A few random pictures of unpacking the A10 at the ranch.
A few random pictures of unpacking the A10 at the ranch.
I needed to take a break from the F-105 project for a while. I had some problems getting the remainder of my parts from my "supplier" which kept getting in the way of completion. Everything is now here in the shop and I'll be getting back to it in a few months. Here are a few pictures of the painting and weathering effects. I love the Thunderchief and will "getter done". Too much time and money to not see it through.
I just took delivery of the latest Mibo A-10 Generation 5.5 kit and wanted to share my buzz as I get it situated in the shop. My Gen. 4 is still going strong and is still one of my favorite "go to" jets for reliability and fun factor. The Gen. 4 was a pleasure to assemble years ago and I still consider it to be one of the best engineered kits ever produced.
This time around I decided to order the "extra work package", and man is it impressive to see the quality of pre-assembly that Mibo does at the factory.
The 5.5 has true fowler flaps. When I unwrapped the wings, the flaps literally slid down their track/slots via gravity with no binding whatsoever.
The opening canopy came pre-assembled, and all that's required is to install the servo with supplied rod and clevises. I couldn't resist and immediately hooked up the linkage to my servo just so I could observe the scale articulated motion up and down. This can be done in a matter of minutes.
The cinematic has been improved from Gen 4 and is true to scale.
The canopy fastens on the fuselage with two plywood tabs at the back and two countersink head sheet metal screws at the front.
Here is the elevator opening where one can see the beautiful full kevlar/ carbon sandwich construction. Two Allen head screws fasten it in position. The blind nuts are already in and holes are matching perfectly on the elevator.
The gun fairing came pre-installed and is a thing of beauty!
Control surfaces are pre-hinged and the only requirement is to slide the kevlar rod into place and enjoy the no-slop movement. The control horns are pre-mounted. Just open up the packaged metal hardware of ball links/ rods and hook things up. Again, I couldn't resist a little assembly, and installed my aileron servos.
The flap servo with its bracket and hardware.
The flap and aileron servos took a few minutes to fit.
Same thing with the elevators; push in the hinge kevlar rods, drop the servos in and hook up the hardware. This took me a few minutes.
The fins require some more work as the servos slide half into the narrow opening. The bracket gluing process is a bit more involving. The Ultimate Jets assembly manual covers that process properly.
The servo arm protrudes from the tiny slot below and is covered by the rudder fairing.
5.5 comes with pre-installed electric landing gear and brakes. Not one air tank required in the whole jet. I'm thrilled with the concept. All gear doors are scale hinged at the factory. Having done this myself with the previous generation kit, I can truly appreciate the factory work install of the doors.
Another great feature and thrill of unpacking was to see the "extra factory work" done on the engine pods. The assembly completely done right out of the box and ready to mount the turbines. This too I can appreciate from having done it myself with Gen. 4.
All the vents are pre-installed along with the two opening doors on the fuse. They did leave a little work for me in the scale details package of antennae, grills and probes. I will details these in due time. Generally speaking, the pieces are very well done.
The top hatch is also re-done at the factory; just pull back the hatch latch on you're in.
I'll have some more accessories delivered later and will be sure to share more of those details when they arrive.
Another great feature is the detail on the gear struts. No install required because it's already done for me; just paint them.
I can already see that this will be as much fun as when the Gen. 4 arrived years ago. Now to figure out which paint scheme I want to do. In the meantime I'll post pictures and comment as this gets screwed together.
The lower elevator counterbalance hinge CAD design process:
Hinge final version:
The finished hinge on the plane.
Here's an update on the machined parts for the Thunderchief.
I recently received my nose wheel retracts from Matrix. As usual, excellent work and the installation is going smoothly.
As you can see I abandoned the "clockworks" nose wheel retracts. Too much monkey motion to work reliably every time.
I'm in the process of programming the Jeti radio into the jet which will include voiced airspeed via telemetry/pitot tube.
The pitot tube is removable for maintenance if needed.
I've been flying my Me 163 Komet with the new Jeti system and am VERY IMPRESSED with it's capabilities.
I'll be converting my Mibo A-10 to the same system.
The F-105 should maiden in the next few weeks if all goes well, then complete the finish/scale details in the Fall.
The tail pipe is custom machined by Jet Model Products.
Enjoy, and thanks for visiting,
Thought I'd show a photo sequence using Flite-Metal on the flying stab of the 105, and progress with the wings.
The new landing gear has been installed along with the gear doors. The quality machining by Matrix Machining is an absolute work of art in metal. With the dual air cylinders and up/downlocks, the retract sequence lifts and lowers the big wheels with ease. I'm now over one of the main problems with the jet and am pleased that I decided to contract with Matrix for CNC custom scale gear.
One other hurdle/pains was to reset the anhedral angle of the wings. This process involved removing the blind nuts and brace brackets and jigging/measuring all angles, then locking all in place. I did the same with the flying stabs because they were also misaligned. After this serious grunt work, all should move a lot faster with the construction. So far, I've been in the"two steps forward and one step back" mode of construction. This is definately not a kit you pull from the box and quickly screw together. Although this is a full composit kit, it has proven to be one of the more challenging builds for me.
Here are some pictures of the custom made landing gear:
The main retract is using two air rams to move the strut.
The strut rotates as it extends. Here is a view of the torque rod providing the motion located at the base of the retract frame.
Here is a view of the extended strut. The brace link folds when the gear retracts. This is a very complex geometry to achieve that took lots of efforts and mockup units to get right.
Here are some views of the plane with the Flite Metal job in progress.
Sometimes the working area gets a bit congested...
The wing job in progress. One can see the panel lines drawn already.
A more detailed view of the panel lines.
A pictures that shows the complexity of the main retract angles and gear door geometry/ actuation.
Here is how I did proceed to Flite Metal the stabilizers:
I cut a foil of Flight Metal to the size of the stabilizer. Note the finish surface: primer sanded down to satin finish. Perfect surface condition ( any imperfection on the primer would show off immediately on the Flite Metal ).
The foil is laid down flat on the surface by hand first.
The artist paper pen is used to rub the aluminium down on the surface and push away the wrinkles.
Here is how the stabilizer looks like after the first step is completed.
Second step: marking down the panel lines. A #2 sharpwriter paper pen is used.
The panel lines, that were already slightly engraved on the surface, are enhanced with the paper pen.
After all the panels are marked, the aluminium is sanded down to create the weathering pattern.
Hypodermic needles of different gauges for making rivet/fastener impressions into metal.
The burnishing pencils/blunts are tightly rolled paper tools used by artist, and are found in Art/Painting sections of most stores.
The wool is SUPER FINE #0000.