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 Post subject: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 30 May 2020, 12:34 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Here's a new project. Taking the new tool Italeri / Revell 32nd Mirage IIIE and convert to a Cheetah E. I have two of these kits - one Italeri original boxing and one Revell reboxing. The difference between the two are : a) decal options and b) the Revell kit doesn't have the phototetch sheet, c) different style instruction sheets.

Image20200519_190815 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

I've built 3 of the Italeri Mirage IIIC/E 32nd scale kits and enjoy building them, even though they have their particular challenges - see MadMax and my builds elsewhere on the SAAF modelling forum.

I'll be using the Revell boxing for the Cheetah E. The Italeri boxing is reserved for a future Cheetah C conversion - we'll first see how the E goes :roll: . The original Italeri main plastic parts (fuselage/wings) had quite a rough texture. I'm not sure if Revell have done something to the moulds but the surface texture seems to be a lot smoother. However, a rub with 2000 grit Tamiya sanding pad is still required to provide a good smooth surface finish. 10 minutes work.


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 30 May 2020, 13:06 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
The conversion of a Mirage IIIE to a Cheetah E requires some planning. Firstly collect as many photos of the Cheetah E as possible. I took many photos of the SAAF Museum's Cheetah E #842 at Swartkop when it was still parked in the open. So I have a great library of detailed photos to use as reference.

The areas requiring modification for a Cheetah E are :
1) Wing dog teeth / outer leading edge extensions and wing fences. The Mirage IIIE wing leading edge slot must be filled in.
2) Entirely new nose configuration forward of the windshield
3) New cockpit interior including new instrument panel and an MB.Mk.10 seat - aftermarket resin seats are available in 32nd scale
4) New RWR fairings at the top of the vertical stabilizer. There's also a distinct rectangular panel on the port side of the vertical stabilizer
5) New rectangular dorsal air intake on the port fuselage which feeds cooling air to the engine bay
6) Small strakes each side of the parachute faring on the rear fuselage
7) A fairing at the base of the starboard side of the vertical stabiliser
8) New rear fuselage ventral fairing with chaff/flare dispenser
9) New weapons pylon hard points beneath the intakes. I'm not entirely sure if the Cheetah E had the rear fuselage hard points but photos of 842 at Swartkop show openings similar to Mirage 5 in this area into which the pylons are fixed.
10) Some adjustments to the forward fuselage panels and filling in of antennae panels on vertical stabilizer.
11) Adjustments to the dorsal access panels aft of the canopy. The Mirage IIIE has a large single opening panel whereas the Cheetah E has two opening sections.
12) Two new intakes at the leading edge of the gun pack. The gun pack looks like it's also of slightly different configuration to that of the Mirage IIIE - maybe someone has detailed photos of this area ?
13) New intake and vent on the starboard rear fuselage underside next to the chaff / flare dispenser
14) A distinct fairing at the fuselage / wing main attachment frame
15) Higher rated main landing gear - however, the landing gear and door configuration is similar to that of the Mirage IIIE.
16) Engine is Atar 09C - same as for the Mirage IIIE, so no changes there.

Oops, almost forgot - Canards !! :oops:

I'll show each of these areas as modified on the kit as I go through the build.

In terms of the kit, a number of areas require correction irrespective of whether you're building a Mirage IIIE or Cheetah E. These are :
a) The side profile of the exhaust shroud must be modified. The curvature on the kit part looks to be too gradual
b) The rudder size and shape
c) The shape of the rudder actuator
d) The shape of the drag chute housing and associated fairing - needs to be "beefed up"
e) The engine intakes must be cut back by approximately 3mm
f) Shortening of the main landing gear leg oleos to impart the correct "stance" of the aircraft on the ground i.e. slightly nose up
g) Removal of the strengthening strip on each wing upper surface
h) Dealing with the large mould step along each fuselage side


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 30 May 2020, 13:06 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Kit provides separate left and right rear fuselage halves which the instructions will have you gluing together before attaching to the assembled fuselage. I rather glued each rear half to the respective fuselage half to mitigate the chance of a large step. I'd rather fill of longitudinal seam than try to eliminate a nasty step :

Image20200521_191705 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

End result :

Image20200521_192241 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

You can see how gradual the shape of the curve of the trailing edge is compared to the real thing in the image below :

Image125_2523 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 30 May 2020, 13:24 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Here is the kit vertical stabilizer halves in their OOB form. The rudder actuator fairing is too crudely represented and too prominent. The shape of the rudder is too wide and too shallow :

Image20200523_121707 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

I removed the fairing with a razor saw :

Image20200523_122459 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

This was replaced with a more slender fairing and some detail to the actuator. I left the rudder as it was as I was not too worried about a mm here or there. There is a distinct rectangular panel on the port side of the vertical stabiliser. This was a quick fix with some thin plastic card and a riveting wheel. The panel lines on the fin leading edge antennae fairing were filled in as the Cheetah does not have this detail. The fin tip RWR fairings are stil to come. The beefing up of the drag chute fairing can only be done once the vertical stab is glued to the fuselage. I'm not entirely sure I'll bother to fix this....will se how mojo I have at the time :roll:

Image20200524_165355 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 30 May 2020, 13:41 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
The kit fuselage halves come with a really nasty mould step on each side. Here's the left fuselage dorsal area :

Image20200522_191351 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

And right fuselage dorsal area - the mould halves obviously don't butt together properly, but what I'm still trying to figure out, why in this area ?

Image20200522_191339 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

So these have to be dealt with using a coarse sanding stick and some good quality filler. I used the Tamiya Light Curing Putty. This stuff is amazing. Leave for a day to dry and then sand down with emory board and sanding pads. Has a very similar consistency to the base plastic :

Image20200530_115532 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Here it is plastered onto the kit part and partially sanded :

Image20200523_093755 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Sanded flush - only a final coat of Tamiya grey primer to detect any blemishes needs to be done :

Image20200522_210448 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Image20200523_143842 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Some of the panel detail had to be re-scribed. I opened up the fuselage vents and replicated the louvres with thin plastic card :

ImageIMG_2438 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The Cheetah E has a variable arrangement for the dorsal cooling air intakes - the port side is a new rectangular configuration, whereas the starboard side is the same as for the original Mirage IIIE. The rectangular cooling intake was fashioned out of thin plastic card strips.

ImageIMG_2435 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2437 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Image125_2524 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Image125_2530 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 31 May 2020, 02:37 
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Joined: 20 Aug 2010, 14:40
Posts: 2529
Hi Malcolm

Scaleworx is working on a 1:32 Cheetah E conversion.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/scaleworx/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1117713235094683&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARARWC9Rm4OuwgIuzFpODMvHCfrNYX3kxvIVGrTmh7Bc44Nk5zjhAB_GoXRkw2_K_tMucubPolumG4JrPmU_y01FXdojBdfrBf6ERSfZDVIfn7dim3u9LF3x4QQ0SMSSPK6HFv0URQfgsbCID7NgHcIi3hZ2-Lishvq7g5KAfgGJBXuTqq2HHgTCx7AlOoqIa0xKalfpYTJcxT_-Rsks7a82LNpmao8HGlv_qeB9RK4YdhdaBC8omHuWXj9HU6xxvDwny63mcuFzVDpLf0oStSl9ThoD78dvlJP7pig2OLiHe3q1ngf0SvMfpeZ1jQTlVmgMUpYNhRF7vQO1IRPywhEF9A&__tn__=-UC-R

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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 31 May 2020, 14:58 
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Posts: 397
I'm putting the kettle on and the popcorn out for this one Mistral! Can't wait for the master scratch builder in action!

I'm not sure if the E's ever carried the fuselage pylons. At least I've not seen photographic evidence. Their main role was daylight interception if I'm not mistaken?

Even this fully bombed up bird (tank racks, center line racks and intake pylons) doesn't have the fuselage pylons fitted.
Image

Image

My vote would be 2 x V3B's and supersonic wing tanks... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2020, 21:40 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Mars wrote:
Hi Malcolm

Scaleworx is working on a 1:32 Cheetah E conversion.


I know. I told John I've given up waiting for him. He says the wing masters are complete. I'm hoping he beats me to the nose :D


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2020, 21:43 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
mamba wrote:
I'm putting the kettle on and the popcorn out for this one Mistral! Can't wait for the master scratch builder in action!

I'm not sure if the E's ever carried the fuselage pylons. At least I've not seen photographic evidence. Their main role was daylight interception if I'm not mistaken?

My vote would be 2 x V3B's and supersonic wing tanks... :roll:


Thanks Mamba :D . Great piccies - I like that configuration. Will need to mod the supersonic tanks for the bombs. Was the centreline a standard NATO/USAF TER ? I prefer air to ground configs. Bombs are so much more interesting than air to air missiles. I like the look of those intake pylons. Do you per chance have any close up piccies of the intake pylons ? I need some dimensions. I assume they're the same as the ones used on the Cheetah C.


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2020, 21:48 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Added the RWR antennae to the vertical stab :

ImageIMG_2443 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2442 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2020, 21:58 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Wing dog teeth done. Some minor refinements needed such as sorting out nav lights and underside blending - but happy with the result. Not too difficult to do. I have also filled in the leading edge slots. A thin reinforcing plate will go over this onto which the wing fence will be added at a later stage once wings have been attached to fuselage. :

Base kit wing - note the reinforcing plate in the middel of the wing - this must go. The other two closer to the fuselage can stay.

Image20200524_113722 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Initial build up of dog tooth using 1mm laminated pieces of Evergreen plastic card :

Image20200524_115144 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Dog tooth leading edge extension sanded to shape and certain areas filled with Tamiya light curing filler. In this photo I still need to cut back the dog tooth itself :

Image20200524_165339 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Finished product - will need to apply final coat of Tamiya primer to work out all the minor imperfections. I'd say around 2 hours per wing - 30 minutes for the cutting and gluing of the plastic card laminates, let dry for 24 hours and then 1.5 hours of elbow grease trimming and sanding it to shape. The camera focal length makes the teeth look like they're skewed inwards. I've also removed the reinforcing plate on the wing and rescribed the panel lines in this area :

ImageIMG_2439 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Underside - what's nice about the base kit is that the wing underside leading edge forms part of the top wing section. So the buildup of plastic card is only done to the top wing section. I need to smooth this in with a bit more putty and Tamiya primer. I can only do this when I get home to Pretoria where my airbrushes and paints are :

ImageIMG_2440 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 02 Jun 2020, 09:04 
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I don't Have great photos of those pylons unfortunately but I must admit a fully bombed up E will look rather neat! Their shape does look exactly the same as those used on the C & D. I have no idea what centre rack was used. If it looks the part I doubt anybody can prove you wrong! I think the Canberra also carried a similar rack on each wing at one stage?

These are the best I have. Most of the images I've been able to gather are from ACM camps so the pylons are not fitted. Added to that how rare pics are of in service Cheeath E's...

Image

Image

Image

Image

I have a few more of the fully bombed up config:

Image

Image

This seems a rather rare layout but in service pics are rare so that is a guess on my part... Will be a very interesting layout - that's for sure!

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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 02 Jun 2020, 16:48 
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Joined: 23 Nov 2018, 16:56
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Location: VILLEDAIGNE
wow !! that will be a very interesting Project ... nice job on the dorsal air intake , I will learn things ........
snoop


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 02 Jun 2020, 18:33 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Thanks Mamba. Great pics :smt023 . The head on view shows off the angles of the bomb pylons and refilling probe very nicely indeed.

Thanks Snoop :D


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 Post subject: Re: 32nd Cheetah E
PostPosted: 02 Jun 2020, 18:36 
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The TER used would probably have been the same as what was used on the Kfir.

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/isaac_gershman/kfir_c-2_874/index.php?Page=1

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