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What with three F-16s waiting to get built, I managed to pick up another one over Christmas.  I wasn’t actually after the Viper but the ground crew set which looks to be mostly there.  Think the tractor main wheels might be missing but I really wanted it for the trolly & bits.

 

NcsSu8C.jpg

 

The Viper in the kit has the main parts together.  I am also sure that the wheels were attached in the eBay shot & have been busted off for shipping.  I don’t know whether to rattle on with the build or keep it for spares for the others.  
 

So what are the issues?  Raised panels that could be improved.  Resin seat?  Want to have a look at the kit seat again, but in a viper it is very visible.  Cockpit etch?  Will have a look as I am sure the cockpit is flat with decals.  Although I have both kit decals and the replacement decals that have control panels too.  The main thing is the tail horizontals.  The early batch A models were shipped with the prototype smaller tails, but according to wiki these were replaced in later A models with the larger version.  The decals are ok for the earlier batch, but the tails on early ones were going by 1981.  So now I need to get reference photos of the jets I am interested in and check dates.

 

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The part built Viper is the ESCI one with the small tail, while the Academy one behind has the later tail.  I think I could take the shape from the Academy one and make a new one (or maybe an overlay?) to update it.  So Belgian, Dutch, Norwegian, need to sort out what to build.

 

I haven’t forgotten the step van, but that needs some garage time to cut it about & it’s just to cold out there!

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Had a look through the box of bits for the F-16 and it looks like this on3 has no nose wheel.  I may appeal to see if anyone has a set from building wheels up, but as I have 3 more I will keep this one as a test bed.  To that end I started looking at the tails.  I was aiming for mid 80s as my timeframe, so the early tails will have been changed.  It’s interesting to note that the original tail ended level with the airbrake, but the new 25% bigger ones extended further back.

 

D0ebeQO.jpg
 

I made a template for the new tail.  It seems if I extend the leading edge and trailing edge it will work.  My plan is to make a thin plasticard top and add extensions underneath & blend them in.  Two tops tacked on look like this

 

sxF4zDc.jpg

 

 Think that will work to update the old kits.  
 

now the main reason for getting the kit was the ground crew set.  The only thing I have found missing so far are the back wheels of the Ford tractor.  But I have some spare large Dinky tyres that are only a little smaller

 

oykpufn.jpg
 

If I make up some new hubs I think that will work

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A group shot of my Viper squadron!  At least three to be built, 4 if I can scrounge up the remaining parts.  
 

rMpU3D1.jpg

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Digging through my box of resin bits I got a couple of months back I found these 4 seats.  Think they may be an improvement on the kit ones (on the left, Silver & brown are ESCI, white is Monogram) and they need the frame & upright rails behind them

 

uBnfXzy.jpg

 

Was hovering over the ‘buy it now’ button on ebay for some last night, so that has saved me.  As I said I have lots of panel decals so I think it will be tart up the office a bit, new seat, scratch rails & that will have to do

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Had a play with the tractor today to see if anything other than the back wheels are missing.  Looks to be all there.  I used some rods & tubes to make a couple of impromptu hubs for the Dinkey tyres.  Think that will work

 

IN2b5H1.jpg

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Quick coat of paint on & they are starting to look like twins

 

M7iHI2b.jpg

 

it’s a old set but I still like though Ford tractors!

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Finished off the second tractor today.  As well as the replacement rear wheels (think they look ok now) I was sorting out the rear view mirrors when one went missing.  So I made a replacement & think that is ok too.

 

pU5HrNj.jpg
 

And with some of the family.  Still have another Harlan tug in the box.  
 

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The reason I was after another ground crew set was for the wheels & base of the trailer.  The thin one on the right of the photo above.  I thought about turning it in to one of these US covered trailers.  And maybe a LOX cart

 

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Or maybe an RAF LOX trolley

 

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Or maybe cast some copies of these sub assemblies to rebuild in to these.

 

 

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Bit of Viper progress.  I like comparing the kit parts to the nice resin sets you can buy & then seeing if I van make the kit a bit better.  4 F-16 cockpit sets? Not too pricey but putting them in an ESCI kit?  Don’t be daft.  So plasticard time.  The rear bulkhead is too far back with a nasty gap between the seat back & bulkhead.  The seat also sits on prominent rails.  So this is kit versus my first go at improvement using the resin seats I have

 

eDvUHtQ.jpg

 

And inside the body

 

FLRrIVZ.jpg
 

Just a first basic shape but it looks better.  The brown one will get the same treatment later.  And lots of panel scribing.

But 2 minor changes and she is turning in to a super ESCI kit

 

sgx9ham.jpg

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Some more bits added around the cockpit to spruce it up 

 

jbC3z5v.jpg

 

bnOP7hV.jpg
 

The gaps will be filled in with the decals and paint.  Think it will do

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Hello @bar side, this is certainly and epic project!  I spent a few days going through the whole project - it's too bad a few images have dropped out - that said, there's so much going on that they might not be missed relative to the whole build.  Your studies in forced perspective are really interesting - using multiple scales in a photo or two, and the question of whether you can force perspective by converging lines here and there - That's something I've wondered about from time to time.   

 

I'm not sure if it's too late, or if you've already seen these.  I did a Google search for 1/48 scale stepvan, and they popped up on Ebay - well - now I'm at a loss - I tried to post the pictures and no luck getting them to show up?  The vans I found look fairly convincing, are not too expensive, and the front windows are closer together, but the grab bars are clearly over sized, but my sense is that you could fix them fairly easily - sorry I can't get them to post 🤨 

 

Looking forward to your next update -

Nick

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Cheers Nick @Stickframe I generally post a lot of rambling stuff on this thread.  Thanks for your interest.  I will have a search of eBay & see what turns up.  I was looking at Maisto 1/46 vehicles for US scenes but they seem to be mainly US based & shipping costs as much as the vehicle

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Think I have just seen the one you were talking about @Stickframe but it is about £20 for me & about the same for postage, so a bit out of my league cost wise.  Whereabouts in Northern Cali are you?  I have family near Walnut Creek

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Bit more work on the cockpit. Comparison to the standard kit parts.  Think it’s a bit better

 

ngH4foI.jpg

 

And test fit in the body

 

CPWMu3B.jpg

 

And one thing with a kit like this is that I put the cockpit in place and glued the top & bottom halves together.  I gave it a sand down of the surface detail and a light rescribe.  The result is a build that looks well on its way.  Add the intake, exhaust & tail and she will be almost ready for paint.

 I think this one will be the Belgian one I always thought about.  Maybe Weasel next & then - well I will worry about that later

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Body together and new tail elevators attached.  Test fit of the tail and the larger tail base with the extended parachute housing

 

rlUp5Eh.jpg

 

7eyWzYe.jpg
 

I think her new tail feathers look pretty good.  Underneath is more Heath-Robinson!  I wondered if I could fit the new tail over the old

 

i0gDNhb.jpg
 

Some filler will sort that out, smooth it off & add some anti static tags

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@bar side, hi - yes, I live pretty close to Walnut Creek - just west about 10 miles, a small place called Emeryville, between Berkeley and Oakland.  I grew up in a town near Walnut Creek.  Small world as they say! 

 

Funny enough, I'm all for the rambling build - I really don't like it when the project is done - maybe why I like dios - you can just keep building, but that also means I now have dead dios here and there - different scales, subjects, just done.  As for the 1/48 van, yes, I understand - the shipping can cost more than the part!  I've discovered this - ordering from KFS in England, and Spotmodel in Spain - but, the only places to find the "crucial" 😄 parts I "need" -  I've been laughing a bit about this lately - as this is a hobby for me, not a job, yet I often decide I need that extra special, .4337 mm dia rivet! ha - hardly need it, but it sure is fun installing them!  

 

Cockpit looks great!

 

Cheers

Nick 

 

 

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Well @Stickframe I have probably driven past a few times heading over the Bay Bridge.  My bother in law & family are in Danville & I have stayed over there several times.  We usually get a car & have driven up to Oregon, over to Tahoe & down to LA.  Sadly could be some time before we get over again.

 

I started the whole HAS build because the never ending model railway was getting expensive.  The HAS was a project to be built from scrap materials as I didn’t have much cash spare.  I started building a full size hangar last summer as I had o load of usable scrap cardboard.  I do a WIP if I build something more interesting, but the other stuff - vehicles, less high profile builds, buildings call go on here.  So yes I have dead dios and a sizeable train set, none of which impress my wife much!

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Put a coat of filler under the elevators and sanded it back.  Then a coat of grey primer to see how the finish is.  Have since sanded back again & given a second spray.

 

AIW28rE.jpg

 

The rudder is on and test fitting the intake, flaps, exhaust and canopy.  She looks like a Viper with these bits on

 

qx5iZG4.jpg

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That's me all caught up and suitably impressed. Carry on, that chap. Awfully good stuff, dontchaknow. :pilot:

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Looking at the ESCI (brown) parts and the Monogram (white) it’s almost like one copied the other.  The Monogram kit looks more crude so feels like the later of the two.  

 

5pdr2MR.jpg

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Quick check on scalemates & Monogram says 1976 and ESCI says 1977.  Wonder if any staff worked across the two projects?

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I was going to start sort a second F-16 today and had decided to use the white Monogram kit.  But when I started the cockpit area I thought I might as well get a production line going.

 

I

 

The move forward of the bulkhead looked good on the first one so now doing all of them.  The Monogram kit had no back bulkhead at all so the first job was to build one.  The other brown viper in the picture arrived part built but with a straight kit cockpit.

 

This is the four cockpits together 

 

1akBgrs.jpg

 

The Monogram seat and rails are not the worst, and the part built viper has the kit seat placed in it.  The resin seat is sitting behind the white cockpit.  I have another 2 of these so I might just make then all match.

 

GKSaa9i.jpg
 

Plenty more detailing to do & then some paint.   My thinking is white one becomes a Danish or Norwegian Viper (silver one is already earmarked to be Belgian) so one of the brown ones will become a Spangdahlem Viper.  Turns out the block 30 C models worked alongside the F-4G Weasels in hunter killer teams and were replaced by block 50/52 Harm equipped Vipers later on.  The decals I have are for a late 80s / early 90s block 30 Viper

 

uGfqPfZ.jpg
 

So I may try converting a couple of Sparrow missiles to Shrikes, with tanks and aim 9s.

 

That still leaves one to decide.  Another Dutch one?  No hurry to sort that out yet

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Quick rummage through the box of left over missiles produced this haul.  There was more.  Lots more.  How many aim 9s of different versions do I have?  I am guessing 15-20 turned up & there are still loads on old sprues  hanging about.  I am sure I have more Aim-7s about too, but I found a couple.  Now the Agm-45 Shrike is derived from an Aim-7.  In fact Wiki says that a Shrike is a seeker head on an Aim-7 body.  Shorter rear fins but superficially not a lot different.

Alternatively a couple of Mavericks, and a couple of Paveways.

 

RWtm71v.jpg

 

Could be I have what I need for my Spangdahlem Viper

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Something nice about this Norwegian F-16 scheme.  I don’t have a tail swoosh as the earlier ones don’t have it. And I am sure they carried Aim-9s back in the 80s/90s

 

C1P_7383.jpg
 

Cracking shot of a Spangdahlem Viper - decals have the shark teeth!

 

87-0270_001.jpg?m=1371901073

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The build of the 4 cockpits is just about done.  Need to add instrument decals & paint.  Then I guess I can scribe the panels and close up the body halves.

 

ryf9I20.jpg

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