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Hey folks

It's been ages since I posted here. I've decided to put up two builds of big Sabres, both in BMF. Since we moved into a rented condo 18 months ago, I've been unable to use an airbrush, so I've been toying with bare metal finishes (BMF), using aluminum foil. This is one of those projects. 

The first Sabre is one I have always liked as a subject: a USAF Korean War Sabre with the big yellow stripes over bare metal. The second one (which I will put in a separate thread) will be an RCAF 421 Squadron Sabre in bare metal.

 

I had two 1/32 Sabre kits in my stash. For this one, I'm using an Italeri kit (top of the image). The other one will be using the Hasegawa kit just below it. I decided to use the Hasegawa for the Canadian one, because I will care a teensy bit more about accuracy (but certainly not rivet-counting attention to detail). It has leading edge slats that can be positioned in the down position, while the Italeri kit has a 'hard' wing with no slats represented.

2zqpWxT.jpg

 

I plan to use a mix of kitchen foil and some commercially-available Bare Metal Foil for both kits.

Here goes nothing.

 

ALF

Edited by ALF18
Trying to get Imgur image link to work!
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I leaned heavily on my good buddy AX_365 for advice both on the kits and on Sabre information generally. He knows and loves these aircraft, and may have built 'a few' himself... 

The first advice he gave me had to do with the fuselages. He said that unless I planned to display the kit with the tail removed and engine out, it was best to glue the front and rear portions of fuselage together before gluing the sides (in other words, I'd end up with a more traditional left/right arrangement, instead of the kit directions' order of assembling the front halves, then the rear, then attaching front and rear tubes together).

2IUXiiz.jpg

 

This kit is actually quite nice. Plastic is a bit soft, as is typical for Italeri in this scale, but the surface detail is nice.

Here are the front and rear portions of the left side glued together. The join is nice and tight.

cfyXQ1x.jpg

 

Here I've glued the front/rear together on both sides, and am dry-fitting the now-larger left/right halves to see how they fit. Looking quite good for such a big kit.

VSsJQxh.jpg

 

ALF

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Turns out I had also acquired two resin seats for big Sabres over the years. This is one of them. The biggest problem is the huge casting block, of course.

Db9IBxJ.jpg

 

The resin detail is really nice, though. So, I dug out an old Exacto saw blade I had lying around, and started to create some dust.

UBpCpvl.jpg

 

This worked well. I managed to saw off the block without damaging the detail on the seat.

6zWBmZe.jpg

 

The main instrument panel comes with two options. One was to paint a panel, while the other was to use two transparent pieces with a decal sandwiched between them. I chose the decal approach. Here I've painted the transparent parts with Tamiya XF-66, then black marker for the instrument frames, followed by a silver marker for the bright stuff. I didn't go for accuracy, simply a 'typical' look.

9Ly9rZP.jpg

 

I then put the decal on the blank back-piece, and glued the parts together. For little effort, the effect is not bad. I didn't take a pic of it separate, but here it is inside the fuselage.

9PIP6Wl.jpg

 

ALF

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Of course, Sabres are notoriously tail-sitters. As is often the case with Sabre kits, the kit itself came with a fantastic tray to hold weight in place. Unlike the Kinetic kit in this scale, though, no weight was provided, so I went looking for something heavy. The instuctions said 40g, but I have no way of weighing that, so I went for a little overkill and some dry-fitting assurance.

I had a lead weight that I chopped up with some big pincer plyers. I've put the larger pieces of lead next to the gun bay, to show the size. The part that is almost chopped off is what I used.

4eMis2n.jpg

 

I then inserted the lead into the little tray on top of the intake, forward of the cockpit, and added a little extra for good measure. I glued them in place with CA glue. The forward part of the intake is on the right of the photo.

QVUSaxN.jpg

 

 

I sent pictures to AX_365, who said it looked okay, but suggested a dry-fitting to make sure. So, I clicked together the wings and fuselage, inserting the cockpit and intake trunking with the weight. I know that the tail surfaces and rudder are not yet installed, nor are the gun bays and doors, speed brakes, and the remainder of the cockpit and canopy. I figured that if this arrangement tilted sufficiently forward with my fingers in the outboard main wheel wells, the rest would more or less balance out. Success so far.

dq0FuNF.jpg

 

I also am continually pleased with the beautiful lines of the Sabre Jet. No wonder this aircraft will always be a true classic.

 

ALF

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I slowly put together the wings. Flaps are positionable, but apparently Sabres were almost always parked with flaps up.

sBXLXQP.jpg

 

The undersurface needed some holes punched for external stores, so I carefully selected the ones that the instructions said were appropriate for the Korean War versions.

6IW0gkW.jpg

 

After the dry-fitting, I applied my favourite Tamiya Extra-Thin glue, and clamped it all up.

x8HZwqO.jpg

 

More soon.

ALF

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Good morning ALF.  Thanks for the shout out.  It's always a pleasure to lend a hand and to repay your knowledge of the CF-18 and CF-5 that you provided to me in my builds.

 

I like the IP and the fuselage joints are nice and tight.

 

I've never built this kit and am curious about the two holes in the lower wing above the landing gear bays?  They're unfamiliar for RCAF Sabres.

 

Looking forward to more progress.

 

Mike

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this may help;  the pylon location  for RCAF Sabres is the  Sta 99.5 position only.   

 

The positions moved outboard with later serial numbers for F-86Fs because of the fighter/bomber role

 

all measurements are in inches.

 

those inboard holes you opened are for post-war missile rails, I believe.

 

u2bUFuj.jpg

Edited by Snowbird3a
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Hey ALF 

Great start. Haven't seen you in way too long. 

For the foil i purchased omer Desere gold leaf adhesive. Work great a can will last a lifetime. 

Dollar store foil is great for this too since it tends to be a bit thicker. A cheap but great tool to have when doing this is the Excel burnisher.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262897645608

 

 

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On 2/13/2021 at 10:01 PM, AlienFrogModeller said:

Ohh my, this will be a treat!!

 

I will be following this one!

 

Cheers


AFM

Glad you're along for the ride, AFM!

On 2/14/2021 at 11:39 AM, AX 365 said:

Good morning ALF.  Thanks for the shout out.  It's always a pleasure to lend a hand and to repay your knowledge of the CF-18 and CF-5 that you provided to me in my builds.

 

I like the IP and the fuselage joints are nice and tight.

 

I've never built this kit and am curious about the two holes in the lower wing above the landing gear bays?  They're unfamiliar for RCAF Sabres.

 

Looking forward to more progress.

 

Mike

Keep me honest, Mike... 🙂

On 2/14/2021 at 11:58 AM, Snowbird3a said:

this may help;  the pylon location  for RCAF Sabres is the  Sta 99.5 position only.   

 

The positions moved outboard with later serial numbers for F-86Fs because of the fighter/bomber role

 

all measurements are in inches.

 

those inboard holes you opened are for post-war missile rails, I believe.

 

u2bUFuj.jpg

Thanks for the info. It's curious that in the kit directions they say that the two Korean War variants should have those holes opened up well inboard of the tanks. I will NOT be adding missiles and rails, because I want this to be more like a Wartime Sabre.

ALF

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On 2/14/2021 at 2:10 PM, Neo said:

Hey ALF 

Great start. Haven't seen you in way too long. 

For the foil i purchased omer Desere gold leaf adhesive. Work great a can will last a lifetime. 

Dollar store foil is great for this too since it tends to be a bit thicker. A cheap but great tool to have when doing this is the Excel burnisher.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262897645608

 

 

Hi Neo and Mr Happy

Thanks for the tips. The eBay listing says 'may not ship to Canada', so I'll look further into it. For now, I use toothpicks. Too bad that the Dollarama ones are very pointy. I'll check grocery stores and see if they have more of the ones with the rounded ends - they're not as likely to shred the foil.

ALF

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More building. I've glued the front and rear trunks, plus cockpit and weight, into a fuselage half.

hnerq7C.jpg

 

I left out the centre section of the engine to reduce the weight and balance problems. At first, I worked hard on aligning the left-side gun bay (on the outside of the left cockpit wall assembly) with the hole in the fuselage. I was originally going to pose the gun bay on the left side open, as if it were being reloaded.

ZV0sRje.jpg

 

Later I changed my mind, and buttoned up the bay, because I love the dragon decal that goes on the left side of the scheme I chose.

dPxJUKW.jpg

 

The fuselage goes together very well. Very minimal gaps.

lP1kbzd.jpg

 

After fuselage glued together, this is what the right-hand gun bay door looks like. A tiny bit of misalignment, but not bad.

Uh8FqUh.jpg

ALF

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The wing/fuselage mating went well. I let it dry with the wings propped up against the box and the table, to exert a tiny bit of pressure to the upper wing and fuselage join, hoping to minimize those gaps. They're fairly small, anyway. Tail section assembled as well. Did I mention I LOVE the lines of these aircraft?

If you look VERY carefully, you'll see the rear portions of both wingtips were slightly malformed (curled up). I bent them back into place, and clamped them tightly when I glued the wings together. They seem to be fairly gapless. Foil is very unforgiving of surface blemishes.

qXUVoAl.jpg

 

Just to illustrate the quality of the moulds here. This is the little rectangular part that glues into place underneath, behind the wing/fuselage join. It's actually a very good-fitting join, with only a very slight defect in one fuselage half just behind the door. Even the join at the fillet aft of the wing is quite nice. Great kit engineering, Italeri!

NPOn492.jpg

 

ALF

Edited by ALF18
Forgot to add an image
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This is the little piece that goes between the intake collar and the nose gear well. It has two little lights in it. I glued in the transparent parts, then used this silver ink pen to make the back (insides) of the lights look like reflective aluminum. Easy.

24UTdnf.jpg

 

I like the effect.

kLseijR.jpg

 

I then hand-painted some parts, prior to foiling. The nose cone is flat black. In the picture below, it's ready for foiling where I will cut it around the outline. The overpainted parts will be invisible below the foil. In the picture above, you can see I've painted some Tamiya Flat Aluminum inside the intake; I'll fix that up later. Note that I've painted the gun port doors with Tamiya XF-56 Metallic Grey, as well as the ammunition loading doors.

7QzF3Oq.jpg

 

The forward edges of the tail need to be light grey. I also cheated a tiny bit on the lower tail, around the exhaust. That's a VERY complex set of curves, and foiling it would be a huge challenge that I don't want to spend too much time on. I used the Flat Aluminum paint there, as well as for the area just forward of the exhaust on the lower fuselage.

xtG13Tr.jpg

 

6SZhLPi.jpg

 

Now we're ready for foiling!

ALF

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Here are the supplies I used. Adhesive from the Bare Metal Foil company in the USA. Easy to order, fast shipping. Great service. Neo, I can't remember if I've used the adhesive from Omer Deserres (art supply chain in Quebec) before, but this stuff is superb. Perhaps a bit more expensive, especially when considering the shipping costs.

I used Dollarama aluminum foil. It has a very shiny and a less shiny side to it.

4uB3sky.jpg

 

One of the keys to a good foil finish is to ensure the glue is brushed on very thinly, and without any apparent grain or lumps. Patience was required. I used a brush to apply it, bit by bit.

oQNojQk.jpg

 

I decided to start with the lower portion, to ensure any mistakes would not be visible on the upper surfaces. I measured a large chunk. This will be used for all of the leading edge slats, then curve around underneath to cover the forward 2/3 of the wing on one side.

3sxBP1K.jpg

 

I then tacked it lightly onto the lower surface, leaving plenty to bend up and cover the leading edge slats. More on the trials and tribulations of the burnishing soon!

ALF

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5 minutes ago, Snowbird3a said:

'The Huff' had a black cockpit;

1tgQJdb.jpg

qY1OFK9.jpg

Thanks for the ref pic. Is it fair to say that the leading edge was 'hard' (i.e. no slats)? I will continue with the grey cockpit (too late for this one), but thanks for the information.

ALF

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1 minute ago, ALF18 said:

Thanks for the ref pic. Is it fair to say that the leading edge was 'hard' (i.e. no slats)? I will continue with the grey cockpit (too late for this one), but thanks for the information.

ALF

yes, 'The Huff' got fitted with the hard wing 🙂

 

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ALF...you might want to try to sculpt the top of the rudder a bit to match the curves on the top of the vertical stabilizer.  Have a quick look at some photos to see what I'm referring to.  The rudder in the kit is too 'angular'.  It needs some finessing with a sanding stick.

 

Have fun with the foil.

 

Mike

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Here you can see the sheet tacked onto the lower wing surface.

6LRkYA2.jpg

 

Very lightly tacked in place.

fOx3F0M.jpg

 

Rubbed slightly with my finger to hold it firmly.

kfC6sht.jpg

 

A little cut to allow it to fold up onto the leading edge slat.

4l12bNL.jpg

 

A chop at the outboard portion. The complex fold around the wingtip is always problematic. I made a mistake here. Should have chopped it to allow full coverage out the slat to the wingtip; there will be a little triangular gap here.

GvciA85.jpg

 

Some pinching along the leading edge, using my fingers, from the centre out toward the inboard and outboard edges. The idea is to ensure there are no wrinkles.

iYtCr9I.jpg

 

Now a careful fold over the slat. See the mistake at the outboard edge of the slat.

qSjCYhw.jpg

 

More soon!

ALF

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On 2/16/2021 at 10:56 AM, Snowbird3a said:

'The Huff' had a black cockpit;

1tgQJdb.jpg

qY1OFK9.jpg

 

On 2/16/2021 at 11:04 AM, Snowbird3a said:

I guess it's too late to move your tank pylon mountings a bit more inboard to the proper Sta 99.5 or 79mm in 1/32

 

Tony

It is too late, Tony. Only you and I will know. 🙂

On 2/16/2021 at 3:35 PM, AX 365 said:

ALF...you might want to try to sculpt the top of the rudder a bit to match the curves on the top of the vertical stabilizer.  Have a quick look at some photos to see what I'm referring to.  The rudder in the kit is too 'angular'.  It needs some finessing with a sanding stick.

 

Have fun with the foil.

 

Mike

I'll have a look at that. I does seem a bit blocky.

ALF

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Chopped the end bits, and started to make it fit the curves.

NQOciQJ.jpg

 

Some interim burnishing with a toothpick, but not fully down. Mostly just to get is trimmed properly. I used some of the waste foil from the end to cover the missing bit at the wingtip portion of the slat.

ZKIv3DL.jpg

 

 

Burnishing and trimming along panel lines. The key here is a VERY sharp knife, very little pressure.

HKJZFMw.jpg

 

Very small tweezers to remove excess foil.

dsdUfBS.jpg

 

I used some of the trimmed-off parts to fix up the wingtip.

GElSOGQ.jpg

 

Wingtip trimmed, now it needs some burnishing.

nxdxUwp.jpg

 

I used toothpicks to burnish. Rounded edge to do the overall, then some of the sharper portions to run along panel lines and scribe them fully.

zj6cjrN.jpg

 

Finished leading edge, showing little holes for the wing fence.

9a559Xx.jpg

 

Underside partly done.

ucdrPGY.jpg

 

This is why I started with the bottom. Note how I have a small sliver not filled just aft of the left main wheel well. I used some excess material to fill it.

ocs1OrX.jpg

 

Reusing some trimmed bits on the other wingtip. One of the things I've learned is not to sweat wastage. Aluminum foil is cheap; using tiny parts and having a patchwork can look a bit bad.

8Vo7plZ.jpg

 

ALF

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