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chuck540z3

1/32 Kitty Hawk F-5E Kicked Up A Notch. Oct 3/19. Finished!

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13 hours ago, chuck540z3 said:

As we need to say once in awhile with every build, I'm calling this flaw "Good Enough"!

 

Hi Chuck, thanks for the explanation. Your "good enough" is my "wow, that's amazing". 

 

:popcorn:

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Excellent work, Chuck! As you are putting so much effort into the surface details, you may want to have a closer look at the bare metal section in front of the nozzles - the rivets in this area are big raised ones. Micromark or Archer to the help?

 

fuselage_20060221_090_of_162.jpg

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Posted (edited)

"Excellent work, Chuck! As you are putting so much effort into the surface details, you may want to have a closer look at the bare metal section in front of the nozzles - the rivets in this area are big raised ones. Micromark or Archer to the help?"

 

Great idea!  I was going to use Archer raised rivets on the exhausts, because the resin ones are rough.  I'm going to sand the exhausts smooth which will remove the raised rivet detail, then replace them with Archer ones.  Looking at the pic above, I now realize that the rivets on the exhausts and the titanium panels are identical, so I may as well do all of them.  This will be a ton of picky work, but I've done this before on my A-10C as shown below.  I will do this at the very end before paint, because the resin decals are fragile and can get knocked off easily.  Luckily, I have some rivets that are just about the exact spacing as what I have punched with a needle, so I don't need to fill them first.

 

 

 

DBOPSf.jpg

 

EzNXXG.jpg

 

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Posted (edited)

May 29/19

 

After 1 month, I'm finally back with an update.  It may not look like much, but this next step took me about 20 hours of picky, detailed work!

 

The engine on the F-5 has a zillion fine rivets, both on the rear nozzles and the titanium panels just forward.  This is what it looks like on a Swiss real deal....

 

rOUBcb.jpg

 

 

There are two types of rear nozzles supplied with the kit.  One set has fine recessed rivets and comes in two halves, creating a big seam, while the kit also supplies some one piece resin replacements, which I used.  As you can see, they are cast kind of rough, the raised rivets are huge and there's an unfortunate casting block right where you don't want it, on the lip of the nozzle on the right.

 

HKLpEO.jpg

 

 

They also seem to have been cast crooked, but I found that the shallow lip goes on the outside, while the thicker lip goes on the inside.  Of course the instructions say nothing about it!  Here I have sanded off the monster rivets on the left.

 

YIsoDV.jpg

 

 

The rear of the nozzles should have two thin circles of metal, separated by a gap.  To improve this look, I sanded the outside thinner, while carefully sanding the gap within.  It's not perfect, but from a few inches away, it looks not bad.

 

WhKyiP.jpg

 

 

The titanium panels just forward of the nozzles have recessed rivets, which look OK, but I can make them better.

 

7egBoN.jpg

 

 

As mentioned above, I have used Archer resin raised rivets many times before, so I've learned a few things about this great product as follows:

 

1)  The wider the decal film, the stronger the chain of rivets, but the higher the chance that it will show under paint, no matter how much decal softener you use.

 

2)  The narrower the decal film, the more fragile the chain of rivets, which often break apart, but it will not show as easily under paint.

 

3)  Rivets applied to curved surfaces should be done in short chains, for ease of handling.

 

4)  Even single rivets can be applied successfully, so if you bump off one or two, repairs are easy.

 

With the above in mind, I found some Archer rivets that were about the same spacing as the kit rivets, but just slightly larger, so they would still adhere without filling the recessed ones.  I found that chains of only 5 worked best, because they were easy to apply, but also compensated for the slight differences in rivet spacing.  These are found in #AR 88015, with thin strips of rivets cut as shown.

 

TQNU4n.jpg

 

 

After many, many hours of work, they look pretty good.  Not perfect by any means, partly because the kit spacing isn't perfect either, but when these areas are painted the same color, the small imperfections should almost disappear.  Engine nozzles and V-shaped antennae on the sides are only dry fitted with masking fluid "glue".

 

VPFWmx.jpg

 

c9AzZB.jpg

 

 

Top

 

VJuO2h.jpg

 

 

And don't forget the bottom, because it is covered with raised rivets as well in roughly this pattern from references.

 

GGnkPf.jpg

 

 

I see that I've missed a 3 rivet pattern on the top and bottom of the antennae at the front, so consider that fixed.  Next step is to spray these rivets and panels with clear acrylic X-22, to seal them, toughen them and help hide the decal film.  After paint, all you should see is raised rivets and no film.

 

On to the fiddly stuff, like landing gear, gear well doors, etc.  Not my favorite part of any build, but very important nonetheless.

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

 

Edited by chuck540z3

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Posted (edited)

Quick follow up because I just sprayed X-22 on everything to smooth things out.

 

BEFORE:

 

VPFWmx.jpg

 

 

AFTER:

 

55bmGO.jpg

 

oEL1Uv.jpg

 

 

 

I'll let this dry for a few days, sand out the tiny flaws, then give it another coat to create a nice smooth finish for bare metal painting.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Rosie the Riveter has nothing on you, Chuck!

 

Looks perfect! I have never tried Archer rivets but your tutorials will be very useful when I do. Cheers Marcel 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone!  Since there seems be some interest in a tutorial on applying Archer Rivets, here’s what I do.  First the basics as mentioned above, which are my opinion alone and not necessarily those of others, including Archer.

 

 

Archer Decal Rivet properties:

 

1)  The wider the decal film, the stronger the chain of rivets, but the higher the chance that it will show under paint, no matter how much decal softener you use.   Checking other builds using this product, you will see what I mean.

 

2)  The narrower the decal film, the more fragile the chain of rivets, which often break apart, but it will not show as easily under paint.

 

3)  Rivets applied to curved surfaces should be done in short chains, for ease of handling.

 

4)  Even single rivets can be applied successfully, so if you bump off one or two, repairs are easy.

 

5)  Like most decals, these rivets come off the backing better with very warm water.

 

6)  If you don’t like what you’ve done, the rivets can easily be removed with a finger nail and you can start over.

 

7)  Archer rivets come in many different sizes and spacing, so I like to have a variety of them on hand.

 

8)  The raised rivets are not always perfectly round, but after paint, you’ll never notice the small imperfections.

 

9)  As long as you keep the decal segment wet, you can move it around for a very long time.  Even after using Microsol decal softener, you’ve got more time to play with it than a regular decal.

 

10)  These rivets are quite expensive at ~ $22/sheet!

 

Application:

 

1) The surface should be super smooth and clean of any debris and oil from your skin.

 

2)  Cut a long and thin strip of rivets off the sheet, then into shorter chains to be applied individually.  If you’ve got a flat surface free of detail or curves, you can apply segments of an inch or more.  Curves and detail require shorter segments.

 

3)  Soak the segment in very warm water like any decal, for at least 5 seconds, then place it next to where you want to apply it for another 30 seconds or more.

 

4)  Using a soft paintbrush, push one edge of the decal film off the backing, let it attach to the surface of the plastic, then push the rest of the decal off the backing.  For longer segments, you can push one end off the backing by sliding it in one direction, then grab the backing and pull it off, leaving the entire segment behind on the plastic.  If it breaks, don’t worry about it.  You’ve got lots of time to get everything back together.

 

5)  Using Microset (or plain water), re-wet the segment so that it floats, then move it into place.  Using a paper tissue, pull the water away from the edge of the segment without touching it.

 

6)  When you’re happy with the decal placement, using another soft brush dedicated to decal softener, apply some Microsol in very small dabs to tack it down.  If the decal  moves, you’ve still got at least 30-40 seconds to move it around without fear of destroying it.

 

7)  For the next decal segment, apply it as above, but somewhere else!  If you try to apply the next segment next to the one drying with Microsol, you will likely move it and create a mess.

 

8)  When the first segment has dried a bit (~ 5 minutes), liberally apply more Microsol to it over the entire decal.  Unlike regular decals, you can’t wreck it by applying too much softener.

 

9)  In a bit of an assembly-line process, apply new decal segments while applying more Microsol to others, keeping new ones away from old ones.

 

10)  If you knock a single rivet or two off, don’t worry.  Just cut off a replacement and apply it in the gap.  The strength of the rivet to plastic bond is mostly under the rivet and not beside it.

 

11)  When you are done and everything looks pretty good, add yet another coat of Microsol to everything, all over again.  You want to nuke the decal film into oblivion as much as possible.

 

12)  When everything is clean and dry, I like to apply a good coat or two of Tamiya X-22 acrylic clear gloss to seal the rivets to the plastic, but also to smooth out the fine lines of the remaining decal film.  I like to use about 2/3’s X-22 and 1/3 Tamiya lacquer thinner, which sprays very fine.  Future/Pledge works just as well, but is softer than X-22 and harder to sand later if you have any imperfections.

 

13)  Paint as usual.

 

I use Archer Rivets on just about every one of my builds lately, because there are almost always raised rivets somewhere that are not represented on the kit plastic.  Other than the extensive rivet detail on my A-10C above, here's another application of subtle detail on my F-15C Eagle build.  Note the Archer rivets on the front of the titanium panels and also reinforcements on the tail booms, according to reference pics I have of the real deal.

 

BUEhC2.jpg

 

After paint....

 

FWAKd8.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

For those interested in buying Archer Rivets, they can be found here, along with a host of other modeling products:

 

Archer Fine Transfers

 

HTH,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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