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1/72 Lockheed YF-94D Conversion


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Hello all.

 

While waiting on the paint to dry on my side-tracked P-26 Peashooter build, I have decided to get started on the next project, a 1/72 scale conversion of the Heller F-94B kit to a Lockheed YF-94D, which I have never seen modeled.  As usual, after waiting for someone else to give me a conversion set, I decided that no one would, so I'll just get on with it!

 

Below are the major component parts I'll use.  The Keller kit, the True Details F-94C cockpit set, and a side view of the subject aircraft:

 

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The side view, with the actual length to scale needed, shown below:

 

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Note the actual length is for the actual aircraft, NOT the paper size.  This is a picture in 200 dpi, so it seems a little large.  Actually, it needs to be scaled larger to be actual 1/72 scale.  I didn't print it larger here, because it would have been more than 1660 pixels wide, and not a very happy match for some folks' computer screens, and thus, not very useful.  So, you'll have to scale it yourselves, if you need it!

 

The particular aircraft I'm building is this one:

 

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Originally to be designed as a new ground attach version of the F-94, it was converted from an F-94B, and only the nose was modified.  It was to have originally tested a variety of guns, such as 20mm, as well as a retractable nose refueling probe.

I don't know if if ever did, but it was in fact used for aerial testing of the M61 Gatling gun, later used on many other fighters, to this day.  I believe I read somewhere that when testing the M61, the aircraft would come to an almost stop in the air, as the Gatling gun had such a kick.  But, perhaps it happened to another test aircraft.  A lot of things slip away with the onset of old age...

 

This is just to whet your appetites, because, as stated over on my P-26 thread, I'll be away for a few days. So, it'll be a while before we can find out whether I've bit off more than I can chew.

 

See you then,

 

Ed

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As soon as I saw the title of this post, I knew it had to be you, Ed!

 

I can't wait to see how you do this conversion... I always learn a new trick or two from your builds.

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I don't know much about the F-94. but weren't the wings also extensively re-designed between the B and C models? I recall overhearing a conversation at a model shop once, but I don't recall well if the folks were talking F-94 or F-89. Either way I'll be following along because the F-94 is a plane I really do need to get around to modelling at some point. 

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21 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

The particular aircraft I'm building is this one:

 

spacer.png

 

Originally to be designed as a new ground attach version of the F-94, it was converted from an F-94B, and only the nose was modified.  It was to have originally tested a variety of guns, such as 20mm, as well as a retractable nose refueling probe.

I don't know if if ever did, but it was in fact used for aerial testing of the M61 Gatling gun, later used on many other fighters, to this day.  I believe I read somewhere that when testing the M61, the aircraft would come to an almost stop in the air, as the Gatling gun had such a kick.  But, perhaps it happened to another test aircraft.  A lot of things slip away with the onset of old age...

 

Ed

Interesting project: this is one of two F-94s used in Project Gun-Val, a project more famous for generating gun test platforms based on the F-86F. Gun-Val also involved the F-89 and according to one source, the F-84F. However despite many attempt at identifying them, I've never found any evidence of Gun-Val F-84Fs in official records or the record cards themselves. As fa as I can ascertain, each Gun-Val airframe was converted to test one type of weapon rather than a variety.

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Thanks Bill!

 

Tweener,  I think the dihedral was increased on the "C" model.  I think the A and B models were alike.

 

Sabrejet, I've not seen any F-84 mods of that nature either.  They might have had room in the RF-84's if they removed the cameras, but I don't think anything larger could have been added to the fuselage of the F-84F!

 

Ed

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I love that photo. I remember that well. My dad was in the Mass ANG. That was when the 102nd was stationed in East Boston before the move joint Camp Edwards in Otis on Cape Cod. I remember the F-84s they had there. 
attached is a photoshop someone had done of a Shamrock F-86.

 

Edited by Bejay53
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I love that photo. I remember that well. My dad was in the Mass ANG. That was when the 102nd was stationed in East Boston  I remember the F-84s they had there. Then they moved to joint Camp Edwards in Otis on Cape Cod. I remember the F-106s flying out of Otis. 
attached is a photoshop someone had done of a model of a Shamrock F-86.

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Edited by Bejay53
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Thanks Bejay53, that sure is a pretty F-86H.  I'll have to do one in this scheme soon!

 

Ed

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Well, back again.  The paint on the P-26 is almost dry, but I'll give it a few more days before getting back to that.

 

On the YF-94D, My first concern was trying to find something like a fuel tank, missile nose, or whatever would serve as a base to which I could apply putty.  I scrounged around my pretty extensive spares collection, and the best I could find was a 30-40 year old F-4E Phantom, probably an old re-box by MPC, I think:

 

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I chopped it off where indicated in the pics.  Above right, note that while the vertical profile is pretty good, the nose is way too fat, horizontally.  The arrow points to the gun fairing, where I will sand each half of the nose  thinner, until the gun fairing is eliminated on both halves. The side air scoops can remain.

 

The Heller kit has to be chopped off where indicated below, to best fit with the F4E nose:

 

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Before the new nose halves can be attached to the Heller F-94B fuselage, there is a little work to be done on the cockpit opening (above right) to fit the aftermarket cockpit.  As shown by those arrows the rear turtle-deck has to be opened up, and the front coaming has to be removed.  Then, the aftermarket cockpit assembly can be inserted from below, before the wing assembly is attached, later on.

 

Back to the nose.  Yet another putty that I use for plastic modeling is this:

 

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This is because I still plan to fill the new nose halves, so that when I sand through, some suitable matter will be there.  Above right, a copy of the nose fuselage profile is cut off the drawing, and glued with white glue to a strip of 20 thou plastic card.  After the putty-filled nose halves are dried, the plastic profile with the paper glued to one side is cemented with hot liquid cement (I use Weld-On #3).  When that has dried, the paper is peeled/sanded off the glued-on plastic  card, and the other putty-filled nose half is glued on, carefully aligning the nose and fuselage ends as well as possible.  You may or may not choose to install extra glue joint re-enforcement at the fuse to nose join in the next step; I chose not.

 

Next, I glued to new composite nose to the Heller fuselage with liquid cement.  I have not yet sanded the plastic card profile to exact shape, as some areas will need sanding down, and some will need filling.  I will use my second copy of the side profile to correct the vertical shape, and my good old USA-manufactured MK1A1 eyeball on the sides:

 

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Above right, the cockpit tub, sans seats and control stick are installed into the cockpit.  I also inserted a bit of lead weight ahead of the cockpit, but it really isn't needed.

 

Below, you can see the sides of the new nose are a little more slender than needed, but the cockpit tub snuggles right in:

 

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So, above right, some 3M Spot Putty is slapped on, in about three thin layers, which dries much faster than one thick layer --  just a word of caution!  Boy, ain't that a schnoz?

 

There's going to be a large amount of puttying and sanding in my future, so I'll check back later...

 

Ed

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3M Putty 🙂  

Way back when, that was the only putty I ever used (choices then were limited). It still has its uses and is, in my opinion, under-rated by most modelers. 

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6 hours ago, billn53 said:

3M Putty 🙂  

Way back when, that was the only putty I ever used (choices then were limited). It still has its uses and is, in my opinion, under-rated by most modelers. 

That's why I like it, cheap, readily available here, and id does the job very well!

 

Ed

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1 hour ago, Cookenbacher said:

[Furiously scribbling notes] Lots of great techniques on display here Ed!

Carvin' and choppin' is what I do, Cookie!

 

Ed

 

 

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Brief update...

 

After a few rounds of filling and sanding, it looks like so:

 

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Above right, with more sanding, I'm trying to achieve the straight panel lines where the two red lines are shown.  These panels are flat, leading straight into the intakes.  While it's hard to see here, the model laying atop the side-view drawing shows that the vertical shape of the nose is about right.  The "X" above denotes where I sawed off the front landing gear doors, as they kept getting in the way.  They will be re-installed later.

 

The next picture shows that the panel lines are starting to shape up.  This part of the process consists of sanding, then adding small bit of putty either above, below or within the panel lines, a little at a time, until a reasonably crisp line is achieved:

 

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Above right, a little Mr Surfacer 500 is added to fill tiny marks, and more sanding ensues.  The areas around the canopy sill have been painted Interior Black, the seats and control stick installed, and the canopy is attached with G-S watch, cement, to protect the latter items.

 

Back when there's more to see.

 

Ed

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Another quickie...

 

Starting to mask the canopy:

 

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Above right, all masked up and ready to dance...

 

Time to attach the wing.  With the exception of  a little gap toward the front of the wing/fuse join, the fit is virtually perfect:

 

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Above right, an all-over coat of Krylon Gloss Black enamel, decanted and air-brushed.

 

Then an overall coat of Alclad II Airframe Aluminum:

 

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Above right, all masked off for the second color of metallics, as well as the anti-glare panel (34092)  and the vertical stabilizer tip (36495).  Note that I have managed to knock off the butt-joined left horizontal stabilizer.

 

At last, all in her factory-fresh looking paint job, with 3 shades of metallics:

 

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Next, time to "age" the finish, first with an all-over coat of very thinned Aclad II Aluminum, then a top coat of Aqua Gloss, then the decals, then a top coat of nearly flat clear.  On the far stretch now!

 

Later, Dudes!

 

Ed

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Beautifully done!  Can't say I've ever trusted myself masking directly over Alclad 2, but it's working for you, so...

 

Really interesting project of an aircraft conversion I've never seen done elsewhere!

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17 hours ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Beautifully done!  Can't say I've ever trusted myself masking directly over Alclad 2, but it's working for you, so...

 

Really interesting project of an aircraft conversion I've never seen done elsewhere!

A good long drying time for each layer is the secret, plus a Clean model and a Good primer surface...

 

Ed

Thanks for the kind comments, folks! 

Ed

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Posted (edited)

Hello again,

 

My original intent was to dirty up this model a bit, to show it's hard-working, in-the-snow life in the Mass Air Guard at Logan Field/Airport.  If I were doing a diorama, I probably would have.  In the end, I just tried to kill the shine just a little.  Think of it as a summertime shot...

 

Anyway, the next challenge was the artwork.  There are a couple of shots of this bird when it was with the Air Force, and others showing it without the whizz-bank markings, but I figured, since I was only ever going to build one of these, why not shoot the works!

 

A few hours in Photoshop yielded the final artwork.  Actually, I probably have more than enough decals in  the stash box to do most of what I needed, but I thought that I would do these for modelers in the future, who may not have as many resources to work with. 

 

First up, The MASS ANG and 15500 decals, to be printed on clear sheet:

 

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These should print at actual size, but I would suggest maybe printing them at 95% rather than 100% size.  The Amarillo Font that I have to replicate the USAF 45-degree corners will only print in bold; sadly they could be a little thinner, but that's what I have to offer.  The hardest part of this sheet was the curious shallow "M" characters in "MASS", which are NOT Amarillo style, and certainly NOT perfect!

 

For those who need them, this next sheet is to be printed on white decal sheet, and you'll just have to steal your significant others' best thread trimming scissors to trim them closely along the outer blue lines.  May I suggest strong magnification...:

 

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While these appear huge here, they will print to the size needed for 1/72 scale.  They are high dots-per-inch, rather than our usual 72 dpi 0fferings.  Other scale users will just have to work it out for themselves, so there!

 

These items are available on the old Microscale sheet in 1/72, but you have some to use, be sure and coat them with a layer of decal-coating fluid, because at their ripe old age, they will surely shatter to smithereens, otherwise.

 

And finally the piece de resistance, the shark markings.  I searched high and low through my pretty large stash, and came up dry.  So, I had to make my own.  I started out by blowing up the third picture in this build thread, and enlarging the nose part of the photo to scale.  I them loaded it into Photoshop, did a LOT of cleanup at the pixel level, and added a bit to reach the center-line of the bottom of the nose.  When everything looked good, I duplicated the marking, flipped it opposite, and joined the two halves together. 

 

In this view, the top gun ports had been faired over and "eyes" added, so this same procedure was followed, cleaning up one eye, then flipping a second copy to use on the opposite side of the nose.  Here, for your viewing pleasure, and for NON-COMMERCIAL free use, the artwork, to also be printed on white decal sheet:

 

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This will also print at 1/72 size, as is.  I always print more than one of each image, because sometimes they don't print perfectly, and sometimes, I just screw one up.

 

In any event, after applying all the decals, most from the spare box, the whole shebang was top-coated with Alclad II Klear Kote Matt, which still leaves a little shine.

 

Then the undercarriage and little bits were added to the model.

 

One side note  -- rather than carve the two sort of NACA-style ducts into the puttied nose, I elected to use small triangles of black decal instead.  If I had been working with all plastic, no problem, but with the putty --- I took the dive.

 

Anyway, she is done, and as a teaser pic, may I present the underside:

 

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One last thing, barely noticeable here, is that the wing tank decals don't quite line up with the center-line of the tanks, so I had to touch up those areas with 15044 Insignia Blue.

 

And tha...tha...tha...that's all folks!   Link to RFI pics will be added HERE

 

Ed

 

 

Edited by TheRealMrEd
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