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About uilleann

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  • Birthday July 21

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    Thurles - West

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  1. Hoping so Gents...hoping so. The Devil lies in the details of any kit, and I know that this particular aircraft seems ungainly to many on the best of days, and downright - almost offensively - ugly to most on every day. But I find it to be quite a marvel of engineering, geometry, and aerodynamics. The fact that it ever flew was incredible enough. Add to it what it was capable of, and the further designs it lead to (including the B-2, F-22, F-35 in the US alone), along with numerous other designs from other countries as well. Quite an ingenious thing the '117 was. And still almost entirely drawn up on paper.
  2. Progress continues - at a pace that would make a lethargic snail blush - but it continues nevertheless! Recent work on the Nighthawk has been almost exclusively virtual as opposed to practical of late. But with a touch of luck, and more than a little homework, I believe I've cracked something of an enigma concerning the RCS screens in front of the engines. Photographs always show the screens to look completely black - no light seems to pass through the screens to illuminate the engine faces, or indeed even the bright yellow coverall of ground crew standing immediately behind the screens (in the opening of the aux. blow in doors during a FOD inspection. This had perplexed me mightily for years, as I tried to work out precisely how, you could move enough air to keep the engines from stalling, but block any visible light getting through. Recently, I rediscovered an old illustration I'd come across years ago, but never paid close attention to at the time. It describes a principle of radar energy reflection and absorption utilizing wedge shapes deftly staggered and placed immediately ahead of the engine face roughly as follows: Utilizing that concept, and after a few long hours trying to re-learn SketchUp, I set about build something of a conceptual model of something similar. The result was surprising as anything. I was able to create a grid, that appeared on the face to look like a standard rectangular grid. But due to the numerous strange angles involved (geometry was *never* a strong suit of mine!), I was able to recreate a grid structure that was very open to airflow, but extremely difficult to see through directly. Subtle changes to the pitch and spacing of the horizontal wedges made a substantial difference in visibility - or the lack thereof - through the screen. In the end, I settled on a general design that I am quite pleased with: Now the big question is, can I get my sizing, angles, and final dimensions sorted out with enough accuracy to be viable in 1/32, and can I find a manufacturer with the ability to create the parts with the needed fidelity to truly look the business?! Time will tell of course, though it seems there are more and more high precision, short run capable companies that might just be able to help me pull this off. My hope though, is that this, perhaps with the addition of the photo etch frets I tried sorting out a while back, may just make this kit something particularly eye catching. Brian~
  3. I don't know which leaves me with greater hunger...the insane awesome build progress...or supper?!
  4. Just caught up with this build. Great work so far! Wow!
  5. Nigel - you're unequivocally MAD! Please never ever stop! Brian~ P.S. Where's the supper updates too??
  6. Well well...the old thread is still here. Look at that. I think it's a fair bet to say that 2016 on the whole was a particularly brutal year for many of us. The loss of so many incredibly talented artists and performers, and of course, our pup Mosey a year ago this month. Unfortunately, about a month after, my beautiful bride also lost her little brother to suicide. Needless to say, we're all forever changed. To say it's been hard to find the desire, and the happiness, in even simple things (like modeling again) would be massively understating our past year. But I have slowly felt some of that inner push to get back to the bench. In addition, the model store - the *only* model store anywhere near my house, that was a great place to find paints, tools, and random plastic and metal parts, went out of business and closed their doors forever. But - through it all, trying to keep calm and carry on. In addition to the above, my web hosting carrier was sold or some such nonsense over the past year, and all of my images got locked away in a new 'secure' file structure. Which required me to copy everything into a new directory, and then start the joyous task of going through one by one, and updating links to all the images in this now 4 year old thread. It was a treat I can tell you! I think I got everything sorted out, but if any of you good souls notice broken image pointers or links, and would be so kind as to let me know, I'll happily fix them asap. One of the last things I was working on here and there, was an attempt to sort out some custom PE parts for this kit. The gear door uplocks were one item in particular I was very interested in trying to get right (as they're fairly visible). And the more I looked at it, the exhaust vanes in the famous 'platypus' system used on the F-117A look quite different from the Trumpeter interpretation. So I added that to the PE workload. Still have a bit of tweaking to get final shapes and dimensions correct I'm afraid, but I am at least, closer than when I started. The current iteration looks something like this: Exhaust vanes, uplocks, and a few bits for the gear wells in general. I'm honestly not sure if I will ever get them to a satisfactory spot or not, but I'm determined to give it a go at least once. Again, a MASSIVE shout out to Peter over at airscale. The man has been nothing but absurdly giving of his time, skill, and boundless knowledge. He's quite a treasure, both in modeling badassery, but even more so in just amazing human being-ness... Here's to progress, no matter how small, or indeed how slow.
  7. It's fair. More fine in detail than the solid plastic parts to be sure. But it fails to capture the 3 dimensional depth, and the characteristic blockage of sight down into the F-117A's intakes. It's a difficult problem to solve at scale to be sure - and even the better kits from Tamiya and Trumpeter fail to represent the aspect faithfully.
  8. Photo etch doesn't properly represent the three dimensional properties however.
  9. An excellent build btw. Sorry, forgot to properly say so initially!
  10. These are called RCS (radar cross section) screens. They are not covered internally, and usually were only covered when workers might be performing maintenance near them, to protect them from inadvertent damage, when the a/c was sitting / in storage for an extended period. The screens themselves, sometimes also called the "ice cube trays", for their similar visual appearance to the freezer implement, were approximately two inches in depth. However the 'blades were angled and tilted in such a was that allowed 90% +/- airflow through, but made direct visual observation of the engine face all but impossible. Quite ingenious really - and is why they can't be seen through in any photographs. Hope that helps. It's an extremely difficult effect to properly replicate at scale. I've been searching for a viable means to do so for almost 10 years. So far no luck.
  11. Lived in Durango for a year, and flew out numerous times. I'm pretty certain any aircraft larger than a Citation would break the entire airport there! LOL
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