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  1. Hello one and all, If I may, I'd like to share a little progress on my current project. I recognise a number of names from other forums so to you guys, apologies for posting this stuff since I guess you've seen it before. For those members who like to stay within the comfortable walls of LSP, I hope there are one or two things that you might find interesting along the way. Typically, my builds are long drawn out affairs so I hope you have some stamina and a fair amount of patience. I like to try to squeeze every last ounce of value out of these big kits so I often spend some time tweeking bits here and there. I would describe myself as more of an enthusiast rather than an expert so if you have anything to share please feel free to add any and all comments or techniques. I'd rather someone point issues out or offer alternative ways of doing something than let me go off in the wrong direction blissfully unaware of easier/better ways of doing stuff. I'm a little way into the build already so these early posts will come thick and fast. Once we've caught up to date, expect things to slow to a more glacial pace. INDEX p1. Jet exhausts. Beaver tail mods. TCS. Forward fuselage mods. Ventral fins. Fuselage underside and Sparrow missile troughs. Scratch built air con vents. Intake trunking. Vertical tails. Scratch built upper fuselage vents. p2. Wing joint mods. Wing leading edge mod. Engine fairing tweeks. Main wheel bay alterations. Windscreen, IP and (Aires) cockpit. Seats (start) p3. Seats (finished) Canopy. Missile rail. LANTIRN pod and pylon. Fuel tanks. Boarding ladder recess. Canopy locking hooks. Nose wheel bay. (start) Front gear leg. Tail hook. p4. Wheeliant wheels main wheels. Nose wheel bay (finished) p5. Nose section paint, sunglasses and decals. p7. Auxilliary bypass vents (start) p8. Aux bypass vents (cont). Quickboost resin intake plugs. Horizontal tails. p9. Main wings. On to the build then and like many modellers, I'll deviate from the instructions when it suits me. Whereas Tamiya suggest the builder start with the cockpit and front wheel bay area (more of that at a later date), I turned my attention to the blunt end first. For me, there are three main areas of interest on a modern jet fighter. These are, in no particular order, the cockpit, the landing gear and the jet pipes/nozzles. Each of these three areas are prominent and eye-catching for different reasons. So, I started dabbling with the jet pipes to begin the build. *NB* A company called PitzModels is developing an etched metal exhaust nozzle which is likely to render the folowing redundant The Black Knights boxing of the Tamiya kit offers better shaped exhaust petals than original releases. Much better than before, that does n't mean we can't tweek them a little to try to get the best from them. I scored some elongated dimples at the tip of each petal and added several rows of rivets. I then thinned the petals and cut them apart after I'd hollowed out the rear of the slot that runs down the centre of each petal. I filled the void with inner petals shaped out of metal foil and then painted the finished assembly with MetalColor from GS
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