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Old 11-09-2017, 04:53 PM
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umtutsut umtutsut is offline
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Help! Aircraft with complex fuselage shapes

Putting this in the "Aviation" forum because it only affects my aircraft builds.

Another epic fail. This time it was Aaron's NASA T-38A. There have been too many others.

I seem to do fine if an aircraft has a round fuselage, or formers are included. But success with fuselages having complex shapes, like the T-38, X-29, A-5A and others without formers has eluded me. Modelers like papermate and nikischutt produce excellent results with such kits, so I know it's my problem and not the kit design.

Can anyone suggest ways to conquer these types of kits? I'm not unskilled or unpracticed. I've been building card models since around 2008, and have little difficulty producing very good (IMO) models of rockets and spacecraft.

Thoughts welcome!

Les (The Voice of Authority)
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:27 PM
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You must have frames and formers for these models. No ifs or buts. Or else you get anything but the actual looking shape.


I personally stay away from these type of kits.


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Old 11-09-2017, 06:44 PM
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John Bowden John Bowden is offline
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For me:

On the T-38, I've found working from the rear forward, all the way to and including the intakes helps. I then remove the sections that are shaded.

Using a rollie tool on the rear parts in order to create a rounded edge box shape helps to get them close to the proper outline.

Then build the front section and add it to the completed rear section.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:59 AM
ricleite ricleite is offline
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Hmm, if you don’t have a clear clue on the cross-section shape (like a former) it becomes tricky. If the skin parts are properly drawn, you’ll only get good joints if the cross-section is right. Most of the times, cross-sections are flat and the joint between consecutive skin parts is a line that fits on a plane surface. If you don’t shape the skin part properly, the joint will not fit on a plane and that’s something easy to check. If it is the case, you have to reshape the skin part, by increasing/decreasing the curvature radius at diverse locations. If you proceed methodically (try/check), those “diverse locations” will reveal themselves quite well. The process will be quite challenging with complex cross-sections, anyway…
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:07 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions!

One possible solution I thought of would be to look for aircraft plans including cross-sections that I could resize to scale. A cursory look didn't turn up much, though. I'll keep searching.

Les (The Voice of Authority)
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Old 11-10-2017, 08:25 PM
papermate papermate is online now
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Murph's earlier models released through Oddball Productions do not require formers or bulkheads to build. As long as you cut out accurately all the parts, they will fit and align without any problem. I used thicker paper for the parts and tabs to make sure that each section aligned. Like Ricardo says, shape the parts patiently and properly, you'll be able to complete the model like the T-38 I did. Not my best build though, I can live with that.

Papermate
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:49 PM
Gene K Gene K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umtutsut View Post
... look for aircraft plans including cross-sections that I could resize to scale. A cursory look didn't turn up much, though.
We must be using different search engines - I use Chrome. For example, here's a three view for the T-38.

One of the best sources for three views (most with bulkheads) is airwar.ru ... use your browser's Translate feature. For example, for the T-38, you have this and this to download as a zip file.

Gene K
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:57 AM
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umtutsut umtutsut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papermate View Post
Murph's earlier models released through Oddball Productions do not require formers or bulkheads to build. As long as you cut out accurately all the parts, they will fit and align without any problem.
I wish that were the case -- but that hasn't always been my experience. The A-5A Vigilante and AJ-2 Savage, for example, have squared-off fuselages. Even following build photos (yours?), I couldn't get the shapes correct. But I don't have your ability!

Les (The Voice of Authority)
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene K View Post
We must be using different search engines - I use Chrome. For example, here's a three view for the T-38.

One of the best sources for three views (most with bulkheads) is airwar.ru ... use your browser's Translate feature. For example, for the T-38, you have this and this to download as a zip file.

Gene K
Mucho thanx!

Les (The Voice of Authority)
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:58 AM
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umtutsut umtutsut is offline
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Again, thanks for the comments. Community wisdom is invaluable!

One other major problem I have is getting the fuselage sections to line up flawlessly, a la papermate's and nikischutt's builds. I cut very carefully, just a nanometer or two inside the black lines. I make my own joining strips. I put the glue inside the section without the joining strip, and carefully mate them. But only about 60-70 percent of the joints are acceptable, to me. The others have a slight amount of either overhang or undercut.

I seriously don't know what I'm doing wrong, but this happens in every one of my builds, and it frustrates me to the point where I'm reluctant to keep building card model aircraft. It's not a lack of practice; I'm been building them (or trying to) since 2009.

Any thoughts? Would step-by-step photos help you folks figure out my problem?

Thanx for any assistance!

Les (The Voice of Authority -- and Frustration!)
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