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1/32 Trumpeter A-10C Hog- "Putting Lipstick on a Pig of a Kit"

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Great job Chuck. The door art is superb...I say, your friend nailed it ;)

Gary, glad to hear you like her. I am proud of it until I see Chucks work here...he's going at it like Chuck Norris with his round house kick :woot.gif:

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Simply outstanding work and attention to detail. During your build (as many of us try to do anyway), you have taken the time to fully and completely explain how you modified this part or how you adapted that part or how you corrected such and such and it has been a pleasure to follow your build. Do I have the patience to make my builds as realistic as yours? Absolutely not but I have to commend you for yours. Your willingness to explain every detail is greatly appreciated. I remember one of the first local IPMS chapter meetings I attended many years ago. I asked a very proficient modeler how he achieved a certain look on his models and you'd think I'd asked him for the recipe for Coca Cola or the Colonel's eleven secret herbs and spices. He gave me a 'Go pound salt!" look, then sneered and walked away without saying anything. You are the polar opposite of that turd. Thank you for taking the time and effort to help everyone else. Like everyone else following your progress, I can't wait to see the end results.


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Thank you Gents!

Mike, sorry to hear about your experience with a "turd" modeler. The number one thing I enjoy about this hobby is sharing experiences both here and at home, because just about everything I do now I learned from others. We have an IPMS chapter here too that I've tried a few times, but to be honest, I have absolutely no interest in figurines, cars and space modeling, so I no longer attend those meetings. Instead, I converse with about 6 other modelers in the Calgary area who are mostly focused on aircraft and they are all very skilled and knowledgeable. We only meet about 6 times per year and I really look forward to our get-togethers because I learn something new each outing. Maybe you can do the same in the Ottawa area.

Current Update:

I have recently focused my attention on smoothing out and repairing small blemishes and adding new details first, while the landing gear and ordnance is off the model. One of the biggest current challenges is that this Pig is so large I'm always bumping it into something as I rotate it around and flip it over. With most of that out of the way, I attached all the landing gear, gear doors and dealt with many hydraulic lines from the wheels to the wing sponsons. As usual, the landing gear is far from "plug and play" and needed to be shimmed slightly to make it straight. If you check other builds of this kit, you will find that the main landing gear is usually angled outward slightly, which is wrong. Also, the jig-saw puzzle landing gear doors are inaccurate and they do not fit very well, so I had to modify them- all this after they were painted and ready to go. As indicated above, the front landing gear door needed modifying as well to get the angle of the door correct.

Right now I'm attaching the ordnance to the pylons, which is no easy task. Although the ordnance and sway braces are ready to go, the pylons are all wrong in just about every aspect, so the attachment of everything is a compromise between accuracy and just getting the bombs and missiles to hang properly without looking too wrong. Once that is done, I have several small bits like 5 more antennae and other probes to attach to the fuselage, as well as tiny control arms that need to be attached to the wings and stabilizers. The final step will be the completion of the cockpit and the attachment of the canopy. Even when that is all done and I call this project finally finished, the photography of such a big model will be another big challenge and will take significant time. I will then gather up all the extra parts, put them into the Trumpeter box and throw them all in the garbage where they belong! :D

Edited by chuck540z3
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Getting down to the nitty gritty. Been with you since the start, so it's been one long yet fantastic journey. In one sense, I'll be sorry when it's over. In another sense, it just means starting another adventure with you as the guide. Your P-38L should be a milestone for us WW11 addicts.

As for my local IPMS chapter, it holds little interest for me these days. I much prefer my friendships here, as well as on Aeroscale. I do have one advantage over most others in that my brother, Peter (who you know from the LSP forum) is a fantastic modeler in his own right, and we share ideas daily, plus we do meet on a regular basis. Ok, it's for breakfast at the diner, but we do talk modeling.


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Chuck now that you talk about the photography, one thing that has helped me before is to step far from the model and use a bigger lens, I'm no expert but it's worked for me before, if you step back and zoom in you'll get an easier angle and better "fitting" of the model inside the picture, I'm not familiar with your photography equipment but I think it wouldn't be much of a problem for you to get your hands on another lens for this particular case, I've used the only alternative I have which is a 70-300, maybe someone with more knowledge could say something better or say I'm wrong! anyway just wanted to throw my 0.02c to help and get those final pics we're waiting!!


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Chuck has posted from time to time his photography setup. I believe he uses a 3 light system to help control shadows and highlights. His concern seems to be the needed size of his photo setup as the A-10 is huge.

I use a two light system (just because I'm lazy). However, I only use the standard 55mm lens when taking overall construction pictures. Close up and final pictures are taken with a 55-200 mm Nikkor lens in conjunction with a set of extension tubes. The 12 mm & 20 mm tubes allow me the flexibility to move further away from the subject, yet control depth of field, which in model photography is a major issue.


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Thanks for the photography tips boys, but I think I've got that covered. I have a Nikon D600 I use for all the shots you've seen so far and now a D810 which are full frame cameras with HUGE resolution. The D810 is a 36 mp camera and the pics are 7,360 × 4,912 pixels! With that kind of resolution I don't even need a zoom lens, because I can just digitally zoom a fixed lens that gives me much higher f-stops (and better depth of field) than a zoom lens can. With my 60 mm Macro lens I get 1:1 reproduction and a minimum aperture of f-32. With my zoom lenses, I'll be lucky to get f-22 at the same reproduction.

The photography task at hand is a big one due to the set-up I'll need to get the entire model, which is about 2' by 2', in the frame without any background distractions and good lighting. I managed to accomplish this when I took pics of my F-4E, which is also about 2' long, but I want to do a better job this time. Even after the photo-shoot is over, there's a lot of time needed to sort through all the pics and edit them.

Last night I finally got all the ordnance on the wings and I have to say, WOW, does it ever look terrific! All that hard work on each little bomb, missile and pod really has been worth it. While adding landing gear, gear doors, ordnance and other small items, it occurred to me that I should offer the following tips:

Final Assembly Gluing Tips

1) Use pins for just about everything you attach to the pylons and fuselage. This is of course common practice with adding ordnance, but even tiny antennae, probes and other items benefit from the use of a small pin. For instance, the very small AOA vane and the wind speed sensor have been drilled out on the back with a tiny #80 drill bit, then I glue a small pin into the back. A hole is then drilled into the location of where these items go and the pin is inserted into the hole with very little glue. This ensures that the part goes exactly where you want it to, the bond is very strong and there is no glue mess to clean up. If you just put some glue on the back of the part and stick it on the model, you might miss the mark of where it should go slightly and the chances of glue oozing out of the bottom is fairly high. The use of pins eliminates all of that.

2) Use the base of drill bits for pins. Drill bits are super strong and they won't bend, which makes them perfect pins. Purchased in bulk, they are very cheap, you can get just about any size of pin you need and they are easily cut with wire cutters to size. Further, you can match the correct hole size with the pin because you know what size of pin you used. Wire and other items can be used for pins, but thin wire bends easily and is not very strong.

3) Always use CA glue exclusively for attaching final items, especially after painting. If you use regular plastic cement for plastic to plastic bonds, the bond will be super strong, but there's no turning back if you make a mistake because the plastic welds together. Using CA glue instead, the bond will be strong, but you can also break the bond fairly easily if you pull the parts apart within an hour or so. This is very important when alignment issues with landing gear and ordnance can be a problem. If things look a bit crooked from another angle, just break the part off, chip off the old CA glue and try again. CA glue can also be cleaned up fairly easily with a micro-brush if some of it oozes out, even on a painted surface and of course it's crystal clear. If there's a bit of a shine left from removed glue, you can touch it up with dull coat and glue mark will disappear. With plastic glue, the paint will melt and you will have a big mess on your hands.

4) Use micro-brushes to apply CA glue and sometimes plastic glue. For bigger gluing jobs, a fuzzy micro-brush will hold sufficient glue to be applied to the join area. They come in a variety of sizes, usually with white ones as the smallest, yellow a bit bigger and the green ones the largest. When the head of the brush turns hard after glue application, rip the head off and you will have a perfect "toothpick- type" glue applicator made of plastic. You can create almost any size of tip you want this way which will be much finer than a wooden toothpick or even a metal glue applicator. When you're finished, just throw them out. Purchased in bulk of 100 brushes per size, they are very cheap.


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I really like your idea of using cheap drill bits for pins. Standard straight pins are tapered, so it's a crap shoot for me most of the time. I'm sure that UMM-USA has what I'm looking for. Also will try your micro brush method of applying CA glue. I'm still old school using a sharpened toothpick.

I must say that I'm quite impressed that you have a the new Nikon D810. Again, I'm old school and years behind with my trusty D90. I see your point as to stepping back and letting the letting the huge lens resolution resolve any issues when you're cropping. Since we can't upload any photos greater then 1024x768, you have quite a lot of flexibility.


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I can't say anything that hasen't been said already Chuck. You did an amazing job on this one !!!! You covered all the bases and, after having worked this aircraft for 17 1/2 years I've come to know her pretty well and when the final pics are posted it will be hard to tell if I'm looking at a model or the real deal. Kudos to you and looking forward to the final reveal.

As for the photo thing, you could always take shots outside. I think I'm gonna have to do this with my 1/18th Tomcat when she's finished.


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WOW, Chuck another year and a half is gone but the good thing is we have something to stick in the back of our heads for a lifetime! Your builds are works of art and I can only say this about myself but my brain is better off due to your diligent work on this beast! Thanks again, and I cant wait for you to start your next project, a 1/32 P-38 Lightning, right?

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Hey boys, you're welcome and thanks!

Now I some more help. I'm 95% finished this beast, but I just noticed that I neglected to make a "Black Box" flight recorder that sits right behind the port side of the ejection seat. Normally I'd just skip this detail, but I've come so far already.....

Anyway, there are a few pics of this item in Jake's book, but I need other angles. Here's one of them:

A-10 Flight Recorder

Does anybody have other pics of this item? The hardest to get pic would be one from the starboard side, but I'll take whatever I can get. Of course this means the completion is delayed yet again, but I'm getting close! :thumbsup:

Also, next weekend I'm going to Vegas to see "Aviation Nation 2014" at Nellis AFB. Guess what's first on the list to fly there!

A-10 Warthog

A6M Zero

AT-6 Texan

B-1 Lancer

B-25 Mitchell

CJ-6 Yak

C-45 Expeditor

F4U Corsair

F8F Bearcat

F-15E Eagle

F-16 Falcon

F-22 Raptor

F-35 Lightning

F-86 Sabre

HH-60 Pave Hawk

Heritage Flight

L-39 Albatross

P-51 Mustangs

U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron

Seeing the F-35 fly for the first time should be worth the trip!


Edited by chuck540z3
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Wow, great little touch with the gear door art, superb!

I'm loving the close-up shots. One thing that stands out to me is how well you executed the mesh applications... usually a major challenge, I find. Also good that you were able to protect them from clogging up as you progressed through the build.



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Thank you Gents!

A small update. As indicated above, I wanted to make the little "black box" that sits behind the port side of the ejection seat. This box is actually the "Data Transfer Unit" and is integral to all A-10's, so I really have no choice but to make one up if I want this Hog to look accurate. I spent several hours yesterday trying to create something credible and although it was a struggle, I think it might look pretty good after all. I need a few more days to paint and detail it, then install it in the cockpit. Otherwise, this Pig is DONE!! I have to say, I'm pinching myself that it turned out so well and to be honest, I think it's even better than my F-4E or Mustang. We'll see how things go for the timing of final pics. I leave for Vegas on Thursday to go to the Nellis AFB Air Show, so it might not be until early next week when I return. The A-10 is a scheduled flying act, so I hope to get some good pics of the Pig in the sky that I'll share here at the same time.


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According to Jake's book, the area just aft of the ejection seat on the port side used to be stowage for a thermos, following by a tube for the pilot's helmet. I guess that's why all the A-10 cockpits have a couple of circular rings in this area. When all A-10's were upgraded, a Data Transfer Unit was installed here instead, which has the mission navigation and weapons information uploaded to it before each flight. Jake's book has a few good pics of this little black box on Page 82 of his book (including the top), but for those of you who don't know what it looks like, here's some shots of the front:

DTU Front

And Rear:

DTU Rear

This is likely the "UDTU", for the Upgraded version.

Since I'm making the most modern Hog as an A-10C, the inclusion of this small but very important item is a must, so I had to try and scratch build something that looks close. It's not just a square box, but an L-shaped one with lots of rivets, tabs and other details. Using a block of resin as a start, I added a few photo-etched items from the parts bin to get a shape and some of the detail that is close, followed by more of my trusty Archer Rivets made of decal film. Here's the front/port side....


Rear/port side


And front starboard side. Since the starboard side is mostly hidden, I didn't bother with any detail because you'll never see it.


After painting the parts, dry brushing them for some wear and applying a dullcoat, here's how it looks.

Rear/port side. For the electrical connections at the rear, I used some 0.9 mm lead wire and drilled a hole in the middle for the black wires to insert into. I used lead because it's about the right color and I don't need to paint it. Everything here looks a little loose because the wires and wire clamps are only dry fitted...


Front/starboard side. For the little gold fabric "ribbon" at the front right corner I used some thin decal film from a formation light, which is intentionally left wrinkled on the underlying rivet detail. The white lettering, which says basically nothing, was taken from some spare instrument panel decals I had left over from my Mustang build.


Port side. This angle shows the worn look a little more....


Positioned right behind the seat where it belongs, it looks the part....


The wires behind were located into small holes just inward of the DTU where they belong. I really like how the Archer rivets match all the other rivet detail in the surrounding area.


Oops, how did that get in there?! :woot.gif: Yes gentlemen, the Pig is finally finished with about an inch of lipstick all over it! After 20 months and an estimate of about 600 hours of work, I'm calling this build DONE!


I'm not exactly sure when I'll be able to take proper final pics of this beast, because that in itself is quite a time consuming project. If I don't have them up by Thursday morning, it will be early next week. Thanks you everyone for your continued interest. I promise the final pics will be very pretty!

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