18th January 2015
As promised last time, this update is going to be all about fettling. Sanding, filling, scribing, complaining, whining, praying for a better life… You know the kind of thing 😉
At the end of the last update I was tackling the wing tips(which left a little bit to be desired)…
And funnily enough at the start of this update I’m tackling the wing tips, so we’re good as far as continuity goes 🙂 However, given the dull nature of filling and sanding I didn’t take as many photos of my progress on the starboard wing tip as I might, so from last time I had just filled the wing tip with black gloop (more on that later). And in this update we’ve fast forwarded past the sanding and re-filling and re-sanding to the riveting!
For the re-riveting I’m using MDC scribing tools. These consist of a set of pointy tools with a handy wooden handle. The end of the tool is a thin point with a convex dome in it. When you gently press the tool into the plastic and give it a few twisty movements, you end up with a nice recessed rivet hole with a domed interior and recess circle around it. Granted, the smaller rivets are more of a hole than a rivet shape, but the larger #4 and #5 tools give a nice effect.
In the photo below I’ve attached the supplied MDC scribing guide to the wing tip with some Tamiya tape, and have lined up the guide on a rivet I have already done on the left hand side.
BTW you really want to tape the guides down because it’s all to easy for them to shift slightly as you proceed.
From here it’s just a case of lining the riveting tool up on every other notch in the guide (this happens to suit the spacing I require), gently press down with the tool and give it 3 or 4 twists to form the rivet. Rinse and repeat.
What you end up with is as follows, a nice and evenly spaced set of recessed rivets.
I used a #4 MDC tool for this one.
Moving on, it was time to take care of the spine. The forward section of the spine on this kit attaches separately. just to the right of centre you can see a slight seam that will need to be sorted out later. At this stage the spine has had a few goings over to blend it in, and has also been re-riveted using the #1 MDC tool. As I said, still a few more passes to go on this but until I’m happy with it.
The wing roots have been blended in with PPP (Perfect Plastic Putty). The usual routine of squidging it into the seam and then removing it with a damp cotton bud before it dries. The good thing about PPP is that it is water soluble so you don’t need to use solvents to remove it. (Good news for existing paintwork).
Of note here is that the wing root seams are quite tidy on the Revell kit with minimal clean up required. However on a real Hunter the wing root seams are blended into the fuselage and don’t form a distinct line like the ones below. I debated whether to spend ages fairing in the seams, but seeing as the seams are very neat as they are I think I’ll leave it alone. I reckon it will look absolutely fine when painted and the line will look much less pronounced.
I am working on one side of the kit at a time so that I can obliterate the detail on one side, and use the other side as a reference when putting the detail back in.
So onto the port side wing…
Here’s a view of the wing tip and leading edge as it ends up after gluing. The wing tip and leading edge dog tooth are separate parts, and don’t fit the wings very well. You can see the gaps below between the leading edge section and wing, and the wing tip doesn’t sit flush with the wing, it creates quite a step (it should sit flush).
Same for the upper side of the wing. Not horrific, but a bit of sorting out required…
Previously I was using a home made concoction of Black Gloop consisting of an old bottle of Mek Poly into which I dissolved a load of old black sprue. This is what I had been using as filler on the so far on the build. As it transpired, the Black Gloop didn’t work so well. It seemed to set a bit harder than the surrounding plastic, which made scribing over it difficult, and also it tended to set with a lot of air bubbles and voids in it. You apply some Black Gloop, let it set, and when you sanded it, it would open up all kinds of voids that proved tricky to fill.
So I changed tactic and dissolved some styrene sheet into a part used bottle of Mr Cement-S (I really need to stop being tight and buy a bottle of Tamiya Extra thin to make the gloop with!). This seems to work much better, it sands well, scribed better and dries quite fast. It also doesn’t develop so many voids, although I’m not sure whether the voids and bubble occur because of the type of solvent, or whether they are related to how thick the gloop is? Maybe the thicker you make the gloop, the more prone it is to developing voids?
Anyway, below you can see the wing tip which was filled with Mr Cement-S and styrene sheet, and then sanded and re-scribed.
It’s also much easier to work with if the filler is the same (or similar) colour as the plastic. When I was using black filler I thought it would make it easier to work with due to the contrast with the grey plastic, but it just made it look messy and I had to apply a coat of primer to get the job back to being a single colour to be able to spot any imperfections.
For a change of scenery I moved onto the weapons fit. Well the time saver there is there isn’t really a weapons fit on an RAF Hunter Mk.6 as all they used were their cannons.
So the external stores comprise of drop tanks and “Sabrinas”. The Sabrinas are the small pod shapes in the bottom right of the photo below…
Sabrinas are gun link collectors… When they were test flying the Hunter it was found that ejected ammunition links were prone to striking the underside of the aircraft and damaging it, so they added containers (Sabrinas) to catch the links.
Apparently Sabrina was a gifted 1950s model hence the name for the link collectors.
You can see a nice pair on Miss Demeanour as featured below…
Meanwhile, back on earth, the drop tanks have been glued, filled and fettled.
And the fins have been attached to the drop tanks.
Again, when flying test flights it was determined that there was a tendency for the drop tanks to kick upwards when released. The fins create a slight downforce that ensure that the drop tanks left the aircraft cleanly when released.
They’ll need a little PPP on the roots when the glue is dry.
Working along the fuselage, next up for some attention was the jet nozzle…
This was assembled as two halves that come together and trap the jet pipe inside. I did take photos but they came out a bit blurry (and rather unexciting) so here we are with the jet nozzle assembled.
You will notice in the photo below that there is a dirty great locating pin at the bottom of the nozzle which is very visible from the outside!
Not a problem, as I left the jet pipe loose inside the nozzle assembly so that I could move it backwards in order to paint inside the nozzle.
This exposes the protuberance well enough for it to fall to my Trumpeter chisel.
And the point of not having glued the jet pipe was so as to be able to get a good coat of flat black in there to make it look nice and sooty.
The nozzle attached to the fuselage.
Here it’s had a coat of the White Gloop prior to sanding in order to sort out any gappage.
Before I unleash with the sanding sticks, there’s a nice looking fuel dump valve that I’d rather preserve…
A small bit of Tamiya tape will protect the raised detail of the fuel dump valve. Also there’s a nice bit of detail for the nozzle attachment latches (circled in red) that I’ll protect with a bit of tape later too.
Time for some sanding… There is a raised section below the tail that I also want to preserve. A bit of Dymo tape acts as an excellent sanding shield to prevent me sanding where I don’t want to.
The rear nozzle fits Ok at the top and bottom of its extents, but the sides create a bit of a step.
As you can see circled in red below, after a light sand there are shiny areas to the right of the join. This means that the left of the join is higher than the right.
To sort this out requires use of a sanding stick which is quite firm. Using a sanding sponge here wouldn’t help as it would just make the step smooth. I want to remove the step so a rigid sanding stick is used to physically remove material from the left.
The end result being a nice uniform sanded texture on both sides of the join.
Below circled in red is some tape that I added to protect the nozzle attachment latch detail.
Moving to the other side (and I’m not talking about starting modelling tanks), I need again to preserve the step detail below the fin. I’ve highlighted the step in red below.
And here’s a bit of sacrificial Dymo tape that will prevent me sanding the step away.
After a quick sand you can see the join looks scruffy to the left of the line, telling us we’ve got another step to deal with…
After a bit of sanding with a sanding stick the step is gone and the surface looks a lot more uniform…
From here there is still a lot of bodywork to sort out, so the next update might well involved more fettling. But I promise to try to spice it up with some more Hunter trivia as we go. I might even get hold of those Sabrinas and try them for size!