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TOPIC: Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon

Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 30 Dec 2016 21:29 #1

Hi guys. Well –my A-4 build suffered from a short shot off the cat right into the circular filing cabinet, and thus has been withdrawn from this campaign. I'll have to try that kit again some other time. I’ve decided to enter the other kit I was originally considering, the Wolfpack T-38A Talon kit.

Here is the standard start up pic. Sorry its blurry, I didn’t realize before I jumped into assembly, but it does say December 18, 2016.



Aftermarket for this kit is pretty limited. I have the Wolfpack update, which includes resin seats and main landing gear wheels, and the KASL flaps set, which I’ve decided not to use on this build. The instructions for the flaps are not very clear, and I really wanted to get in a quick low stress build.

I’ve been home from work for the last week, so I’ve been making some good progress on this build in between all the other chores I’ve been trying to get done. Lets get into it!

As is typical, work starts in the cockpit. The pit is made up of a two-place tub that you add the seat rails and the instrument panels with rubber pedal to. Assembly was pretty straightforward.



Sidewall detail is molded to the fuselage sides. I’ve read a few build reviews of this kit and one of the issues is that the front of the cockpit sits up to high. A recommended fix was to shave off the mounting tabs for the front of the pit and during assembly only glue the back in until the glare shield is also installed. So that’s how I went. If you look close, you can see the tab shaves off on the bottom half and still present on the top half. I’ve also added the nose landing gear bay at this point.



The instrument panels feature raised details that you could choose to paint or use the supplied decals. I choose to use the decals, they are Cartograff so I figured they would settle down just fine. So after a coat of Ammo FS 26173 and a future coat, I laid down the decals with the help of Micro SET and SOL. Turned out perfectly. After the decals set overnight, I flat coated the panels and then added a drop of gloss varnish over each dial to represent the glass.



The rest of the cockpit was finished up. I tired a new techniques for the wear in the tub on this one. First I sprayed the foot wells in Tamiya Metallic Gray followed by a coat of Ammo Scratches Effects. Then I sprayed Ammo Zinc Chromate Primer followed by another coat of the Scratches Effects. Once this dried I painted the whole cockpit, and the sidewalls, in Ammo FS26173. Once the paint dried I used a brush and some water to show the paint wear in the foot wells. I’m pretty happy with how the layers worked out, but I need to refine this technique a little bit. Next step was a future coat followed by a medium gray wash then a flat coat and detail painting. This didn’t take long, there isn’t much to paint here.





I did add a little weight to the nose, around the nose gear well. The instructions do not mention it needing paint, but I figured I would be safe.

One note on the cockpit, the details are very soft here, which did make my detail panting a little tough. This is a kit that would very much benefit from an aftermarket cockpit. The cockpit is large and open, and the canopies are really big putting all that resin detail on display. There is an Eduard update set that I think would be a good improvement. I’ve since ordered it for my other kit.

Next step was to install the cockpit, securing only the back, and closing up the fuselage. Once that was set, I added the glare shield and secure the cockpit in place. I also painted the interior of the fuselage and the bottom part in black because there is no trunking for the intakes; they are just open to the interior. I don’t think it will be a problem considering how small they are, but we’ll see.



Dry fitting the top and bottom of the fuselages indicated that there was a step at the join. The cross section of the top is smaller then that of the bottom. This is another issue that has already been identified so I was expecting it. I did some measuring and installed some sprue to spread the top to the appropriate width.



The two forward pieces were secured with some Tamiya cement (the orange capped bottle!) and the one furthest aft wasn’t glued in so I could remove it after the fuselage join was set. This would have interfered with the engines. After that I installed the two lower portions of the fuselage.



Oddly enough, the fit of the front panel under the fuselage has been identified as a fit issue as well, but I didn’t find that to be the case on my build. The seam on the the sides ended up needing some filler on both, nothing major, but its such a crazy join line that it needs to be taken care of.



I also added one of the wings. I was going to add the second one, but there is a fit issue that needs some work, plus you need to add the intakes before you add the wings. The directions are not very clear on this, but trust me – you need to. The wing root will need a little filler as well, but I haven’t got there just yet.

Well – that’s about a week’s worth of work. Overall my feelings on this kit are a little bit mixed. The fit is pretty good, but it does require some finesse. Also there are a lot of panel lines and rivet detail, but its all very shallow so every time you need to sand a seam, you lose the details. I’ve read some reviews that have compared this kit to a short run kit and I feel like that’s pretty accurate.

I should have the rest of this put together and in primer tomorrow.



Thanks all for watching. See you soon.
Mike
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 31 Dec 2016 09:44 #2

Very nice fix and great start. IPs look fantastic :popcorn
I told you photobucket sucks...



"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
Hank Williams Jr.
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 31 Dec 2016 12:13 #3

Looking great! Very nice fix and excellent IP's. You're really rocking this!




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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 31 Dec 2016 20:47 #4

Wow, those IP's look amazing. I would not have thought those were decals!
I'd like to build a wolfpack T-38 in the Thunderbirds scheme someday.

Tim
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If it was meant To fly, it should have rotors!!!
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 02 Jan 2017 02:04 #5

moon puppy wrote:
Very nice fix and great start. IPs look fantastic :popcorn


Thanks Bob, I am happy with the result, although it will be interesting to see how the Eduard set compares.
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 02 Jan 2017 02:04 #6

Duke Maddog wrote:
Looking great! Very nice fix and excellent IP's. You're really rocking this!

Thanks Mark!
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 02 Jan 2017 02:06 #7

Hawkwrench wrote:
Wow, those IP's look amazing. I would not have thought those were decals!
I'd like to build a wolfpack T-38 in the Thunderbirds scheme someday.

Tim


They sure did snuggle down well. I was a little surprised myself.
I saw a build online of someone that did this kit as a Thunderbird aircraft. As i recall he had a lot of problems with the decals. But that is the cool thing about the T-38, there are so many of them in all kinds of paint schemes! It's tough to choose which one to do!
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 02 Jan 2017 02:07 #8

Hi guys – I am back with some progress.

Next step was getting the intakes sorted. They are each made up of 3 pieces, a left side a right and the front lip with the splitter plate. I painted the left and right side in gloss white and assembled the two halves. I had planned not to worry too much about the seams. These intakes are D shaped and Wolfpack molded each half so that the seam was where the half circle meets the vertical wall. After these halves were assembled I added the front piece. Then I filled the inside join line in an effort to make them seamless. Took a few rounds of PSR but I finally got something I can live with. These intakes are tiny and it was really tough to get any sanding tools into them and then painting them assembled was a nightmare. The visible area will need a little work prior to final paint, but I left it alone for now since the entire airframe will be gloss white as well. After they were dry, I assembled the intakes to the fuselage. The left intake fit perfectly, and the right intake left a gap that needed filling. Not entirely sure why. :idonno





I also added the left wing at this point, and ended up with an odd gap at the join out by the end of the wing. I didn’t have a gap like that on the other wing.



These gaps and the small gaps at the wing root were cleaned up with some putty and I moved on to the tail. The vertical tail was attached and I ended up with a small gap where it met the spine of the aircraft and a step between the two parts. This may have been the result of sanding the fuselage spine during clean up, I’m not sure but I will add the tail and do that seam all at once next time. The horizontal tails have mounting pins at a slight angle, these are to help align the tail which is at an angle compared to the wings. This helped as a starting point, but still required some TLC to get the tails aligned to each other.



Last step was to add the fin cap and the intakes on each side of the tail. None of these parts have locating pins. Basically the instructions give you a picture of where to install them. I lined them up as best I could, they probably aren’t perfect but I can’t tell the difference, so I am happy with the result. Remember what I said about this being compared to a short run kit?



I also added the windscreen and the landing light. The kit provides masks for the clear parts, which is a very nice touch. The next step is to mask up the canopy and primer this little hot rod, which I will do tomorrow.



Thank you all for looking in!

Mike
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 02 Jan 2017 08:23 #9

Looks like you're making short work of this Mike :popcorn
I told you photobucket sucks...



"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
Hank Williams Jr.
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 03 Jan 2017 10:38 #10

That is moving fast man! Way to go!




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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 03 Jan 2017 13:28 #11

Watching with invested interest. :popcorn
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Skinny Mike's T-38A Talon 03 Jan 2017 15:27 #12

Looking good :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup :popcorn
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