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f-4C Cheetah 03

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Barry and Matt.. i now have a migraine.. thank you both so very much. Slow day here at work today, so i've been doing some research. About 8 hours worth. Amazing that as large as this internet-machine thing is you can find all kinds of naughty stuff when you type in F-4c-23-MC 63-7653 but surprisingly little about an actual airframe! From what i've been able to find, there are 5 or 6 possible combinations of an/apr 25 radars and IR fairings (or lack thereof) under the radome! from the best of what i can figure.. and what i'm going with, is that since 64-0839 was a later variant, it had the an/apr 25 since most of the pics of planes without them were 63 models.. and the IR fairing under the radome. Gonna take a look at the radome in the kit tomorrow and examine it closer. i know the kit comes with mods for the C and D variant fairings.. I'll just have to see what it looks like compared with pics of any airframe i can find with a close serial number. Who knew research could suck this bad?


On a brighter note, i've figured out a pretty decent way to cut the rear stabilators so the back can be fixed and painted without having to work around them. will post pics tomorrow after i get them downloaded and photo-bucketed.


Thanks again for all the help!



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Hey guys, I did what Jerry is doing on the raised panels. I have most of the lower tail section done as well. There are a lot of conflicting pics out there. I ended up getting rid of all the raised sections on the tail and filling some of the rivets and enlarging others. Which vent is wrong???






I am looking forward to seeing your interpretation of the cockpit Jerry.

here is another photo of the tail. as you can see there are bands on the bottom. Tamiya just made them too big. I don't know when they were added to the D. Also, note that the round areas on the plates are like washers with screw heads holding the panels.





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Hey Jerry, I am not responsible for your migraine! :innocent: Let's blame Barry! He did the same thing to me. But I will admit that I started the whole an/apr-25 mess.


I look forward to seeing what you do with the stabilators. They seem to be an issue.


Bruce, there are a lot of different tail configurations out there. I used this as a reference.




This is what I ended up with.






I am not sure I want to make screw heads...

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Here's where i'm at on the stabilator idea so far.


First, whack the tail in half at the center point, then cut out the parts in the middle to allow it to slide around the screw post in the tail..


hack out the part where the red X's are and then round off the center post so it'll fit through the square hole that's supposed to lock them in place.


then, there's a flange on the bottom of the round part of the stabilator.. remove it as it locks in from behind the bottom piece. sorry, no pic of this, but if you look at the pic above you can see where it's missing.


Then, i had to add shims to the top part of the fuse.. used .2 evergreen on mine...



on the bottom, where the tail section used to lock in place, you need to fill this. I did this by laminating 3 pieces of .1 x .2 evergreen strip to build up the thickness. follow the curve all the way around. if you pull the evergreen over the corner of a table a couple of times it'll curve almost perfectly to fit.




this will will in the void and should look like this




if you wanna get more fancy-shmancy about it, you can cut along the marked line at the bottom and follow the cutout to make it match the top pic matt just posted. i may try that in a few, but it looks pretty labor intensive.

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afterwords, tail section was glued in place. Note that there is no filling or sanding done yet, so no picking on my glue lines! had to add some styrene to fill some gaps, as my tail section sat too far forward and the cover for the drag chute and holes for the stabilator didn't line up. note also that on the port side, the panel with the X on it isn't supposed to be there.. it was some kind of inspection panel and was only on the other side. The raised panels marked up front.. the front one should not be there, but the rivet lines are correct. the rear one should be, although it should be flush. scribe around the back one and smooth 'em both out...



on the starboard side, the panel is there circled, as well as another questionable panel. the middle circled panel actually had a piece of glass in it and a guage behind it. i don't know what it was for, but it was visible. think maybe a spare guage decal with some crystal clear over it will work after final painting. also, the vent in the front that's circled over the burner can hole.. that's the one that's shaped wrong. will start working on a fix for that later today. I know Pierre "madman super genius phantom fixer" Greutert made a fix for his F-4S that you can google, but he's a genius and master photo-etcher.. mine will be more along the lines of "average IQ styrene hacker". anyhow, here's the areas I'm referring too..



also have a plan for the exhaust area.. along the lines of "oil canning" that the ship guys do.. gonna play with that today as well.


Matt, I'm planning on adding those strips out of aluminum foil after i finish smoothing and re scribing the tail area.. i like the ones' that are pieced together... don't know if they're accurate to my plane, but they sure look cool! Planning on making the washer/screw combination with Radu's rivet tool, then needle point in the middle. the smaller ones will just get the rivet tool. Nothing is more fun that adding a bunch of rivets in a straight line on a double dog-legged curved surface!


More updates as soon as i get motivated to break out the sandpaper here.. probably tomorrow.




Edited by ladder4boy
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Nice work you do in detailling.


"the middle circled panel actually had a piece of glass in it and a guage behind it. i don't know what it was for, but it was visible. think maybe a spare guage decal with some crystal clear over it will work after final painting"


This is a check window of Hydraulic and air filler gauge for the arrseting hook.




Edited by Jamme
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Thanks Jamme.. now i at least know what kind of guage to try and find to fill that lens. Work on this will be slow for the next couple of days due to my being forced (under much pain and suffering, mind you) to begin work on the Revell Arado. Have to have this puppy finished by the middle of march for a local contest and i'm afraid of letting the clock sneak up on me. Looks like that will be a fairly simple and extremely satisfying build tho! I'll still be working on Cheetah 03 here and there while paint and such is drying, just at a much slower pace. Still planning on having the tail section smoothed, rescribed, and figured out by this weekend tho... I'll post pics as soon as i get some more stuff figured out... and as soon as i figure out how to do more text editing in photo-shop i'll try to point out the changes i made a little better.




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Thanks for the stabilizer fix Jerry. I am going to get started on that this week. I have some interesting ideas for the metal surfaces too and thanks to your tutorial can do them without the risk of insanity. I am also trying to work out a fix for the vents. I will post if i am successful.

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  • 2 months later...

Okay.. after way too much of a delay by having to do actual work related work, i'm finally back in the saddle on this thing. Have a litter of puppies due to be hatched any day now, so i've got about 2 weeks of staying up all night making sure momma don't squish any and should have ample time to piddle on this thing! Picking up where we left off.. still working on the arse end of this baby and hoping to start working on the cockpit soon. Recently purchased a new airbrush and the fear of actually applying paint to anything without having a multitude of runs, drips, and errors has been eliminated. It's amazing what quality tools can do for your confidence! Oh.. just FYI.. if anyone needs a good airbrush at a good price, i got an Iwata Neo top-paint cup gravity thingy type from Hobby Lobby for $30 with their online 40% off coupon. I absolutely love this thing. Hope to have some pics to post after this weekend..


progress trudges on...

starting saturday-ish




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