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Hey look, they can move their wings!

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Hi there.


I'd like to share with You my current little long term project. It begun with me wanting to build a few models with a common theme - Variable Sweep Wings, all 1/72. It begun with a huge box that cluttered my stash with a 1/72 Revell Tornado diorama I got second hand some time ago.


Next one was a Su-24, and I begun looking at a MiG-23... With currently running Tomcat Group Build I figured a Tomcat would be a nice addition. Adding to that mix a Su-20 and Su-22 was really only natural. No sweat here, as I did not set myself a finish date, and I plan on doing a few projects in between. Still I'm looking forward with this.




Actually, the first chapter is done. The Tomcat was finished a few days ago.




The next chapter planned is a Tornado. My kids love the base and its sounds. They put models I made them on it and pretend they are flying. 




I got it second hand, and the support for the background was a bit broken. Still. With care it can be set up.




Considering the basic Revell Tornado isn't a biggest model on the sprues, the contents, apart from the base, are pretty small for such a big box.




Once laid out I found out the nose was missing. Other than that, a fin of the fuel tank was gone too.  When I bought it I inspected the contents, the nose was there. Decals seem usable. You can build either the boxart jet, or a few Norm'83 camouflaged jets.




The thing is, I kind of built a Norm83 Tornado from the Hasegawa box. So there is no need for building one more. The "special scheme" doesn't appeal to me.




What I'd love to build, and what would be quite cool, would be to make a late 90's Italian Tornado. Considering other choices, that'd be quite interesting - all other models I plan on finishing as a mid 90's to very early 2000's timeframe. The Tornado I'd try to build as a jet that was off to a sortie during op. Allied Force. Preferably wearing the early camouflage with large roundels. Well, Italian Tornado info is not easy to find online. But so far I managed to find out that my choice scheme is not appropriate for the time era. So it's either small roundels, sort of lo-vis numbers, or, earlier, a desert sand scheme worn during 1991 gulf war. 

I have a Hi-Decal sheet for an Italian Tornado during Desert Storm. But the same sheet has an RSAF option. A Saudi IDS would be ok too. I really like the colours. And the scheme was supposedly used in combat in 1991.


I have some PE, but really I don't think I'm going to use them, as I generally don't have the skill and patience for PE.




These red chevrons really strike my eye. But they are apparently wrong.




The problem with the Saudi option is the wrong green colour. It should be more... well... green.




Perhaps a later sheet would have them better printed? Does anybody know? Besides, I generally would rather build a "regular" Tornado IDS. Not a laser tracker equipped one. I remember reading somewhere the RSAF operated both types. But for the love of me I can't find any pictures or the article I read it in.




Since I'm missing a nose and a fin of the fuel tank, I really need a replacement. I have an SBS resin nose that I got along with some of the Eduard reboxings of Revell GR.1 kit. But really, I'll just rather rob the Eduard kits of their plastic noses. Still, this seems like a nice time to at least compare the resin with plastic, huh?




Plastic item in gray, resin item in black. I don't see much of difference, the Resin item is shorter a little bit. Probably on the completed model it'll show more. As I'm going with plastic, I suppose I'll only find out in a couple of years, when I build the Eduard boxings.




Despite having some PE for the cockpit (my favourite type - unpainted one!) I chose just to paint the kit supplied parts. For my taste, the Revell pit has very good details in this scale. After drybrushing, adding some gloss black displays, it looks quite nice.




I probably overdone drybrush by a lot, but I kind of like it.




A fun part is the wing sweep mechanism. I especially dislike the variable pylons. They are actually movable. On my last build, from like 15 years ago I broke them off and had to glue everything shut.




Here's my first Revell Tornado. Along with my very last Italeri Tornado. Should've left these Italian decals for later, huh? Both models are long gone.





Well, so far, this is where I'm at. The model is actually glued together already, and without any clamps.




So right now, I'm on a search for some decals and research. I'd rather build a RSAF Tornado, but it has to be a normal IDS, not the "Britishised" IDS. Or I'll just try and build the sand/aluminum Italian Desert Storm Tornado. I suppose these are both good options.


Thanks for stopping by, untill next time!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/26/2021 at 8:17 AM, ExchefAndy said:

All good, lotsa stuff to see now! Thanks for that, and I'll be following along


Thanks! Pull up a chair. I don't know how entertaining I can be, but I'm sure something will come out of this project.


Frankly, I'm moving a bit fast with the project. My focus quickly wandered to the next model - The SU-24M.




Zvezda / actually Dragon / kit is a bit basic. And I've read it's inaccurate. I can only tell I don't like the boxy nose and too small looking windscreen. Plus there are some details missing, like chaff/flare launchers on the upper fuselage (either the larger ones, or the standard, small ones that are flush with fuselage).


Zvezda boxings have one advantage over other boxings - they include a Dragon Russian ordnance set. This time a guided weapons set.




Clear parts are quite nice, free of distortion. I'll later show a small quirk, but that will be once I'll paint the entire aircraft and remove the masking. Decals are super basic. One gray/white scheme and one sand/brown/blue scheme. I'm not interested in either. I'd love to model a more modern SU-24 that operated over Syria as I generally tend to build combat ready jets. However that kind of changed.




The cockpit. Well, the tub is there, so that is a plus. Generally looking at pics of real Fencers, the pit is a good starting point to do some (a lot) of detailing. I'm not doing that. The seats are basic representations of the real thing. Kit comes with the pilots, so that's probably why.




IP seems generic, but actually it has some dials in proper positions. Especially on the pilot side. However I thought I could do better.




Yeah. I "naaaaaaaailed" it. Shouldn't have bothered.




With cockpit being painted and pretty much buttoned up, I added some resemblance of sidewall detail, added some black spots to represent the buttons and such and called it a day. Should have filled them ejector pin marks.




The seats are a definite no-no for me. I'm not going to replace them with resin ones, as they will look weird in this cockpit. I took my three options - the Zvezda modern K-36 (left), Zvezda kit K-36 (middle) and Trumpeter K-36. Eventually I decided on the modern Zvezda seat. The assembled one is from T-50, and I have one more from my earlier MiG-29SMT build. They seem excactly the same!




The Fencer is a big aircraft. Probably the biggest of the bunch I'm building. I put on spare wings and tailfin from my earlier SU-24.




Here's the previous one with MiG-25 and SU-22M4. All of these models got scrapped sadly.




The thing I remember from my previous build is how fragile the joint of both fuselage halves was. So this time I figured I'd add both spreaders and tabs.






This time I finally figured out how the underfuselage weapon stores should look like, and why they are the way they are. So the square portrusions seem to be the lumps locating store rack to the fuselage rack. Fencers have four racks under the fuselage. The Hasegawa store racks from SU-33 kit seem a perfect match tor both the required length and thickness of the Dragon parts.




The parts have sort of interim rack, that attaches to a dual rack adapter. That has to go. A minute with a razor saw and we have separate weapons rack.

I also thought of using a Mastercraft part - I have a lot of them, and they seem to be the same rack. I mean, You can easilly see how detail matches, right? 😉


Generally I separated the three required racks and started to dryfit them. Only then I started to look for some decals.




Decal options mumble here. I generally have three SU-24's planned. Zveda one, Revell one(so, again Dragon) and a Trumpeter one. And I'd love to build one desert schemed aircraft and one gray/white scheme. There are quite a few interesting desert schemes out there. For instance I could buid the kit supplied one, or the one from Revell. Or go and look for some aftermarket decals. For a Russian detachment in Syria I'd have to get some decals anyway. However, frankly the gray/white scheme I find the most interesting and I'd rather build the best kit with the most interesting scheme.

So, I figured out I'm going to change the sceme. After some reading and searching for decals, I've ordered the Begemot SU-24 scheme (really a no-brainer here). There are a lot of Fencers to choose, and there is an IRIAF option, a black nosed one. So I'm probably going for that scheme. I've also decided I'll not use the Hasegawa weapon racks, even though they are very nice. I'm not going to have more of them, and I'd rather leave them for a later project.


Thanks for stopping by! Untill next time!


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Some progress done on the Tornado. The most important issue is resolved. I'm going with a Italian Desert Storm Tornado.


I've picked the underwing stores. I'll either go with MK83's or MK20's. Either one is ok, since both white and olive drab bombs will differentiate from the silver/sand camo.

The only thing is, I don't have another BOZ pod. I know Eduard is making one in resin but honestly It's too much both money and hassle for my bird. There is an option to just rob one of my other Tornados. The British gr.4's flew with two Storm Shadows. But then I'd need one Storm Shadow for a future project. So I guess it all ends with me being one ECM pod short. Huh. I have some stuff to think about.



I've put together the airframe, applied putty everywhere it was needed and sanded it smooth-ish. The aft IP cover is not glued to the panel. The speedbrakes don't fit well. I should've done what I (almost) always do and cut out the entire speedbrake well. Oh well.




More on Tonka later.


The Fencer also got some love in the meantime.


With cockpit done I've had to decide wheter I'm doing anything with the intakes. I did not find any pics of them online, and figured they will just add building time. So I didn't do anything other than sanding them smooth. Generally, Fencer required a lot of putty. And a lot of nose weight. About 20 grams.

I love the moment when a pile of parts finally becomes something resembling an aircraft.




What I don't like about the Zvezda SU-24 is the radome. I've read somewhere it's 5 mm too short. I'm not sure about it. What I'm almost sure is it is too boxy or square in appearance. So I went and sanded the corners to get some more roundness. A minor succes, as the corners indeed are a bit more rounded now, but I lost the radome panel line. I figured, since I'm at it, I might sribe the second line, just after radome, that's present on a Fencer. What occured to me, was that the relation between the second line and the refueling probe tip was too big. The panel line on the kit might be in the wrong position.

With this I took my other line and scribed another, third panel line behind it. The kit panel line was filled and sanded. Wonder if this will affect the model much.




After all the sanding and repaneling was done, I added all the parts. Look, it looks like a Fencer. Of sorts. I still don't like the windscreen.




Eventually I decided on Mastercraft bomb racks under the fuselage. I hope to paint them after everything will be done. What I noticed was the IRIAF jets have, for the most part, the smaller version of shoulder weapon stores. Not the big, going over the top of the lex (or lerx?). Kit only comes with the latter. The early Fencer, with the short nose, has these pylons. I chose to sand kit pylons to shape. More or less.




So with everything pretty much sorted, I've prepped the models for paint. Masked the windows. And I took a comparison photo. The Fencer is a big beast. But a very gracefull one.




I don't feel like spraying anytime soon. So I guess I'm off to pick another kit for the grinder. The one that has my eye for the longest time is that MiG-23.


Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember, as a kid, my dad had the Heller MiG-23. I loved this model. He never really finished it, just painted with silver spray paint. I loved playing with it whan my dad would let me (a generally bad idea for a kid to play with plastic models). The nicest feature were the moveble wings. For me, the MiG-23 will always be "that cool silver one with wings that move". Whenever friends would come visit me, that model would be shown, hence the origin of the title of this thread.

I never got a Heller MiG-23. What I did get was a bunch of Academy MiG-23's and a single RV Models -23. And I loved Academy Floggers. Despite all their flaws (especially the nose). Once I saw the RV Models Flogger, I was enamoured and kind of bid farewell to the Academy kit. That is, untill I started building it. Oh what a patience tester.


KP boxings have no PE nor any resin additions. The pure plastic looks very nice on the sprues. Parts are well detailed. KP also gives You some nice decals. I have a Linden Hill sheet for the Afghan MiG-23's that I might use. Initially, I thought I might just go with Polish AF MiG-23 MF, as it can be built from the box. Actually, I believe You can build an MF out of every boxings.




There are quite a few options - a/a and a/g weapon pylons, large chaff dispensers, two types of main landing gear, even opened speedbrakes. Two types of rudder and lerx are included. A well thought out set of parts. Shame there is no plastic antennae, save for the pitot tube. RV had them in PE. While good for the rod IFF antennae, not too good for the other sensors.




I wondered what the difference in forward fuselage is between the MF and MLD, now I know. Look at that detail. And remember it's just 1/72.




One thing I learnt from my previous RV Flogger was the problematic wingsweep. When at max degrees it would pry the seam open, so I sanded the wing root a bit, rounding it off.




Another thing was the Radome was a bit too big for the fuselage. A bad place to add putty. So I sanded it a bit to make it smaller in circumference. What I did too, was adding a .2 mm plastic card to spread the front halves of the forward fuselage. I really should've remembered to blend the cockpit assembly aft bulkhead in the forward fuselage half bulkhead. Now I can't close the canopy. No that I'd do it.

After a bit of paint, the IP comes to life.




See what I mean?







And a bit of carefull dryfitting and some shims and spreaders give You this:




I'll see it under a first coat of paint. So far, so good.





That exhaust nozzle ring is a pretty bad fit. Some detail obliterating will happen.




detailo obliteratio!




And to my surprise, I accidently removed the wings. Considering the way they are put in, that shouldn't have been a surprise.




Another problem with wings is they sit at a anhedral. Not really the way the MiG-23 looks like. I don't want to glue the wings in. Remember the topic name? The wings are supposed to move. I mean, come on.

So I decided on some plasic shims from the underside of the wings. That did help, but not all the way. Unless I glue them in, or figure a better shim, I'm out of ideas.




That right intake made me wonder if either I botched the attachment of nose to fuselage, or intake to nose assembly, or the model is not symmetrical. All options are possible.

The facts are there is a lot more putty on the right intake, and more under the left one. There are no plastic extensions on the left intake however.

Oh and that separate speedbrakes is not a nice feature. They probably fit much better when opened. The lower ones will be slightly opened.




Now, the Flogger is such a nice looking aircraft. It's lines are really wonderfulll. I just wished there was an all around better kit available. Beacuse the Academy kit fits and builds better. Plus it has most if not all of the tube sesnors. If it weren't for that lousy nose...


Thanks for stopping by! Have a nice day!



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Thank You for bringing this to my attention. I did not check picture sharing in google. Should be fixed now.

Thanks Flight Line Media. Honestly, the F-14 turned out exceptionally good. I'm quite surprised myself!

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So another part of the build is going to be the Su-20. Mistercraft is actually an old Pantera kit. I've built a lot of Su-22's from Pantera, Mastercaft and Plastyk and always considered it an ok kit. For a few years I thing I bouth one or two every vacation. Frankly, I kind of bought some other Mastercraft kits, thinking they will be of similar quality.


The Su-20 as an aircraft never really appealed to me. Same with Su-22 and Su-7. But first time I built the Mastercraft Su-22 it kind of grew on me. I never built the Su-20, I wonder how will it turn out. I got myself a Last Flight boxing with ocasional markings for the last flight of Su-20's in Polish Air Force. I'd love to build one of these jets.





As I have the Bilek Su-22, once THE kit for the Su-22, and a lot of stuff is similar/identical to Su-20, and Pantera kit features wings, hardpoints and such from their Su-22, I'm doing some comparisone shots. First, the fugly wing tanks of the Pantera kit. They feature huge aft stabilers I cut to resemble the Bilek representation.



I remember reading some articles on the Pantera kit, and one of the weak points were supposed to be the wings. The fences are indeed super thick and I'm not doing anything to them, but the overall shape is pretty similar to Bilek kit. The trailing edghe is significantly thicker in profile though. And I guess that will show once I complete both kits.

Notice the difference in panel lines.




The Pantera wing is also a bit wider.










The movable wing parts are almost the same in lenghth, with Bilek part being thicker. Hence the percieved difference in thickness of wings on kits.




Bilek part has some better details. Notice the shape difference in flaps.




What I absolutely love in Mistercraft kits are the instructions. Drawn parts are full of detail. Check out the ejection seat compared to what is in the box. While this is not a critique, as the plastic is bare I once wondered why bother showing this.




Cockpit tub is, as expected, quite bare. Once the seat is in, the canopy is on, there will be really nothing visible.




The cigar was completed quite easilly, with no dramas. I could have taken a pic of the IP, as it's not too detailed, but still, a neat base for some modifications. Note - there is NO way to insert seat once fuselage is closed. The cockpit placement is also leaving a lot to be desired.




With wings on, it's starting to look very Fitterish. The upper fuselage insert is not a good fit.




For me, a lot of aircraft "shape" comes from the nose. It's somewhat the most visible area. And Pantera kit is pretty fugly in this manner. A lot of putty is to be required. Oh boy.




And here's the underside shot, with most stuff attached. There are gaps to be filled, panel lines to be traced. One whtink I'm bothering myself with are the underfuselage hardpoints. Fitters either carry the Recon pod or the 2 hardpoints or 4 hardpoints. For the double hardpoint congig, judging from the pictures, Kit has the wrong position. They should be more to the aft. By how much I don't know yet. The underfuselage hardpoints seem too big anyways.




This is more or less where I'm at right now. I gotta say, this was supposed to take me a looooot more time. Current builds are at about 40-50% complete. I'm waiting on the decals for the Su-24, checking the additional BOZ-170 pod for the Tornado. Gathering some reference for the Su-20 and waiting for some ugly sanding session on the MiG-23. That's probably the worst part. The Su-20 needs way more putty, but somehow I like sanding Fitters. There is no detail to obliterate. 

And since I'm going so fast forward, I started another project. Some details soon.


Thanks for stopping by, feel free to chime in, all coments are welcomed.

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  • 2 months later...

Progress is the word for the day, and 3 seems to be the number. Or is it 45? I really can't tell.


So the least work, and the highest number goes to SU-24.

After I recieved info my preffered decals will not arrive, I started to ponder on wether just not to go the kit decal route or something like that. But the thing is, I really dig the IRIAF black nosed Fencers. So I'm getting some other decals instead. They kind of won't arrive till tuesday though.

What I do have (or had) was a minor problem. My previous option had different... ummm... fences? on the LERX. Or had no fences I should say. So I "modded" (ie buthered) the kit LERX pylons to resemble something the real thing had. I call them "older style pylons" as they are the same as the previous iterations of Fencers had on them.




Newer ones had something of a fence extending on top of the pylon. Check out the gap. Some super glue and putty managed to tackle the gap.




As it turned out I've not all the correct colours for my Fencer. So I just sprayed the FS20400 and black on the radome. This is like the zilionth time I used the colour, and it came out suspiciously dark. I'm really starting to have some weird thing with colours. Ah well. It came out good on the Tomcat and on the F-5 so I'm not worrying.




Another Fencer fun fact: there seems to be just 1 (lit. one) picture of a real SU-24 in IRIAF service with two fuel tanks. That is going to screw up my loadout plan.


So as You can see, I've sprayed some paint on the Su-20 and Tornado. So without further ado, the Fitter.


After taking a lot of time to even out the spine insert and the nose.... ok I can't help myself. The nose of this kit is a disaster, and I did not notice it just untill now. The profile is off, much too bulbous from the top which spoils the look of the jet, the pitot and the other lance probe have weird attachment points which becomes a problem on the silver laquer scheme. The pitot attachments are similar to the Mistercraft SU-22's so that I knew and I could have done something about them. But I did not explect them to interfere with any painting or anything.




After some rescribing, and with some H8 sprayed. I really like the effect of this paint. It's not a metallic paint, not as fine as say Model Master metalics, but much better than other acrylic silvers.




The silver Su-20's had at the very least a gray area just in fron of the windscreen. Some had walkways on the wings too. I've no idea if my jet carried them, so I did not apply anything. These pitot attachment points prevent the nice, straightish line from the windscreen sides to the intake. This is ok-ish so I decided not to go on in and redo the entire nose. Next time I'd rather do it differently.




the bulge on top of the nose shoud not be there really. It should only be the slightest near the windscreen, and then go straight-ish to the intake. Here it's more like a sausage with cut off top. It kind of spoils the look of the entire aircraft. Fitter Fun Fact, the alternative nose supplied has much better profile.




Oh, so I picked some panels in MM metalizers, stainless steel, steel, burnt metal. Painted antennae green. And I applied all the decals. Well... One of the checkerboards cracked. So I added some decal film on all the rest ones. I mean, I can get shootloads of Polish Air Force checkerboards. But red bort numbers are hard to come by. It would be a real problem if say such a number cracked, right? Oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun.

This is really the moment I appreciate my native language. There is nothing more satisfying than saying "oh gosh, this decal cracked despite me adding a lot of decal film with some parts sticking where they really shouldn't have and not wanting to come off" in polish. To add to the insult, the intake warning triangle on the other side cracked too. And moved. And then wouldn't move back.




All in all, the model looks not half bad. Some weathering and final coat and I'm done. Really there is some time to consider loadout. I'm going for two fuel tanks, and perhaps some rocket pods?




So, 44 is up, what's left is one, huh?


What was supposed to be the second easiest scheme after the SU-20 turned out anything but. My choice of sand colour turned out slightly too pale. And despite masking I had to redo like half of the demarcation lines between the sand and silver paint. The colour should be slightly more yellow too. I added two drops of yellow paint but it doesnt really show. Oh, well. 




So, I've added some black paint for the details and glosscoated the model. So, decal time! Frankly, Hi Decal early sheets look horrible. Like something You wouldn't want to put on a model. Add to that I've stored this sheet in a box, and You get a disaster waiting to happen, right? Well, not exactly. Decals behave pretty good, they come of paper easilly, apply nicelly. If the artwork is good, You are good. However, I've slight gripe with the Italian roundels. The green dot is too large and too dark. It's a shame. I planned on cutting the dot from large roundels from Italeri sheet however with so little clearance and my crappy skill at cutting anything evenly I decided against it. I mixed stencils, what little they are with Italeri and Revell sheet.




And with all the decals applied. So the thing is, Italian Tornados had a lot of stencils on them during 1991 Operation Locusta. It was just sprayed over with desert yellow colour. So I guess this is what I have to do too, right? Besides, I'll go over some panel lines, panels and such to make the overall apperance more yellow. Something tells me I shouldn't have painted the black parts. Funny thing, on this pic the model looks almost pink. Tornado Fun Fact? It seems every Tonka was painted slightly different, some had less subdued roundels, some had additional stencils, such as ejection warining triangles. And a Revell Fun Fact: the panel lines on the nose seem to be a good one milimeter too low, checking from the intake lower lip. Became apparent when I placed the roundels on the nose. Not a big thing though.




Thanks for stopping by. I'm getting much closer to the finish line right now. Only SU-22 is left untouched. On tuesday I'll have the necesarry paints and such for the late Fitter. Perhaps next weekend I'll tackle that model? Or the Su-24? I really feel the MiG-23 is annoying me with sanding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great work my friend, always loved the SU-24 lines.

For the Italian Tonka, the sand shade will be a little yellowish I think.About the stencils I'll check my ref, I've a Locusta book released from the AMI press office.



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Hi Gianni! Much appreciated! There are a lot of pics of the Italian Tornados, just most of them are from 1992 and onwards. With fin decorations and all.

I shouldn't have put the decals on. I'm generally a very cautious person, especially with the line of work I'm in, and this generally comes to my everyday life too. But there is being cautious and being too cautious. So I figured I'd disregard my pre-decaling doubts. Besides, on some photos, the Italian Tornados look awfully similar in shade to British ones. That last pic I posted seems the most pinky out of them all...


Colour trouble seems to be the word of the day (or a week?).




I absolutelly hate the contrast between the green and brown I managed to achieve. And I can't decide whether it's the too dark brown, or too light green. Any ideas? Perhaps it's the wrong hue on the brown (or green?). Or perhaps I am actually going crazy... I'm doing the 3-6805.

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Ehi Thad,

checked my book about Locusta Tonka; the pics aren't the best, but look like if only the lower surfaces was left untouched by the repaint,comprised the stencils, the red stripe is the best example, as was present on the alu part but stopped exactly when the sand started.

on the sand was present only the indication of the stabilator degree of deflection(?) just forward of these  and the principal service marking on the pit area ncomprised the seat warning triangles, basically the ones you've already put down, oversprayed with the sand colors.

Later will send some pics via PM,copyrighted...



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Thanks Gianni! I used mostly reference from dstorm https://dstorm.eu/pages/en/italy/tornado.html. Apparently, this is "my" jet.




Here it looks much less yellow:




I'm a bit overwhelmed by the colour thing right now. Basicly, the Tornado looks gray to me now, seated next to the Fencer. Once I get some courage back I'll start on the overspray thing 😉


Have a great 2022 everybody!


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  • 2 weeks later...

So I happened to have a few extra free from work days. This resulted in some... ekhem... significant progress.


I managed to lighten a bit the brown on the Fencer. Still not perfect, but I'm afraid of making it worse. So it stays like this. I also added some blue. I've found online it should be FS 35622. Oh man it is not. Pics show much more blue hue. I painted a mix of 35622 with cobalt blue on the fuel tanks, as I've seen one Fencer with much contrast between the underside of the tanks, and the actual airframe.

I managed to brake off the pitot tube.




I eventually settled on an old bottle of Agama acrylic russian blue (I don't remember which) that I bought hoping for some flankering a few years ago. It looks much paler in pictures. I did end up with a very thick demarcation line between the colours. Should've paid more attention while spraying. It's quite hard to sand too, as I sand much faster the desert camo...




And the Tonka. I manged to mix a bit of sand / tan / yellow paint, which I misted more or less over the entire model. Or so I thought. I did some panel shading with it, but it looks as if I had painted some yellow spots. Not really the effect I was going for. Perhaps it's the phone camera playing tricks, but I'll have to get back to this one. Again.







This has got to be the worst shot. I was hoping to do almost entire nose in the new colour.




The tail could actually stay like this.




So back to the spraying booth on the weekend, huh? Perhaps.


I did manage to put in some work on the Su-22. Once I'll sort out the photos, I'll post an update.


Thanks for stopping by!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, I know. It was just sorting pics. It just 'sort of' took a lot of time.


So, on the sprues the KP (Bilek) kit looks pretty nice. There is some detail in the cockpit, resonably accurate ejection seat. Once painted up, it look ok-ish really. There is no sidewall detail so I painted some up and I knew there would be gaps on the sides of the cockpit consoles.




The first fit showed there was going to be more problem than just a little gap to the side. There is a rather large dicrepancy betwenn where the IP should be placed on the fuselage and in the cockpit. like 3 mm discrepancy. Nice...




So lets sort it out with the windscreen. It's just dryfitted so You don't have to take my word for it, but neither is the 'proper' placement for the IP. At the fuselage cutout it's too far to the front, at the cockpit designatet placement it's too far to the back.




This is the furthest I could place the IP. The black marker line is the end of the Windscreen.




And here's the minimum.





This prompted me to check the clear parts between the Bilek and MasterCraft (Pantera) kits. Upper on is Pantera, lower is Bilek.





Left is Pantera, Right is Bilek. Basicly, there is large difference in lenghth that is all in the windscreen.




So since I took out the Pantera kit, I figure I might just build it, right? The cockpit is very basic. The tub is passable - not much will be seen. But the seat is pretty bad.




My boxing of the kit is from Plastyk. It was probably the cheapest one I could find. The IP decal looks quite nice actually, and it really fits the part it was designed for. Nice!




Some more random dots.




The first thing were the wings. Easy subassembly. Both kits feature middle piece that facilitates synchronization of the sweep.




Once the cockpit and the wings were done, there was no reason not to close the fuselage. I first painted the center intake cone. The tip will be radome green. I eventually settled on the 1 mm spacing between the IP and front fuselage.

I kind of forgot that synchro piece for the wings. So they are not synchronized.




and Plastyk putty hog. I don't know why, I don't mind the usual putty/sand routine on this kit. Weird.



And both of them. Plastyk kit has no way to tell You how to attach the wings lenghtwise, so this time I ended up with them too far to the back. I suppose it's too late to do anything about it.




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So since I had some involuntary time off work I figured I'll do some modeling. I quickly did some final assembly, took out my airbrush and voila.


The easiest one was supposed to be the Plastyk Su-22. I mean, two grays and some silver and black. The first attempt I did not manage to achieve the proper colour contrast.





Eventually though I darkened the Neutral gray with a drop or two of Nato Black and redone the darker gray spots. Then I managed to paint the silver areas with gunze H8. Then there was some black paint overspray, some paint was lifted, some touchups were required, and once I figured it was time to gloss coat the models I found shootloads of tiny silver overspray. Yaaaaaay. So some more touchups were required.

Any more screwups? No? Oh thank the modelling gods.

Wait. did I forgot to paint the silver area by the Fencer exhaust? I did... Oh. And the metal areas by the cannons on the Fitters. Ok, I'll get back to them then.




Other than the missing metal areas I suppose the painting of the Fitters and the Fencer is done.

I's actually the first time I painted so much with the Vallejo Model Air in a long time. I remember them clogging up the airbrush nozzle like it was nobody's bussines. Apparently though, a few drops of Vallejo flow improver (like 1 or 2) make it almost a non issue. Amazing. The surface adhesion is also quite nice. Much better than Pactra I was used to.




I even managed to apply some paint to the MiG-23. I just don't have the proper brown and sand colour.


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  • 2 weeks later...

So I did all the little stuff I needed, even managed to gloss coat the Sukhois. With all the silver areas painted up, they look slightly different. I'm not too convinced on the rear chaff launcher placement. I might have to reattach them.




Decalling stage is getting closer, with a few things I was oblivious up untill now. Or just I didn't really care about them...

Decals comprise of Polish checkerboards and tactical numbers, some decal for the intake warning. Sometimes a special art. What makes Polish Sukhois unique (other than being afaik one of the last in europe) are the little stencils. And just like the Phantom, the stencils show.


See? https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/6348193 On gray jets, a little less: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/10303516


There are proper stencil sheets for the Su-22. It's just that they are kind of pricey. And comprehensive. The thing is. I bought the Plastyk Sukhoi for 15pln. So 4$. And the KP was at 50-55pln. So kind of 13$. And the sheet is 40pln (and for one aircraft). So 10$. Kind of steep in comparison. I know. I'm cheap. But the models won't be stellar either. Besides,

Plus I'll need to put them on. And then I'd have to consider getting rid of the horrible thick pitot on the KP kit. KP could use some new wheels too. And....

Ok. I'll think about the decals. I mean, it's just stencils, right? The rest is kind of too (too) much.


But onwards with stuff I can freely obsess with.

Did You know, the Su-22's can carry two types of fuel tanks? I kept seeing the PTB-800's, but apparently the 1150's are game too. Should've thought about that. The Trumpeter MiG-29 tanks are pretty nice. So are the Zvezda ones. See? From left - Plastyk, KP, Trumpeter, Zvezda. All it takes is to shorten them by mere 350 litres.




One thing needing fixing on both kits, are the R-60 missile launchers. The Su-22M4's in Polish AF always have them on. Thing is, the Plastyk kit has the actual launchers like 60% the size. So I took launchers from the Italeri MiG-29 kit. They are not the correct type I believe, but look similar to APU-62 the SU-22M4's use. The aft is a little bit different.





At least one of my Fitters will be armed with unguided missile launchers. The KP kit has B8M1, though they look slightly too large. Or it's just the Dragon launchers that are too small? I don't know. I kind of like the Dragon ones better (the painted ones). I assembled them 10 years ago, painted with MM metalizer.




Su-24M was also glosscoated. Started to do some weathering already, since I was tinting an F-16 canopy with Tamiya smoke.




All in all, there seems to be some decaling time before me. I'm waiting for additional paints for the MiG-23. Finding colour pics of Russian MiG-23's in Afghanistan seems to be quite difficult.


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  • 2 weeks later...

So this weekend I really felt like spraying. The effect is, I finished the main top camouflage colours of the MiG-23. Most photos I found from the periond are black and white. Still I had this idea of how the MiG should look. It took me a rather long while to figure out the brown and sand colour. Somehow, I really don't feel the colours to be "right". Plus I had some huge problems with overspray. I simply could not find the right pressure despite thinning them significantly. Still. I'll have to figure out if I'm ok with the colours enough to leave them as they are. Somehow, I keep getting the "not right" feeling after painting.




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  • 1 month later...

Sometime ago I was really thinking this project wouldn't cost me sanity. Well. Well... Weeeeeel. Fitters. Fitting name to the fittest oponents. With some trobule fitting and a lot of fitting of the decals. Indeed. A survival of the fittest.


Ignorance is bliss they say, and the small mined ones are always more happy than the ones that read between the lines. The day was friday and the weather was as always it is in Warsaw. Dark, rainy. I never suspected that they would walk through my door and walk out with my mind. A simple case, I presumed. Go there, place something, return, pick another one, then rinse, repeat. Litteraly. She smiled to me, knowing full well what she will be wearing by the end of the journey. Her shiny skin just waiting for me...




I quickly took charge and unzipped the goods. They were nice, truly a sight that would make any adult man cry. And I wept. Within seconds I decided, that the first one is too young to handle in this manner. She can go out in anything. I decided that all I need is what she came with.




Besides. The clothes I had for her were a bit too large and slightly ligher. Wouldn't want that on this babe.




So after a short while, the deed was done. I'll wait for her to show herself in all her glory. Then I took the other one out. She wore older attire, but maaan, she looked good. And I was about to make her look better. That fire in her eyes catched anyones attention. And I made sure it still would.




And I held my breath. And after a moment that seemed like eternity, she was ready to win the night. With her older and younger sister, she showed all the best she had.






Well, not much of a writer I'd be, that's for sure. Another thing that's sure is my trip to the shrink.

Model Maker decals were lovelly, both the stencils and the main colour of the 9411. They went on like a dream with only a few moments where I pondered what kit are they designed to fit - the wing fences. The stencil instructions were quite nice, but had a lot of numbers mismatched. The fuel tanks and weapon pylons especially. Once I saw the sheer amount of decals to put on, I decided I can't do two of these fully stencilled beasts. And frankly, I only applied like half of them. No stencils for the underside. Decalling of the 9411 took about 7 hours of going cross eyed, swearing, heating water. Perhaps even more. The result is awesome, but I questionedd the need for stencils.


On the 3715 I eventually decided to try the cheap and easy way - paint uninteligable dots. It took me 40 minutes. The result? I'll let You be the judges. From afar, they look ok. On the closer look (ie. 2 meter), it really shows my poor handwriting. Oh they absolutelly are written, some are readable. You can trust me as much as Your ex-wife lawyer. For what it's worth I'm actually not so convinced it looks worse than it did.




There is, however, no comparison to decals.




Kind of wish there was a simplified stencil set. Like 1/4 of what's on top. There is also one thing, as I'm at a loss as to how the decal sheet and instructions are designed. I spent a lot of time looking for a decal number right after the one I just applied. And quite often it was at a totally different place than the last one. A minor complaint at best, but still, it could've been easier. I probably got fed up with looking for decals first before i got acutally bored with decalling.


Thanks for stopping by! Go and build a Fitter!


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These Fitters were full of protusion of all kind,anywhere, and this made them so aggressive in some way, I love'em!!!!

Have some kit in my stash, will buy one after my F-16 after seen yours my friend!




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I really dig them. Beware, the Polish AF Fitters recieved a few upgrades along their life, which resulted in a few antennae configuration. Antennae under the nose, on the spine and on the tail need to be checked. And each of Polish AF Fitters are slightly different scheme. Not counting different special schemes. A horse on fire (3713), a black boar (305), a tiger (707). They really look bussiness. It's a shame the Modelsvit kit isn't the Su-22M4.

All this building Polish AF birds really made me want more.


As for the builds, I did get some progress this weekend, mostly on the gloss coat, some paint work on the MiG-23. Not much. Hopefully, I'll be able to do some modeling in coming days.



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