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1/72 Hasegawa VF-1 + Booster step-by-step...


wm cheng
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I'm curious, did I get a bad cast? What's the quality of the kits recieved by other MWers here? Did you guys also get these "grey" flexible material engine bells? Its wierd that some bits are so soft, while others so hard, like the 4 little engine fins - on one bell they are like gummy bears, on another bell, they were so hard and brittle that one broke off before I started even sanding it!! hmmm... :(

Well, I finally remembered that I bought a dremel contour sander a while ago thinking that it would ease my sanding chores (I hate sanding the most out of any process in model making!) but I never used it since because even on the lowest setting, it ate through my styrene like butter. But with this crazy resin, it just might work. So I doned on the 100 grit sanding film and went to town on these bells. After quite a bit of work, its started to smooth out the seam - only after it wore away at my sanding film to the bare plastic!! :huh:

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OK, that baking soda mixed with crazy glue idea to fill in certain areas was a complete bust! - failure.  I don't get it, I tried mixing a bit of baking soda with the crazy glue in a plastic bowl, and the baking soda caused the crazy glue to instantly solidify - all I got was clumpy lumpy bits of dried crazy glue.

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But it's really solid clumpy lumpy bits, right? Easily sandable, really workable? ;-)

Seriously, yeah, it'll do that - I got stumped by the same problem, I was sure I remembered superglue and baking soda, didn't get anywhere... but it turns out that you're not supposed to use baking soda, you're supposed to use talcum powder, which doesn't react with the superglue at all and if anything seems to prolong the cure time of the superglue.

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Ok, that's another thing to add to my next hobby store shopping list; Tamiya polyester putty (I assume its epoxy putty), Mr. Base White, and slow-cure gel crazy glue...

At least now I think I'm on the right track with the sanding (I thought I wasted good money on this sander up till now...) so I switched to some industrial strength 50 grit diamond sandpaper instead of the sanding film - and finally it's working better on some of these bell seams. At least now I'm getting rid of the seams instead of my sandpaper tooth! :p I think I need to work my way back up the grit ladder to 200 to smooth out the rough sandpaper marks, and probably coat it with some Mr. Surfacer before the primer since I want to use the Alclad metalizer on the engine bells and they need to be absolutely flawless for the metal finish.

You can see that the bell deformed from just me holding it with my fingers and thumb. :blink:

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Thanks Sar - sure Talc powder, yeah I have that lying around at home all the time... NOT. :( I'll look, but I'm not too keen on trying it again... Maybe the polyester putty though. However the areas I used the crazy glue are strong.

I've tried to shape the nose of the booster, and it seemed to work out pretty well - I used a combination of file and sand paper, just becareful of the surrounding resin. The crazy glue is hard, however, this resin is pretty hard too, and there doesn't seem as much of a hardness difference as I would of suspected.

Back to sanding... :huh:

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Man WM, mine doesn't have anywhere near the bubbles yours has, you musta got a crap batch or something.

You definately got a batch cast by Captian America and not JM. JM doesn't use that weird gray stuff and the casting was much better.

Why aren't you using Tamiya putty to fill in the holes?

Edited by Grayson72
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Thanks Sar - sure Talc powder, yeah I have that lying around at home all the time... NOT. :(  I'll look, but I'm not too keen on trying it again...  Maybe the polyester putty though.  However the areas I used the crazy glue are strong.

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The difference between talc+superglue and bicarb soda+superglue is like night and day, really - with talc, you have plenty of time to work it, it really is comparable to a regular tube filler-putty, but when it's cured it's the most solid thing you've ever seen - you can polish it like styrene, cut it like milliput, scribe it even, and it sticks just like superglue. If it wasn't for the fact that it still gives off a stinging vapour and sticks skin instantly (and is just as hard to get off of your tools) I'd say it was some kind of miracle-stuff. ;-)

More usefully, though - I hear you can use corn-starch (or cornflour, for us brits) instead of talcum powder for the same effect. I have a big bottle of talc for use with moulds, so I've never tried that, but people over at the CoM forums swear it works just the same.

But yeah, whilst I'd want to use something like that on bits like the bars 'tween the vents it's not really suitable for general hole-filling; it's too tough to sand down afterwards!

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Ok, another 3 hrs of sanding (Man! a whole day of sanding mostly to get the engine bells in shape!) and working my way up the grit papers. Some of the rough scratches are out. :(

One of the bells are quite soft, you can see it deform under my finger pressure just holding it for sanding. I hope this doesn't cause problems later on when I'm painting with flaking paint. As long as I'm gentle, I should be able to bend it back into shape before I start priming.

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I need to re-scribe all that great detail the captn' originally put in - that was lost due to the sanding. Some of the seams were so deep that when you sanded them smooth, the bell no longer had a round shape - so I had to feather the sanding on either side of the seam (which was a lot more difficult than it sounded with this wierd grey elasto-resin).

I used a pin-vise to re-drill some of the larger bolt holes. The hasegawa P.E. razor saw to re-etch the circumferential lines, and a sharp tweezer point to re-press in the tiny rivet details.

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There was a wierd crazing of the surface after I sanded it, it was like there were lots of tiny cracks - you can see it as white lines in the above photos. I've never seen anything like it, and was sure if they were indents or raised areas. Just to be doubly sure, I hand painted two coats of Mr. Surfacer 1000 over the all the sanded areas. Additionally, you'll notice that all the little fins at the end of the engine bells are also painted too because they all have some divit and hole in the middle of them aswell :angry: Not exactly smooth sailing, but after a days work, its done! I hope to sand down smooth the painted Mr. Surfacer (hoping that it should fill in any sanding or hairline cracks which I have missed) and they should be ready for a full coat of primer. You can see the bell on the right is by far darker than the rest - this is the soft one. In fact each bell seems to be of different hardness (varying by its grey colour, the lightest on the left is the hardest, with the darkest on the right being the softest)

Not as far as I hoped to get today :( - the engine bells proved that there was still a lot more clean-up than originally thought. Thats it for tonight.

I hope to finish up and prime the bells tomorrow and start clean-up on the actual booster parts themselves, with the 3-slots detail taking priority. I think I might cover them in a metal mesh, and build some kind of engine detail that can be seen though them.

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Edited by wm cheng
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I have been inspired to restart my booster project after seeing WM in action. He has also asked that I post in here as we complete our parralell projects.

So here is my version as of (quite) a few months ago:

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As you can see my cast is no where near as bad as WM's.

More posts in a few days when I make some progress.

Berttt

Edited by Berttt
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One of the bells are quite soft, you can see it deform under my finger pressure just holding it for sanding.  I hope this doesn't cause problems later on when I'm painting with flaking paint.  As long as I'm gentle, I should be able to bend it back into shape before I start priming.

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OMG, looks like soft vinyl, did you try to ask for a replacement?

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It kinda sounds and looks like the resin for the bells wasn't mixed thoroughly or with proper ratios. That would be one way to explain the haphazard hardness of the final casting.

** spelling edit **

Edited by Mule
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Ok, another 3 hrs of sanding (Man! a whole day of sanding mostly to get the engine bells in shape!) and working my way up the grit papers.  Some of the rough scratches are out. :(

One of the bells are quite soft, you can see it deform under my finger pressure just holding it for sanding.  I hope this doesn't cause problems later on when I'm painting with flaking paint.  As long as I'm gentle, I should be able to bend it back into shape before I start priming.

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Would they still retain their original shape over time? Or are you plannig to reinforce them somehow?

I think replacements would be a better and more suitable solution.

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That's assuming replacements are even possible.  The molds are probably long gone and there's no way to do a new one.

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Someone on the board has purchased the Booster masters from SM. I don't know who, but they are at least out there.

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Thanks so much Captn'!!

With that great news... I concentrated on the three remaining engine bells, sanding the Mr. Surfacer 1000 smooth - careful to feather it back into the rest of the bells and continue the Captn' great surface details across the seams which have been coated.

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I started filing down the 3-slot openings. Naturally I started with the one in the best condition first - it turned out pretty well. I used a flat edged file for the straight bits and a cylindrical file for the ends of the losenge shaped openings. The only thing now is that the resin is a bit un-even and thick around the openings, I might carefully dremel out some resin behind the openings to thin them up a bit since I'm planning on putting "engine-gak" back there.

You can see in the left photo in the background one of the 3-slot openings mess before I filed them out.

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Edited by wm cheng
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Here's some before and during shots of finishing out the 3-slot vents. Luckily since I wasn't going to use the opaque vents that the Captn' thoughtfully provided - I didn't have to worry too much about making the vent slots larger through the sanding process. In fact, I wouldn't mind making them a bit larger to show off the gak inside.

They are a bit of a mess to start off with, but with sanding (argh!) they started to shape up. I also used a dremel and routed out the inside of the vents to make them thinner and made the thickness more consistent (be very careful if you intend to use a dremel like I did, it will sand away at the resin like butter, a very light touch is needed here, or you'll eat through all the vent struts)

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I found these metal meshes lying around (I must of picked them up a few years ago at a hobby store - I think I was going to drill out the vents on the super-fast packs gun rear section and replace them with these). You can find them at most local hobby stores - these are for model cars engine parts.

I thought I might back the vents with this mesh.

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Now for the engine gak...

I had a brain-wave! Why not use the un-used rear landing gear bays - its already got molded details with wiring. We have two from this kit which I made the Valkyrie with the landing gears up, and I'm sure I can dig out another two from another Valk that I've made with the landing gears up too. Thats 4 bulkheads, but I want to lay them horizontally - so I might make up the rest with some extra parts like missles glued side by side and extra landing gear struts.

Thats for tomorrow...

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CRAP!

When you said engine detail a little light went of in my head as I said to my self "Hmm I have some landing gear bays left over........"

As it is I will be shamelessly copying some of your ideas, but I'll have to draw the line here. I think I will fill the vents with the same ribbed styrene I used on the tyres of my Macross vehicles.

The mesh idea looks very cool. I have re started work on the Booster and found I wasn't as far along as I had thought. still the valk is almost ready for paint and I have begun filling bubbles in the booster halves.

Berttt

Edited by Berttt
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I found some extra missles lying around from an old 1/100 AMAI kit - but they could really be anything (preferably round and cylindrical) and started gluing them up. I was going to go to town detailing these areas up, but I noticed that the mesh isn't all that transparent (which is good) so with some proper painting, maybe this will be all I need. I am going to make one up to see how it works before I start on the rest of the 3 bulkheads.

Here's a shot with the bulkhead taped behind the 3-slots.

Yeah Brett, this proved to be a lot more clean-up work than I expected - I am much farther behind than I thought I would be by now.

Hey Armetage, check with the Captn' or Samura Monkey - they may have something to help you out - but I was led to believe they were sold out.

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I also noticed that if I were to put the bulkhead right up against the mesh - I don't see a whole lot, but if I set it back away from the mesh, I start seeing more of it - so I added some bulkhead ends to stand it off from the booster shell so it sits a 1-2mm away from the mesh.

The second shot shows some preliminary painting. I painted the entire thing flat black as my basecoat - as well as painting the interior around the 3-slots flat black. Then I mostly dried brushed some metallic grey, medium grey and a spot of white to bring out the highlights. Then I added two spots of yellow just for interest. I'm not sure how far to take it, I still want it to look dark and grungy, but I need to exaggerate the drybrushing so that something will show through the mesh.

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Its pretty dark in there - but you see it better in person, its really hard to photograph what you see. I've had to artificially over expose the shots to get some of the detail to show up - but they show up much more strongly in person (too strongly for my taste - but this is before I put the mesh in front of it).

I didn't dry-fit the mesh yet since the bulkhead engine details are still wet - I'll let it dry first. I don't want to get any paint on the real metal mesh - I think the real metal finish of the mesh makes the model look more realistic. Now I have to start worrying about whether to paint the booster first, and install the engine gak and mesh after all the painting is done or carefully mask off the 3-slot vents? I think I'll like the edges of the 3-slots to be black and only have the exterior grey colour on the outer most surface - not sure yet which is the best way to do it.

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Its pretty dark in there - but you see it better in person, its really hard to photograph what you see.  I've had to artificially over expose the shots to get some of the detail to show up - but they show up much more strongly in person (too strongly for my taste - but this is before I put the mesh in front of it).

I didn't dry-fit the mesh yet since the bulkhead engine details are still wet - I'll let it dry first.  I don't want to get any paint on the real metal mesh - I think the real metal finish of the mesh makes the model look more realistic.  Now I have to start worrying about whether to paint the booster first, and install the engine gak and mesh after all the painting is done or carefully mask off the 3-slot vents?  I think I'll like the edges of the 3-slots to be black and only have the exterior grey colour on the outer most surface - not sure yet which is the best way to do it.

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Wow! Nice fill, Will.

Enjoying every step of this build. The part I really liked the most is how eventhough you received a subpar kit, you never seemed to complain. You just kept on going and doing what you do best...Amaze us all with you talent.

;)

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Well after a week of swapping between day and night shift, I finally found time to re start this project.

So far I have been cleaning up the engine bells and fuselage, with attantion to the vents on the fuse, and raised detail on the bells.

I fixed up the holes and filled them with some textured styrene. I think it looks better that the bubble filled ones that came with the kit. Kind of like some sort of radiator or something.They'll be painted plack and inserted just before the fuse halves get glued.

The raised detail on the engine bells was molded a little soft, so I sanded it off and replaced it. Here is the first bell primed but before sanding.

Just three more bells to go. After that I'll work on a few little details on the fuse and I'll be able to start painting.

Cheers,

Berttt

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Nice shots Brett!! :) I like the corrugated sheet behind the slots.

I couldn't find the extra rear leg landing gear bulkheads to my other "in-flight" Valkyries, (ideally you'd need four of these pieces - 2 for the outside and 2 for the inside vents) so I thought I'd keep the good ones for the outside, and fabricate some simplier bulkheads for the inside vent slots. Since you don't catch much other than some silver highlights through the metal mesh, I took the lazy way out and just stuck some stuff onto a styrene sheet. Which I'll paint black, and silver brush some highlights onto.

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Edited by wm cheng
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Ok, back at work on the boosters...

Try as I may, I couldn't get the forward intake beween the boosters to look smooth - its a really tough area to sand down, especially the back surface.

So I thought I might find something to hide this area. I didn't use that trapizoidial vent for the rear tail section of the Valkyrie, so I thought I'd put it in this slot to cover up the mess. It kind of fits, since its like the rest of the super Valks, when the tail section flips up and around to rest on top of the Valks chest piece. I had to sand down a bit of the resin booster slot and the styrene plastic part to fit. I also fitted some extra corrugated styrene strips that I cut to fit into the two sides and the centre of the trapizoidal vent (too lazy to sand out the two injector pin marks inside this vent, I also glued a strip of the corrugated styrene inside it as well)

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