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Unread September 13th, 2016, 02:52 PM
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Whitey Whitey is offline
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Default Hasegawa F-15 FWD to AFT Fuselage Join

I'm currently building a 1/48 Hasegawa F-15 kit, the F-15J...which I'm building as a back dated F-15A in the original Air Superiority Blue scheme based at Luke AFB.

This is my first Hasegawa F-15 build, and the gouge I got prior to building was that the two fuselage sections where a PItA to join together. Studying the parts, it seemed to me like there was no positive attaching joint...no tabs, no pins, looks like just a butt joint. I later realized that the nose wheel well part and the top back end of the Bay 5 part made for positive alignment and attachment of the two sections. However, I still heard of horrible "steps" and side misalignment and the need for much filling and sanding.

I laid out the parts and studied how they went together and figured I could get it done easier. I think these steps will help eliminate a whole lotta' ass pain...

FIRST:

I followed the instructions as far as the order of build goes, starting with the cockpit and Bay5. When I glued the cockpit/Bay 5/NLG well assembly in place, I DID NOT glue Bay 5 to the side of the fuselage...glue just at the NLG part. This will be adequate enough to hold everything in place. But the main thing you accomplish here is, it gives you flexibility on the fwd fuselage sidewalls...you'll need that later.



SECOND:

I continued on per the instructions and got the intakes and aft fuselage section assembled. Just a couple notes on the intakes, take your time with dry fitting these parts as well as plan ahead on painting. When gluing parts A5/A6 in place, clamp the sides of the fuselage to squeeze them in place and allow no gap...again, this will help with alignment later on.



With the aft fuselage halves together, I continued on with the rest of the assembly, notably, attaching part F4. This it the part that makes up the aft end of the canopy and on back to the speed brake. It also plays a pretty important role in the alignment of the FWD fuselage section.

I only applied glue to the aft portion of the part and got the panel lines and speed brake well lined up. The fwd portion, I left dry so that again there would be some play/flexibility later on.

Part F4 glued in place:



THIRD:

OK, once everything was all dry (I typically use Tamiya Thin cement, and gave these parts a day to fully cure up) it was time to start dry fitting. There would indeed be a step of 1/32nd of an inch between the two sections. The solution was gluing a 1/32nd inch shim to the area where the back end of Bay 5 would attach to part F4.

So, I made a 1/32" shim from sheet plastic and could now glue the forward section of part F4 in place to the lower section of the aft fuselage, tacking it together with glue on the joining tabs and running a bead of glue along the edges of part F4.

Shimmed:



Glue:



Clamp it tight and let is sit...



FOURTH:

Once everything was dry, I dry fit the FWD fuselage section to the AFT, and everything lined up nice so it was on to gluing it in place.

I did this is sections as well, glued the top at Bay 5, let it dry. Glued the bottom in place at the aft end of the NLG well, let it dry. Then one side of the FWD fuselage, with that loose sidewall allowing me some flexibility to line everything up nice, and then on to the other side.

It seems like a really drawn out process, but you're really just doing what the instructions tell you, but in a manner that allows you to work the parts into place for a nice even fit.



Here, I am using tweezers to push the sidewall in just a bit to line up with the AFT fuselage section. You can adjust how much, or how little pressure is applied, by how much you push them into the gap...



Boom...done.







EDIT: Before I forget...yes, you eventually want to glue those Bay 5 side walls to the FWD fuselage sides. So, once everything is dry, run a little Tamiya Thin along the top edges and clamp them in place for a nice clean fit:





Now...what to do about that seam between the wing and fuselage...???
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Last edited by Whitey; September 14th, 2016 at 07:46 AM.
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  #2  
Unread September 13th, 2016, 02:55 PM
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warthoglvr warthoglvr is offline
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Nice walk-through. Thanks!
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Unread September 13th, 2016, 09:56 PM
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****PLEASE MAKE THIS A STICKY****
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Unread September 13th, 2016, 10:28 PM
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What Chris said......
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Unread October 4th, 2016, 12:35 AM
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Great write up!

I like to get the wings on the fuselage before I join the fuselage halves. Some dry fitting adjustments and it works pretty well- the top seam is minimal.
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