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Late Entry - by a Gnat's whisker..


alhenderson
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Being a long time lurker on this site, I stumbled across the GB section yesterday and wondered if I ought to get involved.  I have an Airfix 1:72nd Gnat on the desk at the moment which I started sometime around Christmas, but progress has been woeful due to DIY and decorating.  I may now have a clear window of opportunity so last weekend I sat down and did a few bits.  So, with the blessing (I think) of  @Rob G here's my first post.  I'm doing this strictly out of the box, really like the silver and orange scheme, way more interesting than the Red Arrows one you often see.  In all honesty, this build is a stepping stone to get me back in the game for an F-4 and a Tornado that I have obtained in recent times.

 

First, some expectation management!  This is my first kit in 20+ years so please be gentle 🙂  I also realised the other day that I've lost the cockpit and the front light, which is annoying.  Airfix want £3 for a replacement so we may initially be going for the Cabriolet version!  On with some pictures..

 

General shot of the box and progress to date.  Wings are dry fitted to the fuselage, not an encouraging fit sadly.

 

47960378242_32a6ef9620_b.jpgIMG_4308 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

Another view of the gap between the wings and the fuselage.  Think there's some adjustments to be done of the rear cockpit bulkhead to make the fit better.  Although the longitudinal fit is also not great, all suggesting I didn't make a great job of assembling the fuselage 😞

 

47953468576_2c89f37039_b.jpgAirfix Gnat by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

Whilst waiting for other stuff to dry, I decided to paint the tanks.  24 hours later the paint was still tacky, so the application of the orange paint could cause a considerable amount of delay!

 

47960377797_e49e307a03_b.jpgIMG_4312 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

Already noticed that the main landing gear is angled wrongly.  They are not angled outwards, but rather straight down,  which is annoying as I was quite pleased with how they went together and how the undercarriage bays fitted into the fuselage.  I've tried to prise them out a bit but they're rock solid and I don't want to break them.  Will ponder that one...

 

That's enough waffling here, best get upstairs and get glue all over myself if I'm to have any hope of meeting the deadline!!

 

Thanks for reading if you made it this far 🙂

 

Al.

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58 minutes ago, Col. said:

Welcome to the GB Al. Looks as if you've a bit of test-fitting ahead of you.

You're not wrong! Looks like I've made a mess of putting the fuselage together, trying to work out how to correct it whilst causing the least damage 😠

 

On another note, I'm having trouble posting pictures using the 'insert image from URL' option.  I enter the URL that Flickr gives me, but the box goes red, I guess meaning there's something wrong. Am I missing something?

 

Al

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3 minutes ago, alhenderson said:

You're not wrong! Looks like I've made a mess of putting the fuselage together, trying to work out how to correct it whilst causing the least damage 😠

 

On another note, I'm having trouble posting pictures using the 'insert image from URL' option.  I enter the URL that Flickr gives me, but the box goes red, I guess meaning there's something wrong. Am I missing something?

 

Al

Don't bother using the "Insert image from URL" button.  Just paste the copied link from Flickr straight into the text.

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1 minute ago, helios16v said:

Don't bother using the "Insert image from URL" button.  Just paste the copied link from Flickr straight into the text.

Doesn't work - I get an error saying the image can't be posted because there's no image at the URL. I'm trying to user the Flickr app on my phone, posted the other pictures above from the PC were the Flickr website have me a 'BB' HTML code which worked.

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Ah...yeah, I haven't played around w/ the phone app at all.  I use it to upload stuff off my phone to Flickr, then grab from the website for posting to the forums.  I haven't been fussed enough to try to figure out how the app works...as like most phone apps, the features/navigation aren't very intuitive.

Edited by helios16v
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Hopefully, here's a picture of the crux of my problem, the two sides of the fuselage around the cockpit are too far apart..

 

47960831597_3bea94328a_b.jpgIMG_20190529_205136 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

If I squeeze them together, the wings fit a lot better. Just not sure how to make it stay like that..

 

Al

 

Edited by alhenderson
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I'm afraid theres not much you can do with the fuselage, just make sure you remember next time. If you can't get things to fit, here's how. 

 

20190329_175229

Keep it up all night and by morning it's job done. 

 

Don't forget to sign up for the Britmodeller tornado warning,  Tonka STGB currently listed on the Future group build page. Lots of helping hands there for your Tornado. 

 

Colin 

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3 hours ago, Colin W said:

I'm afraid theres not much you can do with the fuselage, just make sure you remember next time. If you can't get things to fit, here's how. 

 

20190329_175229

Keep it up all night and by morning it's job done. 

 

Don't forget to sign up for the Britmodeller tornado warning,  Tonka STGB currently listed on the Future group build page. Lots of helping hands there for your Tornado. 

 

Colin 

You've deployed some serious corrective tools there!!  I ended up having a very frustrating evening on Wednesday, the upshot of which was that my fuselage is now in two halves again and I have re-glued the cockpit section to hopefully improve the fit of the fuselage and wings.  Will find out tonight how successful that's been!  The depressing thing is, this is a skill level *1* kit.  Maybe I should hang up my glue and paintbrushes now!!

 

Thanks for the hint on the Tornado GB.  Maybe having more than 10 days to complete will make for a more relaxed and successful build!

 

Al.

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So Wednesday was a frustrating evening trying to work out how I could make the fuselage fit together better to allow the wings to fit properly.  I ended up (kind of accidentally) with the fuselage back in two halves and all the cockpit out, which at least allowed me to prove the wings fitted in that scenario and I didn't have a completely duff set!  So I re-glued the cockpit, making sure to dry fit the other side of the cockpit *and* the wings this time, and left it to dry.  

 

47973771892_a9f0700904_b.jpgIMG_20190531_184924 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

After a break last night due to other commitments, Friday night is... Airfix Night 🙂  Rock and roll!  Have glued the fuselage back together, a dry fit of the wings looks more promising.  Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but nothing like it was!

 

47973780978_06995d58cc_b.jpgIMG_20190531_185539 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

Best remember to put the back seat back in.  Interior detail is not my thing, but missing out a seat is taking things a bit too far!  Have assembled the tanks, fair bit of filler needed, and given them a coat of orange.  Thanks to this site I've cottoned on to the idea of painting them before attaching to the a/c, blue tacking them to a bit of cardboard for ease of handling.  Simple, yet very effective, and something I would probably never have thought of!

 

47973781093_a62aebf554_b.jpgIMG_20190531_191246 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

I seem to really struggle with the coverage of gloss paint.  This stuff looks like its going to take several coats to get it looking half decent, and it takes ages to dry.  Might need to better part of the next week for the orange paint, never mind the rest of the assembly! 

 

While all that's drying, I need to assemble the nose gear (which I've already snapped once!), and see what other bits I can do to speed up the process.  Going to be tight this one!!!

 

Al.

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No progress today (day out at Shuttleworth to see the Daks and the Red Arrows), but I did get the wings on yesterday, fit is pretty good.  Bit of filling here and there, but OK. 

 

Looks like the gloss orange is going to be a major PITA.  Each coat seems to take a minimum of 24 hours to dry, and the coverage is awful.  Have got two coats on the drop tanks and they're easily going to need another two or three.  The paint is so thin, although it doesn't look it in the tin.  I gave it a damn good stir (there was a big lump at the bottom) and its not an old tin (bought a couple of months ago probably).  Is there something I'm missing here?  Concerned at how difficult its going to be to put the orange on the actual airframe 😞  There's a very good chance I won't get this done this week with that problem alone...

 

Al.

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Personally, I really think that Airfix mislabled this kit- it's a bit too fiddly to be Skill Level 1, despite the low parts count (which is how they choose, I think).

 

Orange is one of those colours that has been negatively affected by the removal of all those useful paint additives like cadmium and lead. All you can do is apply a coat of flat white first (to give it a decent base) and then add coats as best you can. Spraying is quicker and gives a thinner coat than brushing, but if all you have is a brush...

 

You've done a bangup job so far Al, keep on at it.

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6 hours ago, Rob G said:

Personally, I really think that Airfix mislabled this kit- it's a bit too fiddly to be Skill Level, despite the low parts count (which is how they choose, I think).

 

Orange is one of those colours that has been negatively affected by the removal of all those useful paint additives like cadmium and lead. All you can do is apply a coat of flat white first (to give it a decent base) and then add coats as best you can. Spraying is quicker and gives a thinner coat than brushing, but if all you have is a brush...

 

You've done a bangup job so far Al, keep on at it.

Have to say, I think you're right about the skill level.  I know I'm rusty, and rushing it a bit, but there are a lot of awkward bits that you have to get bang on or other stuff further down the line doesn't work.  I can see it really putting novices off if they try that out thinking its an easy one.  Thanks for the tip about the white base coat, I'll use that when I put the orange on the actual aircraft.  Only got a brush at this point.  If I get back into the hobby, maybe I'l treat myself to some better kit 🙂

 

Al.

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Well, Love Island has started, so I had the perfect excuse to get some building done.  Pretty much done with the construction now - wings are on, fit is better.  Had to put some filler in the join under the tail fin, though.  Didn't go back together as well as it might following last week's fuselage split surgery.  Have just put some touch up on that, so need to wait for that to dry and sand.  Once that's done, time for the silver paint.  The tanks are on coat number 3 of Humbrol 209 (at least I think it's 3, been that long I forget).  Starting to look better, although covering up the dark filler is challenging, and the more coats I put on , the more it looks like a slapper who's piled on the make-up with a trowel!

 

47996393697_5ab3046db0_h.jpgIMG_20190603_214708 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

I have some matt white to use for an undercoat of the orange to see if that helps coverage.

 

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

 

Al.

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Thanks guys.  I do indeed have a shelf in the airing cupboard I could use.  Sure the missus won't mind me putting the towels somewhere else 🙂 Hadn't thought of that, or hair dryers..  Every day's a school day.

 

Al.

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Making progress now..  Filler sanded down, tailplanes on, construction complete.  Coat of Matt white, primarily to give the orange a better chance, but figured it wouldn't hurt to do the whole thing, hence we now have a "Grey Ghost" 🙂

 

48005701668_2ef6512443_b.jpgIMG_20190604_202238 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

With the white drying really quickly, I was even able to mask up and paint the silver before bed last night.  Don't think it'll need another coat, so might get onto the orange panels today if I get a chance later!

 

48005779442_cc26817ed8_b.jpgIMG_20190605_073800 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

Eek - the brush marks show up really badly in that picture!  And thanks for the hint about the airing cupboard @Rob G - last night's coat of orange on the drop tanks dried in less than 12 hours (i.e. overnight).  Huge improvement.

 

Maybe, just maybe, I might yet make this!

 

Al.

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Just now, Rob G said:

Keep on chooching Al. But if you don't make it in the end, that's OK.

Having a deadline is an extremely good motivator!  If I hadn't signed up to the GB, the Gnat would still be languishing on the desk in 3 weeks time, I reckon!  Finishing it will allow me to move on to bigger and better things, hopefully having (re) learnt some lessons along the way 🙂

 

Al.

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Small update from last night.  Lots of fiddly masking and first coat of watery orange:

 

48010117472_352be992a6_b.jpgIMG_20190605_225706_672 by Alistair Henderson, on Flickr

 

If I can get the orange looking half decent then this will be a nice scheme.  My brush insists on depositing tiny bits of dust all over the place which is frustrating 😞  She's safely in the airing cupboard drying.  I say safely, if the wife goes in there to get towels the whole project could come to a premature end...

 

Al.

 

Edited by alhenderson
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Despite being in the airing cupboard, that first coat of gloss was still not dry this morning - 30 odd hours later 😧  Out to pub tonight so will be first thing Saturday before it gets another coat.  Don't think its going to be finished by Sunday.  Unless I go for a *very* weathered and faded look!

 

Al.

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Al, you said in an earlier post 

“I have some matt white to use for an undercoat of the orange to see if that helps coverage.”

Tamiya Pink primer is an excellent primer if your going to paint yellow or orange. 

Hope your orange dries. 

Edited by Hockeyboy76
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3 hours ago, Hockeyboy76 said:

Al, you said in an earlier post 

“I have some matt white to use for an undercoat of the orange to see if that helps coverage.”

Tamiya Pink primer is an excellent primer if your going to paint yellow or orange. 

Hope your orange dries. 

Thanks for that hint, everyone's a mine of information on here! I got a second coat on this morning, so we're getting there. Has got me thinking about an airbrush...

 

Al

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