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.

Dragon 1/144 X-15 Build Update 6 (Final)

When I started this project back at the beginning of December I really didn’t think it would be the beginning of March before I finished it.  I had some distractions along the way that caused some of the delay and then life stepped in there for a while.  For example, I had to delay putting on the decals for a couple of weeks when it got so cold that the humidity inside the house dropped to 12%.  At that level, my decal setting solutions evaporated before I could get the decal on the model. But eventually the weather changed and I could complete the project.

Here they are with their topside decals placed.  At this point I still needed to apply Solvaset a couple more times to get some of them to really settle down into the details.  No clear coat done yet, just decals.  There are a few small decals that will go on the underside.

Topside decals applied

After putting on all the decals I let them set for a day, and spent the time on the base for the pair.  It is just a round wooden base that I picked up from Hobby Lobby.  It needed quite a bit of sanding, then primer and then some more sanding.  Once that was finished I added the rods that will hold the models in place and then sprayed on some Dupli-color gloss black.  After giving that a day to dry I put on the X-15 project decal and then two other decals that list the specific plane and mission being depicted.  Once those were dry I then gave the base a coat of Tamiya Clear Gloss to protect the decals from the Tamiya Dull Coat that was to go on next.

Base for the models

I then placed the models on the base.  There is a short rod that keeps X-15-1 from slipping off the base.  The angled rod is for the X-15-3 which I’m displaying in flight.  Here are a couple of shots of the planes on the stand.

Here are some closeups of the planes showing some of the small decals.

The end result looks pretty good and it will take it’s place with my other 1/144 scale manned space vehicles.  The decals took much longer to create since I kept finding more markings than I originally thought were on the planes.  Plus, I had to redo them a couple of times to get the sizes about right for the model.  I’m not sure how much longer my ALPS printer is going to last as the last set of decals I printed gave me a few problems.  As long as it holds out I’ll keep making custom decals when I need them.

I don’t know what the next project will be yet, I guess I need to go through the stash and find something that strikes me.

Thanks for looking.

Dragon 1/144 X-15 Build Update 5

Here is a quick update of the work so far. The birds have been painted and are just about ready to have the decals applied.

Here they are with their overall color of Tamiya NATO Black. It is not as black as Black paint so it gives them a better look.

Here is the business end of X-15-3. I attempted to paint the radial dark pattern you see in the photos, but not very well. I may try that again. The experiment box has also been painted. I painted the fuel/H2O2 jettison pipes with Tamiya metallic gray. The air brake actuators were painted the same color.

I painted the q-ball in the nose silver. Sorry for the blurry photo.

Next I painted the nose of X-15-1. I started out painting silver on the forward half and then added white stripes on the other half.

Lastly, I painted the XLR-11’s and the deployed airbrake actuators with the Metallic Gray.

That should do it for the detail painting. Everything else will be decals.

Thanks for looking.

Tomy/Hasegawa 1/200 767 Gift Build

Here is a quick post of a build I finished a couple of weeks ago.  It started out as a ANA Boeing 767 in Pokemon livery that they did in the late 1990’s.  Here is the box art for the kit.

It is a gift for a nephew.  He has played Pokemon Go for a while and likes aviation and aircraft.  So I thought it might be nice to give him a unique build with both interests represented.

The kit is by Tomy but in actuality it is the Hasegawa molds.  Overall the fit of the parts is not too bad considering the age of the kit.  I started with the wings.  They fit together pretty well and are made to fit such that most of the seams run along panel lines of the plane.

The main wing parts.
One of the wings glued together.

I then painted the interior of the fuselage black so that the windows will show black when the halves were glued together.  Leaving it white would leave the interior looking much too light through the windows. I also painted the forward bulkhead black, since it would be very visible through the cockpit windows.  The kit supplies a bolt that needs to be threaded into the bulkhead so that the plane will not be a tail dragger if it is placed on its landing gear.

I then glued the fuselage halves together.  The seam required a bit of cleanup.  The halves seemed to have a bit of a step between the two halves.  There weren’t really gaps, just a step that needed some work.  I used my #11 blade and some sanding sticks to smooth the seam.

I then gathered up the other parts of the plane to get them ready for primer.  I left the landing gear on its sprue for now.

I also put some trimmed paper towels into the cockpit window area so that the primer would not get onto the black painted bulkhead.  The fuselage was primed with white and the other parts were primed with gray.

Here is the fuselage with a couple of coats of white primer.  Note how the cabin windows show as black due to the black that was painted on the inside.

I started assembly of the engines before I primed them.  The fit here is not the best, as can be seen in the below photos.

Not such a good fit with these parts.
It appears that the turbine blades may be too large.

I started by sanding around the turbine blades to try and get the halves to close.  I took a while but it did get better.  I still needed a bit of filler to finish it off.  The pylon required some Tenax 7R solvent cement and some clamps to close the seam.  Finally they looked decent.  I primed the wings, stabilizers, and engines with Tamiya gray primer.

I masked off all the wings and stabilizers except for the center section which needed a slightly darker gray.  I used Tamiya Sky Gray, and after it had dried I removed the masking and glued the wings to the fuselage.  I painted the navigation lights on the wingtips and the top and bottom of the fuselage with silver.  Then covered that with green and red transparent paint.  The effect isn’t perfect but it does make them look more like a light than just painting with the opaque color.  The leading edges of the wings and stabilizers were painted silver and the two antennas on top of the fuselage and the one on the bottom were painted black.  When the paint had cured the assembly was sprayed with a gloss clear coat in preparation for the decals.  I also painted the silver frames on the windshield and glued that into the fuselage with some Future Floor Finish.

The Pokemon decals were quite large and had large blue areas that covered the nose and tail of the plane.  You can see the pattern in the box photo at the top of this post.  I knew the kit was old.  I had purchased it back around 2000.  I should have known that the decals may have gotten a bit brittle by now, but I was trying to get the kit finished before Christmas.  Dumb move.  First the decals required a LONG soak to come off the backing.  I finally got them to slide and placed them on the model.  I used quite a bit of water, to allow the decals to be moved around on the model, but even so it required a lot of moving to get them in the right position.  The windows on the decal were clear so I had to try and match the decal to exactly where the windows were, which again required more handling.  The decals couldn’t take it and started tearing.  I tried to get them back in place so the cracks would not show.  It worked fairly well with the rear half decal.  Not so much with the front half decal.

In addition to all that, the decals did not want to conform to the contours of the plane.  I used MicroSol several times with little effect.  I then used the much stronger Walther’s Solvaset which worked a bit better.  Unfortunately, in the large blue areas some folds developed which left darker places at the folds.  The front half decal around the nose just started completely ripping apart. What a disaster!

Replacement decals were not to be found.  How could I save this build?  I stripped the two decals that I had applied off the model and started a rethink.  The Pokemon tie in was now out.  I started searching online for alternative liveries that were unusual and fit a Hasegawa 767 model.  After a few hours I had found several, but the interesting ones were in 1/144 scale not 1/200 scale.  I continued searching and finally after another day found a set of decals for a 1/200 767 that JAL used for the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse.  My nephew and his family enjoy Disney things so this might just work.  I ordered the decals and in a few days they arrived.

In the meantime I was searching online for photos of the JAL plane so I could try and get the paint scheme right.  The only thing I needed to change were the engine nacelles.  JAL painted the engine cowling white while ANA used gray.  The pylons on both liveries were gray.  I masked off the gray areas of the engines and painted the cowlings white.  I had to repaint the leading edge of the cowlings silver since I really couldn’t mask them very well.

After studying the new decals I noticed that the cabin window pattern would not match the Hasegawa windows.  This meant that I now needed to fill the model’s windows and repaint the fuselage so that the gray windows on the decal would not have to match anything.  It also required that I mask off the cockpit windows so I could repaint the fuselage.

Here is the packaging of the replacement decals.

I also noticed that the new decals did not include markings for the emergency exit walkways on the wings.  I could steal these from the Tomy kit decals.

I started applying decals with the main fuselage and the several poses of Mickey.  I cut these into three parts along natural breaks in the decal.  This made it much easier to apply them and to get the MicroSol and later Solvaset to make the decal conform to the curves around the wings.

First side done.

The new decals also contain markings for the front and back cabin doors and the markings on and around them.  They also include a gray outline of the door itself.  That gray outline would not work with this kit since the doors sides are not straight, but slightly curved.  I decided that I could cut the marking parts from the door decals and use them separately and then I used a pencil to lightly draw into the grooved doors on the model to highlight them as the decal would have done.

The registration numbers that go on the wings are a bit too small, but not really that big a deal.  The large JAL decal on the vertical stabilizer was a bit of a pain.  I had to apply Solvaset several times to get the decal to conform to the details of the fin.  I also needed to make a few small cuts here and there to get the air out of the decal and let the Solvaset do its job.  After the all the decals were on and dry I glued on the engine nacelles.  They could have had a better fit, and if I was doing it again, I might try gluing them on before painting so I could apply filler as needed.  Finally, I applied a clear coat over the model to protect the decals from handling.

Then the landing gear was assembled and painted.  The struts were painted silver.  The gear doors were painted gray on the outside and silver on the inside.  I have no idea if that is correct, I couldn’t get any good photos of that area.  The wheels were painted silver with NATO Black for the tires.

Just as a test, I dry fitted the gear to the model and checked that the nose did rest on the ground.  Oops!  It didn’t tail drag, but you could see that the nose wheels were not touching and the whole model was sitting on just the mains.  I removed the gear and cut a hole in the spot where the nose wheel went.  I needed to get a couple of BB’s in there to add a bit more weight.  Unfortunately, the BB’s were too big to fit the hole and even if they did, the bolt from the kit was too close to the hole to allow a BB to get inside.  I decided that maybe if I could just get some epoxy into the cockpit then maybe that would be enough weight.  After all it didn’t need much since it was not sitting on its tail.  I mixed up a bit of two part epoxy and started dropping it into the hole.  I then placed the model on its back in a nose up position so the epoxy would not flow out the hole and also not migrate forward to get on the cockpit windows.  After it cured, I once again dry fitted the landing gear.  This time it did just barely rest on the nose wheels.  It could have used a bit more for safety, but the hole was mostly plugged by now, so this would have to do.

In the end the model doesn’t look bad.

That’s it for this build.  Time to get back on the X-15’s and finish them.

Thanks for looking.