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Jon Bryon

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Posts posted by Jon Bryon


  1. Sadly things are not progressing well. For the first time in ages, Mr Color has failed on me and lifted in patches. Since the Mr Surfacer primer is still good, I believe this is because I handled the primed model for a while without gloves. I have found in the past that Mr Color is *extremely* sensitive to my skin oils.

     

    Nothing for it but to press on and deal with fixing this once all the stripes are done. I fear the problem will repeat itself in other areas...

     

    49561996198_0467ff3a24_b.jpg

     

    49562497331_97bf6a55f5_b.jpg

     

    Thanks for looking

     

    Jon

    • Like 2
    • Sad 1

  2. 4 hours ago, Seawinder said:

    You're probably right. I think what I was remembering was the Blue Angels planes had the Super Fox intakes, so one would have to compromise in building one of the kit markings options OOB.

    Yeah, I think that's right.

     

    Jon


  3. 35 minutes ago, Seawinder said:

    Yes, I built that kit. OOB it's an -E since it doesn't provide the Super Fox intakes. It does have options for hump- or non-humpback.

    You can make a regular F from it as I think the intakes were only modified on up-engined A-4Fs used very late in fleet service and as aggressors.

     

    Jon


  4. Brief update now that painting the stripes has started. It's taken an entire morning to apply my pre-made mask and spray the stripes on one wing. Given that this is the easy bit (apart from the vortex generators), doing the entire airframe is going to take absolutely ages...

     

    Mask as cut on my Silhouette cutter:

     

    IMG_1071

     

    Mask applied and some of the stripes sprayed. I am approaching this a section at a time:

     

    IMG_1069

     

    IMG_1072

     

    Some of the mask removed. There will be touch-ups...

     

    IMG_1073

     

    Thanks for looking.

     

    Jon

    • Like 7

  5. Kingkit have a few, mostly M models. I don't know for sure, but I would imagine the Blue Angels F boxing has all the parts for any E/F model except those fitted with the Super Fox intakes.
     

    https://www.kingkit.co.uk/shop.php?search=kitfinder&search_term=skyhawk&brand=140&cat=26&scale=1^48

     

    It's also worth bearing in mind that if you can find the Pro-Modeler Blue Angels A-4 kit, that was also Hasegawa plastic.

     

    I've built 5 Hasegawa A-4s and I'm currently working on another 4 simultaneously. They are not without their faults, but they are nice kits. The A-4B is particularly good-looking IMO.

     

    Jon


  6. Well, I don't think I'm well-suited to writing WIP threads! I'm far too inconsistent with updates - sorry about that.

     

    All four airframes are basically finished now and it's time to focus on one at a time for the painting. First up is the A-4E in the two-tone tiger stripe aggressor scheme. All paints are Mr Color.

     

    The undersides are all painted and coated with Tamiya X-22 for some protection:

     

    49547990337_3ab7e9ff3b_o.jpg%22 

     

    Painting is well underway on the top surfaces. I'm a fan of the black-basing method which I'm halfway through:

     

    49547265243_aaa47a77ee_o.jpg

     

    49547760651_57fa88fa90_o.jpg

     

    The intakes were added after priming, painted, and then sanded in and re-primed. The was to make sure the area behind the intake splitter was correctly painted:

     

    49547760901_3f8ec37305_o.jpg

     

     

    The refuelling probe has been dealt with separately and is temporarily fitted in place here:

     

    49547990502_49f8dcc7a4_o.jpg

     

    The tailplanes have been more or less finished. The tiger stripes were masked using vinyl cut on a Silhouette cutter from drawings I made. They work ok, but for the next tiger striped aggressor I make (which will be an F-5E) I will just go with handcut masks.

     

    49547265128_3346f360ea_o.jpg

     

    49547990612_a8895b37cf_o.jpg

     

    The flaps and slats are all done. Here's a flap showing the slight streaking from the black basing:

     

    49547990422_a3140c7ec7_o.jpg

     

     

    The undercarriage is also basically done. Here is the nose leg. The oleo is Bare Metal Foil, but I won't use that again - the shape is too complex and the foil struggles to adhere where the surface area is small.

     

    49547990392_aea799aae0_o.jpg

     

     

    Well that's all for today. I'm aiming to get this one done by mid-March if not sooner. The main challenge will the masking of the stripes on the fuselage, especially at the wing roots and underneath the intake bulges on the fuselage.

     

    Cheers

     

    Jon

     

    • Like 8

  7. Building in quadruplicate means many hours of work without much apparent progress!

     

    Here is where we stand:

     

    49450858406_e587569f09_b.jpg

     

     

    Fuselages:

     

    These are mainly finished with the fuselage halves all together, the inserts faired in and the main intakes added (the fronts will go on later). Detail has been rescribed and all the seams eliminated.

     

    This will be a bit repetitive, but here is the A-4E:

     

    49450858436_10ba0c5bec_b.jpg

     

    A-4L:

     

    49450858466_c262db56d7_b.jpg

     

    A-4H - note the reinforcement plates present on the E around the intakes have been removed:

     

    49450377298_5e00756097_b.jpg

     

    And here's the underneath of the TA-4J:

     

    49450377348_40e4ea222d_b.jpg

     

    Wings:

     

    The leading edge lights, which are a terrible fit, have been faired in with superglue and polished:

     

    49450858731_bab06e4e0e_b.jpg

     

    One major fault with the Hasegawa A-4 is that the leading edge slat 'bay' is recessed into the wing. It should be a smooth transition to the rest of the wing without a lip. Having already built five Hasegawa Skyhawks without caring about this inaccuracy, I was prepared to do the same with these four. However, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to see if I could fix the issue. 

     

    The first step is to use some 0.4 x 1.6mm Evergreen plastic strip superglued against the lip:

     

    49450377423_18a1cb212d_b.jpg

     

    This looks a mess. After sanding it down with progressive sanding sticks (400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2500 and 4000) it looks like this:

     

    49450377498_294ba94044_b.jpg

     

    You can see I've used some washi tape to minimise damage to the surrounding area. The brown circles are where there are some imperfections that need a drop or two of superglue. Once these are added and sanded down, the finished wing looks like this:

     

    49451088252_61ffe5a96a_b.jpg

     

    Some of the recessed detail needs to be rescribed in, which has been done and highlighted here: (Note that this photo is of the first wing I did where I snapped off the slat actuator during the sanding process. This was prevented on the later wings by using the washi tape.)

     

    49450858701_0ff967cce1_b.jpg

     

    Bits and Pieces.

     

    Many other happy (!?) hours have been spent cleaning up a ton of pieces: landing gear, gear doors, slats, flaps...

     

    49450377688_7ac9b4cdfa_b.jpg

     

    And when not in the modelling room, I've been doodling away at adapting the decal instructions into a masking stencil for the A-4E:

     

    49451343877_69ff2f2ca4_b.jpg

     

    Well, that's enough on the internet. I'm off to finish the last wing...

     

    Thanks for looking

     

    Jon

     

    • Like 7

  8. I've spent a good few hours on these kits today, and progress is good, although not that exciting to look at! I think I'll divide this post up into the individual models. Apologies for the poor image quality; one of my LED bulbs failed and I'm going to have to start to use a tripod for the in-progress shots so I can get a longer exposure and a decent depth of field.

     

    1. A-4E:

     

    The fuselage is basically now done and the intakes have been added, but not smoothed in.

     

    Rear fuselage insert on its way to being blended in to the fuselage, and the white plasticard 'cover' behind the exhaust has been faired in:

     

    img_1022.jpg?w=1000

     

    When painting the intake interiors with Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 White I took the opportunity to spot prime the upper fuselage seam, which is looking pretty good:

     

    img_1024.jpg?w=1000

     

    With the wing temporarily fitted in place and the intakes added. Next steps will be fairing in the intakes:

     

    img_1027.jpg?w=1000

     

    2. A-4L

     

    Superglue added as a filler around the rear fuselage insert. I hate this piece.

     

    img_1021.jpg?w=1000

     

    Spot priming the upper fuselage seam with Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 White:

     

    img_1028.jpg?w=1000

     

    Intakes added:

     

    img_1029.jpg?w=1000

     

    Spot priming the rear fuselage insert. Marks indicate some more work is required. You can also see the plasticard cover behind the exhaust fitted and sanded down for this airframe.

     

    img_1030.jpg?w=1000

     

    img_1031.jpg?w=1000

     

    3. A-4H

     

    Areas marked out that need removing/filling for the H model:

     

    img_1023.jpg?w=1000

     

    Nose now sorted:

     

    img_1033.jpg?w=1000

     

    Superglue in place as a filler ready for sanding out tomorrow (hopefully!):

     

    img_1034.jpg?w=1000

     

    img_1035.jpg?w=1000

     

    4. TA-4J:

     

    Fuselage has been glued together with super glue and awaits the joints being sanded down next week:

     

    img_1036.jpg?w=1000

     

    And finally:

     

    Intakes for the H and J still need to be fitted once their fuselages have been cleaned up:

     

    img_1039.jpg?w=1000

     

    Wings are now all glued together with Mr Cement S and will be cleaned up in due course:

     

    img_1037.jpg?w=1000

     

    That's it for now. It's all looking very grey, and will do for some time as construction continues.

     

    Thanks for looking

     

    Jon

     

    • Like 5

  9. This is why it's a good idea to keep all the spare parts.

     

    Here are all my spare rear fuselage inserts from the nine Hasegawa A-4s I've made/am making:

     

    img_1015.jpg?w=1000

     

    The reason this is useful is that all those little 'nubs' (each part has two of them) are easily lost from the insert and from the fuselage parts during sanding. With all these spares I can remove those nubs on the kit I'm building, attend to all the seams, and then replace the nubs with spares sliced from parts first. Obviously I try and slice them from the kit first, but I need a good source of spares to make up for those that get lost, or get damaged when slicing them off, etc. Here's one of the replacements in place:

     

    img_1016.jpg?w=1000

     

    The fuselage of the A-4H is now together and my focus is repairing the seams on the L and H. The brown areas circled are for removal for the Israeli H:

     

    img_1017.jpg?w=1000

     

    So here's where I stand at the moment. The E has been rescribed and has some thin white plastic card glued in place behind where the exhaust will sit to cover the seam in this area.

     

    img_1018.jpg?w=1000

     

    Thanks for looking

     

    Jon

    • Like 6

  10. This may not have been the best choice for an inaugural WIP! Progress worth sharing will be slow as everything has to be done four times.

     

    I've already built 5 Hasegawa A-4s in the past, and so I am well aware of many of the issues. The kits are nice, but depend heavily on inserts to cater for variations between all the different versions. In my experience, nearly all these inserts do not fit nearly as well as they should.

     

    The nose for the A-4E is pretty much done. That lump in front of the windscreen took a while to get into shape; we'll see later how it looks against the windscreen. The joints don't look great in the bare plastic because the super glue leaves a black line, but the joint is invisible and soon rescribing in the lost detail will commence.

     

    img_1006.jpg?w=1000

     

    Here's the fuselage spine for the A-4E. Again, the joints look a mess but it's all smooth. You will have to see the photos of this area when the thing is finished to believe me! The insert at the base of the front of the tail fin is too narrow and I have not finished the joints here yet. The navigation light mount is difficult to sand around and again there will be a lot of detail to rescribe in this area.

     

    img_1009.jpg?w=1000

     

    This is the tail of the A-4E. That large semi-circular insert is always a difficult fit, being a bit too narrow. There is a lot of detail to try and preserve and some to replace. The joints are not perfect here by any stretch of the imagination and I will try and get away with rescribing some of the lost panel lines to hide the worst of it. The airbrakes are a tight fit and I intend to leave these undressed as they often stand out in photos of the real thing.

     

    img_1010.jpg?w=1000

    img_1012.jpg?w=1000

     

    More inserts are visible here. I am not too worried about the centreline seam as this will largely be covered by the tailhook.

     

    img_1011.jpg?w=1000

     

    The tip of the tail is a separate part that's also too narrow:

     

    img_1013.jpg?w=1000

     

    So the E model is coming along. I've started on the L as well, beginning to deal with the joints around the hump and nose. I'm remaining positive that what looks a mess now will all come good in the end:

     

    img_1014.jpg?w=1000

     

    That's all for now. It will be more of the same for a while!
     

    Cheers

     

    Jon

     

     

    • Like 7

  11. A couple of hours' work before I head to bed.

     

    The weight has been added to the noses, using a combination of steel bearings and small lead balls. I think the latter is sold as ballast for model train rolling stock to weight it down; somewhat cheaper than buying Liquid Gravity. It's all superglued in there: (A-4H and TA-4J)

     

    img_0999.jpg?w=1000

     

    The fuselage halves are glued together with thick superglue on all visible joints. Invisible joints, like the bottom of the fuselage which will be covered by the wing, and the rudder trailing edge, are glued with Extra Thin liquid cement. I use superglue because it's the only reliable way I have found to eliminate ghost seams and get invisible seams. It's certainly pretty brutal to start with and you have no working time for alignment: (A-4L)

     

    img_1000.jpg?w=1000

     

    Work then starts on sanding down the joints. With kicker, this can happen minutes after the fuselages have been joined. I use Infini sanding sponges and sticks as my main weapons of choice, with plenty of other sanders on hand as required (especially those made by Wave). This part is now actually my favourite part of the whole modelling process: eliminating the seams. Here's a start on the upper nose of the A-4E:

     

    img_1001.jpg?w=1000

     

    This is all then polished through the various grits to end up with a reflective surface. I go from 400 or 600 up through 800, 1000, 1500, 2500 and then the 4000 buffer. The joint can then be held up to a light for inspection. It looks like there is still a gap, because the super glue is acting as a filler and a darker colour than the plastic. However, there is no seam at all and this can be visually seen when held to an acute angle with a bright light. I then check the seam, as I have done here, by dragging a needle under its own weight back and forth across the seam. If it catches or moves, you know you still have work to do. If the needle moves smoothly across the joint along its length, then it will be invisible. What I love about this process is that it takes minutes and is 99% accurate at determining the quality of the seam work; I almost never have to readdress any seams after the primer is down because the inspection work is all done at this stage: (A-4E; the hole is meant to be there)

     

    img_1003.jpg?w=1000

     

    img_1005.jpg?w=1000

     

    That's it for tonight. Now there will be many happy hours of sanding down seams, to be followed by rescribing all the lost detail in.

     

    Cheers

     

    Jon

     

     

    • Like 11

  12. A fair amount of work today without much to show for it. The closing of the fuselage halves is close...just mustn't forget the nose weight!

     

    I haven't got time to spend on detail that won't be seen, so the cockpits are pretty basic (the canopies will all be closed) and the exhausts, whilst painted, are really there just to fill the hole. The intake trunkings have been done but the photos don't show how white the trunking is and how aluminium the fan blades are.

     

    cockpit9.jpg?w=1000

     

    cockpit10.jpg?w=1000

     

    • Like 8

  13. This is my first WiP thread. I am not sure how it will develop. It will definitely end up with four finished aircraft, but how well I chart my progress to that final goal remains to be seen; I'm yet to see how much work is involved in keeping one of these updated...

     

    The aim is to make Hasegawa's 1/48 A-4E as this (stock from the kit with Fight's On decals):

     

    149977-1.jpg

     

    and their 1/48 A-4L as this (kit markings):

     

    a-4l-1975.jpg

     

    and their A-4H as this (kit markings):

     

    a-4-snipped-1.jpg

     

    and finally their TA-4J as this (kit markings):

     

    158094-745-1.jpg?w=1000

     

    At this stage the plan is to make them all OOTB.

     

    Thus far I have made some progress with the cockpits. For the first time I've tried painting with magnification, in this case using a x10 hand lens from my distant geologist past. Not ideal, but it was a revelation. The grey is Mr Color 317 and the black is Lifecolor. I've done the painting with an old paintbrush; with a decent brush and slower drying paint, this could definitely be a lot better. However, since all the canopies will be closed and the view into the cockpits is very restricted (at least in the single seaters), this will be adequate for now. The cockpits are very small - even the most zoomed-out image here is larger than real life.

     

    cockpit1.jpg?w=1000

    cockpit2.jpg?w=1000

    cockpit3.jpg?w=1000

    cockpit4.jpg?w=1000

    cockpit5.jpg?w=1000

    cockpit6.jpg?w=1000

    cockpit8.jpg?w=1000

     

    That's it for today. Next goal is to get the cockpits finished, the interior intakes done and the fuselages all together. Progress may be a little slow...

     

    Thanks for looking.

     

    Jon

     

    • Like 15

  14. I ordered the Modelsvit P-51H (which was an excellent price) and had similarly good service. All arrived fine with a free pen and sprue cutter (I think he was running a free gift promo at the time). Like the OP I was a bit nervous, having never heard of this trader before and being burned by Final Touch/Ess Jay Models back in the day (also hailed from Essex, I think). Dave Coley's prices are very good and I will keep an eye on his stock in future.

     

    Jon


  15. Last one for 2019: Airfix's 1/48 Seafire F.XVII with markings from the kit. Only additions are an Eduard PE harness and Master gun barrels (I know, I know, wrong for shape for a Seafire...). Paint is MRP (top) and Mr Color (underneath). First attempt at hairspray chipping and first real attempt at using oils over a flattish clear coat. Full build article and more photos here: https://jonbryon.com/airfix-1-48-supermarine-seafire-f-xvii/

     

    Comments welcome & thanks for looking.

     

    Jon

     

    seafire17_08.jpg

    seafire17_09.jpg

    seafire17_23.jpg

    seafire17_27.jpg

    seafire17_32.jpg

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    seafire17_48.jpg

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    seafire17_61.jpg

    seafire17_62.jpg

     

    seafire17_65.jpg

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    seafire17_71.jpg

    seafire17_72.jpg

    seafire17_73.jpg

    seafire17_82.jpgseafire17_87.jpg

    seafire17_90.jpg

     

    • Like 47

  16. 10 hours ago, MeneMene said:

    Do you remember if you ended up having to take away much of the plastic on the fuselage side of the join? Or were you able to do the whole thing with the milliput? About how far up the fin did you go with the milliput, if you remember?

     

    Thanks

    I did not remove much plastic and just did the whole thing with Milliput. I don't think I went that far up the tail. In the subsequent sanding I would have removed some of the plastic base.

     

    Jon


  17. Just now, MeneMene said:

     

    That picture looks great! There is hope after all.

     

    Just to clarify, you glued on the new tail, and then laid down the milliput in the gap along the step and sanded smooth? Any technique tips?

    Yep, that's what I did. Only technique tip I can offer is to rescribe in the Milliput using a razor saw.

     

    My modelling has improved a lot since then, so the final model was not great, but that joint did tidy up rather well :)

     

    Good luck!

     

    Jon


  18. 9 hours ago, MeneMene said:

     

    Any suggestions?

     

    I used this set back in 2015 on the two-seater and found exactly the same problem. I wrote about it here: https://jonbryon.com/mig15uti-html/

     

    In the end I used Milliput Superfine White to smooth the transition and it looked like this when done:

     

    mig15uti_017.jpg

     

    mig15uti_019.jpg

     

    I agree that it's not worth the effort.

     

    Jon

    • Like 1
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