F-105 THUNDERCHIEF Flite-Metal

 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.