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ALF18

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Everything posted by ALF18

  1. Now, I'm struggling with the fuselage join. Talk about terrible fit!! I'm not sure how much can be attributed to the kit itself, and how much is due to having glued the interior stuff together nicely. In any case, it matters not. I will be using tons of putty on this one! Starting from the front of the nose, with CA glue. Why is ALF complaining, you say? Well, look at what's happening underneath. Now for the tope rear fuselage. A look at the lower rear fuselage. Nothing is simple on this one. Taking a short break - gluing the fuselage took me a couple days, and will need a bunch more work. I'm going for a swim the apartment complex's pool while I look for my motivation to continue on the intakes. ALF
  2. Sure enough, when I install the intake tubing, then try to dry-fit the outer parts over top, the fit is truly atrocious. I'm going to glue the fuselage halves together first, then play with this some more. I'm starting to lose sleep over the poor fit. Here is the culprit: the thick ridge around the intake trunking, as well as the overall height of the trunking above the fuselage side. Speaking of losing sleep... Before I glued the fuselage halves together, I had an overnight flash. Some people obssess about their lives and relationships at 3 am... I think about my latest model. Here is what I thought about. This is the nose gear bay, assembled according to the kit instructions. Have a good look at the little sockets at bottom left. I had a dim memory of something being not quite right when I built this kit the first time, several years ago, but at 3 am it kept evading me, until I remembered. The little sockets were intended to receive the side tabs on the nose gear strut! Here is what the strut assembly looks like. The little horizontal tabs at the top of E10 are what is supposed to go into the little holes in the wheel well as shown above. Then, still at 3 am, I remembered that I had to chop off the lower halves of those receptacles to receive the horizontal tabs. The instructions make no sense, having the modeller install the gear struts after everything else is assembled, in this step. The only possible explanation is that it's intended for the modeller to ensure there is a gap in the little receptacles that would allow the tabs on E10 to fit into them... but that is NOT clear in the instructions. There is no way the little tabs could be forced into the slots after the whole thing is assembled. I thought about it some more, and came up with a solution. Here is the offending area. The sides of the wheel well are glued onto the centre part, so all I had to do was undo the front of one side, slip the strut (not assembled yet, just part E10) into the slots, then glue the side back in place, being careful not to get any glue in the holes for the wheel strut. Then, I could rotate the strut up into the wheel well while I assembled the rest of the model, and finally glue it all in place at the very end. In went the strut, then I clamped and reglued the wheel well. Luckily, the Tamiya Extra-Thin glue made it easy to remove the wheel well, pry it open, then reglue it all.
  3. Next troublesome fit - the nose wheel well. The kit's plastic is somewhat recessed, giving a possible clue as to where exactly the wheel bay should go. The problem is that it doesn't fit snugly into these recesses, and could be glued in at multiple angles and in many little variations of positioning. Dry fitting to see... Aft portion of the nose wheel well. I finally applied some glue, and will try this. Next step, after it solidifies, is to see if the two fuselage halves fit nicely with this part in this position. If not, I'll use more Tamiya Extra-Thin glue to unseat it and correct the positioning. That's one thing I like about that glue. It can be used to undo a small mistake. Next, cockpit glued in place. Now that the cockpit is in place, I decided to work a bit on the intakes before gluing the fuselage together. Remember I mentioned that the kit parts are not numbered? Not all of us are as smart as Neo and will refer to the sprue drawings at the beginning of the instructions... Well, I noticed that there were two very similar parts. The upper one, dry-fit on the fuselage, is the one for the T-33. The lower one is for the F-80. You can see that the T-33's is longer, the extra length for the rear seat. I tossed the two short parts into the bin. BTW, both the T-33 and F-80 parts fit very poorly into the fuselage side. Out of curiosity, I tried both, and neither fit well! I assembled the intake trunking, and ended up with this assembly. I have some trepidation about how it will fit though... ALF
  4. Seats installed, along with the right-side cockpit wall. Now the instrument panels too. Sorry for the fuzzy pictures. It's a very grey day here, and natural light is very muted. Dry-fitting of the cockpit into the right-hand fuselage half. Yes, the seats are buried rather deep into the fuselage. In reality, they can be raised a bit more, but in the T-33 I always felt like I was inside a deep pit. Visibility from the back seat forward was almost nil. Landing from the back seat was difficult, requiring me to look out the sides in the final stages with the nose raised in the air. I did a lot of dry-fitting of the cockpit, seeing how it should be installed. There is a small ridge that it's supposed to sit on, but the fit isn't clearly one way or another. Next kit I build (too late for this one - this is all history I'm posting now) I will glue the fuselage together, then insert the cockpit from below. That should avoid the huge fit problems I have with the fuselage join! Aft part of the cockpit, showing the small ridge on inside of fuselage. Front view of same dry-fit. Tailpipe. Sheesh. Seems the ridges (one that's chopped, and the other thicker portion toward the rear) both prevent the rear fuselage from closing properly. I hacked away at the tailpipe to avoid this. Here you can see I chopped off the thicker part at the bottom (aft) of the tailpipe assembly. Next, the nose wheel bay. ALF
  5. Interesting! I considered doing that, and have gone so far as to dry-fit with another of the same kit. Unfortunately, it's too late for this one - in my next update you'll see that I've passed that stage already. I have 2 others to build in this scale, and this one will be a steep learning curve for me. My plan is to make two for myself: one from Cold Lake, where I flew them, and another from the conversion training unit where I learned to fly them. I have resin cockpits for both of them. I like your idea of joining the fuselage halves together first, then inserting the cockpit. There is indeed a huge hole underneath that makes it possible. I'm sure a lot of the fit problems I have been having are a result of the way I glued the cockpit in place on one half first. ALF
  6. Here the left-hand cockpit wall is installed. You can see that the front silver thingie (technical term) on the lower wall has its rear half broken off. Brittle resin, of course. It's also clear how the rear seat rails have come loose. When dry-fitting the front seat, I noted that the gear handle assembly interferes with the seat. It's actually a good thing that the rear portion of it has snapped off. Now to add the resin footrests to the fronts of the seats. ALF
  7. This is one part where I have to be patient. I did some dry-fitting of the seats into the rail assemblies. Those assemblies (you can see them on the cockpit floor, with the solid backs) are tricky because there is no clear guide for where to glue them. That is true for much of this kit. No such thing as locating pins, and sometimes not even a ridge to give a clue. The instructions are not super clear either. I've assembled the nose gear well (top left), painted the wheels (background), and finished the pre-assembly of the side panels (left and top right). Why the patience? Because I have to glue one thing in place, wait for it to dry solidly, then do the next step. Otherwise, it falls apart like a house of cards. Right after this picture, I glued the left sidewall into place, and started to fiddle with the seats. When I did that with the rear seat, I found that the silver part at the bottom of the left side wall interfered with the seat. I jiggled it into place, and promptly broke the seal on the glue holding the two rear rails in place. Grr. Those silver parts look like they're supposed to be the landing gear handles. Yes, one of the worst possible places for a landing gear handle ever. To add to the problem, the gear sometimes had a nasty habit of collapsing if the handle was not clicked properly into place in the down position. That's why, after selecting gear down, it was standard procedure to do a 'shake test' by jiggling the landing gear handle to make sure it didn't pop up and out of the down position. More soon, as things dry and become more solid. My biggest concern right now is how will the tub assembly fit into the fuselage. I see some ridges as guides, but the width of the tub will be important. If it is too wide or too narrow (i.e. if I've installed the side panels slightly wrong), then it won't hold or might cause the fuselage not to close properly. ALF
  8. HAH! Your definition of comfy... I guess they were better than a bed of broken glass - barely. Maintenance didn't have extra cushions for us in Cold Lake - I guess we weren't spoiled like those Comox softies! This model is not for the faint of heart. Fit is pretty terrible (working on the fuselage join right now) in some places. ALF
  9. Thanks! I haven't changed a bit since then... lol. Thanks ALF
  10. Fixed the problem with the snapped-off ejection handle. I used some small-gauge wire. My first attempt, I cut off a small length of the wire, then started to bend it. I realized that I needed tools to do that, so I got some small tweezers, squeezed... and the little bit of wire flew away somewhere, and probably will only be found when I'm done this model. My second attempt, I did the bending while the wire was attached to the spool, compared the radius of curve and length with the existing part, then chopped. A little CA glue, and the seat was ready to be finished off. Only some small touch-ups required, including the silver on the belt buckles. More soon ALF
  11. Cockpit coming along. I've put together a lot of the PE on the side walls, and chopped the resin canopy lock/unlock assembly from its blocks. I used Lumocolor permanent markers for the black colour of the toggle switches, the red of the guarded switches, and a Pilot brand metallic silver pen for the silver switches and buttons. I bent the PE for the map cases a bit open, to enhance their 3D appearance. Here's the canopy lock/unlock assembly. Only the front seater can lock and unlock the canopy, which is a good thing. Well, with a small hacksaw, I managed to rid the seats of their blocks fairly easily. I did manage to knock off one of the ejection handles, though, so I'll have to scratch-build one. ALF
  12. Merci, Matt. Pas facile, le kit...
  13. Thanks for your support, folks. This kit is not simple, but I'm hoping to wrestle it into submission. This is one part where I have to be patient. I did some dry-fitting of the seats into the rail assemblies. Those assemblies (you can see them on the cockpit floor, with the solid backs) are tricky because there is no clear guide for where to glue them. That is true for much of this kit. No such thing as locating pins, and sometimes not even a ridge to give a clue. The instructions are not super clear either. I've assembled the nose gear well (top left), painted the wheels (background), and finished the pre-assembly of the side panels (left and top right). Why the patience? Because I have to glue one thing in place, wait for it to dry solidly, then do the next step. Otherwise, it falls apart like a house of cards. Right after this picture, I glued the left sidewall into place, and started to fiddle with the seats. When I did that with the rear seat, I found that the silver part at the bottom of the left side wall interfered with the seat. I jiggled it into place, and promptly broke the seal on the glue holding the two rear rails in place. Grr. Those silver parts look like they're supposed to be the landing gear handles. Yes, one of the worst possible places for a landing gear handle ever. To add to the problem, the gear sometimes had a nasty habit of collapsing if the handle was not clicked properly into place in the down position. That's why, after selecting gear down, it was standard procedure to do a 'shake test' by jiggling the landing gear handle to make sure it didn't pop up and out of the down position. More soon, as things dry and become more solid. My biggest concern right now is how will the tub assembly fit into the fuselage. I see some ridges as guides, but the width of the tub will be important. If it is too wide or too narrow (i.e. if I've installed the side panels slightly wrong), then it won't hold or might cause the fuselage not to close properly. ALF
  14. Fixed the problem with the snapped-off ejection handle. I used some small-gauge wire. My first attempt, I cut off a small length of the wire, then started to bend it. I realized that I needed tools to do that, so I got some small tweezers, squeezed... and the little bit of wire flew away somewhere, and probably will only be found when I'm done this model. My second attempt, I did the bending while the wire was attached to the spool, compared the radius of curve and length with the existing part, then chopped. A little CA glue, and the seat was ready to be finished off. Only some small touch-ups required, including the silver on the belt buckles. More soon. ALF
  15. Well, with a small hacksaw, I managed to rid the seats of their blocks fairly easily. I did manage to knock off one of the ejection handles, though, so I'll have to scratch-build one. There are a lot of black parts in this bird. ALF
  16. Back in '86, the mustache was obligatory! Even when I flew T-Birds for 6 months, I kept my 419 Squadron (CF-5 training unit) patches. With mask marks, in Miramar on a Wednesday night when Top Gun just came out, and fighter patches... you do the math! Good times were had, and the mustache was an integral part of it lol. Duh! Of course, Neo. Silly me, looking on the sprues themselves for part numbers. Good tip! ALF
  17. Cockpit coming along. I've put together a lot of the PE on the side walls, and chopped the resin canopy lock/unlock assembly from its blocks. I used Lumocolor permanent markers for the black colour of the toggle switches, the red of the guarded switches, and a Pilot brand metallic silver pen for the silver switches and buttons. I bent the PE for the map cases a bit open, to enhance their 3D appearance. Here's the canopy lock/unlock assembly. Only the front seater can lock and unlock the canopy, which is a good thing. Now for the long, painful task of chopping the resin ejection off their moulding blocks without damaging them. Much as I love the detail of resin, I hate chopping off the moulding blocks. ALF
  18. Full disclosure. I know the T-33 well from the inside. When holding over for 6 months between phases of my CF-5 training, in the summer of 1986 (yes, when Top Gun first came out), I flew about 300 hours in the mighty T-Bird at Base Flight, Cold Lake, Alberta. It was a quirky old bird, older than I was. The placards all indicated manufacturing dates in the mid 1950s. The instruments were old, including the J-8 attitude indicator, which we called the 'bowling ball.' It was black, and precessed (lost its vertical orientation) constantly. Do a 30-degree banked turn for more than a minute, and it would lean about 5 degrees into the turn after you rolled out. I used the techniques I'd learned from flying from the right seat of the Tutor (as an instructor), to fly partial panel and constantly second-guess the old attitude indicator. The T-Birds in Canadian service underwent some avionics upgrades right before we retired them, which was our usual tactic. Invest millions into an old fleet, then get rid of them shortly afterward. This one will be the old-style instrument panel, like this one. Note the J-8 attitude indicator, second from right in the top row (next to the engine RPM gauge). Here I've glued the first layer of PE onto the main instrument panels. Still on the PE sheet, you can see the top portions. The keen-eyed among you will notice that the PE is all black, while the Canadian panel is a gull gray colour with black instruments. Given the quality of the PE, I decided to go with it anyway, despite the slight inaccuracy in colour. The instructions in this kit, while rich in colour, cite part numbers that are somewhat fictional. It looks simple enough. Find part EA 21, then glue PE 3 and 12 to it, followed by PE 1 and 11. Well, the PE has the numbers on it (as you can see from the above picture). The sprues don't. First of all, the EA sprue doesn't exist. There are two E sprues, one labelled T-33 (in this pic), and the other one that says F-80 (its sister kit). There are no part numbers on the sprues that I could find. Here are the rudder pedals from the T-33 E sprue. Luckily, the parts are unique enough that they're easy to find on each sprue. I'll use the PE, plus some paint, to make the cockpit a relatively close match. You can see in this picture (of the back seat) that the Canadair placard is there. The panel is gull grey (I'm using Tamiya XF-25, same colour as the CF-104 cockpit), while the switches and knobs are black, red, and silver. Today's ergonomic engineers would have a stroke looking at the layout inside this beast. Figure out the worst place to put a switch, and sure enough that's where it is. For example, the lever that shuts off the hydraulic power to the ailerons is on the lower left panel, by the pilot's left thigh. It's a simple forward for on, and pull back the handle to shut off the hydraulics. Oh, but be careful - in the same place, just above or below it, is a very similar handle that is used to shut off the high-pressure fuel supply to the engine. Pull it aft, and the engine dies. How many times did a pilot kill his own engine instead of shutting off aileron boost? Probably far more often than the official records would say, because that kind of embarrassing mistake is best remedied by a quick inflight relight, and kept quiet. The seats will look somewhat like this one. I forget which museum I took this picture in, it's been so long. And yes, the seats are every bit as uncomfortable as they look to be. Progress soon. ALF
  19. I'm about to start a fun project. A few years ago, Czech Models came out with a 1/32 T-33 model. It has lots of goodies included, which I'll describe soon. I'm building the model as a thank you to Al Pelletier, from Vancouver Island, for his hospitality. Al was an AESOP (Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator) in the Sea King, Argus, and Aurora. His first military jet rides were in the T-33, in Portage la Prairie, back in the 60s. He's busy searching for decal options, and we'll figure out what natural metal scheme he wants. I'll be doing this one just like my CF-104D, in kitchen foil. The kit has beautiful, colourful instructions. Instructions have the same art as the box top. As you can see from page 1, it has colour PE for the instrument panels and some other cockpit parts, as well as resin for the seats, wheels, and other parts. The PE is really nice. Here's a little peek inside, showing the resin parts pouch and other stuff.
  20. Hi Kent I'm currently building a big T-33, so I read through your build to pick up some tips. Very nice! For the speed brakes, I don't think it's possible to have them half-open in real life. When I flew them ages ago (summer of '86), we usually parked them with speed brakes fully open. The switch was a simple slide open/close, with no ability to stop them partway. I suppose it's possible (but not sure) for the techs to move them partly closed after hydraulic power is gone, but it may not be possible. Even on a real aircraft, it's hard to crawl under that area and see up inside. During walkarounds, I would mostly look on the ground to see if there were any fresh fluid leaks coming from the gear wells and speed brake wells, because it was hard to get underneath. I have some detail shots of a museum aircraft from Bagotville, Quebec, in case you want some. There are some of the nose and main gear wells, if you want to see the tubing and other stuff in there.
  21. That's pretty much what I assumed was happening. Too good to be true. Any rumours about someone, anyone, doing a 1/32 F-5A and/or T-38 series? ALF
  22. Does anyone have any news on Tanmodel? They announced work on a 1/32 scale F-5A/B series ages ago. When I go to their site, I can't see any products, let alone updates on the F-5s. Anyone know what's happening with this company? ALF
  23. Thanks Anthony Next... not quite sure. Have a small commission build to do for a colleague, in a scale we can't talk about on LSP (48 something or other). Thinking of something OOB, and easy - maybe a 1/32 P-51D in natural metal. ALF
  24. Coming from the AM master you are, that is high praise! Thanks Harold!
  25. Derek You make some excellent points. The quality of most work posted on LSP is extremely high. Everywhere I look, I see examples of beautiful and complex scratchbuilding (e.g. Pig's huge T-38), super detailing (I just browsed recent WIPs of a Mosquito and a Mustang where this is being taken to incredible heights), and gorgeous paint jobs (like the Wingnut Wings builds; I have never seen such natural-looking wood and fabric). I must admit that when I saw the high-resolution photos with the unflatteringly harsh flash, I almost decided to call it off and abandon this thread. The reason I decided to go ahead and post anyway is that my years as a fighter pilot have inured me to harsh comments, and I told myself I would show it, warts and all. Having said that, though, I am very glad to have shared this with the LSP population because here is a place where people are inherently polite and positive. A veritable safe harbour on the internet! I'm happy that you took the time to comment, and thank all of those who have done the same with the same sincerity. ALF
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