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Mach 2 X-24B Build

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  • Member since
    January 2015
Mach 2 X-24B Build
Posted by PFJN on Monday, October 8, 2018 6:42 PM

Hi,

I decided to start my X-24B build for the Race to Space Group.  Eventhough its a fairly simple model I suspect it may take me awhile to complete, just because I have a lot of distractions going on right now, and may only sporadically have free time to work on it.

Anyway, as shown below, the kit comes in a kind of odd shaped box.  Overall its about 10" x 15.75" x about 1.25" thick.  And as shown below, the box xontains both a X-24A and X-24B kit, though I'm only planing on trying to build the X-24B right now.

Box

Overall the instructions are very simple, but the decals look pretty good.  I have read reviews of this kit previously noting alot of issues, though some of those reviews have indicated their kits were molded in light grey.  I have noticed that mine is molded in white, and while there are some issues, those that are present don't seem as bad as some other reviewers have described for their kit.  So perhaps my kit may be for a later improved run or something.

Instructions

As shown below, all parts come on a single sprue, with the exception of two identical clear canopies (one for each model).  I don't see alot of "flash" per se, thoughthe edges of many pieces are just a little rough and jagged, which you might just be able to make out in some of the close ups.  In general I'm thinking that I'll likely just lightly sand and brush the edges on most of the pieces prior to assembly and see how things work out.

Overall

Close up 1Close up 2

You can hopefully make out the three biggest issues that I've come across so far are in the image below.  In general, the clear canopies are OK, but may need a little cleaning up (around the edges) and may not be as clear as you might get on some model kits.  In addition, in the center part of the image below, you can see the models cockpit, which doesn't have alot of detail, but which does appear to have a noticeable ejector pin mark on its base.  Because the cockpit is molded mostly as a single "tub" it may take a little bit of work to clean up its floor, but overall I don't forsee any big issues with it, and if I have too I can cut the floor off, sand if smooth, and then reattch it if I wish.

As for cockpit details, I have read some reviews of the kit noting the lack of detail and the fact that the pilot seat provided does not fully reflect the specific type of seat fitted in the full scale craft.  I may try and "dress up" the cockpit and seat a little, since there are some photos of the actual full scale cockpit available on the internet.  However, since everything is 1/72 scale, and my eyesight isn't that great anymore, and I suspect that not much will show all that clearly in the final build, I'm not too overly concerned about the cockpit in general.

In the right part of the image below, you can maybe just make out some of the relatively light engraved panel lines on the kits parts, but you can also probably see a noticeable sink mark as well.  This part is for one of the two outer vertical tail empennages on the model, and due to the relatively complex shape of the modling, all of them show sink marks to some extent.  I suspect that I will be able to smooth them in with some Squadron White Putty, though I am a little concerned with trying to re-engrive the panels lines on these pieces, as I have found that alot of the different putties that I have tried (especially the Squadron stuff) tend to not necessarily engrave all that well and may flake or chip.  I have experimented a little in the past with either coating the putty with sanding sealer and/or mixing the putty with it when applying it as a means of making the putty a bit more pliant, so I will see if that works out here or not.

Details

In general though I am really looking forward to this build, and am fairly happy with the kit.  Since it is a more limited run from a small manufacturer I wasn't expecting a super high level of detail, and what has been provided has actually exceeded my expectations (especially after having read some other reviews of the kit).  To me it reminds me a bit of some of the kits I put together back in the 70s and even early 80s.  Back then some airplane kits didn't even come with a cockpit, but rather you often just had a pilot figure that glued to a post sticking off one fuselage half.  As such, overall the kit appears to look fairly close to the actual full scale craft snd while the cockpit provided seems kind of basic in general, it doesn't appear to be a bad starting point for adding more detail if you desire, as also do the wheel wells, etc. 

As such, I'm actually very happy with the kit. Stick out tongue

PF

1st Group BuildSP

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 5:23 PM

Good luck beating that kit into submission PFJN!  Beware of white plastic, which hides a multitude of sins.  Seek the truthful blast of grey primer, and all will be revealed!  Seriously though, if your kit is anything like mine (I got the grey issue), you have got some serious sanding and rescribing in your future.  And those canopies are like... toe nails.

Note that the real thing had a sharp contour break on the flat bottom - the Eagle Talon vac kit instructions point this out.  IIRC, the Mach-2 kit is so iffy in the fit depatment that it may not be noticeable.  If you want (and if I can find it), I can scan the instructions as it provides all kinds of useful info.  LMK if intereested.  Maybe I'll find the M2F2 kit as well.  "Steve Austin, a man barely alive..."

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 8:19 PM

Cool,

Thanks for the hints.  I cleaned up the main pieces for the X-24B part of the kit last night.  In doing so I noticed a couple other small issues, though noting too major.  

1st, for the fwd landing gear bay, there is a very small hole in one side as shown below.  Unfortunately I was using my phone as a camera, and may have shaked it a little, so the picture is a little fuzzy but I think you can make it out at the top end. 

Front well

(The black piece of plastic in the image is just a scrap piece of something that I used to prop the wheel well up with)

Next, one of the back wheel wells appears to have been a little miscast.  I the picture below, you can see that the one on the left has a relatively thin bottom (maybe a mm or two) and sides that extend up 3 or 4 mm at the top edge, tapering to a bit less at the front edge.  Unfortunately it looks like there may have been an issue with the molds for the center piece, with the bottom coming out extra thick, and the sides coming out much shorter.  In addition, you can kind of make out how the bottom is kind of lumpy right around where the hole is for the landing gear strut. 

wells and cockpit

In addition, in the image above you can also see where I hve cut away the bottom of the cockpit.  I fugure this way I can just replace the bottom part with some sheet styrene, rather than try and sand out the ejector pin marke that had been there.

Anyway, for the misshappen aft wheel well, what I have done for now is, I've trimmed the floor down a bit and removed the side extensions, as shown below.  I'm going to continue to try and sand the bit near the hole for the landing gear strut a bit more, and re-add any of the raised "ribs" on the bottom that may end up getting sanded off.  It looks like a small strip of styrene should work OK there.  Then I will try and build up the sides of the well, with strip styrene using the other well as a template for getting the heights right.

aft wells and penny

aft wells side view

(side view after having trimmed the bottom and sides)

Other than that I spent some time searching the internet for images to help with the build and with painting.  Fortunately there are many images f this craft in the NASA archives, as well as a couple good sets of walk around photos of it at a museum.  Since those photos may e copyrighted I'll just post the links to those sites (so that you can visit the owner's site) instead of trying to pot links to any of the images directly.  

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/howard_mason3/x-24b/

http://aircraftwalkaround.hobbyvista.com/x24/x24.htm

One of the interesting things that I have found about this craft is that it had a handful of different paint schemes over its life, which may help me (and my shakey hands out a bit).

Specifically, as it sits right now in a museum (as shown in the links above) it appears to be painted mostly white with a black anti-glare panel, and medium blue leading edges for the body, with a thin gold pin strip.  I was concerned that that pin strip might be a bit beyond my abilities right now (since it would be fairly small at 1/72 scale), but fortunately I have also seen other images of the craft earlier in its career either with just a blue leading adge and no pinstripe, or a black leading edge with no pinstripe, either of which will hopefully be a bit easier for me to paint.  In addition there are also some images of the craft with a mostly natural metal body bit some white surfaces (such as the tail empennages, etc) aft.  I think I am leaning towards a mostly white body and the black leading edges because (I think) that looks to be similar to how the craft looked in some of the more common images of it flying of the Muroc Dry Lake Bed.

Other than that, some of the walk arounds also show good detail of the aft bulkhead on the craft, where the main engines attach, which appears to be almost a dark olive with a hint of yellow (though it is possible that dirt on the surfaces may make it looks a bit yellowish as the adjacent white surfaces also look like they may have a bit of a yellowish tint too).

Additionally, its also interesting to see that the engine nozzles actually appear to be almost a chartreuse/green shaded zinc chromate in color, while the wheel wells appear to be mostly a natural metal color, though parts of the forward wheel strut (or whatever the correct term is) actually looks to be a dirty white color, while parts of the aft struts appear to be a dull metallic color. Interestingly, also the hinges on the wheel well doors appear to have a bit of a greenish tinge to their metallic color as well.

For the cockpit, the seat appears to be mostly a simple red color with light grey belts.  Parts of the sides and and back of the cockpit appears to be covered with a light green quilted surface that may be some sort of insulation or fire blanket, while the rest of the surfaces appear to be a light gray, with some black instrument panels.

Since I have the time and some good images to go by I may try and dress up the cockpit a bit in my build.  For the "quilted" surface I'm not fully sure what to do yet, but I may try making a quilted image in MS Paint and printing that to some laser printer self-adhesive paper that I bought and see how that works out.

I'm looking forward to starting on the cockpit soon, and I figure during any down time I have while doing that, I can also start into either the wheel wells or cleaning up the tail empennages. Big Smile

1st Group BuildSP

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 4:09 PM

This looks really good, PFJN!  I do have to ask if you are going to post this in the Group Build thread? Smile

Gary

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 5:50 PM

Hi,

I wasn't sure if that thread was just for completed builds or not? Big Smile

PF

1st Group BuildSP

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 6:08 PM

Oh, no!  It's for the build itself.  Take a look at the GB thread and see what other people are doing for their builds.  What you've posted is great!  Nothing wrong with posting the build here (it's a good idea), but people generally post a build work in progress in both.  Copy and paste so to speak.  Smile

Hope that's a reasonable explanation!

Keep up the good work!

Gary

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 6:56 PM

Cool, thanks

1st Group BuildSP

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