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Mike N

Flight of the Phoenix **COMPLETED**

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That's great work Mike! Just remember, you can buy kits that have fit issues worse than that! :)

J.

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That's great work Mike! Just remember, you can buy kits that have fit issues worse than that! :)

J.

Don't remind me. I still have nightmares about some of the kits I've encountered over the years (such as the 1/72 Airfix Concorde). Nothing a bit of Milliput can't fix I would think. Chopping out that wing mount and using plasti-card cut to the approximate shape of the good side would probably help as well (and if it is a little off, no worries given the jury rigged nature of the plane).

Now this bird is starting to look really good. Nice job there Mike. Or should we start calling you Heinrich? ;)

Edited by JMChladek

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Coming along nicely.
A very, very interesting work!

:thumbsup2:

Many thanks guys! :)

That's great work Mike! Just remember, you can buy kits that have fit issues worse than that! :)

J.

Haha, true enough! And none of them will seem quite as daunting from now on :rolleyes:

Don't remind me. I still have nightmares about some of the kits I've encountered over the years (such as the 1/72 Airfix Concorde). Nothing a bit of Milliput can't fix I would think. Chopping out that wing mount and using plasti-card cut to the approximate shape of the good side would probably help as well (and if it is a little off, no worries given the jury rigged nature of the plane).

Now this bird is starting to look really good. Nice job there Mike. Or should we start calling you Heinrich? ;)

Haha, I am already going grey, just need the thin-framed specs now :lol:

I think a lot of Milliput is more like it, with a bit of plasticard thrown in. It's not obvious in many shots in the film but there is definite asymmetry at the wing root on the upper surface, so I will aim to replicate this - hopefully it won't look too odd!

Not much chance for a lot of progress this week (or weekend) but will try to get a bit done - mainly filling and sanding probably :wacko:

Mike

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Not had a whole lot of time to work on this until today, so excuse the lack of startling progress!

I got the airframe filled and sanded, including the enormous cavity at the starboard wing root. That still needs some work but I think it will always look odd (and it's seldom shown in the film). I also added the undercarriage doors, and then rescribed new upper edges as the ones in the kit looked too high compared to the film. This would have made the skid struts look wrong (hard to describe what I mean!).

I turned my attention to the cowl and exhausts. Here I found why the C-119C kit has different cowls included; the exhausts are behind the cowls, rather than having mouseholes in the gills as per the C-119G kit I'm using. Since the Phoenix seems to have the gills slightly open thoughout the film, I decided to cut them out and replace with thin plasticard which also gives a better scale appearance. I also made sure there were 10 instead of the 9 on the kit. As the exhausts themselves are quite exposed, I drilled out oval holes in the fuselage and then added plastic tube to the inside to give some depth. (You can just see these in the pics at the bottom of this post.)

Here's the kit part:

Phoenix054s.jpg

And here's after the mods:

Phoenix059s.jpg

Then I moved on to the part I was dreading - the struts for the skids. I had wanted to use plastic for these but at the correct size for 1/72 the struts were far too flexible, not good as they are splayed out quite a bit on the Phoenix. So I had no choice other than metal. Not only was this a lot harder to cut, I also had to drill all the lightening holes in 4 stages, gradually opening them out.

First I opened out slots in the fuselage and a lot of trial fitting resulted in the right size holes to suit the angle of the struts. To do the holes I started by adding masking tape and drawing a centre line and marking off at regular gaps. I then used a poster pin and hammer to make a divot so the drill bit wouldn't slip.

Phoenix055s.jpg

I then drilled progressively larger holes until I was happy with the result.

Phoenix056s.jpg

The final part was to superglue them into place and voila!

Phoenix057s.jpg

Phoenix058s.jpg

Next, I'll be tackling the skid cradle...

Mike

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Very nice, this is taking shape very well. Just a thought, considering the project you are recreating some of the poor fit may actually help to represent the actual plane they made in the movie. I am enjoyng watching you tackle this and look forward to seeing it reach prime and paint

Keep up the good work

Graham

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Very nice, this is taking shape very well. Just a thought, considering the project you are recreating some of the poor fit may actually help to represent the actual plane they made in the movie. I am enjoyng watching you tackle this and look forward to seeing it reach prime and paint

Keep up the good work

Graham

Thanks Graham! I might use that excuse about poor fit ;)

Great work.
Wonderful work Mike

Many thanks chaps, glad I'm keeping people interested :)

You've just invented Meccano!

Haha! All I can say is I hope they didn't have to hand-produce the bits like I have :jealous:

Just a quick update tonight. I got to work on the skid cradle (skis, Mr Moran, skis!) and made one to see how it looked.

I started off with stock section:

Phoenix062s.jpg

After some very rough scaling of freeze frames from the film I cut them down, sanded the curved shape to the front and back, and drilled in a bunch of lightening holes, again referencing the film for quantity and location. Some thin plasticard was cut for the underside:

Phoenix061s.jpg

It was then all glued together and the cut-out for the wheel completed. Yes, it has wheels! I'd never noticed before examining the film for this build. As they would probably have been pretty ineffective in reality, all I can assume is that they were added to match the flying version of the Phoenix where the skids were presumably cosmetic.

Phoenix066s.jpg

The wheel is one of the nose wheels from the kit. It is a good match and probably safe to assume that the original plane's wheels were used in the film. It is fitted very low to the ground though (protruding from the underside) so I'll be sanding away a lot if it to have it sit flat on the skids. Another thing I noticed was that there is an axle running between the two skids, so I'll be using brass rod for this which will be strong and allow me to attach the skids after painting.

Phoenix064s.jpg

Now I've got to make the other skid - yet more holes to drill! :hypnotised:

Mike

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It was then all glued together and the cut-out for the wheel completed. Yes, it has wheels! I'd never noticed before examining the film for this build. As they would probably have been pretty ineffective in reality, all I can assume is that they were added to match the flying version of the Phoenix where the skids were presumably cosmetic.

I rewatched the film yesterday and spotted the wheels, but they're not visible in all shots. I don't think they're meant to be there, on the in-universe Phoenix at any rate. There's a scene where they separate the boom from the stub of the wing then physically drag it away to leave room to attach the starboard wing. The skids slide over the top of the sand - if there were wheels in there then they would have anchored it in place.

I think the wheels were on the replacement aircraft they used for the final couple of shots after the actual Phoenix crashed (killing the stunt pilot, as noted in the final post-credit caption) and it was the skids which were mocked up.

Edited by GordonD

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Thanks for all the positive comments guys, really appreciate it! :)

I rewatched the film yesterday and spotted the wheels, but they're not visible in all shots. I don't think they're meant to be there, on the in-universe Phoenix at any rate. There's a scene where they separate the boom from the stub of the wing then physically drag it away to leave room to attach the starboard wing. The skids slide over the top of the sand - if there were wheels in there then they would have anchored it in place.

I think the wheels were on the replacement aircraft they used for the final couple of shots after the actual Phoenix crashed (killing the stunt pilot, as noted in the final post-credit caption) and it was the skids which were mocked up.

I haven't got any pics from the boom separation scene, but in the daylight shot just after that they are visible:

5.jpg

They are also apparent in all the other pics I have subsequent to then (although only just visible due to their low positioning). Maybe they added the wheels after the move for your reason noted.

Both flying Phoenix aircraft had wheels (far easier to take off than on skids!). The Tallmantz P-1 wheels are very noticable, see the Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallmantz_Phoenix_P-1

On the stand-in O-47 used after the crash of the original the skids are purely cosmetic, the real aircraft's wheels retracting into the wings as usual. Perhaps ironically this is the only Phoenix not to have wheels in the skids themselves.

Mike

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I haven't got any pics from the boom separation scene, but in the daylight shot just after that they are visible:

5.jpg

Mike

Hmm, you're right, and I'd overlooked the fact that when they drag the plane sideways it's sliding not on the sand itself but on the strips of metal which would actually hold the wheels clear of the sand.

Of course we never see the plane landing at the end of the film - if it came down on a conventional tarmac runway then the wheels would presumably be required. As they would have no way of knowing where they would end up they would include the wheels as a safety measure.

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Of course we never see the plane landing at the end of the film - if it came down on a conventional tarmac runway then the wheels would presumably be required. As they would have no way of knowing where they would end up they would include the wheels as a safety measure.

That's a fair assumption. Who knows how it lands, it looks like they climb out of a ravine at the end! Who ever said films make total sense and logic?? :lol:

Mike

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Well, my build can do Mach 5 and has thought controlled missiles, so clearly logic is very important! :) Looking great Mike, can't wait to see some pics of her all together...

J.

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That's a fair assumption. Who knows how it lands, it looks like they climb out of a ravine at the end! Who ever said films make total sense and logic?? :lol:

Mike

That's true. For instance, how does anybody know that Citizen Kane's last word was "Rosebud"? He was alone when he died...

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Final touches prior to primer going on...

To attach the struts to the skids, I had to make a best guess as to how this might have been done, as the joint is hidden in shadow or by people in the film. As the skids are able to pivot I decided to make a lug for the rod (axle) to pass through. I used some plastic tube with an inside diameter the same as the rod, cut down to the thickness of some plasticard that suited the struts. The plasticard had a hole drilled to match the external diameter of the tube, and was then cut to just sit over the tube with the other end inserted into the strut.

If you can't understand my ramblings above, maybe you'll be able to make out some of what I mean in the pics!

Phoenix069s.jpg

Here I used the full length of the rod to check that the wings were level by measuring the gap between the rod and the wingtips; I could adjust the lug height in the strut to make it so:

Phoenix068s.jpg

And here she is with the skids attached. You can also see a couple of other things I did. I scratchbuilt an intake for the top of the cowl (erm, not added in this shot, but it is in the pics below!), even the film version was knocked together, again to replicate a C-82. I also used Milliput to build up the fuselage between the cockpit and the cowl as the film shows them level and the kit wasn't. This would have caused problems when I come to adding the windshields in that area.

Phoenix071s.jpg

So with main assembly complete, she is ready for primer!

Phoenix072s.jpg

Phoenix074s.jpg

I managed to get the Halfords primer on this evening after work, taking advantage of the break in the rain showers! (I have primed indoors before - never again as it goes everywhere!). Pics will follow later in the week, I need to check for any remedial work before starting painting. Hopefully that will start at the weekend!

Cheers,

Mike

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Really great work Mike - I smiled when I saw you start this thread as I have had an urge to attempt this for the last 30-odd years!

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