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RichieB

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About RichieB

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  1. Thanks for staying with this one chaps! Whilst I continue to finish and the top fuselage surface, in a rare moment of free time I thought I'd make some progress on the wings, or more the point, the wing lighting. F-15s have three lights on each wing and I've approached each differently for differing reasons. All of the light areas required considerable thinning of the plastic (which is quite thick on this kit) to make room for the light sources and especially the wiring. I also thinned the training edge while I was at it (a scale 4cm thick!). The wingtip formation lights need to match the other ones so EL tape was used. As the light has a top and bottom (and EL tape only lights on one side) I had to create two pieces then sandwich them together. This turned out to be a real pita! Mainly because trying to rewire them once you had cut them to shape was not easy. I had to get special small crimps that I wasted about 50% trying to find the sweet spot between the two layers of phosphorous. Any overlap and they short out and one layer as only 2mm wide! I also wasted a fair amount of EL tape on failed connections as I realised a bit too late that trying to solder the wires on when the crimps were already in place just melted the plastic surround and shorted the circuit again! So, solder wire to crimp, carefully apply both crimps ensuring no overlap, connect battery and pray! I also shortened the wires as they were too long and joined two into one to reduce the number of connectors in the fuselage. Needless to say this was a bit of a leap of faith as if they didn't light when reconnected that was a lot of time and effort wasted. (Luckily it did - huge sigh of relief!) The wing tip navigation light is fibre optic as an LED would be too bright in that area and it reduces the overall power consumption (not much but every little helps when your using low voltage). This will be lit by one white LED light (which I'm using to light other fibre optics) as I'm using coloured plastic rather than multiple coloured light sources. Finally, the wing-root light is an LED as its quite visible and bright on the real aircraft. The black is to cut out light overspill. In case your wondering (I know I would be!) the square plastic is there to act as a support to the top wing so that when I attach the pylons later it should reduce flex and promote a good fit. Well that's the theory anyway.
  2. Thanks Jake, spend a lot of time in your reference work!
  3. Hi everyone, hope you are all managing to stay safe (& sane!). Next up on the to-do list was scribing and rivet detail on the top surface as some of the Revell lines are wrong or missing, and there is no rivet detail. Just to add to the fun I decided to try and improve the somewhat 'soft' detailing around the vents. This was mainly helped with the addition of the F-15 vent set from GT Resin. Unfortunately they don't include the two main areas which is the one over the gun and the heat-exchanger behind the cockpit and these turned out to be a bit of a labour of love. I had to use thin plastic strips equally spaced, and cut-in the plastic dividers to get a grid shape. The one behind the cockpit had to be made up using different shaped plasticard pieces as the grid is a compound curve on the twin-seater. One or two attempts later (!) I finally got a version that looked ok on both then had to sand them carefully in, especially on the gun vent as the fuselage is curved. The GT Resin vents look like they are designed for the Tamiya kit but work well enough on the Revell kit and add some nice detail. The forward gun vent is too far back on the Revell kit so I decided to cut around it, including the area of the correct position, and reverse it. A bit of thinning opened the vents up and I'll back fill all the 'modified' vents with some mesh to avoid obvious holes. You can see where I've cut a hole where the airbrake is to allow access to the batteries. Both the Jake Melampy and Daco books are great references but the Daco one has a lot of bare metal photos which really helps. There's actually loads more rivets on the real thing but this is where artistic license and patience start to come into play. I also used Chucks work on his beautiful Aggressor F-15 to fill in some of the information gaps. I had to add some panel fastener detail and the vent between the engines. Different rivet spacing also adds interest (even though not strictly correct). Finally, the rear end got some similar treatment. The panel wash helped show where I needed to fill in some scribing errors, one or two of those! The hole forward of the fin attachment point is for the fibre optics. It's been quite a lot of work to get to this point but it certainly adds some much needed detail. I'm now almost at the point where I can (finally) start joining all this together. Next up is joining the wings together and adding lights.
  4. Many thanks Rob, that's the only problem with a blank canvas, lots of things to fill in!
  5. Finishing off the underside of the fuselage, the missile launchers have had some miniature magnets attached to allow the Aim-7s to be easily removed if required. Most of the early F-15s did not carry much in the way of weapons, usually an Aim-9J training round, so these will probably be left bare but it would be quite nice to load her up just to see what it would be like! I also drilled out and thinned the inlets at the bottom of the photo to make them a little more to scale and adding some tubing on the other side to give a sense of depth to the intake. Similar magnets are placed on the front launchers, I've yet to add the distinctive C-shaped brace . The grills on the avionics access bay have been drilled out to add more depth and a PE grill placed behind for effect. More latches have been added and of course an abundance of rivets! I also purchased the grills and vents set for the F-15 from GTResin. They are designed for the Tamiya kit but they fit the Revell one just fine. This is the grill underneath the rear of the nose section and helps add a nice bit of depth to the piece. Just need to tidy up a few mistakes ...ahem....before moving on to the much more visible top surface of the fuselage. No pressure!
  6. Stunningly detailed no wonder it’s taken so long!
  7. Most of the previous work was a precursor to tackling the fuselage halves. Using a mix of rivet spacing/styles I used the reference works by Jake Melampy and Daco, plus a fair smattering of Chuck's build pictures, to try and work out what rivet detail would show on an early F-15B. Needless to say the bare metal back end needs a fair amount of detail adding. The black wash is from Flory models and being water based is easy to remove. It's a bit more rough and ready than the pin washes but it shows up rough surfaces well so looks like I've got a bit of polishing off to do! I redid the insert at the bottom of exhaust petals and added the fairly visible plate that sits around the prominent vents on the tail booms. The vents also have a guide vane down the middle so I had to add that with some thin plasti-card. In a fit of AMS I also removed the plastic engine oil vents which were a bit clunky and replaced them with brass tubing which I squashed to about the right shape and then added some plasti-card detail. The JPS vent was a bit complicated to replicate so I just scored out the grill a bit more with a pin vice. The vents further up were drilled out and some PE mesh put behind the gap to add a bit of missing detail. The large black areas are where two additional NACA vents were located but these needed to be filled in. I then scribed some latches on the door panels. Looks like I have some more work to do on sanding smooth the surface and removing some heavy handed sanding work! Oh and then there's the re-riveting of the holes I just filled in .....it seems never ending!
  8. Many thanks and will do Thor, just adding some changes to the bottom fuselage half which I'll share soon. The kit is not bad at all, just lacking in detail so if you're happy to put the effort in it's a lot cheaper than the Tamiya F-15 kits and a lot closer to an actual B model.
  9. Many thanks for the very kind words Maru, more soon hopefully!
  10. And so the application of hundreds and hundreds of rivet holes continues ..... Having acquired a copy of the Daco F-15A book (which is superb by the way), I have come to realise that this bird is absolutely covered in the dam things. An element of artistic license will have to be applied in order to preserve sanity as in reality most are hard to see unless the aircraft in question has been heavily maintained or badly needs a paint job. To that aim I've adopted a 2-stage process where obvious rivets (like those on the base of the fin) are made a touch more prominent using a hand rivet tool whilst those usually obscured by paint are applied more subtly using a Rosie riveter tool. I've tried to follow the general lines of the aircraft but almost inevitably a fair degree is just what seems to look right. I've filled in the middle panel line on the central part of the fin as I believe his is just a solid piece of composite material (Boron?) and similar got rid of some spurious panel lines near the leading edge. I've also drilled out the light at the top rear of each fin ready for a light source. The tailplanes are a bit simpler but followed the same process. I also thinned the training edges of both control surfaces as they are a bit thick on the Revell kit. The panel lines are a bit wide on the Revell kit but I don't intend to use a very dark wash so shouldn't be that noticeable. I'm also trying to give the surfaces a more polished finish before priming as the Revell kit is a little rough. These have all been a little bit of a practise for the main event, which is both fuselage pieces, as quite a bit of work is required to lift the detail level on these items!
  11. Before any major assembling is done I decided to address one of the weaknesses of the Revell kit which is the lack of surface detail, specifically rivet detail. Now there is a fine line between too little and too much but in the right proportions it does add to the sense of scale and realism. The trick is to find a good reference (or three) and stop before it looks like the plane is made from nothing but rivets. Jake Melampy's F-15 book is a great start but for real detail you cannot beat the Chuck's epic walk through of his F-15C aggressor listed below: Tamiya F-15 Kicked Up a Notch I also had a few older F-15 references as I wasn't sure if the F-15A/B were different in panel line detail to the F-15C/D. Funnily enough the Revell kit follows the panel line details found in an old Squadron/Signals publication so not sure who copied who as the detail is slightly different to others, perhaps more recent! One thing is sure, this aircraft had a lot of rivet detail but not all of it would show up clearly as the photo (by me) below shows: Anyway, in keeping with my 80% mantra I'll change the panel lines if it's obvious and add detail where its relevant, so I've started the process with the wings. Now considering that there was the no rivet detail at all when I started, this kit is going to require hundreds if not thousands of these dam things. I'm desperately trying not to count them when I add them. While I was at it I also removed the wingtip slime lights and anti-collision/navigation lights - more of that later. Mostly done by hand using spacers marked on Tamiya masking tape, or the 1mm Rosie Riveter tool. Some of it may be too subtle so I'll probably need to go over the weaker lines again - what joy! This had better be worth it. The underneath area of the wing is generally poorly referenced but also rarely viewed on the model. Not sure about those panel lines at towards the trailing edge of the wing, are they for real or over-exaggerated rivet lines? While I was at it I also thinned the trailing edges of the wings as the are quite thick. Now working on the fuselage which has a whole load of additions and changes to be made - what fun!
  12. Hi themongoose, EL tape was bought from an ebay company called elpanelandtape but there are others out there. Regards,
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