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2019 being the year of getting stuff done, I decided to finally get round to something that's been on my mind for a loooong time: a 1/48 F-86A. Now most of you will have been gnashing teeth for years that the 'A' model Sabre hasn't ever been accurately kitted and the two 'F-86A' kits which do exist are not worthy of the name (the awful 1/72 Matchbox kit and Lindberg's '1/48' thing step forward). So my idea is to in 1/48 scale combine an accurate Eduard/Hasegawa F-86F fuselage with the only decent narrow-chord slatted wing - that of Revell/Monogram's F-86D. Easy eh? 🤣

 

So obviously there's more to it than that - quite a lot more in fact - but having had the kits for some while, I couldn't think of a decent excuse not to have a go. Colour scheme will likely be an 81st Fighter Group machine, avoiding the usual 116th FIS scheme (which Corgi got wrong on its diecast by the way). I'm using the Eduard 'Ultimate Sabre' kit, plus some Brassin wheels and Revell's 'early' F-86D, though the wing is the same as the 'late' version.

 

So to start with, the fuselage. Lots to do here, and here are the fuselage halves before hacking about:

 

1a

 

1b

 

And this is a starting point for what needs to be done (plus the windshield of course):

 

1a

 

Wish me luck!

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As one of those wailing and gnashing about decent early Sabres in either 1/72nd or 1/48th, I will be following with interest.

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My favorite aircraft. Will be watching and hoping someone molds one

before you get yours done! Hope, hope, hope!---John

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5 hours ago, Sabrejet said:

2019 being the year of getting stuff done...

 

Oh dear, is it really?  One month ticked off without anything of the sort here!

 

Out of curiosity, are you going to fix the sweep angle on the D wing?

Edited by gingerbob

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14 minutes ago, gingerbob said:

 

Oh dear, is it really?  One month ticked off without anything of the sort here!

 

Out of curiosity, are you going to fix the sweep angle on the D wing?

I didn't measure either wing before I started but for sure one of them (Eduard/Hasegawa or Revell/Monogram) is out by a degree or so. Or maybe they both are a bit wrong one way or t'other? Either way the R-M wing will be 'massaged' to fit the fuselage joint of the Eduard kit. Or that's the idea. Got that bit on the go at the moment...

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Small update: ready for a lot of grinding round the tail strakes, I packed out the fuselage interior with plastic strip and also have removed the speed brake wells: the F-86A differs a great deal from the F-86E/F in that area. Also filled most of the holes too. Well all of them with luck. Not pretty, but hopefully the other side will be!

 

2

 

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Well here's the Eduard lower wing section: only the centre bit will be used. Why not just use the whole F-86D lower wing? Well though the F-86D wing and centre wing box is similar to the F-86A, the centre wing fairing isn't: on the F-86A the fairing panel which sits directly below the centre wing box sits near-enough directly on the bottom of the centre section. On the F-86D, which has a deeper fuselage, the lower panel is spaced off from the centre wing box by quite a bit. So the only option is to use the F-86F centre section.

 

3

 

And here finally are the Revell lower wings mated to the Eduard centre section. White plastic card was used to bridge the gaps: the larger gap on the right was my fault in cutting out too much - luckily more plastic card came to the rescue! I had also drilled out the drop tank sway brace attachments (circled), but since these should be located directly on the forward spar (prominent spanwise panel line) they are obviously in the wrong place as Revell position them. They will be plugged and filled.

 

4

 

And since it will need to be a strong joint, I added a couple of thick plastic card doublers on the inside:

 

5

 

More in a day or two...

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The F-86 series of jets at times feels so under the radar of model manufacturers. Such a shame. Great efforts on all the details.

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Very interesting project! I've heard that the Revell wing has excessive wing sweep, and wonder if you have taken that into account when splicing the wing and centre section?

 

Regards,

Ragnar

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Good work SJ. I'm about to start my own 'cutting & shutting' on my Avon so it's interesting to see what you do here, particularly with the flaps.

 

Stuart

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8 hours ago, ragnarec said:

Very interesting project! I've heard that the Revell wing has excessive wing sweep, and wonder if you have taken that into account when splicing the wing and centre section?

 

Regards,

Ragnar

As mentioned above I'd say there's about a degree (at most) difference and so far it looks like it won't be a problem. So far...

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I was wondering how to approach the wing, my thought was to cut spanwise along the panel line which I assume corresponds to the forward spar on each of the respective wings, then drop the slatted slatted section into the hard wing, test, adjust, rescribe and hopefully Robert is your mother or father's brother.

 

I've not really looked into it and I don't know how feasible the approach is, I guess I'd back engineered what they'd done to the aircraft when slatted wings were replaced by hard wings.  I must admit I'd quite forgotten about the difference in cross section between the A/E/F and the D in that area.

 

Keep up the good work Duncan.

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1 hour ago, Wez said:

I was wondering how to approach the wing, my thought was to cut spanwise along the panel line which I assume corresponds to the forward spar on each of the respective wings, then drop the slatted slatted section into the hard wing, test, adjust, rescribe and hopefully Robert is your mother or father's brother.

How you describe it, is how I back date my wings, makes sense to me.You end up taking a very, very thin slice (1mm outboard, 2mm inboard in 1/72) off the slat assy.

 

Stuart

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very interesting thread!

 

will be watching!

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17 hours ago, Courageous said:

Good work SJ. I'm about to start my own 'cutting & shutting' on my Avon so it's interesting to see what you do here, particularly with the flaps.

 

Stuart

Flaps end up too narrow to fit the gap, so I'll splice a bit onto the end of each. As with many of these sort of conversions, it's difficult to see how things go til you start cutting, sanding and swearing a lot.

 

I think you could indeed cut the leading edges off one and do it that way, and the Revell kit, being pre-"6-3" means you should be able to plonk it straight on the front spar of the Eduard F-86F wing. But since the Revell kit has the flaps separate, I went for the 'cut the wings off' option as the best of the two. 

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Not much going on today (glue and filler curing) but here are a couple of schematics to show the differences between F-86A/E/F centre section and the F-86D. First the F-86A/E/F:

 

xx1

 

And I've highlighted in red the stand-off sections which demonstrate the deeper fuselage contour in this area for the F-86D (below). And whereas the F-86A/E/F covering panel in this area is a single-piece item attached with screws, the F-86D version is 3-piece and attached in the centre via a piano hinge. Highlighted blue is the camera access door, which is fitted on the LH/port wing of the F-86D only. Revell put it on both wings, which means twice the amount of panel line filling because it's on neither wing on the F-86A/E/F!!!

 

xx2

 

Edited by Sabrejet

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Your threads are ALWAYS so filled with good info and outstanding workmanship -- thanks.

 

Gene K

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Double snap! I'll have what he's having! Can we fast forward to where SJ shows us how he made a master for the vacformed 'vee' windscreen and how he reprofiled the stabilizer fairings? Going to do the gunport blast doors or the open gunports, SJ? Just askin'! Taking notes on this one so I can try it in 1/72 before @Courageous cranks out another one! 😜

Mike

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4 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Double snap! I'll have what he's having! Can we fast forward to where SJ shows us how he made a master for the vacformed 'vee' windscreen and how he reprofiled the stabilizer fairings? Going to do the gunport blast doors or the open gunports, SJ? Just askin'! Taking notes on this one so I can try it in 1/72 before @Courageous cranks out another one! 😜

Mike

Mmmm. Well not sure about the screen but I am thinking it won't be vacformed. It looks like I can modify the existing but that won't become apparent until I try and do it. And I can leave the gun ports til later but I'm being drawn to an F-86A-7 colour scheme (it will need a few custom decals to do it), so it will be metal intake ring and open gun muzzles.

 

Or at least that's how it is at the minute. Once I've sorted with wing/fuselage I have many options: late F-86E/early F-86F with no mods; early F-86E with windshield mod and a few other minor bits and then early F-86A with a few more and finally F-86A-5/6/7 with the whole raft and then just permutations of gun blast panel and intake ring.

 

It does make me realize how easy it would be for those variations to be kitted, and boxed as maybe three versions with easy-to-add inserts etc.

 

But don't worry - I haven't changed my mind - it will still be an F-86A :)

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I'm also a Sabre fan, although I haven't built one for some years now.

I built a 1/48 'A' model about 20 years ago using a conversion kit and the Academy F-86. I think I still have it somewhere in a box of unpacked stuff from when we moved to France 13 years ago!

Also watching with interest.

 

John

Edited by Biggles87

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Sabrejet is Sabre rattling so to speak 😁 

 

Looking forward to your updates.

 

Trevor

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