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Moscato 1/72 XV Commanchero Gunship


Mintox
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This is a commission build for a customer. It is Moscato 1/72 XV Commanchero Gunship. This is the initial parts breakdown of the kit. Most parts are very well cast, have some very fine details e.g. rivets and other little panels and fit is very good - so far. Customer wants it in the US Navy low vis grey. Interestingly John put a bomb bay in the middle which is kind of a nice touch. Customer wants the model displayed with the landing gear retracted. Some parts such as the gun barrel will need to be replaced as it is lacking in detail to my eye. Likewise the the rear rotor blades aren't very well done (very thin and floppy) and will need be replaced with a 1/72 Russian Hind rotors as this is what John Moscato used on the master. 

 

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A quick part fit of the main fuselage halves, the engine pods and tail. You can see some of the fine detail on this kit. Very tasty. 

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More progress shots. Here Ive fitted the engine intake thingies and exhausts. In the top picture you can see the internal weapons bay. 

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More progress shots. Fuselage is now all together including engine pods and forward sensor and rear tail mounted sensor dome. 

 

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38 minutes ago, coronadlux said:

I'm excited to see what you do with it.

Yeah Ive always loved the "other" designs in Macross that dont get much love. This is one of them and am excited to be able to build one for a customer. 

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A shot of the underside showing the internal weapons bay. Its a bit spartan so I'll need to add some detail to this and find some suitable ordnance. Wings are on but need some filling and sanding to make them sit flush against their mounting points. 

 

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Looks like you're off to a great start! It's so cool to see one of these kits being completed. It's a great subject and fantastic that John produced it.

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16 hours ago, jardann said:

Looks like you're off to a great start! It's so cool to see one of these kits being completed. It's a great subject and fantastic that John produced it.

I know right? Im amazed there isnt a ton of them on the net but I could only find the one example completed. Now it'll be two! 

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Progress has slowed a little. Filling in some gaps, redoing some of the rivets that were sanded off etc. Here Im messing around with the main rotors. Again pretty good fit and only a couple of pour tabs to cut off and sand. This is temporary and I'll need to clean up the blades and straighten a couple of them. 

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Ok picking up pace again. After reviewing the main rotors in the kit I decided to swap them out for newer kit versions. I used Hobby Boss 1/72 MI-24V HIND-E blades. Nicer and crisper and I dont need to worry about straightening things out. And they look more 'modern' than the ones John used. See the side by side comparison below.

I also took the liberty of adding some rotor hub detail even though you'll never see it once the sensor mast top is glued in place.

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The tail rotor has gotten some attention. Kit blades replaced with HB HIND rotors using Johns hub to mount them on. Im waiting for the second kit to arrive to get the fourth blade as the HIND is a three blade tail rotor and I need 4 donor blades.

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Client has asked for alternate weapons load outs. Ive put some of the funky HIND weapon pods together. The inside is a large bomb (I think), the middle one is a gun pod with three Gatling guns, two of one caliber and the center one a larger caliber? and then the outer one is a twin gun pod. 

The internal weapons bay will receive some attention soon. I plan on putting two bombs inside this bay once I've added some extra detail. 

 

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That's looking great! I'm also glad to see another kit of this cool subject getting built. They're rarer than unicorns! - MT

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8 hours ago, captain america said:

It's been a while since I've seen one of these babies. Keep up the great work!

Thanks John. Im just happy to be able to touch and build one. Ill resist asking you nerdy questions as I have your original build diary of the kit to follow which has been very handy especially being able to know what some of the donor parts you used were, like the Hind rotor blades. I just wish I had the patience to do what you do.

And you keep up the great work too! 

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The second HIND arrived today so I was able to finish off the tail rotor

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Also swapped the seats from another kit as they were a little more detailed. I may need to alter them slightly to sit a smidge lower in the cockpit but I wont know until I finish cutting the canopies and test fitting them.

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The surprise kit donor. This will be another client build later on.

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@Mintox - I would be very interested in seeing and perhaps discussing with you the cutting and fitting the canopies on the Cat's Eye...That's the part that is keeping me from finishing mine at some point. 

Chopper looks great! :good:

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6 hours ago, derex3592 said:

@Mintox - I would be very interested in seeing and perhaps discussing with you the cutting and fitting the canopies on the Cat's Eye...That's the part that is keeping me from finishing mine at some point. 

Chopper looks great! :good:

More than happy to help out. And yes its a little sleep loss inducing process as there is no room for error. Which kit of the CatsEye do you have?

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Ok here is my process for cutting the vacformed canopy for the Commanchero. John supplied solid versions of the canopy (Im assuming these are the molds used to vacform the canopies).  

So I started by inserting the mold into the vacform part:

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Then using a new blade I starting by cutting as close but not ON the canopy edge line to give me some room to sand the canopy to shape. I probably left about 0.5mm clearance to use to shape and sand and test fit.

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Partially cut canopy:

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...And you should be left with something that will kind of fit in a crude way:

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After what seemed like hours of VERY careful sanding, this is the fit I managed to get. I still need to polish the canopy to try and get it clearer than it is. and to smooth the edges a bit more.

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22 hours ago, derex3592 said:

I have the Moscato one. He was nice enough to sell me one a few years back out of his stash. 

Nice. Johns stuff is pretty awesome. He captures the lines of the design well. If there is something specific you want to ask please do so. Just PM me. 

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Cut and test fitting the rear - Pilot? - canopy. Also messing around with a scratch built rotary cannon. 

 

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So we have a slight issue with scale or I should say a pilot scale issue. The below is a comparison between the SV-51 cockpit and the Commanchero cockpit with the SV pilot sitting in it. Either the SV is small or the Commanchero offers lounge chair rides for its pilots! Note Im not going to use the SV pilot just messing around at trying to get something that fits the Commanchero cockpit. I could pad the seat so the pilot sits higher but Im thinking that might look a bit naff. 

 

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I managed to fins some old Bandai missiles from a VF-1A kit to use as bombs. Ì still have lots to do inside the bay with cleaning up some mold lines etc. Ive added some greeblies inside to make it a bit more interesting but most of it will get covered up by the bombs. 

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4 hours ago, Bolt said:

Mm.. smaller seat would look better imo. The cockpit is quite tight , scaling a pilot for the existing seat. Everything is looking great !

I have toyed with scratch building seats and I may still do that as Im running out of options for pilots. 

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