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.

BanDai 1/72 X-Wing Red 5 Build

I’ve been working on this post for a while.  Since it is May 4th, I figured why not post it now.  So here is a long delayed post on my latest Star Wars build.

I’m building the BanDai 1/72 scale X-Wing Red 5 to go along with they Millennium Falcon that I built last year.

I started with a look through the parts to check for damage or anything else of interest.  Being a space nerd I quickly found a Saturn V third stage part that was being used for the intakes on the X-Wing.

I also noticed that the open cockpit canopy had a break in it.  I should be able to fix that without much trouble as long as it doesn’t break when pushing the parts back into position.

I partially assembled some of the parts before spraying on the primer.  Some of the parts are pre-colored but since I’ll be using the decals for those parts I sprayed primer over them.

I also sprayed the rest of the parts on their runners.  After the primer had set I sprayed all the parts with the base color of White Gray, except for the droids which got painted white.

I decided to start with the figures first.  I assembled both R2-D2 and R2-D4.  R2-D2 got his dome painted silver before assembly.  The pilot figures were painted with black, orange, white, aged white, flesh, gray, and transparent orange.  The droids (other than R2-D2’s dome) were painted white.

Continue reading “BanDai 1/72 X-Wing Red 5 Build”

Wild Thing Vintage Kit Build Update 3

Here is a brief update on the Wild Thing.  I’ve got the baffle almost finished.  I drilled 4 holes on four sides of the top of the motor tube.  I have the bottom bulkhead of the baffle tacked in place.

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Here are all the parts of the baffle section.

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I did away with the forward bulkhead that came with the kit and replaced it with two thinner bulkheads from Apogee Components.  I drilled four 1 inch holes in one of the bulkheads.  That will be the top of the baffle.  It will be installed after the motor mount is expoxied in the main tube.  That will let me get a good bond on the bottom bulkhead of the baffle.  The part with the eyebolt in the lower left of the picture is the recovery system anchor point.  It is a 5/8 in plywood plug with a hole in the middle to allow the eyebolt to be attached.  I will epoxy the nut of the eyebolt to prevent any future loosening.  It gets installed at the top of the motor tube.  It will force the exhaust gasses out the holes in the motor tube and then they will pass through the four holes in the forward baffle bulkhead.  I use this system in my Mini Magg to good effect.

Here are the baffle parts dry fitted for a check.

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I have also started printing some additional parts for the rocket.  You might recognize what these are supposed to represent.  They are strictly decorative on this rocket.  But I think they will add to the visual appeal once the paint goes on.

That’s it for now, more to come.

Thanks for looking.

Wild Thing Vintage Kit Build Update 2

Time for a quick update on the Wild Thing.  I finished sanding the seam on the tube and it is now quite smooth as can be seen in the below photo.

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I did have a spot on one end of the tube where one layer of the fiberglass lamination did not stick and got sanded off. The first layer was still well attached to the tube so I just needed to patch the one layer.  I mixed some 30 minute epoxy and spread it into the divot.  Then I took a strip of blue painters tape to get the epoxy to lay smooth and avoid a bunch of sanding.  After it set I removed the tape.  I gave it a day to completely cure and then sanded it smooth.  The below picture shows the edge where the patch is.  You can hardly tell it is there.

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With the tube done for now, I turned my attention back to the motor mount.  I dry assembled the parts and then put the fins in place.  I wanted to see if my tape spacer at the end of the 29mm tubes was going to affect how the fins fit in place.  Here is a picture of the dry assembly.

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It looks like they will fit fine.  Without the tape spacer the 29mm tubes would be too close together to get the fins all the way to the 38mm tube.  This is the way the kit was designed.  The result would make the fins just a bit more fragile on landings.  With the spacer in place I am able to get the fins all the way to the 38mm tube.  This will result in a much stronger joint.  I ran the change through Rocksim and it doesn’t affect the stability.  With seven fins it will be very stable even with the fins being about 3/8 to 1/2 inch shorter than the original design.

Next I wanted to start assembling the motor mount.  Since the 29mm tubes actually hold the 38mm tube in place it was going to be very messy trying to glue the tubes together tube by tube and keep them parallel to the center line while keeping the centering rings perpendicular to the center line.  Here is a shot of the plans showing the way the tubes fit together.

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What I decided to do was to fit all the tubes together, then get the centering rings lined up and make sure the tubes are not angled.  Then I applied some CA glue to the centering rings and 29mm tubes to hold them in place.  Then I mixed up some 30 minute epoxy and glued the 29mm tubes to the upper centering ring.

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After that had cured I used more 30 minute epoxy to glue the 38mm tube to the 29mm tubes from the top of the upper centering ring.

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When this is completed I’ll epoxy the 29mm tubes to the back centering ring.  The 38mm tube will be firmly attached to the airframe not only at this point, but also at it’s upper end by the baffle that I will build later.  At the business end, the fins will solidly attach the 38mm tube to both the fins and the 29mm tubes.

When I finish the fins, I’ll work on the baffle at the front of the 38mm motor tube.

Much more to come.  Thanks for looking.

Wild Thing Vintage Kit Build Update 1

I got the new pumps from West Marine, so now it’s time to glass the tube.  I placed the tube on a section of PVC pipe and suspended that between a couple of saw horses.

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Next I mixed up some epoxy and coated the tube with the epoxy resin before I started applying the fiberglass.

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Next I took my fiberglass and laid one edge on the line I had previously drawn.  Then I slowly pressed the glass into the wet tube and started rolling the tube and applying the fiberglass.  After I had about 4 inches or so started on the tube I then brushed some more epoxy resin on the glass to get it thoroughly wet. When the fiberglass is clear and you can see the tube underneath then it is wet enough.  But you don’t want the resin dripping off either, just enough to get it wet.  I then rolled the tube and applied more glass.  I smoothed it down and toward the tube ends with my hands as I applied the glass.  I also was checking for air pockets in the glass as I was going and smoothed them out as I went.  This continued until I made it back around to where I started and then continued with more resin and more rolling the tube.  I cut the fiberglass so I had enough to wrap the tube twice.  Two layers should be enough for this build.  I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of the actual process, I was doing this by myself and my gloved hands were sticky with resin so I didn’t want to touch my phone.  Anyway here is the tube after it had two layers of glass applied.

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I wrapped the ends with some masking tape to try and keep the ends attached to the tube.  Keeping the ends smooth without any wrinkles is one of the hard parts of glassing a tube.  When the fiberglass is at the just barely tacky stage but not fully cured then you can remove the tape.  When the fiberglass is still at the plastic stage but not hard cured you can cut the ends of the fiberglass cloth flush with the tube ends.  Here is the tube with the ends cut off.

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You can see I brought it into the house.  I did that to help with the cure.  When the tube was cured to the point that the resin was not wanting to run anymore I brought it in.  The weather just didn’t warm the garage up enough.  The warmth of the house finished the cure nicely.  Next comes the fun part of sanding the seam smooth and doing any necessary touch ups on the ends.  Anyway that’s where is stands as of now.  More to come and thanks for looking.