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F-104D Starfighter - 57-1315 - AFFTC Edwards AFB, 1960

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Thanks all!


Im not sure how much talent is associated though.....................likely more luck than skill!  :lol:


9 hours ago, scvrobeson said:

Now, will this beauty be all foiled up?  Maybe some nice Luke AFB Bicentennial markings?





Yes and no Matt............



Yes foiled, but no, it actually is going to be one of the day-glo AAFFTC dual seat F-104D:





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Some more progress as right or wrong, the MoJo at the bench is back...................

Was feeling spry over the past few days, so I got on with the business that needed gettin on with. Er.............you know what I mean. Anyhow, I decided to sprits on some Mr surfacer 1500 on the Eduard/Brassin resin early exhaust nozzle. 

I then, in consecutive layers, shot on overall some Alclad jet exhaust on the inside of the feathers and out, followed by an overall layer of MRP steel on the outside of the nozzle overall, then a layer of Alclad pale burnt metal was dappled on the outside of the nozzle only, but fairly randomly. That all was followed up by a layer of matt MRP exhaust soot on the inside overall, and on the tips of the outside of the nozzle. I think it turned out pretty decent overall:










The inner and outer sections were painted separately, then joined afterward










Next up, I needed a way to get at the main circuit board for slight adjustments and in case anything went wrong with a connection I might be able to fix it. The most logical placement for this to me considering the very limited space to work with, was directly under the hatch that is right behind the cockpits, and ahead of the magnetic battery hatch I installed previously:









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The above hatch fit SO well that I was able to place some styrene blocks on the corners of the opening, then insert some tiny rare earth magnets into some aluminum tubing, and glue that into the side of the fuselage. This was all glued in above a small rectangular braced piece of styrene designed to hold the circuit board:












I then stripped back the double sided tape, and stuck down the circuit board onto the rectangular styrene sheet glued to the internal bulkhead:








The hatch received some styrene strips to flatten the two mating sections out, and then I sunk 4 RE magnets into the adjoining holes:








In the end the hatch fit just as excellently after being "magnetized" as it did before








I also took a few minutes and used some Mr Surfacer black to address some molding sink marks in the forward access panel:








Tonight I am moving on to actually adding in all the various fuselage light fixtures. I've also come up with a way to keep light bleed internally almost down to 0.


Stay tuned! 

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Thanks Andy!

I've just been adding some of the fuselage light wiring and its coming along swimmingly. I've had a bit of a time adding the upper and lower fuselage beacons as they are on the fuse center line, and took some more thought. So far my idea of encapsulating the MLEDs in a tube and some styrene seems to be working well to contain nearly all light bleed.

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Thanks K2


Well as it sometimes happens in modeling, happened to me this week as I was making great progress...................2 steps forward, one step back! 


First off, Im at a turning point with the 104, so wanted to show where I am up to this point. I've got a good start on installing all of the lighting (beyond the cockpits that is) and have installed the mother board in its final spot, and drilled the holes in the forward landing gear bay bulkhead to accommodate the many MANY wires yet to come. I had to drill a separate hole for the main power wire for the mother board, and a separate hole for the wire extension for the exhaust LED lead (its got its own hole, as the extension cable wires are much thicker than the normal wires) as there are so many normal wire leads from the rest of the MLEDs that I was afraid if I used two holes (one on each half of the fuse) for everything, there would be no room left to run all the wires needed.

Here is where I am overall:








The boys will get permanently seated in the starboard fuselage half very soon:








The 9v battery in its magnetized holder out, and how it looks when installed:










The battery holder makes a very rewarding and positive "click" by just getting it near where its supposed to be in the fuselage, so that element has worked out better than I could have hoped. With the blue fabric ribbon pull I glued on the bottom of the battery holder, I have found its very easy to remove and replace the battery with the fuselage closed too.

You can see here the power lead for the mother board rolled and taped up (impregnated edges of the tape with thin CA to keep it in place) under the battery holder. This is also where the much thicker wire for the exhaust lead will go as well:








The mother board soon to be nearly totally FILLED with MLED and LED plugs. Will have to get creative about running all this wire, as Magic Scale Modeling gives you quite a bit of excess wire to deal with:








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Ill give you guys a bit of an idea how I handled the MLEDs in placing them. MSM recommends gluing the MLEDs in with the supplied UV activated gel by just gluing the wire near the clear light on the inside. 

I though that presented a couple problems...............

- One, it would make the MLEDs "free floating" over the clear window, as you could only glue the wire itself since you would not want to glue the MLED itself to the clear lens of the light

- Two, it does lead to much MUCH more light bleeding, and would require much sealing of the fuselage to seal in any light bleed.


My solution to this issue solved both problems. What I did was to cut a very small (2-4mm) section of brass tubing, taking a jewelers file, and cutting a notch in one side. Next I took some styrene card stock and glued the MLED down to it with some ultra thin CA, so capillary action wicks under it. Next I took and applied some UV activated gel around the MLED but not on it. 


Prior to applying the activating UV light, I set the previously cut section of brass tubing over the MLED centering it in the middle, and positioning it so the notch I cut would allow the wire to exit and keep the tube flat and level around the MLED. Holding the tube section where I wanted it, I cured the gel with the UV light securing the MELD and the brass tubing. I then applied some more UV gel around the outside to make sure everything was secured as it should be. After all that was done and dried, I took some enamel chrome paint and applied some to the exterior and then very gently to the inside of the tube around the MLED but not on it. 

This is the end result:










Its not perfect by ANY means, but nothing I do is. It also keeps the MLED from moving around after  being glued in, and keeps the face of the light towards the clear lens part, so it shines in the correct direction. The tubing also keeps the light from the MLED contained to the clear parts, and does not really allow any light to escape. 

After installing the tube with the MLED in it, again using the UV cure gel, I took and coated the whole thing with Mr Surfacer black primer to completely eliminate any light bleed.

Its not pretty, but nothing on the inside of this model is............but it is highly effective and will never be seen from the outside fortunately:










Well, the previous steps were the aforementioned "Two steps forward". Now I present the "One step back"......................


I finally got around to getting the clear rod situated to receive the much larger exhaust LED the MSM kit comes with. This was done by drilling out the end with consecutively larger sized drill bits to a depth a bit deeper than the actual exhaust LED would extend into the clear rod. 

Once that was done (VERY slowly to avoid any melting) I then took several steps of sand paper and polishing cloths to the inside of the hole for the exhaust LED polishing it as best I could so the light would shoot down the clear rod well.

I was fairly happy with how it came out!  


THEN I made the fateful decision to clean it after all my polishing. I used 91% alcohol to clean it.  Big, BIG mistake!!! 


I applied the alcohol with a Q-tip/cotton swab, and all looked good...............for about 5 seconds..............then this happened:








The alcohol attacked the drilled and polished inside of the rod and cracked and splintered it instantly like glass. You can see it all the way through the side walls of the drilled hole too:








It also cracked out the bottom of the hole as well:








BOOOOOOOOO!!   Well as usual, back to the drawing board!  I will cut off that cracked section of the rod, and re-drill and polish the hole, but this time, Ill use soap and water to clean it off!


I hope to have the fuselage closed up with all the electronics inside this week. Even with the fuselage glued up together, because I made the hatches for the board and battery access removable with magnets, I will still have substantial access to the under side of the cockpit, as well as the battery compartment.





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Wow, have to admire your persistence and patience! That is a lot of problem-solving to do, and it's disappointing when something unforeseen like that happens. Still though, you've got a plan and you're moving forward.


This is going to be something special to see when you get to the finish line!



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1 minute ago, Shawn M said:

what an odd reaction, was it still hot?



That was the weird part................it was cool as a cucumber. AAMOF, I had drilled it out the first time going way way too fast, and actually melted some of the bottom of the hole that took ages to smooth out. It was a bit of a PITA, but did end up being fairly smooth in the end before the alcohol.  After I had smoothed things out, I actually set the rod down for 20 or 30 min while I was doing other stuff. 

I came back to it later and this is what the end result was.


If Im completely honest this was the first of TWO goofs on my part. I actually did drill out the rod a 2nd time with not quite as much clarity as the first. That time however when I was done, I obviously didn't use 91% alcohol. This time I tested some 70% alcohol (I realized Id used the hotter stuff the first time round) on the opposite side of the rod, and had 0 reactions.


So out came the swabs and I swabbed on some cooler 70% alcohol.    CRACK!!!   Same exact result, so it had something to do with the hole I drilled and/or the polishing. 


3rd time was a charm, as I finally got my head out from where the sun dont shine and used some soap and water to clean it up like I should have the first time around!  I then brushed in some Future, and let that dry. Later after that hardens off, I will likely spray some afterburner color either on the LED itself or the rod. Im starting to think I may spray the exhaust color on the LED itself, as I dont know if I can stomach drilling and polishing that hole a 4th time. The rod is also getting MUCH shorter too, so not so much room to play with! 

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