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1/72 Lockheed XP-80 "Lulu Belle" Kit Bash Conversion


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Hello, back again.

 

Up to this point, everything has been child's play.  Now, the REAL work begins!

 

First up, the shape of the inlet openings.  They should look like this:

 

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Mine now look like this (above right).  They need to be flatter at the top and bottom, and more flat on the outer faces.

 

After adding some two-part plastic putty inside and out, sort of pushed into place with a cocktail stick, we have this:

 

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Above right, after lots of work with sharp blades of various sorts, and sanding shapes/files of several types, it's getting better.  I don't know whether I'll even get it "right", but I'll try

 

The, comes the part that right now, seems to be hard enough to make me cry, the side profile curve, which should loom like so:

 

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Above right, after a few layers of putty, some sanding, repeat, etc., there's a slight resemblance.  In addition, the wing now seems too far back, now that the leading edge fillet has been removed....  not sure what I'll do.

 

I'll be back eventually, but it may take a while!

 

Ed

 

 

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Hmm, with your "wing too far back" comment, I was worried that I vaguely remembered concluding that the wing to horizontal distance didn't change (which Tommy's planview comparison seems to suggest?- and which I may have discussed in my abortive thread).  Looking at the photos above, though, it doesn't strike me as terribly far off, if it is at all.  I note that your leading edge goes straight to the fuselage, but the real thing has a leading edge extension that gives the appearance of the wing being "farther forward".  (see linked photo here) - that will change the geometry in comparison to the cockpit opening (and the intakes).

 

Edit: As it happens, I accidentally chose an angle that's quite close to the model photo (aren't I clever?) and I notice that you'll need to bring the lower edge of the intake forward like the top.  Note that such things (intakes AND leading edge extension) may well have changed a bit during flight testing.

Edited by gingerbob
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3 hours ago, gingerbob said:

Hmm, with your "wing too far back" comment, I was worried that I vaguely remembered concluding that the wing to horizontal distance didn't change (which Tommy's planview comparison seems to suggest?- and which I may have discussed in my abortive thread).  Looking at the photos above, though, it doesn't strike me as terribly far off, if it is at all.  I note that your leading edge goes straight to the fuselage, but the real thing has a leading edge extension that gives the appearance of the wing being "farther forward".  (see linked photo here) - that will change the geometry in comparison to the cockpit opening (and the intakes).

 

Edit: As it happens, I accidentally chose an angle that's quite close to the model photo (aren't I clever?) and I notice that you'll need to bring the lower edge of the intake forward like the top.  Note that such things (intakes AND leading edge extension) may well have changed a bit during flight testing.

Note that the addition of the leading edge fillet was one of the configuration changes resulting from flight test.

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16 hours ago, opus999 said:

Wow!  I'm impressed with the gear door and intake work!  The side profile looks tough, but I'll bet you can get it pretty close.

Thanks Opus, I've got some ideas...

 

Ed

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11 hours ago, stevehnz said:

 

Can’t see that photo…


“The owner of this website (static.thisdayinaviation.com) does not allow hotlinking to that resource (/wp-content/uploads/tdia/2015/01/XP-80FirstFlightConfiguration.png).”

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13 minutes ago, billn53 said:

 

Can’t see that photo…


“The owner of this website (static.thisdayinaviation.com) does not allow hotlinking to that resource (/wp-content/uploads/tdia/2015/01/XP-80FirstFlightConfiguration.png).”

It is a link, so you'll need to click on it, I'm always a bit leery on hot linking respectable website photos. Hopefully it will display then, if not it can be found on this page.

Steve.

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Impressive work Mister Ed !!

Now, the seeds of another weird conversion is germing in my distorted mind....

Do not forget the fake propeller used to conceal the project...

Sincerely.

CC

 

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On 11/13/2021 at 6:40 AM, corsaircorp said:

Impressive work Mister Ed !!

Now, the seeds of another weird conversion is germing in my distorted mind....

Do not forget the fake propeller used to conceal the project...

Sincerely.

CC

 

Hi corsaircorp.  Actually, I think the propeller gambit was used on the XP-59, if I recall -- or did they use it on both?

 

Ed

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Hello again.

 

Well, I finally figured out where I screwed up.  The entire lower section of the fuselage should have been slid FORWARD, not aft, as I had indicated in the earlier drawings.  Here is what it should have been:

 

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This would have put the wing at the correct position vis a vis the cockpit location and the intake length.  At this point, there's nothing for it but to commence even more butchery!

 

 The whole wing section/lower fuselage chunk has to be sliced free of the rest, and moved back forward somewhere between 1/8" and 5/32".  I just picked up the ol' heavier-duty razor saw and had at it:

 

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Above right, more pieces!  The 1/8" sliver cut out at the front has been discarded.

 

Below, glued back together will ALL the filler at the rear and, as it should have been in the first place!  Oh well, as you know, I show these builds for good or bad, with all the warts!  I will go back and add a corrected drawing at the beginning of the thread, in hopes of saving the next person from this stupid error on my part.  For any of you whom I've lead astray, now or in the future, forgive me, for I done my darnedest...:

 

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Back later, after more sanding and filling, and I hope, most of all, for NO MORE CUTTING!

 

Ed

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2 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Hi corsaircorp.  Actually, I think the propeller gambit was used on the XP-59, if I recall -- or did they use it on both?

 

Ed

I think it has been used on both, I read it in a book but which one ???

I'll try to find.

CC

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Hello again, time for a brief update -- small in progress, but a lot of work nonetheless.  The onset of winter here, as we;ll as the specter of a houseful of guests for Thanksgiving week, has really eaten into my modeling time.  I doubt that I'll make much progress until next month, but we'll see.

 

After sanding off most of the excess material after the last hack job, it's time to concentrate on trying to improve upon the fuselage bulge, and the intake slope, the hardest parts of this build!

 

First, I masked off part of the model with a strip of tape (A) around the model circumferencially  (is that a word?), with the rear edge at more of less halfway along the intake length.  Then a strip of plastic tape was laid down to approximate the curve of the fuselage bulge (B), followed by an over-layed strip of masking tape to cover a little more area (C).  Last, the wings were tape up to the desired point at the fuselage (D).  When this was done, Bondo Spot Putty was glooped on to build up the bulge area:

 

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Above right, after some sanding, the desired edge is starting to be better refined, along the bottom edge of the white tape, and the rear edge of the masking tape on the intakes.  I more-or-less sand down to that line, and when all done, there will be a very fine transition left to be sanded smooth.  This a process of add putty, sand, recheck etc., so it will take a while.

 

Meanwhile, here is  a larger picture of the first flight configuration.  The arrow point to one anomaly solved -- the fit of the rear end of the canopy.  It has been surmised that the modified XP-80 at the NASM was given a canopy off another P-80 during the restore, and thus, the canopy didn't fit properly at the rear end.  This photo (arrow) clearly shows that this is actually the way it originally fit:

 

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Well, see you later when I have more to show.  Meanwhile for all who celebrate the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Ed

Edited by TheRealMrEd
Hit the wrong button, posted before done
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello again, after a fairly long time!

 

Well, I have been plugging away, slowly, on he XP-80.  With all the Holiday interruptions, household tasks, etc, I've only had a little time fore modeling, and even then, ran into problems, largely of my own making!

 

When last we met, I was still trying to get the fuselage sides and intake lips sanded into shape -- not hard, but after MUCH trial and error sanding...

 

I finally got it presentable:

 

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Upper right, the major problem with the kit is that the supplied canopy is for the F-80C, as one would expect.  Sadly, this meant the removal on the antenna lines that were engraved on the inside of the canopy, as well as the "bump" at the tail end of the canopy.

 

I first tried filling the antenna lines with a couple of coats of Future/Pledge, but that didn't work:

 

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Above right, I eventually determined that polishing the lines out would likely also take more years than I've got left, so I finally decided that good old wet sanding, with progressively finer grades of sandpaper over various rounded objects, would be the best approach.  This eventually worked out pretty well, but sadly, I have no pictures of the final result!  When I went to saw apart the windscreen from the rest of the canopy, in order to shorten the canopy by a scale 6 to 7 inches, the rear canopy shattered, no doubt due to stresses induced by the sanding!

 

After the fact, it dawns on me that I should have sawn the thing THEN sanded out the lines.  Doh!  In case you try this at home, I'd recommend doing it THAT way.

 

Since I had no other P-80 canopies in the spares box ( a rare occurrence indeed!), for me, the only way forward was to glue together the rear or main canopy parts, fill them with Milliput (I wanted a filler that would NOT release, vs. water putty. for instance).

 

After the Milliput had dried, I then sanded smooth the supported canopy remains, then sawed off the requisite 7 scale inches.  I then sanded the bump off the rear of the canopy and also shaped the excess Milliput at the bottom to provide an edge for the vacuformed canopy edge to be discerned, which looks like so  (in the picture you cannot see that the clear canopy part is atop the Milliput, but it is):

 

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Above right, the Mattel vacu-formed canopy.

 

Next, I mounted the kit's sawn-off windscreen to the model, using G-S watch cement.  I also added the armor plating behind the seat, the headrest, and a brace bar behind the armor plate, which I think may be a bit too long--- and added some seat belts out of painted aluminum foil:

 

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Then , it came time to match up the vacu-formed rear canopy with the windscreen.  I found I had to sand the front edge of the rear canopy at an angle, and had to sand the whole thing to also shorten the canopy vertically, to match up to the wind screen.  Slow and steady is the key here, with LOTS of test fittings -- unlike my previous, ill-conceived and disastrous efforts!  By the way, I actually did all the sanding and fitting before adding the armor plate and headrest, to assure that they would fit under the modified rear canopy.

 

Next, the rear of the canopy is glued to the model, also using G-S watch cement, which will be smoothed later with 90% rubbing alcohol:

 

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At the end of all this, the canopy will be masked, and the edges further faired in with 3M spot putty, except for the rear end of the canopy, which will stand a bit proud, as per photos.

 

Then, she'll be ready for the paint booth, and undoubtedly, more sanding and filling!

 

Until we meet again, mes amis...

 

Ed

 

 

 

 

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On 12/15/2021 at 6:08 PM, billn53 said:

Good save on the canopy 🙂  And, your fuselage bulges are looking pretty good, too.  Don’t you love Bondo?

I do, I do, I twooley doo!

 

Ed

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again.

 

Well, I've plugged away over the Holidays, and worked in a bit of modeling here and there.  Finally got some paint on the old girl:

 

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Above left, Colourcoats O.D. 41.  Above center, Alclad II Aqua Gloss overall.  Above right, Model Master Neutral Gray (FS 36270).  The landing gear have been added, and here, I'm starting to add the oddly-shaped gear doors, made from flat plastic sheet.  Stars and bar insignia from the spares box.

 

Since I chose to do the first flight configuration, I had to come up with the Lockheed logos, two per side.  I found one example, online, but it was the wrong color scheme, and did not have the distinctive Lockheed   slant as shown in the photos.  So, I loaded it  into Photoshop, separated the letters and slanted them, and then changed the overall color to yellow.  I based this decision on the fact that the photos seem to show the color of the Lockheed emblems as slightly darker than the white of the star insignia, and the fact that the US Army seemed to use yellow over OD most of the time...

 

Anyway, the final design is shown below, scaled to 1/72.  In my case, with no access to an Alps printer, etc.,  I had to create a sort of OD background for mine, and then print on white paper.  After adding the decals to the model, I hand-brushed the Colourcoats O.D. 41 color around the logo as best I could.  Printing the yellow letters on clear decal paper resulted in the yellow disappearing completely, which I had tried first.  In any event, the resultant decals were very thick and unwieldy, but the best I could manage.  Better luck if you try this one yourselves.  By the way, I can send these in PDF format, etc. for those wishing to fiddle around...

 

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But, at last she's done; a reasonably good ending to an odd sort of year.  I only had a few pieces of plastic left when I vacuformed the canopy, which could have had more clarity, but I did the best I could with what I had:

 

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Hope that you enjoyed following the butchery.  As it seems I'm always saying, it could have been better, but I'm pleased to add her to the collection, anyway.

 

More pics up shortly on RFI HERE.

 

Ed

 

 

Edited by TheRealMrEd
added RFI link
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