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West African Aggressor - Bilek/Airfix MiG-17 "Fresco-A" Guinee Conakry 1/72 - 11may21 Uppers and lowers painted :)


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Morning again!

 

I am declaring a third entrant for the GB. With the two Fresco-Cs being pretty much OOB I'm potentially going back to butchery with this build. With the very kind donation of a Bilek kit by Wez @Wez, and having a third Fresco-C kit on the shelf, I am going for one of the small batch of machines operated by this neighbour of Mali. Here is the only (as far as I know) photo of her:

 

image

Credit: Tom Cooper's "African MiGs" Volume 1

 

The kit arrived today, together with the decals and Wez's generous inclusion of appropriate wheels ;)

 

guinee1

 

I thought this kit was the AZ moulding but it clearly isn't as it has a two-part fuselage and separate fin. This, I now see, gives me the possibility of using that (with the correct speed brakes), together with the remainder coming from the Airfix kit. :). I need to think a bit more and get the first Airfix (see post) underway. 

 

Martin 

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  • RidgeRunner changed the title to West African Aggressor - Bilek?/Airfix MiG-17 "Fresco-A" Guinee Conakry 1/72 - place holder
  • RidgeRunner changed the title to West African Aggressor - Bilek/Airfix MiG-17 "Fresco-A" Guinee Conakry 1/72 - 21feb21 kit, decals aftermarket

Another nice choice. 

 

Looking forward to seeing how you backdate this one. There are quite a few early Fresco's on some of the various aftermarket decal sheets, so it will be useful to find out the best way to get one. 

 

It can be a bit confusing looking at some of the 1/72 kits. This one says Fresco C, but if it has the early speed brakes, isn't it a Fresco A? :unsure:

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25 minutes ago, Smudge said:

This one says Fresco C, but if it has the early speed brakes, isn't it a Fresco A? :unsure:

It (the Bilek) certainly is despite the titling. It actually looks like a nice kit. My plan is to use the Airfix kit and replace the rear fuselage with the Bilek parts.  still need to measure it etc before cutting plastic ;)

 

Martin

 

 

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17 minutes ago, RidgeRunner said:
44 minutes ago, Smudge said:

This one says Fresco C, but if it has the early speed brakes, isn't it a Fresco A? :unsure:

It (the Bilek) certainly is despite the titling. It actually looks like a nice kit. My plan is to use the Airfix kit and replace the rear fuselage with the Bilek parts.  still need to measure it etc before cutting plastic ;)

 

Martin

 

 

Seemingly the Bilek is now produced by Zvezda. Assuming my plan works you could pick up one of those and do the conversion. Currently they are £11.61 free P+P on ebay

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I'm really excited about this GB now :). I am going to use these builds as my entry in to pre-shading - subtly ;). It isnt something I have ever done and so it will be a voyage of discovery!

 

Martin

 

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4 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

I thought this kit was the AZ moulding but it clearly isn't as it has a two-part fuselage and separate fin. This, I now see, gives me the possibility of using that (with the correct speed brakes), together with the remainder coming from the Airfix kit. :). I need to think a bit more and get the first Airfix (see post) underway.

 

Glad you got the goodies!

 

I was toying with the idea of using the Bilek rear fuselage with the rest of the Airfix kit as you know.

 

Funny old thing, I always thought the Dragon/Bilek/Zvesda kit was the same as the AZ kit, just goes to show how wrong you can be :shrug:

 

2 hours ago, Smudge said:

Another nice choice. 

 

Looking forward to seeing how you backdate this one. There are quite a few early Fresco's on some of the various aftermarket decal sheets, so it will be useful to find out the best way to get one. 

 

It can be a bit confusing looking at some of the 1/72 kits. This one says Fresco C, but if it has the early speed brakes, isn't it a Fresco A? :unsure:

 

The rear fuselage screams Fresco A but the kit includes the reheat petals for the Fortissimo engine of the Fresco C.

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5 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

It (the Bilek) certainly is despite the titling. It actually looks like a nice kit. My plan is to use the Airfix kit and replace the rear fuselage with the Bilek parts.  still need to measure it etc before cutting plastic ;)

 

Martin

 

 

I haven't done a side-by-side comparison Martin, but I have something at the back of my mind about the Bilek kit being a little underscale.  So I am not sure whether the rear fuselage (definitely for a Fresco A despite the box ... and the exhaust!) will fit the Airfix kit.  I may well be wrong but something to check!

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4 hours ago, Wez said:

I was toying with the idea of using the Bilek rear fuselage with the rest of the Airfix kit as you know.

 

Funny old thing, I always thought the Dragon/Bilek/Zvesda kit was the same as the AZ kit, just goes to show how wrong you can be :shrug:

 

7 hours ago, Smudge said:

Another nice choice. 

 

Looking forward to seeing how you backdate this one. There are quite a few early Fresco's on some of the various aftermarket decal sheets, so it will be useful to find out the best way to get one. 

 

It can be a bit confusing looking at some of the 1/72 kits. This one says Fresco C, but if it has the early speed brakes, isn't it a Fresco A? :unsure:

Expand  

 

The rear fuselage screams Fresco A but the kit includes the reheat petals for the Fortissimo engine of the Fresco C.

I expected the AZ to land through my door but actually the Bilek looks very good :). Thanks again, mate. To me it looks pure Fresco-A :)

 

 

1 hour ago, Vultures1 said:

I haven't done a side-by-side comparison Martin, but I have something at the back of my mind about the Bilek kit being a little underscale.  So I am not sure whether the rear fuselage (definitely for a Fresco A despite the box ... and the exhaust!) will fit the Airfix kit.  I may well be wrong but something to check!

Oh no!!!! I will have to get measuring! 
 

Martin

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@Vultures1 I've measured the vertical diameter at the break point of the Bilek compared with the Airfix. The Airfix is 18.3mm and the Bilek is 18.2mm, or thereabouts. I think it will be okay. Some difference, such as there is, will be hidden under the ventral strake. What I have seen, though, is the different tail pipe shaping between the two. One downside of using the Airfix fin is the loss of detail around the base. However, using the Bilek part would mean not having the "trademark" MiG deflection of the rudder when at rest. What to do ........??? My other though - not a good one, I reckon - would be to use the Airfix throughout, fill the Fresco-C speed brakes and r-scribe the Fresco-A brakes. I'm not keen on that.

 

fresco7

 

Martin

 

cc @Wez as he donated the Bilek to me :)

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Either way will take work to realise Martin but the fill and rescribe route might be worth a try first. No harm done if it doesn't work and avoids a lot of cut and shut work if it does :)

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Hi Martin

 

Glad to hear that the Airfix and Bilek fuselages measure up!  Those must just have internet rumours because the Bilek kit looks pretty nice in the box to me

 

If the rescribe route doesn't work (and it is a complicated shape) I would try a cut-and-shut with the Bilek rear fuselage.  You could maybe graft on the Airfix tail, or how about just cutting and deflecting the Bilek rudder?

 

Inspired by the MiG-17 builds on this GB, I'm probably going to build both the Bilek Fresco A and the Airfix Fresco C ... and just not put them side-by-side 🙂

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1 hour ago, Vultures1 said:

nspired by the MiG-17 builds on this GB, I'm probably going to build both the Bilek Fresco A and the Airfix Fresco C ... and just not put them side-by-side 🙂

Excellent, mate!!! :)

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On 2/23/2021 at 8:49 PM, Vultures1 said:

 

Inspired by the MiG-17 builds on this GB, I'm probably going to build both the Bilek Fresco A and the Airfix Fresco C ... and just not put them side-by-side 🙂

I’m now wondering if this is the way I should go. The Bilek doesn’t look bad at all. I’d like to match it against the Airfix so I’d have a reasonably matching set of Frescos. If they look similar I reckon it could be Bilek all the way, with the PE, Master pitots and cannons And maybe the cockpit tub from my “spare” Airfix (maybe).......

 

Martin

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11 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

I’m now wondering if this is the way I should go. The Bilek doesn’t look bad at all. I’d like to match it against the Airfix so I’d have a reasonably matching set of Frescos. If they look similar I reckon it could be Bilek all the way, with the PE, Master pitots and cannons And maybe the cockpit tub from my “spare” Airfix (maybe).......

 

Martin

I have a couple of the Zvezda boxings which Scalemates says are the same plastic. Just waiting for my Airfix one to be delivered so I can do a size comparison, I'll be very happy if they're close enough to sit in the cabinet together.

 

Andy

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Hi all, 

 

Having just finished stencilling the MiG-21 I've taken the opportunity of a few spare minutes to compare the Bilek and Airfix again. Assuming the Airfix is the more accurate there are size issues with the Bilek (Zvezda). You can see from the forward fuselage comparisons that there is around a millimetre and a half (or more)  difference between the two.

 

Bilek-Airfix comparison

 

 Thankfully it appears that that the Bilek is more parellel than the "portly", but visually good, Airfix. This means that at the back end these differences in size becomes less. I still reckon that I can splice the two together with little apparent difference. I think - maybe will be proved wrong - that I can join the two and build up a smaller shortfall of the Bilek. 

 

Right now I want to prove to myself that I can get an Airfix Fresco together okay. Once I've done that I'll get on with this build :)

 

Martin

 

 

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  • RidgeRunner changed the title to West African Aggressor - Bilek/Airfix MiG-17 "Fresco-A" Guinee Conakry 1/72 - 01mar21 Airfix-Bilek (Zvezda) fuselage comparison
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I'm now confident enough to make a start on this one soon. I can't see any need to repeat my build thread notes and images from my other build:

 

 

so I will concentrate only on the particular features of this machine (the Fresco-A). Right now I see that as being:

 

1. the Bilek rear end amalgamation!

2. non-periscope canopy

3. inner wing pylon

4. standard wing tanks on outer pylons

5. paint and marking

 

Back soon!

 

Martin

 

 

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With LeO just about done (Inspiration Gallery by Monday) and Fresco No.1 progressing my thoughts are now with this build. I will start the build once No.1 is painted.

 

Again I am looking at the size differentials between the two kits and the diameter variance is about 1mm. I now wonder if my best yet plan would be to remove just the speed brake and jet pipe area and splice that in to the Airfix parts. I would then use the Bilek fin as it has the Fresco-A panel lining. The Fresco-A jet pipe area is different from the -C. If it weren’t for this I would simply cut out the -A speed brakes and let them in to the -C. It will mean a fair bit of butchery! :( Still thinking ....... 
 

I will get some photos posted soon to show what I mean. 
 

Martin

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So, given the undersizing (as confirmed today by @alt-92), I will  attempt to blend the speedbrake areas in to the Airfix fuselage and then I will modify the jet pipe enclosure. Decision made!

 

Martin

 

 

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Wrt measurements of the Zvezda kit:


It still looks like a MiG-17 to me though :P and considering the Zvezda is a bit cheaper than the Airfix, it'll do for my purposes.

 

 

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Well, the more I dig in to this the more I find that needs attention! :(. I started out thinking it was simply a matter of changing the speed brakes and the jet pipe but now it is obvious that the entire rear end needs surgery :(. As a very rough idea I printed (in 1/72) the back end of the Fresco-A and compared that with the -C. I realise that there are issues here in the verticval axis but, nevertheless, it shows that the back end needs building up. 

 

Fresco-A to -C diffs 2

 

Fresco-A to -C diffs 3

 

Now, if the Bilek/Zvezda was at the correct scale I could simply cut out the brakes and surrounding area and splice it into the Airfix backside. Now it looks like some building with card is going to be needed. I will use the penultimate vertical panel line as the reference point and work from there, cutting out the brakes and a little of the surrounding plastic. It'll be a bit-by-bit voyage of discovery!

 

Martin 

 

Martin

 

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  • RidgeRunner changed the title to West African Aggressor - Bilek/Airfix MiG-17 "Fresco-A" Guinee Conakry 1/72 - 23mar21 looking at the back-end again! ;)
  • 2 weeks later...

Hmm, a lot of work whichever route you take Martin, good luck either way you go.

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17 minutes ago, Col. said:

Hmm, a lot of work whichever route you take Martin, good luck either way you go.

Yes mate and I am nervous of taking the razor saw to the Airfix kit but, of course, it has to be done, in the name of Stryrene experimentation ;)...... and because there is no other choice! ;(

 

I should be cutting plastic this week :)

 

Martin
 

 

 

 

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Today I got up the courage to break plstic on this build, tackling the rear end first. This is all about merging the Bilek (now Zvezda) MiG-17 speed brake area in to the Airfix MiG-17F. Because of the small scale differences I have attempted to get the donor part (Bilek) as small as possible. This way it seems to fit, albeit with a fair bit of swearing and cursing ;). It also means getting the tail pipe area in to the Airfix surround. requiring some careful surgery. With careful not being a word in my vocabulary it has meant a bit of try it and see, resulting in some un-square joints. I will get these filled with Gloop (dissolved sprue) and then re-scribe and all will be okay. Here are a couple of shots:

 

513b

 

513a

 

As you can see, for some of the gaps I have infilled with strips of plastic card and rod.
 

The starboard side of the Bilek back end was short shot and so you can see that I have added a little card triangle which I will fashion to shape later. You will also see that I removed the ventral strake to ease cutting and filling. I'll re-fit that later.

 

Meanwhile I have been doing the menial stuff - cutting out the cockpit parts for this and the Malian and getting them ready for painting. 

 

More again soon 

 

Martin

 

 

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  • RidgeRunner changed the title to West African Aggressor - Bilek/Airfix MiG-17 "Fresco-A" Guinee Conakry 1/72 - 11may21 Uppers and lowers painted :)

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