FG X-15 build

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by dhanners, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Since it appears the Gallery is still busted, here are some photos of the Fiddler's Green X-15 I built last night and this morning. I'm not sure of the scale. The model depicts 66670 early in its career, but after the XLR99 rocket had been installed, replacing the XLR11. Modeling a specific X-15 can be a tricky thing because the markings changed with some frequency.

    I deviated from the kit parts/instructions in a number of areas. Before cutting out the parts, I used a ruler and a black Sharpie chisel tip permanent marker to fill in all the white lines. Once those were dry, I used a Inoxcrom silver roller gel "short" pen and, again using the straight edge, placed jillions of little tiny dots to replace the white lines, replicating the silver rivet heads where the black had worn off, which (in my mind, anyway) is one of the key visual elements of the all-black X-15.

    The white lines denoting the canopy lines, forward landing gear doors, etc., were colored with a gray marker to tone them down.

    Instead of following the kit instructions about gluing the chines on the sides, I glued tabs on the model where the chines would go, and then glued the chines to them.

    I scratchbuilt the two dump/jettison tubes that go at the rear of the aircraft, as well as the various antennas/probes.

    I would've liked to have done the X-15 as it appeared at its rollout, but the ability that some folks here have to take these things, scan them and then add new markings/details is far beyond me....
  2. George B

    George B Senior Member

    Beautiful build!!! Love the scratch built details you've added.
  3. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    I can only second George. Love the rivet detailing, as they really show off the contours and provide realism.
  4. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    Great job!:)
  5. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    As always...and I mean always, a spectacular build!
    I just noted you built this in the course of 24 hours or less...you amaze me!

    Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos of a breath taking model...one of the many things I love about your builds is the way you modify the basic model and add so many little details that create a unique and highly detailed model. Your Apollo CSM is one great example...and your Gemini...and your Aires...oh, I could go on and on. Thanks for sharing photos of your uniquely detailed work, I for one really appreciate seeing them.

  6. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks for the kind words. Actually, I build two X-15s over a 24-hour period, and the screw-ups on the first one made me realize I had to mess with the assembly and "tweak" some of the kit parts to get a better fit.

    And I'm already thinking of building a third one, using what I've learned on the first two, and wanting to incorporate more detail....

    Part of the problem is the black Sharpie I used to darken some of the lines. I've noticed this issue before, but never in such a big way -- the black actually had a reddish hue in some lights. I guess I need to find a "pure" black permanent marker. And the redness seems to be more exacerbated if you use it on glued areas. I suppose it doesn't soak in glue as much as it does paper.

    I did wind up spraying both builds with a matte spray specially formulated for photos and paper that I found at Michael's. It seems to work pretty well, but to get the right sheen on the X-15 (which I did after I took the photos) I rubbed the finish down with one of those anti-static dryer sheets.

    Going through all of this has made me respect even more the people who can scan these models and repaint them. I'd love to do an "early" X-15. I remember when I was a youngster in the early '60s putting together the Aurora X-15 (plastic) model and I just thought it was the neatest thing since sliced bread.

    The X-15 I'd really like to do is the roll-out version....
  7. TexasTubaMan

    TexasTubaMan Member

    In the current issue of Scale Aircraft Modeling (May 2007) there is an article about the X-15 with 4 pages of color plates showing side and top views of the X-15 in various configurations.
  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Instead of black............ try one of the dark grey markers. Michael's has some in the artist section.

    You can different percentages and I think the 70% works better than a Sharpie for edge coloring................... be light on the touch or they will bleed.

    The X-15 looks fantastic, you really are a great modeller!

  9. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I saw the "Scale Aircraft Modeling" at my local Barnes & Noble over the weekend. The X-15 stuff looked great, but my B&N wants $11.95 for the mag. Maybe I'm just cheap.

    I'll check out the dark gray markers, too. I also think I'll stop by my local art supply store and see what they've got. After I posted the photos, I noticed some areas of the model that I didn't edge-color well enough; they actually show up white. Taking photos of your models is a good way of spotting the shortcomings, I've found.
  10. Texman

    Texman Guest

    Didn't edge color well enough? I think your sniffing the sharpie!

  11. MOS95B

    MOS95B Member

    I'm with the Texman. While I can see a very little bit of the Sharpie off-color you mention (which I think a water-based marker might prevent), I still think it looks great!!
  12. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    I agree with Ray and John, can't see any problems there...but you're right, can't tell you how many times I saw something that needed to be corrected only after seeing a photo of the model...doesn't Phil (TWE) have a phrase for that phenomenom.

    I almost exclusively use either water color pencils or acrylic paint for the edging, just seems to match the paper colors a bit better. Some of the permanent markers seem to have a sheen when you apply them for some reason...not sure if a Flair pen does the same thing. All that being said, I didn't see the things you did, she looks fantastic!

  13. 46rob

    46rob Member

  14. I have tried accessing the website you posted but all I get is a blankl page. Any suggestions? I must be getting too old for all this tech stuff
  15. 46rob

    46rob Member

    The website (fiddlersgreen) opens fine for me. It's a pretty large pdf--over 2M, so if you're browser is slow--it may time out. Try going to FG's homepage and scroll down to where it offers tutorials and building tips. It's in amongst them.

    I wanted to put it in the parts bin or other appropriate section of this forum--but for some reason, this site doesn't let me upload files nearly as large as the file upload feature says I'm allowed.

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