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Giorgio N

Luftforsvaret F-104G (Hasegawa 1/72 with Vingtor decals) - Completed

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Looking very nice indeed Giorgio 

 

Well done

 

James

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I'm just catching up with your build Giorgio and it's looking beautiful!

 

Cliff

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On 11/12/2017 at 3:32 PM, MarkSH said:

Really great finish on the paintwork Giorgio.

 

On 11/12/2017 at 6:33 PM, Cookenbacher said:

Yes, that's beautiful Giorgio.

 

On 11/12/2017 at 6:46 PM, franky boy said:

Looking very nice indeed Giorgio 

 

Well done

 

James

 

On 12/12/2017 at 8:40 PM, CliffB said:

I'm just catching up with your build Giorgio and it's looking beautiful!

 

Cliff

 

Thanks a lot folks, I'm really glad you like this model !

 

FInally some progress ! I've been very busy with work recently and this has affected my modelling activities. As work has been very quiet this year, I'm of course happy to have been busy these couple of weeks, anyway now that Christmas Holidays have started I can get back to the modelling bench.

One of the doubts I had was about the stencils carried by these aircrafts. As said before I wasn't too sure of the stencils carried as pictures only seemed to show a few.

A post in the Cold War section of the forum brought some answer and I have to thank Martin and Nils for confirming that English language stencils were carried.

Now I have a decent idea of what Lockheed standard stencilling for the 104 was so I could look at what to apply. Still, some stencils may be hinted from pictures while some others can't really be seen. My decision was therefore to add those that I think I may have seen in pictures and not bother with the full stencils set.

The problem with stencils though is that very often they are too visible on a model as decal sheets often have these too big (Italeri is notorious for providing oversized stencils...). I also didn't really have a proper Lockheed full set immediately available as the kit came with German markings while I also have two sets of Italian ones. Some Italian stencils could be used but the German ones were not useable.

How could I solve the problem ? Simple, print my own ! As I have a laser printer and a few sheets of the right decal paper I only needed to put together some of the stencils and to help me in this I used this walkaround as a guide

 

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/luc_colin3/f-104g_fx-47/

 

It's great, isn't it ? See how the stencils are visible from close distance but are small enough that they are hard to see from farther away.

After some work with Corel Draw and a couple of test prints on normal paper, I could finally print my own set and apply them to the model.

 

21e3c6ec-3210-44ec-8bf0-5f5803362e88.JPG

 

These stencils are smaller than what Hasegawa supplies and IMHO are more realistic. Hasegawa stencils were used for the fibreglass panel on the tail while my own made stencils are used in the various panel on the mid-fuselage section. Notice in the following picture as they become hard to see from a certain distance, something that I believe is what makes them invisible in pictures, particularly when light is reflected off the polished metal surfaces

 

cd6f0d7c-c361-4a60-b7d8-2b3e3fe51f82.JPG

 

Of course you may notice that the horizontal tailplanes are now on the model. I chose an aircraft with these in dark grey as it makes for something a bit different from the more standard Starfighter NM scheme, this limited a bit my choice of aircraft but I'm happy with this, I think that the dark grey tailplanes make for an interesting contrast with the white wing and NM fuselage

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Well, it was nearly finished when I noticed one small detail: the taiplanes have a small fairing protruding from below the trailing edge, I hadn't noticed this before but it became immediately apparent at some point. I don't know exactly what this represents but a good look at several pictures showed no sign of this on the F-104G. It is however present on several F-104Js, so I guess that Hasegawa moulded it for this reason. Mind, I haven't checked the instructions yet to see if Hasegawa mentioned to remove it, maybe they did. In any case I removed it as had no place on my Norwegian aircraft. Of course removing the fairing meant respraying the tailplanes and as there were already too many coats of paint on this part, I decided to remove all paint and reprime before adding a new coat of dark grey

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Funny, I was just going to ask about that.  On my 1/48 G instructions (Step 15) it says: "This antenna was installed after it was left behind."  In your case it would seem to be just the opposite!

 

(It is part R4 on the 1/48 Hasegawa kit.)

 

bob

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4 hours ago, gingerbob said:

Funny, I was just going to ask about that.  On my 1/48 G instructions (Step 15) it says: "This antenna was installed after it was left behind."  In your case it would seem to be just the opposite!

 

(It is part R4 on the 1/48 Hasegawa kit.)

 

bob

 

Hi Bob

unfortunately as I don't know what the antenna is for, I've yet to find hard evidence of when and on which aircrafts it was installed. On my G I just followed pictures and these didn't show it, I'll check if it was there on the aircraft you're building.

 

In the meantime I progressed with the last few decals...

While I consider myself a little more than average modeller (meaning I'm really an average modeller but years of experience taught me a few tricks), I have acquired a couple of skills that sometime are very useful (and often help me compensating for my lack of other basic modelling skills...) One of them is a bit of expertise in printing my own decals. This is something that can sort a few things and I've used this technique to help me with some aspects of this build. I've already shown the homemade stencils, here's another two smaller details.

As mentioned early in this thread, the Hasegawa kit, while very nice, has a couple of cons. One of them is the total lack of vents for the M61 gun. In an ideal world I'd have rescribred these vents but this time I didn't. What to do ? Here comes the printer and using a couple of drawings and several pictures as reference, I drew the vents using Corel Craw and printed them on decal film.  It was then easy to apply the decals on the model and here's the result

 

2d5cfafc-fa32-4886-a9c5-5c508f2c5ae2.JPG

 

The matter of vents and grilles represented as decals has been wildly debated in a recent thread on the upcoming Airfix 1/72 Phantom FG.1 kit and as that thread was locked I'm not going through the various pros and cons here. Let me say however that yes, decals can be used as shown here, however they are not ideal. On my next Hasegawa 104 I'll go through the hard work of scribing these vents. They don't look too bad here but properly scribed vents with a good wash are a totally different story.

 

Today's second use of Expert's Choice decal paper in my trusted Epson printer was for the serial number. Vingtor actually offers individual decals to make the serial number for every F and TF-104G used by 331 Sqn and these are very nice. The problem is that I personally often struggle with individual small bits to make a serial number ! These are not too small (Italian WW2 serial numbers are so tiny that I stopped even trying) but I wasn't too keen on trying to align them all correctly. I pondered using tape to mark their location and so on, then I decided to reach for the scanner and scan the part of the decal sheet with the individual serial numbers.

Now first of all I hope that the people at Vingtor will accept my apologies ! I'm not planning on using the result for anything that is not personal use and then really only for the serials.

Then I should mention that using this approach is not really as easy as some people think, it's not a matter of putting a decal sheet through the scanner and ehi, here are some replacement decals. The process is way more complicated and takes quite a bit of time.

As said first the sheet was passed on a scanner at the highest possible resolution (9600 dpi). Only the part with the numbers was scanned as there was no need to scan the rest and scanning the whole sheet at that resolution means a very, very large file.

After I scanned the numbers I imported the file in Corel Draw and with this software I started drawing new numbers based on the proportions I could see in the scan. This takes time as with rounded numbers it's not easy to immediately get good results. Each number really is a combination of curves accurately matched to the scanned file. Fortunately the serial of FN-T is 12232, so I only had to draw the 1, the 2 and the 3. All numbers were then correctly sized and grouped together with the right spacing, after which I printed 4 copies (I always print some spares just in case). In the end the serials went on the model with no problem at the first attempt, this time there was no need for spares. Here are the serials on the model

 

9a674940-804a-4e2d-a4f0-5449ac35f426.JPG

 

The whole process took almost 2 hours. I could have probably been able to apply all the individual numbers in less time but at the same time I may have gone insane trying to do so. I have the tools and the experience for using what is afterall a complicated job, other modellers have a much better eye for these things and would follow an easier path. In the end what matters is reaching the desired result, I feel I did.

 

The picture above also shows one annoying thing: when I removed the tailplanes to correct them, this damaged the top of the fin somewhat. I'll have to touch this up.. fortunately that area was painted using model air Aluminum and not with the new metal colours so it will be easier

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Looking fabulous Giorgio,

 

I think your vent decals are very convincing and I understand the appeal of not having to align individual numbers to make an aircraft's serial; your progress is bringing us closer to a fine result.

 

Andrew.

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17 hours ago, Andrew said:

Looking fabulous Giorgio,

 

I think your vent decals are very convincing and I understand the appeal of not having to align individual numbers to make an aircraft's serial; your progress is bringing us closer to a fine result.

 

Andrew.

 

Thanks Andrew ! On the next Hasegawa 104 I'm planning the use of a homemade mask for scribing the vents, cutting the mask with a PC controlled cutter. The file I just prepared for the decals can be used as a basis for this but I've yet to see if the materials I can cut are tough enough to be used for a scribing template

 

7 hours ago, Vingtor said:

Good work, Giorgio. I am following this build with great interest.

 

Nils

 

Thanks Nils, glad you like it !

 

Being on holiday at the moment means that I can focus on tyring to get this finished as soon as possible. Of course at a certain point every picture can only show a few small details more compared to the previous one...

Yesterday's work resaulted in the addition of all the various lights on the fuselage. The two on the intakes were painted red and green while the ones around the rear fuselage are yet to be painted. The reason is simply that I generally use clear acrylic paints from the local hardware store (think of it as an Italian B&Q), I have the green and the red but I don't have the orange... a quick trip is needed !

With the lights in place, I could also re-attach the tailplanes and sort the small scars in the paint on the fin. And don't know why I forgot to mention this... I had also glued the exhaust in place ! And again something I forgot to mention, I have also completed the tip tanks. Decals for these were from the Vingtor sheet apart from the red refuelling points that were printed with my laser.

 

fabc1099-860d-4c8c-ba0b-6d51b902797e.JPG

 

This morning was spent sorting the landing gear details... one of the actuator rods on the landing gear was broken so I had to fashion replacements. I'm not going into the details, however let's say that I used plastic and brass rod, plasticard and a lot of swearing. At one point I was on the brink of leaving the actuator off altogether, then I managed to find a solution.  With the actuators in place, it was time to add the front doors.

 

ccb393e4-174b-4b1c-88cb-5849b07d4f5d.JPG

 

At this point I hit a problem: one of the rear doors has vanished ! It's not in the bag, not on the bench, not in the boxes of other kits I have around... I'll do some more searching between this evening and tomorrow, if I can find it fine. If I can't find it then I have a problem. The solution will have to come from another skill I've learnt over the years, casting resin bits ! As I have another of these kits in the stash, I'll have to cut the relavant part from the sprue, prepare a mold and cast a copy. Nothing dramatic but I really hope I can find the original part

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looking fantastic!

 

hope you find your door.....

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This is really looking fantastic, Giorgio! I think the decals for the gun vents work fine in this scale, especially ones as small and fine as these. The F-4 intake vents are another story, though, and I suspect the aftermarket guys are already working on resin replacements for the upcoming Airfix kit.

 

Good catch on the fairing under the tailplane. Now you've got me thinking whether I should remove it on my build as well. It certainly doesn't appear to be there on my subject.

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. I just noticed the Hasegawa instruction sheet that came with my kit says to remove the fairing. Ugh.

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8 hours ago, dad's lad said:

I think I might have a spare set of doors if it would help.

 

Thanks a lot fot the offer, it's very kind of you !

 

21 hours ago, exdraken said:

looking fantastic!

 

hope you find your door.....

 

Fortunately I did ! It was hiding  under some stuff, it's now being prepared to be glued in place.

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7 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

This is really looking fantastic, Giorgio! I think the decals for the gun vents work fine in this scale, especially ones as small and fine as these. The F-4 intake vents are another story, though, and I suspect the aftermarket guys are already working on resin replacements for the upcoming Airfix kit.

 

Good catch on the fairing under the tailplane. Now you've got me thinking whether I should remove it on my build as well. It certainly doesn't appear to be there on my subject.

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. I just noticed the Hasegawa instruction sheet that came with my kit says to remove the fairing. Ugh.

 

Thanks Bill !

Glad that the decals look effective here, interestingly the Esci kit reproduced the vents as scribed details, wonder if the hasegawa kit was ever criticised for this when it was first released... of course back then there was almost no internet and modellers around the world didn't discuss kits on the web :lol::lol:

 

Speaking of the fairing, I found one other detail I had got wrong, the light on the fuselage spine just before the tail. This is typical of German aircrafts and of course my 104 did not have it ! The instructions didn't mention this of course as they are for a number of German aircrafts, that have it. My mistake, I should have checked this before assembling the fuselage together... removing it meant being ultra-careful, fortunately I managed not to damage too much the finish. Next time I'll be more careful !

 

Small update, all wheel well doors are glued in place and so are the tyres. I've also glued a couple of mirrors inside the canopy frame, courtesy of an Eduard PE sheet I had partly used for a previous build. They can't really be seen unless looking very closely but I know they are there.

I've also painted and glued the missile rails in place and really I now only need a few details before calling this completed. One of them is the pitot tube, that has been painted white but will now need some form of red striping... My plan is to print a red stripe and wrap this round the part.

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52 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

Speaking of the fairing, I found one other detail I had got wrong, the light on the fuselage spine just before the tail. This is typical of German aircrafts and of course my 104 did not have it ! The instructions didn't mention this of course as they are for a number of German aircrafts, that have it.

 

Rats, I suppose my NASA Starpointer shouldn't have that light either. You know, I thought about it and couldn't see it in any of the pictures, but an F-104G exploded view drawing included the anti-collision light, so I left it on. I don't know where that drawing came from, but I guess it must have been a German F-104G.

 

Well, that's why I follow guys like you. You know your lawn darts, and I don't!    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Ah, that explains it. The exploded view drawing was inked by M. Badrocke. Yup, it was a German F-104G.

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10 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

 

Rats, I suppose my NASA Starpointer shouldn't have that light either. You know, I thought about it and couldn't see it in any of the pictures, but an F-104G exploded view drawing included the anti-collision light, so I left it on. I don't know where that drawing came from, but I guess it must have been a German F-104G.

 

Well, that's why I follow guys like you. You know your lawn darts, and I don't!    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Ah, that explains it. The exploded view drawing was inked by M. Badrocke. Yup, it was a German F-104G.

 

Makes sense Bill ! I've noticed how USAF marked Gs also show this light. Of course we know these aircrafts were German owned so it makes sense that they were at the same standard of the ones operated by the Luftwaffe and the Marineflieger.

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And a very important update: just added a few more bits to the model. These included the gun links ejection rails under the fuselage and the external air temperature probe on the side. With these in place it was time to paint the pitot tube. My original plan was to wrap a red stripe on the tube as many F-104s have a red spiral here. Checking a couple of pictures however showed that the Norwegian aircrafts used a different style, with 3 red bands. Brilliant, even easier ! Once the pitot tube was painted I could glue it in place, touch up the joint with the grey and green of the radome and the antiglare panel and look at the result. Almost done !

At that point I realized that I had yet to paint the upper rear fuselage lights and I still had no clear orange paint. Books out again, these lights actually are orange when seen from very close but when seen from farther away they look red... oh well, I grabbed the clear red paint and used this, afterall I'll not look at the model from that close.

One last detail was missing... I had to put the tip tanks in place. These were slid over the wingtip and at that point I could finally call this one completed !

Here are some not so great pictures, I'll take some better ones before uploading them in the gallery.

 

4a0d8a2f-b140-4c5d-97e7-e0bd087f0742.JPG

 

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4dde04e8-2808-4f2b-a499-5544cbf8f897.JPG

 

 

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Congratulations!  Plenty of time to knock out another one, Giorgio :devil:

 

That light you were talking about was the "bump" on the spine, right?

 

bob

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Let's sum up this build ! I'm very happy with this model, there are a few problems here and there and sure this will never win any award. Still I feel that it looks very good from 3 feet and this is good enough for me.  It's a very colourful model and IMHO the metal finish is very realistic. Really this is my best NM finished model ever

Most important of all, I finally have a model of a subject I've wanted to build for a very long time. Sharing this all the fellow britmodellers makes even happier.

 

Some comments on the kit and the materials...

The Hasegawa kit is a great little gem. It's not perfect though and for my next one I'll try to improve on some areas.

The lack of gun vents is not good, my decals weren't too bad but really they need to be scribed on. Some panels are also missing and I may add that the fibreglass panel under the fuselage is not 100% the right shape.

The landing gear is not too easy to get right, I'll be more careful the next time. I also found that the links to the smaller rear doors are not right... they should meet the doors quite forward but they can't they way they are moulded. On the next model I'll replace them with brass tubes.

Not Hasegawa's fault but I have to check better which features are to be retained or removed on the model... the various antennas and lights differ from user to user, I must make myself a proper list before starting a 104 again !

Vingtor's decals were excellent ! They are very well printed and went on with no problem at all. They are also very tough and can be moved around easily. Top notch stuff!

The instruction sheet includes plenty of information and is enough to get an accurate result. My only doubt was with the stencils, pictures didn't help but thanks to the help of the BM collective, Martin and Nils in particular, I got my answers. I should have probably applied more stencils but in the end I decided to only use a few, maybe not a fully accurate decision but will do this time. Oh, and I have enough decals left on the sheet for another aircraft, I may build FN-G with a grey fuselage next !

The Master pitot tube is very nice, however it came with a bent tip, not good. Fortunately I managed to straighten this but I was quite scared while doing this.

Finally the Vallejoì's metal colours and primers... great stuff ! Very easy to use, fast drying, very robust and very realistic. I feel that Alclads may still be the best choice but Vallejo's are acrylic and I much prefer acrylics these days. I'll buy the full range soon.The primers also worked very well and were even more robust. They seem to be even more hard wearing than Tamiya's spray primer...

 

Of course this build would have not been the same without the support of the many modellers who watched and commented this thread. Thanks a lot to all of you ! And thanks a lot to the host of this STGB, wonder if there will be a chance for am F-104 STGB part 3 in the future....

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13 minutes ago, gingerbob said:

Congratulations!  Plenty of time to knock out another one, Giorgio :devil:

 

That light you were talking about was the "bump" on the spine, right?

 

bob

 

Thanks Bob !

Not sure I'd be able to build another one in time, maybe if I built one in overall grey to avoid all the masking... :lol:

Really though I have planned another few 104s but maybe not now. What however I'll do now is try to finish a Marineflieger one I started more than a year ago, only lacks a couple of decals and the landing gear/doors/etc, I may able to finish that in a month...

 

Yes, that light is exactly the bump on the spine. It's a red anticollision light, Hasegawa reproduced it as a solid lump of plastic moulded with the fuselage halves, quite strange as they reproduced all other lights in clear plastic

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An excellent result Giorgio, a very pleasing to the eye model.

 

Mark.

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One of the best I have seen from the Hasegawa kit, excellent, fantastic model Giorgio! Thanks for all the tips on decal printing also, I'm saving this topic for the future when I have a try for myself. Your stencils look indistinguishable in quality to the Vingtor markings which is saying something as I class Vingtor decals as the best I've used yet, really well done.

 

David

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