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My Sea Flankers: An Adventure into my Imagination and Insanity!

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It’s been a while. Been busy blogging and pretending to be a photographer. :)  But a few months ago, I heard my work bench calling me and curiously I answered it. For the longest time I have wanted to build a few Sea Flankers but with my ideas. The problem was I never had a good starting point for my builds. Years later, I do now. So, the two ideas I have that I will be building is first, a two seat Su-33 with the seating like a Su-30. And the other is a carrier based Su-34 much like the Su-33 UBK. For the two seat Su-33, I’m going to use Kinetic 1/48 Su-33 kit along with cockpit area of Academy’s 1/48 Su-27 UB kit. The hardest part will be mating the cockpit area of the UB to the Su-33. The cockpits (tubs, seats and display panels) of the 27 UB are not to my liking, so I will replace it with Wolfpack design Su-30 resin cockpit. I also plan on putting some GE F-110 engines on her like the F-14 B/D.

For the carrier based Su-34, I’ll be using Hobby Boss Su-34 kit. I know Kittyhawk just release their kits, but I’m not impressed with any of their kits. I hate the fact that they tend break up the fuselage into what I feel is too many pieces. Making more seams having to address. Butanywho… Where was I? :unsure: Oh yeah, my naval Su-34. I order to fold her wings, I got a second Kinetic Su-33. The wing folds on the kit are well thought out and looks great. And it would easier to graft them to the Su-34 then try and scratch build them. I love the side-by-side seating of the Su-34 but was never a fan of its nose. I want to reshape it to look more like the Su-33 UBK. More round like all its flanker sisters. And like the Su-33 UBK, my Sea Su-34 will have thrust-vectoring nozzles. I’m going to shorten the tail boom for carrier operations as well. 

I’ve been very inspired about these builds and been working on them since July. So much so, I was not going to make a work in progress thread and just post images of the finished model. It sometime turns into a chore doing a work in progress post while building. Build, photos, build, photos, edit, write, edit, post, reply, reply and then go back to building. Truth be told, I had a lot to figure out for both builds. Like how am I going to graft the Su-27 UB cockpit area to the Su-33 fuselage? And would the wings of the Su-33 even fit on the fuselage of the Su-34? Having to stop and go through the motions of a work in progress post would had really put a damper on my creativity and progress.

I did and have been taking photos of my progress and feel I’m at a point of most of the of “How in the F@#K am I going to do” this is over. After this weekend's progress, the models are really starting to come together and take shape. After some thought, I see no joy in waiting until the end of the builds and showing the finish models. And being that I have a few months of past progress, it will be easier for me to keep building with passion and still share it with you all. 

Here’s good teaser image. And Yes! You can fit an Academy Su-27 UB cockpit area onto a Kinetic Su-33 fuselage. In the lower, you can see I chopped the nose off the Su-34 and place a foam blank to be reshaped. The spare Su-33 in also in the image as well but more about her later!


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So, I want to share with you the madness of grafting Academy’s Su-27 UB cockpit area onto Kinetics Su-33 fuselage. I knew it could be done, it would be a matter of accurately cutting and sanding them to get a good joint. Once I got both kits, I marked out the area of the UB I want to cut out. With my Dremel, I started hacking up the UB. What I did was cut way more than what I needed, placed it over top of the Su-33 upper fuselage and started trimming back the UB cockpit area to panel line close to the Su-33.


When I got close to the Su-33 panel line, I  used a file to true up the cuts. I then simply placed the UB cockpit area on top of the Su-33 upper fuselage and with a fine tip felt pen, marked what needed to be cut away from the Su-33 fuselage. Again, with my Dremel, I cut away the single seat area of the Su-33. After some time with a file and some good old fashioned cursing, I got the UB cockpit area to fits. Now to glue it into place. I wanted something I could rescribe and strong. I thought about using my old trusty, super glue and baby powder. Yeah it is great to fill large gaps and I can rescribe it, I don’t think it will make a strong joint.


 Not sure if you guys know how most liquid cements works. Ambroid Pro Weld, Plastruct Plastic Weld Cement, Plast-I-Weld Liquid Cement, different names but it’s the same stuff. They basically melt and bond plastic together. If you have ever put too much on a seam, you know how easily it melts plastic. I’m going to use that melting ability to make some liquid styrene glue/filler. I cut up a bunch of leftover/unused sprue and put it into a glass mixing bottle and then added my liquid cement. Stirring it as it melts the sprue into liquid styrene. I tacked the corner of the UB cockpit area to the Su-33 with some super glue to hold it into position. I then bushed on the liquid styrene into the seam. It does take some time for it to harden. About 24 to 48 hours to be sure. But once it hardens and totally cured, you have two parts that was bonded together with styrene. Styrene you can sand, scribe and paint just like the kit. 




Once it was all cured, I started the sanding process. I did use some super glue and baby powder to fill hole as putty. I then airbrushed some Tamiya Flat black as guide coat for sanding and checking surface. During the sanding, I used some vinyl tape to protect surface detail I did not want to lose.






Thanks for stopping by!
Steven :cheers:

Edited by FAR148
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How about some progress of my carrier based Su-34? I have always loved the side-by-side seating of the Su-34 but did not care for her nose. I’m going to give mine a nose job. A rounder look like more like the Su-33 UBK. I turned a new rounder nose for her, but the amount of reconstruction to get it to fit is just not worth it.



 So, I started looking for other nose ideas and came across an image of a JASDF F-2. Got another piece of high-density foam and started shaping her new nose more like a F-2 radome. 


Once I was happy with its shape, I wrapped the joint where it meets the fuselage with some vinyl tape to make it leak proof. Next, I stood her nose down so I could back fill the nose with resin making a plug to ensuring a perfect fit to the body.  The high-density foam that I made the nose from is very porous and needs to be sealed for me to mold it. So, I placed the nose on piece of aluminum foil formed into a tray and pour resin all over top of it then let gravity do the rest. 



The cured resin forms a hard and sandable shell around the new nose.


 I then molded and casted a master part in resin. I added some lightning strips made from thinly cut Dymo tape and remolded it. A few days later, I wasn’t happy with the size of the lightning strips. I used the molded in strip as guides, scribed in and sanded off the rise ones.


Here's her new nose along side the resin coated foam blank.


Thanks for stopping by!
Steven L  

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This update is about the Bad Girl of the bunch. For the wings of my carrier based Su-34, I needed a 2nd Su-33. I cut the wings from the upper and lower fuselage halves and threw her into what was becoming the “Parts” box. Upset that I used her for her body wings, I started searching for ideas to get her some new wings. I came across hasegawa anime fighter with some wing that would look sexy on her. After some time in photoshop scaling and printing, I came up with this. Not too sure about the placement of the horizontal stabilizer. 




This will be my first-time scratch building wings. The issues I foresee is the structure, making sure the wings will be strong and not flimsy. As well as making sure from side to side, they look the same. Pretty girls require a ton of attention and this one is no different. Since she is special, she does not have a traditional air brake. Like most modern fighters, she deflects her flight controls to maximize drag. So, I glued and filled the  kits air brake and rescribed her panel lines.




I printed out her new wings, spray mounted them to some illustration board and cut them out. She is going to the Pretty Girl of the bunch for sure  :wub:.




Until next time,

Edited by FAR148
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Here’s an update of a bunch of odds and ins.  Let’s start with the carrier based Su-34.  Like her Su-33 sister, she has a shorten tail. I cut 42 mm out of her tail and glued it back together. 




On to her intakes, the hobbyboss kit has these two panel on the inboard side of the intake that you are suppose of fill with two kit parts. Parts like this never fit properly. And since I’m going make some intake covers so you can not see the next step. I added some styrene backing on the inside of the intakes where the panels go. And filled them with my favorite putty, super glue and baby powder. Once cured, they can be sanded flush and smooth leaving no unsightly seams.






On to my two seat Su-33. The cockpit that came with the Su-27 UB, which was grafted on to the Kinetics Su-33, was not as detail as I would like. So, in its place I got Wolfpack Designs Su-30 cockpit. To ensure the instrument panel of the front cockpit fit into the Su-33, I cut the top portion of the Su-33s instrument panel and glued it to the resin one of the Su-30




I wanted to paint the cockpit of both my two seat Su-33 and her forward swept wing sister that Russian interior blue. At first, I painted them blue and tried to paint the buttons and nobs with a tooth pick and I was not happy with the results. So, I stripped the paint and started over. But how could paint it blue and still the buttons and nobs clearly painted? Here’s what I did! First, I painted the tubs flat black and sealed it with a heavy coat of Future and let it dry overnight. The next day, I then sprayed the interior blue. I then cut a piece of 1/8 dowel rod and super glued a piece a 400-grit sand paper to the circle end of it. (not wrapped around it) Once the blue was good and dry, I run the dowel rod over the buttons and nobs, lightly sanding off the blue and revealing the black underneath. Once I was happy, I gave it another coat of Future. Painted a few buttons red and a light grey to add some visual interest. And gave the tubs a wash in black watercolors. The instrument panels were paint blue first and the dials and screens painted after. 




The wheels, the wheel, OMG the wheels! So, the Su-33 kit wheels looks amazing but when you glue them together, there is no way I know of to sand them and not lose any of the surface detail. And the Su-34 wheels are that fake rubber and don’t want to use them for its main wheels. I wanted a single piece wheel with some type of tread that I could use for all the main wheels for all my Girls. So, I added a styrene disk to the Su-33 wheels to make them wider. Sanded them smooth, cut some super thin strips of vinyl tape and added it for new tread detail. Added a casting block, mixed up and pour some RTV and molded the wheels. I then casted resin copies for each of my Sea Flankers. I did the same for the nose wheels too.






Back to my two seat Su-33. With the resin tubs painted and finished, its time to put them into place. Fitting them into the Su-27 UB area was not a problem. It was the nose gear bay of the Su-33. The nose gear bay is deep, and the resin tubs are tall. It took a lot of careful grinding with the Dremel before it all came together. The top of the nose gear bay and the bottom of front cockpit tub are paper thin!






Thanks for stopping by and until next post!

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Of my three Sea Flankers, my forward swept wing bad girl is the most complicated. There were a few questions I had to answer before I started. Like, having to figure out how to incorporate the design of the wing into the fuselage of the kit? How are they going to attach to the fuselage?  How to make the wing to fuselage joint strong as well as having proper aliment in all views? Also, I knew I wanted to show her with her flight controls in an unpowered position. That means making her wing with positional flight controls. Not too worried about scribing panel lines or locations of the weapon pylons. Can figure that out once her wings are made. 

I knew from the start that the best way for me to answer those questions, would be to work it out in Photoshop. To start, I needed to get image of the upper fuselage into photoshop and have it scaled 1 to 1 to the kit part.  So, I took a photo of the upper fuselage with the nose taped in place. In order to scale image of fuselage to the same size as the kit, I had to scale same part to its known dimension. I know from where I cut her wing off, the width of the upper fuselage was 106 mm from side to side. And the length of the wing where it cut was 144 mm. Back into photoshop, I can now scale those area to the correct dimensions.  I then did a quick print to confirm. 




Now I can open the top view of her new wing in photoshop and scale it to fit the kit. After a few rounds of scale, print, rescale, I want happy with the look of this. I decided to move her horizontal stabilizer from the wing to the fuselage.




I can then mirror it to the other side and start to refine the locations of the flight controls. It is also time to start to think about how I’m going to attach her new set of wings to her fuselage. In the image below, the area highlighted in red will be the main strict of the wing. It will go through the fuselage, keying in between the main wheel bays and there are a cluster tabs located behind the main gear bays. 




I measured and cut a test wing out of illustration board. With the test wing, it makes it easy to mark and make changes before committing to the final styrene part. Once I was happy with its shape, I can now use the test wing as a template to lay it out on a piece of styrene.



To maximize strength and help align the wing horizontally, I cut and glued a piece of styrene in-between the two main wheel wells. It will also be another gluing surface. The main wing structure was cut out of 2 mm sheet styrene. After some sanding and filing to true up all the cuts, time to get her wings into place. 








What’s great with having a one to one image of her wing is I can print it out again and use it to make all the flight control surfaces.  Which will come later.



Thanks for stopping by,

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Is been a while since I posted an update. To be honest, I’ve been struggle just how I was going to make the flight control surfaces for my Bad Girl. My first thought was to make templates of all the control surfaces, making sure they fit good and then trace the shape on to a wing, tail plane or horizontal stabilizer of what’s left over from the Academy Su-27UB kit. This would work for the outer leading and trailing edge flaps but not the inner leading edge and inner trailing edge flaps. The sections of these flaps are thicker and would require me to make a top, a bottom and fill in the shape of the section. It could be done this way, but it would be a ton of cutting, fitting and sanding. 


What I end up doing for the inner leading and inner trailing flap was that I made them out of high-density foam to make resin parts. Using the template, I made to figure out the shape and look of the flight controls, I cut a blank for each of the thicker flaps. I then shaped and sanded the flaps. The high-density foam is not as hard as styrene, but it is soft enough to shape very easily with sanding sticks. Once I was happy with all the fit and shape of all the flaps, I then sealed them with a coat of resin. After the resin cured, I lightly sanded them smooth. These parts will serve as master parts to be molded and cast resin copies. With resin parts just as hard as the kit’s styrene, I will have no problem scribing in panel line details.




For the middle trailing edge flap, I made and fit a template that would work for both sides of my Bad Girl. I then transfer the shape of the flap to the tail plane of my scrap Academy Su-27 UB. I then glued a piece of styrene to the underside to build up the thickness. After it was sanded and fitted for both sides, I molded it and cast copies for each side. I wanted the inner trailing flaps to droop a bit. So, I sanded a bevel to the mating surface. Now that she is starting to take shape, I can stop looking at her!








Thanks for stopping by,

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  • 4 months later...

Hi guys, 
It’s been some time since I last posted. Life, work, summer along with being lazy. All three builds are still going and the Bad girl who was the farthest behind. Her problem was her panel line on her wings. What do they look like? How can I sketch out some panel line ideas? And then how do I get those panel line on the model?  I started by printing out the wing template to figure out how I was going to make the wing and use it to figure out how and what her panel lines will look like. After a few days of drawing, erasing and redrawing, I finally came up with something I was happy with. 




The next hurdle was to get her new panel lines back into photoshop and then figure out how to get them on to the model accurately. So, I then scanned the pencil drawing and redrew them in photoshop. The way I figure out how to get the panel lines on to the model is not my idea. I watch many YouTubers and one Micheal Cthulhu, often uses this technique. With the panel line drawn in photoshop and printed out, I trimmed off the flight controls (I'll do the flight controls later) I then cut out a bunch of little “windows” so that when I place the printout on the wing, I can mark a line in the window on the wing. After all the “windows” were marked, I could then remove the print and now I can just connect the dots, so to speak. I did the same for the underside. 




Now with all the panel lines drawn into place, it’s time to start scribing. I like to use Dymo tape and my Starrett scribe for scribe work. Also, I like too to cut my Dymo tape into stripes to get more out of it. Place the Dymo tape, make a few light passes, remove the tape and move on to the next panel. After both upper and lowers were done, I then add a few oval panels using my steel scribing template.






Here you see her with her new panels scribed in, her flight controls taped into place and I add her horizontal stabilizers which are kicked out to 10 degrees.




Thanks for stopping by! 
Steven :wave:

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On 9/3/2019 at 6:00 PM, Aigore said:

I like it.......you are all kinds of crazy but your creativity knows no bounds 😄


Thanks Aigore :thumbsup:


Time for an update on my Su-34 Sea Flanker. From the start, I was planning to put vector thrust nozzle on her. Amigo Models has a beautiful set of nozzles for Great Wall Su-35. But it’s going to take some work to get them to fit the Hobbyboss Su-34 kit.




The Amigo nozzles consisted of 5 parts. I needed to get part RP03 to fit the Hobbyboss kit. Moreover, this area on the kit had far less detail than the Amigo part. And I did not want to just add the resin swivel part of the kit. And after cutting away the kit area and checking how close the Amigo part is to the kit. Yeah! It wasn’t going to be that easy. The diameter of the kit where I cut it off at was 30.33mm and the Amigo part was 26mm. The length of the cut off kit part was 11mm. So, I need to make a part that goes from 30.33mm to 26mm in the space of 11mm.






For my blank, I measured 11mm in a small disposable cup and glued a short piece of brass tubing at the center of the cup. And poured in some resin up to my 11mm mark. Once cured, I popped it out of the cup and mark a 30mm circle on one side and a 26mm on the other. I then chuck it into my cordless drill and sanded the angle from 30mm to 26mm slowly. Once I was happy with both sides, I had to remove the brass tubing as well as open the hole so that inner part of the Amigo nozzle (RP05) will fit inside of it.




With my Dremel, I open the hole in my blank so that the Amigo pass through it. There is a gap from my part to the Amigo part but once together, you cannot see it.







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Here you can see my engine part and the Amigo part on the model. As well as great straight cutting abilities :woot.gif: Got to fill in that gap!  I then molded my engine part and cast a copy for the other side.




I did not like how the horizontal stabilizers of the Hobbyboss kit came together. There is a small open/vent? At the base of it which after gluing the two halves together, required a bit of clean up. The horizontal stabilizers from the Kinetic kit had much better surface detail and was molded in one piece and the rudder is positionable. So, I molded and cast a set of stabilizers to use on my Sea Su-34. With her new resin stabilizers, I didn’t want a simple butt joint on the stabilizers to the body. Some pins of some sort going into the body would be much stronger. Locating the pin in the stabilizers as well as in the body can be tricky. So, I made a jig to mark the location of the pins in both the stabilizers and the body.




Once marked and drilled in the stabilizers, I can them place the jig on the body and do the same knowing the holes will line up. I super glued some tubing in the stabilizers and larger diameter tubing in the body. The tubing in the stabilizers slide inside the tubing in the body.




When I mock it all up, I ran into a few problems with the new tail planes. The tail planes are from the Kinetic Su-33 kit and I have to recreate the way they mount on the Hobbyboss kit. Which means filling and reshaping the area and drilling a hole in the correct location so the pin in the Kinetic tail plane will work on the Hobbyboss kit.




I also have to trim a bit off the inboard part of the plane so my new engine part fit.



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Here you can see the area that was filled, reshaped to fit the Kinetic tail plane. I also filled, sanded and rescribe panel lines where the resin stabilizers and body meet.






Here she is with her custom engine accessories, tail planes and resin stabilizers in place. I noticed that I didn't post about how I got her folding wing parts on. :bandhead2:  Opp! Next post I guess!




Thanks for stopping by!

Steven :wave:

Edited by FAR148
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Steven, you're insane lol! It's starting to take shape as a Macross version of a Sukhoi.


One question. I'm interested in what you can describe as the background for your Bad Girl design given the test evaluations of the real forward swept wing Su-47 Berkut. 

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1 hour ago, Whiskey said:

One question. I'm interested in what you can describe as the background for your Bad Girl design given the test evaluations of the real forward swept wing Su-47 Berkut. 

Whiskey are you asking about what’s my inspiration for my forward swept wing Flanker?  If so, it’s the Hasegawa Macross 29 VF-31 Siegfried Hayate Custom "Macross Delta”
Thanks guys!
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Yes and no. I was just curious if you were going to add a little background to it like other 'what-if' or crazy idea builds I've seen around the interwebs. No matter what it's still radical and can't wait to see some paint slapped in her!

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  • 3 months later...
On 12/10/2019 at 12:05 PM, Thadeus said:

Did You think of color scheme for the forward swept wing?


Had this flavor in mind :whistle:



Thanks for stopping by!

Steven :wave:

Edited by FAR148
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