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Lucio Martino

Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat – 13: Main Fuselage (X)

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Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat – 00:

General considerations

 

I am a proud rivet counter distinctly affected by Advanced Modeler Syndrome (AMS). At 57, I am chronic. Given that AMS is not a life threatening disease, I refuse every therapy, keeping digging deeper into this hobby in the utmost contempt for the “out of the box” approach. So far, I refused from posting my work here or on any other forum. Doing that requires additional time and challenging abilities, like photography. In addition, English is not my mother language. In other words, this is going to be my first In-Progress thread and this is going to be the first time that I post here by my name and not by a nickname.

 

The Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat is well over thirty years old and very much has been said and written about it. Since when opening the box for the first time, I strong had the feeling that this kit was rushed up from the few years older 1:72 Tomcat, by any account relatively more accurate and detailed. Maybe this is the reason why fit is quite below Hasegawa standards in 1:48. Actually, I always believed this as the worst modern jet kit in this scale by this firm, but no other Tomcat was a better choice for a rivet counter like me.

 

As a result, the Tamiya Tomcat was a very good news, but suddenly it left me with a bunch of obsolete Hasegawa Tomcats. I managed to sell them all my Hasegawa but one, a second hand kit missing the original box, instructions, and decals, but full of many spare parts and additional sprues that make possible a build of any version of the Tomcat. This kit is now on my workbench. In an attempt to please my AMS, my plan is to improve my Hasegawa Tomcat using only a few of the many aftermarket items produced for this kit over the years.

 

For one reason or another, I often ignore Hasegawa's instructions sequence. In general, after studying the sprues long enough to get bored, I am used to writing my construction order, trying to break down the construction process into many different subsets. This time makes for six subset:

 

  1. Forward Fuselage

  2. Main Fuselage

  3. Tails, Stabilizers, and Strakes

  4. Cockpit and Wheel Wells

  5. Wings

  6. Undercarriage Legs, Wheels, Seats, and Canopy

 

Unless I change my mind on the way (quite possible), my intention is to build one of the first boat tailed Tomcat with the rear air brakes open and the wings swept forward, to take advantage of the options offered by this old kit. As for the aftermarket, I am planning to use nothing more than an Aires cockpit and some Royale Resin wheels, but I'm not really sure. About the markings, I have no idea yet.

 

More from me soon.

Edited by Lucio Martino

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I'll be watching this thread.  I have about 4 or so 1/48 Hasegawa Tom's plus a HB kit...plus the two Tamiya Tom's in the stash.  

 

There are other articles out there about the goods and others of the basic 1/48 Hasegawa Tomcat kit, and how best to construct.  

 

If you are able to put together a thread that takes a dummy like me through a thoughtful and detailed process on how to build a respectable Tomcat from this kit, hopefully avoiding (or reducing) the fit/construction issues.....you have my solid endorsement.  

 

Cheers

Collin

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Count me in!  I still really like the shape of the Hasegawa Tomcat, so I have kept all the kits I have in the stash.  I just have so many different schemes I want to do!  🙂

 

Anyway, I have built two of these now, so I have a pretty good handle on some tricks.  Here is an excerpt taken from my most recent Hasegawa completed build thread:

 

"As you know, this is the notorious Hasegawa Tomcat.  This is my second one, and I learned quite a bit from my first try.  I deviated from the directions in three key places:  

 

1.  Intake Assembly

2.  Fuselage Join

3.  Beaver Tail Attachment

 

Basically what I did was to install the intake trunking BEFORE putting the inner ducting in.  This allowed me to get a fantastic join of the intake trunking, which gave me fits last time.  For the fuselage join, I cut out the rear bulkhead of the forward fuselage, and attached the completed forward fuselage to only the upper portion of the rear fusleage pancake.  Also gave me a much better fit than last time.  Third, attach the upper portion of the beaver tail to the upper portion of the fuselage pancake, and attach the lower beaver tail to the lower fuselage pancake.  This was a HUGE improvement from the last time.  The fit was almost perfect doing it this way."

 

I also have a some good pics of my progress in that thread, which can be found here:

 

Hopefully this helps some, and feel free to ask any questions you may have!

 

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@Collin

@Fighting Eighty-Four

I want to thank the both of you for your replies. I am looking forward at your feedbacks. And I want to congratulate with Fighting Eighty-Four for his Adversary Tomcat. It is a very inspirational work.

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat – 01:

Main Fuselage (I)

 

The Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat is world famous for atrocious fitting between the forward and main fuselages. The simple idea of putting, sanding, and smoothing this joint has been more than enough for many modelers to drop every ambition of building this kit. Not to mention the work eventually necessary to restore all the related surface details. My choice has been to address this problem as a first thing, to throw all this kit immediately away in the garbage if I had not been able to satisfactory joint together these four (actually five) parts.

 

KLpNad.jpg

 

To match forward and rear fuselage better, I first removed completely the two rear bulkheads of the two forward semi-fuselages. Then I sanded the inside of the forward and main fuselages with a metal file until the thickness of all mating parts was about the same (my digital caliper came very handy). Finally, I glued to all fuselage parts some .40X.125 Evergreen stripes, alternating one with one another (pics 01 and 02).

 

As you can see in pic 03, 04, 05, and 06 forward and main fuselages now match one to the other much better. The forward fuselage is just a bit lower, but this is something that I can fix by pulling one side up and the other down when I will glue these parts together, so to be able to fix this join with the help of a little putty and a sanding stick.

 

The two lower strips of Evergreen provide some support for lower fuselage part B4, whose gluing area is otherwise very narrow (pic 07). Finally, all this makes for a quite sturdy connection between main and forward fuselages. Now one fits into the other, holding up without glue (pics 08 and 09).

 

cnZpZ7.jpg

 

IFmkpn.jpg

 

M83waN.jpg

 

IJpHqn.jpg

 

Q9IRvY.jpg

 

gRznuK.jpg

 

XE8ZIH.jpg

 

K9ZULI.jpg

 

jmOshp.jpg

 

Pics are taken with my tablet. Not much I can do to improve focus, etc. However, any advice about how to improve their quality is very welcome.

 

More from me soon.

Edited by Lucio Martino

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Whoa definitely wasn't expecting that as far as improving the kit 'build wise.' This is why I'm sticking with the newer Revell B/D and original Monogram A boxings,. With Darren Roberts guide they are easier to put together and look great if done right. 

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@whiskey
I do agree with you, the Monogram/Revell Tomcat is way easier to build. The problem is that my AMS forces me to face increasing higher modelling challenges.

 

@ViperZero
@Coneheadff
Hopefully this thread will be useful to both of you and to others eventually building this kit.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat – 02
Cockpit and Wheel Wells (I)

 

Second in my personal building sequence is the front and main wheel wells assembly, three small multipart assemblies. As you can see in pics 10 and 11, all the nose well assembly is easy and painless, calling for a good additional detailing and effect painting.

 

vnid6U.jpg

 

07hATi.jpg

 

Same is not true for the main wheel wells. Composed by no less than four parts each, to be sandwiched between the upper and lower main fuselages, the main wheel wells are a surprisingly problematic area (pic 12).

 

EP6TG3.jpg


After endless dry fitting, I have felt confident enough to commit first some liquid glue, mostly to get all parts in the correct position, and then to fill with cyanoacrylate glue every seams for a strong bond (pics 13 and 14).

 

p0TmTo.jpg

 

89UlVz.jpg

 

However, compared to what came later, this was a painless experience. See pic 15.

 

96JO2b.jpg

 

The lower main fuselage is lacking of a surface on which glueing parts C15 and C16, requiring about an inch of .40X.40 Evergreen stripe to fix this problem, as you can see in pics 16 and 17.

 

OGTeKm.jpg


UjS43f.jpg

 

Furthermore, these two parts, each of them key for a correct alignment of the main undercarriage legs, are simple too short, leaving a large gap (pics 18 and 19).

 

LkxXJV.jpg

 

GcWHME.jpg

Edited by Lucio Martino

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Great work and tips!

Thank You so much!

Now I feel ready to start my F-14D

 

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Great job so far!!!

 

Next major pain in the back is getting closer...the intakes 😉

Can't await to see your solution for them.

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@cema_ga

@coneheadff

Thank you  for your nice words. For what concerns the air intakes, they are a disaster...

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat – 03

Main Fuselage (II)

 

Probably, the worst issue of the Hasegawa Tomcat is the shape of the wing glove leading edge. A real deal breaker for me. Enough to drop any interest. Pic 20 shows the wing glove leading edge of the very accurate Tamiya Tomcat. Pics 21, 22, and 23 show the same part of the Hasegawa Tomcat. Some stripes of tape shows the misshape beyond any reasonable doubt. So, fixing the shape of the wing glove leading edge was mandatory not to drop my Hasegawa Tomcat into the garbage nest.

 

LJW9cS.jpg

 

fwmwNJ.jpg

 

jfh3NW.jpg

 

sxr5zm.jpg

 

Given that both upper and lower main fuselages are quite thick, my solution was to stick to my abrasive tools for a long session of wet sanding (pic 24). After about half a hour or careful sanding, the starboard wing glove was looking like in pics 25 and 26.

 

mayGlM.jpg

 

cZlsZu.jpg

 

BWyf7J.jpg

 

After this first round of sanding, with the help of a precision contour gauge, I draw, and cut, the profile of the Tamiya Tomcat wing glove leading edge on five cards and I use them to check the upper fuselage reshaping (pics 27, 28, 29 and 30).

 

 

ZPOuCq.jpg

 

jkg9JT.jpg

 

HdEqGK.jpg

 

mBp56q.jpg

 

However, reshaping the upper fuselage is not enough. The lower fuselage wing glove is too tall and must be reduced of .40 (1 mm). Using some tape as a guide first for a pencil and then for a needle, I first marked, and then I engraved, a line showing the area to be removed, as you can see in pic 31. A photo etched saw finished the job, cutting a .40 stripe of plastic away (pic 32 and 33).

 

i931ko.jpg

 

jgD737.jpg

 

9NGsOL.jpg

 

Pic 34 shows he final product, the reshaped upper wing glove and the shorter lower wing glove. Pic 35 compare the un-modified (top) to the modified parts. Any kind of feedback is very welcome.

 

rMk7NN.jpg

 

 

mH51Yn.jpg

 

 

Edited by Lucio Martino

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Awesome Lucio!!!

 

Great idea with the gauges!

Concerning the lower part...is it 1mm at the forward part and narrowing to the back?

Will that help close the gap when the wings are installed and in the swept back position?

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@coneheadff
Thank you for you nice words, very appriciated.
The removed area is one mm deep, not narrowing to the back or to the front. I got this value comparing Hasegawa and Tamiya wings leading edges. Yes, the removal of 1 mm helps to close that gap, but more on that in a future post.

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat - 04

Main Fuselage (III)

 

Building the air intakes is far from easy. Nothing matches. Fitting of the internal air intakes parts is vague at best. In addition, following the instruction, they build into supersonic configuration (pic 37). Interesting when building the model in flight. Disappointing when building  the model on the ground, because on the ground are intakes most common configuration is subsonic.

 

ignO6d.jpg

 

Three actuators for each intake move up and down three ramps controlling the air flow, so to switch from a subsonic, transonic, and supersonic configuration, but Hasegawa supplies only two actuators and two ramps for each air intake. Curiously, parts G7, G10, G8, and G11 have all the required location holes for the missing actuators. Another evidence of how sloppy and hurried up is this kit.


Pics 38 and 39 shows how to fix parts G10 and G11. I did not cut these parts in two just because, for the subsonic configuration, engraving the missing line is enough.

 

iAdea0.jpg

 

cr6uMN.jpg

 

The missing actuators are not needed because in the subsonic configuration G20 and G11 stay flat on the air intake roofs. The same is true for the two nect actuators, parts H6. The other two actuators, parts H7, must be shortened, leaving a piston long a couple of mm (0.60), to position parts G12 and G13 only sligthly lowered. On this regard, see pics 40 and 41.

 

6snM95.jpg

 

J49d2x.jpg

 

After some dryfitying, I decided to glue parts G7 and G8 to the lower fuselage only where marked in pic 42, because these areas in my kit are warped, so that parts G7 and G8 stay straight and not bend. Pics 43, 44, and 45 show this assembly.

 

wfUTnp.jpg

 

56cxeH.jpg

 

DDeNem.jpg

 

ihsAdq.jpg

 

Additional dryfitting shows additional problems. More on the air intakes in the next post.

Edited by Lucio Martino

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On 12/31/2018 at 12:50 AM, Lucio Martino said:

Improving the Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat – 03

Upper and Lower Main Fuselages (II)

 

Probably, the worst issue of the Hasegawa Tomcat is the shape of the wing glove leading edge. A real deal breaker for me. Enough to drop any interest. Pic 20 shows the wing glove leading edge of the very accurate Tamiya Tomcat. Pics 21, 22, and 23 show the same part of the Hasegawa Tomcat. Some stripes of tape shows the misshape beyond any reasonable doubt. So, fixing the shape of the wing glove leading edge was mandatory not to drop my Hasegawa Tomcat into the garbage nest.

 

After this first round of sanding, with the help of a precision contour gauge, I draw, and cut, the profile of the Tamiya Tomcat wing glove leading edge on five cards and I use them to check the upper fuselage reshaping (pics 27, 28, 29 and 30).

 

 

ZPOuCq.jpg

 

 

Hi Lucio!

This is very good advice, but only to those who rejoice in the bliss of having the Tamiya kit to gauge the wing glove contours, I guess.

Dunno whether it could be done now, but thought that you could post pictures of those gauges you made from card stock, according to those 5 sections they were measured against on the Tamiya upper wing glove? I assume that those stripes of tape were measured every each centimetre on the Tamiya upper wing glove?

Cheers,

 

Onigiri 

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@coneheadff

@my favs are F's
Thank you !

 

@doppelänger

Hi Onigiri,

I am sorry but I cannot post picture of those gauges. I am living between Roma in Italy and Columbia in South Carolina. Since early December I am in Columbia, but those gauges and my Tamiya Tomcat are in Roma. I just took with me my Hasegawa Tomcat. However yes, I did measure at a regular distance each stripe of tape first on the Tamiya and then on the Hasegawa wing glove.

Best,

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat - 05

Main Fuselage (IV)

 

The inside of the air intakes parts are plagued by extraction marks. Maybe they will not be visible at the end, but few drops of Mr. Surfacer Gunze 500 and some gentle sanding was enough to take care of them (pic 46).

 

TEdFvM.jpg

 

Not surprisingly, the fit of the air intake trunks, parts B1 and B9, to the lower fuselage is not good. Often in this kit, the mating areas are insufficient or non existent. My solution was to cut a little bit of Evergreen .010 plain plasticard in two 20x40 mm stripes and to glue them to the lower fuselage in order to support parts B1 and B9. In addition, two 10 mm long pieces of Evergreen .40X.80 stripes tighten the sides of parts B1 and B9 to the fuselage, as you can see in pics 47 and 48.

 

ulJYyE.jpg

 

wm03Hf.jpg

 

Two other stripes of Evergreen plasticard, this time .20X.40, were needed to close two unexpected gaps between parts B1 and B9 and the lower fuselage (pics 49, 50, and 51).

 

fB3iRi.jpg

 

CU18CI.jpg

 

nmVMbh.jpg

 

Focusing more on parts B1 and B9, I realized that their sides are too thick, and that their edges are not rounded enough. Actually, they are not rounded at all (pics 52-54).

 

go1Zz0.jpg

 

K8zz0J.jpg

 

zvDIXp.jpg

 

However, thinning and reshaping these areas more in scale with the help of a sanding sticks did not turn out to be a big deal (pics 55-57).

 

JnHF4H.jpg

 

LSXni4.jpg

 

 

Nnc2Pr.jpg

 

The air intake ordeal is far from over. To be continued...

Edited by Lucio Martino

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Good job on those intake trunks!!!

 

Please keep your ideas going and give us more solutions 🙂

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On 2/7/2019 at 1:46 AM, Lucio Martino said:

@doppelänger

Hi Onigiri,

I am sorry but I cannot post picture of those gauges. I am living between Roma in Italy and Columbia in South Carolina. Since early December I am in Columbia, but those gauges and my Tamiya Tomcat are in Roma. I just took with me my Hasegawa Tomcat. However yes, I did measure at a regular distance each stripe of tape first on the Tamiya and then on the Hasegawa wing glove.

Best,

 

Hi Lucio!

Oh, I totally understand; never mind. Thanks a lot all the same. Will see whether I can resort to a modelling mate to use his Tamiya kit to measure the wing gloves on it to devise my own gauges. That was a great idea. :thumbsup:

Cheers,

 

Onigiri

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@coneheadff

@doppelänger

I need to thank you for your interest in this build. However, more than doing my best to give solutions, I am challenging myself, checking my old school techniques on this kit.

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

Improving Hasegawa 1:48 Tomcat - 06

Main Fuselage (V)

 

With parts B1 and B9 finally looking, and fitting, much better, time had come to check how them fitted to parts B10-B11 and B2-B3, according to the instructions (pic 58). However, a short dry fitting session was enough to discover more problems. Looking at the many web available pictures of the inside of the F-14 air intakes, differences in color and in material are evident but no step is visible. Instead, when looking to the inside of the Hasegawa F-14 air intakes half way to the intake a step is clearly visible (pic 59).

 

6BQGCx.jpg

 

6xxGii.jpg

 

To remove that step from each air intake, and to easy all the related assembly process, I glued some .010 Evergreen stripes to the external edges of part B2 and B10, to be able to temporarily join these parts and to check their fit to the inside of the intake trunks (pics 60-61).

 

4bsXLl.jpg

 

A7Inqh.jpg

 

Next step was to thin the lateral edges of parts B2-B3 and B10-B11 sanding from the inside. Then, I thinned their lower edges sanding from the outside (pics 62-63).

 

w79t8X.jpg

 

vBcPcG.jpg

 

After another long session of dry fitting, to be sure to get a continuos transition between parts B1/B10-B11 and B9/B2-B3, I engraved somewhat more the related area of parts B1 and B9 with a blade, as you can see on pics 64 and 65.

 

ddGO5c.jpg

 

fS4Atd.jpg

 

Finally, pics 66 and 67 show a no step dry fit of this assembly.

 

8crxOV.jpg

 

nbaPab.jpg

 

This kit air intakes are a never ending story. More on the Hasegawa Tomcat air intakes in the next post.

Edited by Lucio Martino

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I am finding this to be one of the most interesting thread on dealing with the Hasegawa Tomcat, fantastic.

 

Robert

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This is a very well done tutorial. Should come in handy for the people who bought my Hasegawa kits.  😃

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This is an amazing thread Lucio, grazie mille...

 

Wonder if we can get this bad boy pinned? It's certainly a priceless resource for a widely distributed and built kit

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