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Hasagawa VF-1D 1:72 Kit Build


mickyg
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My 4 year old daughter builds those 1/144 scale Gundam models. Sure they end up in her toy box but the time spent during the building process is priceless.

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Decided that since physically working on the model is proving difficult this weekend (been planning for my son's 4th birthday part, which is tomorrow - for some reason building the ultimate "Thomas" cake is about the only thing my wife and I have been able to do with our time over the last 4 days...), that I may as well do some computer work relating to this little project.

I attempted to put something up the other day, using the Hobby Search image I managed to find and then figured, since I actually own the kit, and the instructions, perhaps it's be better to scan my own. My daughter is sleeping (finally!!!) and the scanner is in her room. Plan B - take a photo.

Been playing around with my work's Canon G12 and managed to get a fairly decent shot of the instructions. So I'll work off those and see if I can illustrate what I'm trying to accomplish with the thigh connection.

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Feels like I've spent an inordinate amount of time on this (and probably have) but here is my progress with the "virtual" modification of the leg droop.

First the overall look (yes the old leg is still there - I didn't want to take another week drawing the "missing" parts covered by the drooped leg - I thought about it, trust me):

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And the way the actual part needs to be modified:

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As you can see, it's not much. In fact the angle is so shallow, it's going to be tricky to get this exactly right. I plan to make a jig of some sort, something that will slot into the existing cut and allow me to trace the required new cut with a mechanical pencil. Then I should be free to plug the old slot and cut the new one. Obviously a little more thought will go into this before I start modifying the part. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Also worth noting is that the leg drops at the front. I personally don't think it's that big an issue. And the "point" at the front no longer sits exactly on the middle panel line of the thigh piece. Again, aesthetically, it doesn't really bother me. What is noteworthy and possibly why it ended up this way, is that the whole leg piece, in "Droop Mode" actually has a flat upper profile. Perhaps Hasegawa thought this made sense for the wing to sit more flush when swept back? Either way, it looks like it'll still oversweep without any issues.

Let me know what you think.

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Some more, albeit minor progress made today. I managed to get a printout of the modification "slot" done. It took me 6 attempts to get the printed scale right with the real part. Luckily Photoshop has a nice little "scale to %" option that makes this easy.

8765f14a.jpg

From there, I cut out my pattern and taped it to thin sheet of styrene, then made tiny little cuts on the corners of the existing slot and the new slot, hoping these would be easy enough to find once the pattern had been removed:

b8ecda5d.jpg

From here I cut out the plastic "jig" and taped it to the part:

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After marking it with a mechanical pencil, this was the result (looks like my printed copy wasn't quite to scale after all - the slot will be extended a bit after I get it started):

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The thigh part with a bit of plastic glued into the existing slot (these are the nutella spread sticks again - styrene plastic can be found all over the place if you look for it). This will be cut flush after the glue dries and a new slot cut on the pencil mark:

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And that's where it's at, at present.

Edited by mickyg
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No pics to post at the moment but the stick has been trimmed and I'll be cutting the new slot soon, with a test fit of the leg to follow shortly. It looks like there may be some minor cutting of the calf portion of the leg to get it lined up properly. I'll post a pic of what I'm talking about when I get a bit closer to dry fitting.

(Update)

Pic of the trimming done to the stick. Simple cutting with a micro saw to get the stick "filler" nearly flush with the part's sides:

09ea4a96.jpg

Interesting to note that the mm or so of plastic "filler" sticking out was actually not that big a deal. It doesn't foul on the lower leg parts inside so didn't actually need cleaning up.

Also interesting to note, is the part I thought would foul on the top and bottom of the leg piece is actually not an issue. So I won't go into detail on that as it's not worth worrying about.

Edited by mickyg
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Pics taken but not uploaded, unfortunately.

I got the mod on the test leg done and while it looks like it'll work, it wasn't without a few problems. First off, I wasn't able to trace my jig as exactly as I'd hoped and ended up with a slot too tight for the tab in the calf to fit into. So I widened it carefully until it fit. Second problem, my carefully designed jig appears to have been off by a bit and the angle was too much, causing a raised leg instead of a drooping one! My solution was to carefully file the whole slot a bit wider than needed and fit some shims along the front and back of the tab and slot until the angle is right. Hopefully this, along with some putty, will sort it all out. Pics will be posted soon.

(Update to add pics and further descriptions)

I started out by cutting a small line about a mm away from the bottom of the filler piece. Followed up by cutting along the new angle line that I pencilled in with the jig, and then some careful cutting just a touch above the filler piece. I love these saws. They cut thinner than the mechanical pencil I used to mark the lines!

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...Which got me a new slot at what I thought was the proper angle. Only the angle was too sharp and the slot a bit on the tight side. I sliced some plastic out to widen it up a bit with a knife but the angle was clearly too much and so I opted to widen the whole thing with a file that was a touch thicker than the 1mm needed for the tab in the calf/lower leg. This resulted in a "loose" fit that I can now shim up.

a2c286b9.jpg

The leg pieces, after shimming, showing a proper aligment (that horizontal line in the legs should run straight through from foot to hip):

15967438.jpg

Edited by mickyg
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Pics added. Not much else to report. I'd very much like to spend a bit of time gluing the legs together but I'm pretty sure there needs to be a bit more puttying and assembly in other places first. I haven't decided yet if it's possible to paint the intake trunking white after assembly or if it needs to be done beforehand. I expect that will be the next little hurdle. That, along with trying to smooth the intake internals where the second half meets up with the first half.

Given how difficult it is to describe the above concept with words alone, I think I'll break out the good camera and macro lens tomorrow to further illustrate.

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Took a few pictures this morning of the intakes and their poor fit. Not only is it poor on the inside but the outsides don't match up well either.

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Any tips on dealing with these? I've never invested in epoxy putty or any version of milliput but certainly could for this little job. Would that be advisable?

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I don't use putty any more as they will shrink a bit when they're dry. I usually use the mixture of instant glue with baby powder as my only choice for putty. They dry fast and the hardness is good. Good for sanding too. Mixture proportion??? Different instant glue have different cure time. You have to figure it yourself. Just don't use the high viscosity ones.

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I might give that a try. Though it's very possible the super glue I have is high viscosity and probably fast drying too. Might be tricky to get it done quickly.

But I guess it's that or trying to file this down. And though it might look big in the pics, these are really small parts and I don't like my chances of getting it all smooth and uniform.

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I've been playing around a bit with dryfitting and thought I'd share how things are looking:

75352451.jpg

I didn't realise there'd be this slightly unsightly gap above the leg piece. It's also worth noting that there although I thought there'd be no issues with the wings going all the way back, the position of the leg in this pic suggests otherwise. Perhaps this is going to be a bit tougher than I first thought.

I'll do some more test fitting with some of the other parts to see what, if anything, I'll need to tweak to get this all working correctly.

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Made some meager progress this weekend (but somehow managed to actually need more supporting pictures - go figure). Sometimes an hour is amazingly useful, other times I feel like that's enough time for me to set up and then it's time to pack up!

So I had this bright idea to deal with the gaps and steps in the intake parts - build an alignment frame from sprue! The idea was to tightly wrap a sprue frame around the front and back portion of the frame, using masking tape to hold it all together, then I could mark the inner trunk with a sharp mechanical pencil.

Here's a few pics to show what I mean.

First, the materials I'd be using:

20a229bb.jpg

And a few pieces laid out on the tap to wrap around the first side (this step was important because the sprue wants to roll if you lay it on the flat sides first, then tape):

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The whole mess all taped together:

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The inner trunk removed, after marking with pencil:

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So, the idea here was to carefully trim the inner trunk down with a small diameter file, so I'd have less to fill after gluing it all together. But I had this theory that I could glue the trunk to the front intake piece, beforehand. And then remove the back blanking plate where the engine fan face glues, so I'd have a full "tube" to file/sand and not have a solid wall I'd be ramming againts when filing. So the pencil was to align everything, remembing I'd painstakingly laid out that frame beforehand to keep it all flush and fitting properly.

On to the gluing. I applied as thin a bead of glue as possible, using my Revell thin cement with the metal applicator needle (no pics, sorry - but it's the stuff in a blue "stand up" bottle with a long, thing metal applicator needle). Anyway, my best efforts still resulted in a fair bit of glue spreading quite obviously from the tiny area I needed it confined to. Oh well...

Ok, it's not that bad:

c75bd3d6.jpg

Trunk glued on:

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And then some alignment marks just barely cut into the walls of the trunk, to help with the re-assembling of the back "cap" to the trunk, later:

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Cutting started:

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Almost through

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And the cap, now cut off:

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In hindsight, that cut was not close enoug to the mounting face for the fan. I just eyeballed it. It might require gluing and a second cut, closer to that mounting face to clean it up, we'll see.

The fan face, ready to be clipped and dry fitted to the cap piece:

c8c1ac56.jpg

A better view of how I didn't cut close enough to the end - the fan sits just under the cut, meaning it'll likely be visible:

8302c2d4.jpg

Like I said, it's visible here. Though this is exaggerated due to the cut plastic that hasn't been cleaned up yet.

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Another, differently lit, view:

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And now for the "Doh!" moment - I realised the walls on the intake trunk are thin, but not so thin as to not allow some shaping after it's been glued to the front intake piece. Bear in mind, the instructions call for assembly in this order: paint the fan face, glue it to the intake trunk (assuming the whole trunk, including the intakes have been pre-painted white, I guess), then glue the intake trunk into the second half of the thigh piece, then glue that to the hip/intakes. I've changed the order but gluing the trunks to the hips/intakes first.

Anyway, back to my "Doh!" moment. So I worked pretty hard on getting the parts all aligned, keeping that nasty step in the intake to trunk mount. On the second part, I had this thought that maybe it might make more sense to align the intake trunk to the intake/hip, completely disregarding the thigh's aligment. I figure, the thigh to hip gluing joint is where all the support is anyway. If the intake trunk doesn't fit tightly into the thigh, who cares.

So next up, clean up the seam between the hip/intake and then thin out the intake trunk walls to allow a bit more wiggle room when it comes time to glue the thighs on.

I hope all that makes sense! There will be plenty more pics to support all that when I get to it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No pics, but I have made some further progress on the intakes. I managed to cut off the back wall on the other side with the correct clearance this time. This means the fan blades will sit high enough from the surface to completely obscure the seam, where the cut was made. This will allow for getting a file into the intakes, and smoothing things out much easier than having to hit that back wall constantly. It also makes for a better chance at pouring white into the intakes and then allowing it to drain. This is an approach many take with other intakes on scale models. The idea is to sit the intak upright with a "plug" of some sort at the bottom. You then fill the intake with a white paint (usually latex based) and after it sits for a few minutes, you remove the plug and all the part to drain. The result is a coat of somewhat thick paint remaining, and this covers any scratches or rough spots in the intake.

At least that's the theory...

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  • 1 year later...

So, ah, yeah. It's been a year. Oops...

I've accomplished not a lot, actually! When last I updated, I was working on smoothing out the intakes. I'm still working on that and spent a couple of nights filling and sanding with tamiya putty. I then discovered this amazing thing called Milliput! I've used it in quite a few other places and can't believe how easy it is to shape it before it fully cures. I think it'll do very well for the irregular insides of the intakes.

Now, just have to start back on this little project!

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So, ah, yeah. It's been a year. Oops...

I've accomplished not a lot, actually! When last I updated, I was working on smoothing out the intakes. I'm still working on that and spent a couple of nights filling and sanding with tamiya putty. I then discovered this amazing thing called Milliput! I've used it in quite a few other places and can't believe how easy it is to shape it before it fully cures. I think it'll do very well for the irregular insides of the intakes.

Now, just have to start back on this little project!

Hey Mickyg !. Reading/watching your WIP on this Valk is as enjoyable as building one. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us.

I'd like to read about your experience with the Milliput. I've heard great things about it (cures hard, easily sanded down) but I'm more concerned on how much it shrinks while drying. Would like to hear your thoughts about it. :)

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Shrinkage doesn't appear to be much of an issue. You probably have to allow a small amount for it. The best thing about it is something I didn't know when I first started using it-how easy it is to shape before it sets. Basically, any tool that's wet can be used to work it. From a finger to a cotton bud, to a round piece of plastic-whatever you want. You can do most of your shaping prior to it setting up and then minimal sanding after it's dried. I really don't know how I got by without it!

Edited by mickyg
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Shrinkage doesn't appear to be much of an issue. You probably have to allow a small amount for it. The best thing about it is something I didn't know when I first started using it-how easy it is to shape before it sets. Basically, any tool that's wet can be used to work it. From a finger to a cotton bud, to a round piece of plastic-whatever you want. You can do most of your shaping prior to it setting up and then minimal sanding after it's dried. I really don't know how I got by without it!

Thanks a lot for the feedback, Mickyg. I'll definitely go with Milliput on my future builds !.

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I'm flattered that you'd put me in the same sentence as Kyekye but he's far, far, far, far more talented than I'd ever hope to be! And he's faster. And he's doing things on a toy that I can't even begin to do on a model!

All the same, I now feel some pressure to get this completed some time in the next year!

Thanks guys.

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  • 3 months later...

Nope! I'm just a serial procrastinator! B))

Actually, my problem is that I get bored easily, have very little time, and my model stash has grown by leaps and bounds since I purchased this kit. All that combined means I find lots and lots of ways to not finish a kit.

You guys help someone like me stay on track though, so thanks! :D

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Nope! I'm just a serial procrastinator! B))

Actually, my problem is that I get bored easily, have very little time, and my model stash has grown by leaps and bounds since I purchased this kit. All that combined means I find lots and lots of ways to not finish a kit.

You guys help someone like me stay on track though, so thanks! :D

Pfft. Rookie.

7U26_zps6926d522.jpg

That's probably half of what I've got sitting unfinished. Actually I've made it a bit of a mission to get 12 of them done by Christmas. Current total? 0 out of 20 (almost became 21 when I opened up a 1/72 hasegawa hurricane last night).

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I'd post pics of all my unfinished stuff but then I'd be procrastinating! :p

Nice collection there! Mine is starting to look pretty similar but I've only got two WWII era kits happening at the moment (an academy corsair and a hobby boss mustang, both 1/72 scale).

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  • 3 weeks later...

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