Author Topic: Bell F-109 VertiStar  (Read 795 times)

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Offline CammNut

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Bell F-109 VertiStar
« on: July 20, 2019, 12:24:52 pm »
No backstory - just that this is my first 3D-printed model.



It's the Bell D188A Mach 2 VTOL fighter project, which it tried unsuccessfully to get designated the F-109. This is a 3D-printed 1/72 model from Shapeways, modeled by Kevin Cespedes who operates as Aerobotix.



The shape accurately captures the US Air Force version of the D188A as it appeared in final form in 1958 as a full-sale mockup. All the doors for the lift system are delineated, and for the underfuselage weapons bay.



It's a single piece of light, hard nylon - and its really tough: you can drop it and nothing happens. No cockpit, no landing gear, and the canopy comes separately as a solid piece of 3D-printed translucent plastic.



But the surface finish is not good. It took many, many cycles of priming and sanding to get to an acceptable finish and even now there are still rough areas. But I got to a point where enough was good enough for me.



I was going to do it in US Navy colors then discovered the naval version had a different tail, so instead out came the Tamiya rattle-can silver. The decals are from a Revell US Air Force F-104C sheet (and went on very nicely), so I named the VertiStar in the Starfighter's honor.



It came out looking way better than I expected when I first unpacked the box from Shapeways and felt the surface finish. It's a cool-looking if complicated aircraft (eight General Electric J85 jet engines - six afterburning in the tilting nacelles and rear fuselage; two non-afterburning as lift engines mounted side-by-side behind the cockpit).

For VTOL, the wing nacelles tilted vertically (the forward sections moving up to increase airflow as in the German VJ101), top and bottom lift-engine doors opened and diverters in the rear-engine exhausts directed their thrust downwards - auxiliary inlets opening on top of the fuselage aft of the wing and exit doors opening under the fuselage.

Offline rickshaw

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2019, 05:55:35 pm »
Nice but it would have been expensive.    :thumbsup:
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Offline The Rat

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2019, 08:00:10 pm »
 :thumbsup: Beauty!
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Offline comrade harps

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2019, 08:27:34 pm »
Snazzy and still futuristics (in a Gerry Anderson kind of way). Those outboard engines nacelles are surprisingly slim, but as they're for vertically stacked  J85s that makes sense. Looks sharp! Nice job. :wub:
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 04:05:15 am »
That does look good  :thumbsup:

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Decals my @r$e!

Offline zenrat

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 04:52:44 am »
Nice model.
 :thumbsup:
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Offline Tophe

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 02:31:34 am »
Good model!
And thanks for having explained to us the little problems remaining in this new way of model making :thumbsup:
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Offline silverwindblade

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2019, 05:52:16 am »
Until I read the description a bit more, I thought it was a VJ101. It does have a fair few similarities. Excellent though, and I always like discovering new aircraft or vehicles I hadn't heard of before.
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Offline salt6

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2019, 03:38:29 pm »
 :thumbsup:
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Offline CammNut

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 01:38:28 pm »
Thank you, folks - an interesting exercise

Offline chrisonord

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2019, 06:38:16 am »
This is brilliant,  I  keep  looking  at it again and again, a proper X plane that is :thumbsup:
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Offline TomZ

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2019, 11:32:29 am »
I love the finish of this one.
What did you do to smooth out the print?

TomZ
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Offline CammNut

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2019, 05:49:37 pm »
Lots of layers of Tamiya primer and lots of sanding. The primer was amazingly durable

Offline Cobra

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Re: Bell F-109 VertiStar
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2019, 09:43:14 pm »
Super Awesome :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: this is a Well Done Model! it has some Gerry Anderson Flavor to it & Could be Mistaken for Something a Gerry anderson Series! Thanks for Posting! Dan