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As indicated over in the build thread HERE Here are a few more finished pictures, of a model that I've always wanted, built by kit-bashing a 1/72 Hasegawa F4B/N Phantom II kit, that eventually used NO aftermarket parts, NO resin parts, and NO vacuformed parts. I only used the parts in the Hasegawa box, some decals from the spares box, and of course, some decals printed on my inkjet printer at home. I should mention here that all the needed artwork is provided in the build thread, free for any NON-Commercial use, if you would care to try one yourself. The pictures: Give one a try -- you'll like it! Thanks for looking, Ed
Hello everyone. Let's all hope for a happier new year. Some time back, I acquired a DB Models F4H-1 Phantom II Prototype conversion kit for the Hasegawa F4B/N kit. I had earlier decided that building this combo would be my first build of the New Year. But, after successfully building my kit-bash of the Republic XP47J, and with new-found courage, I decided instead to swim upstream again! After all, how many of us 1/72 modelers are going to ever be able to find such a conversion kit (or possibly afford one!). The odds aren't good. SO, I decided to fight back, and see whether any reasonably skilled modeler could do it themselves, without an expensive conversion kit. This will be that attempt -- wish me luck! In any event, I have determined to try and use NO part of the conversion kit, although I WILL use the parts to help convert my own, and to gather the info on how to do so, which I will pass on to you. Here's the Hasegawa kit, one just re-released. The Hasegawa kit has a few irritating small fit issues, which can be overcome. Also an old complaint of this kit are very fine panel lines -- probably close to scale! -- which will mostly be obliterated in some areas. I can live with that, as all I want is the shape of that very first F4, and I will be happy. I sort of suspect that any of these Hasegawa F4 kits could possibly be used, but I'm not certain that all of the kits come with all of the optional parts parts that will help here. Other maker's kits -- I have no idea. Above right, the DB set comes with new intakes, a nose, and some metal parts, such as an ejection seat, nose probe instrument panels (plain) and some very nice decals. I shall shamelessly copy these as closely as possible, but out of plastic, except for the decals, of course. In looking at the project, it seems to me that the hardest conversion would be the intakes, so that's where I'll begin, on the theory that if I can't get past that, why continue? Just quit and fall back on the conversion set? As seen below, the Hasegawa kit (hereinafter referred to as "HAS") has two parts for the intake backplate, kit parts J3,4,5, and 6. They are shown in the photo as temporarily joined together: A little work to do here, to remove the front edge, leaving about 4.5mm as shown, and removing completely the other more-or-less arrow shaped parts on top and bottom. Above right, the modified parts are on the left, the stock kit parts on the right. The arrow points to where the tips of the splitter should be rounded slightly; in the case the upper one perhaps a little too rounded. Next, looking at the right intake, when the front edge of the splitter is shortened, it the becomes too thick at the leading edge, and needs to be thinned item "B". Line "A - A " needs to be glued up as straight and flat as possible, as the thinning will change the angles a bit. "C" shows where the upper leading edge if the kit intake is trimmed back a bit, to allow more gluing surface for a new front edge to be glued on: Above right, figure "C" shows the thicker, trimmed edge. My next thought was just to glue on a thin piece of plastic, which extended forward a bit more, to reshape the intake: Above right shows this idea a bit better, as well as showing the vents which will need filling. After filling and sanding on this area for a while, I soon found that getting the upper hood to curve down properly was not going very well. Suddenly, the light came on, and I determined that a curved piece added onto the front would would work much better, giving material to make the hooded, curved shape required. So I used a strip of the same plastic, held it over a screwdriver with a 8mm diameter shaft, and used a paint stripper gun set on medium heat to warm the plastic. As soon as it got warm enough, I set down the heat gun and used my fingers to bend the softened plastic into a 90-degree curved shape: Above right, this gives a better material around the curve. I suspect that a hair dryer, even the flame from a candle might work as well, care taken NOT to burn the fingers! Below, preliminary result are looking good compared to the resin parts. Just needs more refinement of the leading edge on both pieces: Above right, the toughest part of all may be replicating these vents, shown atop the DB Models resin part. Fellow modeler JohnR accomplished this on his build of a few years back, by using some decals, which he has stated he will try to find the masters of for my use here. Anyway, while not a build thread, his final product is outstanding! I will provide a link for your perusal HERE I doubt that my effort will look nearly as good as John's, but I will do what I can. As I've often said, I'm a much better builder than painter! Johnr, if you're watching, feel free to chime in with whatever comments or tips you'd care to share! Anyway, after a bit more massaging, they are coming along: Well, that's all for now. Hopefully, there will be more, when I figure out the next step... Thanks for looking in! Ed