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About chuck540z3

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

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

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  1. April 17/19 A quick public service announcement. Like most of you guys, I use a lot of microbrushes of every description and go through maybe a hundred per model. Purchased from my local hobby shop, they can cost $0.20/each or more. I've bought them in bulk from the usual modeling internet sites for about half of that, but that was when I was looking for "Modeling or Hobby Microbrushes". I discovered by accident a few years ago that if I looked for "Makeup or Dental Microbrushes", I found the very same thing- and more selection- for only $0.02/each! Here's my latest order from ebay (or Amazon). 4 X 400 = 1,600 microbrushes for $31.50, delivered free to my door from China. At this price, I don't have to worry about keeping any of them clean. Cheers, Chuck
  2. Thanks! Right now, it's total gloss black with red decals, but since nobody makes decals for the jet in my first pic, it will be a bit of a "what if". With the many, many versions of Navy and Air Force F-5 Aggressors out there, it likely won't be noticed. Cheers, Chuck
  3. Thanks MIke. Yes, the landing gear is slightly off the roof of the gear well, mostly because it's supposed to! One side is flush while the other is raised. I thought of doing what you have suggested, but I'll wait until final assembly to see if I really need to. April 14/19 I finally finished the wings, including the control surfaces. As with everything else, every panel line was re-scribed and every rivet re-punched. I bet I’ve redone about 2,000+ rivets by now, but after a gloss black paint finish, it will be well worth it. The wing to fuselage fit is not very good, but by sanding and dry fitting many times, you can get the fit close enough that you don’t need much in the way of filler. Here’s how I did it: 1) Sand and dry fit the wing to the fuselage to get as close a possible to a perfect fit. 2) Apply Tamiya Extra Thin Cement (TETC) to the main portions of the wing to fuselage, then hold the parts tightly together with your hands until the parts are fused. This takes about 5 minutes and don’t worry about getting glue to all portions of the join. 3) Apply a good bead of TETC along the entire wing to fuselage join. This not only adheres the wing, but it makes the plastic swell, helping to close small gaps. Let it dry for 1 hour, then apply another bead, both top and bottom. You want to use lots of glue, but not so much that you make the plastic too mushy. Let it dry for 24 hours. 4) Sand the join smooth with #1000 grit sandpaper, removing any excess glue marks on either side of the seam. Remove the sanding dust. 5) Apply thin masking tape to either side of the seam, leaving a small gap no bigger than what you need to fill. 6) Thin some Tamiya Basic putty in a small jar with Tamiya lacquer thinner. Since the putty smells exactly like the thinner, I bet it’s the very same stuff. With a microbrush, apply the thinned putty along the seam. 7) Using a Q-tip dipped in more Tamiya lacquer thinner, swipe along the seam to push the putty into the gaps and smooth the overall surface. You want the putty to be slightly raised from the join, because it will shrink. 8- Carefully remove the masking tape, which should leave a straight bead of slightly raised putty. Let the putty dry for 24 hours. 9) Sand the join smooth. If you still have small holes and gaps, redo them with more thinned putty. 10) For a final sealing micro-filler coat, paint on a thin bead of Future/Pledge on the seam and let it dry for 24 hours, then sand. If you want to redo some areas, just apply Windex to a Q-tip or rag and remove it. Now some pics. The flaps and ailerons are just dry fitted and I will paint them separately for ease of handling. The fit on the bottom turned out pretty good too. The gear wells were painted before I glued on the wings. Now an often-ignored part of modeling wings. The trailing edges of wings in most kits are too fat and they should be sanded down to thin them. The ailerons in this kit do not fit the wings at all, so you need to sand each hinge down about 25% in order to get them to mesh properly. Based upon most reference pics of parked F-5’s, the rear flaps are usually straight while the ailerons are drooped down, while the front flaps can be straight or drooped down just slightly- which is how I’m going to pose them. As somebody mentioned already, this is starting to look like a jet! Thanks again for your comments and interest in this build. Cheers, Chuck
  4. chuck540z3

    1/32 CF-18

    Great job Dan. And here's another pic to back up some of the fatigue life mods on the dorsal surface. Cheers, Chuck
  5. Great find Karl! I just bought some more myself. For these prices, they would have to be pretty bad to not be worth it- and I bet they are just fine. I note that delivery is "April 28 to June 16" for my neck of the woods, so good thing I'm not in a rush! Cheers, Chuck
  6. Yup, with an FTZ adapter that is now "free" with the Z-7 kit. The only problem is that by the time you put on the adapter and another big lens, it starts to get as big and heavy as the D810. I bought the Z-7 mostly for holidays, so that I can have a really good camera without all the bulk and weight. Cheers, Chuck
  7. Thanks! That makes sense because I couldn't find "Hi Performance Distributors", because apparently it doesn't exist! April 8/19 I’ve been a bit distracted lately with my other hobby, but I did get a chance to work on the wings. Like much of the kit parts, they are a bit lumpy, the surface is slightly rough and the rivet detail is shallow and bit wide. Without adding a dark wash, it’s hard to photograph, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. After giving the wings the same “Chuck” treatment I’ve given the rest of the model, the detail is much better and smoother. This will be critical later for a smooth gloss black finish. Also, rivet patterns were added according to references, top and bottom. The bottom of the wings are a lot more complicated. Here are the key things you should do if you follow my lead. 1 The outer join does not exist, so it should be filled and sanded smooth, then a nose-like panel line scribed across it as shown. 2 The other join on the LEX is OK and should stay, but be re-scribed. 3 The gear bay walls should be glued securely to the top of the wing, because that’s all that’s holding on to the very weak landing gear legs. 4 If you aren’t using the inner pylons, do not open the holes as shown in the instructions in Step #19, while the outer pylon holes- which are already open- should be filled if you’re not using them. Rather than just fill them with CA glue, I used styrene rod to create pylon anchor points or plugs with more detail, as found on the real deal. And this is all that’s holding the gear legs in place: Two tiny slots. Yikes! While fairly accurate, they are fairly weak. All the more reason to put them on at the very end of the build, like I usually do anyway. The wing to fuselage join isn’t horrible, but it’s not plug and play either. While a chore to fix, this is more common in modeling than it’s not, so no big deal. Again, a lot of those crooked ghost panel lines should disappear after a coat of paint (fingers crossed). Now a pic of my other hobby that is taking up valuable modeling time. I just bought a new Nikon Z-7 mirrorless camera, to go with my D810 and D610. While my D810 has a very large 36 MP sensor, this new toy has 46 MP! For most photographers this is overkill, but I can crop my pics in half and still have very high resolution- and it weighs much less than the D810, which is always a pain around my neck on vacation. To be honest, I think I like collecting camera equipment more than actually taking photos, sort of like modelers who have a huge stash of kits but never seem to find the time to build any of them. I do take the odd pic, however, so I’ll just leave it at that. Back to modeling soon enough. Cheers, Chuck
  8. This is what I use, made by High Performance Distributors. It works fast, won't harm paint and plastic and unlike many accelerators, it doesn't stink. I place some of it in a small bottle, then just dip a microbrush in it and apply as required. Cheers, Chuck
  9. Yes and no. For small clean-up, I use the small white brushes, but for larger areas I use the yellow and green microbrushes and sometimes even big Q-tips or a small rag!. Also, with the debonder I use, I never worry about it debonding a part unless I want it too. Sometimes if I'm not happy with the bond, I add some debonder to "remelt" the glue, then let it dry again. No mess and a secure bond! With other debonders I've tried, this would be impossible and they don't work that well to begin with. Chuck
  10. Very good point Chris! If I'm not sure I can sand CA glue within 30-45 minutes, I don't apply it all. Better to be slow than have glue dry too long, which will become very hard to sand. As for CMK Debonder, I haven't tried that yet, but like you, I can be sloppy with the application of CA glue and not worry about it, because the debonder cleans up any mess easily. I have not tried the "Surgical Spears", mostly because the small microbrushes I buy soak up the glue and apply it in any way I want. If you want cheap, I buy them in bulk like the link below, which is a bit over $0.02/brush. If you look for hobby microbrushes they are expensive, but if you look for dental or make-up microbrushes they are much cheaper- and the very same thing! Microbrushes on Amazon Cheers. Chuck
  11. Thanks Guys! Thanks and same here Mike. Even on good days there's still too many rocks and salt on the road for the toy to come out and play. Cheers, Chuck
  12. I would REALLY like to get my hands on these OOP decals and I am prepared to pay a premium if anybody has an extra set. Cheers, Chuck
  13. Thanks Guys! I have been asked how I use CA glue as a filler before, especially when panel lines and rivet detail is enhanced or restored. Although I’ve written tutorials on this subject before, I can’t find them, so here’s a new updated one! Using CA Glue as a Filler I have been using Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue as a filler for many years and more recently, about 90% of the time over traditional modeling putties. I use CA glue on every single join of my models, to make sure there are no gaps to be found later. While putty still has its place, CA glue has the following advantages over putty: 1) Drying time is quick to immediate, especially if you use an accelerator. 2) Since it dries harder, it sands finer- but sanding must be done within an hour or two of drying. Left to cure overnight, it will become much harder than the plastic, making sanding difficult. 3) As a glue, it strengthens joins while it fills them. 4) Panel lines can be created or re-scribed over CA glue with a smooth finish, which you can't do with putty. Again, this should be done within a short time after drying. 5) CA glue doesn’t shrink as it dries, so what you see is what you get after drying. 6) Tell tale flaws can be detected with strong lighting, allowing immediate repair. CA Glue Properties. The first point I stole from the internet, which explains it better than I could. 1) CA glue can only bond with a surface when there is moisture present. This means if the CA glue is placed on a perfectly dry surface, it will not stick to the surface or form a bond. In contrast, when any amount of moisture is present, the molecules in the glue will react with the moisture to form tight chains in between the two surfaces in contact. This reaction generates heat and occurs instantly, which differs from traditional glue bonding that occurs by evaporation of the base fluid. 2) Due to the above, thinner glues dry much faster than thicker glues, because more of the surface area to volume of glue is exposed to moisture. For the same reason, glue in moist air dries quicker than dry air. 3) Over time, thin CA glues get thicker, which is why I only buy thin glues and have a variety of new and older glues on hand resulting in a variety of viscosities. 4) Thin and thick CA glues can be mixed, to create a custom viscosity that you might need for a particular application. 5) CA glues don’t shrink very much, if at all, so only use what you need. CA Glue Tools of the Trade. Although mostly obvious, this is what you need: 1) The right brand and viscosity of CA glue. I’ve found that not all CA glue works the same and some are better than others. I’m using Mercury M5 glue right now, because I know how it works and what to expect. To get the right viscosity, just mix some thin and thicker glues together until you get what you need. For most applications, I use thin glue only with no mixing. 2) CA glue accelerator. You often want the glue to dry immediately, so the application of an accelerator will do that, but again, some are better than others. I used to use an accelerator that worked very quickly, but it also made the glue shrink and shrivel leaving bubble marks and it attacked paint. The one I use now is much milder to use and does not harm paint if it is removed quickly. 3) CA glue remover, or “Debonder”. Sometimes the glue doesn’t go where you want it and needs to be removed without sanding. Great Planes Debonder is the very best there is and it won’t harm the plastic like some other debonders. 4) Applicator Microbrush. Depending on the application and viscosity of the glue, I use either a very small microbrush (usually white), or the tip of the microbrush with the brush removed. Bought in bulk, these brushes cost only pennies apiece and I use and throw away dozens of them on every model. 5) Glue container, that is plastic and relatively deep. Quite by accident I discovered that the cap to a small spray bottle can hold CA glue in a liquid form up to 24 hours. Glue left on an open flat surface will dry quickly because it is exposed to air moisture, but for some reason glue in this type of container dries very slowly and the glue remains in a liquid form for several hours of glue application. 6) Sandpaper, both #400 and #1000 Tamiya equivalent grits. I say “Tamiya equivalent” grit, because one brand of #400 sandpaper will often be quite different than another brand of #400 sandpaper, which might be too coarse. Other than the glue accelerator (I’ll find the brand name later), here’s a pic of what I currently use: The Filling Procedure To fill a seam or join like I’ve done above, the first thing to do is to use Tamiya Extra Thin Cement (TETC) to join the parts together, then ooze a good layer of this cement into the join to swell the plastic and close the gap. The goal here is to get good adhesion and natural filling without the use of CA glue. This doesn’t have to be neat along the join at all, but avoid getting any cement in fine detail. Let this dry for a minimum of 24 hours, or 48 hours if you used a lot of glue. You want it dry and as hard a possible for sanding. When the TETC has dried properly, sand the join smooth using #400 sandpaper until it is flush, then remove the sanding dust with whatever works the best for you. I use compressed air, a clean microbrush and sometimes solvent on a rag to get all the dust out of the join. Dipping a microbrush into the CA glue container (not the bottle) and holding the surface horizontal so that the glue won’t drip, apply a thin bead of glue along the seam. The goal is to totally fill the seam, plus about 10%, to get the top of the glue slightly higher than the surface of the plastic. Let this dry for a few minutes, then apply glue accelerator with another microbrush along the seam next to the glue itself, but not directly on it. Tip the parts allowing the accelerator to contact the CA glue and wait about a minute. The glue will begin to harden on the surface. When this has happened, apply more accelerator to the glue itself, which should harden completely within seconds. Wipe off all accelerator with a dry rag. Note: Thick CA glues take longer for the accelerator to dry them and they may be dry on the surface, but not internally. Let thick glues dry much longer before sanding. Again using #400 sandpaper, sand down the seam so that it’s flush. Ideally, you have CA glue within the seam and not on the plastic on either side. Using a strong light, check the seam for shiny spots. These spots are low areas or bubbles where the glue has not been sanded yet. Depending on the application, either sand down further or using a microbrush tip (without brush), apply a tiny drop of glue to these areas, add accelerator, then sand again. When you are happy that the seam has been filled properly, use #1000 grit sandpaper and smooth the entire seam and surrounding areas to create a super smooth surface. This takes a lot of time and a lot of sandpaper to get it right. You can now apply or restore panel lines with a scriber and do the same thing for rivets with a needle in a pin vice. Do it within an hour of applying the CA glue, so that it’s not too hard. The glue is slightly harder than the plastic, so take care to dig a little bit more within the glue than the plastic to ensure a uniform panel line or rivet. If you screw up- and you will- apply another drop or two of CA glue and do it all over again. I have scribed and refilled the same panel line multiple times before I got it right and after some paint, you can’t see any flaws. HTH, Chuck
  14. A view from the top, showing in purple which joins to eliminate. Same pic without the colored lines. With the front intake extensions painted on the inside and glued on, the sharp contrast from black to white creates a nice sense of depth and unless you use a flashlight like this pic, you really can’t see where the join is. Could this be the first build of this kit with full intakes? That’s it for now. Next up will be wings and landing gear, which have their own set of challenges! Cheers, Chuck
  15. March 28/19 As shown earlier, I used white styrene sheet at the rear of the front intake parts, to both fill the gaps and provide a sharp demarcation line between the black at the front and the white that will blend into the front of the intake pipes. Before assembly, the inner parts were painted so that the finish would be smooth, avoiding airbrush air turbulence. The parts were then glued together, oozing Tamiya Extra Thin Cement (TETC) into the join from the outside, to avoid paint damage on the inside. As you can see, the kit parts fit like crap, so there was a lot of work to sand down the raised lips and fill the seam line. I also painted the inner sides of the intake while the surface was exposed, again to create a smooth paint finish. I’ve done this as well on the insides of my F-15C Eagle intakes and the vari-ramps (splitters) on my F-4E Phantom. Better to paint this area now than try to squeeze paint in there later. The front intake parts don’t fit the fuselage very well either, partially because KH decided to make the rear of the navigation lights fit into a slot on the fuselage. There’s no reason for this, since the lights are not recessed into the fuselage on the real deal, but it forces you to place the intake in the very center with no allowance to move it up or down to create a better fit. Further, the join does not exist as a panel line, so it must be filled and eliminated. BEFORE: AFTER- Using lots of CA glue and sanding to create this much smoother finish. BEFORE- The other side has the same problems. AFTER: BEFORE. The bottom, as usual, is worse. AFTER. The lines in purple should be filled and eliminated, while the weak detail on the kit parts needs to be rescribed and the rivets repunched. Same pic without the colored lines, which still show “ghost panel lines” from prior staining.