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About TheRealMrEd

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    Established Member
  • Birthday 06/04/44

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  • Location
    Marietta, Georgia USA
  • Interests
    1/72 US military aircraft and small scale r/c aircraft.

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  1. Ryan FR-4 - The World's Fastest Fireball

    Thanks guys, Justin -- they were actually trying to perfect the hippy peace symbol, and hadn't quite gotten it right... Ed
  2. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Thanks, guys! Ed
  3. Hello, Here are some finished photos on my latest build, a Ryan FR-4, which is a conversion of the MPM 1/72 Ryan FR-1 Fireball; the FR-4 being 100 mph faster than the FR-1. The FR-4 differs in that the intakes for the jet engine were removed from the wing roots, and added back in the form of NACA ducts, on the front cowling sides. Without further ado: Next, some comparison shots between the FR-1 and the FR-4 (foreground). The FR-1 is the Pegasus model, and it was a tough build, mostly because the intakes on my copy were molded as blobs, and I had to basically rebuild the wing. Also, in these pictures, I just noted that about 12-15 years ago, when I built the model, I also put the stars ON THE WRONG WINGS! This model has been in the case for THAT long, and I just never noticed. Duh! But, I lucked out, and some kind chap on E-bay was kind enough to offer an instruction sheet (which I didn't need) and an original Pegasus decal sheet (which I do) for a modest price, so I snapped them up! This problem will be corrected soon! But, here are some comparisons: This was a tricky, but interesting build, and one that I'd never seen tried before. This model may very well be unique, but I hope some of you out there will give it a go! Here is the link to how I did it:W.I.P. Thanks for looking! Ed
  4. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Hi all, It's been a tough week. After plowing my way through the painting and recalling process, I glued on the landing gear, only to discover that for the first time in over twenty years, I had built a tail-dragging tricycle aircraft! I tried knocking out the tailpipe PE fret from the tailpipe, and adding BB's through the tailpipe, but after 35 BB's, I wasn't able to get enough weight far enough forward to get her to balance. In fact, by taping some small lead sinkers to the front of the cowl, I determined that it would have taken another 1/2 ounce to balance, and there was no room for that much lead, even if I had tried. I think the only shot I would have had was to cast the engine, front landing gear and wheel, as well as the front gear doors in lead. Oh well. I finally took the path of least resistance and used a tailhook to support the model, even though I'm not certain a tailhook was ever installed on the FR-4! Also, the decals hat I had awaited to do the "FR-4" on the vertical stabilizer arrived, the were printed on too light blue-colored paper to even see. I could only see the white printing with a 10X magnifier and a light held just so, with no free hand to cut around the tiny letters. So now, I'm trying to find some kind of USB driven magnifier that I can hook up to my computer to see the little rascals better. So far, all I've found are USB-driven microscopes, which I don't think will work. because most of them would need to be too close to the decal paper to get a blade underneath. None of my current magnifiers, which would allow the working room, approx 5x power will do the job. Any ideas or recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Also, I was not able to determine from the photos I had access to, whether the FR-4 had a pitot tube or a radio antenna, so for now, I've left these off. I finished everything else, and here is a picture: I'll post some more over in: R.F.I. This has been a tricky build, and I'm glad I survived. Thanks to all who've tagged along... Ed
  5. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Hi all, Not a lot of progress to show, as everything has been tied up in the paint shop. But, to get it there, I had to first mask off the rotary engine. For me, the best way to do this has always been to cut a disk of cardboard or thick paper, slightly larger than the cowl opening, and then cut a line out from the center to any point on the edge. This allows the formation of a cone, to slip inside, covering the motor. If you are lucky, the cone will expand to fit the cowling precisely, masking the engine without further aggravation. If you're NOT lucky, as I was here, a few bits of added foam were needed. Also, I had to re-fill the crack at the top of the cowling: Next, a full coat of primer (in this case Alclad II grey), to prep for paint and a final check of all surfaces. This last part is, of course, pure poppycock, because as soon as you hit it with any dark, glossy color, or silver color, and the cracks and crevasses going clear back to the Ice Age miraculously appear. I swear, I could paint a sheet of plate glass and scratches would appear! In any event, after the primer: Next, while that's drying, a lookat the prop, all finished. This started out by cleaning up with a file, and a coat of Alclad II white primer, in the general area of the soon-to-be-yellow prop tips. As soon as the primer had dried, a coat of yellow was shot over pretty much everything in sight! When that had dried, the yellow tips were masked, and the black portion of the blades was shot, using glass black to save a step later. When the black had dried, the entire black and yellow portion of the prop (including the prop cuffs) was masked, and the the hub and rest of the blades were painted glossy sea blue. When that had dried, I applied the decals, from a sheet of Authentic Decals"U.S. Propeller Markings" decals, using the usual methods. When THAT was dry, I masked off the shiny hub parts, and then shot Alclad II dead flat over the decals. I though that this aircraft was unusual, in that the prop hub, in the area of the feathering mechanism was painted, vs. natural metal. Some of the FR-1's that were working to to get into the war had it that way, but most others were like this one, whether FR-1's or FR-4's. The finished product is shown below: Maybe I should just make a career doing propellers? (Actually, there would be some precedent for that, as my wife's grandfather made propellers during WW I!). After painting the model glossy sea blue and waiting for that to dry, I added the star and bar decals from the kit. Actually, I tried to, and the first one promptly disintegrated! So, I put a couple of coats of decal film on the other stars and the rest of the sheet, and threw them into the spares box. I ended up using decals from the ancient Microcscale sheet #72-14, which were as good as day one. The tiny "NAVY" decals on the rudder came from old Microscale sheet #72-20, the very smallest size on the sheet. For the "FR-4" decals on the vertical stabilizer, I am awaiting a i/144 sheet of white letters and numbers from the Brit side of the pond, upon which arrival, I shall endeavor to arrange into a nearly-correct printing on the model. Anyway, after the decal so far installed had dried, I topped the whole shebang off with a coat of Pledge PMS or whatever it is now. After that had dried, I examined the model carefully and of course, found three tiny runs from my being in a hurry! (Notice that while you never have time to do it right, you have plenty of time to do it over...) So, I sanded off the runs, burning through the paint, which I then re-applied. Here she is now, drying ans awaiting a (Please God!) final coat of Pledge MSF(?): Anyway, I expect of couple of days drying time, etc., so probably the next post will be closer to the end of the week, than sooner. If not yet bored to tears, please stick around. I hope to finish this one up before our Thanksgiving Holiday. We'll see. Later, Ed
  6. Great job, Kallie! It's great to watch a big vacuform coming together. I'd like to ask you a question -- the engine casting appear to be "smash" molded? At lease I don't see any pour stubs. Can you elaborate on your methods of doing this? Ed
  7. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Hi DevCon1, I think it's just that for many of the aircraft I'm currently building, I have been plotting HOW to build them for a very long time! Ed
  8. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Hello, back again! Next up is filling the opening left at the wing roots. To further strengthen this area, I felt that plastic sheet was the best choice. I started by laminating together 2 strips of thick (maybe 50 or 50 thou plastic card). I then inserted on end of this part into the wing gap, and marked the airfoil, not particularly closely: This was then roughly carved to shape, and glued into place with strong liquid glue (in my case, Weldon #3): The fit of the wing to the fuse is pretty good, requiring mostly shaping and filling the leading edge fillet: After some sanding, but before filling, here's how the leading edge now looks. This shot also shows the "lip" on the intake to good advantage: We are working toward closing up everything, but allow me to digress for a moment, about something I ran across recently, and had a chance to try out whilst glue was a' dryin':The handiest little gadget for masking small-scale wheels: Notice the perfect circles of masking tape; these are 6mm in diameter. For a long time I have used the Fiskar's tool for this, but as you can see below, it's really more of a "beam" compass, rather than a true compass. That makes it useful for larger circles (two-handed), but more awkward for smaller ones. This Flex-I-File one is easy to twirl with one hand, and does a very nice job: Shown below are the wheels after painting, and after a touch of dark wash to "pop" the detail: One of the easiest wheel-masking jobs I've ever done. Unlike ready-made masks, you can adjust to radius of the cut by fractions of a millimeter for dead-on accuracy. I just had to mention it, because it's sooo cool! Anyway, back to the matter on hand. Next comes the vacu-formed canopy. It has a particular step in the back end that needs to be duplicated. The molding line for this was not very clear as it was molded, so I took some Tamiya tape, and fiddled around until I got it looking about right. Then I scribed a line against the tape, and after removing the tape, I had a good line to which to trim. By the way, I still cut it a hair oversize and and then judiciously sanded it to fit precisely: Next, the top of the "dash" and upper cockpit rear panel were painted flat black, and the cockpit sills painted dark navy blue. The canopy was then glued into place using watchmaker's cement (G-S), and then the whole thing was held in place with a bit of masking tape, until dry -- because a bit of downward pressure was needed to make the canopy fit correctly: Next, the cockpit area was given a coat of Interior Green, so that color would appear as the "inside" color when done: Turning the model over, the wheel whells were given a coat of the same interior green. After that was dry, the wheel wells were masked by the simple expedient of using hobby foam. This comes in thin sheets, and if you cut o piece slightly oversize, you can shove it in place with a toothpick. It expands slight to fill the cavity, and is just the ticket for smaller, shallow wheel wells: After a coat of Alclad II Grey Primer, a few small areas were filled with Perfect Plastic Putty, smoothed with a wet finger. Doing it this way rarely requires sanding: Also, the horizontal stabilizers were glued on, and the wingtip lights were cut out, filled with pieces of clear spruce with the little "bulbs" drilled out and painted, and glued into place. They've been sanded to shape and polished, and the masked with Parafilm "M": After a few more spritzes of primer and final smoothing, she'll be ready for her new coat of glossy dark navy blue paint. And while everything is drying, I'll take a break and catch you later! Ed
  9. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Thanks guys--- FWIW, I just found out recently the Special Hobby have binned the Azur and MPM lines, so I don't know whether these will ever be re-issued. Get 'em while you can! Ed
  10. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Hi all, You may re right about the Brits and repetative names -- unless of course, we consider Henry, Edward, Richard.... But, I digress. Time to continue with the "World's Fastest Fireball". The next items to consider are those need to be installed ere we close the fuselage for good. I began by considering the tailpipe, which, as near as I can tell needs to extend some four inches further than it's original length. I found a bendy plastic straw of the correct diameter, and after painting the inside and outside of one end a burnt metallic color, I glued on the "whatchamacallit" ( -- exhaust diffuser?). The little roundy fan-looking item on the PE fret, shown below next to the original kit tailpipe: Next I cleaned up and painted the engine -- gloss black cylinders, grey crankcase and bare metal push-rods. This was glued to the firewall (before checking the FIT of the firewall; which was a mistake). By not test fitting the firewall first, but instead gluing it into one side of the fuse, I had to file the excess width off the remaining exposed side, which in turn throws the center of the motor a little off. I DID however, remember to drill out the hole in the center of the crankcase to fit the propeller. Also shown below is the new, completed extended tailpipe: Next, I assembled enough of the cockpit to try a test fit. The arrow shows the little "nibs" on the back of the seat that I assumed were little "shelves" upon which to mount the rear cockpit panel. WRONG! What I ended up doing was filing off the little bumps, and the gluing on the rear panel 9mm above the cockpit floor. Note -- the right side area which shows the rear alignment bumps on the fuse half, where the rear of the cockpit floor is supposed to line up: NOTE: If I were to build another MPM Fireball kit, I would leave this rear piece off, and then later, glue a piece of sprue to the little box on top, and the glue this part in later, cutting off and sanding down the sprue when done! I believe that would make the whole process mush easier. The next pictures shows the areas on the cockpit floorboard that I trimmed on each side at the front end to clear the new duct work: Next, the instrument panel. MPM gave me a nice plastic set of gauges printed on clear plastic sheet, which was to be cemented onto the white-painted instrument panel, and then covered by the PE instrument panel, after painting that flat black. Unfortunately, I lost the darn thing, but fortunately, before I had glued in the PE part. The next photo shows the PE fret, to which I glued a piece of white plastic, and then filled in the gauges with individually punched Mike Grant 1/72 decals, followed by a drop of clear varnish. It was a lot of work but turned out pretty good, although it still needs a little trimming and paint touch up on the edges: Next shown is the right half of the model with new Interior green paint all round and a lead fishing sinker glued in a "L". I had also previously glued the tailpipe assembly into the fuse, but the glue failed between the straw and the PE diffuser, but the diffuser stayed in place, so I'll be able to glue the soda straw tailpipe in later. "A" is the reminder that next time, I'll glue this part AFTER the fuse halves are assembled. The little alligator clip is just used here to hold the wing/nose gear well assembly to the fuselage during test fitting, to assure that the gear bay will fit in under the cockpit floor and the duct work. Also shown (rather poorly) are the PE side consoles provided in the kit. Next, a variety of clamps are shown holding the fuselage and wing assembly together will the fuse halves and wing assembly are finally glued together. Note that this was not done all at once, but a section at a time! The alligator clips shown above are to hold the upper wing inner edges in alignment with the wing "ridges", molded onto the fuselage halves. The things marked "P" are small pieces of thin plastic card to help fill tiny gaps. At this point, I'll let everything dry for a day, then resume festivities! TTFN, Ed
  11. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Thanks Roger and B-Bill, still plugging away. One interesting historical footnote to the FR series of aircraft, is that the series was controlled from the Navy side by Adm John McCain II (or was it Jr.?) -- the father of today's Senator John McCain. Ed
  12. F-102A Pitot

    That's good news, Tony! I may have to buy some newer ones. I have them in various colors (all old) and they can be quite useful. Ed
  13. F-102A Pitot

    The decal sheets pointed to have a carrier film over the entire surface, meaning they need to be trimmed their entire length. While admittedly mine are quite old, they tend to break apart a lot, requiring additional decal film to be added to the sheet. Also, they then become so thick that they don't like to bend around small diameter things! Perhaps a newer sheet might work better. Also, they do work fine on larger diameters, such as fuselage turbine warning stripes... Ed
  14. Valiant prototype from Airfix Valiant

    Steve, A masterful job and a great conversion! You should be very proud! One suggestion that I would encourage you to consider, with your level of modeling and the need for detailed resin castings, is setting up a relatively low-cost pressure casting system. With that, and a resin with suitable working time, you should be able to create even more masterpieces in future. Some ideas for these rigs are to be found in the Casting forum on Britmodeler. Best of luck, and good job! Ed
  15. "World's Fastest Fireball" - The Ryan FR-4

    Welcome aboard, Christian! Since it's Halloween time, I figured something bizarre and scary would just fill the bill! Ed