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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Hosted by Tim Hatton
Encore (Monogram) F-102A
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2015 - 12:33 AM UTC
Ok, first build log here so I'm kinda feeling my way through it. This will run parallel with an identical project blog on Scalemates and hopefully will end with an article for...well...whoever will publish it.

So, most of know or have seen the Monogram 1/48 F-102A...typical of their mid-eighties releases; decent detail, pretty fair fit and fine, but raised panel lines. The Encore release gives us Monogram plastic, a decent selection of resin produced (as far as I know) by True Details and a couple of etched frets most likely from Eduard. Also included are Cartograph decals, but I've got an old set of Microscale markings that I'll be using instead.

>snipped from Scalemates project blog<

My second project on the way to a complete Century Series. Like all the older Monogram kits, this has pretty decent detail, but the surface detail is raised. Can't have that, so the first order of business is to re-scribe everything. To give me a nice 'roadmap' to follow, I first darken the area around the panel line with permanent marker, then sand back to the skin, removing the panel lines and most of the ink. Had this been molded in a dark plastic, I'd have just sprayed the whole thing in light gray or white primer and done the same thing.





Scribing started on the wings. The mold changes from Case X to Case XX wings are a bit rough, requiring some filling. I've decided on using the resin control surface replacements supplied by Encore, though there's really no material improvement over the kit control surfaces, but the less-than-perfect mold revisions made it easier to replace than correct. For this project I'm using the MDC rivet punches rather than a sharp needed to replicate the airframe rivets, we'll see how it turns out. I'm of two minds on this bit of detail; the real jets had very clean surfaces with little or no rivet detail visible under the ADC Grey paint, but the addition of some visual interest breaks up the acres of featureless skin.



Neck deep into the scribing. It's a pain, but worth the effort. I'm using the UMM Universal Scriber as my weapon of choice, I've never found a better tool. Standard stainless steel templates and my trusty Dymo labeling tape. I think I need to purchase a wider variety of punch and die sets, doing circular panels is significantly easier with the correct size punched in the tape. Plus, compound or tight curves are less problematic. Also began applying a bit of paint. Model Claus brought a Grex Tritium pistol grip airbrush. All I can say is "wow".



Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2015 - 11:53 PM UTC
Brad,
I must say that's a most ambitious build. So I'll be following along. I really like your method using ink to maintain where the raised panel lines were for rescribing. So far your efforts look perfect.
Joel
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 11:27 PM UTC
So, 90% of the scribing is done. A couple of odds and ends left, speed brake petals, drop tanks, etc. I've left the fuselage joints for last to ensure the panel lines line up. I might regret it later, but it seems like the best solution.





Cockpit is coming together. The Encore (True Details, I think) resin is fine, only requiring some careful painting. I'm not sure I like the pre-painted etch, at least for everything. The side panels would be populated with a myriad of knobs and switches that don't translate well to 2D printed parts. Nest time I might take a hybrid approach; using the kit or resin cockpit side panels to retain the proper relief, and printed parts for the instrument panels. I think this where printed parts shine.



The seat is very nice, and seems to be fairly accurate. I've been having a heck of time finding images of the darned thing, though. The best I've managed is a frontal view in the Detail and Scale publication. The internet has been curiously lacking on this particular seat. A little poetic license was exercised in painting, but I think it'll pass. I still need to add some highlights and shadows to the cushions and blend it all together, but I think it's taking shape.









Also completed...and photos coming...the unfortunately designed exhaust can. Very obvious seams that were tricky to fill, especially since it's a metallic bit. Careful filling and sanding wins the day. Painted with Metalizer Titanium and weathered a bit using Tamiya hot metal eye shadow (that's what it looks like to me anyway). First time using this product, even though it's been kicking around the workshop for years. I've got to say I'm impressed. I used the blue and rust colors to bring out the detail in areas that would be heat stressed, and toned it all down with the exhaust grey. Pretty happy with the result, overall.

Next up: Aires gear wells.
magnusf
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Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 12:46 AM UTC
The Monogram kits of the Century fighters were always spectacular and well detailed even if they sometimes had their little issues!

I'm glad to see you tackle this classic even if I myself don't build in 48-scale!



Magnus
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 11:47 PM UTC
Busy couple of days! First off, I shot a couple of photos of the exhaust can...the effects I mentioned in the previous post are pretty subtle, but I don't want to overdo it. In the end, most of this will be buried in the fuselage, so I'm just going to grime it up with some exhaust soot and call it good.



Spent the majority of the last daly and a half painting the Aires gear wells. Word of caution here...to make everything fit you need t be fairly aggressive in removing the casting plugs. While it doesn't show well in the photos, I was a bit too aggressive and removed some internal structure. I doubt it'll show in the finished, installed product, but one should be careful. Anyway, these are almost done. I need to add some chipping, tubing labels, and assorted bits of color. This is really the first time I've tried to do a deep wash/highlight/weather job...in the past I was so consumed with minute detail and proper color that, while very accurate, most of my models were pretty two dimensional. Practice makes perfect, I guess. Comments and suggestions are always welcomed.









Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 02:12 AM UTC
Really excellent detail work on that main well assembly. Just enough detail to create that busy image, and the weathering just adds that little extra to it.
Joel
chrism
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Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 04:29 AM UTC
Nice work! The UMM scriber is one very useful tool for many tasks.
VonCuda
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Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 05:20 AM UTC
I'm really enjoying following this one Brad. The attention to detail is awesome and re-scribing all those panel lines would be intimidating to say the least (for me). Nice to see someone taking the time to build up a Dart.
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 06:03 AM UTC
I just got a UMM scriber, as I can't use the Tamiya scriber for much, and no matter what wonder all over the place. Just a little practice with the UMM scriber, and it's a different world.
Joel
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 06:13 AM UTC
For the longest time I used a Bare Metal Foil scriber, but it would work for a little while, then become too dull to be much use. The Squadron scriber didn't work out of the package. So for a long time it was just a sharp pin in a metal handle and lots of clean up. The UMM product is magic, and what I like most is that the straight side of it can carefully be pushed to accommodate irregular shapes, but usually I try to use a combination of template shapes or Dymo tape templates. Nice thing about that is I can create custom shapes. Lots of flexibility there.
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 - 12:06 AM UTC
Ok, been a long time since I've updated. I'm a lot better at working on them than writing on them.

Finally got around to getting some of the major sub assemblies together. The wings were reasonably decent, but due to the Aires wheel well insert, there was a little bit of resistance and bowing. I removed as much structure on the top half of the wings, also making a cut-out for the wheel well roof to slot into. Some filling required where top and bottom halves meet, especially past the outboard dog-tooth.



Also got the fuselage together, with resin nosecone and intakes. Neither fit all that well, and I needed a bit of filler to get everything to fair together. The Nose was especially problematic, being about 1mm too small in diameter. In any case, I think it took three passes with filler and primer to get it all looking reasonably smooth.





The wings were joined to the fuselage, and this is where the excess material of the main gear wells reared its ugly head. There was a pretty significant gap between the aft edge of the wing assembly and the mating surface of the fuselage. Thankfully the wing is pretty flexible, and strategic clamping and Tamiya extra thin won the day. More filling and sanding.



Started the missiles, mostly because I wanted to see how the Vallejo colors looked. I'm pretty happy with them...it's an odd color, and I was surprised that not only was it available, but came with the briefcase set of ModelColor that I bought. The photo shows a resin missile included with the kit, the Monogram item and a Hasegawa weapons set version. The resin missiles are by far the best, but no markings are included for them. Interesting, since they're pretty well marked for a missile. I'm in the process of creating a set of markings for the AIM-4 family, but first have to learn to use the blasted software. Might be a good excuse to buy an Alps printer too. More than likely I'll contract out the first sheet of decals for the sake of expediency, but I like the idea of being able to print marking as I need them.





Work was also started on the missile bay detail. Lots of painting and weathering. I decided that I didn't like the wire bundle detail, removed it and drilled to accept new bundles made from 2 lb test fishing line. Got to the point where I needed to add the end caps that had the rocket detail, and found they didn't come close to fitting...after cementing them in place overly well (thinking I could 'adjust' them to fit), I gave up and raided the spares kit. Work is in process to remove unwanted detail and then cement the end caps on prior to painting. Plus, I think with a little finesse I can reduce the amount of sanding to get a nice smooth transition between the parts. I'm also considering stripping the door actuators from the old parts to make a better looking set on the bay wall/door part. Provided detail is pretty chunky and would be better served with some scratch building. I'll also be adding actuator lines where applicable, and hydraulic lines where visible.







More to come, and hopefully sooner rather than later.
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 - 05:33 AM UTC
Brad,
Excellent progress on the fuselage. One can really see the amount of work and effort that went into getting it to that point. Looking forward to seeing how you handle the missile bay.

Joel
JPTRR
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RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 - 06:38 AM UTC
Brad, ingenious way to guide scribing!

I'll be watching.
bbronov
#252
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 - 07:07 AM UTC
Dymo is a great tool! I've found I can get a tiny bit curve to it if I cut it into thinner strips. Compound curves can still be a hassle, though. The nice thing about the UMM scriber, though, is that I can push the straight end of it (rather than pulling the hooked side) with a pretty high degree of control...you just have to take it slow. What amazes me...truly flabbergasts me, in fact...is the degree of control professional engravers have when making a master die. Those guys are incredible!
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 - 06:02 PM UTC
Brad,
I've switched to the UMM-USA ver1 scriber, and love it. I can actually scribe some lines. I do prefer the straight edge side for the same reasons as you do. With the Tamiya J hook scriber I made so many mistakes that I usually just gave up.
Joel
litespeed
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Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 02:20 AM UTC
Brad this is an excellent build log. Great subject too.
tim
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2015 - 02:42 AM UTC
Ok, another long pause. Between work and life....you know how it is. Anyway, the build is coming along. Fuselage is together, primed, and preshaded. I've got a plan to try some weathering techniques inspired by Mig Jimenez's excellent products and tutorials, but will keep it fairly light. These planes were pretty well maintained.





Additionally, I've got the missile bay walls pretty much where I want them as far as detail goes. The wire bundles are two separate experiments. On one side I used 2 Lb pound test monofilament, on the other I used very fine armature wire. Both techniques had advantages and disadvantages, but overall I found the monofilament to take a more realistic shape as I secured it in place with lead foil clamps. Painted pictures will follow soon.

Joel_W
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Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2015 - 08:02 PM UTC
Brad,
Nice to see another update. Looking forward to seeing the F102A with a coat of paint, and how the pre-shading looks through it.

As for your wiring experiment, I,ve never had much luck with monofilament fishing line. I much prefer lead wire, copper wire, and even stretched sprue which is my favorite as long as sharp bends aren't required.

Joel
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2015 - 11:33 PM UTC
I've only just started using lead wire, and so far I'm impressed. I see a tremendous potential for things like flexible and rigid hydraulic lines, provided that the location is reasonably safe from being touched. I'm still climbing up the learning curve regarding its use. The biggest drawback with lead wire is that it simply can't be thin enough to realistically represent wire bundles, at least after a little paint and weathering. I had originally used stretched sprue to create bundles, and I was generally happy with the results, but they tended to be fairly fragile affairs after I applied liquid cement to keep everything together. The fine monofilament looked thin enough and was considerably stronger than sprue, plus it took bends much more naturally than sprue or armature wire.

I'll take some in progress pictures of my method of making bundles as I think that a written description probably would just muddy the waters.
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Monday, May 18, 2015 - 12:39 AM UTC
Been a busy weekend, but this time in the shop...

As promised, a little tutorial on wire bundles. As I mentioned in my previous post, I find single wires to be a poor representation of aircraft wire bundles. Im sure this stems from my previous life as an Aircraft Mechanic, or just pure OCD, but I've been playing with different methods of depicting bundles that aren't too overscale, but still convey the 'feeling' of a multi-strand bundle of wires. As the photo below shows, wire bundles are look just like that...bundles.



On full sized airplanes, the bundles are held together with zip ties (in more modern applications), or more likely, waxed thread. While the thread may be invisible at scale, the appearance of periodic 'pinching' can be depicted by my method. All in all, I think it gives a good showing without being over-done or overly complicated or time consuming to accomplish.


This is the basic setup for my bundles...a couple of push pins in a wooden block, and my 'wire'. Either 2Lb test fishing line, or armature wire. Both have plusses and minuses, and both can successfully substituted with finely stretched sprue.



I start by making a number of loops around the pins, usually 6 or 8, but the diameter of your bundle will ultimately dictate the number of loops you make. Secure the loose ends however works best for you; I either make a couple of extra turns around a pin, or use spring tweezers or hemostats to secure the ends and add a little weight to keep things taught. Start by making half an overhand knot, preferably with monofilament, it seems to want to keep itself tied better than any other option.



Continue to make these ties every so often until the length of bundle is all tied up.



Secure the whole thing with thin superglue, just a little bit at every knot. Capillary action will draw the glue into the bundle and keep things tidy later on. Alternatively, you can use extra thin cement (very sparingly) on stretched sprue. When the glue cures, clip the ends of the ties off.



A little paint and weathering brings out the best in this method. This little test run doesn't look as good as it could, I used wire for the bundle, and really, it should have been primed first.



Final results for my missile bay walls. be sure to simulate cable clamps every so often. Sharp eyed mechanics will note that my clamps are misplaced...they should be on the vertical ribs, but that was a pain...anyhow, the final product tuned out pretty good I think.







Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, May 18, 2015 - 07:28 PM UTC
Brad.
Your bay doors turned out great. Very nicely detailed.
Joel
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 03:36 AM UTC
Short update today...

Paint is on. I used Model Master Acrylics for the ADF Grey thinned with some homemade thinner. The preceding is very subtle, but thats what I wanted. I had a little bit of an orange peel issue, so I hit the whole thing with micro mesh and shot another coat of very thin paint. Decals and final assembly next...




Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 06:42 AM UTC
Brad,
Your F-102A really looks spectacular with a coat of paint on. Looking forward to seeing it with the decals on in your next update.

A friend that is moving down south just sent me his barely started Encore F-102A kit, as he needed to drastically thin out his stash. Looking forward to building it this coming fall.
Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 06:33 PM UTC
Brad,
I just re-read through your entire build as I now have the kit as previously mentioned for a future build, and needed to re-visit your corrections and detailing methods.

I'm really more then impressed with your method of wire bundling, simple, yet so effective in the final appearance. Thank you for sharing that with us.

I've looked for a long time at the raised panel lines, and they're about as finely produced as you can get. From the photos I've seen, the panel lines are visible, but not as nearly as pronounced as I thought that they would be. At this point I'm inclined to leave them as is, rather then try to re-scribe the entire airframe which will most likely end in a nightmare for me, as my skills in that area are no where near yours.

Joel
bbronov
#252
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Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 11:34 PM UTC
I can certainly sympathize with your reluctance to open that pandora's box (scribing), I assure you it's not as difficult as it looks...the -102 is only the 5th or 6th attempt at scribing for myself...if you'd like to see my first attempt:



I used a needle chucked in a pin vise and a Baremetal scriber...and lots of sanding and rescribing. I will warn you, however; once you've done it, there's no going back.

I think you should give it a whirl...there are a ton of advantages, as I'm sure you're aware, to recessed over raised panel lines.

I'll have more photos soon. The decals are on and the panel lines inked...all that needs to be done now (said as though it's a small task) is final assembly and some very light weathering....




not the best photo...I should shoot some newer ones. That picture is 12-14 years old.