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About Propellerhead

  • Rank
    Canopy Polisher
  • Birthday 05/03/1965

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  • Location
    Oakland, CA
  • Interests
    A modeling omnivore with a strong bias towards aircraft, real space and Sci-Fi subjects.

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  1. I've had the RealSpace Models Block II in progress for a while now. I've had similar challenges, but it's better than starting from scratch...maybe. Anyway, that's the delusion I'll operate under for the time being.
  2. Once things looked busy enough I painted and installed the cockpit. I chopped up some thick Evergreen strip into blocks to establish its fore and aft position. Things get hot at Mach 3. The sidewalls have quilted insulation that I simulated with wine bottle lead foil, embossed with the end of a rounded putty knife and washed with gray panel liner. OCD pays off once again... I had an acetate sheet from Eduard's Profipack X-1 that had unused instrument panels on it. I punched those out and applied them to the instrument faces with Future. The cockpit was painted with Tamiya NATO black and details picked out in silver, yellow and red. I scuffed the floorboards with a Prismacolor silver pencil.
  3. As always, it starts with the cockpit... The cockpit tub detail is not exactly accurate and has only engraved details. If built all closed up one could get away with paint and cannibalized decals for the instrument panel, I suppose. I didn’t like how the resin cockpit tub fit in the fuselage and used Milliput putty to bulk it out and close up some gaps in the nose wheel well. I used the cockpit tub from the 1/48 Hasagawa F-104 to detail the left and right sides of the resin tub. I fabricated a new instrument panel in styrene that better matched reality and went to town with the punch and die set. I then used cockpit parts from the Trumpeter Vigilante and some A-10 Verlinden resin leftovers (super stinky resin!) to dress up the rear bulkhead. I also added the rocket engine "go-knobs" made up of styrene rod and gel CA glue. Slices of styrene rod were used for the rear face of the instrument panel. None of this may be visible in the end, but...new skilz! It needed rudder pedals so I stole the footbox from the F-104 tub, glued it on, blanked it out with styrene sheet and sanded it to shape.
  4. I’ve always loved the muscle car looks of the tragic, short-lived Bell X-2 and decided it was time to pull the 1/48 scale Fonderie Miniatures kit from the shelf of doom. It landed there years ago after I did some “reconnaissance in force" style preliminary construction. As often happens, I found myself stumped on which version to build and how to address its (many) flaws or omissions. As time passed, I picked up Cutting Edge’s excellent decal sheet and more references became available. Why only have one “sow’s ear” project going when one can compound the pain? As delivered, the kit depicts the early version of the X-2, but I wanted to build a late version with the rocket nozzle extensions. Once I figured out how to fabricate the nozzles it was time to get going. The initial posts will chronicle progress to-date and I'll pick up with contemporary updates once I've escaped the rubber room of AMS. What do you get? Injection molded airframe A resin cockpit tub A featureless white metal instrument panel White metal ejection seat and control stick 2 Vacuform canopies White metal nose gear and wheel White metal pitot tube White metal landing skid White metal whisker skids White metal rocket exhaust bulkhead White metal towing cradle with resin wheels Plan of Action Detail the cockpit – guided by references and Shepard Paine creative gizmology. Make the canopy removable. Fabricate rocket nozzle extensions. Add missing fairings, lines and exhaust ducts to the tail area. Thin the trailing edges, but preserve blunt aileron trailing edges. Box in the landing skid bay, adjust the geometry of the landing skid. Fair in the wing-mounted whisker skids (they were found unnecessary once the main gear was shortened). Reshape, smooth, re-scribe as necessary. Scheme is still TBD, but I'm leaning towards how it looked prior to Mel Apt's flight.
  5. Yeah, the David Weeks drawings are the bees knees. Whether one uses them for a project or just to “nerd out” on. Some kits need more work than others. Mostly due to manufacturing (tired molds or other issues). So far the MR was the most trouble free.
  6. I’ve built 4: Mercury-Redstone, Mercury-Atlas, Gemini-Titan II (all in 1/72) and Saturn IB (1/144). The Saturn is the most multi of multi-media kits I’ve ever built (resin, brass tubes, styrene strips, white metal, photo etch). I’ve got their Saturn I Block 2 and progress and other launch vehicles and correction sets in the stash.
  7. Here’s another question re: appropriate subjects in this forum. What about NACA/NASA rocket planes, lifting bodies or other non-jet research vehicles? To my mind they’re closer in “flavor” to this forum than in Jet Modeling. Thoughts?
  8. And, finally, my ode to Stanley shots.... And rear to front... Thanks for tuning in!
  9. A details fly by... Please forgive the "Here's Uncle Ted in front of the house...here's Uncle Ted in front of the house, but you can see the side of the house" nature of this scroll violation. 😉
  10. Slightly elevated side view. Elevated front third. I took screen caps from the DVD and used my photo printer for the images. The United States Astronautics Agency badge is from the Paragrafix photo etch. The middle with that pesky communications unit. Elevated view of the rear third.
  11. How do you take pictures of this thing? Well you need the following... Enough room for it. A backdrop. Lights, many. Stuff to attach lights to. Focus stacking software for any hope of decent depth of field. What did I have to buy? More PVC pipe to expand my current lighting/backdrop rig. More pony clamps to hold the backdrop. More & bigger clamp lights and floodlight bulbs. A black polar fleece blanket from Amazon instead of velvet (cheap!) What did I do? Expanded my lighting & backdrop frame and moved it to a sofa bed (the one-piece base cushion is flat and firm - good enough). Ironed out the fleece as best as I could. Draped and smoothed it out on my lighting & backdrop frame. Set my lights, making sure they were secure and wouldn't swing down on the model (I wrap the pvc with reversed coarse sandpaper for more grip). The contraption in use:
  12. Very nice indeed! What's great about finally having an injection molded kit of this subject is that it allows you to spend your time on customizing and building it to suit your tastes. There's a ton of assembly, for sure, but you don't spend all your time getting it to fit and getting it to stay together. It really makes a statement when completed.
  13. The lights are on and it was pretty much complete at this stage. I still needed to add some "pieces of flair" to the base for the "studio" pictures to follow. I washed the panel lines and greebles with Model Master Gunship Gray (I think). I also selectively dry brushed with more Tamiya X-1 to knock things down and brighten things up where the wash got too heavy or I couldn't pull it out. I may have also misted some thinned white to tone things down on the cargo modules as well. Looks like I haven't added the photo etch grilles and "sooted" the engines yet...
  14. As things proceeded, there was always that urge to put it together, see how it looks and know that there's light at the end of the tunnel. Still some more work to do on the propulsion module with some masking still in place.
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