1/144 B747-8F/-400F Part 1

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to dedicate this entry to the B747-8F/-400F main deck detail set project.

Prior to getting into details, I would like to take this chance to say that I won’t be able to restock things on the 15th because of the Holy Week which is a national holiday here. As my father will also be on holiday, I will help him with some things we have to do at home plus the post office will remain closed on the following Monday.
The delay won’t be so long as I postpone the restock till next Friday 22nd.

This is the first and most probably the last screenshot of this project as you know I always prefer share things done rather than computerized but for the sake of a general idea, this is what the project is going to be (part of it):

Needless to say this is in its very bare bones, no wingroot, no panel lines yet, simply the basic structure of the fuselage which may also require some fine tuning.

I have decided to make my own portion of the fuselage for several reasons that I would like to mention here.
I know that probably some of you are against this route (because it may increase the costs), but to be honest, in order to make things right, I felt that most of the fuselage had to be re made in order for me to allocate all the areas and details I would like to represent.

The main reasons why I opted for this are:

  • Wing mounting had a conflict with the interior of the original Revell’s kit. The wing root placement is so deep that it goes behind the fuselage, this would interfere with the main deck as it crosses its level.
    The solution is, with the new wingbox/wingroot I plan it to be ready to fit Revell’s wings, but not as deep resulting in the need to remove a few millimeters from the original wing base which can be done with a simple cut.
  • Overall structure of the cargo holds. Now being able to assemble the cargo holds directly on the fuselage, allows me to make connecting points so that everything can fit perfectly, the fuselage will be ready to allocate the cargo holds for the reason that they will be designed to fit in it. This is very different and much easier than having to make a part adapted to the original fuselage with the limitations of the plastic thickness/landing gear/wing root design.
  • Thickness. The plastic thickness does not represent the thickness that can be seen around the edge of the door openings, both for the cargo holds and the side cargo door considering the work on the door edges, also, if you pay close attention, the thickness varies at the nose door opening, whereas the bottom side is thicker than the left/right side.
  • Main deck. Making the main deck having as a reference the fuselage I am making will make things so much easier for me and later for you to assemble altogether. Fuselage will still be joined from both sides, so it is going to be important to make the fitting of the main deck to be completely perpendicular on both sides, so when you put together the whole thing, it fits perfectly.
  • Lighting. The B747 has lights at the sidewalls besides the ceiling, this presents a challenge if lights have to be installed in such places. My solution to this is to make some sort of gutter that goes from the light panel down past the main deck, so wires can be placed and later covered. I am also thinking about the panel lights to be some sort of frosted for a better diffusion of the LED lights.
  • Cockpit. As I mentioned before, the plastic thickness gives away the realism I wish for this project, so by making my own fuselage I can make the cockpit opening thinner for better detailing. The windshield will be presented as a precut acetate, (which may include the multicolor effect known as optical birefringence). What I am still considering is including the cockpit windows frame as photo etched or include a masking template to paint the frame, I am leaning more towards the first option although I may include both, but an assembly scenario I think of is painting the PE frame, gluing it on the acetate and then gluing the set onto position, this won’t require to mask anything (simply cover the interior) in the fuselage painting stage since the windshield can be placed later.

Being able to work directly on the fuselage interior will allow me to make a complete new cockpit as well as upper deck. For this reason and due lights being able to be installed, the correct window openings will be made, as you may have noticed, Revell’s kit has used the passenger window shape/size of the -8i for the upper deck, but actually the -8F uses the old type of windows like the -400 variant.

Fuselage. The advantage of making this portion of the fuselage myself is that I would later be able to make the -400F version.

So basically, with this whole set you will be able to use from the kit; engines, wings, landing gear, horizontal and vertical stabilizers (with the fuselage cone section).
As I am going to make a wing root specifically for the Revell kit, that does not mean that with a little bit of extra work, you can still use Zvezda’s B747-8i for this purpose.

The next step I will take is to print the rear end of the hump section to check if the hump postwork that I need to do will be possible. Also, test the end cone that will fit with the original Revell section, for that area, the bulkhead part will aid in the assembly of both parts.

The hump was not easy to make, the transition in the original aircraft is not “smooth” but you can see from some angles (specially top) that it looks like a dome, the shape is very well defined. Hasegawa 1/200 models nailed this, Revell’s kit is very close so hopefully I can do a test first prior getting any further and see if I can represent it as close to the original as possible.

I am going to take the chance to look at the wing root fairing, because I am not sure Revell’s is 100% similar to the original, so I will take this chance and correct this if needed. Another challenge will be the landing gear bays which will be ready to fit Revell’s landing gears.

That is all for now, I am continuing with the work and with the projects, I am also working everyday on the restock process, for which PE is the remaining thing to make.

Best wishes,