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"Rat 55" NT-43A Build


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48 minutes ago, Dutch said:

Fred, I know that the added tail readome is hollow, but don't forget to add a little weight to the nose.  I've made that mistake more than once.  Just saying. K/r, Dutch

 

Hi Dutch,

     That whole front nose cone is packed with lead shot and epoxy. I definitely don't want this to be a tail sitter! Thanks for the reminder ;0) Fred.

 

 

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After the Milliput dried for a few days I broke out the coarsest sanding stick that I had and started grinding away. After awhile, this was the result....

rsz_1rsz_20200531_012438.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Before gluing on the clear nose section I had to install the nose gear box. Fit here was not that great, and I had to file the box down a bit to get it to sit properly. With all of the additional weight that I had added to the extended nose section, I decided that I should reinforce the nose gear box since it is just glued to the bottom of the fuselage. I cut a length of Evergreen tube and pressed it in between the roof of the fuselage and the top half of the gear box. I glued it, then expoxied it.... Its not going anywhere!

rsz_1rsz_120200531_012426.jpg

Edited by f5guy
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Posted (edited)

The clear nose section is now on. Fit was decent, but some filling was still required. My filler of choice is gap filling super glue. I have yet to find any putty the is useful.

rsz_1rsz_20200609_150418.jpg

Edited by f5guy
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Posted (edited)

Next up was to find something to make what I believe to be conduits running along the fuselage just below the cockpit to the nose. From photos I knew that the conduits had a trapezoid shape to them. Have you ever tried to find trapezoid shaped strip styrene?? Good luck! The only brand that I could find was Plasti-struct, and it was far too small. Call it serendipity, but I was going through my stash looking at kits and trying to figure out what my next build might be when Heller's E-3B AWACS caught my eye. While I was checking out the sprues I noticed that the runners were trapezoid shaped instead of the usual round shape, and that there were several different sizes. I cut a couple of samples off and checked them against the NT-43. One I felt was just right, so I cut three more sections an proceeded to make four conduits of two slightly different sizes.

rsz_1rsz_20200609_150750.jpg

Edited by f5guy
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Posted (edited)

The conduits are a little steeper on the sides than on the actual aircraft. However I did plan to fill them out on the sides with Milliput, so I was happy enough with how they looked. The upper conduits largely conform to the nose profile. The lower conduits do not, and basically go in a level line to the nose leaving a large gap underneath. This would also be filled by Milliput. Also, I used no documented measurements (I couldn't find any), so everything is "eyeballed".

rsz_20200609_155410.jpg

Edited by f5guy
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Posted (edited)

Here's how they look after applying "worms" of Milliput and cleaned up with wet cotton swabs. I have now caught up the updates to where I actually am in the build, so the updates will slow down. Thanks for watching ;0) Fred.

rsz_20200610_005844.jpg

Edited by f5guy
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7 hours ago, f5guy said:

Before gluing on the clear nose section I had to install the nose gear box. Fit here was not that great, and I had to file the box down a bit to get it to sit properly. With all of the additional weight that I had added to the extended nose section, I decided that I should reinforce the nose gear box since it is just glued to the bottom of the fuselage. I cut a length of Evergreen tube and pressed it in between the roof of the fuselage and the top half of the gear box. I glued it, then expoxied it.... Its not going anywhere!

Great idea!  I will do the same with my 1/72 KC-135 series of kits.  Absolutely great work so far.  And quick work!  

Edited by Dutch
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Trojan Thunder said:

This is looking great Fred, I have a couple of the Heller E-3s in the stash so I will remember to keep some of the sprue if I decide to go down the 1/72 path

 

I too plan on keeping a lot of the sprue runners from that kit when I build it. I'll probably never need trapezoid shape styrene again, but who knows? 😆 Fred.

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1 hour ago, Dutch said:

Great idea!  I will do the same with my 1/72 KC-135 series of kits.  Absolutely great work so far.  And quick work!  

 

Thanks Dutch and Steve! Remember, I was already well into the build before I started this thread, so that's why the updates were coming fast. Now I am caught up and the updates will slow down. Things have been a bit slow at work lately too, so that is giving me some extra free time to build. I sure am enjoying it! Thanks for following along guys 😁 Fred.

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A quick update today guys...... I worked on adding the fairing in front of the windscreen, and a couple of scoops under the nose of the aircraft. The fairing is from the rear empennage of a Hasegawa 72nd EKA-3B kit. I had chopped it off years ago to make an ERA-3B and kept it for whatever reason. I had to do a bunch of trimming and filing, but finally got it to my liking. I also added a couple of cooling exhaust scoops (I'm guessing) to the underside of the nose. Also added was a large flat antenna of some kind on top of the forward fuselage area. The size and shape of the antenna is a complete guess as I've only got one photo in which you can sort of see it (the landing pic at the beginning of this thread). More later! Fred.

rsz_1rsz_20200610_141601.jpg

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3 hours ago, Gator52 said:

Very nice work Fred, thanks for documenting your techniques for us!

 

Chris

 

 

Thanks Chris! I will be doing another update in the coming week, so stay tuned ;0) Fred.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Guys,

     I had a little time the other day and decided to work on the wings. It was then that I noticed that one of the wing tip lights was short shot by a pretty big margin. Once again Heller's E-3B kit and its trapezoid shaped runners came to the rescue. I cut a chunk off of the clear sprue, and glued it onto the wing tip with fast drying super glue, and let it dry overnight.

rsz_20200615_143326 (1).jpg

Edited by f5guy
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Posted (edited)

The next day I filed, then sanded it down to the right size and shape. Problem solved! All for now ;0) Fred.

rsz_20200615_183524.jpg

Edited by f5guy
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Hi everyone,

       I was fortunate enough to have a fellow ARC'er contact me, and later send me, some really valuable detail pics of Rat 55, especially the nose and tail areas. The nose I did a good job with and didn't need to do anything more. However, the tail needed a little re-do..... specifically the slight hump just before the tail radome (see a pic from earlier in this thread). Even though some inflight pics made it look like there was a slight hump there, it must have been a trick of the light as the one detail pic that I received showed that it was the same diameter as the tail radome. So, out came a coarse sanding stick and a few minutes later it was all sanded down to the size of the radome.

      Earlier tonight I had some free time and tackled the next item to be taken care of. Not visible in any of the inflight pics that I have is another small hump and dome of some sort on the tail. I have absolutely no idea what these do on the real aircraft!  I had already constructed one for the nose using part of a cut down tail empennage from a Hasegawa 1/72nd scale EKA-3B that was converted to an ERA-3B years ago, and I made the "dome" from a Russian bomb that came from a 72nd KP Su-7 kit, and some scrap plastic. The tail hump was a little different from the nose hump. It was made by laminating a trapezoid shaped sprue from the 72nd Heller E-3B kit (once again!) to a thick piece of Evergreen strip. After drying for a few days it was then filed and sanded to shape and glued onto a pre-marked spot. The dome was made from another Russian bomb, and is not glued on as it will be a different color than the aircraft, and glued on near the end of the build. The little hump just behind the dome was cut from the trailing edge of an Italeri 72nd Harrier fuel tank half.

     I am touching up seams on the fuselage now, and hope to have the wings on later this week. The finish line is getting closer! Fred K. 

 

ps: Sorry, but I was asked not to share the detail pics of Rat 55 that I have received....

 

rsz_20200621_001044.jpg

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10 hours ago, f5guy said:

...Not visible in any of the inflight pics that I have is another small hump and dome of some sort on the tail....


I believe that is an early version of R2D2....  😎

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15 minutes ago, habu2 said:


I believe that is an early version of R2D2....  😎

 

His little brother perhaps 😆 Fred.

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys,

      Well I had some time and got the engines done the other day. BPK includes a couple of sheets of brass that you're supposed to roll up into a tube for the exhaust sections. Not for one minute did I plan on doing that! I used some brass tube instead. There is a resin part that is supplied that is supposed to go inside the exhaust section (I don't know what it is), but there is no way that it will fit inside, so I just left it out. However, I did use the kit supplied resin exhaust fan face and glue it onto the brass tube.

     Fit was not the greatest for the intake section, but a little super glue and sanding took care of that. The fan was painted Model Master Titanium, and the intake was painted Testor's chrome silver. The engine was assembled first, cleaned up, and then the fan was glued in from behind the intake duct. 

rsz_20200626_222419.jpg

Edited by f5guy
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