Independence Day Building

Happy Independence Day to everyone! Holidays are fun and often lead to my best work. I don’t know what would be different from any other day, but here we are with progress at hand. First I will start with the engine nacelles. The gaps were filled yesterday and I proceeded to sand them this morning. As they sit, the Academy kit’s nacelles are the only ones that need continued work. One more round of filler should do it.

The four fuselage’s have had all the real work done. The chins have really been the main focus. All seams have been sanded and primer has finally been added to the mix. I feel a great accomplishment getting to this step. Added to that relief are the wings being almost finished as well. I sanded them down yesterday and hit them with primer today. I don’t normally worry about priming wings but the wheel wells have a decent seam that need to be addressed. All in all it has been a great day. And the best is yet to come with the cookout and fireworks tonight. 

    
   

A-10 Progress

Progress is being measured in inches with the A-10’s. The chins are a little farther along today with the initial sanding and filling completed. It will take a few more rounds to fully be able to move past this issue. The top of the noses will be added to my list to address tomorrow. After I get that shored up I can get a coat of primer on to assess my work.

The four pairs of engine nacelles were sanded and primed this afternoon with encouraging results. There are a few areas that will need some filler but I will consider it a success so far. Another win today was the LAU-10 rocket pods which I built, sanded, and primed last night. I picked up where I left off with the green light to proceed to paint. So now the ordinance is 90% finished along with the landing gear being completed. With all the little aspects out of the way, I should have plenty of time to focus on the aircraft themselves. 

 

Getting Sorted Out

With the prototype theme out of the way, my main focus is now shifted to the Warthog Project. The workbench hasn’t been too active the past few days. The chins of all four planes and ordinance are the only aspects being worked on. Aside from some last minute additions and a few still in process of locating, the ordinance that I do have are finished. Current A-10’s are flying sorties with one LAU-10 rocket pod on each wing and I thought I had an acceptable solution stealing a couple from an Apache kit but they just weren’t right. Upon further research led me to a weapons set from Hasegawa that had what I needed. Lucky for me, I have four of these sets. The other search is for GBU-16 bombs. They are also in a Hasegawa weapons set that I am not sure if I own. A search through my kits will hopefully turn one or two up. I still have plenty of time to get all that sorted out before final assembly. In the meantime, I will keep at all the sanding and filling on all four builds. 

 

Prototypes

So here is my traditional end of build, “let’s put em’ all together”, post. All four together are interesting in the fact that they all differ in appearance, yet share the most crucial element of flight. It’s also neat to look at the ones that made it to production and how they have become the aircraft that we know today.

The Yf-16 and YF-17 made for a fun side by side. I wanted to get the two competitors pictured together for a few shots. They both have gone on to be proven fighters. 

    
    
   

Northrop YF-17A Cobra

There isn’t too much more to write that I haven’t already stated about this kit. We all have our “pig” kits and I am absolutely not immune to that fact. This kit is proof that expensive kits ($30.00 from ebay) aren’t the best kits. It may not be entirely Anigrand’s fault on this one given the fact that the Have Blue build was fantastic. I will chalk it up to a bad mold and move on with no ill feelings.

So here is the finished then re-finished YF-17. I am not too thrilled with the results that I provided but it is what it is. Assembly proved to be a challenge with spotty instructions. The rear landing gear struts had a goofy fit resulting in a slight list on the port side of the aircraft. The canopy surprisingly fit well with little to touch up. The pitot tube came up missing so I made one out of round styrene. I don’t recall ever seeing the original but I do lose parts often so I will assume blame on that one. It all worked out.

Well it’s not the prettiest of representations but I am happy to be finished. It’s interesting to see USAF markings on the future Navy F-18 Hornet. Even though it lost the competition to the YF-16, it still won with the Navy and I am glad that it did. 

          

The YF-17 Flies Again

With my pride scarred over my second dropped model this year, I focused my efforts on the re-build and made the YF-17 airworthy again. All the dirt and debris have been sanded out and now the airplane looks as though it was never dropped. I had to completely redo the paint job starting from the beginning with the flat black accents. Those were masked to allow the silver to be sprayed on. The decals were applied last night with no issues. For the weathering, I outlined the panel lines with a pencil and brushed on Future for a nice sheen. I will let it dry overnight and start final assembly tomorrow. 

   

Crash and Burn

When it rains, it pours right? If it wasn’t bad enough to depart a wonderful week in Michigan to arrive home to rainy weather, I added the cherry on top by dropping the YF-17 build as I was applying a coat of clear on it. Yep. Time stood still for a few seconds as I watched it break free from its alligator clip and nose dive to the awaiting ground. So close, now a little farther away.

Once the disgust and disappointment subsided, I carefully assessed the damage. Most of the blunder is cosmetic except for the starboard horizontal stabilizer which snapped off. I am actually in good spirits about it. The crash happened and there is nowhere to go but forward.

Forward is the immediate direction I went as I sanded the debris out of the paint and re-attached the horizontal stabilizer. The whole paint process will begin yet again. I will shoot a coat of primer on tonight to make sure I removed all the impurities. Then the black will be re-sprayed and finally the silver. I can tell you this, it will be SECURE the whole way through.