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chek

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About chek

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  • Birthday 02/27/1952

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  1. chek

    On VX-4’s Bicentennial Phantom.

    Well, it just goes to show there's always something new to learn about Phantoms! The dead blog post link can be found here with further info and photos. Although I am a little surprised that McDonnell engineers went all the way to the Middle East when they had the full might of the St.Louis factory's production, test facilities and research personnel to hand back home.
  2. chek

    On VX-4’s Bicentennial Phantom.

    Slats on US Navy F-4Ss were different to the type used on land based Phantoms (E/F/G models), having a blunt lip that overhung the leading edge. Despite having over 30 photos of 153088, the dark blue paint scheme makes it difficult to tell when or even if the slat shape evolved into the F-4S type shown above over the test period. All F-4E Phantoms delivered to Israel were standard production types, the earlier ones having the original 'hard' wing with leading edge flaps, and the later ones (from Block 48 71-0237) were manufactured with the slatted wing. A 1973 Technical Order provided for retro-fitting slats to F-4Es built earlier. The Block 48 and onwards had thicker wing skins fitted during manufacture, but earlier Phantoms required having a new heavy external strap added from wing fold to wing fold. I'm not aware of any IDFAF Phantoms that had fixed wing slats.
  3. chek

    On VX-4’s Bicentennial Phantom.

    F-4J 153088 was originally a Block 27 flight test airframe at NATC with a long nose boom. As part of the research into wing slats for the Navy, it was fitted with fixed slats (no underwing actuator fairings fitted) which were retained long after its Bicentennial scheme reverted to a regular NATC orange fin and outer wing panels, with a regular F-4J nose cone without the F-4B undernose fairing. Interestingly, when it was retired to gate guard status at Baton Rouge, it was repainted in a Marine F-4B scheme but retained an F-4J nose cone. The wing slats and their mounting pylons had been removed by then too
  4. chek

    Micro Detonator Cord in cockpit canopies

    The last time I did one in that scale was when making Arnie's AV-8B from the True Lies movie, which indicates how long ago it was. What I did was to as accurately as possible size and draw the pattern - or half the pattern, then fold and trace its mirror image - onto ordinary paper. Tape the paper to the outside of the canopy, then using a fine nibbed mapping pen with white ink, follow the pattern to draw on the inside of the canopy. The ink was acrylic, so could be wiped off if errors were made, but luckily none were. It' works well for 1/72 scale, but you'd really need three stripes (two outer white, silver or dark grey central core) in parallel with each other for anything larger, to indicate the heater element, which is way more difficult..
  5. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    Very nice and often overlooked attention to detail John. I saw an absolutely beautiful Century-series fighter model recently which looked absolutely exquisite. Until a rear view showed the beautifully detailed jet nozzle set into what looked like something with the barrel thickness of a 20 inch howitzer, when it would have looked so much better with a sheet-metal thickness outer shroud.
  6. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    If it was a caption competition, the guy in the intake could be saying: "If you weren't planning to hit the start button, how come you've got your ear defenders on?"
  7. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    Apologies John, it's just a fancy way of saying the pixel signals are processed by the video encoder in such a way as to show a smooth (usually) moving image. The upshot being that the picture is not optimised for crisp still images - quite the opposite, in fact. The mesh itself is just too fine to be detected properly at that resolution, although something like localised brighter reflections look to have been smoothed into the image and appeared as the 'wrinkle' on the FLIR turret. What's commonly called an 'artefact', i.e. it wasn't really there, the process itself made it appear. Having the black front section seems like best bet. The photo below shows not the slightest trace of the liney's yellow smock, nor any interior ducting. I'd hazard a guess that like the MiG-29 and the Su-27, those upper intake doors are only open on the ground and close once flying speed is reached. So the ducts probably are all white for inspection, but for modelling appearances black will look better. Unless you specifically want to show them open, in which case it's your call on how to compromise.
  8. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    Morning John! I regret to say that your build has piqued an interest in the the olde Nighthawk, and I was just trying to hunt down the last outstanding photo of the 64 F-117s built. A couple are beyond finding due to being early losses, but 85-0824 is elusive, despite a few mislabelled ones of 84-0824 out there. But enough of that. The problem with your video still is one of format and resolution. As it's a USAF aircraft, I'm deducing it's a video frame from an american video in NTSC format with a resolution of 720 x 486, judging by the 'stepping' visible on the upper left serration above the FLIR turret, and to lesser degrees elsewhere in the picture. Additionally, the format introduces some smoothing functions in the algorithm (hence the bogus 'wrinkle' impression) in order to produce a 'lifelike' visual experience. As such, it's not really designed to extract fine detail from a still frame such as would be possible from a much finer grained wet film movie still. Trying to insist that you can, powered a slew of increasingly far-fetched 9/11 conspiracy theories a decade or so ago. The still below is from an original jpeg at 3145 x 2247 resolution, and shows the mesh detail more clearly (click to enlarge, then click on the image again). What the kit designer probably had in mind was trying to represent the 3-D nature of the intake baffles, as illustrated in the diagram below: Farr from being a simple mesh affair, the baffles are more akin to the 'pyramids' seen in an anechoic chamber, and serve the same purpose, i.e. to attenuate any radar signal and its reflection. But until such times as nano scale home 3-D printing is available, I'd say PE mesh is our current best option. P.S. - I saw some spiffy looking prismatic film available from Hasegawa that might work well on the canopy clear panels.
  9. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    Funny you should mention bird strikes John, as that was the main reason I could think of for replacing that aperture panel. As for the turret itself, it would only rotate its sensor window forward on the run in for the attack, and birds would be very rare at the altitude the plane would operate at. Presumably rain would be cleared via diverted air vents like the windscreen. This picture does catch the mesh better than most others. Irritatingly, it's actually coarser than that fabric glare filter I used in the 1/72 Nighthawk I built. F-117A 88-0841 HO 9 FS Berlin June 2000 by Burkhard Domke
  10. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    Hey John, it's coming along well - love all the routed out mesh inserts. I believe that the difference in the two photos above is that the 2000 photo on the left is of YF-117 79-10781 at the USAF museum, Dayton, whereas the 2003 photo is of a production model with an 80 to 88 FY prefixed serial. The 4 serrations on the upper edge of the FLIR turret aperture remained constant, AFAIK. The only problem with that theory, is that I've a shot of F-117A 84-0812 with the six serrations as per the USAFM example., but it seems to be an exception according to the photos I've collected. However given that production ended in 1988 and it was in action in the Middle East until 2003, and the USA until 2008, it's possible some cannibalising of older airframes was required to keep a fleet operational.
  11. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    Looks very good John, with the placards applied. I think my diminishing stock of Reheat decals will need an Airscale top up soon. Idly wondering if there are any readable MAC strut ones for Phantom gear legs?
  12. chek

    Trumpeter 1:32 F-117A

    Hi John,just noticed that you've got another build on the go. Lovely detailing on those bay interiors. I thought I'd pass this on, although I'm not sure how useful it'll be. There used to be an older style of anti-glare filter back in the day when CRT monitors were the norm that used an incredibly fine black fabric (nylon?) mesh. It was fine enough the be transparent when viewed through directly, but appeared as a surface when viewed obliquely and looked excellent as coverings for the FLIR and DLIR turret apertures. It worked very well even on the 1/72nd Stealth fighter I built for my then pre-teen son when he was enamoured with the jet when it featured in one of the levels in the SEGA game Jungle Strike (that's how long ago it was, and why I'm not certain if it's extinct or not). There certainly is fine brass and stainless steel mesh available which may be dimensionally similar, but the beauty of the fabric mesh was it didn't need to be painted.
  13. chek

    F-4G with single piece windshield.

    Great to hear Tommy - that solves the Christmas present to self dilemma this year! Amazing too that 50-60 years on, new material can still be surfacing. Good luck with the title.
  14. chek

    F-4G with single piece windshield.

    Thanks for the update, RD. I figured it was a case of 'needs must', and not just done for the lolz. I've followed the restoration for years now, whenever a new batch of pictures become available, and the thoroughness and attention to detail is remarkable. That being acknowledged, it's just a pity the windshield is anachronistic. Although it does lend a certain rakish Viggen Iook. I sincerely hope an original unit can be sourced or fabricated as it can only add to the authenticity of the restoration, and I hope the new owner continues with the plan to return to flight. If you have contact with the restore team, be sure to let them know their work is very impressive. I'd been hoping that this May would have seen 145310 back in the air, and Tommy Thomason would have published his F4H-1 monograph to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the first flight, but neither happened. Just have to keep anticipating that at some point in time they will.
  15. chek

    F-4G with single piece windshield.

    I'm not sure how temporary 'temporary' can be Gene, but she's been that way since she was moved from March AFB and that must be over ten years ago now. I thought the one good thing about it is it shows that if a standard windshield were to be liberated from AMARC, it would fit and look much better, even if still not strictly correct for an F-4A.
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