To prepare myself for that and just to get a small, quick and satisfying result from an inbetweenie, I decided upon trying to make one of the T-38 Talon trainers which accompanied the SCA and Enterprise on their test flights. NASA uses a whole fleet of these versatile jet aircraft and although its original design, the Northrop F-5, stems from 1962, the USAF (and NASA) still fly the trainer version today.
Richard de Vries, who redesigned the SCA from Canon's 747-400, also made an 1/72 model of the T-38 Talon in NASA livery. I reduced it to 1/400 and gave it a try.
|In case you missed it, underneath the cutter there is a very small cone. |
That's the pointy end of the T-38's nose cone.
Here's the build of the T-38 Talon. It all started with this very tiny end cap of the nose cone. It even was too small to roll around a cocktail stick's pointy end. I had to sand the stick down to a very sharp point to be able to make this piece fit around it. By just a dab of glue at the seam and careful rolling between thumb and finger, using the cocktail stick as a guide, it was rolled and then put aside to cure.
|Nose cone end cap close up.|
|Nose end and the part where the cockpit will be. |
This section consists of four parts (and one bulkhead at the back).
|The hardest part was to keep the pieces aligned straight. I managed but it is just a tiny bit wobbly... |
I used my calliper to get the parts in a straight line.
|Top part of the engine section. I used a double ball stylus, a kind of embossing tool, to curve the edges. You can see it (out of focus) in the background.|
|Awaiting its sides and the bottom.|
|More or less finished fuselage. Every part is curved and edge glued.|
|Nose and main fuselage joined. Just a little over 30 mm long. (33.18 mm to be more exact)|
|Canopy added. It really starts to look like a T-38 now. Pity the striping is not completely well aligned here, |
but it is not really easy in this scale and size, I am afraid...
|And there we have one very small T-38 Talon.|
|I wanted to compare sizes with a shuttle of the same scale so I took my Columbia stack. |
For giggles, I also put my 1/2400 shuttle stack next to it, the smallest thing I ever built.
I don't think I will be able to make a T-38 on that scale...
|With the SCA's tail section. Now it's down to the probably more elaborate midsection of the 747.|
Thanks for watching!