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Wolfman63 last won the day on May 27

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About Wolfman63

  • Birthday 05/08/1963

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  1. Eighth week of the YF-23 I had minimal time on the bench. I had some other things to take care of as I will be attending the 2024 IPMS Convention in Madison Wisconsin. I worked on the landing gear and started with a base coat of the fuselage painting. Starting with the port side main landing gear I opted to use the kit pieces. I have had a few folks tell me that the metal main struts due to the angle and weight of the model over time tend to sag. After reviewing the reference photos I made the main gear ID plate decals and then I used some 30 gauge wire for the hydraulic lines on the strut. The port gear assembly was then installed into the fuselage. The nose gear I did use the metal strut. After some minor clean up I installed the nose gear. I did have to add some plastic to the flat side of the metal strut ad the mounting hole was a little larger than the tab on the metal strut. For the fuselage I found some photo etch blade antennas. One went on the spine and the other was mounted on the underside near the fuel dump outlet. I then base coat painted the fuselage and tails with the Light Ghost Grey paint. The tails and the underside were then camouflaged with the Dark Ghost Grey. Since I am using the Caracal decals I used their paint guide which matches the reference photos. One thing to note is the reference photos of PAV2 show a section on the underside between the intakes also had a Dark Ghost Grey patch. However, some of the photos do not show it painted. I am looking up some of the sources to find out when this was added or removed during the flight testing. From the reference book it looks like it may have been added sometime after initial flight test. There is a photo of it during first flight that kind of looks like it was not there and later in the book when they did the mid-air refueling testing along with the YF-22 it was there. I have not decided if I will add it yet or not. I still have the topside of the fuselage to paint with the Dark Ghost Grey so I will decide then. Right now I am working on the starboard side main gear and then I will detail the landing gear doors. Another thing to note is on the inside of the nose gear door one aircraft had “SPIDER” on it and the other had “Grey Ghost” Caracal states the SPIDER was on PAV2 and Grey Ghost on PAV1. I would have thought that PAV1 being the dark grey with the red hour glass would have been Spider and PAV2 with the Lo-Vis scheme would be Grey Ghost. I need to look thru the book and verify this. Caracal does provide both. Actually Caracal provides enough decals to do BOTH aircraft in case you want to build both versions. You can see all the photos and detail from the start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  2. The seventh week has the YF-23 fuselage together. To start off I should note that the instructions state to install the cockpit assembly to the lower half. Due to the modifications to the cockpit tub it was a lot easier to align and install the cockpit tub to the top half. I then assembled the two halves together. There are a lot of small gaps along the edges especially large were the underside of the tail. The nose had some minor gaps as well. The intake and exhaust was very good and lined up well. I used Tamiya fine white putty to fill these gaps. Once dry I wet sanded the areas with 600 grit sandpaper. While the putty was drying I assembled the wings and tail. The wings also had a large gap on the underside as well. More putty and sanding. The tails had no fit issues. The tails just press into the fuselage without glue and they fit just fine. The tail pivot points are very good. There is no slop in the fit so they can move without any wobbling. Next I installed the wings to the fuselage. The topside fit was good with only some minor putty. The port side on the bottom was not bad as well. However the starboard side had a gap along the entire edge. I the re-scribed the panel lines and scribed the lines for the moveable surfaces (flaps, slats, ailerons, etc.) a little deeper to define them better. I am now adding the finer details onto the fuselage like pitot tubes and antenna’s. I then need to mask off the cockpit, landing gear bays, intake, and exhaust areas to start painting. The scheme for PAV2 is light ghost grey with dark ghost grey camouflage. I need to also make a couple of masks for the exhaust area. The exhaust area has a lot of small panels and the reference photos show many panels vary in color. Should have all the painting completed over the next week and possibly starting the decals. You can see all the photos and detail of this start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  3. I use super glue as well but I apply it with a small tipped Glue Looper. Photo Etch Tools – David's Scale Models (davidsscalemodels.com)
  4. The sixth week of the YF-23 was spent getting ready to assemble the fuselage halves. The exhaust ports were detailed using some photo etch pieces and some styrene rods. The photo etch was used to detail the flap for the exhaust. On the reference photos there looks to be heat tiles on the bottom of the exhaust port. To replicate these I used some styrene rods glued together then I sanded the assembly to decrease its thickness and give the bottom a flat surface. Next I assembled the intake ducts after painting them white. It is nice that the seams of the halves are at the edges of the duct which makes it easy to fill, sand, and paint. I then installed the main gear bays. With all the vents opened up I started adding the screens. To get the screen mesh trimmed I used a sheet of paper to trace the edges then used that as a template for the screen mesh. The tricky one was the one right behind the canopy due to the zigzag pattern and size. Once installed, that completed all the upper screens. I am working on the lower screens now and then installing the cockpit tub. I am hoping to have the fuselage halves together this next week even though we have some plans over the 4th of July weekend. You can see all the photos and detail of this start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  5. Week five of the YF-23 I am working on the fuselage details. I finished off the main landing gear bays and then started on modifying the fuselage. I began by cutting open the upper fuselage vents above the engines and the spine. Moving forward I drew the correct vent just behind the canopy. This is not marked on the kit. They do provide a decal but the decal is the incorrect size and shape. Switching to the lower fuselage I corrected the panel lines just aft of the bomb bay doors. The kit has the aft edge with the sharp angle scallop when on the actual PAV 2 they are straight. I filled the kit panel lines with putty then re-scribed the correct lines. Next I cut open the engine vents and drilled the fuel dump port. I used aluminum tubing to replicate the actual dump tube on the aircraft. I am currently starting to detail the exhaust. There are many small details that are not portrayed on the kit so I am figuring out how to incorporate them. You can see all the photos and detail of this start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  6. Week four of the YF-23 I am working on the main landing gear bays. On the port side bay I used some solder to replicate the pipes on the front end of the bay. I used some photo etch to create the connection panel for two of the pipes. The caps were painted brass to match the golden color of the caps on the aircraft reference photos. The bay was then assembled. I purchased the metal landing gear struts for the model but I receive a message from a fellow modeler who informed me that the metal main struts have an issue. These metal struts are made from a soft potting metal. Due to the angle that the mains sit at the soft metal tends to bend/warp over time due to the weight of the model. With that in mind I am going to use the kit main struts and the metal one for the nose. I then studied the starboard side bay. Since the aircraft is a prototype the configuration of the starboard side bay is slightly different from the port side. The kit is molded so the bays are mirrored the same. To correctly match that of the actual PAV-2 aircraft I removed some of the details and replaced them with photo etch pieces. I also added other details using some styrene rods. I should have the starboard side assembled this coming week and then I can start cutting open the various vents on the fuselage. It looks like a couple of them also will need to be relocated as they are not in the correct spots. Earlier this week I received the sheet of photo etch mesh screen that I will be using. I would also like to note that there will be no update next weekend. It will be Father’s day weekend and I will be enjoying my second hobby of fishing with my favorite fishing partner, my lovely Wife! I will try to do an update the following Thursday. You can see all the photos and detail of this start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  7. Week three of the YF-23 I finished up the cockpit. The panel behind the seat was detailed and mounted and then I worked on the instrument panel. At first glance the instrument panel decal supplied by the kit looked to be a little too large for the instrument panel. The instrument panel itself was actually detailed very close to the PAV 2. I decided to paint the panel and all the details. For the instrument screens I scanned the decals and then resized the screen decals to fit in place. The instrument panel was installed and I dry fit the cockpit into the upper fuselage. This completed the cockpit. Under the cockpit is the nose gear bay. The details were very close to the actual bay so this was just detailed painted. The main gear bays have good details as well. However there are numerous lines throughout the bays. I will be using some tin solder to replicate these. One thing to note is the actual main bays are not painted as they would be on a production aircraft. I detailed painted the port bay to match the reference photos. I am working on adding the numerous lines in the port bay and then onto the starboard bay. There is still the intake and exhaust to be added then I need to start doing the modifications to the fuselage. There are numerous vents that need to be opened up and one vent that needs to be added just behind the canopy. I did order some photo etch screening for the vents. You can see all the photos and detail of this start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  8. Yes I make the decals myself.
  9. For the second week of the YF-23 I am still working on the aft section of the cockpit tub. I finished up the cable assemblies on the rear bulkhead and then I installed the ejection seat so I could measure the size I needed for the panel. The panel was made from a piece of sheet styrene and then covered with photo etch sections. A support bar was added to match the reference photo. I am not sure what the green/blue mount is but I replicated it with more photo etch. I then built the canister assembly out of styrene rod and used a photo etch screen for the base. Next I used a photo etch frame to make the mount for the canopy rod. The panel was then mounted into place. I added the custom decals for the ID plate and the duct warning placard. In the reference photo there appears to be aluminum tape around the edge of the panel seams. I replicated this using aluminum paint. I then used some photo etch to make the in-flight camera mount on the ejection seat rail. One of the comments I received was with respect to the landing gear. I was told that the nose gear was very delicate and breaks easily. To solve this I ordered the Scale Aircraft Conversions metal landing gear set. These actually look a little better than the kits plastic version in details as well. I still have one more item to make that mounts on the aft bulkhead and its cable. For custom decals I need to apply the corrected “EXPERIMENTAL” decals and the ID nameplate for the top of the canister to finish off the aft section of the cockpit tub. Then I can move onto the instrument panel detailing and begin detailing the nose gear bay. You can see all the photos and detail of this start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  10. This build is the 1/48 Hobby Boss YF-23. This is a prototype aircraft designed by Northrop was in competition against Lockheed’s F-22 back in 1990. It was nicknamed “Black Widow II” with reference to Northrop’s famous P-61 from WWII. For this build I will be adding Aires resin seat and Caracal’s YF-23 Prototype decal set. I will be building this as the PAV-2 prototype. As a reference I will be using Air Force Legends number 220 book written by Paul Metz. This book is filled with a lot of information on the design and development of the YF-23 as well as many detailed photos of the prototype aircraft. The kit has some items that need to be changed. The first thing is the aft section of the cockpit. This area is more of a “what if” rather than what the prototype looked like. The second thing is the kit does not have the option of having the canopy in the open position. I will need to modify the canopy for these details as well. So to start off I cut out the areas of the cockpit tub that need to be changed. I used a lot of scrap photo etch to rebuild the areas. One thing to note is that the prototypes left a lot of these areas with the zinc chromate coating with no top coat of the grey or black that a production aircraft may have. I added the large white pipe air pipe and started making all the wire cables that mount on the rear bulkhead. I also started making the actuator that raises and lowers the canopy. The ACES II ejection seat in the YF-23 was more like the F-117 version rather than the typical version used other aircraft like the F-16. The main difference is instead of having the ejection handle on the front of the seat between the pilots legs there are two handles on the sides of the seat. I am still working on adding details for the rear of the cockpit tub then I will be moving onto the panel just behind the seat. You can see all the photos and detail of this start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-yf-23-atf-black-widow-ii/
  11. After thirteen weeks the CH-46D helicopter of HMM-165 is finished! I finished off the battery area and dressed the wiring. I was going to make a plaque with the Marine logo and the squadron logo but it did not present well. I decided to add some 55 gallon drums to hide the switch. They were painted and weathered then lined up in front of the switch. The etched brushed aluminum name plate from EnM Engraving arrived and was mounted on the front. For the machine guns I located some better reference photos. I removed the gun sights and added an ammunition box to each. I installed the rotors and the machine guns to complete the project. As for a review of the kit, this was a very good kit to build. The fit was very good. Aside from some of the incorrect details in the crew area the rest of it was good. The instructions were laid out well even though my assembly was different due to the addition of the lighting. The kit decals were very detailed and laid down well. I used 16 LED’s and 6″ of fiber optic lines for all the illumination. Although this project took a little longer than I planned due to the wiring and assembly I am very happy with the final display. I will be displaying this at the 2024 IPMS convention in Madison Wisconsin. Thank you for following this interesting and detailed project. Happy Modeling! Be sure to check out the video at https://videopress.com/v/5e9op3AL You can see all the photos, details, and a video of this build from the start to finish in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ch-46a-d-helicopter/
  12. Week twelve on the CH-46A/D was spent making the display base. I started with 16X12 wooden plaque that I purchased at a local arts and crafts store. I then cut a sheet of .1” styrene for the tarmac. I scribed the tarmac with seams and then sprayed four different grey shades. I measured out the placement of the model and drilled the holes for the wires to pass thru the base. Moving to the wood base I marked the area under the rear part of the model and then cut out a section. This is where the battery and wires will be housed. I also drilled out a hole for mounting a switch to turn on the lights. A channel was made on the topside of the wood base to route the wires from the switch to the battery area. I then used some styrene sheets to make a holder for the battery. The styrene tarmac was then attached using clear epoxy to hold it down to the base. The model was then installed on the base. I hooked all the wires together and performed a quick check to make sure all the lights and switch work. I then added some dirt, stains, and weathering on the tarmac using pastel chalk. I still need to dress the wiring inside the battery area and then add the rotors and guns to the helicopter. The etched nameplate will be arriving early this coming week. I am also going to make a squadron logo sign which will conceal the switch. Stay tuned as this project will get completed over the next week. You can see more photos and details of this build from the start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ch-46a-d-helicopter/
  13. After eleven weeks on the CH-46 the helicopter is almost finished! I started off applying the decals. The kit decals worked very well. The tedious part was the 60+ placards/stencils. It took three nights to get all the decals applied. These were then sealed with a clear coat. I began removing the kapton tape masking on all the windows and the Micromask from the navigation lights. The navigation light lenses were then painted with Tamiya clear for the color of the light. I then did a quick light check before moving on to installing the boarding ladder and the cargo ramp. On the boarding ladder I used 38 gauge wire for the support cables. The angle of the steps should look better once the helicopter is on the display base. It sits about 0.1 inches higher in the back due to the wires out the bottom of the tires. I did another light check and all is good. I have some minor touch ups to do and then I need to use some compressed air to clear some dust on the inside of the cockpit and I can then start weathering the fuselage. I will be starting the display base next week as well. The plan is to complete this over the next two weeks. You can see more photos and details of this build from the start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ch-46a-d-helicopter/
  14. Tenth week of the CH-46D was spent adding external details and starting base coat of painting. I built up the lower section and routed the wires (one for each side). The end caps for the landing gear were then modified for the wires. I used the 30 gauge wire to represent the hydraulic lines. These go into the wheel hub and exit thru the middle of the tire. They will later feed thru the base to the power source for the lights. Next I started to add the small external details. One thing I noticed is the kit does not cover the section between the rear door and the crew section. This left the underside of the tail and wiring exposed. I located a reference photo that showed this area covered with the same blanket panels that are above the crew seats. So I used the 3M glass tape on a small frame to fit the area. I then modified the rear landing gear pods and the nose strut to add the tie-down loops. The underside has a couple of antenna’s which are supplied in the kit, however these kit pieces are very thick. The nose small blade antenna was replaced with a photo etch version. The posts for the wire antenna were replaced with gold pins from a scrap computer circuit card. The large blade antenna is the kit part but the thickness was thinned down with sanding sticks. Also on the tail is a small vent tube. The kit piece was plastic with a small hole in it. I replaced this with an aluminum tube. Finally I started the base coat of painting. The overall green is FS34097 with flat black for the exhaust area. This upcoming week I hope to finish up the base coat, final assembly, and start on the decals. You can see more photos and details of this build from the start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ch-46a-d-helicopter/
  15. The ninth week is my “challenge week” on the CH-46A/D! I call it challenge week because trying to put the fuselage together with all the wiring routed requires all the subassemblies to be put together at the same time. To start with I scratch built the fire extinguishers for the cabin using styrene rods and some solder. Two of these were mounted near each of the gun mounts. The third one will mount near the rear door later. I then began routing the wiring. Starting with the tail the wiring was routed thru the upper panels into the forward bulk head with the other wiring. I used acrylic gel to hold down the wires so they would not interfere with the forward rotor shaft. They were then routed over the bulk head and between the bulk heads between cockpit and cabin. All of this wiring was routed thru the floor and tied in with the wiring for the instrument panel and lower flashing navigation light. The nose light wiring was then run under the cockpit floor and all of the wires were tied together where the rear landing gear assembly will be mounted. I then performed a light check to make sure all the lights were wired in. The starboard side wires were also routed the same way. I then performed a light check to make sure all the lights were wired in. The fuselage halves were then carefully aligned and were glued together in sections making sure not to pinch any wires. With the halves glued together I used some long tweezers to mount the starboard side seats and the upper panels. The wiring was all dressed up and a second light check was done. The lighting effects are exactly how I wanted them to look. I need to clean up the fuselage seams and then assemble and install the rear landing gear assembly. The wiring will be routed thru each of the rear landing gear and tires so they can pass thru the base. There are still a few more details to add the fuselage as well and then I can start with the base coat of paint. You can see more photos and details of this build from the start in the build log at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ch-46a-d-helicopter/
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