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About andrew.deboer

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    Opulence: I has it.
  • Birthday 06/12/1969

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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  1. Hard to tell at this point if it was controlled flight into terrain, or collision with wires, or mechanical failure. They were supposed to turn west when they got to the 101, but they kept going and in the final moments of the flight their vertical speed was something like -5000 fpm. 1400 feet of altitude in that area isn’t enough...
  2. I hate these closeups - they show things that will never be seen. However, they also show the detail of the AMK consoles and decals, so worth the trip. When I applied the decals I used Tamiya Mark Fit, and when that was dry I went back and used Mr. Mark Softer. Seems to have worked OK, with a little deformation. I’ll get the throttle quadrant painted and detailed and a few other things detail painted, but I’m not attaching the throttle. It will go in the pilot’s hand which should end up in the right place.
  3. Yeah, I’m not talking about the background color - I know that gray was the predominant color in the D with a scattering of black toward the end. In the photo I posted, the Tamiya panels are destined for a VF-31 final cruise jet, so they’re black, but the AMK panels will be in a VF-101 jet - so they’re gray. It’s the actual instrument bezel colors that leave me a little cold: things that were black on the real thing are dark gray on the decals. On the AMK RIO panel, the topmost section - called the Detail Data Display Panel - should be black, but the decal covers the whole thing and is too gray for me. I thought I had taken a photo of the side console decals, but it appears not. My AMK cockpit will be closed and occupied by a crew, so I will might leave the panels as they are.
  4. Another Tamiya comparison... *sigh* AMK molded their tails as strict halves. Bummer. I prefer the method Tamiya used, where the leading and trailing edges of the parts were included with one half. No gluing along the thin parts. AMK did this with the stabilators, but not the verticals. I know - 🎻
  5. Not sure about the AMK cockpit decals. In the center are the AMK pilot and RIO panels, with the Tamiya parts next to them. The AMK parts have the kit decals, and the Tamiya parts have instruments from the mighty Fightertown Decals’ 48087. The AMK decals use a dark gray rather than a black, and have a sort of low-resolution look to them.
  6. OK, here’s an illustration of something I see a lot. A modeler puts the parts together - here it’s the Tomcat’s boattail mating with the top fuselage - and finds that the parts have a gap between them. The modeler proceeds to fill that gap with putty. But why? Here is the inside face of that seam on the top fuselage half. I marked with a black marker the spot where I will be removing plastic. Ideally, I will be leaving just the very top of that area intact and removing the plastic that is creating the gap. And here is the result. The gap is close to the size of a panel line, and with a little more trimming it will be great. No filling and describing required. ”But,” you protest, “it’s 2020! I shouldn’t have to finesse parts fit like that!” Well, you work with what you have. And this is what we have. I always try to minimize filling and sanding, because I hate those tasks. I dig the speed brake detail and will definitely be showing that open.
  7. As of today, Phase Hangar has an early boattail and 7-vent gun panel specifically for the Tamiya A.
  8. Time for some Tamiya comparison: AMK on the left, Tamiya on the right. Although the engraved lines between the radome and guidance section appear wavy on the AMK missile, they are straight. My phone doesn’t know what to make of this close-up stuff. And here is the tail of each missile without any cleanup. You can see the thinness of the AMK fins, and the weird assembly seam on the Tamiya part. AMK’s nozzle is nicely contoured inside, but does have some machining marks where the mold did not get polished sufficiently. I can’t see these marks with my prescription glasses or magnifier - only in this photo.
  9. The AMK Tomcat needs no introduction. Once I got my kit, I didn’t carefully remove the contents of the box while documenting the process so I could put it all back into the box the way it came; I’m in it to build it. So, my eagerness to get going on the build means also that I’m starting this build log somewhere in the middle of the process. I consider the Tamiya and AMK kits to be contenders for the best Tomcat in 1/48, so continual comparison with the Tamiya F-14D is nearly inevitable. Here’s where I am. Many parts are excluded from this view, including most of the ordnance (yes, it comes in the box and not just as a separate set). Generalities AMK put some serious detail into this kit; I would call the wheel well detail superior to Tamiya’s, with finely rendered plumbing, rivets, etc. The kit also features two sets of wings: one set is clean, with the control surfaces all in the retracted position, and the other set has everything hanging out: slats, flaps, and spoilers, and deployable speed brakes. AMK is less impressive in general mold quality. Nearly every part I have removed from the sprue so far needs cleanup of flash, or mold parting lines, or mold draft, or ejector pin marks. Personally, I wouldn’t mind ejector pin marks if they were slightly raised circles rather than recessed, because they would be very easy to clean up. Mold parting lines are also totally acceptable for me, if it means the resulting part is molded to a higher level of detail or exhibits some innovation that benefits me as the modeler. For instance, AMK molded their AIM-54C Phoenix missiles in two parts: the main missile body and the exhaust nozzle. Because this was done using a mold with several moving parts, the finished part has four mold lines that need to be [easily] cleaned up. By contrast, Tamiya’s Phoenixes are nice but require assembly of 9 parts and seam cleanup, and have thicker fins and a less-defined exhaust nozzle. A clear AMK win, but more importantly a win for the modeler. I have no problem with the vast majority of the panel lines. I have seen some hugely magnified shots that show the gory, microscopic details, but I just lost interest in talking about that any more…
  10. OK, here’s the nose gear well. The wash is Ammo neutral brown, and this was an in-progress shot. I like it OK; once the model is on its gear, I’ll probably never see it again. And here’s my nose section with a shot of Tamiya primer straight from the can (not my preferred method); radome seam looks OK. For those of you wondering about the rivet pattern on the panel above the gun, that’s what the real thing looks like. Also, I know the three vents need to be removed from the top of the nose - not found on the D.
  11. I agree that it would be good for the parts to fit more precisely. However, as with any kit, when I run into parts that don’t mate quite right, I don’t just glue them together and curse the maker. I fix the issue to my satisfaction. if a builder leaves the nose cone misaligned, that’s on them. Same with the janky ejection seat halves or the fiddly flap assemblies or the multipart canopy (which you don’t have to use). Personally, one of my biggest “issues” with the kit is that the vertical stabilizers are molded in halves instead of a big part + an insert. But that’s just an inconvenience for me.
  12. The only line on the radome is the mold seam that runs down the middle of it. Are you talking about the seam between the radome and the rest of the fuselage?
  13. So far I’m pretty happy with my AMK Tomcat. It’s not the shake and bake experience of the Tamiya kit, but the detail is a little more extensive. - My Phoenixes look great - no deformation of fins, which are really thin! I don’t care if its length varies from reality by a fraction of a millimeter... - Multipart canopy turned out good. It took a lot of fitting and trimming, but it glued together well. Unfortunately, gluing it together before painting the frame defeats the purpose of having the separate glass. The windscreen fits very well. - The cockpit tub slides into the front fuselage easily. I wonder if some modelers put the tabs on the tub above the rails inside the fuselage instead of below it. Also, I fitted the radome and its bulkhead into the nose as well as the cockpit tub, and the assembly went together great. (I did have to do mold flash cleanup on the radome where it met the fuselage) - The biggest issue I have so far is the ejector pin marks, mold parting lines and flash. Nearly every part has needed cleaning up with a knife, sanding stick or filler. If a company needs to use ejector pins on visible surfaces of parts (I get this), I wish the marks would be raised from the surface instead of being recessed. So far I do like the model, but I wouldn’t pick it over the Tamiya unless I was looking for extended flaps, slats and speed brakes.
  14. The nose gear is too short (by only .8 mm - how do you measure that?) and the wheels are too small? Hm. I was considering swapping in Tamiya parts for the undercarriage anyway - I want to show the gear extended in flight, and it may be easier to extend the oleos on the Tamiya parts. Decision made!
  15. That is great news! Hopefully they gave that project to the same team that did their B-1B, and also have that team doing a B-2!
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