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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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