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T-38A Talon Thunderbird

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  • Member since
    January, 2015
T-38A Talon Thunderbird
Posted by TheMongoose on Thursday, January 03, 2019 9:17 PM

The saga continues. I'm half way through my Thunderbird project now. With KittyHawk's new F-5E & F versions out I picked up the canopies, seats and a few other miscelaneous parts that will make this half-scratch-built model look the part. 

I've got 3 Hasegawa kits, 2 KittyHawk kits, the Belcher Bits F-5A conversion, The Daco book, and A Pictorial History of the T-38 Talon, cockpit shots from Peter Fleischman, plus my own walkaround shots from the T-38A at the  Praire Aviation Museum. I learned how to scribe during the Fall so I plan to rescribe the whole plane to be accurate.

IMG_4250-L.jpg

IMG_4251-L.jpg

 

Tonight I worked on making the intakes out of the resin parts provided for the F-5A.

Check it out...here's what I started with

  

For consistency I kept everything plastered to the plans. Glad I made 3 copies of everything since I cut and sanded these plans :excl:

 

I extended the front edge of the intake to use as a guide for the razor saw. The cut doesn't extend to the bottom of the resin piece. On the drawing and in photos you can clearly see a fillet on each end of the angled face. So what I did was drill a hole at each endpoint to make a smooth radius. Then cut in from a 90degree angle to seperate the pieces.

IMG_4276-XL.jpg

Initially I milled the large sections off but for the 2nd one I decided it was safer (for part integrity not me lol) to cut the excess off with the razor saw and then file down the resin to the edge of my sharpie marker shadow.

IMG_4274-XL.jpg

 

Finished it up with my diamond files...And I present to you 2 perfect intakes ready for attachment!

IMG_4280-XL.jpg

IMG_4277-XL.jpg

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Thursday, January 03, 2019 9:31 PM

What about the deeper fuselage profile?

John

To see build logs of my models, go here: http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

  

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Thursday, January 03, 2019 10:10 PM

Good question...and one I’m still staring at. the top of the fuselage follows the profile well. The bottom to your point is about 4mm shallow by eye. My current thinking is that i can build this up, shape it, and add inthe panel lines. any thoughts and advice on how best to do it would be valuable!

extending it is most valuable i think if doing wheels down. That’s because the cockpit is too shallow due to gear bay depth. Since mine will be in flight I just removed the bay and plan to drop cockpit onto the floor of fuselage.

Heres a profile pick for those who may be wondering. With the front fuselage  fitted since i took this shot, i found that the top matches better than the bottom in profile. I’m going to try something end-on though using the camera and see if I can be more definitive about what needs addressed to get it right.

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    June, 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Friday, January 04, 2019 9:20 AM

This looks like it going to be quite a project. I'm going to be watching this for sure.

BK

On the bench: 1/48 Kinetics E-2C Hawkeye

1/25 MPC Deserter GMC 4x4.   2%

On Deck: 1/48 Italeri Tornado IDS "Black Panthers"

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Saturday, January 05, 2019 12:48 AM

Hmmmm, very interesting...  What's mostly interesting is that the F-5 fuselage should be deeper than the T-38 under the wing especially.  Not shallower.  The F-5 had a heavier  and larger landing gear to fair in.  However, I think you are going to get real close and will not have invested as much as I have in the Collectaire T-38 sitting in my stash.

John

To see build logs of my models, go here: http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

  

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:24 PM

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, January 12, 2019 11:09 AM

Lots of little, boring stuff going together lately. I've got the main bay covers on now, the lower wing scribed and sanded the auxiliary intake covers fitted and misc pieces aligned. Yesterday and today I worked on assembing the cockpit so I thought to share progress. 

To keep the shape of the nose I cut almost through it with a razor saw.

Looks like it should be one of those African nose piercings doesn't it?

 

Now I'm onto the cockpit. I have the rear all set. Here's a profile showing the alignment to the canopy 

...and a shot of the IP work I've done so far - just through the mock-up canopy for now to get a feel for how it's going to look.

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, January 12, 2019 10:43 PM

Slow but steady progress today. This cockpit is going to take another 2 weeks I bet before it's done. Puting the canopies up I found that they weren't square to each other so they didn't quite lay in a straight line. At first I couldn't figure out why, then I remembered neither KH or Hasegawa made a closed canopy, the only option was open. Which made me realize I was missing the loop that separates the two canopies...DUH. So that's what I custom made tonight. Took me 2 tries to get one that fit in nicely. Now I'll have something easy to mount the rearview mirrors to.

The top of a Vallejo 17ml bottle worked great as a backstop to keep from breaking the piece while sanding.

 

Now I need to adjust my pilot height and I'm all set. Looking at pics from the references I have the seat looks about right here but then again I've stared at it for days so let me know if your eyes think the seats should be moved any at all?

 

Tomorrow I hope to work on the coming. Then I can start putting things in solid and filling and sanding to make everything come together smoothly. Night All...or even Good Morning to some lol

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, January 12, 2019 11:01 PM

Thats quite a bit of surgery!  Coming along nicely.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Sunday, January 13, 2019 8:08 AM

keavdog you got that right! I keep hoping I can get it smooth enough that you won’t see allthat once it’s painted. I feel like I’ve been working on this cockpit for a year.

Time for a motivational sidetrack! I drilled and pinned the wings this morning. Put some tape on the tail to hold it in place. Now it’s starting to take shape :party0023:

small compromise on the wing position. They’re aft about 2mm due to where the main wheel bays are on the belcher kit. Anything else looked stupid because the gear doors on the wings didn’t line up. 

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Friday, January 18, 2019 10:32 PM

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:17 PM

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, January 19, 2019 8:15 PM

Character established! I finished up the nose tonight. I've gotta say I think this turned out pretty great. I was limited by the Belcher Bits kit profile which was based on the hasegawa kit so there was only so much thickness I could add without putting a step in the profile starting at the cockpit :shrug: 

I made up some templates for the horizontal and vertical profiles. Then sanded slowly till the profile matched the template.

 

Here's where that issue with the height of the fuselage comes in. What I did was make sure the profile on the top and the bottom matched the drawings. The overall scale thickness is then left about 2mm thinner than it should be. If you checked out my earlier posts you know it's already 4mm thicker and any more would make it look like the plane was pregnant!

 

So of course I had to put as much together as I could to see if the profile looks the part now. Check this out and let me know what you think?

 

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Sunday, January 20, 2019 9:44 AM

All finished with the major profile changes for the front fuselage. Canopies are all fitted and lay down pretty nice with a uniform gap between the cockpits. Now it's time to fill it with foam and tape it up until all the fine putty work is done and sanded. I'm hopeful those big spacers down the side will cover nicely and not show through the body-work.

In the pattern: 1/32 T-38 Thunderbird custom build, and a 1/32 BaaBaa Black Sheep Corsair for a tribute build!

  • Member since
    December, 2018
Posted by Tosh on Sunday, January 20, 2019 12:02 PM

Your attention to detail is phenomena.

Your friend, Toshi

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