Tuesday, February 24, 2009

F8: part five, epilogue

It's nearly done, so it's now more a near-failure. Or just a Disappointment. I had hight hopes and thought my skills could hack. However, there were too many things that I didn't, couldn't see until it was too late. Not enough experience... yet.

Here's the front:


The underside photographs well, but it doesn't look smooth and 'in scale' enough when viewed in real life.
The landing gear scratchbuild turned out pretty good, but I didn't plan ahead for the brake lines and they just sort of end at the wheel well now and don't actually go anywhere.

You can also see a gap between the engine cowling and the fuselage. This was not there in the numerous test-fittings I did, but when I went to put the cowling on for final assembly, it would not go on any farther.

The oil cooler flaps turned out pretty nicely, though.

Here's the back. The paint job looks decent here, but up close the brush-applied future has some uneven drying. Academy's decals also don't like sitting in Future a much as the Tamiya decals did. What you can see that I like is a small, totally scratchbuilt bomb cart. I'm pretty proud of that mediocre thing. I also like the padeyes on the top of the bomb.

Here it is close up.

So, did I waste my time? No. I learned a lot. I learned to use photo-etch details; I learned a lot about scratch building; I learned that pastels don't like gloss finishes and stick better to matte; I learned about planning; I learned about using cyanoacrylate (super) glue;

Did I waste my money? Nope. I got a good price and I got it local. The only wasting feeling I feel is that I may have wasted the kit. I don't think the kit nor the detail pack is available any more. It's a shame, it's a really nice subject.

Listening to while posting: Something from the Fight Club soundtrack

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Crap. Crap. Crap.

Things are going wrong left and right. My W.I.P is fast becoming a F.I.P (Failure In Progress).

And it started out so well.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

F8 part four: oil cooler flaps

I really don't know if these are oil cooler flaps, I just call them that. I never worked on radial piston engines, only turboprops.

Here's the real thing:

and here's what the kit came with (I accentuated the scribed panel lines:

I'd originally planned on cutting out the scribed area to install a scratchbuilt panel. As you can see, towards the front of the area it's very narrow. I wasn't completely sure if I could cut the panel away without breaking that bit or if it would even stay structurally sound. I would bet it would, but I lacked certainty. If I broke it, repair would require scratchbuilding skills that, if I'd had them, I wouldn't have broke it in the first place (makes sense?).

My solution was to make flaps and place them over the scribed area, painting the interior area black to simulate a hole. This MAY work. The problem is making the flaps look, at least a little bit, like they are rotating into the fuselage. It looks pretty good unpainted, but we'll see.

Here are the flaps:

and here they are installed. I'm sorry that the picture is after I'd pre-shaded (see below), but I mistakenly thought I'd taken good photos before I pre-shaded.

Pre-shading is a way of adding depth to a scale aircraft. I could explain it to you, but I'll let the the video by Brett Green explain it to you as he did to me.

listening to while posting: "Don't Let Go" by Weezer

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

F8F part three: engine, cockpit and misc

It was a busy little week what with finishing this week's update to my comic and all these little things with the F8.

A lot of it was planning and experimenting.

I painted the wheel wells and installed the internal bay:

I then worked on the landing gear. I had to add some detail, as it was a little bit sparse. It was also incorrect. As I said, I'm not a stickler, but there was a part to the landing gear that was so blatantly wrong and so easily fixable, that I had to do it. In this picture, you can see at the top of the struts, I put in the retraction actuator and some sort of spring-thing that you can see in this reference photo. You can also see a brace that I had to scratchbuild. Those are the little things to the left of the struts.

I also worked on the engine. The detail was a little soft on the cylinders; ironically, it was rather crisp on the rear set of cylinders that will be all but invisible when the cowling is installed. I installed the ignition wires and the sort of circular tube that goes around the prop gearbox. I wish I had a the equipment for better digital macro shots. Sorry. You could pretend the reference shot is the model, if you'd like ;)

Finally, while working on the wheel wells, I felt the need to cut away the not-deep-at-all intakes on the wing roots. If you know where to look in the internal bay photos of the last post, you can see how shallow they were and why I had to deal with them. Here's what I've got.

The cockpit was fun and a pain. Photo etch parts are interesting to work with, mostly because they are very very very small. Using super glue is a pain in the ass, but necessary to adhere metal to plastic.


After (with the superglue looking a bit too shiny from the flash). There is quite a bit of 3-dimensionality to it, but it's hard to see in the photos. There's even a teeny (2mm) T-handle for the fire suppression. Sweet.:

Now, I'm waiting for the shop to get some flat black paint in before I can do any more.

listening to while posting: "Maybe Not" by Cat Power