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danielwood5

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  1. I'm going to join in here with this rather nice KA Models F-14A. My understanding is that KA Models are primarily an aftermarket company and that this is essentially a rebox of the Fujimi kit from the 80s bundled together with KA's aftermarket additions. Here's a closer look at the extras included; Plain brass parts; Coloured etch, turned brass pitot and canopy masks; There's also two sets of new wheels with the kit that are a different style to the ones included on the Fujimi sprue. I'm guessing these are correct for the included decal schemes but I've got no idea why there's two identical wheel sprues included. Normally I'd assume it's a mistake but the back of the box makes it clear that there's two included so I'm not sure of their thinking there. They're really nicely moulded though so I'll put them in the spares box for use on one of the other Tomcat kits I've got from other manufacturers. The decals are marked KA Models so I'm guessing they're printed in-house. They look like they're fantastic quality, perfect register with good colour density and minimal carrier film. They look very much like Cartograf decals so I'm hoping they behave in the same way. The only slight concern I have is that the fin decals for the Gunfighter scheme look a bit 'odd'. I think it's just because the black isn't printed on them but the detail on the missile looks a bit lacking to me. There's no way of telling how they will look without putting them on the kit so that may be a bit of a risk though, I'll have a think about that before starting though. The instructions are a single A3 sheet and are frankly anxiety inducing looking at them, no nice clearly laid out step by step booklet here! Here's the decal guide showing the marking scheme I'm going to attempt, I think this scheme great with the black detailing. One thing I really like about the decal guide is that it doesn't just give you a number for the decal, it also shows an image of each stencil showing it's orientation. This is such a user friendly way of doing this and I can't believe more companies don't do the same thing. This is the very best part of the decals though, glow in the dark formation lights! Amazing! I'll probably make a start on this over the weekend I guess, I have to admit I'm really looking forward to this one. I've recently completed the new Academy Tomcat and thoroughly enjoyed it so I'm hoping this will be just as much fun.
  2. More slow but steady progress with the Gripen. I've added belts to the seats and have now put the front section of the aircraft together. I put the intakes on before joining the two halves or adding the interior as this seemed the best way to avoid any damage due to the inevitable sanding and fettling involved in getting them in place. The fit of the intakes was actually pretty good and just needed some neatening of the seams for a good fit. There is an insert on the port intake where the refuelling probe is located, an insert is used here as the probe can be posed either open or closed. I've gone for closed but the insert for the closed panel is another poor fit so required some more filling, sanding and rescribing. Once the refuelling panel was looking OK I added the completed cockpit insert. Then I closed the two halves up. The fit here was again pretty good and required only minimal seam clean up. I'm pretty pleased with how the seats with their homemade belts came out. They may not be completely accurate but I think the overall look of the interior is perfectly acceptable for a closed canopy 1/72 model. I made an attempt at fixing the mirrored detail on the underside of the wing and have drilled and scribed new vents. There's a long thin piece of trunking with a vent on the end that is moulded on the wrong side of the piece (on the right hand side of the cut out for the rear fuselage in the photo below) that I attempted to recreate using styrene strip in the correct position. These attempts didn't go well though, basically the styrene I have is too thick and too wide and my attempts to cut and sand it to the right size were pretty poor. I decided to remove my attempt and have repaired the damage I made to the plastic. I felt that I'd prefer to have neatly moulded detail in the wrong place than keep my scruffy effort in the right position. I thought it was worth pointing these errors out for anyone else that fancies building this kit. I've also been working on the speed brakes, there's been a lot of filling, sanding, filling, sanding, scribing, fulling, sanding, etc, etc, etc with these but I think they're looking OK now. I need to give them a quick coat of primer to see how they look but they're getting there thanks to the advice of @Dave Swindell and @trickyrich.
  3. Thanks for the advice @Dave Swindell it's good to know that I was thinking along the right lines. I've read my way through your build thread and picked up lots of tips, lots of extra work too looking at all the upgrades and corrections you made! Can I ask how you added the removed mirrored trunking on the lower wing? I'm not sure whether to leave it or not, but as I joined this build as a way to stretch myself and try new things I think I'll have a go at fixing the error.
  4. While I've been weathering and finishing off the seats I put together the rear fuselage. The fit was really good and involved very minimal seam clean up, the biggest issue was a self inflicted scar from the cutters on a sprue attachment point but a dob of sprue-goo and a few sanding stick swipes and the problem was gone. There's a tiny tiny aerial moulded onto the bottom of the fuselage that I can pretty much guarantee won't be there towards the end of the build, hopefully the photo below will remind me to check it after painting and decaling and will give me a reference of where the replacement should go. Once the rear fuselage was built I was going to fit the speed brakes in the closed position. Th instructions have an error here and they tell you to cut off the opening jack if you want to pose them open when it should be the other way round. This is fairly obvious when you look at the parts though so shouldn't be an issue really. The biggest issue with the speed brakes is that the fit is terrible in the cut outs for them; They sit too deep and there are gaps around the edges, this shouldn't be too difficult to fix using plasticard shims but the gaps around the curved fairing are a different matter, the gaps are huge and part of a pretty complicated shape. These should be completely flush but there are huge holes on both sides of both speed brakes, I think they're moulded like this so that the brakes can be posed open but it isn't helpful if you want them closed. Here's how it should look closed; I'm really not sure what to do with this, I'm thinking of adding some thin plasticard packing and then using Milliput to add the missing fairing section as I believe that can be moulded and shaped while it is still wet. At this point in my modelling career though I haven't really had to deal with anything like this and have never used Milliput so this could be either a useful learning experience or a terrible mistake that kills this kit off!
  5. Thanks both, it's coming along slowly but surely! Thanks for the top tip there, I don't tend to put dummy/training munitions on my builds so I'll definitely try my best to remember this.
  6. Progress on the Gripen has ben slow but steady, I've been putting in 20 -30 minutes in every day on the Gripen while I'm finishing off a couple of other projects. First off I put the seats together, these are little odd as they have moulded on belts on the headbox but not on the rest of the seat. They're also hollow on the back but looking at the instructions it looks like you would be able to see this as the backs of the seats don't sit against a bulkhead. I used styrene strip to fill these gap. I then painted them with Vallejo Nato Black and have started the detail painting in them. I'm going to make up belts with tape and will attempt to make them look OK using detail painting. it's amazing how rough these look when zoomed in so much, they look fine to the naked eye though, honestly! I've also painted, assembled and decalled the cockpit section, there's some very delicate throttle levers to add in here that I managed to get in place without mishap. The control sticks were both covered in flash though which took some careful clean up to get them looking acceptable. Overall though it looks perfectly acceptable to me as an out of the box effort. I'll do some minor weathering in there just to add a bit of life, just my handling of the rear bulkhead has added a little 'natural' weathering on there so I'll aim to get the rest of the 'pit looking similar. Lastly I've started putting together the armament, I'll be using the RB15s @Marlin and IRIS-T @Christer A as they're not the usual Sidewinders or whatever, it will have Sparrows on there though along with a central fuel tank. I'll do bits of work on these while the rest of the build is progressing, I recently made the 1/72 Academy F-14 (wonderful kit by the way) and left the weapons till last, finishing them off when the rest of the model was finished felt tedious in the extreme.
  7. I'm going to stick with the kit colour scheme, this is the first modern jet I've made so I want to test myself and have a good go at making a fairly plain grey scheme look visually interesting. I prefer to make the standard 'everyday' colour schemes too although that Czech one does look fantastic.
  8. You piqued my curiosity there @Bertie Psmith so I did a bit of a Google search and came up with nothing so I'm glad @Christer A shared his knowledge there, it's an interesting way of detonating the canopy that's for sure.
  9. Sprues have been washed and all ready to start the build now. Here's the the obligatory sprue shots; Sprues look good overall with only minor flash on some of the smaller parts, the breakdown of the airframe means that the fit of the parts is going to need to be good to get it to go together well. No issues with the clear sprues either, after a quick Google search I can see that the seam down the middle canopy is there on the real aircraft so that means there's no messing about with scraping and polishing. Nice picture of the completed model on the front of the instructions, the weatherings a bit heavy for my tastes though. Only one scheme included in the box and it's very grey! Decals look good though, as they're marked 'Printed in Italy' I'm guessing they're Cartograf which means they should be no bother to use. Mercifully there's only a few stencils so decaling won't take over the majority of the time spent on the build. Next step is to take a look at the cockpit and get some paint stuck to plastic.
  10. Thanks Christer, I do use an airbrush but I have to stick to acrylics. I'm set up in a shared space without the ventilation to get away with lacquers unfortunately. I'm sure I'll be able to find equivalents though. Cheers Rich, I've had my first look at the plastic and looking at the sprues it looks quite promising, there's some rather meaty stores too as you say! "Isn't awful" is all I ask for from a kit to be honest! I'm looking forward to seeing how this one will go together.
  11. Hi everyone, I thought I'd jump in with this Gripen that I've had kicking about for a few years now. I picked it up cheap in a Hobbycraft sale and this GB has given me the shove to get it built. This isn't an aircraft I know a thing about so my first step will be to get a bit of research done, mainly into colours as Revell are obviously not the best with their colour callouts.
  12. Thanks for all the great replies everyone, they really helped.
  13. This will be a really easy answer for those in the know but is the rudder on the Gnat connected to the front wheel when it's being steered on the ground like on some WW2 tail draggers? I'm building Airfix's 1/48 Gnat (great kit by the way) and have modelled the rudder offset so now I'm wondering if I have to turn the nose wheel too. I haven't been able to find any photos online of a Gnat taxiing or information about how the steering mechanism works so I'm a bit stumped. Thanks.
  14. Just wanted to say thanks for these replies. I decided to try and make an approximation of this turret by 'frankensteining' together the two different sets of glazing that come with the kit, after I pretty much destroyed the backup turret trying to remove parts of the glazing I gave up on that idea and just used the turret that the kit recommends. I haven't found any photos of the turret used on the particular aircraft modelled so who's to say it didn't have the standard fit? After all, the Lancaster's in the squadron had different bomb bay doors fitted to various aircraft so we know they weren't all the exact same spec. That's my reasoning anyway!
  15. I don't know if it helps but for that build I used Humbrol 189 Insignia Blue for the dark blue colour, 157 Azure Blue for the light blue and 47 Sea Blue for the rudder. I think the camouflage colours came out well and the finished model looks close enough to the old colour photos for me, I'm very much a 'that's close enough' modeller though! I'd use a different colour for the rudder if I made this kit again, the match to the serial number isn't very good. It's a nice little kit though and I'm sure you'll enjoy putting it together, mine isn't my finest modelling effort but it takes pride of place in the cabinet purely because of the colour scheme.
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