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"The Year I Was Born" F-100D Super Sabre


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"Mad City Modelers", my local club, is having a group build with the them "The Year You Were Born". Having just finished my Red Baron F-104, I decided to stay with the century series and build a F-100 Super Sabre, which I'm claiming qualifies because it's first flight was on May 25, 1953.

 

There are quite a few 1/72 kits of the "Hun", all of which have faults. Unsure which way to go, I posed the question to fellow BM'ers in this thread: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235110863-help-me-decide-172-f-100d-—-trumpeter-italeri-or-other/

 and received a lot of very helpful advice.

 

My first inclination was to use the Trumpeter kit, but given the amount of work that is needed to correct its inaccuracies (poor nose shape, and too narrow in the fuselage around the cockpit) and the fact that I'm under a deadline (just 6-weeks to finish), I decided instead to go with the old ESCI kit. Key items that need to be addressed there include: Open the nose inlet and add an intake trunk; replace the kit's rudimentary cockpit with Aires resin; add an Aires; add an Aires afterburner can & engine nozzle; and drop the wing's leading edge flaps. 

 

52124449929_feebe7312b_c.jpg

 

For markings, I want to model an aircraft of the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron (the "Tigers"), as my former father-in-law flew flew F-100s with the Tigers in the late-1950s (based at the time, I believe, at Woodbridge, England):

 

52124206246_c8ec089aff_c.jpg

 

52114191149_427aa6098b_c.jpg 

 

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My first task was to sort through my stash and find any kits and aftermarket items I might bring to bear for this project. Easier said than done, as my stash is pretty extensive:

 

52122724834_2f7af2f773_c.jpg 

 

(And, that's just my airplane kits! I've a whole other set of shelves for my ship, space/sci fi, armor and automobile kits)

 

Here's what I came up with:

 

Four F-100D kits in 1/72:

52121453402_0b1e2a6304_c.jpg 

 

A bunch of aftermarket:

52122515243_04c8ee00b9_c.jpg 

 

And (to my surprise), some potentially useful resin upgrades:

52122985795_bdfb2714af_c.jpg 

 

The Blackbird Models wings are drop-in replacements for the ESCI & Italeri kits, and come with the leading edge slats "dropped", which is the normal on-ramp condition for F-100s.

52113776199_3d6056279e_c.jpg 

 

The XMM intakes are intended for the Trumpeter kit and are designed to "correct" the poorly shaped nose (more on this topic, later).

52111415408_93586bca97_o.jpg 

 

My going-in plan was to somehow squeeze the XMM nose & intake trunking and Aires cockpit into the ESCI fuselage:

52122515228_c133265de8_c.jpg 

 

However, when I compared XMM's nose with that of the ESCI kit, I found a serious discrepancy:

52122514853_743c02d1a5_z.jpg 

 

The top-to-bottom height of the ESCI inlet measures out to 7.5mm (very close to the 1/72 drawings in Bert Kenzey's "F-100 Super Sabre in Detail & Scale" book. The height of the XMM inlet opening is just 6.5mm. (Apparently, XMM's only correction to the Trumpeter kit's nose was to round off the overly-square lower corners of the inlet. The resin inlet's height is still undersize ☹️ ).

 

On to plan "B" . . .

 

I opened up the front of the ESCI fuselage:

52122985530_770f5555b6_z.jpg 

 

and stole the inlet trunking parts from my Trumpeter F-100 kit:

52121453537_3856e119a5_c.jpg 

 

The Trumpeter pieces fit pretty well, but I did have to do a bit of carving on the ESCI plastic, especially around the rear of the nose gear bay:

52121453397_cb85ab807b.jpg  52122724534_87c68d4cc6.jpg 

 

I also had to sand down the alignment pin on the starboard fuselage, just behind the nose:

52122985765_2848318a93.jpg 

 

The intake trunk has long tabs on both sides that fit into slots on the inside of the Trumpeter fuselage. The slots aren't present in the ESCI kit, so I had to sand down the tabs to get the fuselage to close. I also ground down and flattened the top of the trunk to make room for the Aires cockpit:

52122483061_1a09a9d1c2_c.jpg 

 

Aires provides two pages of instructions for assembling their F-100D cockpit set, but their only guidance for installing it into the fuselage is "Thinning of the plastic parts and dry fitting of the assembly needed!" And, by "thinning", they mean paper-thin -- to the point that light can be seen shinning through the plastic!

 

After an hour or so of thinning and dry fitting, I eventually convinced the resin cockpit to fit:

52121453512_f1f6b3e26f_c.jpg 

 

My next challenge was to make Trumpter's intake trunk, designed for an undersized nose inlet, to work with the larger, more accurate ESCI nose opening! For this, I stole a trick from @TheRealMrEd 's excellent F-100C build, in which he had replaced Trumpeter's too-small nose with an ESCI piece, and "adjusted" the Trumpeter trunk to fit. Here's a link to Ed's build, which I highly recommend to anyone building the Trumpeter kit:  https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235016447-the-best-172-scale-f-100c-i-can-build/

 

Following Ed's approach, I glued the Trumpeter pieces together, but only applied glue at the rear (leaving the front of the trunk unglued). I then temporarily installed the trunk into the ESCI fuselage, and taped the nose piece into place.

 

Next, I used mini-alligator clips to force the upper and lower parts of the intake trunk against the top and bottom of the ESCI nose opening:

52122724419_bcba7a648f_z.jpg 

 

and carefully glued scrap plastic "wedges" into the gap between the top & bottom trunk parts, taking care avoid getting glue onto the ESCI nose:

52122985695_727c41cfc4_z.jpg 

 

After the glue had dried, I removed the trunking:

52123811533_54ab2124e4_z.jpg 

 

and sanded/ground down the wedges into shape. I filled and puttied the gaps behind the wedges, and gave the interior of the trunk a few liberal coats of Mr. Surfacer 500. Here's the result of my work:

52123780491_19e31c3dd6_z.jpg 

 

There's some touchup needed, but that can wait until after the intake trunk and nose inlet are finally installed.

 

I have a couple more items to show before this progress report is done:

 

I assembled the Aires afterburner can & nozzle, and test fit them to the fuselage:

52122724799_535be6271d.jpg   52123811548_bcf0026e0c.jpg

 

I also test fit the Blackbird Models replacement wing. The fit is very good, with just a small gap (easily fixed) on the bottom (just behind the nose gear bay).

52122724874_fb09b8398e_b.jpg 

 

I'm still undecided about whether to use the resin replacement, or instead use Trumpeter's wing. Since I've already stolen the intake trunk from my Trumpeter kit, I might as well take the wings, too!

 

That's it for Day 1 of this project!

 

 

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1 minute ago, opus999 said:

Wow, Bill, there's some serious kit bashing and engineering going on here!  Looks like I've got a front row seat.  ;) 

 

Welcome aboard! This is going faster than I anticipated, with luck I may even make the deadline for our group build.

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Nice looking work so far, Im in envy of your stash BTW. Not sure if you're aware but there is a Century series group build thats just started and it will go for 4 months in case you feel like checking it out. 
 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/forum/764-the-century-fighters-gb/

 

Dennis

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24 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Not sure if you're aware but there is a Century series group build thats just started and it will go for 4 months in case you feel like checking it out. 
 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/forum/764-the-century-fighters-gb/

 

Dennis

 
Thanks for the heads-up, Dennis. Perhaps I’ll join that group build once I’m done with this project.  I have another F-104 in the stash, singing to me to be built. Not to mention a 101, 106, and 107 (birds I need to do to complete my own Century Series collection).

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I know it's early in the build, but I've begun throwing a bit of paint around! Specifically, for the Aires cockpit and engine parts.

 

First, the photoetch received a shot of Mr. Metal Primer, then I primed both the resin and photoetch with Stynylrez black primer:

 

52124112212_3debae257f_z.jpg   52125373774_7f96f762eb_z.jpg

 

I believe the official color for the cockpit is supposed to be dark gull gray, but that seemed to dark compared to photos I've seen. I instead used Tamiya XF-80 Royal Light Gray as my base color:

 

52125130151_5481c1a9e8.jpg   52125631260_110646b190.jpg 

 

52125373734_85a1a6a774.jpg  52125373739_534f16a760.jpg

 

When spraying the gray over the black primer, I tried to keep the airbrush pointing downward, as a kind of "post-shade" to create artificial shadows. There's still a lot of detail painting to be done in the cockpit. To guide me, I'll be using imagery at this link:  http://www.nmusafvirtualtour.com/cockpits/SEAW_tour/SEAW-20.html

 

Parts for the Aires afterburner can and engine nozzle were also primed with Stynylrez black, in preparation for detail painting. Below are the primed parts, and photos of how I want them to look when I'm done painting:

 

52125130181_5e672d8d35_z.jpg

 

52124898663_fcfbfd0692.jpg   52124898653_d8169122e4.jpg 

 

That's about it for my Sunday evening report. Before I leave, though, let me tell you what I found when I returned home from last week's trip....

 

A family of chipmunks have made themselves a home under my back deck! Here's the proud mama and her lovely brood:

 

52125651920_ccb7fe0873.jpg  52125652010_3d9066c596_z.jpg 

 

There's the potential for trouble in the future, however, from this resident of my front yard:

 

52124128782_c68e66787d_c.jpg 

 

I understand he's threatening to start a "special operation" to de-Nazify my backyard 😱

 

 

 

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Great work Bill!  I do enjoy when a WIP begins with re-engineering a couple of kits, sorting through a shop-class stash and a little wildlife thrown in for variety.

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I was up at the crack of dawn to begin what turned out to be a few hours of eye-watering detail painting, mostly of the cockpit pieces but I also tackled the Aires afterburner can & nozzle.

 

Essential tools for this kind of work: 100/0 paintbrush, 6-power reading glasses, and a very bright light. For this build, I tried using Liquitex black acrylic ink, which is a suspension of carbon black pigment in an acrylic carrier. I saw it used for interior parts on one of someone's videos, and thought I'd give it a try.

 

52127022744_83fa5617dd_c.jpg 

 

Here's the painted-up photoetch for the Aires cockpit:

52125756152_4e1852f6e8_c.jpg

 

(The macro lens is not my friend, as you can see!)

 

The cockpit tub:

52127277640_93156c55b4_c.jpg 

 

and the "bang" seat (PE harnesses yet to be added):

52126805493_0f037a6ac6_z.jpg

 

I'm calling the painting for the cockpit piece-parts done, now I just have to assemble all those tiny bits!

 

I also painted, assembled, and weathered the Aires kit for the Hun's rear end:

52125756047_fda74242a4_z.jpg 

 

(I still need to paint the nozzle exterior.)

 

And, while I'm thinking of it, if you are going to use an Aires engine assembly, and it includes a photoetch part for the afterburner's flame-holder, BE SURE TO CHECK THAT THE FLAME HOLDER FITS IN THE RESIN AFTERBURNER CAN! I have learned this from past experience, and when I checked the F-100's flame holder, it didn't fit. I had to carefully file down the outer edge to get it small enough to go in the afterburner can:

52127277265_a890f359e5_z.jpg 

 

 

 

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Cockpit is done!

 

The instrument panel is one of those layered things, where one sandwiches a film with the instruments between a PE front face and a resin backing. I used clear UV acrylic to fill in the bezel glazing:

52128371125_3f5e1d3ab5_c.jpg 

 

Aires provided no tabs or anything to mount the IP in the cockpit tub. I used a block of styrene to support the panel:

52126852277_075056b40f_c.jpg 

 

A quick tour of the assembled cockpit:

 

52126852247_e470d7eb4a_c.jpg

 

52127875956_0d333b9264_c.jpg 

 

52127904393_11b41af240_c.jpg

 

52126852252_822f3bc81e_c.jpg 

 

I even managed to get some paint on the exterior of the engine nozzle:

52127875921_09451e1960_c.jpg 

 

That's all for today. Hopefully, I'll have more to report tomorrow!

 

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Good to see another brave soul take a deep dive into the F-100 family.  Good on yer, Bill

 

Ed

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2 hours ago, neil5208 said:

…at the rate your going you could have 2 Century aircraft ready in 6 weeks 

I’m trying to get as much as I can done this week. Summer session at the University begins on Monday, and I have a Calculus class that meets four days each week through mid-August.

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2 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Good to see another brave soul take a deep dive into the F-100 family.  Good on yer, Bill

 

Ed


Thanks, Ed! Fortunately, I have a master’s build to refer to for any tricky parts. BTW the “Triple Zilch” decals you sent arrived safe & sound, I’ll be using Trumpeter’s kit with those as I won’t be under the gun, schedule-wise, like I am with this project.

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That's looking great!

 

Unless there is something wrong with the resin wings, I'd consider going with those. The Trumpeter wings (in all three scales) are too thin. This has the effect of causing the main gear wells to be too shallow and thus making the main gear struts appear too long. This and the too-large main gear tires cause the Trumpeter kits to sit almost level, instead of having the F-100's characteristic nose-up attitude. I faked it on my 1/32 kit by shortening the main gear struts and replacing the wheels with more correct ones.

 

Ben  

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Thanks, Ben. I’ve heard the Trump wheels are too large, and I have replacements in hand. Also that the wings are thin. But, the resin wing’s wheel wells are very shallow and might end up giving me the same problem, height wise.  Something I need to check out before deciding which wing to use.

 

Edit: See next post.

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My title for this progress report could be, "Wings, wings, wings!" or, "The Truth Shall Set You Free"

 

This morning I examined my three wing options (Blackbird Models resin, Trumpeter, and ESCI/Italieri) and have come to some interesting conclusions.

 

First is the question of wing thickness. Trumpeter's wing is reported to be too thin. Let's take a look. I don't have an actual F-100 wing handy, so I measured the 1/72 drawing in Detail & Scale, which shows a max thickness at the wing root close to 5mm:

 

52129773950_3a432c2e7f_z.jpg 

 

Then, I measured the thickness of my three wings. Here's the result (top to bottom - Blackbird Models, Trumpeter, and ESCI)

 

52128235447_035804fe8e_b.jpg 

 

The ESCI is very close to the D&S drawing. On the other hand, Trumpeter and the resin replacement are both too thin.

 

A closer inspection 🔍 suggests why the Blackbird Model wings are so thin . . .

 

First, the best thing about Blackbird's resin wings is that the leading edge slats are deployed (unlike the ESCI wing). They also fit the ESCI fuselage like a glove.

No surprise there, as it appears Blackbird used the ESCI (or Italeri) fuselage to cast the central section of their wings:

52128237017_a190a1c1e0_c.jpg

 

But, why are their wings so thin? A couple more photos tell a revealing story . . .

 

Let's take a close look at the wheel wells. The photo below compares the Trumpeter wheel well (top) with that of the the Blackbird Resin wing (bottom).

Suspiciously similar, I'd say!

52129753705_8c41071a9b_z.jpg 

 

The smoking gun is at the wingtip, however. In this photo, the Trumpeter wing (on top) shows the seam between the upper and lower wing sections.

The exact same seam is duplicated in the Blackbird Models resin.

52128237037_15a639f209_z.jpg 

 

What to do? :confused:

 

Given that I'm under a deadline for this build, the most expeditious route is to use the Blackbird Models wing and, if necessary, shorten the undercarriage legs to achieve the correct stance.

 

If I had more time, here's another idea -- graft the Trumpeter leading edge and slats onto the ESCI wings. At first blush, this looks feasible:

52128236997_d36dc09444_c.jpg

 

Then again, I could use this aftermarket package:

52129259076_58ae19a2ce_c.jpg 

 

NOT! 🤪

 

Stay tuned for more F-100 fun and adventures!

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10 hours ago, billn53 said:

I’m trying to get as much as I can done this week. Summer session at the University begins on Monday, and I have a Calculus class that meets four days each week through mid-August.

Back to school? Thought you retired.

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Very interesting about the Blackbird wings. For the amount of time  work required to clean up those High Planes parts, you could build slats yourself! 🤣
 

Ben

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Waow Bill !!

Can I take a seat ? Page one and the Hun is almost done !!

Nice stash Man !!

I definitely fear for the Chippies, your front yard resident will soon be attracted....

Nice one indeed !! Great anti theft system...

Now hire a pair of rattle snake....

Sincerely.

CC

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3 hours ago, neil5208 said:

Back to school? Thought you retired.

Yes, I retired in October 2020, although I’m still working part time at my old place (getting paid more now, on an hourly basis, than when I was full-time!)

I’m thinking of applying to grad school and working on a PhD, so I’m taking refresher math & physics classes to re-learn what I’ve forgotten over the past 40-plus years. I’m also getting involved in an interesting research program the physics department has been working on.

Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean I want to build models 24-hours a day (though you might get a different idea, looking at my stash haha!)

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You've got an interesting thread on the go here Bill, very useful for my future builds of the Italeri kits. I have thought in the past to grab a couple of the HPM slat conversions, yeah nah, they've got flash on their flash! 😮

Steve.

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51 minutes ago, corsaircorp said:

 

I definitely fear for the Chippies, your front yard resident will soon be attracted....

Nice one indeed !! Great anti theft system...

Now hire a pair of rattle snake....

 


It’s a harmless garter snake, but still a good theft deterrent. Last year I had seven of them in my front garden.  Somehow, the chipmunks survived so I’m hoping that just one snake will be no problem.

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Excellent progress, Bill! I will be keeping a closer eye on this in the future :)

 

Martin

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