Firefly X-K427 - Chapter 1 - Construction

Article Index
Firefly X-K427
Chapter 1 - Construction
Chapter 2 - Final Assembly and Paint
Chapter 3 - Detail Paint and Weathering
All Pages


Firefly from Hobby Japan SF3D Special Edition

The base kit was offered by FutchFactor in 2008. It comprises 110 resin parts and miscellaneous multimedia parts. To finish the Firefly, two additional donor kits are needed. An Italeri 1/32 BO105 Helicopter kit and a Tamiya 1/35 Krupp Protz truck. The basic design is a real grab bag of donor kits. These make up the bulk of the original model but this is by no means a complete list.

1/8 Tamiya McLaren Indy Racer
1/8 Hasegawa Clerget Radial Engine
1/32 BO105 Helicopter
1/35 Tamiya T-62
1/35 Tamiya Churchill Crocodile
1/35 Tamiya Matilda
1/35 Tamiya Field Kitchen
1/35 Tamiya Chi-Ha
1/35 Tamiya Krupp Protz x2
Ping Pong Balls x4

Assembly has been straightforward. FutchFactor did an outstanding job on the instructions considering how complicated the kit is and included very clever glue pads to help locate the detail parts. Besides making sure I align everything properly, the hardest part has been cutting the Italeri BO-105. They used very thin, brittle plastic with almost no alignment pins nor means of locating parts.  Everything else has gone smoothly and I’m surprised by how quickly the kit has gone together. I need to prime and paint the insides of some of the parts before some of the sub assemblies can be glued.


December 07, 2009

It doesn't look like much progress, but some major milestones have been achieved. Assembly of the BO-105, wiring, and major assembly of the upper and lower fuselage.

I used five min epoxy glue to bond two 1x1 hardwood blocks to the interior of the upper fuselage and inserted screws through the interior of the lower housing, which was tricky since one of the screws had to be tightened though the 1/4-20 insert. I felt screws were going to be much more secure than just super glue for these large parts. The block with the insert has been raised and shimmed to be flush with the lower portion of the bottom fuselage.

The wiring and plug are complete. A 12V power supply powers the two LEDS. A 6V or 9V would have been sufficient but the 12V was all I had on hand. The leads from the LEDs have been managed and wrapped with shrink tube to avoid any shorts. I dipped the clear LEDs in Tamiya Clear Red and Cler Green to simulate the colored lights on real aircraft. "C" channel styrene will form the basis for the wire cover. Managing light bleed will be a real challenge. The butt plate was dressed up with some parts from the Tamiya Pink Panther jeep to conceal the receptical.

The flimsy BO-105 halves have been reinforced with styrene strip and sheet. Also a few more greeblies have been attached.The bottom plate has been sized and future panel lines have been doodled in for scribing later.




December 15, 2009

Slow and steady. No blue tack magic this time, these parts are secure. The BO-105 has been attached. Some minor mods were needed to the BO-105 locating features on the resin parts, but 5min with a Dremel took care of that. I also added a strip of 1/4" styrene rod as additional glue area for the cockpit. Most of the detail parts have been added to the fuselage. I replaced a few details with styrene since it was a little easier than filling and sanding. I also rebuilt the cannon barrel with stryene and alum. tube as the kit part was a tad warped and I didn't feel like fixing it. My first two attempts at frames for the screen in front of the AG spheres are so far a bust. They were also too small after I double checked my references. Hopefully the third attempt does the trick. "Bob Dole Grip" makes an appearance again. His clothes are a litlle ratty, but he offers a good sense of scale and size of the FireFly.





Decembar 29, 2009

Last update before the end of the year. Primer makes everything look better. I used Tamiya Primer Fine from the spray can. This stuff is one of the best rattle can primers I have ever used. Where necessary, I also used Gunze Mr Surfacer 500 and 1000 to fill in any boo-boos. The last major area to tackle on this build are the AG pod housings. Given their complexity and me adding details, these things are like small models on their own. The AG housings always looked unfinished. The screeen covered nothing and the bare edges of the screen bothered me so I scratchbuilt a frame for the screen and added a piece behind the screen to make it look like something is going on.

The resin kit included a sheet of styrene for the bottom plate, but omitted a few of the details on the bottom. I added the missing plates with styrene sheet and scribed in a panel to replicate the battery housing door in Kow's original model. Not obvious in the photos, but highlighted for effect, I replaced a few of the rows of rivets on the AG housings. A misaligned seam in the parts needed to be corrected and the molded in rivets were sanded off in the process. I found .043" rivets form the model railroad store that matched pretty well. The ping pong balls fit a little tight between the sides of the housing, so I used a rounded dremel bit to grind in a dish shape to locate the ball, relieve some of the stress,  and have a good spot for glueing.