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Making A Flannel Hanky Out Of A Sow's Rear OR a T-33 Twin Tail!


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On 8/22/2021 at 3:56 AM, heloman1 said:

An interesting build, the fins looks like they came from a Ventura and Lockheed may well have gone that route.

Have you ask Tommy Thomason at Tail Hook Topics, he's a font of knowledge re US Navy?

 

Colin

Actually had not thought of asking Tommy about this one, as I'm not sure that it ever made it to the Navy at all...

 

Ed

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Well, a small update, but after a LOT of work!  After studying the few pictures of the real thing, as well as the pictures in the two builds linked to above, I added a small box (A) to the underside, as well as a long tube (B) to house the spin recovery parachute activation system:

 

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Above right, I also added a small wire loop behind the tube (to route the 'chute release cable through).  I also filled a couple of tiny holes, where I was going to mount a tiny U-shaped loop, but that didn't work out (white dots).  Next I drilled some random holes in the thinned out part of the tail underside.  On the left side shown here, I used a #80 drill.  On the right side, I used just the tip of a new #11 XActo blade, which looks more scale-like to me.  If you ever build one of these in this scale, I would just recommend that you start there!

 

After everything was given a coat of Alclad II Grey primer, the aircraft was shot overall with a coat of Alclad II Duralumin.  No particular reason; I just wanted to see how it looked.  Next the black, huge rear anti-glare panel (?) was painted flat black. When that had dried, everything but the wing tanks and ailerons were protected with Parafilm "M", then the wing tanks and ailerons were painted with a white primer, as an underlayment for the fluorescent red to follow later:

 

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Above right, when all the painting was done, she looked showroom bright!  However, that is not what I needed.  The few black and white photos of this bird seem to show a bit of wear and I think, a lot of sun-fading.  Also, there is some difference of thought over the colors of the wing tip tanks and the ailerons.  One modeler in the other linked builds chose to paint only the tip tanks florescent, while the other chose to paint both the ailerons and the tip tanks white, probably due to this photo:

 

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I have no way of knowing what colors they should be, but I could think of no reason to paint them both white.  The ailerons, maybe, given the naval use intent.  However, the grey scheme with white control surfaces was still a few years down the road.  Looking at the picture above, I'm fairly certain that both the ailerons and tanks are the same color, whatever they were.  So the only thing I have ever seen that would account for both of these things to be a light color, was a badly-faded florescent red or orange, or perhaps international orange,  Since I only had florescent red on hand, that's what I went with.  Still, I had to try and age both the airplane as well as the painted surfaces.  (Here, I was trying to imagine an old ugly-duckling airplane that nobody wanted, just setting around in the desert sun, baking it's life away.  Not too far off the mark, because it eventually, someone took off the twin-tail, restored it to a standard T-33, where it is now said to be a Gate Guard, but I forget where.  NO glory in being the guinea pig for a failed project, I suppose...)

 

Anyway, I gave the entire model a coat of flat clear, and when that dried, I began the weathering process with some Doc O'Briens Weathering Powders, on the theory that I could always wash it off with soap and water, if I didn't like the effect.  Since I've never seen anyone try to fade these bright colors, I had no guidance but instinct, so here goes.  First, I brushed some white powder over various areas:

 

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Above left, the tip tanks have been given a dusting of white, but not the ailerons.  Above center, both the ailerons and the tip tanks have been dusted with a little yellow powder as well, to sway the color toward a bit more orange-ish color.  Above right, a little white powder had been added to the rest of the aircraft, here and there, and she seems to be coming along...

 

Decals have been added, all from the spares box.

 

Moire later,

 

Ed

 

 

 

 

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Well, the next thing is the spin recovery chute.  One of the linked model builders made his 'chute out of putty and some added straps.  Being the lazy sort that I am, I went to the scrap pile and retrieved a 1/72 scale US infantryman's back pack, that I had sawed of a war-game figure eons ago. I rounded out the back with a rasp to improve the fit a bit, glued a cut length of acupuncture needle into the bag, stuck the other end through the eye already added to the fuselage, and into the cable housing, also previously added under the fuselage:

 

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Above right, the gear and doors have been added, and the bottom side is more or less done.

 

The last thing I want to experiment with on this model, a different way of making the two tiny light lenses on the tip of the tail end.   I used a candle to stretch a couple lengths of white and amber Lite Brite pegs, from long ago.  Here I should point out that there is a difference in the plastic characteristics between the new style (top) and the old style (bottom).  The older ones can be recognized by the longer "peg" part on the older pieces.  If you can find the old ones, they work much better, whether for my purpose here, or when sanding down for inset wing-tip lights:

 

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Let me state here that I have no idea what color these tail lights really are, but I felt that white (clear strand) on the top, and amber (on the bottom would be a fair bet.  Above right, I used some of the Loctite gel mentioned earlier to glue the ends of the strands onto the tail light fixture created earlier.  When these had set, I trimmed them off closely with a sprue nipper:

 

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Forgive the poor picture.  I tried 10 times to get a clearer shot, but no luck!  Anyway, it's barely visible to the naked eye, but all in all, I'd say the technique itself was a success.  That said, probably a couple of tiny drops of paint might have done better here...

 

Anyway, that finishes her up for my purposes.  I will just post a few pics here, rather than RFI, because she's not a contest winner, but still, a nice add to the collection, particularly when an old, not-very-exciting kit that had languished partially completed in the box for decades was finally resurrected!  In addition, she was like a paint mule to play with toning down the bright colors, and using weathering powders, which I have used sparingly before.  The next time I do one in florescent colors, I may try washes.  We'll see.

Meanwhile, here are a few pics:

 

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Oops. forgot to shrink the pic.  Sorry!

 

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While she'll never be a silk purse, at least she's no longer just a sow's rear!

 

Thanks for looking in,

 

Ed

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

 

 

 

The last thing I want to experiment with on this model, a different way of making the two tiny light lenses on the tip of the tail end.   I used a candle to stretch a couple lengths of white and amber Lite Brite pegs, from long ago.  Here I should point out that there is a difference in the plastic characteristics between the new style (top) and the old style (bottom).  The older ones can be recognized by the longer "peg" part on the older pieces.  If you can find the old ones, they work much better, whether for my purpose here, or when sanding down for inset wing-tip lights:

 

spacer.png

 

 

 

spacer.png

 

Forgive the poor picture.  I tried 10 times to get a clearer shot, but no luck!  Anyway, it's barely visible to the naked eye, but all in all, I'd say the technique itself was a success.  That said, probably a couple of tiny drops of paint might have done better here...

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thanks for the tip about the Light Bright pegs, I just found some on eBay (the old style) for a reasonable price and snapped them up.

 

For small lights like what what you needed, I often use a tiny drop of UV activated clear acrylic (thick variety), applied with a toothpick. It can then be painted with transparent color if needed. I have even used this method to make the clear domes for Sidewinder missile seekers.

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12 hours ago, billn53 said:


Thanks for the tip about the Light Bright pegs, I just found some on eBay (the old style) for a reasonable price and snapped them up.

 

For small lights like what what you needed, I often use a tiny drop of UV activated clear acrylic (thick variety), applied with a toothpick. It can then be painted with transparent color if needed. I have even used this method to make the clear domes for Sidewinder missile seekers.

Yeah, Bill, I sometimes use something similar, maybe even white glue topped with a transparent color.  I was just curious to see how this would work for these tiny lights

 

I try and learn something new with each model -- or at least, most of the time!

 

Ed

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