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The rear bulkhead of the cockpit is done too. The two hydraulics moving the canopy are in their imaginary position. I decided to go the easy way - with holes in the bulkhead where the hydraulics will slide in when the canopy is closed. I tried but I can't make them retractable realistically. At least it's a solution this way too. This is (almost) the kit part:






And the ready bulkhead:








Now I'm making thorough modifications of the side frames of the cockpit and more on that soon. 🙂 cheers!



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Next up - the cockpit side frames. This is how thin they were oob - the first pic is zoomed to see what exact part of the side frame I mean:






And these is how thick they are indeed - a couple of pics of the real thing:






So, I glued a stripe of plastic underneath the frames, then sanded them smooth on the sides toward the pilot, then shaped them as in the pic or at least I tried to be as close as possible. Then I added the tubes for the cooling air that come out of the rear bulkhead. They should have red stripes insulation but I'll add them easly after the painting. The canopy handle is also not added... well the frames are done and ready for painting. 🙂 Way better than before.












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  • 2 months later...

The original canopy frame was quite thin... so I added 1mm plastic sheet under the front edge and the angular frames + detailing and the hidraulics for the movement. The first pic is the original frame, and then - after the thickening:













Edited by my favs are F`s
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Secondly, the zig-zag pattern along the front edge is... 🙂 out of scale... quite thick! And they had some random indentations from the cutting of the sprue I guess. So the best way was to replace the zig-zag pattern with PE pieces. I had enough leftover PE to cut the required pieces and I tried to sand and make em as close as possible to the original pattern, in three pieces. See how thick was the original zig-zag RAM:








and those are the three PE pieces still not installed:




But first - I have to glue the caopy to the frame and then to "change" the zig zag pattern. Up: shortly. 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

The modifications of the canopy side frames: I had to put the canoppy up a little bit, in order to "align the facets". So the tiny gaps along the sides had to be filled. The first two pics show the gaps, and the next two - the tiny plastic edges that were added:










And that's the frame, painted, detailed, weathered... ready for gluing:







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Canopy and frame - merged. 🙂 Finally. Those are a bit darker photos but the seamlines are important, except for the front edge (which will be covered by the zig-zag rams). The "soiled" spots along the edges are from the glue, which is visible through the canopy. It went just beautifully. Only 1 of the smallest magnets keep the entire canopy closed, which makes it quite easy and smooth for opening. Check it out....










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  • 3 weeks later...

That's something. Do You ever build them just out of the box? Come to think of that, I wouldn't with a skill like that. Amaizing work. It will be flying and dropping GBU's in no time. Just hope You are not making them explode.

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🙂 Thx buddy. Btw this is a rather recent style of mine - for about 4 now - my first "tramsformable" model was the F-35B in 1/48 ( this is a facebook album in  an "open" config: https://www.facebook.com/milan.mitev.7/media_set?set=a.1007288912640750&type=3) ... considering that I'm "in the hobby" from some 15-20 years perhaps. 🙂 

Whilst for the GBUs - oh yeah, the bigger ones 🙂

Edited by my favs are F`s
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

In the making of the suction relief doors... actually they are done, I made them with hinges and magnets as well,






and here is a clip of the closing/opening:



This is how the door looks like from inside:






And the required holes are traced on to the trunks, ready to be drilled and fine tuned for a perfect fit to the fuselage:




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The holes include basically the entire top sides of the intake trunks 🙂 But I walled off the provisions to fit seamlessly with the relief doors. The struts of the engine faces are thined down too and I made them "transparent". 






And here is what I plan to do with the thin delicate PE screen mesh for the intakes. I'll just add thick solid transaprent acryllic pieces underneath. So far it works and looks good.





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So, after a lot of test fits, I ended up painting the acrylic parts black from the inner sides so to make them not transparent at all. Otherwise, they were really way too transparent, it was just surreal to see the engine faces clearly through the mesh screen. So, here is a test fit only of one of the screens over the not transparent acrylic parts. And please, stay home make models because the situation requires it!







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Exhaust mods:












As you can see from the pictures of the real plane, the entire exhausts in the model are a little bit on the thicker side. The guide vanes need thinning, canting ans overall reshaping with an airfoil, and shortening too. I plan to tackle them low and slow. 🙂




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🙂 10x SERNAK 👍


A little bit of updates from the making: the vanes got a new arrangement according to a picture of the original plane:




While the exhaust was thinned down slightly overall too:




Then here is the change of the new vanes by contrast to the original ones from the kit:





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  • 4 weeks later...

The baffles are painted and ready, but first, I'll have to make the ruddervaters. These baffles are only half a milimeter thick so I would like to avoid more chances of touching this delicate rear area of the fuselage... where... the ruddervaters have to fit right inbetween. 🙂 and I'd like to make them moveable.











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There is a slightly delicate issue to fix though. The thickness of the ruddervators in their top areas is way too much, which is due to their central facets that run throughout the entire pieces, which is wrong. The tips of the fins should end up in a romboid shape and not like that with kinks and bumps:






A couple of references:






I'll definitely keep the central edge but I'll try to smoothen out the transition of the facets between the bottom and top sides of the ruddervators by trying to create the needed romboid shapes at the top. This will be quite a challenge I think....





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