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Aussie A-4G Skyhawk FINISHED.


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One thing about the kit is that it only comes with a straight IFR probe. The Aussie Skyhawk had a bent probe, so I had to fit a new one. I did have the AMS probe, but it has gone missing (I always lose parts!!) so I had to scratchbuild one.


Some Aluminium tube, with some brass rod inserted into it (to stop it crimping, and also give it a mounting pin) with the kit probe end spliced onto it.





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An eagle eyed viewer over on Aussie Modeller suggested that the IFR probe seemed a little short, which I agreed with. I knocked up a new one to make it a bit longer.




I felt that the nose gear leg was missing quite a bit of detail. There is a large rectangular section pipe that carries wiring and tubes that sit behind the oleo. Aires provide a reasonably nice metal nose gear leg but missed the pipe. I made up a new one from brass.










The start of the painting process






Here are the MK 82's with some wiring added to the fuses with some silver stretched sprue



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Hi Jim,


I just polished the metal part.


Some more work. I was chasing the characteristic nose high stance that the A-4 usually has in most of the photos that I have been looking at. The kit stance is quite flat as can be seen here.




in order to get the nose high and tail low, it was going to require cutting up the main undercarriage legs and shortening them.  I cut each leg with a razor saw, a little bit more than I thought would be required.




I then drilled a hole in each part and inserted brass rod. By cutting the legs shorter than what I thought would be required, I was then able to insert various height shims until I was happy with the height. Here is the part that I removed vs a shim that I machined up from aluminium.   As can be seen, there is a 4 mm difference in height.




The finished parts.




Here is the new ride height.



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Some even more work (you guys must think I don't have a job!)


I was trying to think of a better way of doing the yellow stripes on the 5" FFAR's that I purchased from Fisher. I thought I would give them a go in the lathe, as the stripes of decal that I was trying was not working, and I didn't fancy trying to paint them by hand. I was able to run it on its back gears and get the speed down to 50rpm, to somewhat automate the process required in painting 8 fairly similar stripes.






These are going to look cool under the wings.



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I have been hard at it over the last couple of days, getting some custom masks happening for this model. I purchased the Hawkeye decals for this particular scheme but found that the decals whilst nicely printed, were a bit fuzzy along each edge where whatever printer is being used to produce them prints each layer. I also found that the horses head decal (which is a huge feature of this scheme) was too big for my liking and may have been sized for a different manufacturers kit. I needed a solution, and fast!


One of the tools that I have at my disposal is the excellent Sillhouette Portrait mask cutter. Now, I have previously used this machine on other builds mainly to cut simple roundels, which it has had no issue with. When it came time for me to cut smaller serials etc, the masking sheets (a4 sized Tamiya tape) that I was using was simply not up to the job. If I was to do the complex horses head and the serial numbers I really needed to sort the issue out before I could move on. I was able to find rolls of Oramask 810 which is what many of the masks that can be purchased in the aftermarket use. This stuff is brilliant for the task that I have set it, being flexible, translucent and takes to the cutting machine very nicely.


A good mate of mine had a full sheet of Aussie A-4 decals designed that were never produced and he emailed me the file, which I was able to upload into the Sillhouette software. I then took each component that I needed and manipulated it to my own liking and size before cutting it out. For instance the 882 number wasn't on the sheet, so I took another number and then used the `edit points' function of the software to to turn the last digit into a 2. This feature alone is excellent, as you can practically make any font up yourself if it does not exist in the computer, or you can change one that is very close in shape by moving each point of the existing letter around to tweak it. I also changed the horses head around a bit to match my references a bit closer.










For that `painted on look'




Here is where I am at now. notice the roundels and also the large 882, all of which I used my mask cutter to make. More on that later!



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