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Mig-242 from Airfix Interceptor

matteline

Alphans
I am starting out on building a '1/72nd-ish' scale Mig242, based off of the 'Airfix Angel Interceptor. I've always loved this design and when I was a kid we had a Standard 8, silent black and white movie called 'Joe the Pilot' that featured the last 8 minutes or so of 'Most Special Agent'.
I am thinking this project will be involve a fair amount of scratch-builing and filler - fortunately mostly flat surfaces - wings, tail planes etc. - and the size of the overall model means this will be quite manageable.

I'll do my best to document the progress.
First I got all the pics I could of the plane - surprisingly well documented for a one-off model. I made a sheet with frame grabs of a side view of an Angel lined up with a side view Mig 242, and printed this out. I printed it out once. put the Airfix fuselage on top of that printout and did some quick measurements and maths to work out the scale % needed in the computer to print it out again and be 1:1 with the kit. I was prepared for some more trial and error, but this went surprisingly well.

I now havea basic blueprint and laid out some of the main parts against it.
I have a number of missiles and nose cones, and jet exhausts in the spares box which will come in handy later. I have a 1/144 scale F-111 kit (Minicraft) - the original model is primarily a cannibalised Angel and parts from an F-111 (probably 1/48th scale kit judging by the size of the primary Mig242 model - about 20" long? - but I don't know for sure).

To test how usable the F-111 parts might be, I taped a wing and a tailplane onto the fueslage in roughly the correct place and took a couple of pictures of this 'mock-up' eyeballing the angle and perspectivce as best I could to match the pics I have of the Mig242.
A quickly comped the pics and this showed me that while the F-111 parts are slightly too large (I had previously thought they would be too small), they can be trimmed or otherwise adapted to fit. They are a good starting point.

More to come..
 

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matteline

Alphans
Progress continues.

I started with the front intakes and removed the 'nubbin' from the sides of the Angel's intakes. Nothing fancy there.
Then onto the middle tail plane. This is cut down from the Angel's tail fin, but is narrower. Due to the way the kit is molded, once I took the sides off to make it narrower, all that is left is basically a little, unsupported spindle. Rather than try and use this, I decided to make the fin from scratch.
Thanks to my 1:1 scale printout I was able to easily trace the shape onto thick plasticard. (see illustration). I laminated three pieces together to get the total width and am now sanding it to shape.

I am using super-glue pretty much exclusively on the model to give this thing as much strength as possible. Even though it is pretty small, there's a lot of stuff that is being just 'stuck on' without locating pins.

On the original model it looks like they may have used a second Angel to make the rear part of the fuselage. The Angel tapers toward the rear single exhaust, and the Mig 242 tapers too but only until mid way down where it widens out again. This is where the 2nd Angel (probably) comes in as it looks to be a mirror image of the intakes at the front - so it's stuck on facing backwards. But the very rear, around the twin exhausts is pretty heavily modified, so I have scratchbuilt mine out of plastic-card.

For the wings and tail planes and rudders I am starting with the Minicraft 1/144 F-111. I go back and forth on whether these parts are the correct size or not - they look pretty close - but it's hard to tell for sure until they are in place. I am proceeding with these parts for as long as I can; If I can utilise the swing wing mechanics :)

I am constantly test-fitting / lining up the pieces to make sure it is looking 'right'. So far so good I think..
 
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matteline

Alphans
Here are the latsest wip pictures.
 

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dwomby

Forum Supporter
Great progress and some real modelling go on here. I always think the 1/144 F-111 wings look too small when I hold them against the Angel fuselage but they look right the way you have fitted them. Any chance of a top down pic of that mock-up, pls?

David
 
Always wanted to try this as it "seems simple" but such is kit bashing I gave up even had a Tornado for the wings now see that the F111 would be closer - have to watch this one develop
 

matteline

Alphans
This is definitely not the toughest project, but it is also not as straight forward as it may first appear. Yeh, a Tornado was not around in 1968, although I see similarities in the wing shapes.
I know what you mean about the 1/44 F-111, but I watched 'Most Special Agent' again last night - I was surprised how slim the plane is when you see it front on.
 

matteline

Alphans
I worked on the tail planes today.
In looking closer at the F-111 tail fin (from the minicraft kit anyway) it does not have enough of a sweep to the leading edge. I considered scratch-building, but then I looked at the wings of the Airfix Angel kit..... Hmmm..... What really caught my eye is that there are flaps indicated with engraved panel lines on the trailing edge. These look very much like the rudders indicated on the 242 model. I don't know if this is what they used, but it looks good enough for this model. The Angel wings are not a perfect match (incidentally I don't know how accurate the Airfix kit is the real Angels, so they may have used them, altyhough I doubt it). So I cut them to the right shape - cutting away the leading edge. As I was only using the underside of the wing, I scratchbuilt the other side with plastic-card and sanded it all to fit. I could have used the top of the wing too, but I wanted to avoid dipping into a 2nd Angel kit. Plus that would have made the tail fins a bit thick.

Uisng the beautiful shot of the MiG on the launch ramp, I attcahed the tail fins. This shot shows the wings outstretched, and the relationship with the tail fins and where they intersect the wings. The sewpt wings are simple enough as they form a seamless triangle with the the tail planes but the position when outstretched is a bit more fiddly. I posed the wings in place referencing the launch ramp shot and in particular where they interesct the tail fins. This gives me the correct angle,

I have not quite given up on the idea of an internal swing-wing mecahnism... but at the very least they will be posable. To enable this I need 'stoppers' within the fuselage to allow easy posing of the wings in each position.

With the wings mocked up, I took a picture of the model matching (as best I could) the angle of the launch ramp photo. I scaled this in Photoshop and comped it over the launch ramp shot. To my absolute delight it lines up perfectly! OK the angle is not quite right, but lining up the key points it is good enough to show that everything thus far is the right size and in the right place! Phew! (see the attcahed pic - the work-in-progress model is shaded green).

Next up is more on the internal mechanics for the wings, and then onto the 'pointy end'.
 

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dwomby

Forum Supporter
I am enjoying this and learning a lot. Thanks for being the pioneer on this conversion.

Have you found any tanks/pods to make the rocket pods yet? Probably not too tough to adjust something from the spares box.

David
 

matteline

Alphans
Yeh, I'm working on the weapons pods in the background.
I have some drop tanks from a 1/72nd scale Mustang which look good for the front end. I am making the rear out of a missile from the spares box and blending them together. I have carved the 'muzzles' and I'll try some casting to get the four halves that I need.
But I won't do that until I have more of the rest of the plane together - just to be sure they are the right size.

I started on the nose of the plane today. The attached image shows the difference between the profile of the Angel and the 242. I have illustrated the cut line and the section of the fuselage to be filled in.
 

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matteline

Alphans
The 'pointy end' indeed.
I ran into some unexpected issues. The first one that I really should have considered more fully is that the Airfix Interceptor is not particularly accurate.
I'd been looking at mimicing what the Century 21 guys did when they 'chopped up' their Angel to make the 242, and reproducing that 'surgical procedure' with my model. But, beacaue the Airfix kit is not faithful to the Angel, when I make the same alterations (eg - cut out the area around the cockpit and raise it by 20 degrees to match the profile of the 242 ) I don't get the expected result. So I have spent the last couple of days rebuilding the front of the fuselage / cockpit area as well as the slope of the fuselage from the rear. I think I have this in pretty good shape now via a combination of chopping up the Angel, scratchbuliding sections and LOTS of filler.

The major issue though is that the Airfix canopy is much flatter then the 'real' canopy of the Angel. Obviously given that it is a transparent piece cutting, anding and filling to make it the right shape is not an option.
So there are some avenues to puruse;
i) Make the existing Angel canopy fit - possibly some judicious sanding to maximise the shape of the piece will suiffice.
ii) Scratchbuld the canopy from the spares box. I have identified using two p51 canopies and sanding them to fit the contours of the cockpit and joining them at the window frame.
iii) Build a plug for the canopy and vac-form a new one....

Because none of the above options fill with me hope or joy, I am continuing with the rest of the nose so that once that is complete I can test fit the Angel canopy and at that point I will know exactly what I am dealing; where it falls short and what is needed to make it look right.

All the work with the nose has been the bulk of my time for the last couple of days. The wings are not on - although the tailplanes and tail-fins are. But given the amount of sanding and sawing going on I am glad that the model is clear of too many things that could potentially get damaged or break off. I am frankly surprised that the tailfins have stayed on (yep - that's famous last words).

In other news... I have made one half of one of the weapons pods out of a p-51 droptank for the front and a missile from the spares box for the rear. I carved out the 'muzzles' for the cannons (which incidentally made it look like a TINY Eagle nose cone :).
I made a mold using this really cool two part silicone moulding putty that I found. It's easy to mix, like plasticine, and seems to be odour free and dries in about 10 minutes to give s pliable mould that you can then cast into. As I only made half a pod, I need at least 3, but really 4, castings to make the two pods. So far so good.

More to come...
 

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matteline

Alphans
After a few days of what seemed like an endless circular motion of spin, dry, repeat (maybe thats how Joe felt inside the B.I.G. R.A.T.) Anyway, I feel like there is now progress to show.

I have got the bulk of the nose in place.
I was hoping to find a suiatble missile, or similar, that I could cut to fit and 'stick on', but alas this was not to be. at one time I had thought the F-111 nose was used on the original, but this is not the case. Nothing I had in the spars box was quite the right shape AND the right size. ....On the outside at least. It occured to me that the internal shapes are (on most of the bigger pieces at least) just like the exterior shapes, but just a bit smaller. Bingo! I reassessed my parts and found something that looked to be bang on - on the inside. I carved out the locator pins and sanded it smooth and made a mold / plug using air-dry clay. I wiped the interior of the kit part with Olive Oil to be sure it came apart. Unfortunately the clay took 24-48 hours to dry hard.
Once usable, I made a mold of that using this cool 'siligum' stuff that I found. It's super easy to use and dries in 5 - 10 minutes (and is odour free :) and then cast 'Ispon P38 filler' into the silicon moulds. This cures in about 10-15 minutes - and is not odour free :( While it is not my favorite modeling material, I will say that once dry it sands very well and in many ways behaves quite a lot like like plastic / styrene.

I attached a cocktail stick/toothpick to the fuselage and this extends into the nose about 1/4 inch for extra strength. I cast the nose twice, from the same mold as the nose is symmertrical. I filed a groove in one half of the nose to recieve the cocktail stick/toothpick and allow the two halves to fit flush together.
I stuck these together and superglued it all to the main fuselage making sure of the alignment. This was a bit fiddly, but the end result came out great.

Incidentally, forward of the intakes there are so many cuts, and patches of different plastic that were used to get the shape right that its not even funny. In the event I make a 2nd one of these, I now know how to do it more cleanly.
It still needs some work, and sanding, but the profile shot show basically where its at.

Next steps are the cannons under the nose and those bulbous shapes atop the tail fins and central rudder. I'm sure they have an aerodynamic term...
 

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dwomby

Forum Supporter
This is a treat to follow. I will make full use of your expertise here when I try doing a Mig-242. Although I may chicken out raising the cockpit.

David
 

matteline

Alphans
Thank You. It's super fun and all seems quite doable. I can't really even contemplate some of the studio scale stuff some of the guys do on here, where they make - or find - every bit of kit-bashed detail. Amazing. Although the cockpit area was unexpected, but I shoudld have seen it coming really as model kits if sci-fi vehicles are rarely 100% accurate. Although the newer releases are getting much better. the Aoshima 1/350th Thunderbird 2 and Thunderbird 3 are pretty nice kits.
 

matteline

Alphans
Quite a lot of small stuff today.
I worked on the weapons pods. As menstioned earlier I made these from a 1/72nd scale drop tank from a Mustang, with a small, sharp tipped missile atached for the rear half. The exhaust / muzzles were carved with an x-acto and small file. I made only one half and cast it in resin 3 times. I superglued the halves together and produced two pods. (some stills and shots in the show seem to show only one weapons pod, but given that there are numerous close ups that show Joe firing from two pods, that is what I went with).

I found some good missles which served as the basis for the weird little teardop things on top of the tail planes. The diameter was pretty close and one end was nice and pointed. I cut it to length and rounded off the other end. I added a thin stip of plastic card twice around the main tube of it to give it thickness. Then a thinner strip right behind that which went only once around. This got me the basic teardop shope which I then sanded to a better shape. These parts are small - I wish my fingers were smaller and my eyesight was better....

Once I had done that I cast it.
I decided to try and get it all in one go - vs molding one half then and then the other and gluing them together. The part was small enough and the 'siligum' pliable enough that I was able to do it on one. Once the 'siligum' was dry I cut a slit into it with a new x-acto and it popped out. I slathered resin in to the mold and squeezed it back toghether. After minutes 15 and a fair amount of clean-up later it looks not too bad.

The last thing was the spike looking thing that runs along the top of the nose cone. Not sure what this is, but it sure makes it look cool!
This was another missile from the spares box (from a a 1/72nd scale Mig 23 I think). Like the teadrop things, this was cut to length, preserving the pointed end of the missile, and the rest of it was sculpted with an x-acto and sanded so it fits in the correct position on the nose cone. I'll look at this again tomorrow to make sure it looks right.

I've comped the current fuselage against the original 242 model.
 

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matteline

Alphans
It's been a few days since the last post, but there has been some progress. But lots of fiddly stuff this week.

The nose section is almost complete. I added the probe at the front of the nose (I'm not sure of my aeronautical terms; is it caled a pitot tube?). Anyway the long spike thing. My initial plan was to use a sewing pin or sewing needle and to heat one up over a naked flame, and when it was red hot push it in to the resin nose and 'melt' a hole and then I could later instert the probe. Well the heating worked OK, but wihout a jig I could not get the hole into the very tip of the nose, or not at the correct angle anyway.
What I ended up doing was carving away one side of tip of the nose (about 1/4 inch), and then from this exposed side, filing a groove with a small file so that the needle could sit in there. I clipped the pointed end off the needle and filed it smooth and glued it in place. I then had to re-build up the nose cone with Tamiya filler. I had wanted to use Mlliput as it is very strong, but I had some probelms with the mix and after 3 days it had still not cured. But because this was not structural, just a patch for show, the filler worked OK.
Unfortunately the model now has a one and a half inch metal spike sticking out the front...not something I am overly keen on with so much work still to do. I'm not sure what will happoen first - stabbing myself or breaking it off. Possibly both :)

While waiting on the nose, I shifted attention back to the wings. I had previously figured out the two positions - swept and 'forward' - but I was looking for a way to make each position more precise. I found some very small magnets online (a couple of quid for 20 or so) with approx 1/8th inch diameter, and fixed one inside the center of the fuselage between the wings. I then attached small balsa wood blocks either side so to the wings could rest on them and be flush to the slots.
I taped the wings in the forward position and cut-down a tiny nail (checking for suitable magentic properties first). This was lined up for the forward position and it promptly snapped onto the magent. I was now able to apply a drop, or three, of superglue to attach the nail in the correct position to the wing. Once secrue I did the same for the other wing.
I then re-taped the wings into the swept position and repeated the procedure. So there is a swept and foward 'nail' on each wing - 4 in total.

Once fully dry I tested the wings back and forth and did some filing of the heads of the nails to ensure a smooth movement.

The wings are not connected to each other and need to be moved individually. But this does at least allow them to be 'posed' in a quite neat way.

Once dry, I painted everyting inside black. I'm not sure what will show through the open slots when the wings are swept forward , so this should at leaat make the interior unobtrusive, and possibly look like real mecahnics.
 

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