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1/72 Hasegawa F9F-2 Panther - Getting The Mojo Back!

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Progress has stalled on the stuff I've been working on. I stare with trepidation at masking tape and the last thing I want to do these days is spend hours sawing through resin parts. So I haven't gotten anything done at all!

That's what this build is for. It will be built out of the box. No aftermarket parts. No PE. No resin. No vacform canopy. No obscure decals from South African or European sellers on eBay. It's time make some actual progress and finish a kit. This is so I can prove to myself I can do it. Plenty of time to agonize over paint shades, which PE set is best, and all the rest of the AMM issues that I really shouldn't have yet because I'm a beginning modeller.

So I cracked this baby open today -

nKLarXth.jpg?2

And a shot of the sprues. Decals haven't yellowed a bit, but this kit was on someone's shelf for a long time. Marking choices are USN VF153, USMC Korea 1952, and USN Blue Angels Pensacola 1949. I have chosen the Blue Angels scheme for a couple reasons - I'm a Floridian (although I saw the Blue Angels as a kid when they flew F/A-18s), and it's the easiest scheme.

No camo, single color aircraft besides the silver wing leading edge panels, nice clean canopy with minimal framing. Everything about this kit says fast. In fact, the only thing I will be buying for this kit that I don't currently have is the paint color - "gloss sea blue" according to Hasegawa's 1970s Japanglish instruction manual. I'm not going to spend three days research exact shades. I'm not even going to solicit opinions on which is the best and most accurate (although they are most welcome!). I've ordered a pot of Vallejo Model Color "Dark Sea Blue". Simple as that! :) If Tamiya does a clearly superior Sea Blue, please mention it. I can always swing by Hobbytown and pick up a pot of that after work. I'm just trying to keep all my ducks in a row because I want this build finished, including all paintwork, before the end of the week!

SL67UIXh.jpg

I will probably put the pilot in on this one. I spent the time with my new UMM bow sander to clean him up (did that ever work a treat!), and I also received some 0.4mm and 0.2mm lead wire, a UMM "20th Anniversary" saw kit, and a few other things. It should all come in fairly useful on this build. I'm not going to try any sort of "super detailing" but I may try my hand at running brake lines with the lead wire here.

The wheels and tires are exceptionally simple on this kit and I would probably replace those if I was going for a more accurate build. Fit and finish has been startlingly good so far. The wings did require clamping and didn't want to stay together at first, but the wingtip tanks had much less of a gap than I ever expected and once I got part of each wing section "tacked" with Tamiya Extra Thin I was able to put more glue in the middle where it needed it and get the wings to settle down as they should with no gaps to fill. Primer may reveal me to be over-optimistic but so far it honestly does not appear that I have any gaps to fill on the wings yet. We'll see when the fuselage is fitted.

I've left the wings clamped and drying for about 90 minutes while I wrote up this post, ordered paint, etc. So I think I'll get back to work on it and hopefully make two posts on this thread, with photos and actual progress, this Sunday!

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Got the cockpit and fuselage interior painted, instrumentation decals on (bit disappointed with those - IP wasn't even the same shape as the plastic part, L/R IPs were bigger than the cockpit surfaces). Most joins went together very well, with the plastic "welds" after being clamped. Bit of filling and sanding probably necessary on the wingtip tanks. Coming along nicely.

Just dry-fitted together at the moment. Need to glue the intakes to the fuselage and I'll have to figure something else out to weight the nose. I only have 1g fishing weights and only one of them will fit in the nose!

Starting to get back into the swing of things, though. This is a good outlet.

Z4tffwg.jpg?1

Edited by caszerino

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Sweet. The Vallejo sea blue you've got would be my first choice. I did an Eduard weekend hellcat for my Dad, and it went together quickly and painted nicely with no fuss. Just like you are doing here Casey. Good luck and haste be with you!

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Nice, the VMC was the most readily available choice for me (Amazon Prime, decent price). Should arrive tomorrow afternoon so with a bit of luck I can start priming tonight. That reminds me, I have to order some tungsten putty as well, so that's set me back a day or two getting the nosecone on. Not a big deal, though.

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Tungsten putty ordered. Stuffed to the gills after my birthday (observed) supper. Proper shepherd's pie with lamb. None of this Americanized rot with beef and corn. So I'm not actually going to work on it tonight. But I will be tomorrow!

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Well! I got badgered into going out for my birthday yesterday so that's three days (including today) with no progress. Are we really surprised? :whistle:

It's been a very fun little build so far and I still think I can finish it this weekend and am forcing myself back onto a rigorous hobby schedule starting tomorrow. But tonight I actually get some sleep! :sleep_1:

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I've had the same sort of week, but my lack of progress is work and life stuff related, which sounds like a lot less fun! Oh and somehow an F/A18-F seems to have found its way out of the stash and up to the top of the queue. I blame you and Navy Bird for this sudden resurgence of Fly Navy!

Hope it was a great birthday, we'll all enjoy the progress when it restarts!

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Well, as I believe I mentioned in the initial post, this is really a departure for me. I have very little interest in post-WW2 American military planes, and I'd say Navy ranks as probably my least favorite (nothing against them, obviously, I just always fancied Soviet bloc stuff more - maybe the "forbidden" aspect, growing up as a Cold War kid? Same reason I moved to Moscow a decade ago ...). But I really like this kit and it's making me do more research on Korean War aircraft, which is probably the biggest missing part of my 20th century historical knowledge.

Work was bloody awful today. Thanks in large part to Microsoft "Patch Tuesday" (anyone who is a network administrator knows this pain) causing a ton of customer PCs to restart multiple times without user approval and wreaked holy havoc on several of my terminal servers. And I managed to anger another customer by being unable to read their minds. We'll leave it at that. I am very, very, very, very glad that Wednesday is over.

But on the bright side I have chocolate pie and leftover shepherd's pie for me tea! :eat:

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I can't "like" the post (apart from the last line!) but I share your pain!

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I realized I hadn't actually shown any proper photos of the cockpit. It's not brilliant, it's probably not even accurate, but I'm completely happy with it. Two photos follow of that.

I didn't do much today, as I ended up going out for seafood with my folks after a trying couple of days, and 0545 comes all too early. But I got some of the tungsten putty bashed into the nose with the end of a paintbrush handle, and I got the cannon barrels drilled out to a mostly-satisfactory standard. Assembly will, hopefully, be completed tomorrow evening and primer on. Want to paint and finish it Saturday to stay on schedule, but I'm giving myself a few days extra leeway because I can do that. ;)

That tungsten putty is brilliant! It's expensive, so I'm trying to use one 1g lead weight and make up the difference with tungsten. Probably costing me ~$1/aircraft. But that's only small fighters. A bomber could easily use up half a knob of putty or more. Still, it's convenient, I don't feel like it's hazardous, and it's very clean. Could pinch it off easily with my fingers and it didn't leave any noticeably residue on my hands. Not to mention that it is bloody dense! So much nicer than lead.

OK, photo time!

iAs63nAh.jpg

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The nose was only dry-fitted in the last picture. It has since been cemented with Extra Thin and doesn't appear to need any filling.

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Great work so far. Did you drill out the cannons?

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I did, aye. I got tired of those cheap flimsy "hobby drill bits" from China, so I got some "printed circuit board" drill bits (from China :P). Much higher quality, but they have a 1/8" shaft, as they're designed to go into a drill press, so they don't fit in a pin vise. I need to find some sort of hand chuck that will accept them, as twirling them in your fingers isn't quite the best solution (but as you can see, it does work!).

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The biggest problem I have with those micro bits and the small pin vise for them is the lack of grip for the smallest drills and the flexibility of the drills. I have twanged countless drills into oblivion with my clumsiness. Having a small press and fixture for holding the model still would be ideal, as I am a shaky sort of guy. :)

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So, nice try at a speed build.

Once again, real life spoils the day!

Such a stumpy little aircraft,

I always wondered what it would

look like with twin booms ala Vampire.

There would be no performance advantage,

I'm sure, just my little fancy.

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I haven't given up! It just ... got its (time) budget doubled. Or trebled.

I got the intakes in and the fuselage glued to the wings. Tailplanes on. Unfortunately some substantial gaps occurred on the port wing root and a rather large step around the intake. Gonna need a lot of putty.

Photos of that work tonight. Got some syringes and applicator needles, so that should make fairly quick work of the puttying. Yesterday I had been up since 0400, had rather a rough day at work (0645-1645, plenty of problems, and one customer who I'm still debating paying a visit to personally smash his face in, but I've had a sleep and a deep breath now, so if he minds his behaviour today I'm sure I can let it pass), and still managed to get a bit of work done. Slowly catching up on sleep and I'm trying to stay on the wagon for a few weeks so hopefully this baby this baby is headed rapidly for RFI soon.

Edited by caszerino

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Coming along nicely! That seat looks very nice (if a little uncomfortable...). Having just put about 40g of nose weight into a Privateer I'm glad I don't Tungsten Putty!!

Regards,

Adrian

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I had some issues with this kit as well on the intakes, they are not a perfect fit but some sanding and puttying makes it all good eventually.

Excellent job on drilling out those guns; my personal challenge on doing this is always to center the drill; it's always off the center to some extent.

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Yeah, I've accepted the drilling but I'm not exactly chuffed with it. One of them kept slipping. "Close enough for government work," as they say. Taking a day off work today but it's because I feel rubbish, so I probably won't work on it today. But I've got tomorrow night and Saturday blocked off for model-making instead of merry-making. Might at least try to jam a makeup sponge into the cockpit and get it primed, at least. I always end up stalling when it's time to get the landing gear installed. I always dither over whether or not to install it before or after I prime it. Ugh, have to be more decisive! Thanks for all the nice comments, lads!

And 40g, blimey! Got a link to an RFI or a build thread?

Edited by caszerino

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Good plan re party time vs model time. Always a better decision to stay in and do something creative once in a while. :)

I always prime on sprue for fiddly things like landing gear and control sticks in our scale, I've lost too many parts to the floor taking them off before I am ready to glue them to something.

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That's what this build is for. It will be built out of the box. No aftermarket parts. No PE. No resin. No vacform canopy. No obscure decals from South African or European sellers on eBay. It's time make some actual progress and finish a kit. This is so I can prove to myself I can do it. Plenty of time to agonize over paint shades, which PE set is best, and all the rest of the AMM issues that I really shouldn't have yet because I'm a beginning modeller.

No camo, single color aircraft besides the silver wing leading edge panels, nice clean canopy with minimal framing. Everything about this kit says fast. In fact, the only thing I will be buying for this kit that I don't currently have is the paint color

Good luck, it looks nice so far. The last time I chose simple kits with single colour schemes, it ended up with a lot of work, because I totally messed up the painting! But I'm sure you get a fine model in the end!

Alex

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Tested out my new syringe/applicator tip combo with Tamiya Basic this afternoon. Worked beautifully! Even with my shaky hands it pretty much eliminates the need for masking along gap lines. Did top and bottom wing surfaces. All other joins seemed good without it. Going to try to finish sanding everything tonight and, should I really have an outbreak of modelling mojo, get the canopy masked (which is actually pretty simple, it's really only 4 parts across the two clear pieces) with Bare Metal Foil.

DHeKmWUh.jpg

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Well, I didn't go mad and make an insane amount of progress, but I did manage to get most of the putty sanded down. This required my bow sander (the little blue chap that looks like a tiny spirit level), a brand new Squadron "Medium" sanding stick which let me down greatly (because all of the abrasive on both sides of the stick came off before I was even done!), and finally some 1000 grit sandpaper that I cut and folded to approximately postage stamp size to really get into those nooks and crannies ... and that's when one by one each wing root join cracked loose. So they are now filled with CA glue and will be sanded again tomorrow. I just can't face more sanding tonight.

64O2MZW.jpg

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Well that was a kick in the knackers. Kept sanding, started gluing on gear struts and doors in preparation for priming. Front strut didn't want to fit in the hole for some reason. Applied a bit (just a bit, I swear!) of pressure and the 20-some year old plastic strut snapped clean off and flew Christ knows where on the bench. Kit down the pan. Mojo evaporated like 99% IPA. Kit shoved back into box and chucked into the back of the closet (I don't have an actual shelf of doom yet). And the best part is that the assembled airframe won't actually fit back into the box, so I had to rip one of the tailplanes off (without destroying it, I don't have that much of an anger problem anymore :P).

Sod this kit. Thread over. Still gonna do some modelling though. I have this pretty awful PM Models F-5E used by the Turkish Air Force acrobatic team that's been soaped and washed. It's translucent white plastic so it need to be hit with a shot of primer before I do much else with it, but I'll start a new thread for it when there's any sort of progress worthy of a photo.

UGH!

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If someone was to come to your aid with a replacement, would we be back in business there Casey?

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