Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi gents!


While waiting for the primer to try on the endless sanding repetitions on my YF-105A Thunderchief conversion, I a going to do something I rarely do, start a second project at the same time.   Well actually, I do it all the time, but I just never publish it at the same time!


Nevertheless, I'll begin first with the backstory.   Several years ago, I ran across an interesting conversion by a modeler named Bill Dye. I never met Bill, but I he apparently loved to kitbash and convert, like I do.  What I first found was his YF-96A conversion  YF-96A Build


I decided I'd have to build one of those, one day, but as is my norm, other things intervened.  Sometime later, I ran across this pic: :




The bottom aircraft is actually the second YF-84F, modified with a solid nose and wing intakes. I decided I'd like to build on of those, because I had never even seen a picture of one before.  While researching THIS aircraft, I ran across another build started by Bill Dye of the same aircraft.  Sadly, he never posted finished photos of the build, and I do not know where he is, or how he is doing.  In any event, he (unknowingly) encouraged me to do this project.  Here is a link to his version: Bill Dye's YF-84F


While my research pointed me in a slightly different manner of conversion than Bill's, I will still use his technique of chopping out the needed cockpit cutout as a whole panel, and transferring it from the Heller F-84G kit to the Testors/Italieri RF-84F kit.


Which is exactly how I'll begin, sawing two cuts 58mm apart across the Heller  fuselage, and  then laying out tape the long way to mark those cuts. The front saw cuts were 12mm wide, centered on the fuse join line, and the rear saw cut was 14mm wide, also centered on the fuse join.




Almost all my panel line cuts are made the same way. First a tape line is laid out if needed. Then, a sharp #11  X-Acto blade is run along the guide, followed by a couple of passes with my Trumpeter scriber, and then finally, the saw:




This usually leaves me a nice, clean cut-out, reducing sanding later.  Next, the same procedure is repeated on the T/I RF-84F fuse, using the same measurements:




Of special satisfaction to me is the fact that this is the same RF-84F kit that I had previously swiped the turtledeck from to build the YF-105A, the other work still in progress, which is why the little triangle of plastic is missing from above. Saves a kit!  There are a couple of reasons why I decided to modify the RF-84F vs the Heller kit as Bill did, and I'll explain these later.


Also at this time, I glued all the camera windows in place of the RF-84F for added strength. (Turns out only the single window further back really mattered!). Then, I sawed off the camera nose, just a hair ahead of the nose gear well:




Next all the protrusions on the RF-84F kit had to be removed from both fuselage halves, in the area between the lines marked. This included the front wing supports only:




For the cockpit I'll use a resin copy of, IIRC the CMK Academy F-84G cockpit set. I made several resin copies of the tub years ago, against future need. They are not all exactly the same as the "G" model, but they provide a good jumping off point, faster than scratch-building a cockpit.

I also used a cut down and modified version of the Monogram F-105D as the instrument panel, also as a starting point:




When the bare cockpit tun and IP are painted, they are glued into the cutout cockpit section from the Heller F-84G kit, after a little knife work to fit the rear tray of the cockpit into the fuse section. The rear was reinforced underneath with a bit of scrap plastic card, and everything was glued together with clear Loctite Go2 glue, which is sort of a thick, flexible CA glue with no bad fumes. While no good for areas requiring sanding, it's the bee's knees for nose weights and stuff like this, as it sticks to most everything and is water resistant (future sanding).


Well, that's it for this time.  Hopefully, I'll be back soon with either this or the YF-105A or something...











  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again.


Originally, I thought that the way to go on this build was to work with the Heller fuselage.  After much research, I learned that while the second F-84F prototype was converted to this aircraft for studying the validity of wing intakes,  that 7" had been added to the overall height of the fuselage, and that the original under fuselage airbrake and tail skid had been kept.  While some sources claim that this aircraft had been converted from an F-84G, I'm leaning toward  the F-84E instead, as pictures of the YRF-84F clearly show the earlier, 4-hole air brake door.  In any even, the thing that finally made me decide to modify the RF-84F fuselage instead was this:




"A" above shows the Heller  fuselage, while "B" shows the diameter of the T/I RF-84F fuse. Clearly the more powerful engine's larger diameter was a whole different critter!  The tailpipe show above was from the scrap box and the arrow points to a tail warning radar on the RF-84F that needs to be removed on both side.


While I possibly cold have lived with adding a 7" section to the fuse, making the rear end larger all around was more than I was willing to do; hence I decided to modify the RF-84F fuse as the lesser of two evils!


Next are shown (again) the spares bin-provided tailpipe, as well as the air brake well, sawn from the Heller fuselage and sanded down to fit the  T/I fuse.Also note that the side airbrakes have been filled, first by gluing in their respective doors, and then, because the doors sunk down too far to fit flush, a thinner layer of plastic card was cemented over the top, then sanded to proper height for the fill-in:




Next, one side of the tail skid on the T/I RF-84F was sawn off, the just the tail end of the fuselage halves were aligned and glued together.  After test fitting, the canopy/fuse section was slid into place from the front of the unglued end of the fuselage, and the when nestled into place, glued with Weld-On #3, along with the rest of the fuse seam. When his had dried, the nose cone (which was the tip of the Mach2 B-45 tip tank used for the tailcone in my FYF-105A build), was glued to the front.  A shim was needed to line it up properly:




In the above photo, the gap behind the cockpit section is from when I removed the turtledeck from the fuselage for use  on the YF-105A build.


Shown below is the removed part of the tail skid on one fuselage side.  The other side will be removed and the whole area filled with plastic card:




Well, that's all for now.  The Alclad II is now dry on the YF-105A, so I'll get back to that!







Edited by TheRealMrEd
redundant sentence
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

How did I miss this?!!!! Another Kartveli creation longing for avid followers to watch....... This is a nice idea, Ed. I was only reading a bit about these machines in Dennis R. Jenkins Experimentals and Prototypes book over the weekend. I'm i ... ;)





By the way, and apols for the drift - your recommendation of sealer fordecals works fabulously. I used it on the last Thud :).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.


Martin, looks like I'll be using some of that sealer on this project as well!



  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick update ...


I decided to scale up the following picture on the computer to around 1/72 scale, and found a little surprise:




The nose cone was too long!  So I lopped it off and filled the nose hole with some Plastic Weld, a two-part plastic putty by JB Weld, that performs quite like Milliput. Also above can be seen the filler card used on the turtledeck, and just the tip of the plastic card filler for the lower tail pipe area.


When dry, I began sanding the nose to correct shape. Fortunately, the Mach2 tip tank plastic was quite thick, so I had some wall thickness to work with:




Also, I sawed off the tail skid from the Heller F-84G kit, and cemented it to the plastic card-filled lower tailpipe area. Note the arrow showing the now-missing RWR antenna and the reshaped vertical stabilizer tip.


The fuse now looks much better:








That's all for now.  Off to the paint booth for a coat of primer, etc.





  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

While things are drying on the YF-105A build, I'm back again with this one.


After more or less getting the filling/sanding into shape, it was time to scribe all the panel lines, just the major ones.  The wings were glued to the fuse, which fit very well, with the use of liquid glue and some slight pressure holding the join:




Next, the cockpit was finished up, using the part from the RF-84F kit, cut down and sanded to fit, in front of the instrument panel.  The ejection seat, happily enough, was the same used on the early F-105's, the AM-1 seat. So, I chopped and sanded and slightly modified one of the two seats that came in the F-105D kit that I am converting to the YF-105A.  Nothing I like better than to intermingle parts from various kit conversions!.  The control stick was from the Heller F-84G kit, cut down a bit to fit:




Next, first the windscreen, then the canopy bubble were glued to the model with RS watch cement.  The canopy was first masked with masking tape, and a touch of Micro Mask where needed.  After everything had dried, the windscreen was masked with Parafilm "M", trimmed with a sharp #11 blade, and the a touch of Micro Mask, where needed:




A little Mr Surfacer 500 was used to fill remaining tiny imperfections around the canopy.  Then, the whole area was primed flat black to create the proper black inside color for the canopy framing:




And, a little more clean-up was required around the canopy, shown on the right, above.


Next, the nose probe was needed. I used a candle set into an old spray can lid and some spares box sprue of around 3 mm diameter for the first go:




On the right, above, a piece of sprue was used from the Heller F-84G kit, which was a little bigger around, and a better plastic compound, which ended up being straighter and less flimsy.  A couple of quick cuts, and it looks quite convincing on the nose:




Originally, I just glued it onto the front with liquid cement, but the Plastic Weld used to fill the front of the nose did not hold the glue that well, and I ended up drilling both pieces and inserting a short length of wire to secure the probe to the nose, using CA glue this time.


While that's drying, back to the YF-105A...







  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Now that the YF-105A  is done, back to this one!


When last we met, the model had finally had the nose  probe added and was sprayed overall with Alclad II grey primer, looking for defects and ready for paint.  Next, I added an overall coat of Alclad II black gloss paint, then a layer of spacer.png Alclad II Polished Aluminum:



After masking with Parafilm "M", a couple other shades of Alclad II were added, semi-flat aluminum and stainless steel, I think.  Also, as is usual for me the nose probe came off, so that will mean more repairs!




Right after which, I again broke a cardinal rule and left a thinner-impregnated thumb print right behind the canopy as seen above, so more sanding, masking, re-paint, etc.  Finally I got all the main bare metal parts looking halfway decent, but way too shiny for this particular bird:




In the lower picture above, I shot a coat of diluted Alclad II Aluminum (5% paint 95% thinner) over the entire model, to more or less bring the tone of all parts a little closer together, and kill a little of the excess shine of the Polished Aluminum.  It is hard to see the difference in these two photos, but in real life, it make a huge difference.  The trick here is a thin overall coat, and then a little extra here and there where needed most.  Easy does it!


With all that done, and a full  day of drying time, I then covered most of the endangered areas with Parafilm "M" to protect from over-spray as well as to give an extra level of insurance that the Tamiya tape used to outline the anti-glare panels would not lift the underlying pant.  Having the PM under the tape also helps prevent bleed through, or paint seeping under the edge of the tape.  The canopy remains covered, but using a sharp #11 X-Acto blade, I gently trimmed the PM away from the areas needing paint, following along the tape edge:




Next, the anti-glare areas will be painted and then more drying time.


Back in a day or three with more updates...








  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, back again,


In the next photo,, the anti-glare panels on the nose and turtle-deck are painted, I chose FS# 34092 (Dark Euro Green) instead of the more common FS# 34087 Olive Drab, because the 34092 was called out in the official T.O.'s for many other aircraft of the era,  and because it is less commonly seen.  As I could find no color photos of this aircraft, no way I can be certain.


The intake and wing walk warning areas were painted FS 31136 Insignia Red, while the top of the vertical stabilizer was painted light gray.  Since these caps were usually made of fiberglass, they could be grey, tan, yellowish brown, or whatever. Again, no color photo:




With everything unmasked, it looks like this, so far:




Next, since I didn't have the correct numbers and letter for the buzz numbers "FS-345", I printed some on my ink-jet printer.  As before, the lack of color photos means I had to chose between Insignia Blue or black. I chose black, because all the other needed little decals in the spares box were mostly black.  For those wishing to follow this same path, the full-size artwork is presented below:




I usually print at least two each of every home printed decal, as they are sometimes printed to thin, and I have to put a second decal over the top of the first, usually only when printing on clear decal stock, as I did here.  By the way, if anyone needs to print these and can't manipulate these two print a clear background, I have the Photo Shop .psd file available, for the prince of a message or e-mail...


Next I began the decalling process, starting with what I thought to be the hardest two things, the red turbine warning stripe around the rear fuselage, and the two home made FS-345 decals.  This is because if I have any trouble and have to remove then and possibly damage the paint, I have less work to recover, and fewer wasted spares decals.  It now looks like this:




Coming along nicely.  Still needs what I call the 'secondary" decals -- the white re-enforcement decals on the canopy, and as many other smaller marking that I might see in the photos and locate in the spares box!


While I am addressing those issues, there is another conversion requirement, the nose wheel.  The regular Heller F-84E nose wheel was too small, and pictures show this aircraft as NOT having the ubiquitous fender on the nose wheel to reduce splash, so I decided a little conversion was in order. 


First, I took a very fine toothed razor saw, and sawed off the front wheel, tire, and fender from the RF-84F kit front gear assembly.  I then found a correct 6-holed front wheel in the spares box (probably from a P-80 or T-33 kit).  It was overly large and overly wide, but had the correct hub pattern:




Then, I used a larger, wider blade saw to saw the spares box wheel in half, as shown above.  I sanded the wheel halves thinner, just like working with a vacuform kit, and also sawed the material from between the front forks of the nose wheel.  This left the material of the fork very thin, so I had to proceed very carefully:




In the competed photo above right, you will note that the re-worked spares box tire is still a bit larger than the RF-84F kit wheel.  I only sanded the circumference down enough so that the end of the nose gear fork would line up with the center of the wheel.  This allowed the wheel to fit rather snugly into the fork, rather than having a bit of clearance side-to-side and fork-to-wheel, as there should be in real life.  I glued the wheel/tire to the fork not only at the center of the hub, but along the areas where the tire contacted the fork, using CA glue, and re-enforcing this very weak area greatly.  In any event, the end product looks closer to the real thing than what I had to begin with, so I'm happy about that!


Well, we're rounding the final turn now.  Won't be long before she's R.F.I. -- stay tuned...







  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/12/2019 at 11:21 AM, TheRealMrEd said:


After masking with Parafilm "M", a couple other shades of Alclad II were added, semi-flat aluminum and stainless steel




I used Parafilm "M" to mask the canopy on my P-61, and it worked out quite nicely. I don't know why I haven't used it more often. But, I take it you stretch the PM over your wing or fuselage, and use a sharp #11 to cut it away the panels you want to paint. That scares the bejeezus out of me! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi billn53,


Yup, that's the drill!  Simply practice a few times on a paint mule and it becomes quite natural.  These days, I only use a ruler with the PM on the long straight lines, such as on wings.


And you know, none of us are getting any younger --- give it a shot!




PS  Nice work on the B-58 in progress...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, back again, with the final installment!


The only small decals that I could find in the photos were alas also on the RF-84F kit decals, which were totally trashed -- cracked, pieces flaked off, etc.  For the first time in years, the spares box has left me down. Oh well...


To recall (or just to inform -- can't remember!), the paint/decal sequence was as follows:


1)  Fill, sand and prime w Alclad II Gray primer/filler.  repeat as needed until no defects could be observed.  Then,


2)  Black Gloss Alclad II base, then fix all those defects found, repeating above steps as needed.  Then,


3)  An all-over coat of Alclad II Polished Aluminum, and then fixing all the myriad of new defects found, and repeating steps 1 and 2 above as needed.  Then,


4)  Mask some panels with Parafilm "M" and spray second bare metal color, such as semi-flat Alumiinum, Stainless Steel, regular Aluminum, etc., Then


5)  Masking other panels with the PM, shoot second, third, etc color as needed.  When all the bare metal colors were done, then


6)  Spray a thinned wash of thinned Alclad II Aluminum (5% Aluminum, 95% thinner) over the whole model, helping all the metal colors to tone better, killing extreme variances.  Then


7)  The required areas were masked with PM and for the anti-glare and turtle deck panels, Tamiya tape was laid atop the PM to establish the long, swooping lines correctly, then the PM was cut out (gently) with a new #11  X-Acto blade, running down the edge of the tape as a guide.  As indicated earlier, some practice beforehand should be done.  Anyway when the needed areas of PM were pulled away, the anti-glare color and the red color were sprayed. Then,


😎 After everything had dried, all the masking was removed, and the entire model was given a coat of Alclad II Aqua Gloss water-based paint.  This was to let the model be handled easier after this coat had dried, as well as to give the decals a dead smooth surface to adhere to.  Also, it added a little protection to the Alclad, in case some of the decal solvents used later got on the finish, as sometimes, particularly with the harsher ones, they eat the Alclad II.  Of course, this layer was left to dry overnight. Then,


9)  Decals were applied, using Micro Set, which is pretty mild.  After being teased into final positions, the decals were allowed to dry about four hours, then Walther's SOLVASET was applied to all decals, and this stuff is tough!  From this point, unless there was some tiny and very quick decal adjustment needed, I left the decals alone to dry over night.  Once the SOLVASET has been applied, decals become extremely fragile!  Then,


10) Another coat of Alclad II Aqua Gloss was applied over the decals (including the strips on the canopy), and allowed to dry.  Then,


11) Avoiding the canopy (by either masking or careful aim of the airbrush), a coat of Alclad II Klear Kote Light Sheen was applied, to mostly kill the bright shine from the Aqua Gloss.  On the show-type planes, such as George Laven's F-100C or F-104C, this last step would be skipped.  Then, and lastly,


12) The anti-glare areas were touched up with a dead flat clear acrylic topcoat, applied by carefully hand-brushing. 


There, see how easy that was?




Anyway, after dispensing such sage advice -- which you will recall, I often ignore (to my peril), I'll just move along.  After all the paint and decalling was done, I added all the small bits -- landing gear, speed brake, etc. and touched up the wing-tip lights with first a coat of white paint, and then a dollop of either clear red or blue as required.  As a last step, I drilled holes into the four marked areas on the older-style F-84 4-hole speed-brake, and enlarged the holes slightly with a tiny square rat-tail file, as these holes were see-though on the real aircraft; this was then mounted the the bottom of the fuselage with the two little actuator struts from the Heller F-84E/G kit.


Here's a shot showing the speed brake and the custom nose wheel described earlier:




And a shot showing the extra large star and bar insignia on the wings, as well as the 90-degree to the fuselage application of the USAF, which was, on the production models, changed to the more common tangential orientation:




That it for the teaser pics.  I'll have the RFI link posted in a few minutes, for those interested:  RFI


Again, thanks to fellow modeler Bill Dye, where ever he is, for inspiring me to build this nice addition to my collection.


Stay tuned for the next adventure...




Edited by TheRealMrEd
added link
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was fortunate (?) enough to once witness a run up of the XF-84H Thunderscreech.  The stories about the noise level are not exaggerations.


Edited by ejboyd5
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...