Think Russian - Scratch building a Firefox in 1/300th scale
Construction - Stage One
This little project started out when I was looking at writing some scenarios
for the C21 ruleset, by Wessex Games. I though it would be fun to have a Mig31
Firefox to use for fictitious scenarios. The Mig31 designation has been used
since by a real life aircraft, the Mig31 Foxhound, but this is a totally different
plane from the movie aircraft, as it is based on the Mig25 Foxbat.
Since no one makes a 1/300th scale model of the Firefox I looked around for a model that would be similar and that I could use for as a start. The choices I narrowed it down to was a Su47 Berkut or a Su27 or Su35 Flanker. With either model, a lot of hacking and remodelling would be required and I wondered if it would be easier to scratch build to whole thing. Luckily I only need to make one of them!
The base plane
Here's the model before I began any changes. The tail and rear exhausts are reasonably close to the firefox and the leading edge of the wing looks similar. I used some of the images from the ThinkRussian website and rescaled them to 1/300th scale, based on the dimensions they have in their drawings.
First step - Remove the wings
This photo shows the berkut with the wings chopped off. I just used a pair of large sidecutters to take them off
Step 2 - Reshaping the body
In this photo I'd started to file the wings and leading edges back to get a better shape and to make it easier to fix some new wings on. The area around the exhausts were filed down a bit but the need to be tidied up a lot. I used a large woodworking file which hacked through the soft metal quite easily. I also filed the tail to make it thinner as the model suffers from the "fat wing" syndrome of a lot of H&R planes.
Step 3 - Some serious alterations
After looking at some more pictures, I decided the shape and the front of the wing didnt look. So I used a big file to hack away the front of the wings and take it right back to where I thought the top engine intakes would start. I also filed along the side to create a rough shape of the engine enclosures. The large file left some rather deep marks so I've will use a smaller file to get rid of these scratches and I can fill any deeper marks with green stuff.
Some WIP photos
Next is to shape the engine intakes, add a dorsal spine with some green stuff, and shape and lengthen the nose.
The model is looking less and less like a Berkut. In hindsight I could could have used almost any twin fin aircraft because I've changed it so much. In this photo I've thinned the fuselage, removed the existing cockpit and reshaped the nose to be slightly blunter.
Later on I hacked around the fuselage a bit more and shaped the air intakes with a knife and some files. The areas around the jet engines were also reshaped to a squarer shape similar to the pictures of the firefox I have.
Reshape the fuselage
The fuselage has been built up to the shape of the firefox with some green stuff. I carried this right through to the back but as I discovered later it was slightly wrong (see the photo below for a better picture).