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About Zactoman

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    100 billion rivets!!!
  • Birthday 04/02/1964

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    Home of Napoleon Dynamite!
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    Zactowoman and counting rivets!

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  1. I posted the following on LSP last week and thought I'd share it here. I'm including an edit now that new photos have surfaced and removing the warning I had included for those who get upset when new kits are critiqued: I think the cowl shape may look more off than it is because the cowl flaps are open. I did a quick photo-shop with them closed: Again, I do think the shape is off, just maybe not as bad as it appears. EDIT: The new photos make it clear that the shape is way off... I'm more concerned about the other shapes and details. First, they're calling it an A-26C but the box art shows an A-26B which was featured on a Bombshell Decals sheet (page 2 of pics, last pic): http://www.hyperscale.com/2012/reviews/decals/bombshell48bs013reviewbf_1.htm The canopy on the kit appears to be the early flat top rather than the bulged clamshell version. I assume they will include both in the box as the box-art plane had the clamshell canopy. It also has the ventral turret, so I assume they will include that in the kit as well. As for shapes: The upper nose glass looks much too bulbous. It's pretty streamlined on the real thing. High-rez pic here: https://media.defense.gov/2010/Jun/18/2000556599/-1/-1/0/090609-F-1234K-005.JPG The canopy side panes should extend further down as should the lower corners of the windscreen. If you draw a line along the lower side pane it should be just below the top of the wing intersection (or is the top of the wing too low?). The continuous curve shape of the windscreen intersection leads me to believe that the forward fuselage is too rounded or the windscreen itself is mis-shapen. The side panes should be flat and almost vertical. They appear to be curved and angling inward. The upper fuselage sides (between the windscreen and rear glass) should be flat with a relatively small radius on the top corner. This is pretty obvious when looking at the corner intersections of the glass areas. The kit appears to have curved sides with a pretty big radius along the top corner. Pic found here (lots of good pics!): https://hiveminer.com/Tags/douglas%2Cinvader/Recent The turret also appears to be too small in diameter. This is likely what they had to do to accommodate the fuselage shape that they made. Had they made it a larger diameter it would have appeared to dive down too much on the sides because of the larger fuselage corner radii. The shape of the turret also looks off. It should have a flatter curve. What they have looks more like the turret was replaced with a fuel tank as shown on the Bombshell sheet listed above (3rd pic in review). I'm going to stop here for now... Disclosure: I know almost nothing about the A-26 but I do like the plane. I built the Airfix kit when I was a kid. I more recently began gathering reference material for a 1/48 project that never got off the ground and in gathering those references became somewhat familiar with the plane.
  2. That title though... Sorry, couldn't resist. I've received several requests to make replacement parts for the nasty rubber bladder parts included in the Trumpeter 1/32 F-14 Tomcat kit. The rubber parts are difficult to glue, difficult to paint and some have even had them weep oils that ruined their paint. As with rubber wheels, there is the fear that they will deteriorate and completely fail in time. While there are basically 3 positions for the wings, extended, swept and over-swept, I decided to only offer two, extended and swept. Those who want to do over-swept will have to do some filing and sanding. Here are the swept position parts: The bladders inflate using air pressure from the engines so there is some variability as to how much they inflate. I've found pics at cat-launch where they appear over-inflated while in others they have relaxed and the ribs in the under-structure show. I have made the (extended wing) bladders slightly relaxed to where the sub-structure barely shows. Those who want it to be more prominent can sand away material and those who want them more inflated can add material. Here are the extended wing parts: The stock kit has the wing glove sealing plate intersection with the forward section of the fuselage flush and have the rubber bladder notched to allow this. In reality the intersection should not be flush the full length, but flush at the front and raised at the rear. I made the bladders without the cut-out notch forcing the parts to fit properly. The parts in the previous pics are just sitting on the kit. Here you can see how they will look when everything is glued: Also note that the gap between the sealing pates and wing in the previous photos shows the parts just sitting on the kit with only a little tape holding things together. The gap will be tighter on a fully assembled kit (sorry, no pics to show this). The actual bladders are a Teflon coated canvas. They do get scuffed up and show wear. In some cases slight wrinkles show and in some pics it appears as though they have had large sections patched with slightly different colored canvas. Check your references for the plane you are building. I chose to make the bladders smooth and clean. You can add scuffing, wrinkles and patching if you choose or just (have fun and) replicate this and the weathering with paint. I will be pouring more production molds in the coming days and making some simple instruction sheets (the parts are drop-fit so there's not much to write about). I'm hoping to have these ready to release in the next week or two.
  3. Sorry, I missed your previous post suggesting that that might be the case: Furball Geoff is a great guy and does great work so I wouldn't want to drag him into this mess. The old drawing that shion posted is one that Geoff had previously used with his own products. I don't know if he drew it himself or used some other drawing. It doesn't quite match the Grumman drawing (or the Tamiya lines), but it's got a lot going for it and is certainly good enough for decal placement charts. Because I didn't want to drag Geoff into this, I didn't discuss his previous drawing or include it in the overlays because it's different enough from the AMK drawing that I don't think they're related. Whether he drew the new decal placement drawings, I don't know. It seems unlikely that he would have drawn it from scratch though (that's a lot of work considering AMK already has it on their computer). It seems more likely that AMK provided him line drawings for him to fill in the blanks or AMK did the placement charts themselves using his provided decal artwork. That's what we did with the HazMAT Bronco. Steve at AOA decals provided his old placement charts, the new decal artwork (and a whole bunch more help!) and I did the color decal profiles using HazMAT provided CAD profiles. I colored in the CADs, placed the decals, consulted with Steve and got his approval for the finished profiles (Thank you again Steve!). It would be nice if AMK could confirm that these drawings match the CAD (or share their CAD related profiles). If not, I'm sure that somebody with the kit will get around to scanning the instruction drawings, scaling them and comparing to the plastic. If AMK wants to crowdsource development help on future projects (as they have indicated they will on the F-104), I'd recommend that they share enough info that the crowd has a clear picture during the development.
  4. Then I would guess that these are the in-house drawings that they generated, probably based on some published drawings and modified to their liking, to build the CAD model from and are probably a pretty close match to the plastic. A lot of the major features seem to match the kit (i.e. hips) and even some minor ones (BDR patches below starboard nose slime-light). Unfortunately they never provided multi-view drawings during the CAD phase despite asking for modelers input in the design. The old drawing you posted is similar but different, especially in the rear fuselage thickness and exhausts. Here are overlays of the Grumman drawing (red), the Tamiya lines (blue, borrowed from Alex Matvey's pics, just for comparison since it's already been brought up) and the AMK decal placement drawings. There are a few discrepancies with the Grumman drawing to note. The Grumman side-view fuselage drawing represents a section through the centerline, so features like the glove stiffeners, glove sealing plates and wing are not included. They also combine a section through the intake, engine tunnel, exhaust and v-stab as well as a few other areas, so it gets a little confusing. Also note that the top-view area of the windscreen on the Grumman drawing is incorrect and has the center pane extending too far forward. I traced over the canopy lines and included that to better show them, but wouldn't trust the windscreen area. Some zoomed pics: For this comparison I eliminated a bunch of the distracting features of the Grumman drawing and included my tracing of the canopy lines (windscreen inaccuracy noted above): Hips, wingtips and stabs. I used the black AMK drawing here because the wing glove sealing plates showed up better. Note the size/shape difference between it and the Tamiya lines. I included the Grumman drawing to show a couple of discrepancies. The few diagonal lines in the wing glove sealing plate area don't come close to matching either kit. The break in the slat doesn't match either.
  5. Then I was probably mistaken when I said that some Ds had the brace. I didn't know squat about the Tomcat back then (and am still learning, thank you for your contributions ) and didn't know how to tell the difference between a late B or D. If it had the newer engines I assumed it was a D (as in Doh! ). So don't check your references, just omit those parts...
  6. Flashback to when I made the fan for my 1/32 Su-27 intakes: I asked the question "Why 23 blades??? Why not 24, or 22?" I got an answer of " If you mean why there are an uneven number of blades in the compressor hub, it's because if one blade dislodges or brakes away from the hub during rotation the rotating assembly becomes unbalanced putting a huge strain on a blade that would be 180 degrees across from the missing blade position, so that's why there are two blades across from each single blade position, the strain is taken up by two instead of one . I hope this explains it. Oh, by the way I build jet engines for a living !" I accepted the answer but thinking about it now, would it even matter if the hub was unbalanced? I'd think the broken blade would destroy the whole engine anyway. Interesting though that U.S. is even and Russia is odd... I mostly based my 1/32 intakes on the F-14D Christine which is an upgraded F-14A and does not have the bypass brace or mounting hardware for it. What I didn't notice was the circular plug on the part the strut passes through. I wasn't aware of the strut being used on earlier models until after I had finished my intakes. At that point I did some research (searching the internet and looking at pics) and found that the majority of F-14D pics, where that detail can be seen, didn't have the strut but found no answers as to why. I did however find some F-14Ds with the strut. I checked some bureau numbers and found that one without the strut was an early D so assume that the majority don't have it. Here are a few pics showing the D without the strut: https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Navy/Grumman-F-14D-Tomcat/1045239/L (does this air-frame look familiar? Check your references!) https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Navy/Grumman-F-14D-R-Tomcat/1045449/L https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Navy/Grumman-F-14D-Tomcat/1044516/L http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/bill_spidle4/f-14d_161159/index.php?Page=2 And here's one (I don't know if this is an F-14D) with no strut but without the hole plugged: Bigger pic available HERE.
  7. I'm working on it, little by little... The kit does have some problems, but with a little aftermarket and a lot of love it builds into an impressive model.
  8. Obviously them aliens πŸ‘½ weren't any help and the kit wasn't fixed or released on time. Turns out they can't manipulate time because they don't even understand the concept of time. Having no concept of time (that and they don't eat or sleep), I figured they'd be perfect for casting parts (it's time consuming, repetitive and well, boring). I picked two and was escorting them out when the alarms started blasting and about a hundred armed MPs showed up Oh well, at least I got the shirt... I've only glanced through the instructions (they seem hard on the eyes to me). One thing builders should know is that they may want to skip using the upper bypass door supports (check your references). I don't know why, but this strut was eliminated at some point. From what I've seen most F-14D models don't have it. Perhaps GW or one of the Tomcat experts could shed some light on this. Regarding the instructions... Looking at the views provided for the decal charts, it appears that these drawings may have either been generated from the kit CAD model or they are the drawings the CAD model was based on (hips βœ”οΈ canopy βœ”οΈ other ❓...). More on that later, time permitting.
  9. It's warmer here in Vegas than I was expecting! Most of the team is here, the rest showing up any time now. Vegas is partying tonight! Seems we weren't the only ones planning to see them aliens! Fortunately we found a shuttle bus that will drop us 1/4 mile from the front gate so the beers are flowing. Wish us luck... We might need it:
  10. As delide has suggested, some drawings are based on blueprints. The YF-23 drawings available through that website happen to be very accurate with a bunch of cross sections that all happen to fit within the envelope of the whole and match the various views provided in the drawings. With a typical drawing this is almost never the case. I've only done a brief check on these F-14 drawings, but they do seem to be pretty accurate. Close enough for government work (or plastic modelers) and better than any of the published drawings that I've found on the internet or in books. They certainly aren't complete though, with many external details omitted and lots of internal components included that most of us won't utilize. The general outlines and external components that are included seem to be accurate in shape and location so I'd imagine the internal components are as well. I guess we'll have to wait for @gtypecanare to provide us with those loft-llines to confirm!
  11. The 3 Grumman F-14A drawings shown above (each over 10,000 X 4,000 pixels) can be purchased ($3.00) and downloaded here: http://www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com/ Here is one of the best side profile pics I've found of the nose section of an F-14D: https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Navy/Grumman-F-14D-Tomcat/842204/L The drawings are a very close match to the photo. The rear canopy on the photo is slightly taller (more blown) than the drawing, but I seem to recall reading that the D did have a taller rear canopy than the A (can any knowledgable Tomcat fans confirm?). I haven't had time to do any analysis since photos of the completed build were released. Areas that caught my eye were the nose, canopy and wing gloves. I'm also curious as to why there is a big gap between the slat and glove. Do the separate slats actually match up to the wing? Do they match the slats on the wings that have them molded closed? I'm waiting to see a build with the wings swept to see how the wing position will impact fixing the rear section.
  12. πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½Let's not forget the upcoming Area 51 raid! πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½ There's still a chance that if we successfully capture one of them aliens we can get it to roll back the clock so that everybody had a kit under the Christmas tree several years ago. There's also a chance that we could convince the aliens to go back in time to fix the tooling and maybe even include pilot figures (un-buildable without!). Here's the countdown clock: https://timeanddate.com/s/3zbs I'm providing the clock with Las Vegas time since most of our team will be partying there before and after the raid. For those not participating in the raid, wish us luck (I think we'll need it!)!!!
  13. It's all a part of Living the dream! No apologies necessary. I'm former Navy and I'm Livin the dream. Or am I livin the dream?
  14. It's a full time job...
  15. I'm still hoping @shion replies to this post with an answer (and measurement). It appears that the kit has the widest point just in front of the stab pivot when it should be closer the the bag intersection. It's not much, but combined with the upper surface makes the hips look that much wider.
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