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1/32 Early F-15B Eagle - 58TTW


RichieB

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And so with the wings glued together it was time to fix the lighting. 

As with most of this kit, you start with a pretty blank canvas.

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Painting plastic to look like glass is quite a trick so if possible I revert to transparent plastic. First task is to cut the right shape from the plastic for which I used a sharp knife and some scraping tools. I next cut a chuck of plastic from an old toothbrush (as plastic sheet wasn't thick enough) and carefully cut it into a shape where one side fitted the gap where the light needed to go. The more accurate you can get this bit right the better. You can use paint to help define the edges but you run the risk of light bleed through. Once super glued in place you end up with this:

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Then I used a sharp pair of cutters to carefully trim the plastic to shape before sanding with ever increasingly fine sanding sticks until it is the right shape and a glossy finish.

Finally, a light test!

 

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Next up is finishing off the wingtip formation lights which are somewhat trickier!

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

Hi folks, hope you're all keeping well. The wing tips required quite a lot of work to prep for lighting. Lots of thinning required to allow the electrics to fit and some careful carving of the lit areas that will be visible. You can also see the wingtip nav light in the prep stage as discussed previously. The good thing about EL panels are they are quite thin but you need to be quite conservative with how much you use as a 3v coin battery doesn't drive a large amount of it (typically <25cm for good brightness). I had to use two strips back to back so that the top and bottom illuminated but wasn't sure what it would look like side on or whether it would just short out! That arrangement made for quite a bulky wiring connection but luckily the Revell plastic is quite thick so can take a fair bit of hacking. Before assembly I sprayed the wing insides black as the thinness in some areas would easily let light bleed through and make it look like a ghost ship!

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Once trimmed to the right size, I added thin clear plasticard on top of the EL tape so that I could scribe in some of the distinctive panel lines you see on the wingtip slime lights. I scribed a single longer sheet of plasticard with the same lines so that even if they weren't quite perfect they would all line up when I cut each of the 4 sections (2 wings, top & bottom) out. I wasn't sure how to make sure the wingtip slime lights blended together (rather than look like 4 layers sandwiched together) so I used CA glue to help create the final shape and seal the EL tape (hoping it wouldn't short the ends again!). I'll need to lightly coat the lights with the right colour to stop them looking so green.  On this photo you can also (just) see the fuel dump amendment I made by adding a squashed bit of copper tube and the modified ECM bullet which looked too small so I removed the original, added a longer bit of sprue and shaped accordingly.

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And of course the fingers crossed moment.....

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And breath. Next, it looks like I need to return to the forward fuselage area for some more rivet love. 

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On 7/27/2020 at 12:40 PM, RichieB said:

Thanks Neo, adding lighting certainly teaches you new skills! Top tip is to start with something you can fit lots of stuff into as space can become a premium depending on how you light and power it. Good luck! 

I tink what keeping me the most is getting the startup kit/supplies. 

 

Would you have a recommendation?

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Hi Neo, there are many places out there selling LEDs, some actually do whole wiring set-ups for a particular aircraft. I tend to design my own circuits just because it gives me some flex when I decide to change my mind or get it wrong! I've used different sellers but the one below is quite good as they supply very small but bright leds (pico) which are great for cockpits etc and larger LEDs with resistors already included (for engines etc), so you don't have to worry so much about balancing voltages from different coloured LEDs. They also do small flashing LEDs (for anti-cols) and I like their connectors.

 

https://evandesigns.com/collections/hobby-leds

 

I'm sure other suppliers can do the same. There is also quite a lot of good info on the web on how to create an LED circuit which is basically how I picked things up (I am no electrician!). For some applications, fibre optics are better but they still need an LED light source. Hope that helps.

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Thanks for the info. 

I agree i want to build my own circuits too its more fun and allot cheaper.!! 

 

Last question Can you recomment what size of fiber optics to have there are so many im not sure what sizes are the most usefull for like cockpits and nav lights. 

 

Cheers

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You probably need a range from 0.25mm for fine lighting ie cockpit bulbs, 0.5 mm and 1 mm for instruments and nav lights. I have used 2mm for HUD and radar displays but not often. If need be you can always group fibre optics together but the smaller sizes are the easiest to bend, 1mm can be quite difficult to curve in tight spaces. In this case I slightly melt it. For stronger or larger light sources I'd use a suitably sized LED. Sometimes it just pays to experiment.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Whilst contemplating the front fuselage I decided to have a go at the intakes. These are notoriously challenging to remove the join seam and the revell ones are no different. To assist, I decided to glue them together then cut them in half. This achieved two things, firstly it made the job of creating a demarcation line between the main paint scheme (which extends into the intake) easier and secondly it meant I could access each bit of the join better. It pays to take care when cutting as the two halves have to 'seamlessly' fit back together again eventually. The back end was also shortened a little as I needed to use the bulkhead they normally fit into, to fix the acrylic rods for the in-flight stand instead.

 

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The back and front ends needed lots of TLC to fill the seams and I reinforced the join from the outside at strategic points to avoid cracking during sanding. Once primed the multitude of filling and sanding efforts are nicely blended.

 

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Finally I used the GT Resin engine face instead of the stock Revell item as the detail is much better.

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Just need to paint and weather them up a bit now as they didn't stay clean for very long!

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  • 1 month later...

Just a very quick update to prove that (some) progress is being made!

Gary at GT Resin kindly supplied me a replacement set for the exhausts as my originals had a flaw in them. New set looks great and is a leap above the detail provided by the Revell kit (far right). As this is an early bird, they still have the turkey feathers on.

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Each exhaust comes in three pieces and includes a separate flame holder (not shown), for ease of painting. After a bit of tidying up and spot of primer on them I'm just about ready to paint them up.

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This is the fun but slightly daunting part where you can bring a part to life .. or kill it stone dead! Not sure which method to use to weather them up as the images I've seen show quite a distinctive but complicated pattern. Much pondering to be done!

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Your lighting, especially the formation lights look brilliant. Just right.

I've found with some brands of old toothbrushes the colours can fade to very faint shades with age.

I used to scavenge broken brake light lenses from minor car accidents for red clear material, and even managed to find part of a broken green dome

from a doctor's emergency light, which were far more colourfast. 

But now while I still use my stash, I give them a thin brush of Tamiya clear colour which makes them a bit more bold,

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Many thanks for your comments chaps,

 

Chek- great top tip, always looking for other source material.

 

Maru5137 - thank you, it's slow but getting there. With added lighting you have to think 3 steps ahead as once you've glued it together its very difficult to add or correct. 

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One of the fixes you'll need to adress is the canopy. The only F-15 that had a tinted canopy was the demonstration a/c, the box top one you have.  Revell issued the kit at one point with a clear canopy and so did Revell of Germany.

 

Bruce

(from Parts-R-Parts)

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