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1/32 X-15A-2 special hobby


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Hello all,

 

This is my first post here. I am browsing this forum for some time now and so I thought, why not post my current build here to. So here we are.

And as the title says I am currently building the X-15A-2 from special hobby. I was not sure if this was interwar or real space ... so If I am mistaken, I will move this post.

 

A little about me, I am a 34 year old male and I go by the name, Tim.

I am born and raised in Belgium. I have 2 young children a beautiful wife and 1 dog. I did build some scale models in the past until the age of I think 14/15 then other things started to interest me more. And is was not school ...

So recently i got back into the hobby by looking and admiring photos in Instagram and Pinterest. So I got permission from my wife to set up the garage, and here I am with my first model after being out of the hobby for 20 years.

 

So a few pictures of the model.

Currently special hobby produces only the X-15 with the white ablative coating, but i wanted the make the black one we all know. So I send them an email for a decal set, and the were more than happy to help me.

The total length is about 50cm, nice.

 

 

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Welcome back and this is a fabulous subject (but challenging) to build. I look forward to seeing your progress with this kit.

 

Gary

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Great choice Tim, welcome to BM. That look huge, I built the 72nd Monogram kit many years ago, nice kit. Then I looked at the 48th scale Special Hobby, the price frightened me....

 

I'll watch if I may.

 

Colin

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Looks like a good project. I'd be interested in seeing how the kit looks and how it builds, might go on the shopping list! 

 

Good luck with your build 👍

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Thank you guys.

In the meantime I did some work on the cockpit. And by doing so I came to the realization that this kit would be quite the challenge, as far as the fitting goes and in the details. I start to wonder if it would have been easier to just buy a Tamiya  as a first kit.

But I will tackle the build slow and we will see how it goes.

 

Everything you see besides the original plastic and the resin is scratch build. With Evergreen polystyrene and old photo Etch leftovers from back in the day.

With the resin from the kit it looks better ... but still a bit to bland, for my taste anyways

 

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Nice build so far, I contacted Special Hobby too for the decal set too but they don't respond unfortunately. Good they came through for you. 

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I did one of these about ten years ago...might be useful to have a look to see the pitfalls of this kit:

 

 

Dean

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I built the Monogram 1/72 kit not so long ago. It is indeed a nice kit for its age. It's still easy to get hold of as Revell have released it in recent years.

 

I wish someone would bring out a 1/72 version of the original format X-15 with the shorter fuselage and rectangular windscreens. I'd also like to build one showing the initial twin XLR-11 rocket motor installation.

 

An X-15 in 1/32 will be very impressive. 

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Hello LOX,

 

nice work with the ejection seat. My kit came with bag full of resin parts but with only a few PE parts; none for the seat IIRC.

 

Some points about the kit to be considered:

- the model will be heavy with all that resin and those huge drop tanks; especially the engine bell will put a strain on the main gear legs (mine already broken)

- the NLG is far too long for a "post mission" plane

- the shape of the nose needs some work

- the unique AoA and side slip sensing system (that steel ball embedded in the nose) is pretty crude and needs some work

- check your references carefully, as the aircraft carried different small details and paintwork almost on every mission

- I drilled "a million and a half" small holes to represent the rivets; if you have a better way then use it

- X-15s were made of "Inconel X" metal which is of different shades of dark gun metal

- the planes were painted with gloss "Night Black" that quickly turned into matt and eventually burned off completely

- the decals were among the best I've ever used

 

I made a conversion to build 66670. The fuselage is shorter and the "Boat tail" had to be scratch built. I will post some photos if you don't mind.

 

Cheers,

Antti

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18 hours ago, Deanflyer said:

I did one of these about ten years ago...might be useful to have a look to see the pitfalls of this kit:

 

Hi dean, thank you for the link. This will definitely help me, especially for the canopy what is basically a curved plastic sheet with no detail whatsoever.

 

And 10 years ago ... that explains a lot.

 

 

1 hour ago, Antti_K said:

Hello LOX,

 

nice work with the ejection seat. My kit came with bag full of resin parts but with only a few PE parts; none for the seat IIRC.

 

Some points about the kit to be considered:

- the model will be heavy with all that resin and those huge drop tanks; especially the engine bell will put a strain on the main gear legs (mine already broken)

- the NLG is far too long for a "post mission" plane

- the shape of the nose needs some work

- the unique AoA and side slip sensing system (that steel ball embedded in the nose) is pretty crude and needs some work

- check your references carefully, as the aircraft carried different small details and paintwork almost on every mission

- I drilled "a million and a half" small holes to represent the rivets; if you have a better way then use it

- X-15s were made of "Inconel X" metal which is of different shades of dark gun metal

- the planes were painted with gloss "Night Black" that quickly turned into matt and eventually burned off completely

- the decals were among the best I've ever used

 

I made a conversion to build 66670. The fuselage is shorter and the "Boat tail" had to be scratch built. I will post some photos if you don't mind.

 

Cheers,

Antti

 

Hi Antti, Thanks for the tips, I will see what I can implement into the build. And sure post some photos.

What do you mean with the NLG ?

My plan is indeed to add rivets, I did some on the seat en I used the pin of a compass arm. I am just starting so I do not have a large set of tools ... I have to improvise sometimes.

 

And indeed most of the PE is for the ground dolly and only a few parts for the cockpit.

 

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Small progress, I added a bit of details to the cockpit.

Drilled a few holes holes in the side of the instrument panel, added rivets and panel lines to the dashboard and side panels.

 

Also I made a small oxygen hose (I assume)  on the seat.

 

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Looking very very good. some very delicate work there.

 

Funnily enough this very kit arrived on my door step on Saturday, so, I will be following along if that's OK.

It's a lot bigger than I imagined.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

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Aha interesting. are you planning to build it soon? 

I am curious how you are going to approach the build, what version will you be making? 

 

12 minutes ago, AliGauld said:

Looking very very good. some very delicate work there.

 

Funnily enough this very kit arrived on my door step on Saturday, so, I will be following along if that's OK.

It's a lot bigger than I imagined.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

 

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3 minutes ago, LOX said:

Aha interesting. are you planning to build it soon? 

I am curious how you are going to approach the build, what version will you be making? 

 

 

It's a wee bit down the queue at the moment.

I'm going to build the trailer version but as to how I'm going to approach it. I think it'll be my usual ham-fisted let's see if that works approach.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

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Hello all, my work on the cockpit has continued.

I think it is pretty much finished and ready for paint. With the PE and the resin it looks decent, but I added a bit of extra details.

And the control stick was by for the worst. It was just a blob of plastic. I literately needed to cut and carve it into the shape it is now, and also I needed to add the buttons. 

 

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4 hours ago, TallBlondJohn said:

Nose landing gear I expect

 

Indeed, that can be it.

I compared the nose landing gear from the kit with some photos. And indeed on some photos it seems it is suppressed inwards quite a bit, and on other photos it looks longer.

If this is a modification and a compressed stage I do not know. Maybe it has something to do with the external fuel tanks ?

You can see one the first photo that the landing gear cover is further from the ground than on the second picture.  

 

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These are both X-15s on display and so not very reliable for in service. As Antti_K says above the nose gear was fully compressed in every post mission shot, it came down a long way and came down hard:

 

NorthAmericanX-15600-touchdown.jpg?ssl=1

afftcho%20x-15%2002%20m.jpg

 

x-15-aircraft-after-landing-nasa.jpg

 

Sometimes too hard:

 

slide18.jpg

 

 

The compression is not weight in the tanks as they would only be filled once the X-15 is on the wing of the carrier B-52, so an X-15 on its wheels/skids always has empty tanks. So its a characteristic of the shock absorption system which used pressurized nitrogen - it doesn't rebound back as a conventional gear would, as this is not a conventional aeroplane. Note the display aircraft also have the NLG bay door fully extended, on the landing X-15s above it is retracted up into the bay to allow for the gear travel:

 

ihw-18.jpg

 

For more detail see here:

 

https://history.nasa.gov/x15conf/design.html

 

 

 

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