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Uilleann

F-117A Nighthawk (channelling my inner scratch builder)

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Any updates on your build :whistle: ?

 

Not a lot of movement recently...just been busy staying caught up with the ins and outs of general life.  Received Peter's awesome PE instrument bezels from airscale - but like an idiot, I already have the panel mostly finished.  Trying to figure out how to best (and permanently) attach these little buggers without destroying the work and paint already put down is proving a big challenge.  Apart from the fear of fogging everything if I were to use CA, or gumming it all up with thick white glue, the PE doesn't like to hold the paint very well, even with cleaning and a vinegar bath to etch the surface prior to spraying.

 

I'm taking a few days off later this week, and hope to have a little more completed then.  Unfortunately, the majority of what I've been stuck working on has been so small, I don't think a slew of pics would really show much.  I did finally manage to get some more components to work on the panel MFD screens, and I'm at a bit of a crossroads as to exactly how I want to finish those out.  Without spilling the beans too early, I have one of two options here, and I will decide soon which fork to take.  ;)

 

I've also run into a bit of a snag on another fun little component I was going to add, as it is no longer in production it appears.  Again, don't want to revel too much just yet as if I can pull it off, I think it will really add some pizazz to the kit.  If I can't...well, better off to keep a lid on things till I can get it all sorted.

 

I figure, what with this being the 'black jet' and all, and what with it coming from the deepest darkest 'black projects' division of the AF, I can keep a secret or two as I build it right??  :)

 

I appreciate both your continued interest, and the push to keep going!  Stay tuned...promise to have an update soon!

 

Brian~

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Brian, have you thought about using a future to attach your PE instruments to the painted panel. Afterward, just do your usual painting, decaling, etc, and then seal it with flat clear. Just a thought!

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Brian, have you thought about using a future to attach your PE instruments to the painted panel. Afterward, just do your usual painting, decaling, etc, and then seal it with flat clear. Just a thought!

As I've already painted and (I believe anyway) finished decaling...these little bezels ended up entering my stream of consciousness a little late to the party.  I did manage to get about four of them on with some white glue...but honestly I'm not over thrilled with the way they ended up laying down.  They look the part well enough, and perhaps once everything is all buttoned up and the tub is fit in the fuselage, it will look better overall.

 

Learning as I go!  :)

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OK - been a while since much forward movement was made here, though hoping to make some headway this weekend.  In the mean time, a bit of a teaser.  Here's one of the next steps I'm working on.  Bonus points if you guess the intended function/placement:

 

filters.jpg

 

For those not familiar, these are theater "gels" or filters used with older style stage lighting to produce different moods and effects.  With the advent of the newer LED lights, this technology is showing it's age, and is getting harder and harder to find.  I used to have three different theater shops withing an easy 20 minutes drive of my front door who carried all sorts of this stuff - now they're all gone.  These were ordered with the help of the interwebs.  In scale modelling, there could be a million uses for these filters.  Colors, frosts & hazes, metallics, and varied opacities.  Great stuff!  I think I got all four swatch books for something like $15.  These should last for years I would expect - even with moderate to heavy use.

Edited by Uilleann

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OK - small progress...but also a small victory!  (At least for this guy on the other end of the Xacto knife...)

 

As some of you know, I've been trying to work out how to better represent the nose gear steering on the F-117.  Trumpeter's stock kit version was anything but accurate - in fact, I'd go so far as to say not even really close.  With the unit such a prominent part of the highly visible nose gear, I was loathe to leave it as is.

 

With the assistance of some VERY helpful fellow modelers here, and some internet scouring of my own, I feel I was able to come up with at least a half-decent rendition of the prototype.  It seems silly really, to have spent so many days, and I don't know how many hours pouring over this and that photo, and then trying to figure out how to assemble such a tiny mess of styrene!  At any rate, I'm reasonably pleased with the final result here:

 

Trumpy's kit part, with the new addition for comparison:

nose-steering-1.jpg

 

The Kit's nose gear steering hydraulic cylinder was not only sorely under detailed, but also too long, and the actual top has a sharp edge, as opposed to the rounded corner they molded.  Had to be fixed.  Easy enough with a few passes of med and fine sandpaper:  (the shims had to be added to the triangular attachment as Trumpy also managed to mold the part far too close to the gear leg itself, and needed to be pushed out 6-7 scale inches.)

nose-steering-2.jpg

 

Starting to really look the part:

nose-steering-3.jpg

 

Just need to finish a few other small details, and then I can slap some paint on everything.  And of course then the real fun begins - I have to attach three metal and two electrical lines to this bugger!  But to my eye, it's a nice improvement, and should be seen relatively easily when all is said and done:

nose-steering-4.jpg

 

Oh the crazy, tiny, stupid little things that occupy so much of our time!  :D  Thanks for watching...

 

Brian~

Edited by Uilleann

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Brian, I'm happy for you...I know how scratch building can be a daunting task for many of us, I'm included in that, but after it's done, no matter how big or small it maybe, it's just...rewarding to see the final product is better then what it was. I know it sure will look awesome once it's all painted/weathered and part of it all. So, keep up the good work buddy ;)

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Forward...oh so slowly.  :)  I have reached a point where I'm tired of looking at this part anymore, so I want to just get it detailed, assembled, painted and DONE.  This evening, in between wrangling the twin chocolate monsters, and taking the teenager to her babysitting gig, I was able to finally get the nose steering unit more or less finished and attached.

 

I will add a little more to the hydraulic lines, and I also didn't like where the molded cables ran on the nose gear leg - so off they came as well.  More work in the end, but I think the look of the part will be better for it.  Also added the twin four barrel attachments between the unit and the gear leg.  Not super-ultra precise, and as always the macro shows the glaring mistakes like nothing else...but I still feel a great deal better than the kit part as it was originally made.  (The white in the nooks and crannies is the leftovers from the initial paint I tried to apply.  The finish didn't come off right, so out with the oven cleaner, and down to as much bare styrene as I was able.)

 

Here's where I sit with it all today:

nose-steering-5.jpg

Edited by Uilleann

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Hry B, looking good. Are those lead wires? If so, those go on pretty easy and requires very minimal CA to stay put in place. Btw, I know how you feel about looking at a same part for a while and just want it done/finished...well, I know your sick and tired of looking at it, but brother take your time because the end result is worth the extra time ;)

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Damn... VERY impressive!  It's "little" things like that which really make a build great.

Thanks Frank - I've never done a build quite like this one, and while the details are sometimes frustrating to try and figure out, I am pleased with how everything has come together so far.

 

Hey B, looking good. Are those lead wires? If so, those go on pretty easy and requires very minimal CA to stay put in place. Btw, I know how you feel about looking at a same part for a while and just want it done/finished...well, I know your sick and tired of looking at it, but brother take your time because the end result is worth the extra time ;)

Hey Mike - yea, 0.010" from the local fly shop.  Once everything is all painted up I'll attach these in a more permanent style, and straighten out the bends etc per the prototype.  But yeah, the devil is in the details, and my hope is that I can capture enough of them to really make a stand out bird when all is said and done.  With that said, you don't know how to easily but completely re-contour intakes that are the wrong shape do you?  :D

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Love the detail work :thumbsup: !

 

 

I think what finally pushed me to do more a/c in flight builds was my laziness for wanting to do the proper detailing of wheelwells and landing gear. It's obvious you're not suffering from said laziness :D .

 

Thanks for the update!

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Love the detail work :thumbsup: !

 

 

I think what finally pushed me to do more a/c in flight builds was my laziness for wanting to do the proper detailing of whee lwells and landing gear. It's obvious you're not suffering from said laziness :D .

 

Thanks for the update!

Hehehe...I think perhaps I only mask it better.  :)  In fairness, this is the only model I've built in the past 10 or so years, and when I'm done, I'm not sure if I'll try to tackle any more or not honestly.  Who knows - maybe I'll have a fire sale and all my stuff superfluous stuff will go out the door to a needy fellow modeler. 

 

As for the gear, I figure since this one is by far the most prominent, and on the 117 with as little other detail as it tends to have, it would pay to spend a little extra here and there on these bits to try and flesh it all out a bit more.  I don't know that the final appearance will be as clean and accurate as I hope...but I'm trying, and certainly learning a lot as I go.  Cheers for the accolades, it certainly helps keep me motivated to make any forward progress at all!!  :D

 

Brian~

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A quick update - *still* waiting for the front gear leg's first coat of gloss white to dry completely more than a week after putting it down.  Progress hasn't stopped completely, but is certainly being stalled out dramatically whilst I wait for this dratted paint to do its thing.  In subsequent coats, I'm looking into switching to lacquer thinner instead of the Testors airbrush enamel thinner I've been using till now.  Supposedly, this will help to accelerate my cure times substantially.  As I need to put down three or four coats, at this rate, it will be months before I can make any real headway.  Hope the switch of thinners will help me keep things moving along,

 

Stay tuned...

 

B~

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