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billn53

Supersonic Hotrods of the Wisconsin Air National Guard

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Way back in the early-1970s I was at the University of Wisconsin in Madison doing my undergraduate studies. At that time, the Wisconsin Air National Guard (ANG) was flying F-102 Delta Daggers, and the sight of these jets flying overhead was joy to behold.

 

Fast forward nearly 50-years later. I'm nearing retirement and seriously considering returning to Madison for my golden years. The Wisconsin ANG now flies the F-16C Block 30 (their F-102s were replaced with Cessna Skymasters in 1974, followed by A-10s) and I thought it appropriate to do a double build of their supersonic hotrods. Here are the kits:

 

49311153311_a81309879d_c.jpg 

 

49310653543_4c778c9cf9_c.jpg 

 

I'm waiting for the postman to deliver some key aftermarket items for the rather-basic Hasegawa kit, so I'll be starting this project with Meng's Delta Dagger.

 

Here is an example of the F-102 that I will be modeling:

 

49311339687_5e223ee22e_c.jpg 

 

For markings I'm using a nice set from Draw Decal:

 

49310653358_528b45ab97_b.jpg 

 

I also have an old MicroScale sheet as backup:

 

49311153286_c0066dbcfd_b.jpg 

 

Primary aftermarket items for my F-102 will be: Pavla bangseat, Wolfpack afterburner can & nozzle, Eduard PE, Quickboost anti-collision lights, and probably one or two others along the way:

 

49311353022_c0feb8c31d_b.jpg 

 

The DrawDecal sheet allows me to model this particular aircraft:

 

49311152941_7311bd9ea6_c.jpg 

 

Let's get started, as usual, with the cockpit. Here's a comparison of the Pavla ejection seat with the kit offering:

 

49311153096_e2cd9f3edd_z.jpg  49311152711_5d714c8ecc_z.jpg 

 

The kit seat is actually pretty good, and with addition of Eduard PE it would build up nicely. Nonetheless, I'll use the Pavla seat as it will take less work. One thing to correct, however, is the headrest, which is too wide and flat on top. This is the actual seat, and the Pavla seat after a bit of sanding:

 

49311353202_3bf268bd71_z.jpg  49311352552_150ce53d74_z.jpg 

 

I primed the cockpit parts (and a few other items, since I had paint in the pot) with Tamiya Nato Black:

 

49310653183_27448f7bb7_b.jpg 

 

Then painted the cockpit using dark gull gray. After that, I detail-painted the bang seat and added the Eduard PE to the cockpit. This is the Eduard instrument panel:

 

49314012556_52530a4834_z.jpg 

 

and the assembled cockpit:

 

49314219327_04f5bffd22_c.jpg   49314012641_b159754787_c.jpg 

 

49314219352_c7439a64dd_c.jpg 

 

49314012631_6dbf07ffeb_c.jpg   49313514653_1b8c959e76_c.jpg 

 

With the cockpit done, I began work on the Wolfpack afterburner can and nozzle, which consists of four resin parts: 

 

49320264772_be313e3584_z.jpg 

 

49320055836_0d6e140888_c.jpg 

 

I elected to go with the Wolfpack kit for two reasons: first, it is slightly more detailed than what is in the kit. More importantly (to me), the afterburner can is a single, seamless piece, compared to the two-part can from the kit:

 

49320055466_b7bf087637_z.jpg 

 

Having already primed the parts with Nato black, I had to decide how to paint the ribbed interior of the afterburner. After viewing photos of the real item on-line, I decided to use powdered pigments: Abteilung 502's Alcaline dust for the color between the ribs, and AK Interactive burnt jet engine for the ribs and flame holder:

 

49320264687_1f27e3a429_z.jpg   49320055436_1f57257435_z.jpg 

 

I painted the nozzle parts with Humbrol polished steel (27003):

 

49320263387_9c56b14637_z.jpg  49319559138_ab5afb7d37_z.jpg 

 

And finished off with a dusting of rust pigment, to replicate the heat-weathering seen in photos of the real engine:

 

49320263517_605b9e107f_z.jpg  49320267132_437d1fbbf3_z.jpg 

 

My next challenge was to figure out how to mount the resin afterburner in the fuselage. Through test fitting I discovered some surgery was needed to the fuselage interior -- areas marked in black had to be removed or thinned down:

 

49320264847_3d971ca144_z.jpg  49320056541_fcf7e377da_z.jpg 

 

Also, I cut a hole in the kit's forward mount to accommodate the Wolfpack engine:

 

49320264202_2efcf9c8a3_c.jpg 

 

49319560508_c42e40c47f_c.jpg 

 

So far, so good. But later, when I went to assemble the fuselage, I discovered more surgery was needed -- specifically, I had to grind down the interior of this corner:

 

49319560218_34310d237b_z.jpg 

 

With that done, I was able to successfully mount the aftermarket afterburner into the kit fuselage:

 

49319560643_0f55d6a2eb_c.jpg 

 

Last item before closing the fuselage halves was to add the various anti-collision and position lights. The Quickboost light set is nice, but gives no guidance on which light goes where. After consulting my reference material

 

49311153306_3b6d1afe15_c.jpg  

 

I believe I have the lighting situation sorted out. Here's what I found:

 

Two lights (red over white) on either side of the rear fuselage (locations marked on the kit):

 

49320055951_e52ab13c8c_c.jpg 

 

Two white lights on the fuselage top (locations also marked on the kit)

 

49320056111_ce0762e200_c.jpg 

 

Port (red) and starboard (blue) position lights on the wing tips, which run straight through the wing from top to bottom:

 

49320056091_52c6e52184_c.jpg 

 

Early F-102s like the one I'm modeling had a fixed beacon on the underside, just aft of the main landing gear (in later aircraft, the underside beacon was retractable). There is an engraved circle on the kit that might be intended to represent the retractable beacon. In any case, it is in the wrong location for the earlier fixed beacon, based on my photo research:

 

49319559183_de2a597298_c.jpg 

 

The outer rear weapon bay doors each had a white light (marked on the kit). At this point, the carpet monster had claimed all of my remaining Quickboost lights, so I had to build my own using UV-activated acrylic gel:

 

49320056416_e4ea630a18_c.jpg 

 

Lastly, I plan to replace the red beacon on the aircraft's spine with a piece of acrylic rod, painted transparent red:

 

49319560263_dec0796d75_z.jpg  49320262657_190e50580b.jpg

 

Having completed the cockpit, afterburner can, and lights I was able to close up the fuselage. The fit was tight, especially around the cockpit, but with some judicious clamping I am able to claim victory!

 

49319560903_e84331bfe4_b.jpg 

 

49319560093_df90cfee32_c.jpg 

 

49320264562_25f6fe5c00_c.jpg 

 

49320056141_04a2b90669_c.jpg 

 

49320055586_97ce38598f_c.jpg 

 

That's it for the Delta Dagger after two days' work. Hopefully, parts for my F-16 build should be arriving soon, so I can get started on the Wisconsin ANG's other supersonic hotrod!

 

- Bill

 

 

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Still nothing from the postman for the F-16 half of this double-build, so I'm continuing on with the Delta Dagger.

 

I must say I'm mightily impressed with the Meng kit. Everything is going together like a glove... my only fit problems have been with getting the Wolfpack afterburner installed.

 

This afternoon's progress report begins with adding PE detail to the weapon bay:

 

49323998971_b8e05622f8_c.jpg 

 

Curiously, the hole locations in the PE for the weapon trapezes do not match those of the kit piece. I elected to follow the Eduard design, hopefully that will not cause problems down the line.

 

I next assembled the wings. Perhaps against my better judgement, I cut away the elevons so that I can reposition them to a drooped condition, as seen in this photo:

 

49322178698_047f3171b7_o.jpg 

 

49323514403_7bebdfc5f6_c.jpg 

 

The fit of the wing parts is very good, the only gap is a small one where the leading edge meets the outer wing fence:

 

49323513988_0cabd85ce5.jpg   49323998571_37d553aa06.jpg 

 

The wing assembly fits perfectly into the fuselage. There is a very, very slight gap along the wing root, which a little putty (or spacer added to the fuselage) will fix easily.

 

49324216262_a7f347c12b_c.jpg 

 

Fit of the weapons bay and main landing gear bays is also perfect:

 

49324215937_4bd3931750_z.jpg   49324215997_25434e1ff0_z.jpg 

 

Considering that I started this kit just a couple of days ago, I'm amazed at how far along I am. Almost ready for paint, it seems! I wish I could say my other ongoing build (Zoukei-Mura's F-4J Phantom) was moving along so swiftly....

 

49324216117_9b2028366d_b.jpg 

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6 hours ago, billn53 said:

their F-102s were replaced with Cessna Skymasters in 1974

 

 

 

Lol - I bet they enjoyed the change of pace - not!

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22 minutes ago, TallBlondJohn said:

 

Lol - I bet they enjoyed the change of pace - not!

Reportedly, Wisconsin senator William Proxmire (famous for awarding the “Golden Fleece” to wasteful Pentagon projects) killed the Guard’s F-102s in favor of the more economical Skymasters. 

 

- Bill

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*pulling up a chair* 

I'm impressed so far. Makes me want to add a 32nd FIS F-102 to the queue of projects... 

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Oh........ 

So THAT'S what an F102 should actually look like...... 💡🤔💡

 

I'd have been well pleased with the Meng kit parts, never mind the after-Market bling!! 

Looks brilliant, and it IS surprising how quick an airframe like this goes together 

👍

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A video for your enjoyment!
 

 

- Bill

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What a great build thread, Bill. And great subjects! :)

 

Martin

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Nice, WIANG! If you pass through Chicago on your way to Madison, first off, my condolences, and second, say hi!

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A bit more progress on the Delta Dagger this weekend:

 

After cutting away the elevon, I noticed that the hinge line isn't straight. Apparently, the Case X wingtips are a bit too long (?)  I added a thin strip of plasticard to straighten out the hinge line:

 

49336778287_a3091b0c33_z.jpg 

 

I also used styrene strip to fill the leading edge gap along the outer wing fence:

 

49336092823_3152947c12.jpg  49336778137_08963f4afc.jpg 

 

and applied "sprue gloop" along the fuselage join

 

49336560756_55bafbef1b_z.jpg 

 

The aftermarket parts I ordered for the F-16 half of this project should arrive tomorrow! Yea!!!

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Thanks for sharing the video, Bill.  Didn't know Wisconsin had a delta-wing demo team, I'd have like to have seen that.  Did anyone else notice the F-102s with fresh ADC Gray panels on the intakes where parts of the national markings should have been?

 

I stopped building this one when I got to about where you are now, got hung up over the detail on the exterior of the exhaust shroud (or whatever it's actual name is).  Mold limitations don't allow the fastener detail to circle all the way round, I felt it needed addressing, momentum was lost. 

 

Meng's Deuce is a pretty impressive kit even with the heavy panel detail.  The F-106 looks even better, at least in the box.

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Really loving this build so far @billn53

 

Have to admit, I don't know much about the F-102 but I really like the lines and the cockpit is superb!

 

On board if you don't mind?

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4 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

Mold limitations don't allow the fastener detail to circle all the way round, I felt it needed addressing, momentum was lost. 

 

Meng's Deuce is a pretty impressive kit even with the heavy panel detail. 

Yes, I noticed the missing fasteners and will probably need to do something about it. 
 

And you’re right about the relatively heavy engraving - definitely no panel line wash for this build!

 

- Bill

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Look what the postman brought me yesterday!

 

Resin cockpit and landing gear bays for my F-16. Also some Eduard photoetch. There's more stuff on the way, but now I have enough to get started on the Wisconsin ANG's current hotrod 😁

 

49342456822_7582b0c301_b.jpg 

 

 

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No more excuses for me to procrastinate, so I started work on the Hasegawa F-16C kit today. I began with the resin aftermarket for the cockpit and landing gear bays.

 

This is the kit's version of the pilot's office. Not much detail, and what is there can hardly be described as "crisp":

 

 49354114737_9a21c7d832_z.jpg 

 

This is why I favor the Aires cockpits, especially for aircraft like the F-16 where the office will be highly visible:

 

49353528956_4555ed0ee9_c.jpg 

 

Unfortunately, they usually require surgery to make them fit. In this case, the fuselage needed to be cut fore and aft of the stock opening:

 

49353077968_820e81e0e1_c.jpg 

 

The fuselage also had to be thinned down, to the point  that I could see light through it:

 

49353742497_4d2fb226ef_z.jpg 

 

Here, I've highlighted in red the areas that I had to cut, grind, file, and sand away in order to make the resin cockpit fit properly:

 

49353078023_25feaa51e2_c.jpg 

 

It took about 45-minutes of effort, but in the end I wrestled this baby into submission!

 

49353528601_f9b8e58ac4_c.jpg 

 

49353528336_481871ec7e_c.jpg 

 

Before moving on to the landing gear wells, an observation about the Aires ejection seat. Aires provides photoetch for the seat harnesses, something I dislike in this scale as I can rarely make the PE belts look natural. I happen to have a QuickBoost seat for the F-16 (whose harnesses are molded in), and decided to do a comparison. I prefer the QuickBoost seat, but what caught my eye is that (except for the seat cushions and harnesses), the two seats are suspiciously identical -- down to the last rivet!  I ain't saying nuthin', but could it be that someone used someone else's seat as their model?

 

Decide for yourself!

 

49353528426_2da2ca3a89_z.jpg 

 

Now, the landing gear bays. First, comparison of the kit and Aires bays:

 

49353742787_15c29bd22a_c.jpg 

 

The kit's main gear bay is easily removed with two longitudinal cuts:

 

49353528976_0be90db178_z.jpg 

 

Again, I had to do some grinding & sanding to make things fit:

 

49353078058_09556f9743_c.jpg 

 

This was a much easier task than was the cockpit; it only took about 10-minutes to accomplish:

 

49353528876_604d1ceb71_c.jpg 

 

Voila!

 

The nose gear bay should be a simple drop-in replacement for the kit part:

 

49353529021_8b9ec4c240_z.jpg 

 

But, notice that part of the nose landing gear is molded in with the bay. This design requires that the kit nose gear first be cut in half, and then the lower plastic piece is glued to the resin upper section.

 

49353741892_b2ebbe5b51_z.jpg 

 

Am I wrong, but isn't there a potential problem here?

 

Stay tuned!

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4 hours ago, billn53 said:

I prefer the QuickBoost seat, but what caught my eye is that (except for the seat cushions and harnesses), the two seats are suspiciously identical -- down to the last rivet!  I ain't saying nuthin', but could it be that someone used someone else's seat as their model?

 

If I remember correctly, Aires and Quickboost have a relationship not unlike Trumpeter and Hobby Boss.  They aren't explicitly joined at the corporate hip, but....  

 

Quickboost bits tend more user friendly from what I can tell; engineered for a drop-in fit (or close to it).  I've never seen a build with Aires resin that didn't involve the terms "more grinding" and "paper thin."  I've used a bunch of Quickboost resin, but haven't yet worked up the stones to use the Aires sets I've acquired.  My hat is off to you for your results and your nerve.

 

I'm surprised this thread has gone this long with no mention of beer.  Or cheese.  Or football.  Or beer.  🤨

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

If I remember correctly, Aires and Quickboost have a relationship not unlike Trumpeter and Hobby Boss.  They aren't explicitly joined at the corporate hip, but....  

Quickboost seems basically a subsidiary, and marketed as such (Quickboost by Aires).

Edited by alt-92

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5 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

I'm surprised this thread has gone this long with no mention of beer.  Or cheese.  Or football.  Or beer.  🤨

Now that you mention it, the F-102 wing form does look somewhat like a wedge of cheese. And, do we really know what’s being carried in those wing tanks?

 

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I've finished painting the F-16's cockpit & landing gear bays, and am nearly ready to close up the fuselage.

 

Painting the bays went pretty quick, nearly everything is white. I used gray and black washes to bring out the details in the Aires resin:

 

49359682107_6a38c37e82_c.jpg 

 

Painting and detailing the cockpit took a lot more time and effort. I used a few bits of PE from the Eduard set, but 95-percent of what you see here is old-school hand painting:

 

49359682132_8576b7e130_z.jpg  49359681922_8c811de614_z.jpg 

 

49359476841_1721fe94fd.jpg   49359014468_52977dba03.jpg 

 

49359014353_01547cea60.jpg   49359681902_8ea551499f.jpg 

 

Oops!!! Looks like I still have some grinding and sanding to do, before I can close the fuselage

 

49359476891_936df05b88_z.jpg

 

(I forgot to remove the resin casting block from the bottom of the cockpit) :banghead:

 

 

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Following up on my previous post, I removed the cockpit casting block and the resulting fit between top and bottom fuselage was a-ok. After that scare, I took another look at the resin piece for the forward landing gear bay. Remember how I said it was a "drop fit". Boy, was I wrong!  The part goes between the lower fuselage and the air intake trunk. There's not a lot of space there, especially at the front of the bay:

 

49369332517_54c66b95a9.jpg 

 

Not only did I need to remove the casting block and grind down part of the intake trunk, but some serious thinning of the resin nosegear bay was required before it would fit. So thin, in fact, that I had clear daylight showing in a couple of places!

 

49369332597_e5f326a592.jpg  49369332717_45a253d9be.jpg 

 

But, in the end I got it to fit and that's what counts.

 

Speaking of the air intake, the kit intake assembly consists of three major parts. No locating pins are provided, and there are a couple of butt joins where the plastic is very thin. I reinforced those with plastic strip:

 

49369118586_b41cf147f9.jpg 

 

Here's the completed intake assembly:

 

49369332707_6e0ff23943.jpg 

 

The kit intake trunk is very shallow -- just over 1/2 inch deep. I preshaded the interior of the trunk in black and followed that with white, focusing on the front end to create an appearance of deep shadows inside the trunk:

 

Preshade (left) and final result (right)

49369332572_3d855247da.jpg   49369332562_3da83ef488.jpg 

 

Finally, I was ready to close up the Falcon's fuselage. Although the instructions don't call for it, and it probably isn't needed, I added weight to the nose for my peace-of-mind:

 

49369332672_8643bb7708.jpg 

 

The fuselage went together with no problems at all. 

 

49369332877_a13eb12829_z.jpg 

 

The seam along the nose will need some filler and sanding:

 

49369332727_b897c54afc_z.jpg 

 

Test fitting of the air intake revealed a gap at the front of the triangular panel on the fuselage bottom. I used plasticard to fix that:

 

49369332682_3b83276748_z.jpg

 

Gaps along the bottom of the fuselage-wing chine were easily filled with acrylic putty:

 

49369118526_c69f24cb26_z.jpg 

 

While at the rear of the fuselage, everything fit so well that no filler will be needed:

 

49369332657_0c7b06ce16_z.jpg 

 

I couldn't resist temporarily installing the flying surfaces, as encouragement to keep on plugging:

 

49368657508_79f9b5a896_b.jpg 

 

Looking mighty fine!

 

I haven't forgotten my Delta Dagger, either. Yesterday the postman brought another bit for that build:

 

49369332127_d875e97013_c.jpg 

 

What's wrong with the kit nose, you might ask. I know I asked that question, and very nearly passed on buying the QuickBoost nose. Here's a comparison (QuickBoost nose on top):

 

49369118221_49d05a387b_c.jpg 

 

The aftermarket nose is slightly more ogival, while the kit nose is more conical in appearance. Not a great difference, I admit! But, since I had already made the investment, I went ahead and installed the QuickBoost nose:

 

49369118411_470e93b62a_c.jpg 

 

How about that? It fit perfectly, no grinding, sanding, or cutting needed!

 

That's all for today's update.

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Here is today's update on my Wisconsin ANG hotrods.

 

The F-106's air intakes are now installed and I've drooped the elevons.

 

For the intakes, I first pre-painted the interior surfaces with aluminum and gun metal:

 

49374410593_6d88641f0e_z.jpg 

 

However, on gluing the inlets together I found nasty seams between the inner and outer parts:

 

49374410513_35cb0386d8_z.jpg 

 

Filling and sanding these seams destroyed my paint job, so I repainted the interior with aluminum, then tediously applied masking for the intake lips, which I re-sprayed with gun metal:

 

49384653381_c624d1821d_z.jpg 

 

Before installing the intakes, I painted fuselage sides with air defense gray. I had to do this before adding the intakes, because once they are in place it will be nearly impossible to paint behind them.

 

49384186218_8a65890374_z.jpg 

 

I then glued the intakes to the fuselage

 

49384186178_9ac3d15945_z.jpg 

 

And used sprue gloop to fill in the gaps:

 

49384653371_fdf5a56616_z.jpg 

 

For the drooped elevons, I added brass pins to the moving surfaces and drilled holes in the rear of the wing for the pins:

 

49374863301_d892dcd818_z.jpg 

 

Here's how the wings look with the elevons test fitted in place:

 

49374863286_de361b40b4_z.jpg 

 

I haven't forgotten my F-16, either. Before gluing the Falcon's "big mouth" intake in place, I ran a line of acrylic putty along the triangular mounting area. When I installed the inlet, the putty extruded out of the join, which was easy to clean smooth with a small piece wet tissue. As with the F-106, I used sprue gloop to fill in the resulting gap on the Falcon's belly:

 

49385398956_3d94ecd15c_z.jpg 

 

Both aircraft are now sitting in my warming box (along with my Zoukei-Mura F-4J build), which will shorten the length of time needed for the sprue gloop to harden.

 

49385398691_f4e5e04f98_c.jpg 

 

It sure is getting crowded in there!

 

 

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More steady progress on the Deuce.

 

I drilled a hole for the dorsal spine beacon, which I will make from acrylic rod and install after painting:

 

49396870026_fe6bbcdf5a_z.jpg 

 

I rescribed panel lines lost while sanding the seams on the fuselage. I used the pointy end of my scribing tool to make the fasteners on the metalwork around the nozzles more distinct, and I extended the fasteners to the topside of the fuselage (which were missing due to limitations of the molding process):

 

49396388308_6c93351204_c.jpg 

 

In preparation for priming, I masked the cockpit, intakes, tailpipe, and various bays on the fuselage underside. I found that a nail "dotting" took was perfect for putting dots of masking fluid on the small position and navigation lights:

 

49396388318_74d1e06456_c.jpg

 

I sprayed my Delta Dagger with Mr Surfacer 1500, thinned with Mr Color Leveling thinner (about 2:1 ratio). This will highlight any flaws or blemishes to be corrected before painting the final color coat.

 

49396388333_26515ee428_b.jpg 

 

Various bits and bobs (elevons, doors, pylons, fuel tanks, etc.) also got the Mr Surfacer treatment:

 

49397075172_64b8effa49_c.jpg 

 

Hopefully, I'll get the gloss gray color coat on this weekend.

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That Meng F-102 kit was impressive until I bought their F-106. Massive difference!

But how could I have missed this lovely thread? Superb job getting all that resin to fit on the F-16, but the Deuce looks like a winner to me.

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2 minutes ago, Christer A said:

That Meng F-102 kit was impressive until I bought their F-106. Massive difference!

But how could I have missed this lovely thread? Superb job getting all that resin to fit on the F-16, but the Deuce looks like a winner to me.

Thanks, Christer. 

Meng’s F-106 is in my stash and someday, when I get around to doing my planned Century series, I’ll build it. 

I’m not finished with resin on the F-16. I have a CMK engine nozzle coming to me (the Hasegawa molding isn’t very “crisp”), so I’ll be focusing on the Deuce until it arrives. 

Also,, I found this article on accurizing the Hasegawa Falcon. I’m not as ambitious as the author (I won’t be correcting the panel lines, for instance) but may steal borrow some other ideas:

 

https://www.usaf-sig.org/index.php/references/reference/113-kit-corrections-detailing/596-accurizing-the-1-72-hasegawa-f-16c

 

- Bill

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On 1/14/2020 at 10:00 PM, billn53 said:

I haven't forgotten my F-16, either. Before gluing the Falcon's "big mouth" intake in place, I ran a line of acrylic putty along the triangular mounting area. When I installed the inlet, the putty extruded out of the join, which was easy to clean smooth with a small piece wet tissue.

 

 

 

 

This is a great tip.

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