Author Topic: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken  (Read 20393 times)

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Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #45 on: June 04, 2012, 03:03:00 pm »
Day off today. So between shuttling Chicklets to their various summer activities, I had some model building time shoehorned into the day so far. Latest progress:



Even though the Shenyang J-8II Finback-B is a big aircraft, it's still a small build in 1/144 scale and given just how much of my bench the PBK-1 Tarpon build takes up, this one feels microscopic. The wings and tailplanes are part of the upper half of the fuselage, the fit of the lower half into all of this is so-so but not as sea-urchins-in-a-Speedo horrifying as the 1/200 Spruce Goose kit's issues that I'm using for the previous build. The engines and nose radome are separate parts and their fit is so-so as well but *easily* remedied. Cockpit detail is very sparse, just a simple seat. But I don't like working on cockpits all that much, but I'll do enough so that with the canopy in place it will be presentable and something *I* can live with.



The lateral box intakes on this kit suck. There's two broad tabs which go across the inlet intake, the lower one fits into a slot on the side of the fuselage. So that's gonna have to be fixed. The upper part is the right intake as it looks right off the sprue. The lower part is the left intake which I've suitably reworked- I've cut away both of those obnoxious tabs, used a needle file to thin the intake lip and then used thin styrene sheet to add back those intake fairings so it looks more presentable. The scrap shot on the left shows how the intake should look. They're internal fences that keep the airflow going into the intake straight as it passes the variable geometry ramp on the fuselage side of the intake box. With those two big tabs gone, the intake box fits much better on the fuselage assembly. I probably could have used thinner styrene for those internal fences, but my middle-aged Mark One eyeballs do impose some limitations on my ambition in this scale.

Offline Gondor

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2012, 01:00:14 am »
Nice work on the intake

Gondor
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Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2012, 08:13:47 am »
Latest progress shots of my 1/144 strike Finback-B:



Wow, the panel lines on this small kit are huge. I guess I could go and fill all those trenches in, but that's more putty-sand-repeat than I resolved myself to do on this build. If this were 1:1 scale, we probably could stash a large sack of Twiglets in those panel lines. The intakes required more sanding than expected to get them to blend better into the intake trunks on the sides of the fuselage. The intake boxes were sharp edged and there's a gradual transition from sharp edge to rounded.

The exhausts don't fit great into the fuselage but it's acceptable to me with what I plan to do with this build. Are all Trumpeter 1/144 kits this craptastic? I always hear good things about the larger scale kits and now am wondering if it's worth spending the coin on the 1/144 Tu-16 Badger kit.



Underside view. The ventral fin was one piece and had two pairs of intakes moulded into each side. I have no clue where they got that idea to do that as that resembles nothing at all on the folding fin assembly of the real Finback-B. Trumpeter's based in China, right? There's tons of Finback-B pics on the 'Net and ten to one they could have had someone actually physically go look at a 1:1 specimen. Whatever. Sanded those little bastards off and then cut the fin. Like the MiG-23/27, the Finback-B's fin folds to the right when the landing gear is extended. On the older Finback-A, there were two smaller ventral fins that were fixed.

I'm not terribly impressed with the pylons in the kit, I may scratchbuild my own out of styrene sheet instead.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2012, 09:23:11 am »
I've got a Trumpeter Su-34 that has similar trenches, but also another kit (Il-76) that's better. Trumpeter's rather variable when it comes to quality.

Offline frank2056

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2012, 11:43:22 am »
The older (and dirt cheap) Trumpeter kits tend to be pretty awful. The Finback-B looks to be slightly better than their J-7:

http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,33886.msg535708.html#msg535708

Which only bears a passing resemblance to the J-7/Mig 21. The J-7 had a strange rectangular cutout at the wing root join of both wings, which was clearly visible from the topside.

In 1/144, their F-22 is a very, very nice kit(here's a buildup on ARC: http://s362974870.onlinehome.us/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=184332) and so is their Me-262 (I found this built-up: http://maquetas.mforos.com/353330/10302754-messerschmitt-me-262-a1-trumpeter-1-144/) I have the Tu-16 and it looks good, too. OTOH, their F-23 (another cheap kit) is so-so. The panel lines aren't all that deep, but the fit isn't the greatest. Luckily it's a fairly smooth shape.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2012, 01:07:20 pm »


Decided to do a mix of scratchbuilt pylons and kit pylons. The four smaller wing pylons came with the kit. They're nothing great but I didn't feel like scratchbuilding that many pylons. Yep, somedays I'm just a lazy what-if builder. The smaller ones are missile stations on the real Finback-B, but in this whiff build I'll have the outboard ones carrying self-defense IR missiles and the inboard ones bombs of some sort. The larger pylons are scratchbuilt and for this build the wing would have been structurally strengthened for these stations to take heavier loads. On the real world Finback-B these stations could also mount external tanks. For this build, I'll put LGBs there.

The stub pylons under the intakes are not a feature of the real world Finback-B. The left one will be carrying a laser targeting pod, the smaller right one some sort of imaginary ECM pod.

Offline RussC

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2012, 03:42:49 pm »
I've got a Trumpeter Su-34 that has similar trenches, but also another kit (Il-76) that's better. Trumpeter's rather variable when it comes to quality.

1/144 scale comes in two different worlds, one is actual well engineered model kits of interesting subjects, some makers going to almost incredible lengths for details.
 
But there is a second world where the model is treated like a toy and is given only that much consideration and usually of more common subjects.

The same is true for the prebuilt collectors kits in that scale which are called "trading kits" or "gashapon", some are very serious and some are playthings.

Some brand names try to cater to both worlds.
“Build what YOU want, the way YOU want to"  - Al Superczynski

Offline Geoff

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2012, 04:26:38 pm »
The Trumpeter 1/144th F-86 is a nice kit that went togeather well.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2012, 07:13:13 pm »
I'm trying to think what the most projects in progress I ever had going at one time. This build will make three, but I know in the past I've had much more going. Heck, there are boxes still to be unpacked that have half-finished builds from years ago in them. Which reminds me, one of them should have a half-finished Welsh 1/144 BAC Strikemaster.......



Thanks to Japan there are a line of 1/144 pre-painted partially built up models out there that can be had for $10 or less. Some are pretty crappy looking, but this one looks pretty decent. I've picked up some of eBay; this is a Grumman S-2 Tracker from the F-Toys series of maritime patrol aircraft. They do them in groups of nine or more. This series has three E-2 Hawkeyes, three S-2 Trackers, and three S-3 Vikings, all in 1/144. For those not aware, they come with some of the markings printed on but have decals to finish the job. This is one of the Tracker releases and what you see in the above picture is how it looks out of the box with the major components, one sprue of additional parts and a decal sheet (not pictured here). I don't know if there's ever been a 1/144 Stoof released and if there has, it probably costs two arms, a leg and my left nut. So this is what I'll use as the basis for another what-if build.

It's actually a pretty nifty little build if you never modified it and assembled it as is. But me, nah. I may pick up another one and leave it as is built up, but this one I picked up from a local HobbyTown USA store for only $10.

It does come with a stand and the option of doing it wheels up. The MAD boom even extends out. I won't be needing it for this build, though.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2012, 07:13:50 pm »


This is where things stood last night. I had split open the halves of the fuselage. F-Toys includes a little clear stand to prop up the tail, but I split it open carefully and added lead fishing weights in the nose. There's a painted cockpit piece that comes off easily as well as a very rudimentary cockpit in gray. The rear underfuselage radome isn't extendable, but it's a separate piece of tan-colored plastic that looks like it could be. I won't be needing that either, I'll be filling that hole (*snicker*) right up.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2012, 07:14:16 pm »
The Trumpeter 1/144th F-86 is a nice kit that went togeather well.
That's good to know, I've been eyeballing that kit for some possible whiff ideas.....

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #56 on: June 11, 2012, 07:15:24 pm »
I've got a Trumpeter Su-34 that has similar trenches, but also another kit (Il-76) that's better. Trumpeter's rather variable when it comes to quality.

1/144 scale comes in two different worlds, one is actual well engineered model kits of interesting subjects, some makers going to almost incredible lengths for details.
 
But there is a second world where the model is treated like a toy and is given only that much consideration and usually of more common subjects.

The same is true for the prebuilt collectors kits in that scale which are called "trading kits" or "gashapon", some are very serious and some are playthings.

Some brand names try to cater to both worlds.

I've noticed this. There are some whiffs I want to build but a gashapon 1/144 may be my only avenue, let alone a reasonably priced avenue.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2012, 08:32:38 pm »
Latest progress:





These shots should give you a pretty big hint of what I have planned for this Stoof. I used Tamiya White Primer on the fuselage to try it out, so far liking what it offers. There are two air scoops on each side of the retractable belly radome that I sanded off along with filling the radome location with Squadron White after removing. I also cut off the radar pod that sits above the cockpit, figure I won't be needing that but will use the right wing search light as a weather radar pod. Figure that might come in handy in the tropical weather where this what-if would be out dispensing the brass love.

I filled the seams on the fuselage halves with thinned out Squadron White putty. I put the cockpit transparency on as a dry fit only, I plan to repaint the cockpit interior rather than leave it a drab gray color as it is now. My original plan because the Stoof's weapons bay is shallow was to have the guns traverse downward out of hinged panels but found the plastic in this area thick and numerous locator pins in the area and I still wanted the slot for the included stand even though I plan to build this wheels down. From looking at cutaway drawings of the Tracker, it looks like the roof of the weapons bay was probably an important structural component of this part of the fuselage. Since I had to cut the gun apertures higher up, I figure that had this been done in real life, some sort of structural beef up would be needed around the openings, so I used some thin styrene strip to look like external stiffening (not to mention it's a good way to cover up some of my ham-fisted work on cutting out the gun port). Additional styrene cut at an angle was used to create the deflector ramps ahead of each gun port.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #58 on: June 16, 2012, 07:12:21 am »


I recently picked up this F-Toys gashapon F-8 Crusader off eBay for just $2. Figured it would be a different sort of challenge. I was already getting a 1/144 JASDF weapons set from the same seller for a song, so I figured another two bucks I could do something a little different. I knew I wasn't getting a fresh model and that it was well-used. I have the ARII F-8 Crusader in the stash which I think is the only choice kitwise in Braille Scale other than maybe Aeroclub (whose A-7 I do have in the stash). But the overall shape of the Crusader kit lives a lot to be desired.

Top side, it doesn't look too bad. The Y-pylons for the Sidewinder missiles is pretty dodgy as it is, so that will be removed and I'll keep two of the four missiles for what I have planned for this build.



Underside is another story. There of course is the big gaps between the fuselage halves, that'll be easy enough to sling putty at to fix. No undercarriage came with this buy, the previous owner ham-fistedly glued the main landing gear doors in. The slinging of poo, I mean, putty and some sanding should help here as well as I'll be building this one up as a wheels-up bird.

After I took these pictures, I removed the missiles, tossed out the Y-pylon, removed the wing and the cockpit transparency and started filling in the gaps. Hellloooooooo, Squadron White.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: The 1/144 Braille Scale World of Sentinel Chicken
« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2012, 09:30:56 pm »
Latest progress shots:





Here's where things stand now. Slinged putty at all the gaps and generally cleaned up that hideous mess of how the previous owner glued the main landing gear doors on. I didn't glue the wing on (it's one-piece) as it will be easier to paint the camo scheme with the wing as a separate piece when the time comes. After sanding the puttied areas, I oversprayed the model with several light coats of Tamiya White Primer.

The cockpit will need some work. Since I hate doing cockpits, it will just be the bare-minimum. It looks like the top of the ejector seat was damaged, so some simple styrene scratchbuilding will help here along with something to make the panel and coaming more presentable. I'll also need to add the prominent air scoops that are on both upper sides of the exhaust section as well as scratchbuild the IR sensor ahead of the windscreen.