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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Infernal intakes

The Mikoyan MiG-AT is rather less of a design departure than the Yak-130, and in fact somewhat resembles the L-139 it was designed to replace. It had its first flight nearly 20 years ago and never made it into production.

The kit is another early AModel effort, and was even a bit more diabolical than the Yak-130 has proven to be. The main issues in this kit revolve around the intakes. The fit is suspect, the parts breakdown does you no favors, and it seems as though it is missing a part. If you look at photos on the net, the intake rim is fairly sharp. The kit parts are at 90 degree angles, and rather flat. I’ve tried doing a bit of filing at the edges, but it doesn’t seem to be improving things at all. I keep looking for an intake leading edge part – like the Su-28 had – but there is nothing there.

What is worse, the intake assembly does not fit into its assigned wing/fuselage location at all. Much putty will be involved in getting out of this one. I even had to do some scratching of a part to eliminate a giant gap between the intake floor and the wing top that it rests on. I realize that this description probably doesn’t make much sense unless you have the parts in front of you, but let’s just leave it that this is probably one of AModel’s lesser jobs.

Here is a photo of the MiG-AT in progress; as you can tell I haven’t quite got the intake problem resolved to my satisfaction yet.

Next: Hurricane heaven.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Taking a dip

Second in the set of Russian trainers is the Sukhoi Su-28. This is a trainer version of the Su-25 Frogfoot, one of those ground-pounding aircraft that seems to be composed of more ordnance than airframe.

The kit was produced by MSV, a short-lived (Ukrainian?) company that produced only two models that I know of. I suspect that the recent kit released by Art Model of the Su-28 is likely from the same molds, but not having seen it in person I can’t confirm that. The molding is somewhat basic, with thick plastic pieces on the order of the proverbial Russian tractor, but they seem to be fitting together well enough. There is some putty involved, but not on the scale of the Yak-130 so far.

In fact, the main disaster of this build had nothing to do with the kit. I was in the process of getting the wings attached to the fuselage and had a bottle of Tenax open on the bench. My last bottle of the discontinued Tenax, to be exact. So you can see where this is going. The ham fist knocked the bottle over, Tenax pooled around the bottom of the Su-28 sitting on the workbench, and dialog not heard since the last Teamster convention was unleashed upon the land. I pulled the model from the liquid and basically didn’t touch it for an hour. Thankfully the Tenax just air dried and there was no structural damage to the model. The surface is very shiny now, due to the chemical reaction, but it seems to have hardened up without distortion. I’ll be buffing it up to get any surface anomalies taken care of. Thankfully nothing else was hit by the Tenax. I managed to retain half a bottle, but will need to be deciding on my replacement for the adhesive sooner than I expected. I’m no fan of cyanoacrylate, so maybe MEK or one of the other proprietary types. I use Testors liquid (in the black square bottle with the applicator) for many uses, but like the very thin and fast Tenax for welding things like the wing to fuselage joint.

And here is a photo of the Su-28’s current state. Next up is the canopy and possibly some wheel well painting.

Next: the MiG-AT and its exasperating intakes. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It's alive

Looks like it is time to reactivate the shambling muck monster that is the 72 Land blog. Even though this is the time of year that many modellers go into hibernation, falling to the realities of unmown lawns and unpainted houses, I’ve just come off of an 8-week gig of temp work (thanks to CAD of Seattle) that has gotten me anxious to get back to the workbench. And since it was temp work, I now have the opportunity to do so.

So what is lurking on the workbench?

First up is a project I was just starting on when I was called away. That would be the three Soviet trainers: Yak-130, MiG-AT, and Su-28.

The Yak-130 was a multinational collaboration between Russia and Italy. About a decade or so ago they split up the partnership, but Russia continued to develop the type into the Yak-130 and Italy worked on the Aermacchi M-346. Similar in look, they no doubt differ in internals. I don’t believe the Aermacchi retained the winglets and it added some new wing fences.

AModel produced a kit of the type a few years back. It is in their older style, less refined and precise. In addition, it strikes me as over-engineered. The intakes are built up from multiple parts that they have to fit down into the fuselage under the leading edge extensions and form part of the wheel wells. The fit overall is imprecise and much filler is going into the gaps. Thankfully it isn’t a NMF surface.

In fact all three of the trainers have variations on a red, white, and blue prototype marking scheme. That means a good deal of masking, so I doubt I will add the landing gear and doors (even though they are white as well) until the main bits are painted. The carpet monster gets quite enough plastic on my watch that I don’t feel the need to make it easy for him.

The photo below shows the Yak-130 in progress. I have since added instrument panels and coaming to the cockpit and gotten all the exterior bits attached. Sanding seams is ongoing.

Next: The Su-28 and the Tenax bath.