough”. The painting and weathering looks perfect. Gorgeous Viper- The American flag is a nice touch, which no doubt came from a reference pic? Good luck on the Tomcat. I will be following closely. Cheers, Chuck
  4. Thank you very much everyone! Mike, As I did in my WIP thread, I'd like to thank you again for sending me those OOP Two Bobs "Bad Boys" decals. They saved my butt, because the kit ones are quite bad and there really are no other alternatives that come in red. Cheers, Chuck
  5. Good eye and you are correct! I struggled with this feature, because on the real deal below, those seatbelts actually go through a loop and not a "y" at their attachment to the seat back, as I have done. In this pic they are twisted with the buckle to the back as you suggested, but they could also be twisted the other way. I tried them that way and I couldn't see much of the buckle, so for "artistic sake" I kept the buckle detail outside. Cheers, Chuck
  6. Thank you everyone for your kind comments! As shown throughout this thread, this kit isn't for beginners and it fought me every step of the way, but part of that fight was self-induced. As much as I love the gloss black finish, I will never do another one. The shiny gloss finish is a dust magnet and painting it without finding crap in the paint was nearly impossible, so I had to sand and re-paint several areas as much as 4 times! Looking at my pics, I can still see some flaws, but that's mostly because of close-up macro photography that shows every tiny thing. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it and it will be fun to take to the next model contest. Thanks, you are correct, but no Corsair. As much as I love the aircraft and know that the Tamiya kit is awesome, it has been done too many times, much like my Spitfire. My focus now is on building models that are not as well known or maybe hard to build, much like this kit and my Trumpeter A-10C and P-38L. My next model is a bit of both, so I will be building this bad boy into a Canadian Harvard Trainer. Not very sexy, but I grew up with Harvards loudly buzzing overhead as a kid and there are lots of local flying examples for me to use as references. I have already ordered a few aftermarket things like the Alley Cat rear window conversion and the Eduard Big Ed kit. If anybody has any tips or advice, I'm all ears! Cheers, Chuck
  7. DONE! I have posted pics of the finished model in the Ready For Inspection Forum here: 1/32 Kitty Hawk F-5E/N: "Kicked Up a Notch" Thank you everyone for your continued interest in this build. I really appreciate your comments and feedback over the past 9 months. Cheers, Chuck
  8. October 3/19 After “only” 9 months, which is a record for me, I have finally finished this model. For step by step details on how I did it, I have a fairly long build thread here: https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/78413-132-kitty-hawk-f-5e-kicked-up-a-notch-sept-2419-final-details/ This kit is a real challenge if you want to make it as accurate as possible, with a random mix of highly detailed parts and parts that don’t fit at all. There are inaccuracies all over the place which I tried to fix, with some panel lines deleted, others added, and every single panel line and rivet was rescribed and re-punched. After market kits used were mostly made for the Hasegawa kit as follows: - Black Box Resin Cockpit Set (32010) for Hasegawa - Eduard PE Exterior Set (32426) for Kitty Hawk - ProfiModeler Brass Pitot Tube (32266) for Hasegawa - ProfiModeler Resin Wheel Set (320273) for Hasegawa - Hasegawa Kit Boarding Ladder and AOA Vane (both missing in KH kit) - Zactomodels AIM-9L/M Resin Missile - Archer Resin Decal Rivets, which were used extensively on the rear engine area - Airscale Instrument Brass Bezels and Decals The BB cockpit fit surprisingly well with a few modifications, while the ProfiModeler wheels required spacers to fit the kit landing gear and the pitot tube had to be ground down at the rear to fit flush. My goal was to create one of the gloss black Adversaries of the VFC-13 Fighting Saints that were fashioned after the “Mig-28” in the movie “Top Gun”, but nobody makes bright red decals for this subject in 1/32, so I was forced to go with a mixed bag of the following which created a bit of a “what-if” for squadrons: - Kit Decals. Not many, because they are thick and often show white film underneath. - ProfiModeler (32286). Red Star on tail and “01” on nose. - Two Bobs Bad Boys Sundowners (32-040), hence the VFC-111 squadron instead of VFC-13 - Maketar Paint Masks (USAF Stars and Bars, Vol II, 32-066) One big shortcoming of this kit is the engine intakes, which really don’t exist at all beyond the front openings. Although resin intakes are apparently now available, I made seamless intakes out of ordinary PVC water pipe which turned out fairly well. Now several pics of just about every angle possible. With the super clean and shiny paint job which is typical of these jets, I didn’t see the need to dirty up and weather the landing gear wells, mostly because they will rarely be seen again anyway. Cheers, Chuck
  9. Crisp and very interesting build. Congrats! Cheers, Chuck
  10. September 24/19 This build is on the home stretch near completion! Whenever I get to this stage, I’m torn between leaving the build I’ve worked so long on (8 mths. and counting) and just getting it over with. Based upon experience, I now take my time with the ending, because that’s when mistakes are made that can deteriorate the overall project. The final details can make or break any model, so here’s some details that I’ve been working on in the background. The canopy and the overall canopy mechanism are by far the most complicated I have ever seen or worked on, but it’s also one of the most interesting due to its myriad of linked parts. Here it is from the outside, which shows the characteristic sealant used on the glass to frame boundary, much like the F-4 Phantom. To replicate this look, I used thin strips of vinyl tape on the inside. While the kit does supply the brass frame at the front that has the rear view mirrors attached to it, there is nothing to attach it to, other than the clear plastic which is a very risky proposition that will leave glue marks. I added a thin strip of styrene to the front which replicates the real deal, then glued the brass to it. The side rails are from the Black Box (BB) resin cockpit set, which are more detailed than the kit parts. However, I did use the kit vent instead on the right, since the BB vent was too small and poorly cast. This is attached on the real deal to the forward vent housing with a rubberized vent collar that is usually red, which I created with red decal film and thin strips of self-adhesive aluminum. The landing gear is nicely detailed and while I have traditionally added hydraulic lines and other detail to gear, I have now decided the following on all current and future models: If you can see it without flipping the model over, detail it. If you can’t, don’t bother! With the landing gear doors on the outside of the gear, you can hardly see it at all, again much like the F-4, so I’m not going to waste my time. My focus from now on is on what you can readily see, like the cockpit, and not some wiring in a gear bay I will never see again. The wheels and tires are ProfiModeler resin which look much better than the kit wheels, but I found that the spindle hole for the axle was much wider than the kit parts, since these wheels are really made for the Hasegawa kit instead. Thankfully I found some clear tubing that filled the hole perfectly as an axle spacer. With the kit axle slightly shortened, it fits perfectly within this spacer. The center line fuel tank was finished off as well, with a modified rear fin and two fuel filler caps. The launch rails were painted, with a navigation light at the rear. Thanks to Paulo’s (tchwrma) dual build of this kit, he has pointed out that the launch rail light is green and not blue like the rest of the navigation lights. I checked a number of F-5’s and sure enough, he’s right. The arresting hook appears to always be striped black and white, including my subject. ProfiModeler also makes a nice brass pitot tube which is hollowed out at the front. Now some improvements that I’m really happy with. Recall that the starboard side of the fuselage has a number of errors, especially that oval panel at the bottom that should be at the top. That oval panel houses the AOA vane, which is completely missing from this kit. After moving the oval panel to the top and the square access door to the bottom, I used an AOA vane from the Hasegawa kit. Note that it should be placed slightly aft of center. Also missing from this kit is a boarding ladder, which is also in the Hasegawa kit. While this ladder was a real pain to create due to multiple seam lines and pin marks, it is fairly accurate and fits the KH model perfectly with the sloped cockpit sill. Note that it is beat up and worn, as they usually are. The top of the ladder has curved rubberized tubes which are often black, but they can also be yellow, so I painted this one accordingly. Based upon a suggestion earlier, I added some fabric seat belts to the top of the seat, which attach to the main belts along the seat back. They are often flipped over the top of the seat as shown and were made of HGW P-51D seatbelts that I painted. Normally the top of the seat is grey like the rest of the cockpit, but I did find a good photo of it painted black with the red Soviet star, which I sourced from Mig kill emblems on an F-4 decal sheet. And last the part of this model that is the most unique, due to all the raised rivet detail I installed earlier, which goes from this: To this. While it pained me to do so, I knocked down the shine of the metal a bit to replicate the real deal better, since these titanium parts are usually quite dull. In the pics above of my subject, however, they are shinier than most, so I suspect ground crew polished them now and then to match the glossy finish on the rest of the jet. My next update will likely be the finished model, which won’t be for a week or two as I finish this project and go out of town for a few days. Stay tuned. Cheers, Chuck
  11. Very interesting video! Note the total lack of any kind of breathing mask as the paint fumes billow into the air. Mind you, in those days everybody smoked too. Chuck
  12. The answer is yes, I have given up posting on ARC. I tried to post my latest updates there a few times recently and for some reason it blocked me from doing so, which I suspect might be due to their limit of 10 pics per post? Who knows, but it wasn't worth fighting it and if people want to see the rest of this thread, they can view it here. I will try to let them know now and thanks for reminding me. Cheers, Chuck
  13. If that was my model I would kiss it good night every day. It’s that good. Cheers, Chuck
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