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chuck540z3

1/32 Kitty Hawk F-5E Kicked Up A Notch. June 26/19 Titanium Panels

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28 minutes ago, SERNAK said:

Hi Chuck,

 

Very nice work so far. 

 

BTW, I would like to ask you; do you think that the Kitty Hawk F-5E is more accurate than the AFV Club kit (different scales/companies but nonetheless both recent kits)?

 

 

 

Thanks.  I can't comment on the 1/48 AFV Club offering because I only build 1/32 aircraft, but based upon the FineScale Modeler review here, I am certain that it is a better kit overall:

 

1/48 AFV Club F-5E

 

This Kitty Hawk kit is a real challenge to get it to fit together properly, but it does has some good points as well:

 

Pro's

 

1)  It's way better than the old Hasegawa kit, which is the only other kit in 1/32.

2)  Accuracy is pretty good overall.

3)  Good plastic that is easy to rescribe.

4)  Excellent rivet detail, although many of the rivets need to be enhanced.

5)  Lots of decals and subjects.

 

But there are abundant flaws:

 

Con's

 

1)  Many errors, like fuel doors on starboard side of fuselage and panel line errors on the same side of front fuselage.

2)  Many errors in the instructions, especially the clear parts.

3)  Some of the parts do not fit together at all.  The front to back fuselage join is especially problematic.

4)  Panel lines often don't mesh across parts.

5)  Gun doors are made to be open only and require a lot of surgery to get them closed.

6)  Windscreen and canopy clear plastic have internal distortion flaws that can't be fixed.

7)  Cockpit is too shallow and not very accurate.

8)  Instrument panel is a mess.

 

Having said all that, this build should be fairly unique, because I am trying to fix most of these errors and the final product should look pretty good.  Fingers crossed!

 

HTH,

Chuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Chuck,

 

Many thanks for your reply. I have recently bought the AFV Club F-5E and it would be interesting to compare it to your build in order to see if it has any areas that need to be fixed (you know panels, panel lines, rivets, etc).

 

Keep up the good work!!!

 

Bill

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You will enjoy the AFV 1/48 F-5. OOB, it builds up very nicely. 

 

Cheers

Collin

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I agree Collin, the AFV F-5 is a nice kit though it has some issues.

 

For instance, while looking at the previous page photos and my kit I noticed that the AFV F-5 has probably in some areas more rivets applied (if you have the kit check the wings' riveting and the one from Chuck's build), with some being misaligned (on the middle of the fuselage) and a line on the upper surfaces of the wings that it shouldn't be there. 

 

Cheers

Bill

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The AFV Club F-5E is a nice kit, but as a replica there are a couple of things I don't like shapewise:  The forward fuselage is too rounded in crossection, and has a "coke-bottle-effect" on the belly under the cockpit.  The real thing is more like a rectangle with rounded corners, whereas the kit looks like the sides are bulging.  The other thing is the front of the intakes that are curving inwards whereas they should be more in line with the airflow.  

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On 4/9/2019 at 7:08 AM, chuck540z3 said:

Stunning pic, absloutely beautiful, I sure do miss home. I live in Dubai right now. 

 

 

ORuD5j.jpg

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

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Great work as always Chuck. That is a GORGEOUS shot, very jealous of where you live.

 

Steve

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Thanks Guys!

 

Not much of an update, but after a short vacation and long weekend with my grand kids, "Papa" is back working on this build.  I've done quite a bit already, but not much to show yet, so stay tuned.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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May 29/19

 

After 1 month, I'm finally back with an update.  It may not look like much, but this next step took me about 20 hours of picky, detailed work!

 

The engine on the F-5 has a zillion fine rivets, both on the rear nozzles and the titanium panels just forward.  This is what it looks like on a Swiss real deal....

 

rOUBcb.jpg

 

 

There are two types of rear nozzles supplied with the kit.  One set has fine recessed rivets and comes in two halves, creating a big seam, while the kit also supplies some one piece resin replacements, which I used.  As you can see, they are cast kind of rough, the raised rivets are huge and there's an unfortunate casting block right where you don't want it, on the lip of the nozzle on the right.

 

HKLpEO.jpg

 

 

They also seem to have been cast crooked, but I found that the shallow lip goes on the outside, while the thicker lip goes on the inside.  Of course the instructions say nothing about it!  Here I have sanded off the monster rivets on the left.

 

YIsoDV.jpg

 

 

The rear of the nozzles should have two thin circles of metal, separated by a gap.  To improve this look, I sanded the outside thinner, while carefully sanding the gap within.  It's not perfect, but from a few inches away, it looks not bad.

 

WhKyiP.jpg

 

 

The titanium panels just forward of the nozzles have recessed rivets, which look OK, but I can make them better.

 

7egBoN.jpg

 

 

As mentioned above, I have used Archer resin raised rivets many times before, so I've learned a few things about this great product as follows:

 

1)  The wider the decal film, the stronger the chain of rivets, but the higher the chance that it will show under paint, no matter how much decal softener you use.

 

2)  The narrower the decal film, the more fragile the chain of rivets, which often break apart, but it will not show as easily under paint.

 

3)  Rivets applied to curved surfaces should be done in short chains, for ease of handling.

 

4)  Even single rivets can be applied successfully, so if you bump off one or two, repairs are easy.

 

With the above in mind, I found some Archer rivets that were about the same spacing as the kit rivets, but just slightly larger, so they would still adhere without filling the recessed ones.  I found that chains of only 5 worked best, because they were easy to apply, but also compensated for the slight differences in rivet spacing.  These are found in #AR 88015, with thin strips of rivets cut as shown.

 

TQNU4n.jpg

 

 

After many, many hours of work, they look pretty good.  Not perfect by any means, partly because the kit spacing isn't perfect either, but when these areas are painted the same color, the small imperfections should almost disappear.  Engine nozzles and V-shaped antennae on the sides are only dry fitted with masking fluid "glue".

 

VPFWmx.jpg

 

c9AzZB.jpg

 

 

Top

 

VJuO2h.jpg

 

 

And don't forget the bottom, because it is covered with raised rivets as well in roughly this pattern from references.

 

GGnkPf.jpg

 

 

Next step is to spray these rivets and panels with clear acrylic X-22, to seal them, toughen them and help hide the decal film.  After paint, all you should see is raised rivets and no film.

 

On to the fiddly stuff, like landing gear, gear well doors, etc.  Not my favorite part of any build, but very important nonetheless.

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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Now that's a lot of rivets. Nice and patient work by you as usual. It's always fun to watch your progress on kits as each step is so detailed and sharply done. Thanks for sharing, as always!

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Geez Chuck, you might need another holiday after doing all those rivets!

 

That’s crazy but I like it! 😀

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Guys!

 

Quick follow up because I just sprayed X-22 on everything to smooth things out.

 

BEFORE:

 

VPFWmx.jpg

 

 

AFTER:

 

55bmGO.jpg

 

oEL1Uv.jpg

 

 

I'll let this dry for a few days, sand out the tiny flaws, then give it another coat to create a nice smooth finish for bare metal painting.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Wonderful job as usual Chuck!!!:thumbsup:

The Archer rivets are a great additions,not cheap but very convincing and also hard enough to resist a masking with Tamiya tape or Patafix.
I used different sheets for my Peten some time ago,and after unmasking the bird,I losed only a pair  of rivets here and there,

 

Gianni

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Wow. Chuck your work is stellar! I need to order some of those rivets.

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Those Archer rivets do make a difference !!! Great work Chuck!

 

Which rivets' size would you suggest for a 1/72 F-5E Chuck? I have one and I'm between simply engraving the rivets or buying the Archer rivets but, I don't know which size.

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2 hours ago, SERNAK said:

Those Archer rivets do make a difference !!! Great work Chuck!

 

Which rivets' size would you suggest for a 1/72 F-5E Chuck? I have one and I'm between simply engraving the rivets or buying the Archer rivets but, I don't know which size.

Mate,in my  1/72 Peten thread I've indicated the various size used .

Check in the link anove.

 

Gianni

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23 hours ago, kurnass77 said:

Mate,in my  1/72 Peten thread I've indicated the various size used .

Check in the link anove.

 

Gianni

Cheers Gianni

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Beautifully done Chuck. That's a lot of tedious work there but, very much worth it.

 

Steve

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Nice work Chuck. Those rivets add quite a bit of refinement to the tail section!

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Posted (edited)

June 8/19

 

 

A good modeling day, as you will soon see.  As I hit the backstretch of this build, there’s lots of picky small parts to deal with, so it’s time to get them out of the way.  In almost all of the pics I have of my subject, the landing gear doors and air brakes are in the closed position, so it’s very tempting to leave them that way, creating less work.  Other references, however, show these doors open when on the ground, other than the front gear door which is almost always closed.  I decided to let the kit parts tell me what to do, which turned out to be fairly easy.  Despite all the shortcoming of this kit, the landing gear, gear wells and gear doors are excellent with a lot of interesting fine detail, so I I’m leaving them open.

 

 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of pin marks to deal with, which are fairly easy to fix most of the time, but when they are in a tight recessed area and raised, they can be a real paint to fix.  Case in point, the air brakes.  How the heck do you get rid of that!?  Even the outside of the brake on the right has sink marks that need to be smoothed out.

 

 

ZoJJ5X.jpg

 

 

Using a Dremel tool with dental burr, I ground the raised pin mark down, then filled the recesses with putty and tried to sand them down the best I could in such a small space.  This is never smooth, so I used an old trick I’ve been using for years, by filling the recess with Future/Pledge as a micro-filler that you don’t need to sand later, to smooth things out.  The outside of the brake was sanded down to remove the sink marks, then the rivets were re-punched.

 

 

HqtaFY.jpg

 

 

After painting, it looks much better.  The top pin mark is not as sharp due to all the commotion in that small area, but you will likely not see it on the finished model.

 

 

gZ4ZbE.jpg

 

 

Now a bit of a screw-up.  Reviewing some tips given in the SIG on LSP, I was certain that my subject didn’t have chaff/flare dispensers, so I removed the panel detail on the belly earlier.  Gear door B21 has more of this same detail to accommodate the dispenser fairing B37 on the left in the pic below, so I removed it as well.  As luck would have it, my subject DOES have this chaff/flare dispenser, so I should have left everything alone!  Not a big deal I guess, but getting detailed pics of F-5’s from underneath is hard, especially for my particular jet.  In any case, we have 3 deep pin marks on the inside part of the door on the right to remove.

 

 

gpCcDU.jpg

 

 

After.  Much better after filling and paint.

 

 

FtPE8I.jpg

 

 

The main landing gear doors are quite nice, with not much clean-up required.  Note that I glued the arms to the landing gear now, to create a stronger bond with less chance of glue marks later.

 

 

uTAp0R.jpg

 

 

I used the Black Box cockpit canopy rails rather than the kit parts, because they are much more detailed and they have the hinges that connect to the recesses in the cockpit sill.  They were painted on the outside first, to ensure sufficient paint on the top of each rail which can be seen through the canopy glass from above.  The rear canopy assembly that was assembled earlier is only dry fitted to make sure clearances were OK.

 

 

FRa6rF.jpg

 

 

The front canopy frame which is brass photo-etch has nothing solid to attach to, so I glued on a thin styrene strip to the canopy, then glued the frame to the inside of the strip with CA glue, trimming the bottom of the PE to accommodate the canopy rails.  Both gluing operations are very risky to avoid ruining the clear plastic, so be careful!  Note:  The mirrors, which are not even on the kit instructions, should be folded twice in a recessed position as shown.  Many builds of this kit have them hanging down in a straight line with no bends.

 

 

pKEJFD.jpg

 

 

There is a large vent on the port side of the canopy that bends inward, which is too small on the Black Box part, so I used the kit version instead.  Much better- and that join is real and covered by a junction cover I will add later.  Note that I'm using Eduard pre-cut paint masks (JX-221) which fit perfectly.  The remainder of the canopy glass will covered later.

 

 

x60Hkj.jpg

 

 

All this work was done over the last few days, but today I attended the Western Canadian Regional Model Contest, where I entered my 1/32 Spitfire and F-15C Eagle Aggressor.  Over 500 models were entered in all sorts of categories, but about 35% or more were aircraft.  For some reason that I don’t understand, the Eagle came in second, with a Silver in its Advanced Jet Category, but I learned a long ago that model contests are fickle and outcomes are not always predictable.  My Spitfire fared much better among more competition in the Advanced Prop Category, winning Gold and a special award for best Canadian aircraft.  Pretty cool and my thanks to the organizers and volunteers who put on this bi-annual event.  It’s very rewarding to be recognized by your peers, who understand the challenges of our hobby.

 

 

O13ZfL.jpg

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Congrats on the wins, Chuck. Well deserved on both. 

 

Excellent explanations of your work and your progress. Looking forward to seeing this bird come to completion. 

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The Spit was my favorite, most deserving on the awards. It was good to see you.

 

The F-15 was gold, hands down. Yeah, some of the judging was bizarre. There was a model in one of the categories that I was in ( not mine) that was clearly the gold. It didn’t even place. 

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More fine work as usual Chuck.

 

Congratulations on the golf for your Spitfire.  Bummer that your Eagle 'only' won silver but you are correct in your observations.  Who knows what goes through the minds of judges at a contest.  I have seen some really head scratching decisions in that regard as well.

 

Looking forward to your next update.

 

Mike

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