Special Hobby 1/48 X-15A-2 Build

I’m starting work on a new model for a friend.  He has had the kit for a long time and when he saw my other X-15 build asked if I would like to build his.  So I’m giving it a go.

Here is the kit box.

The kit comes with a couple of sprues of injection molded plastic parts.

It also has a bag of resin parts for most of the details of the kit.  There were a couple of small parts that had snapped from their pour plugs.  You can see them in the second from the right in the top row pour plug.  Also there are two VERY thin parts (first row third from the left) for the ejection seat fold out stabilizers, one of the pair was broken.  I’ll have to try and use some CA to fix it.

Lastly a couple of sheets of decals are included.  I’ll have to see later if any of them need to be replaced with more accurate decals.

Special Hobby is a Czech producer of limited run kits.  As such the injection molded parts don’t have locator pins and some of the parts can be a bit rough on the unseen inside face.  The kit parts are mostly pretty clean.  The fuselage parts do have a slight warp lengthwise that I’ll have to contend with when they go together.  It does have some fine engraved panel lines so that is good.  Some parts will need to have holes drilled in them to insert their resin detail parts.

My friend wants the kit built as an inflight representation so the cockpit will barely be seen through the small oval windows.  I’m going to try to make the canopy removable, if it will fit well enough, that way the cockpit can be viewed.  Here is the initial fit.

After quite a bit of sanding and shaping, here is where I am.

It is much better, but I’m not quite happy with it.  I’ll work on it a bit more before throwing in that towel.

Here I have attached the main control stick to the cockpit.

The right side hand controller went on well since there was a hole for it to fit into.  The throttle was a bit harder since it was very thin and had no hole.  The air brake control handle needed a small trough added before it could go in.  Here is the cockpit with all the control handles added.

I removed the ejection seat from it’s pour plug.  The ejection seat needed a couple strips of styrene added in order to properly attach the fold out stabilizers.  I also cleaned up the control panel.

Next I repaired the broken ejection seat stabilizer and removed the pour plug from the nose wheel well.  The wheel well will never be seen, but I am going to include it for overall balance of the model on it’s base.

I placed the ejection seat in the cockpit to verify my mod would not interfere with proper fit.  I’ll glue on the stabilizers after the cockpit and ejection seat are painted.

I next moved on to the dorsal vertical stabilizer.  The plastic parts are pretty rough on the inside.  There are injection plugs that will have to be removed and the leading edge will have to be tapered far more on the inside to allow the proper angle on the wedge shaped stabilizer.

You can see the amount of angle the kit had by the bright edge above.  It required a lot of sanding.  It is not nearly as bad as another kit is back in the stash closet.  It is a model of the Have Blue aircraft, the precursor to the F-117 Stealth fighter.  The wings on that kit (by Pegasus) are horrible.  I’ve pulled that kit out several time over the past 4 or 5 years only to stick it back in the stash after more sanding.  Someday I’ll finally get it finished, maybe.

Anyway, after sanding the proper profile into the inside of the stabilizer, they were glued together at the leading edge only.  When that set, I added the wedge to the top of the fin.

I then removed the resin fin back piece from it’s pour plug and glued it into place with CA.

That’s as far as I am right now.  I have a few more sub assemblies to finish before I can move on to the fuselage.

Thanks for looking and more to come.

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