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  1. "Mad City Modelers", my local club, is having a group build with the them "The Year You Were Born". Having just finished my Red Baron F-104, I decided to stay with the century series and build a F-100 Super Sabre, which I'm claiming qualifies because it's first flight was on May 25, 1953. There are quite a few 1/72 kits of the "Hun", all of which have faults. Unsure which way to go, I posed the question to fellow BM'ers in this thread: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235110863-help-me-decide-172-f-100d-—-trumpeter-italeri-or-other/ and received a lot of very helpful advice. My first inclination was to use the Trumpeter kit, but given the amount of work that is needed to correct its inaccuracies (poor nose shape, and too narrow in the fuselage around the cockpit) and the fact that I'm under a deadline (just 6-weeks to finish), I decided instead to go with the old ESCI kit. Key items that need to be addressed there include: Open the nose inlet and add an intake trunk; replace the kit's rudimentary cockpit with Aires resin; add an Aires; add an Aires afterburner can & engine nozzle; and drop the wing's leading edge flaps. For markings, I want to model an aircraft of the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron (the "Tigers"), as my former father-in-law flew flew F-100s with the Tigers in the late-1950s (based at the time, I believe, at Woodbridge, England): ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My first task was to sort through my stash and find any kits and aftermarket items I might bring to bear for this project. Easier said than done, as my stash is pretty extensive: (And, that's just my airplane kits! I've a whole other set of shelves for my ship, space/sci fi, armor and automobile kits) Here's what I came up with: Four F-100D kits in 1/72: A bunch of aftermarket: And (to my surprise), some potentially useful resin upgrades: The Blackbird Models wings are drop-in replacements for the ESCI & Italeri kits, and come with the leading edge slats "dropped", which is the normal on-ramp condition for F-100s. The XMM intakes are intended for the Trumpeter kit and are designed to "correct" the poorly shaped nose (more on this topic, later). My going-in plan was to somehow squeeze the XMM nose & intake trunking and Aires cockpit into the ESCI fuselage: However, when I compared XMM's nose with that of the ESCI kit, I found a serious discrepancy: The top-to-bottom height of the ESCI inlet measures out to 7.5mm (very close to the 1/72 drawings in Bert Kenzey's "F-100 Super Sabre in Detail & Scale" book. The height of the XMM inlet opening is just 6.5mm. (Apparently, XMM's only correction to the Trumpeter kit's nose was to round off the overly-square lower corners of the inlet. The resin inlet's height is still undersize ). On to plan "B" . . . I opened up the front of the ESCI fuselage: and stole the inlet trunking parts from my Trumpeter F-100 kit: The Trumpeter pieces fit pretty well, but I did have to do a bit of carving on the ESCI plastic, especially around the rear of the nose gear bay: I also had to sand down the alignment pin on the starboard fuselage, just behind the nose: The intake trunk has long tabs on both sides that fit into slots on the inside of the Trumpeter fuselage. The slots aren't present in the ESCI kit, so I had to sand down the tabs to get the fuselage to close. I also ground down and flattened the top of the trunk to make room for the Aires cockpit: Aires provides two pages of instructions for assembling their F-100D cockpit set, but their only guidance for installing it into the fuselage is "Thinning of the plastic parts and dry fitting of the assembly needed!" And, by "thinning", they mean paper-thin -- to the point that light can be seen shinning through the plastic! After an hour or so of thinning and dry fitting, I eventually convinced the resin cockpit to fit: My next challenge was to make Trumpter's intake trunk, designed for an undersized nose inlet, to work with the larger, more accurate ESCI nose opening! For this, I stole a trick from @TheRealMrEd 's excellent F-100C build, in which he had replaced Trumpeter's too-small nose with an ESCI piece, and "adjusted" the Trumpeter trunk to fit. Here's a link to Ed's build, which I highly recommend to anyone building the Trumpeter kit: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235016447-the-best-172-scale-f-100c-i-can-build/ Following Ed's approach, I glued the Trumpeter pieces together, but only applied glue at the rear (leaving the front of the trunk unglued). I then temporarily installed the trunk into the ESCI fuselage, and taped the nose piece into place. Next, I used mini-alligator clips to force the upper and lower parts of the intake trunk against the top and bottom of the ESCI nose opening: and carefully glued scrap plastic "wedges" into the gap between the top & bottom trunk parts, taking care avoid getting glue onto the ESCI nose: After the glue had dried, I removed the trunking: and sanded/ground down the wedges into shape. I filled and puttied the gaps behind the wedges, and gave the interior of the trunk a few liberal coats of Mr. Surfacer 500. Here's the result of my work: There's some touchup needed, but that can wait until after the intake trunk and nose inlet are finally installed. I have a couple more items to show before this progress report is done: I assembled the Aires afterburner can & nozzle, and test fit them to the fuselage: I also test fit the Blackbird Models replacement wing. The fit is very good, with just a small gap (easily fixed) on the bottom (just behind the nose gear bay). I'm still undecided about whether to use the resin replacement, or instead use Trumpeter's wing. Since I've already stolen the intake trunk from my Trumpeter kit, I might as well take the wings, too! That's it for Day 1 of this project!
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