Jump to content

1/32 Tamiya F-4E post-Vietnam- Kicked up a notch.


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 949
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Well Chuck, if it makes you feel any better, I screwed up the windscreen on my Tomcat. I'm using a lacquer primer on my bird because it dries hard and sands very smooth. I've never had this happen before, but the primer bled through the Tamiya masking tape (not just the edges, but all of the tape) and attacked the Future coat on the clear windscreen. My only recourse was to sand down the clear plastic to remove the lacquer & Future (Windex didn't work), repolish, recoat with Future, mask & repaint with enamel this time. Talk about being frustrated. It's coming back to normal now, but I still don't know why the masking tape allowed the lacquer to bleed through. :angry:

Like you said, the only good that came out of this is I've learned a lot from the experience. :bandhead2:

Link to post
Share on other sites

You fixed that in 6 hours?!?! If it were my build, it probably would have earned a one-way ticket to the wall.

I've been pretty lucky with canopies (knock on wood), ie never have one cracked me. I hope the modelling gods don't think I'm due for one.

Cheers,

Terry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Guys for your support. I know that 6 hours seems like a lot to fix this problem, but that's one of the reasons this build has taken me 15 months! It's far from perfect, but I want to do the best job I can at my current skill level- and that means pulling out all the stops, even at this late stage.

I just realized that my CAT-9 missile and boarding ladder are still sitting there and need more work as well. Sunday completion may be too optimistic. How about "soon"? :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chuck,

Well, I stop by every time you post an update (big or small) but don't always post because I've totally run out of superlatives. Whether it be the quality of your work or the tenacity of your character this build is inspirational :worship:

It's got to be difficult to restrain from rushing to the finish line when you're this close to the end of a long project but I'd urge you to maintain your patience and remain vigilant. I'm as eager as anyone to see this big Phantom phinished but you don't want to "ruin the ship for a ha'peth o' tar".

Stick at it buddy. This will surely garner you the awards you crave :thumbsup:

Cheers,

:cheers:

*Edit* p.s.........you need more soot on the bare metal behind the exhausts! :taunt:

Edited by geedubelyer
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Guys for your support. I know that 6 hours seems like a lot to fix this problem, but that's one of the reasons this build has taken me 15 months! It's far from perfect, but I want to do the best job I can at my current skill level- and that means pulling out all the stops, even at this late stage.

I just realized that my CAT-9 missile and boarding ladder are still sitting there and need more work as well. Sunday completion may be too optimistic. How about "soon"? :P

"Soon" is plenty good enough, you've come this far and now is not the time to get in a rush as you've said. That's tragic about the center canopy piece, but I have all the faith in the world you'll recover nicely.

Your model is looking so realistic that I am wondering when you're going to start getting maintenance squawks from the aircrew. Any comm-nav write-ups, I'll be there! As we used to say, it takes a college degree to break 'em, and a high school education to fix 'em...

Scott W.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a very good day of modeling yesterday, with about 8 hours of ignoring my wife all day. Boy, is this going to cost me! :o Luckily, my wife is very understanding and as long as I give her a time limit, she's OK with me playing with little pieces of plastic, especially when I'm clearly on the home stretch and the completion of this huge project is imminent. Besides keeping my wife happy, the other reason I want this sucker over with is because I'm starting to break stuff and screw up past achievements as I put all the "mini-models" together. For example, I must have broken off one of those auxiliary engine doors 3 times as I tried to get all the crap that's hanging underneath this beast glued in- and speaking of glue, I found a nice 2 inch spider web of CA glue stuck across the front fuselage. Sticking the doors back on was no big deal, but I had to lightly sand the glue mark off, taking a few of those hard to apply stencils with it. Fortunately, it came out looking just as good as before without re-painting, so I'll mark that as save # 22 or so.

Since I had to make another front canopy bulkhead, I took a pic of what is required within if you want to have your canopies stay upright at the correct angle, but still be removable. There are some very weak mold marks where the canopy hinges insert into this piece, presumably to allow the canopies to remain upright, but they are too small and they won't work. To fix this problem for the front canopy, I glued on a couple of pieces of styrene as shown below on the back of the part, along with another Eduard canopy frame molding. This modification allows the hinge pins to rest on something as they try to rotate downward. Since I couldn't get at the same area for the rear canopy, I just built up the hinge pins with CA glue until they friction fit into the hinge holes. I was also able to determine that the source of the first cracked window originated where I cut that thin masking tape with a #11 knife, obviously too deeply, so this time around I was extra careful to not score this fragile part....

CockpitDone1.jpg

To help prop up the canopies and finish off the piston that holds them up, I cut some sewing pins that were the right diameter- and you don't even have to paint them! I carefully drilled through the Avionix resin parts so that these piston parts just slip in and are removable, so that I can flip this bird over for pics later without breaking them. I then completed several more cockpit details, like plumbing and electrical lines....

CockpitDone2.jpg

I also cut some holes into the cockpit sill to accommodate the canopy hooks. I really wish I had done this earlier prior to fuselage assembly to get cleaner cuts and man were they hard to do, but they're still better than nothing at this late stage. The real holes are narrow slits, so I think the best way to accomplish this is to cut a larger hole and then cover it with a thin photo-etch slit, followed by CA glue to blend everything in. The rivet counters will notice that the rear hole for the front canopy is too far forward and it should be in that little recess directly behind it. Unfortunately, the rear Eduard canopy hook is in the wrong position, so I cut holes to match the hooks instead, because there's no way I'm tearing that canopy apart now to move a canopy hook. This is one of those times you just have to suck it up and go with what looks the best vs. what is the most accurate.

So here's the lessons I learned for this area: Cut the canopy hook slots early in the build and move the rear Eduard canopy hook backwards about 3/16". Also- and this is very important- note the enlarged hole on the starboard (top) side for the bulkhead. If you want this part to fit flush and square, the front of this hole needs to be enlarged a few millimeters at the front. You could also cut the clear plastic part, but based upon my most recent experience, there's no way a knife is touching this part again!....

CockpitDone3.jpg

Here's a shot from the other side, showing the main plumbing line from front canopy piston actuator to a gizmo on the right side of the front seat. According to Jake's book, this plumbing contraption blasts the canopy off at 3000 psi of pressure when required, assuming I read and understand this correctly.....

CockpitDone4.jpg

Now a pic of the new part installed. The fit is quite good since I sanded down the fuselage here earlier, but I think I'll put a little paint in the panel line to knock the gap down a bit. Yes, this panel line does exist on the real deal, but it's subtle. It's too bad that this part has to be made entirely of clear plastic, because I would have loved to drill out those rivets at the base a bit more. I tried this once on my CF-18B build and I had to trash an installed windscreen as a result... :bandhead2:

CockpitDone7.jpg

The side windows are VERY thick so there is a lot of distortion and there's no room at the top inside for the "gasket" tape I used at the top, so I painted the gap at the top black on the inside. It looks a bit messy at this super magnification, but viewed at 8 inches back, everything looks OK. Another compromise to what works.....

CockpitDone8.jpg

Now a shot with the canopies installed. With the hinge modifications and the strong steel pistons, they sit up at just the right angle, which is fairly high for both....

CockpitDone5.jpg

You need to trim the canopy hinges so that they fit within the holes and not stick up high like so many builds I've seen. Also, for 68-0393, you need two external mirrors for the rear canopy, but they should be in the 10 and 2 o'clock position like my sig pic, rather than at the attachment tabs on the canopy part, so I parked them just upwards of these tabs, using the tab as brace for the bottom. Obviously these tabs should have been cut off completely in hindsight, but I was planning on using them, so there's another tip. I should have cut the top mirror tab off too since I was never going to use it anyway- oh well. These mirrors need to be installed at this late stage because you need to finish off the bottom which shows through the clear canopy. Although you can't see it from this angle, I put some spare Eduard mirrors within each mirror frame and painted them chrome silver. Now that I've discovered Tamiya polishing compounds, all of my canopies are Future-free. I find that Future makes them look too thick and when you need to remove small scratches, you can without a Future coat at any time, including the end of the build....

CockpitDone10.jpg

Two remaining little projects I had left was the CAT-9 missile and the boarding ladder. For some reason the white paint on the missile is taking forever to dry and I'm making a mess every time I try to handle it, so it needs to sit on the shelf for another week before I can paint the rear body blue and add some decals. Since this part is fairly small, elective and I can add it later, I'm not letting it hold me up to call this build done, which should be tonight when I finally get the drag chute door attached. Like the canopy pistons, I plan on using some sort of bent pin to hold it in place for easy removal, since it will likely break off all the time if I don't.

Meanwhile, I think the boarding ladder came out terrific if I do say so myself. Most of the ladders in Scott's pics are dark green, with earlier ladders bright yellow. All the ladders are really beat up and the early yellow ladders usually have aluminum scratch marks, but sometimes they have black underneath, so I made a beat up ladder that was a combination of this, then painted dark green and re- beat up to reveal the yellow and other colors underneath. As you might have guessed, salt is your friend if you want to achieve this look. Looks like I need to touch up the top of the crew name decal, because under this light and angle, I can see some slight silvering at the top. A little Microsol and a few stabs with the tip of my #11 knife will fix that in about 30 seconds.....

CockpitDone9.jpg

My next major post will be finished pics, hopefully before Good Friday when I plan on going away for a few days. Stay tuned!

*Edit* p.s.........you need more soot on the bare metal behind the exhausts! :taunt:

Yeah, yeah. Consider it done Sir. As much as I like the bluing look, it isn't very accurate for a sooty 1980 engine...... ;)

Edited by chuck540z3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Gents! As of this very moment, a full 14 months and a few days later, I'm calling this build DONE!! PHINISHED!! PHINAL!! I've run out of parts! - although I do have a CAT-9 missile to be added later, if the paint ever dries.

In the next few days I'll be taking a bazzilion pics of this monster, but before I do, here's a small update which is the last thing I did tonight, other than the tweaks mentioned earlier.

One thing about this build I'm fairly proud of is the modified vertical stabilizer, which has many improvements over the kit parts, it fits tighter than stock AND it's removable, so that I can flip this bird over for pics without worrying about breaking something. It also provides a fairly handy handle when I lift the jet, without getting my greasy fingers on the paint job.

PhinalPhase1.jpg

The rear drag chute and door which was also heavily modified earlier is very fragile, so I wanted to make it removable as well. Looking at some great shots of the chute in Jake's book on Page 126, it shows that there sometimes is a thick silver colored cable just below the corner hinge that is curved and slides into the fuselage when the door is closed. Using the sewing needle trick I used earlier for the canopies, I fashioned something similar by bending the pin and drilling holes into the door and fuselage. The hinge, which I took from my spares because the Eduard one was too simple, was attached to this door, rather than the fuselage......

PhinalPhase2.jpg

With the stabilizer attached, I can now slide the pin into the fuselage with the hinge flush against the drag chute so that you can't really tell that it's not glued. This door should come up to the fuel dump spout and actually hit it, but barely....

PhinalPhase3.jpg

There's a bit of a gap under the fuel dump tube, but I don't mind and it's a small price to pay for the convenience of removing the tail. If I ever enter this model in a contest, I can glue it down using some white glue at the rear, which will provide a seal that can be cleaned up easily and painted.

Next task is to take all those pictures, including many close-ups of every detail. This model really looks sharp when it's all put together, with your eye taking you to every tiny model like the front gun, the Pave Spike pod, cockpit, intakes, tanks, pylons, etc. etc. For now, I'll leave you with a few quick teasers on my workbench. Stay tuned for some better ones in the days ahead!

PhinalPhase5.jpg

PhinalPhase4.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the next few days I'll be taking a bazzilion pics of this monster,

What? that's not nearly enough to do the finished model justice! :angry:

You've got to take at least a gazillion! :taunt:

Seriously though, what's taking you so long. We need to see those pics now :coolio:

I'm really looking forward to seeing the final batch of photos. This has been one of the most enjoyable threads that I cam remember on ARC Chuck. Kudos bro' :punk:

Beautfully clear photography, detailled, informative and well thought out narrative plus dozens of cracking tips and reference shots from the resident Phantom experts. This could easily be pinned as the definitive guide to super-detailling the Tamiya F-4E.

Great job buddy. Can't thank you enough for taking the time and effort to share your mega-build, cheers. :salute:

:cheers:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent build. More impressive is your patience in handling all the moments when things just didn't go your way. I've learned a few lessons from your experiences.

Perserverence paid off in a very big way. Congrats!

Aaron

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is only one thing to say in this moment, and it is:

Thank you

Thank you for sharing your build. Thank you for making me so happy just reading and looking at your posts. Thank you, and thank you again.

Edited by galfa
Link to post
Share on other sites

Very, very nice. She came out beautiful. I can't wait to see how she does in contests.

One minor correction to something you said, the drag chute door doesn't touch the dump mast when it's open; it comes very close, but doesn't touch.

F-4F20drag20chute20housing.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been following this build for at least the last six months, reading the new posts several times a week, and enjoying the stunning photography. Your dedication to accuracy goes beyond professionalism, and your problem-solving skills define the term "mastery." She's the finest scale model of a Phantom I've ever seen. Personally, I could only have put this much effort into a Navy bird, but that's just me...

Link to post
Share on other sites

A beautiful model, beautifully painted and beautifully photographed.

Thank you for all the time and effort you spent detailing with clear photographs and explanations just how you built this stunning model.

Great art is one thing, the ability to share how great art is made is quite another.

Kudos Sir, kudos.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have really enjoyed this build and learned a great deal (about modeling techniques AND the F-4E). Thank you very much for taking the time to share this with the rest of the ARC family, also, thanks to Scott Wilson for all those excellent pictures and Phantom Phacts. I really think this thread should be pinned, it has much to offer.

Please get started on your next project ASAP, look forward to seeing more of your work.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...