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About chuck540z3

  • Rank
    My OCD helps compensate for my lack of skill
  • Birthday 08/18/1954

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  • Location
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Interests
    Modeling, modeling and once in awhile, modeling.

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  1. Thanks Guys. Well, I thought I did. Here's the fuselage join before paint. The join is behind clear CA glue, so it's very difficult to see what is totally removed and what is partially removed. Also, without making excuses, 90% of these seams would not have shown up on a regular flat finish. The gloss black magnifies everything like 5X magnifying reading glasses. Cheers, Chuck
  2. In a word, Yes! For those who might have missed it, this is the template, although nobody makes decals for this VFC-13 jet, so I'll have to compromise with a bit of a "what if" and use VFC-111 decals instead. Note how clean and shiny it is- and I don't care that it's likely that way just for the air show. If it looked that way for even 5 minutes, that's what I'm going to try and replicate. Cheers, Chuck
  3. July 20/19 When I’m in the modeling zone, I am possessed, so another quick update on painting 3 days in a row. After finishing the bottom of the jet and getting a procedure and rhythm of what I should do, I got after the upper part of the model and low and behold, that bloody fuselage seam was worse up top! Back to the drawing board all over again. And this is why. Nothing really fits front to back… So after a few hours of careful sanding this evening and re-painting, it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. I took a little heat earlier for painting a “plain black jet”, but I think this baby will look awesome with big red Soviet stars and bright red placards and other markings. I’ll just let the pics do the talking now…. With poor fitting gun doors, this area turned out great as well…. I still have a few small flaws, but I’ll let this dry for a few days before I try to repair them and get my sticky fingerprints on the nice shiny surface. Cheers, Chuck
  4. Yup, but nothing crazy, since the gear doors are on the outside hiding most of the gear leg. Cheers, Chuck
  5. July 19/19 Well that didn’t take long. That seam flaw, among other small items was driving me crazy all day at work so as soon as I came home, I got right on it and had them fixed in about 1 ½ hours. First, here is the offending seam and why it’s such a pain to fill and create a smooth finish. This is probably the worst fit on the entire kit, and there are many! And after paint. Still there and since I’m doing surgery anyway, I may as well fix that sink mark in the LEX that I was going to leave alone since it’s on the bottom anyway. Fixing it after paint is not so easy, but after too much experience with this situation, here is what I did. First, I masked off the small detailed areas so that I could sand the seam without eroding them off. Note that the paint is attracting dust already! Since the CA glue is tough, especially after drying so long, I used fairly coarse 400# sandpaper until I had the black lines of the seam and sink hole revealed. I then added CA glue to these black marks, let it dry, then sanded it down again. I then used 1,000# sandpaper and smoothed out the sanded area and the paint on the fringe to eliminate any sharp edges. Once that was done, I masked off another area near the intakes for further repairs. This area was just sanded, along with other small flaws that I found later. Finally, everything was smoothed out with Mr. Laplos polishing cloths in 4,000# and I used compressed air to remove most of the dust. I am happy to report that the seam is now gone, along with the sink marks and other small flaws. There is still a small step at the junction of the intakes and the old seam, but that would take a huge effort that just isn’t worth it underneath a model that will never be seen. The funny thing is, almost all of this will be covered with the big fuel tank anyway, but I’m glad this annoyance is behind me. Next up when this dries, the top paint! Cheers, Chuck
  6. Yup- and a few other ones as well. One problem with this detailed photography- with a light source at an angle on this glossy finish- is that it reveals every imperfection, some of which are not noticeable with the naked eye under normal lighting. The LEX sink mark is one of them. That, and the fact that this can only be seen underneath, makes the fix not worth the hassle. Now if it was on the top, and I bet I find some more later, they will all be repaired for sure. Cheers, Chuck
  7. Thanks Collin, Good question, because I still struggle with dust all the time. After cleaning up sanding dust and other contaminants as much as possible, I always used compressed air on the surface just before I spray paint, which helps a lot. After that its many, many spot repairs of individual pieces of crap, which is seemingly never ending. Looking at my pics above, I still have that big seam line where the two fuselage halves come together, as shown below. Although some modellers leave this as a panel line, it doesn't exist on the real deal, so it must go. I found sanding CA glue at this junction very hard to do, which is why it still exists I guess. There is very fine detail like the access doors and rivets nearby which will be harmed by sanding, so I need to tread lightly while covering the detail with masking tape to protect it. With CA glue you really need to dig to remove it, so hopefully with care I can eliminate this seam while retaining this detail. Later, Chuck
  8. June 18/19 Finally, I’m really painting. A first coat of paint reveals flaws and with gloss black, they are amplified at least 3 times over a flat finish. I always start painting on the bottom, just in case I have airbrush or paint issues, but in this case, Tamiya Gloss Black lacquer (TS-14) sprayed beautifully. This paint was decanted from the rattle can then thinned with about 40% of Tamiya lacquer thinner. I expected a few flaws underneath, because this is where the kit parts do not fit very well, but I did not expect to still see so many seam lines and other flaws. The rear, however, came out looking great. With that shiny coat of X-22 over the Archer rivets, it almost looks like metal already with the smooth reflection. Back to the drawing board….. And another coat of paint. Much better now. A close up to show that those seams lines are now filled and other flaws repaired. There are so many surfaces that from this angle, it almost looks wrinkled. In the background, I’ve been busy cleaning up, assembling and painting other parts that will be attached later for ease of handling. The landing gear, doors and hardware are ready for final assembly. And here’s my first shot at painting the exhausts, which have gone from this: To this, using Alclad Stainless Steel. For the inside, I used Alclad Steel, followed by a dusting of rust to replicate reference pics. Although I’m getting near the end of this build, I still have a lot to do. Missiles, the main fuel tank and dozens of tiny bits still need to be attended to. I’m a bit nervous about decaling, because I normally shoot a good sealing coat of X-22 over the decals to seal them in and reduce decal film edges. On this nice gloss black finish, X-22 might make the finish look too artificial. I guess time will tell! Cheers, Chuck
  9. Yuri. What you have written above is worth more than a gold medal to me. Thank you. I am posting this same build over at LSP and this is what I wrote there last Sunday: "My F-15C coincidentally came in second to a very nice F-15I built by a very friendly guy who introduced himself as Yuri, who apparently follows my builds and knows about all of them. Now THAT was Gold to me! Congrats again Yuri if you read this post." Your Ra'am was awesome and I think your FW-190 maybe even better, so you're right, maybe my Spitfire could have come second to it instead? See you at future model contests and before we get too full of ourselves, our mutual friend Justin Ducharme is lurking out there with an awesome 1/32 Corsair in the final stages of completion, that we should all be worried about! I can't wait to see it in person. Cheers, Chuck
  10. Thanks Guys. As I said earlier, I've learned that at model contests that you should expect the unexpected, and my Eagle was a perfect example of that. Even the Gold medal winner told me later that my model was the real winner and although I have a hundred things to say, my comments would only come off as being a poor sport, so I'll just leave it at that. My display cabinet is full of medals and special modeling awards, so I don't really need another one. Fine Scale Modeler will be publishing the F-15C build in a book on aircraft modelling this fall, while I think the Spitfire will be in a regular magazine issue about the same time, which trumps a gold disk drink coaster any day of the week. Cheers, Chuck
  11. June 8/19 A good modeling day, as you will soon see. As I hit the backstretch of this build, there’s lots of picky small parts to deal with, so it’s time to get them out of the way. In almost all of the pics I have of my subject, the landing gear doors and air brakes are in the closed position, so it’s very tempting to leave them that way, creating less work. Other references, however, show these doors open when on the ground, other than the front gear door which is almost always closed. I decided to let the kit parts tell me what to do, which turned out to be fairly easy. Despite all the shortcoming of this kit, the landing gear, gear wells and gear doors are excellent with a lot of interesting fine detail, so I I’m leaving them open. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pin marks to deal with, which are fairly easy to fix most of the time, but when they are in a tight recessed area and raised, they can be a real paint to fix. Case in point, the air brakes. How the heck do you get rid of that!? Even the outside of the brake on the right has sink marks that need to be smoothed out. Using a Dremel tool with dental burr, I ground the raised pin mark down, then filled the recesses with putty and tried to sand them down the best I could in such a small space. This is never smooth, so I used an old trick I’ve been using for years, by filling the recess with Future/Pledge as a micro-filler that you don’t need to sand later, to smooth things out. The outside of the brake was sanded down to remove the sink marks, then the rivets were re-punched. After painting, it looks much better. The top pin mark is not as sharp due to all the commotion in that small area, but you will likely not see it on the finished model. Now a bit of a screw-up. Reviewing some tips given in the SIG on LSP, I was certain that my subject didn’t have chaff/flare dispensers, so I removed the panel detail on the belly earlier. Gear door B21 has more of this same detail to accommodate the dispenser fairing B37 on the left in the pic below, so I removed it as well. As luck would have it, my subject DOES have this chaff/flare dispenser, so I should have left everything alone! Not a big deal I guess, but getting detailed pics of F-5’s from underneath is hard, especially for my particular jet. In any case, we have 3 deep pin marks on the inside part of the door on the right to remove. After. Much better after filling and paint. The main landing gear doors are quite nice, with not much clean-up required. Note that I glued the arms to the landing gear now, to create a stronger bond with less chance of glue marks later. I used the Black Box cockpit canopy rails rather than the kit parts, because they are much more detailed and they have the hinges that connect to the recesses in the cockpit sill. They were painted on the outside first, to ensure sufficient paint on the top of each rail which can be seen through the canopy glass from above. The rear canopy assembly that was assembled earlier is only dry fitted to make sure clearances were OK. The front canopy frame which is brass photo-etch has nothing solid to attach to, so I glued on a thin styrene strip to the canopy, then glued the frame to the inside of the strip with CA glue, trimming the bottom of the PE to accommodate the canopy rails. Both gluing operations are very risky to avoid ruining the clear plastic, so be careful! Note: The mirrors, which are not even on the kit instructions, should be folded twice in a recessed position as shown. Many builds of this kit have them hanging down in a straight line with no bends. There is a large vent on the port side of the canopy that bends inward, which is too small on the Black Box part, so I used the kit version instead. Much better- and that join is real and covered by a junction cover I will add later. Note that I'm using Eduard pre-cut paint masks (JX-221) which fit perfectly. The remainder of the canopy glass will covered later. All this work was done over the last few days, but today I attended the Western Canadian Regional Model Contest, where I entered my 1/32 Spitfire and F-15C Eagle Aggressor. Over 500 models were entered in all sorts of categories, but about 35% or more were aircraft. For some reason that I don’t understand, the Eagle came in second, with a Silver in its Advanced Jet Category, but I learned a long ago that model contests are fickle and outcomes are not always predictable. My Spitfire fared much better among more competition in the Advanced Prop Category, winning Gold and a special award for best Canadian aircraft. Pretty cool and my thanks to the organizers and volunteers who put on this bi-annual event. It’s very rewarding to be recognized by your peers, who understand the challenges of our hobby. Cheers, Chuck
  12. Thanks Guys! Quick follow up because I just sprayed X-22 on everything to smooth things out. BEFORE: AFTER: 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
  13. 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.... 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. 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. 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. The titanium panels just forward of the nozzles have recessed rivets, which look OK, but I can make them better. 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. 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". Top And don't forget the bottom, because it is covered with raised rivets as well in roughly this pattern from references. 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
  14. Thanks Guys! Not much of an update, but after a short vacation and long weekend with my grand kids, "Papa" is back working on this build. I've done quite a bit already, but not much to show yet, so stay tuned. Cheers, Chuck
  15. Thanks. I can't comment on the 1/48 AFV Club offering because I only build 1/32 aircraft, but based upon the FineScale Modeler review here, I am certain that it is a better kit overall: 1/48 AFV Club F-5E This Kitty Hawk kit is a real challenge to get it to fit together properly, but it does has some good points as well: Pro's 1) It's way better than the old Hasegawa kit, which is the only other kit in 1/32. 2) Accuracy is pretty good overall. 3) Good plastic that is easy to rescribe. 4) Excellent rivet detail, although many of the rivets need to be enhanced. 5) Lots of decals and subjects. But there are abundant flaws: Con's 1) Many errors, like fuel doors on starboard side of fuselage and panel line errors on the same side of front fuselage. 2) Many errors in the instructions, especially the clear parts. 3) Some of the parts do not fit together at all. The front to back fuselage join is especially problematic. 4) Panel lines often don't mesh across parts. 5) Gun doors are made to be open only and require a lot of surgery to get them closed. 6) Windscreen and canopy clear plastic have internal distortion flaws that can't be fixed. 7) Cockpit is too shallow and not very accurate. 8) Instrument panel is a mess. Having said all that, this build should be fairly unique, because I am trying to fix most of these errors and the final product should look pretty good. Fingers crossed! HTH, Chuck
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