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Pappy

1/48 ARDU F-111C (RAAF)

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Pappy    1,782
Posted (edited)

G'day people,

 

Unfortunately, I was unable to finish my F-16 STGB entries due to work commitments dragging me away. Hopefully I will have better luck with this GB.

 

My subject fort this STGB will be  an RAAF F-111C, specifically A8-132. This airframe was used as a test bed aircraft for F-111C related stores and issues. It was also used to trial new weapons on occasion during the time she was attached to the Australian Research and Development Unit (ARDU). Following the attachmentent to ARDU, this airframe then when on to become the first RAAF F-111C to undergo the Avionics Update Programme (AUP).

 

A8-132 wore a special test scheme while atatched to ARDI consisting of the standard SEA camouflage upper surfaces with the lower black surfaces replaced with white. In addition, several reference markings were added along the aircraft waterline and under wing area to indicate wing sweep angle. As A8-132 was a test aircraft, she was fitted with additional electrical equipment and instrumentation. Any non-standard equipment was painted bright orange to identify it as such. The aircraft had several external painted orange. Finally, to record weapons separation and other data, the jet could be fitted with external cameras.

 

Onto the plastic,

 

I will be using this kit as the basis of the build, it is old and has a few small issues, but I only paid $15 for it!

 

DSCN4263_zps4ave3xju.jpg

 

DSCN4265_zpsssdopfnl.jpg

 

I will also be chucking in some aftermarket as the mood takes me. I plan on building this one in flight, as this overcomes most of the kit shortfalls as well as making for a speedier build.Academy re-tooled their venerable F-111kit  old kit  a few years ago (probably in anticipation of the HB monstrosity) which corrected some of the shortcomings like the incorrect and too shallow nose gear bay and their very simplified and pre-AUP instrument panel. They also managed to include some very nice Cartograph decals. If you want to build an accurate 1/48 F-111, this is the kit to use.

 

I have made a small start by adding some missing details such as the AoA indicators and LCOSS detail to the instrument coaming

 

007_zpsyauxj8vo.jpg

 

008_zpsxim68yaj.jpg

 

I have also painted up a couple of Hasegawa figures to represent the crew

 

010_zpslk9zgqv4.jpg

 

011_zpsxvudfmrz.jpg

 

012_zpsfhphvfdj.jpg

 

I wanted to make a good job of these as once installed, little of the cockpit will be visible (a good thing as the cockpit detail is a little sparse OOB), but the drivers will be very prominent,

 

cheers

 

Pappy

 

 

 

Edited by Pappy

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exdraken    2,676
Posted (edited)

Good choice!

Will you build the wings fixed or allow movement?

 

I think the mid sweep position looks incredible in flight!

Edited by exdraken

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Pappy    1,782
2 hours ago, exdraken said:

Good choice!

Will you build the wings fixed or allow movement?

 

I think the mid sweep position looks incredible in flight!

 

I agree, that is why my wing position will be mid-sweep. I plan on having the wings removable for transport (maybe) but they will not have movement otherwise as this is a model and not a toy,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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Pappy    1,782
32 minutes ago, modelling minion said:

Nice choice of subject Pappy.

Those test markings should make her stand out a bit!

 

Well, you would hope so!

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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trickyrich    5,394

Arrr nice!!! One of the most colourful (if you can call it that) F-111's around. Welcome aboard Pappy, I was sort of wondering if someone might attempt her, I actually don't remember seeing one built of her.

 

It'll be really interesting to follow this build as I haven't seen it built before, I've only seen reviews, she couldn't be as bad as the HB monster! I trust you've seen the photo I posted of her.....was the standard one they use to handout!

 

Good luck with the build, I'll probably pick your brain on some stuff as mine are not quite as they use to be. I do look forward to seeing her in the gallery so I'll be making sure you don't get too distracted! :whip:

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Jabba    1,542

As others have already said a very good/unusual choice of colour scheme. I wish you luck with the build.

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I was wondering if you would pop up in this GB Pappy, :popcorn:

 

Looking forward to your scratch building enhancement goodness.

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Pappy    1,782
Posted (edited)

G'day people,

 

Well I have started at the start and started putting the cockpit together.

 

 

NOTE: The two pics below show the re-tooled centre and side consoles with the original bulkhead and instrument panel. I forgot to take some pics of the cockpit tub before painting and installing it into the forward fuselage halves

 

Impalaupdate6027.jpg

 

I will be keeping this cockpit pretty much OOB below the canopy sill as you will not be able to see too much with the crew installed and the canopy closed. Still, the main panel does look a little 'flat' in stock form. I may have to do something about that.

 

Impalaupdate6026.jpg

 

The nearly OOB cockpit painted up and the panel in place ( I added a few details to the sidewalls as well as some items on the cockpit aft bulkhead)

 

013_zpscihud7ee.jpg

 

017_zpslajshmsk.jpg

 

I also knocked up a simple master to make resin copies of the cameras used to record weapons release footage

 

DSCN4253_zpsceinpdpi.jpg

 

I also started to get some of the smaller assemblies underway. This is the gun fairing for the M61A1 20mm gun system that was installed inside the weapons bay.

 

012_zpsg5gp0cup.jpg

 

011_zpsbh8uqblk.jpg

 

The basic shape is okay but the aperture at the front was only open when the gun was firing, the door would normally be closed otherwise. This opening needs to be filled. The fairing also lacks some additional cooling scoops,

 

That is all for now,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

Edited by Pappy

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trickyrich    5,394

Nice work Pappy, I do really like the cockpit and IP, the IP even though it's really basic is more accurate than any of the HB ones for an early F-111C! great job with the painting details.

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Pappy    1,782
Posted (edited)
On 10/04/2017 at 11:06 PM, trickyrich said:

Nice work Pappy, I do really like the cockpit and IP, the IP even though it's really basic is more accurate than any of the HB ones for an early F-111C! great job with the painting details.

 

G'day Rich,

 

Since this is going to be a 'Pig on a stick', there is not much point spending time and money adding details no one will see ("modelling for god" as I have heard it referred to!). The Academy kit is a far (FAR) more accurate starting point for an F-111C build, unless you belong to the "it looks like xxxx to me crowd"

 

Moving on,

 

G'day people,

 

I have managed to get the fuselage together, which seems to be the point that most modellers dread and it probably the weakest part of the engineering for the Academy F-111 family of kits. I find it very useful to add some plastic strip along the edges of the aft fuselage assembly and some spreaders to the forward fuselage assembly as the two fuselage sections will not mate properly otherwise. I did not take any pics this time around as I was building too fast and did not want to break my momentum. Once the join had set for about three days, CA was used to smooth the join and any lost panel lines were re-scribed.  I will be modifying the wings to be removable for transport and to ease painting, so most of the internal parts were omitted, including the complex wing fold mechanism, and nose gear bay.

 

The wings, fin, stabs and weapon pylon halves were all glued together so things were taking taking shape in a very short space of time.

 

The advantage of building a 'Pig on a stick' is that it eliminates most of the major flaws with the Academy kit (shallow and incorrect nose and main gear bays, poor wheel details, a lack of cockpit detail, no separate wing slats and flaps) however there are still a few errors to contend with. As I mentioned in my post on the chat thread, Academy would have you use the main gear door unmodified which is not correct. The F-111C and subsequent variants used a modified main gear door. The door had about 6" of the aft end removed, which leaves a visible gap with the gear retracted. This will mean that a portion of the retracted main gear will be visible, so I had to include something.  I simply cut up part of the main gear assembly (Part 15) and added this to the main gear bay angled inwards slightly. I also added some small bits of plastic on the walls of the main gear bay to support the main gear door so that it would sit flush.

 

DSCN4266_zpscexddss4.jpg

 

Next up, the main gear door (Part 14) would need to be modified. 6" translates to about 3mm in 1/48 scale, this was marked out and the excess trimmed off

 

DSCN4267_zpshyksnvc6.jpg

 

Once this was cleaned up, this item was added to the main gear bay

 

DSCN4277_zpsouylvhi5.jpg

 

Result!

 

Academy depict the ECS exhaust as some engraved lines, I drilled this area out and squared up the hole. Some strips of plastic strip ti depict the louvres for a more realistic appearance. The hole for the lower rotating beacon and ECS coolant drain were also drilled at this point

 

011_zpsvvc1vltp.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pappy

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Pappy    1,782
17 hours ago, Jabba said:

This is really coming along nicely.

 

Thanks Jabba,

 

One you get past that fuselage seam, the kit goes together very quickly, surprising for such a large jet.

 

G'day people,

 

Today I worked the intakes. The F-111C use the Triple Plow I inlet design, however the  Academy F-111C kit also includes parts to make the Triple Plow II inlets so it pay to do some research before you start gluing plastic together. The Triple Plow I inlet design is most easily recognised by the presence of the large vertical splitter plate in front of the engine inlets. I deviated from the kit assembly sequence and  attached these part to the airframe after dry fitting the engine inlets

 

DSCN4269_zpsymgn7pxy.jpg

 

I painted up the inlet interior after adding the vortex generators to the inlet

 

DSCN4289_zpsuch6i94e.jpg

 

The inlets are only dry fitted here

 

DSCN4290_zps6mukh00x.jpg

 

DSCN4291_zpsvjj6mufl.jpg

 

One shortcoming of both the Academy and HB kits is that the splitter plate should have a noticeable 'kink; in the leading edge where it bends behind the inlet spike instead of being just a straight slab of metal,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

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trickyrich    5,394

nice work Pappy with the Vortex generators, the intakes do look quite bare without them.

 

You're right about the splitter plates they're the wrong shape and way too thick, so they really do need replacing.

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Pappy    1,782
5 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

nice work Pappy with the Vortex generators, the intakes do look quite bare without them.

 

You're right about the splitter plates they're the wrong shape and way too thick, so they really do need replacing.

 

Thanks Rich. I don't think the splitter plates are overly thick, but I understand why you would think that. the edges have a bevelled edge, which makes them look thick when viewed from certain angles, but from the front they are reasonably thin. Agree with you about the wrong shape, the leading edge should not be a straight edge but I am going to live with that one.

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Pappy    1,782
Posted (edited)

G'day people,

 

I made a couple of masters before casting resin copies, as I have a few other F-111's I want to build.

 

DSCN4292_zpsw2mwldjm.jpg

 

These are the cameras that were unique to A8-132 when attached to ARDU (l-r) fwd facing, wingtip, aft facing

 

DSCN4293_zpsa0rbgmbb.jpg

 

And these are some more common bits, (l-r) Strike camera housing, Compass Sail antenna and RADAR Indicator hood.

 

DSCN4294_zpsxag00lrz.jpg

 

and installed

 

DSCN4302_zpsdsswaymj.jpg

 

The seats could also stand a bit of refinement, especially around the chunky headrest

 

DSCN4299_zpsyejepw7o.jpg

 

DSCN4300_zpszc5jyt8c.jpg

 

And the instrument coaming tarted up and painted

 

DSCN4295_zpsjr86u1wa.jpg

 

DSCN4296_zpsvzlpkgai.jpg

 

DSCN4298_zpskvimu2ze.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pappy

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trickyrich    5,394

nice work with the casting Pappy!! That cockpit is starting to look really nice!

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Hewy    1,679

Very nice details your adding there pappy

Glynn

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Pappy    1,782
Posted (edited)
On 18/04/2017 at 0:58 AM, Hewy said:

Very nice details your adding there pappy

Glynn

 

G'day Glynn,

Thanks very much.

 

G'day people,

 

A little more work today,

 

I added the HARA (High Altitude Radar Altimeter) and LARA (Low Altitude Radar Altimeter) details as these are absent or were sanded off during the seam clean up.

 

DSCN4313_zpsbsynhlot.jpg

 

DSCN4312_zpsrkaagdob.jpg

 

Next up, the forward facing cine camera housings were separated from their casting block and added to the speed bumps. When I made my master, I only made the one fwd facing housing, but they are actually handed as they need a slight "U" shape sanded into the base in order to sit in place correctly, and the curve of the left and right speed bump is slightly opposite. I just taped some wet'n'dry in placed and sanded the resin base. The contour then matched the respective side - simples

 

DSCN4303_zpslpaamy0t.jpg

 

DSCN4304_zpsmkauk5dy.jpg

 

Likewise the wingtip cine camera fairings

 

DSCN4307_zpsoyw61jcc.jpg

 

I will add the aft facing cine camera fairings once the camo has been applied has been applied

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pappy

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Pappy    1,782

G'day people,

 

One of the poorly detailed areas of the Academy kit are the boundary layer spill ducts on top of the fuselage

 

DSCN4268_zps3pdmbngv.jpg

 

While the shape and size is about right, the detail is incorrect as the real thing consists if very fine raised vents running laterally. I used some PE overlays from an exterior detail set (designed for the HB kit!) and they fit pretty well,

 

DSCN4322_zpsxamrntei.jpg

 

To be more accurate these should be recessed into the plastic to lie flush. If I had the PE set from the start of the build I would do it but since the fuselage was already assembled I did not want to risk cracking any seams trying to get the parts to fit. Other useful bits from the exterior set are overlays representing the antennas in the rear face of the speed bumps and an overlay for the dump mast area

 

DSCN4321_zpsg0e4tkl1.jpg

 

DSCN4320_zps1gqtmywc.jpg

 

As these are sized for the HB kit they are a little small for the Academy kit but superior to anything I could accomplish so i used them anyway

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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Hewy    1,679

very nice pappy ,that is coming on really well, the fuel dump pipe at the back on my hobby boss kit is solid i need to address that ,was the acadamy kits vent like that or have you hollowed it out ,

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Pappy    1,782
5 hours ago, Hewy said:

very nice pappy ,that is coming on really well, the fuel dump pipe at the back on my hobby boss kit is solid i need to address that ,was the acadamy kits vent like that or have you hollowed it out ,

 

G'day Glynn,

 

The Academy dump mast is solid as well, but that is an easy fix.

 

Looking at my pics, I think I have attached the dump mast upside down :angry:

 

Pappy

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trickyrich    5,394

I agree, there's some nice work there, the strike camera and compass sail look great, much better than the HB rubbish. You did happen to cast a second set by chance? :whistle:

 

I had forgotten to ask, how are you finding the Academy model, better of worse than the HB beast, form the photos they seem to have avoided the HB issues??

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Pappy    1,782
3 hours ago, trickyrich said:

I agree, there's some nice work there, the strike camera and compass sail look great, much better than the HB rubbish. You did happen to cast a second set by chance? :whistle:

 

I had forgotten to ask, how are you finding the Academy model, better of worse than the HB beast, form the photos they seem to have avoided the HB issues??

G'day Rich,

 

I only cast for myself.

 

When Academy re-issued their F-111C/G boxing (in response to the HB kit release) they included a new sprue (Sprue S) which had a Pave Tack pod and post AUP panels  as well as the Compass Sail antenna  and strike camera fairing.

 

The Academy kit has some errors as already noted, but shape wise it is pretty accurate. It is a MUCH better starting point for any of the F-111 family IMO.  It falls down in the area of detail. If you can get the re-tooled version of the kit, the cockpit is much improved, though the sidewalls are still bare and the seats a still a little clumsy. The nosewheel bay is also the correct depth and much improved and the 'chined' wheels are also included, which are really nice and the correct size (the SD wheels are a little oversized, they almost touch the flipper doors) as well as including new hub details for the main wheels. If you want to build a clean (i.e wheels up, flaps and slats tucked in, canopy closed) F-111, the Academy kit is a doddle once you get past the forward/aft fuselage seam. Some modellers get daunted by it but it just needs a little preparation and effort.

 

HB seems to have copied a lot of the Academy errors and included plenty of their own. The canopy is completely wrong and really screws the long sleek look of the nose as the windscreen should be a flat taper in side profile to the fuselage and the bottom edge should be straight. HB has a bulged windscreen in side profile and the lower edge is curved. It also looks a little short. It makes the front look bug-eyed. If  your were to open the canopy doors, it would still look wrong, but less so. if you don't know the jet it would not be noticeable, but if you look at pic in side profile it jumps out at you.

 

G'day people,

 

A few more deets added to the cockpit. The throttles were added to both the middle and left console, as well as the escape capsule initiation handles. These should actually have a square opening in the middle, but I am happy enough as is.

 

DSCN4323_zpspxcbhfw2.jpg

 

The seats got worked over as well. The moulded in depiction of the seat belts (which are rubbish) was sanded off as my seats will be occupied

 

DSCN4324_zpsivdej7cb.jpg

 

It is not obvious in the crappy pic but the headrests were replaced and some details like the seat belt locking levers were added. Once all was done, they were painted up

 

DSCN4328_zpsqopxlura.jpg

 

Once dry they were installed ready for the crew

 

DSCN4329_zpscsvezfyh.jpg

 

DSCN4330_zpslucetp0u.jpg

 

Finally a test fit with the crew in place.

 

For those suffering with the HB kit note:

 

1. Academy got the canopy correct

2. It fits without modification :P

 

DSCN4331_zps5dk0ugg3.jpg

 

DSCN4332_zpspxrkkloq.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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