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Special Hobby X-15 A2 1/48

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  • Member since
    February 2021
Special Hobby X-15 A2 1/48
Posted by JimC2020 on Saturday, March 4, 2023 9:14 PM

Been working on this to get back into modeling again... 

The kit itself is not very good to be honest. The panels are really thin and not very deep at all and it's easy to sand them off. The resin pieces are ok, but fit is not so great. The fit of the plastic parts is horrible. There's no pins or guides to help fit the pieces together. Since the fit is not very good there's lots of filler needed. Honestly this is the worst model kit I've done so far, which is annoying because the X-15 is insanely cool and deserves a kick ass kit.

But onwards...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by JimC2020 on Saturday, March 4, 2023 9:17 PM

Priming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Saturday, March 4, 2023 9:57 PM

Well it looks to me like you have whiped it into submission Smile

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Monday, March 6, 2023 7:57 AM

I agree, looks like you are doing a fine job with the X-15!

 

Nice works

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, March 6, 2023 9:21 PM

Special Hobby/MPM offer difficult to build kits of the X-15 in all major scales (1/72, 1/48, 1/32).  But until Tamiya or Hasegawa decide to do one, that's what we have to work with.  Still, the X-15 represents a highly successful test program that probed hypersonic flight, and it looks super-cool.  So all that aggravation is worth it in the end.

I have the 1/32 kit in the stash, and it features an ejection seat that looks like flat-packed Ikea furniture.  The stabilizers supposedly were dimensioned off of a plan view, making them a bit short, since they angle slightly down.  I'm not sure if the 1/48 kit suffers from the same problem, but it is a bugger to fix if you want to do it right.

But you seem to have gotten your model together okay, despite the kits challenges.  I look forward to seeing it finsihed!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Manchester, UK
Posted by DHanners55 on Sunday, March 12, 2023 6:51 AM

Off to a good start on modeling Mission 2-43-75, Robert Rushworth's flight of 3 November 1965. It was the X-15A-2's first flight with external tanks, but they were empty.

It was kind of a snake-bit flight (as many 'A-2 flights were...) in that the LOX tank was destroyed when its parachute failed to deploy, and the ventral rudder was lost when its parachute also failed.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by JimC2020 on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 8:58 PM

Finally getting back to this.

 

 

 

Trying to simulate the wear and tear on it. This is loosely based on some pics I took at Dayton's Wright Patterson AFB.

 

 

 

 

Nose

 

 

 

Panels

 

 

hatches

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Manchester, UK
Posted by DHanners55 on Friday, June 16, 2023 7:56 AM

Keep in mind that before the X-15A-2 was transferred to the USAF museum, North American Aviation scrubbed off the sealant and ablative, a scouring process that caused its own unique brand of (non-flight) weathering and discoloration. Then portions of the aircraft damaged or destroyed on the high-speed run were removed and replaced. After being re-certified to fly, the finished airframe -- devoid of all markings -- was returned to Edwards in June 1968. But by that time, funding for the X-15 program was winding down and NASA had no interest in flying 66671 again.

When the X-15A-2 was transferred to the USAF museum, it still lacked markings, and was displayed in that condition for some time. The USAF eventually painted markings on it and added a couple of external tanks. The markings and tanks depicted Flight 2-43-75, a test flight using empty external tanks.

All that is a long-winded way of saying that the X-15A-2 in the museum has tonal and panel differences not on the vehicle when it flew. (Similarly, X-15-1, 66670, which now hangs in the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum, bears little resemblance, markingswise, to how it looked on its last flight.) 

 

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by JimC2020 on Friday, June 16, 2023 10:45 AM

OMG that explains what I was seeing!! Oh well I guess mine will not be the flight version! LOL.

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Manchester, UK
Posted by DHanners55 on Friday, June 16, 2023 1:29 PM

X-15 colors are an iffy thing. Most of the airframe was made of Inconel X, which is a silvery color. However, it turns a bluish-black when heated, including aerodynamic heating. Some panels turned darker than others. Some describe the overall color as gunmetal black. Also, when they stretched the fuselage and side tunnels to build the 'A-2, those sections were painted semi-gloss or flat black. Some panels appeared a metallic gray. Lighting always played a role in how they looked in photos. For example, there are photos and screencaps from Scott Crossfield's hard landing on Flight 2-3-9 (below) where you'd swear the tailcone was silver, and photos from the same flight where you'd swear it was black. (It was painted black.) The airframes always wound up having a patchy appearance.

Prior to being rolled out, each X-15 was painted a semi-gloss black that had a bluish tint. The paint wore off quickly, though, and so the vehicles took on the color of heated Inconel.

Keeping the markings on the airframes looking nice and new wasn't the highest of priorities, but technicians did a good job (up to a point) of repainting markings that were scorched after high-speed flight. Aerodynamic heating had a habit of turning the paint to goo. Some paints fared better than others. The yellow they used was hardy, but many post-flight photos show the blue NASA "meatball" on the nose obliterated By the heat. It was generally always repainted, though. The X-15 was NASA's first X-plane and was the first plane to carry NASA markings, so there was some pride involved.

However, sometimes there were no markings on the wings, or the dorsal rudder carried the yellow NASA band on one side and not the other; same with the serial numbers. The X-15A-2 was an exception to that in that it had the banner and serial numbers on both sides up until the ablative and sealant were applied.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, June 16, 2023 2:35 PM

I got to get up and close with the USAFM's X-15A2, and its skin color was of particular interest to me.  The finish looked like black anodized metal.

I was thinking what would happen if the airframe was painted in various shades of metal, and then given an overall thin coat of blue tinted black?

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by JimC2020 on Thursday, June 22, 2023 10:26 PM

More work

 

Detailing the external tanks

 

 

 

 

 

Decals

 

 

 

 

 

Clear coat

Damn decals were super delicate and easy to break

 

Panel lines

 

 

 

not sure how effective it was. the panel lines on the model are very faint.

 

Custom scratch built stand

 

Model held in place with magnets

 

 

putty to smooth out

 

 

Structural reinforcements

 

 

More sanding

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, June 22, 2023 10:41 PM

Some great work!  You sure do make the kit look good.  I likethe base idea a lot

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by JimC2020 on Saturday, June 24, 2023 6:17 PM

Almost done...

 

 

Cockpit close up before closing it up

 

 

 

Stand

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by JimC2020 on Friday, June 30, 2023 9:38 AM

All done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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