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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Hosted by Tim Hatton
Italeri 1/32 Mirage IIIc
redcap
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: November 06, 2005
KitMaker: 681 posts
AeroScale: 261 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 12:58 AM UTC
Steve,

You ought to sell your patent parts back to Italeri and get them to re-tool those specific parts!

Your ingenuity and grit to finish this kit is admirable mate.

Gary
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 12:28 AM UTC
Steve,
That's a really nice save.
Joel
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - 09:39 PM UTC
I’m in a rush, so here’s a quick update on the front landing gear leg. Step 1 was sand down the larger part to match the smaller one. Step 2 was apply three coats of Mr Surfacer 500 to the join, letting each coat dry before the next application. Step 3 was sand roughly and gently with 320 grit sanding sponge. Step 4 will be finer sanding as well as additional filling because I can see some imperfections in the shots.

She’s got legs…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAzTO8GMZhk



SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, August 15, 2016 - 07:38 PM UTC
Hi Gary

Yes me too. I doubted it could be that wrong and had to check references. The SEO is work in progress with pics to come soon!

Happy modelling.

Steve
redcap
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, August 15, 2016 - 07:29 PM UTC
Those different sized parts for the nose wheel gear is something else. It's not often I am lost for words; but this is one of them.

Steve, I really look forward to seeing how you apply yet another 'skills enhancement opportunity' to this one!

Gary
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, August 15, 2016 - 04:13 PM UTC
Hi Joel

Thanks very much. It took several days of work with different grades of sanding sponge, and a good deal of will power too. Personally I find if I tackle a big job like this over a number of small sessions I stay more focused and get a better result. That approach also helps with staying sane too.

More on the front landing gear soon.

All the best

Steve
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 11:16 PM UTC
Steve,
Oh Wow!

Your correction to the nose cone is outstanding.

Looking forward to how you correct and detail that nose gear.

Joel

SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 09:57 PM UTC
There’s only so many times you can say the same thing without people switching off, so I won’t embellish on the problems with the front under carriage. Except, that is, to say it comes in two halves which are not of equal sizes.



Having checked references to make sure its not supposed to be this way, I decided to take the path of least resistance and remove some detail, sand to size and then scratch replacement parts. Its a simple little snip and sand.



The nose is now looking nicely blended and ready to have panel lines and rivets restored. Then maybe a return to construction might be possible.





Happy modelling.

Steve
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 09:54 PM UTC
Hi Gary and Joel

I guess I felt I should at least invite Italeri to have a say, because I'm being brutally honest about their product. I do hope that other modellers will benefit from this blog - they might avoid the kit or treat it as a challenge, but at least they'll know.

My own view is that the internet shines a bright light any any company, and its in their long-term interests to listen to customers. Of course they might choose not to. We can then choose not to buy.

As for me, I'm going to post the latest right now.

Caveat emptor! (Buyer beware)

Have great day.

S

redcap
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 09:51 PM UTC
Hi Joel,

A lot of sense spoken there and ultimately, I guess the only tangible demonstration one can make to a company selling a kit like this costing the equivalent of over $100 (I paid £75.00 for mine) is not to buy their products again.

When I can pick up a kit of the quality of the 1/32 Tamiya F4U or a WNW 2 seater for the same money or even the superlative 1/32 Tamiya Mossie for just another 25 quid, then Itaeri just does not cut it any more. It has certainly been my last Italeri purchase.

A 1990's tooling standard kit with 1980's fit quality at 2016 prices just doesn't do it for me!

Anyway.............let's crack on with Steve's magnificent build eh.

Gary
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 06:25 PM UTC
Gary,
While I've posted about the same as you as to Italeri making any major corrections, it has been done in the past. IIRC GWH did a F-15E (?) and it got slammed big time by the Rivet counters. They not only went back and corrected their molds, but pulled the 1st run of kits, and offered replacement parts to anyone who had already bought the kit. Eduard had that over 1/48 scale Me109G and flat out admitted that it was wrong. They recut the molds moving forward in their Me109 series.

Several companies have reps that regularly read the major boards, and periodically do post, offer suggestions, and yes even defend the companies position. A fewer smaller companies have even polled modelers as what to produce next or down the road.

I do know a great many modelers from my years in the hobby, from club level to the IPMS national level, and I think you'd be surprised at just how many actually read modeling sites. They might not post, nor contribute, but they read them, as we're part of their modeling entertainment.

While I strongly disagree with Italeri's decision to release such a flawed kit, the odds are that the decision came from the "bean Counters" who make the financial decisions. Almost to a person they're not modelers, they're businessmen/woman looking to maximize the companies net profit. Whatever budgets that were created, once used, that's that, and they're looking for their return both for the bottom line, and to create the cash flow needed for the next budgeted program. The odds are that they knew all to well about the fit issues, but there was no more left in the budget to correct those issues, and the assigned time frame mandated the kits release.

At the cost of today's kits, especially 1/32 scale, they surely aren't targeting the pre-teen/teen market, but rather mature modelers who they feel will buy, build, and buy another kit from them due to the unique subject matter. I'll be the 1st one to agree that is short term thinking that usually doesn't pan out over the long haul. But to a great extent, that's how big business works these days.
And unfortunately, the consumer is the one who suffers.

Joel
redcap
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 04:09 PM UTC
Steve,

As per your suggestion, someone from Italeri commenting on the issues identified, well 'exposed' really, would be most interesting but that said, other than an insincere "Sorry!" - what could they say? They knew they were there the day they said "Right let's get it boxed and shipped out".

I doubt also that their 'E' will be any different as only a fraction of those in the hobby read sites such as this and even less log into and follow informed articles like yours.

So, the gauntlet has been cast but I doubt anyone at Italeri spa. will pick it up??

Some basic fit and correction issues we expect, but issues like the nose and the intakes etc. is something we shook our heads at even back in the 70's & 80's. In 2016 and with CAD and computer technology, I fail to see how even errors of fractions of a mm still persist; much less the complete mismatches on this kit.

Keep going Steve....nearly there mate!

Gary
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 03:37 PM UTC
Hi Joel

Thanks very much. It was a bit of an experiment but it does seem to have done the job.

I'd recommend the Tamiya sanding sponges because they come in all sots of grit and conform naturally to curves. Obviously they are not so good for sanding straight edges but then we have other ways to achieve those.

As for Italeri kits, well yes, this will be my last until something changes for the better. I've just started work on the front landing gear and its the same old story. I'll post some images tonight. Its a shame because they seem to be picking great subjects but executing the kit really badly.

Have a great day.

Steve
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 08:48 PM UTC
Steve
Your method of fixing that very nasty step on the top of the nose cone without changing the shape of the fuselage so that the windscreen still fits came out absolutely perfect. I've used that method a few times, especially on my P-61 which also had a nasty step. It took a long time to get right, but it's the final product that makes it worth while.

I've also read about these mega complaints on other boards about not just this Italeri kit, as it seems to be how they do things these days. Believe me, they'll never see one dime of my money until they up their game. Of course the A-20 will be the exception as they didn't make the molds, so they can't screw them up.

BTW, that's some selection of Tamiya sponge sanders. I really have to give them a dry.

Joel
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 04:03 PM UTC
Great work and perseverance to overcome a problem that should never have been present in a brand new and expensive kit.


Quoted Text

.....they presumably did some test builds prior to release?



If they did then they must have seen the problem and decided not to correct. On a flagship new kit that's like brand suicide.
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 03:25 PM UTC
Hi Gary and Gaz

If it wasn't for the interest and support from guys like you I think I would have given up by now, or at least put her aside for a rest.

Gaz, I'm pleased its helped. It was an education for me too!

Gary, yes this kit really raises issues about how Italeri test their kits, and also their attitude towards their customers. There was an initial wave of interest in this kit built on CAD images and in box reviews. Both looked good but as we know the reality is different. Now Italeri have released a E version of the Mirage III. If they care about selling a decent product then they will have addressed the well documented problems with the C version made here and on many other forums (as well as keeping its good points). Really a kit with this many basic design and manufacturing errors should not be released, and now there is no excuse for the E version. Its a test of Italeri's feelings about their customers.

If anyone from Italeri is reading this you could post a response if you want to.

May your sanding stick never go dull!

S

redcap
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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 04:04 AM UTC
Masterful work Steve but a damning indictment on Italeri for a 'new tool' kit costing £70+.

The Italeri Quality Control Department - assuming that's not an oxymoron? - should hand their head in shame as this must have been overtly obvious (along with all the other stuff you have identified) when they presumably did some test builds prior to release?

What an inspiring and disapointing build article this has been in equal measure but for entirely different reasons as I so wanted to build this kit; but my enthusiasm for it is now zero.

Cheers Steve and keep up the good work!

Gary
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 02:26 AM UTC
Steve,
Brilliant way to resolve this SEO! Educational for me, too! That looks much better!

Gaz
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 12:30 AM UTC
With the ammo supplies received, its time to return to the fray. I think I’ve mentioned before that my weapons of choice when it comes to gently removing plastic are Tamiya sanding sponges. Here’s the ordnance laid out for inspection.



The mismatch between the nose cone and area just in front of the cockpit has been worrying me. The problem is how to fill it, sand it and blend it all together to create the right angles while keeping it all smooth. If you look closely at the shot below you can see the nose has a different angle to the body it joins so the problem is in three dimensions here. I decided against filler, as even with careful application it is hard to control. In the end I went for a thin piece of plastic sheet. This at least starts me off with a controlled smooth surface in one plane.



The method is to cut a strip the wide enough to touch the edge of the nose cone and the front of the canopy. Its cut longer than necessary to give some room to experiment with. As you can see I put a curl in the plastic strip to help it form to the shape of the fuselage. The curl was made simply by rolling the handle of a paint brush across the plastic after it was cut out.



The next step is to glue it in place, being careful to make sure the length is parallel to the edges it is bridging, and leaving a good deal of the end without glue.



Once the glue has dried I trim the piece to shape trying to take the shape of the lowest contour. Then I put marker pen around the edge. The idea here (adopted from this great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i73nVXG8e9c) is that the sanding removes the pen marks leaving only any areas missed still black.



All that's left now is to sand the piece down so that its blended both lengthwise and width wise. I did this carefully, checking often to make sure I wasn't making mistakes.



Finally we’re left with something like this, ready for a little filler to take away the last little gaps and then a last sand to blend it in fully.



I have to say that on a better kit, this kind of surgery would have me fretting about lost detail and imperfect blending. One upside of this kit is that its hard to make it any worse, so experimentation feels less risky. Another SEO, I think. :-)
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
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Posted: Tuesday, August 09, 2016 - 01:25 PM UTC
Hi gentlemen

Thanks a million for your encouragment. There's not much more to show right now as I'm still waiting for the new sanders to arrive - hence my distraction into, er... westerns.

Joel, I have to say that once this lady is done it will take a small miracle to ever persuade me to build an Italeri kit ever again.

As soon as there's something more to show then I'll post some pics. In the meantime good luck with all your builds and happy modelling.

Steve
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2016 - 10:11 PM UTC
Steve,

You really made excellent progress on that nasty fitting nose cone.

But it's another reason to add to my list of why I'll never buy this kit. I highly doubt that they made any corrections as I haven't read anything to suggest that they have.

Joel
redcap
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2016 - 05:18 AM UTC
Steve,

Your perseverance is admirable and that is a great recovery on the nose!

Gary
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2016 - 05:02 AM UTC
Steve,
You've done well on that nose cap. Lol...I wonder how many times modellers have expressed their woes to "Rawhide".

You're not far from airbrush central! Keep it up! You'll get great satisfaction once you've turned the toad into a prince.

Gaz
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2016 - 03:41 AM UTC
To be sung to the tune of Rawhide

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EjbzCX3enA

Sanding, sanding, sanding
Sanding, sanding, sanding
Sanding, sanding, sanding
Sanding, sanding, sanding
Rub hard!

Keep sanding, sanding, sanding
This kit’s so demanding
Keep them sanders sanding
Rub hard!

Through moulding so eratic
The mismatch is dramatic
Wishin’ Italeri had tried.

All the things I’m missin’
Like parts that aren't distressin’
Aren't waiting in that box by my side.

Cut ‘em off
(Stick ‘em on!)
Stick ‘em on
(Fill ‘em in!)
Fill ‘em in
(Stick ‘em on!)
Rub hard!

[Repeat]

Keep sanding, sanding, sanding
Though your hand is hurting
Keep that plastic movin’
Rub hard!

Don’t try to understand it
Tamiya didn’t brand it
So don't expect a good fit. I've tried!
My heart is calculatin’
How much grind is waitin'
And if I’ll finish or I'll expire

Cut ‘em off
(Stick ‘em on!)
Stick ‘em on
(Fill ‘em in!)
Fill ‘em in
(Stick ‘em on!)
Rub hard!

[Repeat]

Rub hard!
Rub hard!



Peterpools
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Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 - 02:40 AM UTC
Steve
Sure would hope so but I doubt it.
Peter