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Pappy

1/48 Kinetic Alpha Jet A

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G'day people,

Some of you may already have seen some of my progress in the GB forum under the 'Training Types'. I wasn't 100% sure that the QinetiQ operated jets were actually a training unit (the GB is for training types in the markings of a training unit) and the Moderator was not aware of my gaffe until I pointed it out. We decided that the main forum would be a more appropriate home. Here are the three posts that were over in the GB forum:

Post 1

Well, I plan on doing this one in the green/grey camo of the ex Luftwaffe "QinetiQ" scheme.

So far I have been cleaning parts up and getting the sub-assemblies together.

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I have strayed from the assembly sequence slightly and attached the outer intake parts directly to the ducts instead of the fuselage. I think this will result in a neater seam between the two parts and it will not effect the fit of the fit of the assemblies at all.

I don't want to add too much stuff to the kit cockpits as being a training type, they are relatively clean and simple arrangement. My references show that the sidewalls are smooth skinned and there are only a few details to be added. I began by adding the portable wander lights beneath the cockpit sill and a couple of circuit breaker boxes.

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The left side got a couple of gubbins as well,

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That done, my attention turned to the exterior of the fuselage. Kinetic has engineered the kit so that multiple variants can be built from the same mould. In order to do this, several drop in panels must be added. The instructions call out the various panels specific to for different variants i.e A, B, E etc, however, at no point do they let the builder know what variant each of the construction options are! Fortunately, I know that the Qinetic jets are ex Luftwaffe Alpha Jet A's, so I added all the panels that corresponded to the A variant.

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The panels fit without a struggle once cleaned up. I brushed some Mr. Surfacer 1200 around each panel and then removed the excess with a cotton bud moistened with metho. Note also that the builder must decide at this point how they wish to depict the airbrakes as optional parts for both open and closed brakes are provided.

Finally, I added little bit of detail to the cockpit tub. The right hand side of each cockpit has a recessed area for the map case. I added some .005" sheet to close off the map compartments.

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Some additional bits of scrap plastic were added behind the rear instrument panel coaming to depict The exposed electrical connectors and instrumentation visible from the front. Lead wire was added to 'busy' up the area.

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The rear cockpit map case was added as was some cabling to the rear bulkhead. Kinetic overlooked the rear cockpit throttle so I added that as well, although it is a little out of focus.

3059_zps07308581.jpg

cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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Post 2

The QinetiQ jets use different seats to the Luftwaffe A's (these were fitted with a Stencil seat) and in this case it is a variant of the MB.10. The kit only provides the MB seat, and these are very nicely done, in fact once of the best seats provided my a kit manufacturer IMHO. I only added the parachute withdrawal line to the top of the parachute headbox

3061_zpsb06cf770.jpg

The Alpha jet has two hard points per wing, and Kinetic have already opened the locating holes for these, which is a little annoying as the QinetiQ jets don't seem to carry any stores or even pylons in any of the pictures I have seen. I filled these holes with some plastic rod and sanded the stubs flush,

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The wingtip nav lights have were also installed. I found that these were slightly undersized for the recess they fit into.

The kit tub and sides have now been painted

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The more observant amongst you may have spotted the folded map sections poking out of the map cases. It adds a little life I think.

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The instrument panels have very delicate raised detail that represents the instrument details. Careful brush painting brings the details out but the kit really needs some instrument face decals, in 1/48 scale with that large canopy, the detail is noticeable. No doubt the PE people will release a PE set soon which will remedy this situation but a simple inclusions of the instrument faces on the decal sheet would have been nice.

3020_zpsf674333c.jpg

cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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Post 3

The following may contain some technical jargon, so apologies if I lose anybody.

I had a play with the 'zorsts and intakes today.

First off, I painted the swirly fan bits

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Then the hot wooshy bits

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I then spent a pleasant couple of hours sanding away at the seams inside the intakes. Everyone has their own favourite method. Mine is to lay down several layers of 'sprue glue' (sprue offcuts dissolved in liquid glue) to act as both a filler and a smoothing agent. The glue solvent melts the styrene and when it dries and hardens, it leaves behind a layer of styrene, so in effect I am brushing on liquid styrene, and then sanding styrene, so the filler will sand at the same rate as the surrounding plastic. It also has the advantages that it is:

  • cheap (you already have all the materials)
  • does not shrink or crack
  • sands to a beautiful feathered edge
  • won't shrink
  • did I mention it is cheap!

Anyhoo, after about two hours I had had enough, I was satisfied that the joint was not only good, it was good enough!

Onwards to the fun stuff, painting the whoosh bang chairs

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If I have a gripe about the kit so far, it is that the instrument faces have no decals. I tried to remedy the situation by applying some Mike Grant's instrument decals. This was tedious, but it was an improvement I think

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And here are some shots of the whole shebang dry fitted just because it's pretty

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3032_zpsd56cd9da.jpg

cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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G'day people,

After a muddled start, I made it to the main forum. I hope everyone has caught up 'coz I am moving on :pilot:

The fuselage has been closed up

3041_zps20504e63.jpg

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There were only a couple of spots where it looks like there will be minor gaps. I applied my 'sprue glue' (mentioned in an earlier post) to these gaps so that you can see the results of the seam cleanup. These are the before shots showing the gloop brushed on and although t it looks wet, it is actually dry and hard.

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Meanwhile I have moved onto the next stage, the undercarriage assembly

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I have cleaned up the main assemblies. Kinetic have very thoughtfully broken the undercarriage units down to all the main articulated parts. This will not be everyon'e cup of chai, but I means that they can more faithfully capture the complex shape of the gear as well as make it easier to mould. For me, it also means it is easier to depict the gear in a different pose. I want to model my jet in flight with the gear retracting up (or down depending on your view?). The nose gear is relatively simple but the mains will require some study as they seem to perform quite a complicated number of evolutions before the gear enters the bay.

I would be very grateful for any pics inside the main gear as Kinetic have massively oversimplified this area. This is of course understandable as the main gear doors are mostly closed and usually only open when the gear cycles. Most people will just leave the main gears shut, but my AMS kicked in here :banghead:

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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G'day people,

The fuselage is inching along. I have added the vertical fin. The fit fits reasonable well but the fit can be improved by shaving some material from the top and sides where the front edge of the fin mates to the fuselage spine. There was a a small gap at the seam that I have smoothed over with Tamiya putty.

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Dry fitting the remainder of the fuselage parts shows that the fit is exemplary. here the intake ducts and the lower fuselage parts are dry fitted and the parts fit very well.

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I have also begun to assemble the undercarriage units in their retraction state

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After cleaning the parts up, the retraction jacks were removed from the tops of the main gear units. The next step was to attach the shock struts after adding the extended oleo portions from styrene rod. the wheels are only temp fitted. I have set these assemblies aside to dry before additional work can be carried out, I went back and finished painting the cockpit. My references show that the middle and rear bulkhead/turtle decks are black, so these were touched in with a brush. The forward portions of both instrument coamings also seem to have some sort of tan coloured cloth shroud fitted. I cheated and just painted these tan.

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I also test fitted the kit supplied PE HUD frame

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Schmicko!

Finally, I test fitted the front and middle canopy transparencies. I would prefer to find out about any nasty fit issues now instead of later!

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I am constantly surprised at how well all the bits fit together, the engineering in this kit is really very good indeed!

cheers,

Pappy

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Hey Pappy,

My little brother just graduated from ETPS in November last year so I have embarked on this same kit as a (belated) Christmas gift for him. Lovely work as always and some good pointers for my build so I will also follow with interest. Of course I will be using the current Black scheme befitting the jets he has been flying.

Cheers,

Ken

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Hey Pappy,

My little brother just graduated from ETPS in November last year so I have embarked on this same kit as a (belated) Christmas gift for him. Lovely work as always and some good pointers for my build so I will also follow with interest. Of course I will be using the current Black scheme befitting the jets he has been flying.

Cheers,

Ken

Merry New Year Ken!

Wow, I guess your brother is a little bit good at flying then?

This is a lovely little kit so far and it continues to impress me.

I did see a build log on another site where, quite frankly, the builder made quite a hash of the kit. His problems were mostly self induced. Every kit has its issues of course and this one is no exception. The fuselage assembly is a little complex due the multiple variants possible and the various different panels that are attached to facilitate this. So far, the only real gotcha I have found is that Kinetic have confused the flap hinge parts for flaps up/down, although it is pretty obvious which parts are which. The instructions depict the tyres with circumferential tread pattern, but the kit items are smooth and the instrument faces need to have a decal at least. I expect the aftermarket boys will rectify this minor niggles in due course (or you can buy the Wingman boxing) but otherwise if you take care this kit really just falls together. I started this kit on 4 Jan, so I think this is pretty rapid process for just 4 days.

I think that if I had not decided to do a wheels retracting pose that I would be ready to start painting. I am waiting for decals as it happens so I am not in any kind of rush,

cheers,

Pappy

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LOL...I think I know which building log you mean.

By the way...leave your hands off those Wingman "Superkits"! They are crap!!!

I have the German box and the only usable things are the decals...they are great, though...the seats and the cannon (as nobody else is doing the German parts).

There's a discussion over at ARC about the Wingman stuff. You should take a look before considering buying their "upgrades"

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LOL...I think I know which building log you mean.

By the way...leave your hands off those Wingman "Superkits"! They are crap!!!

I have the German box and the only usable things are the decals...they are great, though...the seats and the cannon (as nobody else is doing the German parts).

There's a discussion over at ARC about the Wingman stuff. You should take a look before considering buying their "upgrades"

Yeah, I stopped taking the WIP seriously when the builder began to 'paint' the parts with a sharpie pen.....

G'day Conehead,

I have not read any bad stuff about the WM bits, I was thinking about grabbing some tyres. Thanks for the heads up, where abouts is the discussion on ARC, it sounds like an interesting read?

cheers,

Pappy

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Hi Pappy,

take a look... http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=271175&st=0
It's about the Kfir, but unfortunately the Alpha Jet box isn't better.
Apart from the quality there are things like telling the customer to remove the molded braces for a one-piece canopy, as needed for the late Kfir. And at the same time Wingman are selling the conversion set separately...INCLUDING two vaccu front pieces!

Cheers,
Alex

Edited by coneheadff

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Very nice work Pappy. You should be justifiably proud of that cockpit, very cool.

This one looks like one to follow. I've always liked the Alpha jet, such a pretty, dainty little jet.

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Hi Pappy,

take a look... http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=271175&st=0

It's about the Kfir, but unfortunately the Alpha Jet box isn't better.

Apart from the quality there are things like telling the customer to remove the molded braces for a one-piece canopy, as needed for the late Kfir. And at the same time Wingman are selling the conversion set separately...INCLUDING two vaccu front pieces!

Cheers,

Alex

Whew, an honest review at last! I was thinking of buying a pair of the Wingman seats as I am thinking of possibly doing another Alpha Jet A, I really dig the kool funky blue painted seats! Mofo is correct however, the cardinal rule of ANY aftermarket item is that is must be an improvement in some way over the kit item or why bother?

Very nice work Pappy. You should be justifiably proud of that cockpit, very cool.

This one looks like one to follow. I've always liked the Alpha jet, such a pretty, dainty little jet.

G'day QEW,

I am happy enough but still annoyed at the omission of a decal sheet instrument panel decals by Kinetic all the same. Otherwise this is a great little kit. Test fitting of the wings has not revealed any issues either so it really does fall together with a little care. If anyone wants to read an alternative account of another modellers 'struggle' with the same kit, try this:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=268477&st=0&p=2543812&hl=alpha%20jet&fromsearch=1entry2543812

cheers,

Pappy

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G'day Andrew,

I want to mount this one on a stick with the wheel retracting into their bays, so an in-flight model that will have one (or possibly two) aircrew installed, so I figured I will stash away the PE belts for when I need some and install the drivers. I will need to add a little bit more to the head box to simulate the top of the parachute riser straps and cross-pieces that sit over the head cushions, probably using wine foil,

cheers,

Pappy

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G'day people,

I had plodded along with the undercarriage. The nose gear is ready for paint,

3005_zpsb00f756a.jpg

The main gear units need some more piping and cables added but I have made a start

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I rewarded myself by painting the tyres

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and the canopy actuators

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The HUD was also installed. For a bit of bling, I cut up some Xmas decorations that have a prismatic green/blue effect to make the HUD combiner glass plates.

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cheers,

Pappy

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This is excellent Pappy. I started following your progress in the GB and am glad it reappeared here (I thought it had disappeared). You work at pace. By the way, the sprue glue idea is great. I will try that.

Cheers,

Tom.

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G'day Tom,

Thanks very much. I am on vacation at the moment so I have the luxury of being able to spend a lot of time at the bench, and this kit is very well engineered so yeah, rapid progress. The sprue glue idea is not mine, I think it was what people did before specialised model putty was invented, but I must say it does a bloody good job,

cheers,

Pappy

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G'day people,

Today's progress report.

I have been working on the undercarriage some more.

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They are not finished but they are getting there. I still need to add the landing lights to the mains and some more hyd plumbing. Big props to George (MMKaker) for the reference pics of the landing gear and mains bays.

The flap hinges have been glued to the wings, but I think that I will leave off the flaps until after all painting is completed as it will be difficult to get the airbrush into the area at the rear wing root.

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Test fitting indicated that the flap inboard section would foul at the wing root. I carefully bevelled this area and this seems to have fixed the problem.

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The front windscreen has been fitted and it clicked into place almost without issue. the sides are flash and level but there was a small gap at the front where it meets the nosecone section. I added a scrap of plastic card and liberally applied some of my sprue glue mixture to the join.

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I have scratched up some more cockpit 'furniture' for the front office. This comprises the standby compass and a small panel with a lever. these were fashioned from plastic scrap.

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Here they are installed,

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It is a little hard to see in these pics but the panel mounts inside the right windshield frame just around the canopy sill height.

cheers,

Pappy

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G'day people,

Today's progress report.

I have been working on the undercarriage some more.

3001_zps1f1a43d3.jpg

3002_zps7e9cf276.jpg

They are not finished but they are getting there. I still need to add the landing lights to the mains and some more hyd plumbing. Big props to George (MMKaker) for the reference pics of the landing gear and mains bays.

The flap hinges have been glued to the wings, but I think that I will leave off the flaps until after all painting is completed as it will be difficult to get the airbrush into the area at the rear wing root.

3004_zps6a35802b.jpg

3005_zpse5003217.jpg

Test fitting indicated that the flap inboard section would foul at the wing root. I carefully bevelled this area and this seems to have fixed the problem.

3010_zpsb1907c2b.jpg

The front windscreen has been fitted and it clicked into place almost without issue. The sides are flush and level but there was a small gap at the front where it meets the nosecone section. I added a scrap of plastic card and liberally applied some of my sprue glue mixture to the join.

3011_zpsa771ebaa.jpg

I have scratched up some more cockpit 'furniture' for the front office. This comprises the standby compass and a small panel with a lever. these were fashioned from plastic scrap.

3009_zpsca20936a.jpg

Here they are installed,

3012_zps69ec4404.jpg

3014_zps1c5c41df.jpg

It is a little hard to see in these pics but the panel mounts inside the right windshield frame just around the canopy sill height.

cheers,

Pappy

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Looking good so far Pappy, some good build tips too, mostly read the instructions and dry fit before you slap some glue on...

Thanks for posting the links too some interesting reading...saved me an hours work there! Look forward to seeing your build progress now.

Phil

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Great build mate!

You did a fine job in the cockpit too!

If Kinetic do a 1/72 version...

What scheme did you planned?

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