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Boeing Bird of Prey


hsr
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They say that the best way to make sure you will do something is to tell people you are going to do it and then you feel obligated to get it done. In that spirit I am announcing that I will be building the Unicraft 1/72 Boeing Bird of Prey.

 

The Bird of Prey, (named that because someone thought it resemble the Star Trek Klingon Bird of Prey, there is some documentation that it was designated YF-118G)was a late '90 secret stealth technology demonstrator which first flew in 1996 and after 40 flights was retired in 1999. Due to its secret nature it was not publicly revealed until October 2002. For more details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Bird_of_Prey.

 

I like building  weird or strange looking aircraft and the first time I saw a picture of it I knew I had to building it, so I did a web search and found that there actually was a kit of it in 1/72 buy Unicraft.

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I had never built a kit by Unicraft before so I bought it. It consists of 9 resin parts for the fuselage and wings and a resin slab for the landing gear. plus a clear canopy and decals. There is no interior, none, nothing.

bopparts.jpg

 

Note I got this picture off of their web sight since I forgot to get one before I started construction. If only may parts looked this good. What I got was warped and with huge amounts of flash and pin holes that made it look like Swiss cheaase, except I have never seen Swiss cheese with so many holes. Also the rear fuselage, (upper right) is shown here as a monolithic block. What I got was 2 pieces which looked like there hollowed out the block and then literally broke the top and bottom halves apart. I am not saying that this is the worst kit I have ever worked on, but I will take Mach 2 and Anigrand any day. Despite all that I should also say that I am grateful to have even that and will do my best to do it justice.

 

So after much sanding and filling I have the fuselage assembled and the wings attached.

 

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Note that the front of the front landing gear opening has broken off and will need repair, both wings have broken in half and been reglued, the rear tip of the left wing is broken off and will need to be fixed, and the pi holes in both wing trailing edges. The wings still need to be blended in, but

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They will need to be straightened first. So after many dips in hot water I have gotten them this far;

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Which is a bit better. More to come, if it doesn't end up in the garbage, but I have suffered enough for now

Edited by hsr
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Looks like it would have been easier to have carved it from wood – even if you had to chop the tree down to start with. Good luck, looks like you are going to need it.

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I am still not happy with the wing alignment but given the asymmetry of the fuselage I am not sure how to fix it. So,   I blended in the wings closed in the cockpit, added a mount point for the front landing gear, and attached the front and main gears. And I gave it it first coat of primer.

 

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Still needs a lot of work and filling of pinholes

 

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But tomorrow is another day

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So after numerous iterations of

 

while (not_smooth) {

    fill();

    sand();

    prime();

}

 

(Sorry I am a retired C programmer) it finally has reached and acceptable smoothness.

 

Next I finished off the cockpit with a seat stick and various bits from spare Eduard interior.

DSC_2976.jpg

 

And then buttoned it up and gave a last coat of primer

 

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I had been expecting the canopy to be flush with the fuselage but after looking at a bunch of pictures it apparently really does sit on top of it like this.

Edited by hsr
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Update: Primary painting is completed and I have given the upper surfaces a first coat of gloss for the decals.

DSC_2979.jpg

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If all goes well I will give it a second coat tomorrow, decal Thursday and give it a flat coat and finish Friday

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  • 4 weeks later...

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