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1/32 Trumpeter F-117A Nighthawk - in 45 Days!?!?

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I don`t know about the screens in the cockpit (i mean they look fabulous), but the longer switches (mostly on the right hand side panel) are like real... shiny, metal, long switches with round thicker tops, switched on, nice, nice!

 

PS: How do you plan to leave the canopy - open or close, cause when it`s close - the screens should not be so visible at all.

Edited by F`s are my favs

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Matt, looking great! The main gear can be installed after the fact, due to the erroneous way they were modeled. But I believe the nose gear leg at least must be installed before the halve are closed up. In reality, the main gear *should* have been modeled the same way. Oh well!

 

The panels under the intakes look to he a great match and fit. Though be cautious with your rivets. On operational airframes there weren't any. Well, at least that weren't puttied over with RAM. The surface was generally quite smooth. Eduard modeled their panels after the jet at the AF Museum in Dayton if I had to venture a guess, and it's had all it's RAM stripped.

 

Everything is looking great though. Really first rate!

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I've got this close-up that shows some faint riveting - and I went VERY light with the wheel. Worse comes to it I can fill them in easily with some Mr Surfacer.

 

PortIntake.jpg

 

Wasn't sure how common or not it was (need to go back through references), but figured I may as well go ahead and do it since it's a lot easier to fill the rivets later than it is to add them after the plates are glued in!

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I don`t know about the screens in the cockpit (i mean they look fabulous), but the longer switches (mostly on the right hand side panel) are like real... shiny, metal, long switches with round thicker tops, switched on, nice, nice!

 

PS: How do you plan to leave the canopy - open or close, cause when it`s close - the screens should not be so visible at all.

 

Those switches are some wire that I added. PITA to do it, but the side console detail really needed some life. 

 

For the canopy, I'm going open. I wanted to do closed, but it bunches in on the port side. I *could* brace it with something, but eh, I'm already this far along.

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I've got this close-up that shows some faint riveting - and I went VERY light with the wheel. Worse comes to it I can fill them in easily with some Mr Surfacer.

 

PortIntake.jpg

 

Wasn't sure how common or not it was (need to go back through references), but figured I may as well go ahead and do it since it's a lot easier to fill the rivets later than it is to add them after the plates are glued in!

The image you show is YF-117 781, one of the original 5 (IIRC) prototype jets. This is the one in Dayton I think? But yes, the RAM has been removed in that photo, and the metal simply painted black. Hope that helps. :)

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Excellent! One less detail to hassle with!

 

Any insight on whether the thing needs ballast? Given how far back the main struts seem to be, perhaps not...but then again if I have to install the nose gear, I may as well do the mains at the same time and be able to set it down on its legs. If so...I can always test before I close everything.

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Google has a bunch of good images of that lower bit ahead of the intakes:

F-117 Intakes

As for nose weight, I haven't gotten to that part of my build yet...but I would think if nothing else a touch of weight added up in the extreme nose wouldn't hurt.  Of course, the further forward you go, the less you need to add to keep the nose down - pretty standard weight and balance pre-flight stuff.  hehehe

 

Your progress so far is excellent!  I wanted to mention, I used a small bit of stretched clear sprue in the 4 lights on the rear bulkhead (2 on each side of the seat, just inboard of the air system openings).  Just rounded off the ends, drilled the holes the rest of the way through the back of the bulkhead, and glued them in place.  If you're canopy is open, they're a nice little touch that's easy to add if you wish.   :)

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So those are lights! Was wondering what they were. Good call. I might even see about stuffing some Bondic in from the back. 

 

Work continued last night. Knocking down the heavy airframe RAM without knocking it out completely:

 

IMG_20170310_011214-X3.jpg

 

IMG_20170310_011214-X3.jpg

 

This is one place where the single-piece airframe works against the kit - maneuvering requires some interesting logistics!

 

Also, did a quick test-fitting of the nose gear last night. Still not sure if I'll use the metal or plastic gear (strength vs. detail...), but happy to report that it is extremely possible to install it after the fact, and that fit is phenomenally secure. Trumpeter does a lot of silly things, but they generally seem to nail gear strut location, at least in 1/32.

 

IMG_20170310_010433-X3.jpg

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I had glued my nose gear so long back to the cross brace, I'd just forgotten the main strut there was a separate piece.  Good show.  :)  I'm certainly no expert on the matter, but I assumed with my build, that without the added weight of the entire bomb bay, and the length of the engines, that the plastic gear would serve just fine.  I was also lazy, and didn't want to bother with trying to hammer out the seams and ejection marks they managed to mold so precisely into the metal!  :mental: :doh:  I agree that the general mechanical connection is solid.  But the execution of details was....confusing.   :hmmm: 

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Been a frustrating couple of days - futzing with the -117 and making progress but not feeling like it. Fortunately I think I'm starting to pull out of the suck zone.

 

Got the exhausts painted up - MRP Burnt Iron for the exhaust vent/baffle, then Alclad Magnesium and MRP Duraluminum for the exposed metal. 

 

IMG_20170312_031317-01-X3.jpg

 

Got the cockpit and FLIR and DLIR installed. The highlight here was that Trumpeter forgot to put a back wall on the FLIR bay, so you can totally look through and see the back of the IP. I did a quick spray of some styrene sheet to block it off. 

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170313_084334-X3.jpg

 

And...got the fuselage closed last night. The fit is good considering the size and thickness of the parts involved, but got a bit cramped up front. I think the cockpit and nose bay were getting in each other's way a bit. Still - got it all closed. And now I'm going to need to play games with putty to overcome the join lines. 

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170314_014031-X3.jpg

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170314_013931-X3.jpg

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170314_022450-X3.jpg

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Joining the fuselage = a super-fun seam to deal with! There's really no way around it, with the thickness of the plastic and the shape of the fuselage. 

 

First pass of Mr. Dissolved Putty and Mr Surfacer 500 didn't quite get the job done (showed up under primer):

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170318_020847-X3.jpg

 

So time to bust out the 3M red stuff. 

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170319_000214-X3.jpg

 

LOTS of sanding with LOTS of different grades of sandpaper later:

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170319_010108-X3.jpg

 

Moving around top. Masking the exhausts is tedious, but has to be done. 

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170320_003638-X3.jpg

 

Primer down! Mr. Surfacer 1500:

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170320_014024-X3.jpg

 

Looking in the harsh light of morning, though, I found something rather deflating. Sink lines running the entire perimeter of the wings. BOO. Not something I'm particularly keen to deal with after the elbow grease of the underside join. 

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170320_092159-X3.jpg

 

LRM_EXPORT_20170320_094937-X3.jpg

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I think you're making great progress, I'm happy if I can get something that starts to resemble an aircraft within 6 months. Those sink marks are a pita, but I've found that I'll always end up fixing what I can, but ether way, I think the work you're doing looks great!

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