What if

GROUP BUILDS => 2009 Group Builds => The Knackers Yard => Trainers With Teeth and COIN Group Build => Topic started by: Weaver on January 17, 2009, 02:59:28 pm

Title: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on January 17, 2009, 02:59:28 pm
Entry #2 will be a single seat PZL TS-11 Iskra, basically the MasterCraft 1/72nd kit built OOB with mythical Nicaraguan markings.

No picture of it yet - sorry!
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on January 20, 2009, 06:52:45 pm
And we're off!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/mixed013.jpg)

The little bits hovering around the wings are the intake trunking. The only piece of prep I did for this was trying to get them to fit a few weeks ago: serious surgery required! Spent an hour tonight just trying to get other things to fit right: all the pins are either too long or surrounded by raised lips, and some of the holes are off-centre too..... :banghead:

An hour is also about how long the "OOB" intention lasted too. I discovered that the gun in the nose is an old single-barrelled NR-23, which, to a lifelong GSh-23 fan, is just wholly unacceptable.... So the nose has been slotted to make space for the TWO barrels of the superior weapon. Unfortunately (but predictably) this went right through, so some filler/plastic will be required on the inside:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/mixed012.jpg)

On the easy side, a disc of thick plasticard that I cut for something else but which didn't fit, turned out to be the perfect jet nozzle plug... :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: rallymodeller on January 24, 2009, 02:38:22 pm
Hey, that's pretty sweet. I didn't know they did a single-seat Iskra.
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on January 29, 2009, 05:30:47 am
Ghah! NOTHING fits anything on this thing!  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Even putting the dash (half of whose crappy transfer fell off in the process) in place has required modification and micro-engineering. Then I test-fitted the windscreen -  :blink: :blink: :blink: Going to have to shim the whole sill.....

Last night I drilled out the little T-shaped tubes under the fuselage as a rest-break since it didn't involve gueing one thing to another...... :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on January 31, 2009, 02:39:56 am
Okay, some progress......

Fuselage together (in places):

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra003.jpg)


Cockpit: not one of my better efforts, but it'll do:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra004.jpg)

Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Ed S on January 31, 2009, 07:39:31 am
Looking good so far.  I built that kit a couple years ago.  It was not the easiest build and took some putty to get it right.  But it does make an interesting model on the display shelf.

Ed
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on February 01, 2009, 04:38:14 am
Cheers Ed!

I've now realised that even the single canopy reveals the area behind the front seat to a distressing degree, so I've made a fuel tank to fill the space. Also, the blob of putty I put in the nose to give me something to carve the enlarged cannon-barrel trough into, has distorted the outside of the plastic with it's fumes....  :rolleyes: However, there's a Whifjitsu solution to this: the GSh-23 has shorter barrels than the NR-23 and a much higher firing rate, so the story will be that muzzle blast and/or vibration distorts the nose skins -  :wacko: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on February 01, 2009, 03:13:46 pm
Back seat fuel tank under construction......:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra001.jpg)


....and in place:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra002.jpg)


Serious contenders for the Worst Fitting Canopy and Windscreen award :banghead: :

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra003-1.jpg)


Windscreen fit seriously improved by the Three "S"s (Sanding, Shimming and Swearing):

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra004-1.jpg)


But nothing will ever give the canopy it's corners back, which is why it will mostly be displayed thus  :wacko: :

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra005.jpg)

The silver patch on the nose is there to show through where paint will have flaked off the "vibration rippled" panel..... :wacko:









Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: pyro-manic on February 02, 2009, 08:07:23 am
Cool!

For the canopy, could you just file the bottom edges flat, and then raise the sill to fit?
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: sotoolslinger on February 02, 2009, 12:21:09 pm
Dang bubba , you are worser at picking bad kits than me. Slick looking little ac though. I'm sure you'll make her look coooool too :mellow: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on February 02, 2009, 03:04:22 pm
Cool!

For the canopy, could you just file the bottom edges flat, and then raise the sill to fit?

Think it's too deep for that. However, the real aircraft has a rounded canopy corner and "curved-triangle" frame-fillet at the front at least, so if I'm in the mood for micro-surgery, I could put one in......
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on February 11, 2009, 07:20:31 pm
STS: no "choice" in it if you want an Iskra: this is the only kit AFAIK. Incredibly, there's a Polish company who do a PE brass set for it!

Tried various solutions to the canopy fit and other than building up the sill, they were all beyond me.... :banghead: Probably just going to leave it open...... :rolleyes:

Anyway, here's some air intakes. Simple enough, you'd think, until you try to stop light shining through them, not only from the wheel wells, but also from the wing root! Real Iskras have a complicated "chip-cutter" grill in the intake, but I'm not even going there.....:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/attackmag007.jpg)

Wings on, without too much hassle:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/attackmag003.jpg)

Not that there isn't mucho PSR to be done on the underside :rolleyes:. The wing root fairings on the fuselage bear absolutely NO relationship to the profile of ANY of the bits that fit to them. The upper parts needed about 2mm carved out of them in the middle and then the compound curvature restoring with careful filing/sanding:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/attackmag004.jpg)

Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on February 15, 2009, 08:20:05 pm
Okay, major bits together. The fin isn't perfectly straight to the fuselage due to the mouldings being warped, but after patient gentle heating and bending, I realised that the tailplane fit was perpendicular to the fuse, not the fin, so fixing the latter too well would make the tailplanes look bent, and the design of their interlocking tabs is not condusive to modification...

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/ziskra001.jpg)

I'm still not happy about the fit of the canopy and the faring behind it, but it's a bit of a pain to test fit since it falls apart without tape.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/ziskra003.jpg)

When I came to drill the holes for the cannon barrels, the outer one nearly came through the back of the cannon barrel fairing which means the the latter isn't the right shape. I've tried to fix this by putting a lenght of Evergreen on that links it to the "receiver-bulge", but I'm still tickling the PSR to get it to look just right.
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Ian the Kiwi Herder on February 17, 2009, 01:50:49 am
Coming togrther very nicely  :thumbsup:

Ian
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Brian da Basher on February 20, 2009, 03:10:33 am
I'd try filling in those canopy gaps with white glue. It'll dry clear and take acrylic paint.
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: John Howling Mouse on February 21, 2009, 04:43:23 pm
Shame about the poor fit---I just bought this model last year and was looking forward to it.  I might turn mine into a biplane now.
Your patience is far superior to mine.

Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Jschmus on February 24, 2009, 05:18:11 am
STS: no "choice" in it if you want an Iskra: this is the only kit AFAIK. Incredibly, there's a Polish company who do a PE brass set for it!

I don't know if it would make any difference in the quality of the kit, but Squadron have a listing for an Iskra by a Polish company called Aeroplast:

http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=MKP00325

(http://www.squadron.com/images/large/MKP00325.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on March 15, 2009, 09:22:22 am
Okay, I've decided to stop micro-pre-planning everything and make it up as I go along. The Iskra's now got a belly coat of Light Aircraft Blue (no picture, sorry) and a custom paint mix I'm calling "Polish Jungle Green"  ;D on the uppers. Next will come some angular masking and big areas of Slate Grey.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/attackmag.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on March 22, 2009, 05:25:42 pm
Okay, here's the basic paint done:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra001-1.jpg)

The Polish Jungle Green I'm pleased with. The Warm Grey, however, did exactly the same trick as the brown on the Magister.... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/iskra002-1.jpg)

This time it was NOT down to a heavy coat of varnish underneath it, because there was none. My suspicions are:

a) the mixed, thinned paint doesn't like being kept: both incidents happened when a third coat was applied several days after two coats that worked perfectly.

b) it's something to do with airbrush propellant and enamel paint.

Can't really test a), but a compressor is now on it's way from ebay to address b). I was going to wait until it arrived and give the grey another coat, but quite frankly, I'm getting so hacked off with this that if I don't say sod-it and get on, I'll never finish it.
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: sotoolslinger on March 23, 2009, 08:26:53 am
Dang, it's a shame your encountering so many probs with this one .It's really cool looking :wub: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: JayBee on March 23, 2009, 08:50:40 am

This time it was NOT down to a heavy coat of varnish underneath it, because there was none. My suspicions are:

a) the mixed, thinned paint doesn't like being kept: both incidents happened when a third coat was applied several days after two coats that worked perfectly.

I have had problems like this before. My thoughts are that with the thinned paint being left to settle the pigment drops out quicker than usual and forms a more solid bottom layer, which, I think is very difficult to re-mix.

Anyway, your wee beast looks fantastic.

JimB
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on April 26, 2009, 06:13:45 pm
(note: yes this IS the same post as the Magister one, but it has an extra Iskra-specific bit at the end in blue, so please feel free to fast forward to there if you've already read the rest!  :thumbsup:)

Right, well after much faffing about and doing of other things, I now have a decal sheet printed up for this and the Iskra. This presented a dilemma: the roundels and flashes have white and yellow in them, which implies white decal paper, but they have to be very small to fit on the Magister wings and Iskra tailboom, and I wasn't convinced I could cut them out that well, plus there's also a lot of black writing which would have to go on clear backing.....

The solution (I hope) is to paint white circles/rectangles on the planes first and then put the decals across them. However, that still left the issue of how to make the masks. My circle cutter doesn't go small enough and my cheap'n'nasty punches arn't even vaguely sharp enough to cut masking tape cleanly. What I can up with was to put masking tape on a piece of very thin pasticard and then punch circles out of it, the card ensuring that the circles cut cleanly in the tape:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Magister/smagisteriskra002.jpg)


I did the rectangular/parrallelogram flashes by sticking a piece of masking tape to glass, sticking a piece of double-sided tape to the top of it, and then sticking dummy decals from a plain paper test shot on top of that. I then cut the shapes out with a sharp knife and a ruler.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Magister/smagisteriskra001.jpg)


Peeling off the double-sided tape and the cutouts showed that the masks could distort with handling, so I stuck fresh pieces of masking tape across them to hold them in shape, and then peeled the lot off and applies it to the models. With hindsight, I should have put paper release tabs under the edge of the "carrier" tape because taking it off, while leaving the mask in place was a major PITA. However, the results were reasonably good:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Magister/smagisteriskra003.jpg)

They now have a coat of thick white (from a 20yr old tin  :thumbsup:) drying. I'll see if they need another one tomorrow.

Coming to put the fin flash mask on the right side of the Iskra's tail, I had one of those awful Laurel and Hardy moments: yep, I'd forgotten to do mirror-image slanting flashes for the right hand side, and the decal sheet, with only left-hand flashes on it, already had a coat of varnish drying on it..... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

After a bit of throwing things and swearing, a solution presented itself. My first attempt at printing the decals on actual decal paper failed because I got the printer settings wrong and the over-saturated ink "bled" into unsightly halos around the images. Now the decal sheet is pretty full, BUT there was a clearish strip down the right-hand side.. I quickly knocked up a mostly blank sheet with RH flashes down the right-hand side, put the failed decal sheet through the printer again, and bingo!  :thumbsup: Some of them have overlapped existing images, but enough havn't, and I only need one to work at the end of the day...... :mellow:




Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: John Howling Mouse on April 29, 2009, 01:41:44 pm
Boy, does this all sound familiar.  Just do what I do, keep repeating the mantra "Models are fun, Models are fun" until she's done.

Both projects are real lookers.
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on May 03, 2009, 10:46:03 am
Okay, getting there. All it needs now are stencils, weapons, weathering (this one isn't going to be as tatty as the Tzukit) and the other fin flash, of course. Some of the stencils go on the gear doors and some on the pylons, so it's a bit "interesting" working out what to glue on at what stage. As is normal with this kit, something had to not-fit..... :rolleyes: This time it was the nose gear doors, whose thick tabs clash with the nose leg - easily fixed.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra004-2.jpg)

By the way, yes I do know that one of the tailplane probes is missing: I got sick of glueing it on over and over again after it snapped off, so it's waiting 'til last in the naughty corner now. Those probes are a REAL pain BTW: you've no idea how many times I've nearly dropped the damn thing when they caught my hand as I was trying to grip the centre fuselage......
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: frank2056 on May 04, 2009, 09:44:47 am
By the way, yes I do know that one of the tailplane probes is missing: I got sick of glueing it on over and over again after it snapped off, so it's waiting 'til last in the naughty corner now. Those probes are a REAL pain BTW: you've no idea how many times I've nearly dropped the damn thing when they caught my hand as I was trying to grip the centre fuselage......

It looks great so far! That canopy from hell looks fine now, and the intakes look great.

I've managed to not break off the wing tip probes on mine, although I've bent one. These guys will catch on anything and everything. I did manage to almost knock off the long antenna on the spine.

If anyone is going to build this "redhead" of a kit (the results look great, but it's nothing but endless drama to get there...) I would suggest removing all the antennas and probes until after the kit has been painted. With all the fiddling involved with this kit, they really get in the way.

Frank
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: ChernayaAkula on May 04, 2009, 01:57:43 pm
Nice work there, Weaver! :thumbsup:

<...> this "redhead" of a kit (the results look great, but it's nothing but endless drama to get there...) <...>

(http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/style_emoticons/default/rofl.gif)
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on May 06, 2009, 03:15:33 pm
Following the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, the CIA became completely paranoid about the possibility of the country acquiring MiG-21s, and scrutinised every satellite photograph and scrap on intelligence for signs of suitably-sized crates being shipped there. On becoming aware of this fixation, the Soviet Union decided to exploit it. Casting around for a combat aircraft that could be shipped in a much smaller crate, they settled on the Polish-made TS-11 Iskra BR300, whose tailboom could be removed to pack it in a much shorter, fatter crate than would be thought possible for any kind of aircraft. The ruse worked, and the shipment of aircraft arrived in Nicaragua without challenge.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra014.jpg)

The Iskra BR300 was a single-seat development of the standard Polish trainer, with a fuel tank in place of the rear seat and a twin-barrelled GSh-23 cannon in place of the NS-23 fitted to it's BR-200 predecessor. Since the aircraft would be Nicaragua's only jet fighters, they were also given an air-to-air capability by wiring them for R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) AAMs, although this capability was concealed for some time after the existence of the aircraft themselves was acknowledged. The PZL factory wern't told the destination of the aircraft for security reasons and the only guidance they got for a colour scheme was "forest", resulting in an attractive, but rather too dark scheme by Nicaraguan standards. The Fuerza Aérea Sandinista had more important things to do that re-paint aircraft though, so the "Polish Jungle" scheme remained.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra004-3.jpg)

The number of aircraft supplied, and their full combat history, remain unclear and the subject of much rumour and speculation, with the FAS providing no useful information to this day. What is known is that their first recognised air-to-air kill was a Honduran A-37B, on mission in support of the anti-revolutionary Contras, whose wingman saw the Iskra fire a small missile at his leader, and another which apparently malfunctioned, at his own aircraft. This was the first indication that the Iskras had R-60 capability, but it may not actually have been their first kill, since another pair of A-37Bs had vanished without trace two weeks beforehand, and their fate remains unknown.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra011.jpg)

The only other established fact is that, a month after the A-37B shootdown, the tables were turned when a flight of A-37Bs apparently ran from a pair of Iskras, only to lead them into a trap sprung by Honduran Super Mystere B2s, resulting in both Iskras being downed in short order. No further recognised air combats took place, although a number of transport aircraft supplying the Contras vanished both before and after these incidents, and it's widely believed that the Iskras were responsible for at least some of those losses. They also flew many ground attack missions in support of the Nicaraguan Army, during which some of them were almost certainly damaged by ground fire.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra013.jpg)

The aircraft pictured  is showing signs of wear and tear, despite the fact that, as "the pride of the FAS", they were generally very well maintained. Although the GSh-23 cannon provided far more firepower than it's predecessor, the shorter barrels caused problems with muzzle-blast, which can be seen to have rippled the skin nearby. This aircraft also has patches on it's port wing, and the port aileron and wingtip have been replaced, suggesting damage by small-calibre rounds. The combination of the red-black-yellow Sandinista roundels with the pre-revolutionary blue-white-blue fin flash might seem incongruous, but in fact this was standard practice for all Nicaraguan aircraft of this period.


Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on May 06, 2009, 03:27:07 pm
I'm posting this now because I seriously doubt weather I'll be able to do any decent daylight photography between now and the revised deadline. If I can, I will.

Kit: Mastercraft 1/72nd TS-11 Iskra 100/200
Missiles: unknown 1/72nd source. I think I got them from B787 in a trade - cheers if I did, sorry if I've got it wrong!
Mods: cannon from brass rod and filler, rear seat tank from Evergreen, jetpipe blanked with plasticard, seat straps from masking tape.
Paint: Humbrol enamels, sprayed and brushed. Karismacolour pencils and black pastel for weathering.
Decals: home-printed national markings, kit stencilling.

Best bits: ummmm the green paint (wish I could remember the formula...) and some of the the home-print decals.

Worst bits: the grey/brown paint going wrong, most of the kit stencilling decals falling apart, oh yeah and the the whole damn kit!  :banghead:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra001-2.jpg)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra006.jpg)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Iskra/Iskra008.jpg)


Thanks very much for all the supportive comments and encouragement during this pig of a build: all very much appreciated.

All comments, criticisms etc... welcome as ever.

Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Ed S on May 06, 2009, 05:13:22 pm
Nice one.  Well done.  Especially considering the kit you started with.   :thumbsup:

Ed  :cheers:
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Weaver on August 17, 2013, 05:50:07 am
Just did a bit of photo-montage with this one, and used it to jolly-up the article on the front page (I was editing it anyway because I've moved the article pics to a different host to try to stop my Photobucket running out of bandwidth every month).

Got halfway through then realised it didn't have a pilot in it... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Every bit of correction I tried looked heavy-handed, but then I hit on a brainwave: blame it on the censor! So I blacked out the buzz numbers too and put a note in the article to that effect..... :wacko: :thumbsup:

Did quite a bit of touch-up on the "distant" aircraft too, to make it not quite so obviously the same one....

(http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/2313/60d7.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
Post by: Steel Penguin on August 17, 2013, 05:54:45 am
An elegant and clever solution,  :thumbsup: and it looks smashin in flight as well