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Revell 1/32 F-15B, 74-0141, NASA 836


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I bought a second hand Revell 1/32 F-15C, kitnumber 4759. It came in this box :


But inside the box I found all the parts for a two-seater, except for the left and right forward fuselage halves and the seats. The conformal fuel tanks and 2 ASAT missiles are also in the box.

Most of the parts were loose in the box, some of them were already painted.

I had no idea what to do with this two-seater, untill I saw pictures of the NASA F-15B, S/N 74-0141, NASA number 836.

It seems that every picture of this airplane shows some differences, I've decided to go for this version :




But without the test equipment under the belly :


The seats look like those found in early F-16's, with "horns" on both sides. I will use the seats from CMK or True Details. The IP's and wheels will come from partsrparts. Exhausts will be from CAM or GTresin.
The forward fuselage parts will come from Revell or a fellow modeller.
The gold stripes will come from an AM decal sheet, the NASA "swooshes" will be homemade (or at least I will try to make them myself).

I'm no F-15 expert, please feel free to point me in the right direction to turn this kit into a F-15B.

Edited by Pascal
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No sprue shots, all the parts were cut loose when I got the box, the sprues were no longer there.

I started with the bottom half of the fuselage. The sides and wheelbays were glued in place :


Needs a little filler and some sanding, the NACA ducts will be filled with placticard and putty :



The wings, stabilizers and fins all have two halves. These were glued together, the gaps filled with putty and the trailing edges sanded :



I'm having no luck in finding pictures of F-15B's. All the walkarounds deal with the D model. But I have an old Tamiya 1/48 F-15A and a Monogram F-15C. Would any of those be a good reference ?

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With the help of a couple of fellow modellers, I now got some very nice pictures of this aircraft. Thank you very much guys.

I'm a lousy fotographer, but I'll try my best to show the results of today's work.

I filled the NACA ducts with pieces of plasticard, the rest of the gap was filled with CA glue and sprinkled with flour. The glue and the flour combo gives a quick drying filler that is also very strong.

The duct nearest to the camera has been sanded :


There's a rectangular piece of plastic - with two rectangular holes in it - that's not on the real aircraft, this had to go :


I used my dremel to sand off the piece. The heat of the sanding disc melts the plastic into the rectangular holes, so in one move I got rid of the excess plastic and the holes were filled :


There are supposed to be 2 pieces like this on in the Revell box, I'm missing one :


Fortunately these parts look different on the real aircraft, so I made the first of 2 out of a sheet of plasticard. The panels were scribed and six holes were drilled to simulate the screws (these are very visible on the real aircraft) :



That's it for today. Feel free to give comments on my updates.



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Excellent choice of scheme for this project. You're off to a good start with the detail and scratch building so hopefully there are no other parts missing.

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The JFS (jet fuel starter) exhaust (round hole with louvres) looks like this :


But with the help of some fellow modellers, I found out that the louvres were removed and that the tube of the exhaust is visible on real aircraft. The ten louvres on both sides of the exhaust seem to be there on the real NASA F-15B, but I'm not sure as I haven't find a picture that shows this part of the aircraft.
For now I will leave those louvres in place.

I drilled a hole where the exhaust was and inserted (dryfit) a piece of plastic tube :



Under each engine nacelle there a thing that looks like a blade antenna. Are those fuel dump vents ? :


The intake trunks (is that the correct word, or am I talking elefants ?) had big seams on both sides. After a lot of sanding I poured latex paint in the trunks. It's the first time that I used this technique but the result looks very good :





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That's a great project. The NASA F-18's are on my to-do-list. I've bought the White Hot Hornets decals from fightertown in 1/48.

How will you make the white lettering ? Do you have a WIP somewhere ?

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I too have the whit hot hornets sheet, the plan was to either get someone like parkes decals to upscale and edit them or to attempt to mask and paint them.

No wip yet but now you've asked I may put one up tonight.

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I've cut off the little vanes under the nacelles and drilled 6 holes. Two more holes may be necessary, but I'm not sure yet.

Did a test with the Rivet-R from RB productions. Not my best rivet-job, some rivet lines have to be filled and redone, but I think that most will look OK under a couple of coats of paint :



I cut the panel that holds the sparrow out of the fuselage, a new panel will be installed, one that's flush with the fuselage :


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Did another test to make the rivets, this time I used copper tape.
Made a template from regular tape, put that on the copper tape and cut it to size. The copper tape was then glued on the model and the rivets were added.

The rivets are very fine, I wonder if they will still be visible after a couple of coats of paint :




In the pictures you can see that the rivets are not round but rectangular. That's because of the tool I used (a wheel from an old clock), but also because I didn't follow the same line on my second pass with the tool.

A next test will be to make the rivets in the tape before it's glued to the model. That way the rivets will be deeper and rounder because the copper tape is softer when it its still on its backing paper. I also will do the same with aluminium tape to see if there's a difference.

Then I will spray some paint over the 3 test patches and decide which one is best suitable for the job.

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Did the final test, this time I used aluminium tape. I added the rivets before I glued the tape on the model :


The wrinkles are clearly visible :


These were removed with the back of a brush and a piece of abrasive pad, you can clearly see that the alu-tape is thicker then the copper-tape :



After a coat of primer and a wash I becomes clear that this method is not suitable :



The result with the coppertape is better, but I don't have a tool to make nice round rivets in the tape. So I will opt for the first method (without tape), luckily there aren't that much visible rivets on this aircraft.

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Did some more rivetting with the Mini Rivet-R and a drill. The result is not great, the rivets in the large squares will be filled and redone. But this time properly, not freehand but with a strip of brass or aluminium to guide the wheel of the Rivet-R :


Those on the side of the fuselage look OK :


Feel free to comment, all help is welcome.



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More filling and more rivetting :



Still not 100%, but it looks good enough for the underside of the plane.

Made some more panels that come where the holders for the sparrows are on a regular F-15 :


The first one is glued in the body :


Some gaps need to be filled but it's flush with the fuselage :




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Thanks guys. I like to show my trials and errors, hoping that a fellow modeller how has a dip will realize that making scale models isn't an exact science. But making models can be really fun if you put a little TLC in your projects. Modelling has its "ups-and-downs" but if it doesn't kill you it can only make you stronger.

Yesterday I got a cardboard box in the mail. This contained the parts that I ordered from partsrparts : http://partsrparts.homestead.com/F15parts.html

The detail is excellent and there are no bubbles in the resin. IP's, sideconsoles, rear instrument shroud and wheels. The IP's fit the Revell cockpit like a glove :


It also contained the nose parts that were missing in the kit :


Thank you Bruce, the quality of work is first class.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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