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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 17:51 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
So, hauled this one out of the stash around 4 weeks ago - quite a quick build considering some of the issues with the kit. It's not a bad kit with some really nice surface detail but there were several issues with the kit which make for extra work as follows :
1) For each fuselage half, glue the front and rear sections before gluing the left and right halves. The join is not "square" which results in a seam which needs to be filled at the front/rear join.
2) The holes in the fuselage for the wing locating tabs needed to be enlarged. The right wing sat too low and the left wing too high. Nothing major that a sharp knife could not sort out but some unnecessary fettling involved.
3) The wing to fuselage joints are not well defined and need filler to provide a smooth transition. The risk is with all the sanding that some of the recessed panel detail can be lost.
4) The kit intakes are totally the incorrect shape - too wide. I used the Pavla resin ones meant for the Italeri / Esci kit. I had to shim them to make them fit. Again, nothing major (notwithstanding the cost to purchase these).
5) The rudder has nasty recessed riveting - nothing a bit of filler can't fix.
6) The main undercarriage legs are too long and at too steep an angle to the fuselage longitudinal line, so the aircraft has a nose down sit which is not correct for the F1. I shortened these and changed the angle. It sort of worked but I actually think the nose gear leg is maybe too short as well.
7) Although separate flaps and slats are provided, the inboard leading edge flap is moulded with the wings. Kitty Hawk research failed here. I decided to put everything in the up position instead of trying to cut and drop the flap. With hindsight I should have cut and lowered the flap as this would have been easier than all the fettling I had to do to get the flaps and slats to fit correctly in the raised position.
8) Windshield a bit too narrow so the transition to the forward fuselage sides must be dealt with using putty.
9) Some minor sink marks on the upper fuselage needed to be filled and sanded flat.
10) Oh yes, and most probably the most critical, that horrible droopy nose care of the incorrect upper surface curvature. Nothing a rigorous bit of sanding with an emory board couldn't fix. Added some weight up front as well to ensure no tail sitting.

On the plus side, contrary to other views on the various forums, I liked the photoetch wing spoilers. I also really like the detail provided in the kit exhaust with the photoetch nozzles actuators. Looks really great built up and painted. Overall, generally very nice recessed surface detail across the kit.

My next build will be better now that I know of the various pitfalls and areas requiring more attention.


Last edited by Mistral on 06 Aug 2017, 18:30, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 17:54 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
Posts: 3841
Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Here you can see the two fuselage halves assembled with front and rear sections glued together. The white strips at the intakes are the shims for the Pavla intakes :

ImageIMG_5467 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Nice main undercarriage detail, although various hydraulic hoses are missing. A thin wash of Tamiya black enamel highlights the detail nicely:

ImageIMG_5461 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Intake shims :

ImageIMG_5462 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Pavla intakes (bottom) vs. kit parts (top) :

ImageIMG_5463 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Pavla intakes in position. Some filler required. The round hole on the right hand half must also be filled. SAAF F1s didn't have that feature :

ImageIMG_5464 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 17:58 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Main undercarriage mods :

You can see, unmodified, that the aircraft "sit" is not correct :

ImageIMG_5474 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Unmodified :

ImageIMG_5473 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

One leg has had 3mm section removed. Used brass rod to pin two sections and provide strength :

ImageIMG_5475 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Top one shortened, bottom one unmodified :

ImageIMG_5477 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Further mods required to adjust undercarriage leg angle to the longitudinal axis of aircraft i.e. wheels further forward. Had to add brass rod pins and remove some of the kit plastic around the rear undercarriage bay area. Also added the missing strut with plastic rod and added some hydraulic hoses with stretched sprue :

ImageIMG_5508 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 18:05 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Now to sort out the wing / fuselage joint - I don't think I succeed entirely :roll:

Used Perfect Plastic Putty smoothed out very gently with a wet figure :

ImageIMG_5479 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The sprayed some Alclad grey primer :

ImageIMG_5484 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Undersides of wing have a strange upper/lower joint arrangement - again Perfect Plastic Putty. Also filled in the holes for the wing pylons - was going for the standard Border War interceptor configuration - one 1,300 litre centreline tank and two R550 missiles :

ImageIMG_5466 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Wings with flaps and slats retracted. Note some plastic card shims on the flaps :

ImageIMG_5472 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Rudder treated to filler (Perfect Plastic Putty) :

ImageIMG_5468 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Area around windshield which needed filling - again using PPP :

ImageIMG_5482 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 18:12 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Ready for paint - Tamiya X1 acrylic black base :

ImageIMG_5485 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Three tone blue - was going for #203, the first F1CZ in low vis came - she scored the second MiG-21 kill.

ImageIMG_5490 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageIMG_5495 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Super glossy care of Tamiya acrylic X-22 thinned with Tamiya laqcuer thinners - best combo I've found for gloss varnish coat for decalling :

ImageIMG_5498 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 18:25 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Now then - you can see the variation of the blue/grey scheme in the photos above depending on natural light and exposure. This is a typical problem when referring to photographs of the real thing. The tonal range from one photo to the next causes all sorts of angst for the modeller. Which one is correct ? So what did I do ? I spent several hours mixing up various concoctions of Tamiya colours on a white card until I thought I had the solution :
The following colour matches were quoted on the old IPMSSA web site as follows :
Highveld grey (light grey) - FS36251
PE blue - FS35164
Mirage grey (the dark inner diamond) - FS36076

I researched these on the web for the closest Tamiya mix but none of the recommended mixes looked right. Anyway, my final concoction (all Tamiya enamels) was as follows :

Highveld grey (light grey) - XF-19 grey + 50% X-2 white + spot XF-8 blue + spot X-17 pink
PE blue - 4 : X-2 / 4 : XF-66 grey / 1 : XF-8 blue / 1 : X-17 pink / spot X-16 purple
Mirage grey (the dark inner diamond) - XF-66 grey + 30% X-18 black

Once the decals had been applied, I lightly oversprayed these with the base colour to tone them down. Then an overall thinned mix of XF-20 medium grey to blend the whole lot together. Finally a coat of Microscale acrylic matt varnish.

The decals came from the Albatros "The Dark Mirages" decal sheet (all the way from Mexico) which luckily provided the dashed outlines to the castles. I didn't add the MiG kill mark as I'm sure this came later. During its border operation in this colour scheme, #203 had the original RWR and ventral fin configuration prior to the upgrading to the later RIMS system. I added the red lines on the fuselage / wings as there was no specific photographic proof showing that these were not present.

The wingtip missile pylons were painted a light grey and the Matra R550s painted a mix of Model Master RLM78 light blue and Tamiya X-2 white (50/50%)


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 07:47 
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Awesome. =D> :smt023

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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 09:48 
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Joined: 22 Oct 2005, 05:47
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Hey Mistral,

It certainly looks the part :smt023

Which kit is better (Esci/ Italeri or Kitty Hawk)?

Regards,
Stratobat

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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 11:27 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Stratobat wrote:
Hey Mistral,

It certainly looks the part :smt023

Which kit is better (Esci/ Italeri or Kitty Hawk)?

Regards,
Stratobat


Having built both, I'll say 95% Kitty Hawk. Needs some adjustments as listed above but the overall surface detail does it for me. The old Esci kit was (apparently) dimensionally accurate but extremely basic. In addition, the KH kit has better undercarriage units and bays as a starting point, better cockpit detail (kit seats are quite nice and you get an etched harness - although I used a Pavla resin seat), waaay better exhaust, gazillions of weapons options if you're going French. No comparison. That said, if the Esci was the only game in town, with some work, it builds nicely. Most probably you can get one at a third of the price of the KH kit. So, final decision will be made based on your budget and desire to spend R1,000 on the KH kit.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 13:00 
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Joined: 07 Jun 2010, 18:52
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Looking good Mistral. The nose now looks the part! I see you joined the front and rear sections of the fuselage before left and right - would you do it that way round again ie were there any issues? I'm at this stage of my build and though inclined to do it as you have done it, have not yet committed.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 18:05 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
avgass wrote:
Looking good Mistral. The nose now looks the part! I see you joined the front and rear sections of the fuselage before left and right - would you do it that way round again ie were there any issues? I'm at this stage of my build and though inclined to do it as you have done it, have not yet committed.


Thanks Avgass.

Suggest you join front and rear first, then halves together. It's easier sorting out a longitudinal seam than a front/rear join. Anyway, it all fitted together rather well. But be careful with the rear fuselage underside seam. If you get this misaligned it'll mean a whole bunch of sanding (it's flat) and you'll end up sanding away the recessed detail. Mine was a bit of a stuff-up..... #-o . You'll also need to do some careful sanding of the vertical stabilizer to make sure it fits into the recess. I liked the top deck insert - gets rid of having to deal with another fuselage seam. It fit well with some minor sanding of the edges.

Please post pics of your build :smt023


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 18:10 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
OH yes. I didn't correct the intake mice to the more pointy SAAF configuration. Just didn't have the mojo for that.


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PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 19:05 
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Joined: 07 Jun 2010, 18:52
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Mistral wrote:
OH yes. I didn't correct the intake mice to the more pointy SAAF configuration. Just didn't have the mojo for that.


I'll be sure to point that out at the final reveal :twisted: (kidding)

Thanks for the pointers re the fuselage. Pictures are over at Britmodeller on the Mirage GB. It's the Spanish F1B - the one I haven't touched since the week before RIAT. Mojo vanished when I returned :oops:


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