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1/144 Tonka Twins

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Evening all, after Merv's taunting I thought I'd better get my finger out! Had suggested I was going to do the 1/72 Revell (Italeri) F.3 in 43 or 56 Sqn markings, but given my rate of progress in this scale I'd never be done in time, so here's my 2nd choice and a (pair of?) kit I've been keen to do for a while now. I reckon I can get these complete in time given I've some leave coming up over Xmas and New Year, and provided I don't get side tracked by a Zvezda Mil-26!!

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I'm going to use a wee bit of artistic license on the "25th Anniversary" jet as I don't really like the scheme, so I'm going to adjust the decals slightly to get something as close as possible to a standard 9 Sqn jet, the 2 Sqn "SHINY TWO" jet will be as per the box top.

Below is a shot of the sprues, of which everything is times 2 as this is one of Dragons 1+1 kits, the GBU's are separate coz I'd misplaced the sprues after blagging 2 of the GBU-12's for my Revell 1/144 Harrier GR.7 and as usual they turned up after I'd taken the rest of the pic's.

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There's a couple of disappointments in the sprues, the 2 "bad robot's" are going to be the biggest (or should I say smallest!) thing to correct and this'll be a bit of re-shaping, filler and some delicate painting I think to cover them up as best as possible, the canopies are particularly thin and clear. Also the wheels are somewhat ropey in having very deep hubs and badly tapered tyres, and there is only parts for the LRMTS, nothing for the FLIR despite the kit being marketed as a GR.4. The top and bottom fuselage halves have some heavy rivet detail which will disappear under a bit of filler and paint, and the fwd fuselage halves have some flash around the cockpit openings.

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Will post more as progress continues, I'm going to build both separately, the first being the 9 Sqn machine as if the decalling goes "pete tong" then my back up plan is the Xtradecal sheet for the GR.4/F.3.

Eng :wacko:

Edited by eng

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Made a start tonight (to avoid "X-factor: The Final!!), and decided after looking at the wheels and gear doors that both kits will be built "in-flight" and on a display base. The gear legs are pretty good, but I just don't have the time and patience to correct the wheels and doors I'm afraid. kicked off by fitting and filling the speed brakes and main gear doors, then glued the aft part of the 2 fuselage halves together allowing the front to be sprung open to slot the wings in when ready. I basically did as much as I could that meant avoiding having to deal with the "2 bad robot's" up front!!

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The 9 Sqn machine will be built with a couple of practice LGB's fitted and the fuel tanks, both outer pylons empty. The kit SkyShadow pod is OK but the BOZ pod fins are way to big and the pod shape is wrong I think. Would this load-out be feasible Merv?

There are 4 Storm Shadows in the kit but these look to deep to my eye. I don't know much about these weaps to be sure though. Here's the sprue -

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Finally after cleaning up the fin, wings and forward fuselage halves, I slaved it together for a wee look to see how big the thing would be and here's how it looks -

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Ta for looking. All comments, hint's, tips and critism, good and bad, gratefully accepted.

Eng :coolio:

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Eh, yeah just a bit! I did the Revell Harrier GR.7 a few weeks ago and they do tend to make your eyes go a bit :hypnotised: , not to mention providing plenty food for the carpet-monster. Found out last night there's a Laminate-Beast as well!!

Only advantage is in this scale 1) I can build them pretty quick (for me anyway!) which will keep Merv happy :whip: and, 2) they take up very little space.

Hopefully get more progress done Tue-Thurs.

Eng

Edited by eng

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The 9 Sqn machine will be built with a couple of practice LGB's fitted and the fuel tanks, both outer pylons empty. The kit SkyShadow pod is OK but the BOZ pod fins are way to big and the pod shape is wrong I think. Would this load-out be feasible Merv?

There are 4 Storm Shadows in the kit but these look to deep to my eye. I don't know much about these weaps to be sure though. Here's the sprue -

Yup to the first,You could put both BOZ pods on the one jet & leave the outers empty on the other,They do often fly with the outers empty,As for the Stormshadow,well it looks too short to me.

Merv

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I do like these little 144 kits, for the same reasons as you, definatly the space bit!!

Keep it coming

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Nice little kits there mate! After the job you did on the Shirtlifter these are going to look great I'm sure!

I wish we had those decals schemes in 1/32! I'd have loved to make mine Shiny Two.

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Nice build so far! There is a complete white metal replacement cockpit tub from Airfield accessories which gets rid of the robots and adds nose weight as well.

Looking forward to seeing these finished.

Regards

David

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he he he...robots...:)

Otherwise they're rather cute though.

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Paint em scarlet as Imperial Guards out of Star Wars!

The Force is strong in this one :hypnotised::rofl:

Eng, youre a brave bunny tackling a Tornada in 144th, but two of them? Thats just plain bonkers :analintruder:

Looking very good so far :thumbsup2:

Bex

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(DamienB @ Dec 15 2008, 01:18 PM)

Paint em scarlet as Imperial Guards out of Star Wars!

The Force is strong in this one

Eng, youre a brave bunny tackling a Tornada in 144th, but two of them? Thats just plain bonkers

Thank's for all the positive encouragement folks! :grouphug:

Bex you are so right......There's a twisted little bit of me that likes the idea of scarlet coloured Imperial Guards!!!! :hmmm:

BigReg, thank's for the info, now you mention it I recall seeing those when I was on there site the other day. Nose weight ain't so much of an issue as both will be in flight, but the info has been saved to my somewhat tempremental grey storage device!!

See y'all later,

Eng :winkgrin:

Edited by eng

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Looks like a good fun build. Just one point, at the moment the jet isn't allowed to fly with the outer pylons empty - the stores help reduce the bending moment on the wings in flight. The one exception is for a straight transit between Marham and Lossie, where the jet may be flown at ML in a clean fit provided the crew agree not to actually enjoy the increased capabilities of the jet in that fit! :)

Thom

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Is this a possible acknowledgement that the airframes are gettin a bit tired, but they know they're going to take a hammering out in Kandahar? I'm assuming it's only maybe 6 aircraft going out, but I dare say they'll be rotated back to the UK fairly regularly to even out the fatigue life across the fleet. Or is going to be a case of sent out the youngest jets and let them take whats coming regardless.

Thom, quick and stupid question -

the jet may be flown at ML in a clean fit
whats ML? Mach Limit or Medium level, or neither? Cheers

Eng

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A wee update this evening! I haven't been back to my project til tonight as I was off work for 5 days last week with a sinus infection and the mother of all head colds which left me feeling like :shit: , to the point where modelling wasn't even an option! Anyhow, feel much better and sadly back at work.

Done a wee bit of work tonight on my first of 2. Started by noticing my first c*ck-up from last week in that I've placed the refuel probe spot on at the aft end but the front end is too low on the fuselage side. It should sit more along the level of the canopy rail. I thought, VERY briefly albeit, about trying to hack it off, and scratch build.......NAH, I'll live with it this time :shithappens:

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I have fitted the vertical and horizontal stabilizers tonight and aligned everything by eye til I was happy,..... that was quite a while spent balancing it, eyeball it from the front, then the rear, tweak it, eyeball it.....you get the picture. Anyway it's done and looks OK

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I decided after slaving the wings into place tonight that I wasn't happy with the swing mechanism being left on and it seemed to be part of a problem that was causing one wing to sit high at the tip and the other too low. The other problem I think is the left wing pivot pin being moulded at an angle causing the wing to droop rather badly, and requiring to be pushed back up, something that superglue wasn't going to sort out. Off came the offending pivot pins (both in the end) and the interlocking fingers of the swing mechanism -

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Now that the wings will be able to be slid into position when ready to be glued in, I have secured the front end of the fuselage halves together and fitted the outer part of the intake trunking (the part with the nav light). These and the inner wall of the intake are rather thick and very overscale, but I figured it will be easier to gently thin them at the leading edge with a needle file after they are fitted and secure, rather than try to hold these tiny parts and sand them. A wee touch of filler will be reqd, and a gentle clean up -

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That's all for tonight folk's off to my bed shortly as a weekend of early shift commences at 0540 tomorrow..........but Monday is my last day til 3rd Jan 2009 :yahoo: Hopefully get plenty modelling done over the festive period too!

Keep those GB entries going folks,

Eng

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AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!

Sorry folks, had pic's and an update to add but was almost done and I've accidentally deleted the whole update :shithappens: Haven't time to re-do coz need to be up at 0545 and it's now 0038!!

Will add update Friday night, Sorry :doh:

Eng

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Right lets try again! Figured I'd better get going with this as I'd failed to get any modelling done at all over the Xmas period and I'd kinda hoped to have one of the 2 builds complete or there abouts.

So what's been done, well last night I had a real burst of enthusiasm and hit the one area that was going to cause me problems, the "bad robots" and the cockpit. Basically all I've done is used an Airwaves etched razor saw to slit between the seat head boxes and the jockey's noggin, the only other thing was to fill part of the gap at the top of the arms to make it look like there arms are actually attached to there bodies. I rounded off the back of his head abit and was going to leave it as per the photo below. However I subsequently flattened off there chests (maybe they were intended to be female crew!!) and used the edge of a needle file to create the impression of a neck and then added a tiny piece of fine wire for an oxy hose -

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Whilst resting my :wacko: eyes I took on board someones earlier suggestion,

Paint em scarlet as Imperial Guards out of Star Wars!
, what do you think??

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After playing about with painting the cockpit with Vallejo acrylics, I decided I'd be better getting all the handling out the way then paint what was actually still visible i.e the heads and the tops of the seats, so I joined the 2 fuselage halves together and despite having tried multiple dry fits before Xmas, would it go together.......no! A short fight ensued and I won with the help of my tweezers and a clothes peg. Painting to be completed. -

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Fitted the outer side panel of the R/h intake (the bit with the nav light) and it'll require a small spot of filler to tidy it up. The head-on view reveals just how overscale the inner and outer walls are, but hopefully a bit of careful work with a fine file will reduce these a wee bit.

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Next big problem might be these horrors -

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The central section between the jet pipes is far too wide, and the nozzles themselves are far too small in diameter, basically they look awful.

I'm really struggling to come up with an alternative way to reproduce these. Does anyone know if the jetpipes in the Revell 1/144 Tornado are any better? I don't really fancy having to buy more kits just to rob the jetpipes though. I might have to do some experimenting with some straws and thin plastic tube!

That's all for just now, atleast we're moving again! I was torn between whether to continue these or carry on with my Hase 1/48 A-4F Aggressor build which I've been itching to start for a long time now.

Anyone seen Airforces Monthly this month, some good Tonka pic's on pages 62-65!!

Bye for now,

Eng :bye:

Edited by eng

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Here's another quick update, I did some more work tonight. By the end of last night I'd gotten so wrapped up in what I was doing I ended up with the nose section attached to the rear fuselage. This wasn't too bad and I did alot of dry runs and fine fettling to get a reasonably fit, but still had a small step just under the left intake and also 2 really awkward steps on the fuselage between the tops of the intakes and the aft end of the cockpit. I've managed to get these reduced as best as possible and threw a rough coat of Vallejo light grey over the whole thing to allow me to pick up on any area's needing further work, the nose gear doors being one.

Here's a couple of pic's -

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Thanks for havin a looky, any comments or suggestions, info, ideas, abuse etc all taken on board :banghead:

Eng

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Progress has been slow, the first one needs the cockpit painting finished and the canopy added. I've given it a rough coat of grey to pick out any blemishes but its not too bad. The 2 schemes in the box are both overall MSG which makes painting easy but I've bought the Xtradecal 1/144 Tonka sheet and will prob do one of the darker camo aircraft just for a bit of variety.

Here's latest pic's -

1st one with wings slaved into position,

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The lower surface with the horrible overscale rivet detail still to be dealt with,

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The 2nd fuselage is under way and took about 45mins to get to this stage,

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And just to prove I've not re-used the 1st set of photo's, here's both in one pic!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hopefully have paint on the 1st one soon, and hoping to have decal sheet in hand soon as well so I can choose my other markings.

Rgds,

Eng

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Got distracted with some WW1 stuff there for a bit, but realising how close the GB deadline was I thought I'd better get some work done on "Tonka 1" and "Tonka 2".

Got my Xtradecal sheet and I thought my decision would be easy - Ha, should have known better!!! Think I'll go for a 617 or 15® Tonka for the Dk Camo/Dark Sea Grey aircarft and stick with the original plan to build the 2 Sqn special scheme in overall Med Sea Grey.

"Tonka 1" got a coat of Xtracrylics dark Camo grey but it reacted with the Vallejo undercoat and left what seemed like a horrible mess on the underside and a couple of dodgy patches on the wings and stab's. Fortunately after it dried it wasn't as bad as it seemed and a light rub with some 1200 grit sorted it out and it's now awaiting a second coat. I've also added the shoulder pylons and the canopy.

"Tonka 2" had the 2 'robots' tidied up and painted, the forward fuselage assembled (this is what I'd been avoiding again! And the eye-strain that went with it!). I decided how I'm going to display the aircraft on a base and this made me choose to pose this aircraft with the wings in the semi-swept position that seems to be quite common in many pic's. The fwd fuselage was fitted to the rear section with she same problem as before despite a bit more "fettling". The wings and stabs were added, and before I lost the paintwork upfront I fitted the canopy as well.

Here's a couple of pic's (oh, see if you can spot my other "distraction" in the background of one of the pic's - best evilbay bargain ever!!) -

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Close-up of the cockpit of "Tonka 2",

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A couple of shots of the 2 together (the canopy is on both now), should hopefully get these painted by the end of the weekend as I've a couple of days off due. Just need to make a final choice of decals for the DCG/DSG aircraft, can see myself changing my mind again! Still haven't got a fix on the exhaust nozzles, but might use acrylic rod to mount the aircraft and just go straight onto the read fuselage.

Load-outs will be 2 dummy LGB's on the DCG/DSG aircraft with 2 tanks, BOZ and Skyshadow. And on the 2 Sqn machine just the 2 tanks.

Will post more pic's soon - not long to go now! Some real nice builds here so far folks, well done to all that have completed builds already.

Rgds,

Eng

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