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RA-5C Vigilante Conclusions

October 16 2011 at 3:08 PM

DWAungst  (Login DWAungst)
HyperScale Forums
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I read a lot of the controversy years ago when the Trumpeter kit came out. Did they really get the nose dimensions that wrong? Did Cutting Edge actually fix the issues? I have recently re-reviewed all the kit reviews and all the opinions. What I did not see is anyone measuring the real aircraft to draw their conclusions. I decided the best way to figure out the truth was to go to the source. So, I drove down to PAX River yesterday (3.5 hours each way) armed with a plumb bob and tape measure. They have a real, live RA-5C sitting in the museum there. I measured it.

I measured six key distances on the real RA-5C.
[linked image]
  1. Width of the Nose Cone
  2. Fuselage Width at the Front of the Forward Canopy
  3. Fuselage Width at the Front of the Rear Canopy
  4. Length of the Forward Canopy
  5. Length of the Rear Canopy
  6. Overall Length from the Nose Cone to the Front of the Nose Wheel Well (without the Pitot)

Then made the same measurements on the Trumpeter and Cutting Edge pieces. The following table outlines my findings.
  Real RA-5C Trumpeter Cutting Edge
1 34.5" 36.0" 38.5"
2 43.5" 47.5" 47.0"
3 48.0" 49.9" 49.4"
4 65.0" 64.8" 60.0"
5 55.0" 55.2" 52.3"
6 222.0" 221.5" 211.2"

It is clear to me from these measurements that Cutting Edge is not the right size. Trumpeter is actually closer to the real size in every measure except #2 and #3, and Cutting Edge is only half a scale inch better in those, anyway. Cutting Edge may have the "double-bubble" crease in the canopy line, but their overall size is off. I believe this is likely from resin shrinkage as the resin cured. For about the same work to integrate the Cutting Edge pieces into the kit, I can just add the "double-bubble" crease in the canopy line myself and have more correct nose dimensions.

Right or wrong, this is the direction I intend to go as I build my Vigilante.


Happiness is NOT ... Getting what you want.
Happiness is     ...     Wanting what you've got.

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