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Brief explanation and our questions for LSP projects

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Based on playing around with the RF-84F, I CANNOT WAIT to see how some of the larger kits come out! And the news that the F-111 may be coming out this year is staggering!

 

To answer the questions (and add a few observations of my own):

 

PARTS COUNT DOESN'T MATTER - As few or as many parts as necessary to do the job. I'm far more concerned about the quality of those parts and how well they fit together.

 

ENGINES - As others have said, unless its a radial, I just don't care. Now, one thing that WOULD be really great to see a manufacturer try is designing the kit with resin seamless intakes from the outset. Overkill in 1/48 perhaps, but in 1/32 I think a case could be made.

 

WEAPONS - If they're good? I mean, Trumpeter throws tons of stuff in with their big 1/32 kits, but a lot of it is terrible. The Mk.20s for example. One thing that would be appreciated, because they make a huge difference in larger scales, would be highly detailed sway braces for the pylons. 

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Remember F-111A has vortex generators in the inlet which would make plastic more suitable. But a good fit would definitely be a bonus.

 

F-111 also used BRU-3/A racks and stores fitted to the racks with snap-to-fit square lugs instead of D-rings and sway braces.

(But sway braces might be suitable for an F-4E, if racks were included. TBH I'd rather see that effort go into the wheel wells, cockpit and jet nozzles.)

 

Very ambitious schedule as the F-111 is a big beast. Please skip on gimmicks like synchronised pylons, although younger modellers might like that.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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Baris, first of all, thanks so much for interacting with us here, it's a truly good sign that a manufacturer actually cares what we think.

 

I'll echo the thoughts of several others here; overall accurate shapes and dimensions, closed panels with the option to open if desired. Weapons are great (a war machine without weapons is just another plane). To me, parts count is irrelevant, so long as all the parts actually contribute something to added realism. Multiple options for different versions of the airframe is a great idea where doable, as are multiple decal options, though I invariably go for AM decals anyway.

 

I think it's safe to say that if you choose a popular and desirable subject, and not some obscure relic, do it well with decent research and pay attention to subtle shapes, as well as appropriate surface details, you'll do just fine. A 1:32 F-111 that is done to a decent or high standard, ought to prove very popular with the modeling community.

 

If you're seeking potential subject ideas now or in the future, you can reference this "wish list" thread. Obviously you'll be able to dismiss many of these suggestions as being utterly frivolous, but there are also many jewels there that are just "ripe for the picking".

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I HATE building engines just because they need to be inside the fuselage for everything to build correctly (Italeri F-104 series, for example). There has to be a better way. Also, I enjoy building kits that are not over-engineered so the fewer open panels (but the ability to open panels via scribing) the better. Obviously the more accurate the kit is, the better chance I will buy it.

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Matt brings up an excellent point.

 

Sway braces, regardless of armament included or not, good sway braces are a must even on empty pylons

Yes, there did exist four sway braces on each of the MAU-12 racks built into the F-111 pivot pylons.

 

Tony

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Remember F-111A has vortex generators in the inlet which would make plastic more suitable. But a good fit would definitely be a bonus.

 

F-111 also used BRU-3/A racks and stores fitted to the racks with snap-to-fit square lugs instead of D-rings and sway braces.

(But sway braces might be suitable for an F-4E, if racks were included. TBH I'd rather see that effort go into the wheel wells, cockpit and jet nozzles.)

 

Very ambitious schedule as the F-111 is a big beast. Please skip on gimmicks like synchronised pylons, although younger modellers might like that.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

 

Tony - I was thinking more generally than just the F-111 (F-5, F-4 also being in the works...). I agree that I'd like to see effort go into cockpits and jet nozzles especially - I'm a bit less concerned about wheel wells since they're pretty good on the RF-84, and the level of detail that's really needed is highly variable depending on the aircraft. Something like an F-16 or A-6 practically demands going to town, but then you've got the F-15, where most of the bay is completely hidden. I'm not super-knowledgeable about the 'Vark, but just from a quick perusal of pictures, I'd prioritize absolutely nailing the main gear struts since they're so massive and prominent.

 

All that said - and I don't think it should be an out - but aftermarket usually comes through for cockpits and exhausts - same can't be said for sway braces.

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Have a look at Hasegawa's 1/32 kits. They are a great starting point - good shape, good fit, not over-engineered, not too many parts, no open panels, no wasted interior detail ( you listening, Trumpeter! )

 

Agreed. The Hasegawa "approach" with modern standards of detail would be a pleasure.

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Tony - I was thinking more generally than just the F-111 (F-5, F-4 also being in the works...). I agree that I'd like to see effort go into cockpits and jet nozzles especially - I'm a bit less concerned about wheel wells since they're pretty good on the RF-84, and the level of detail that's really needed is highly variable depending on the aircraft. Something like an F-16 or A-6 practically demands going to town, but then you've got the F-15, where most of the bay is completely hidden. I'm not super-knowledgeable about the 'Vark, but just from a quick perusal of pictures, I'd prioritize absolutely nailing the main gear struts since they're so massive and prominent.

All that said - and I don't think it should be an out - but aftermarket usually comes through for cockpits and exhausts - same can't be said for sway braces.

There is a healthy AM for F/RF-4 inlets and those suppliers would adjust masters if necessary to capture a market share.

The same is true of F/RF-4 jet nozzles, but the F-111 TF30 engine nozzles are different from early Tomcats.

The MLG well of the F-111 is a bit of a maze and smaller scale offerings have always been poor (the exception being the 1/72 Hasegawa kits)

What they do for the Northrop jets would be all-new anyway.

Hence me being a bit Vark-centric.

 

Tony

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Thank you for asking for our opinion as well as for explaining your design approach.
 
Also THANK YOU for bringing a F-5A! May I ask you to provide Ethiopian roundels too? They took part in the Ogaden war (Somalian invasion of Ethopia 1977/78) and were instrumental in turning the tides in favour of the Ethiopians. Always wanted to build one with a single centerline MER armed with 6 Mk.82s...
 
A F-5E might also be welcomed b the crowd. Of course it differs from the A, but the Hasegawa kit is decades old and has a lot of issues. There were operators around the world, lots of marking options. Not to mention that Lagesse Tefara from Ethiopia scored 5 Mig kills with that one (2xMig-21, 2xMig-17, and a shared Mig-21) during the Ogaden war, which brings him on par with the famous US aces of the Vietnam war.
 
About your questions:
 

1. Scale and shape accuracy

- The "basics".

 

2. A kit design with reasonable number of parts that will get you to the result with ease

- I don't like "exaggerated" parts breakdown, like for eaxample hinges broken down to the torsion bar, two end caps, two holding arms, multi-part-actuator, hinge lock wiht extra cover and a fistul of individual bolts to be added all around... Or tank kits that wants you to make every single track link from 4 parts, 150 links per side... Add parts as needed to get the shape right, but keep it as simple as possible.

 

3. Providing all possible versions in the same box

- Not on top of my list. A nice gimmick.

 

4. Providing decal options of versions

- Great idea to have at least one decal option for every subvariant provided.

 

5. Providing operational ammunition parts (Bombs – Missiles etc.)

- At least a basic load for the people who like to build out of the box. Superdetailers will buy their own preferred resin stuff.

 

6. Providing access doors part separately (like our RF-84F kit) – Not all doors

- So-so. Makes the build more complicated, requires more aligning, filling, sanding, if fit is not perfect out of the box. The "pre-scored lines" approach would be more welcome.

Would be nice to have all things open that tend to drop down when the real plane is on the ground: Flaps, slats, airbrakes...

 

7. Providing engine parts visible from inside the Intake and Nozzle

- Yes please. Engine nozzles are large enough to look inside without a spotlight, so there should be an engine face and some kind of corrugations, "tail feathers" or whatever is inside the real thing. Same goes for intakes - there should be a duct for the visible part. Preferably with an easy to sand seam, or seams in invisible palces.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Regards

- dutik

Edited by dutik

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Have a look at Hasegawa's 1/32 kits. They are a great starting point - good shape, good fit, not over-engineered, not too many parts, no open panels, no wasted interior detail ( you listening, Trumpeter! )

 

Well said!

 

Hasegawa's design philosophy is very appealing, but unfortunately not the current trend. 

 

If I could make one suggestion for Hasegawa it would be for poseable flight controls.

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Yes, there did exist four sway braces on each of the MAU-12 racks built into the F-111 pivot pylons.

 

Tony

Tony,

 

4 sway braces on a MAU-12; are you counting the left and right as separate braces?

 

I agree with everyone, detailed pylons, bomb racks ( MER, TER) and weapons are much needed. After all that is the entire reason for the aircraft in the first place, deliver the weapon on the target!

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