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

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Just catching up on this Brian. Great progress. It looks like you've got the power supply issues solved but did you consider any of the really tiny LiPo battery packs out there for the micro RC helis and drones? They do come with other concerns (exploding if over discharged) though. 


Here's some real world inspiration for your mounting choice:





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Thanks guys, bit more progress, albeit scant, as the wedding plans have taken over and I have found little bench time as we are leaving to get married in about 2 weeks. 

However, I did manage to get some of the innards completed for housing the battery and switch.


I finished off the forward bulkhead that will secure the forward end of the jet tube that will support the clear rod, then marked its center and drilled a pilot hole for the exhaust LED:





You can see here the final hole will  be a bit larger to let the larger exhaust LED set in the end of the tube.   










Once the clear rod is inserted, you can see here how the hole will match up, and the exhaust LED will rest in the bulkhead and shoot light straight down the rod:








On with the internals of the jet.........


The MLG bay has been cut out to access the battery shelf I made, and here you can see the 3 RE magnets I embedded into the white styrene floor of the battery compartment that match up to the 3 holes in the 9v holder. 

Here you can see the 3 small magnets that I embedded into the battery holder floor itself  just so I can see how they would like up when fitting the battery holder:




Here are the 6 magnets that will be glued into the battery holder itself resting on the 3 magnets already glued in, so I can see how the battery holder will set:













These magnets are SUPER powerful, and just these 3 will necessitate the battery holder to be slid out, and not directly pulled off:







After gluing those 6 magnets into the 9v battery holder (2 per hole) i then set the holder on the shelf in its final resting position, and glued a series of styrene and clear square strips around the holder, but not glued TO the holder, so the battery holder is automatically guided in without trouble. I probably did not need to do this, as I feel the magnets are WAY powerful enough to just let the battery sit where it supposed to, but I didnt want to take any chances.

Once that was done, the battery holder "clicks" or "snaps" into place, exactly where it should:





Here you can see the bottom of the battery holder and where I JB Welded the magnets in. VERY stout and secure:








Here is an overview of the internals and how they will eventually look when permanently installed:


20190607_132219-X2.jpgIm gettin





Im getting ready for another full run test with the 9v,  so had to tape the whole thing back together, so here is a look at the battery hatch opening as it will look when assembled









Looking forward, you can see  the tiny rectangle cut out where the ultra tiny DPDT slide switch will be mounted. The cover can be removed and the switch is hidden inside as to not destroy the exterior looks of the model with an ugly switch poking out. I was going to get fancy with the switch mounting it to the under fuselage strake, but it became impractical, so I will mount it inside:








All for now ladies!

Im not sure how much time Ill have for building, or when Ill be back at the bench, as with the wedding so close, lots of my time may be substantially taken up until we leave on the 26th of this month. 

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Haven't had a single moment of modeling time since the wedding, but now that we are back and unpacked, I had a chance to look at the base that finally arrived for the F-104. This is from the same company I used prior that worked out so well for my Extra 300 (base was partially ruined by my own hand, but no fault of the manus).

Anyway, this is a custom made base, 3/4" top beveled 6" x 12" in heavy black acrylic. Its quite heavy, and should work well for the 104 since most of the weight will be toward the middle/back of the model.

I had the company I purchased the base from drill a 7/8" hole (same exact size as the clear support rod) at a 40 deg angle in the base before they ever sent it to me. I was not sure it could be done cleanly by a professional let alone myself, so they agreed to try to have it drilled prior to payment, and it worked out wonders, as they shop they had do it, obviously did it with some precision, as there is no scaring, scratching or any other obvious blemishes from the drilling (dirt and oil from my hand of course, that wipes off easy):












The clear rod that I will use to support the model once done, fits like a glove into the hole they drilled. This also gives you a decent idea of what the AOA will be on the finished model:












The clear rod of course will be cut off flush with the bottom of the base as dictated by the F-104s fuselage and how much of the "exhaust" I want showing, and how tall I want the overall model when finished. It wont be short that's for sure!! 


I'm really anxious to get back to the bench and have a go at a full lighting test with the 9V.

Cheers till your older!! 


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That's a nice base, Brian!  It will be a tall display...  Mine stood 34 Inches tall because I didn't want the aircraft too close to the base. 


Can't wait to see yours in some nighttime photos.



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That’s one beautiful base and very well thought out. Really looking forward to the eventual light show. Have a feeling it’s going to be spectacular with that base and stand. 



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Thanks gents! Im about to pay some bills for the family, then Im intending on hitting the bench and the 104 on said bench. I still need to do a full lighting test with the 9V as the previous test was with the 6 AAs. Im hoping that I can at least get a few hours run time with the 9v before having to change it, but it turns out the 9v magnetic mount I made is basically a "1 click" affair; meaning all you have to do is stick the 9v on its mount up anywhere near where it is supposed to be, and the mount just "snaps" into place with a very positive feel and click sound. 

I actually cant believe it worked so well.

I think I'm going to also make the forward panel ahead of the eventfully magnetized battery hatch (AKA the MLG door assembly) removable via RE magnets as well. That way I can access the main PC board that connects all the wiring if needed. The magnets hold really REALLY well, but come off easily with the right twist/pull.

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Well 1 step forward, and two back as they say..............


I went to do a 2nd full lighting test with just the original 4 AAs and no go......................it basically did nothing. Plugged everything in the exact same way I did on the test that worked prior to leaving for the wedding and nada.  Nothing. None of any of the lights I plugged in worked in any capacity.   I tried 3 different sets of brand new batteries, to no avail. Ive got good current coming out of the power box, but nothing is making it to the PC board.


Ive sent a note to Richard of MSM lighting, and he responded almost immediately, letting me know he can help. Im going to send him a vid of the works tonight to see if it may be a faulty PC board or not, so will have to put the power stuff on temporary hold. 


So, I had to move onto other things.............like the cockpits that are in dire need of work, as nothing can be moved ahead on until the cockpit and the pilots are 100% figured out.............more in a min.

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So, with the help of Peter of AirScale I acquired some clear F-104 IP cards, custom made by a gent Peter deals with. Amazing!  I could not have done this part without him, so cheers to Peter!   :clap2:   :bow:.



Its basically a clear sheet of acetate with the 104 instruments printed on it, including many MANY extras in case for when I screw one or more up.  

You can see the clear sheet here with the Eduard panel taped on top of it.

Near perfect fit! 




An impromptu session in front of a light gives a very general idea of how things will go, but in this case it looks a bit more washed out than it will with the smaller and less intense light behind it:







A bit mis-aligned in my haste, but you get the general idea. It will be much more realistic looking with a less harsh light, and not having the halo I light around the outside of the IP either.:



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After making sure the clear IP silhouettes fit as they should, it was onto the cockpits themselves. I had previously tested the fit of these  in the fuselage separate from each other, but took this opportunity to unite the two cockpits while they were temporarily held in the fuselage, so fit would not be an issue later.

I glued the two ejection seat mounts to their respective pit areas, then after careful alignment, glued the two pits together as per the instructions. After that, the two C2 ejection seats slid nicely down the rails into position temporarily. 

I then mocked up two heads I wasnt going to use for my Master Details pilots, and proceeded to put them in place to see how they fit, and to see if I had any clearance issues with the clear parts. 











To my surprise, they actually fit really well, and I didn't have any clearance issues, nor did it seam like I was going to have too much trouble customizing hands and arms to match up with the control stick for the pilot either.

I took some extra time and using one of Radu's fine saws, I liberated all 5 main glass parts to the F-104 cockpits. Another (good) surprise here, as not only did I not seem to have any clearance issues with the pilots, but all of the glass parts fit really nice, not even requiring finger pressure to line up. 

All of this, including all 5 canopy parts, radio and rear access hatches are all just loosely sitting on the fuselage here. Even so the fit is evidently good, and should only improve once all parts are exactly where they should be:











The radio and rear hatches fit well too, but will just need some very slight pressure on them when gluing to get them in the perfect spot they need to be to allow the canopy parts to all sit there they need to be:







All for now gents and gentettes!  I've got to go home and make a vid of the lighting setup for Richard, and hopefully will get that fixed as soon as possible so I can move on and finalize the power situation.







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