So… you remember the fit problem of engine exhaust tube from the previous post? Some modellers suggested I should leave it as it is, as the vertical fin will cover the gap (true, but the fuselage diameter would be too big for the exhaust shroud), while most suggested thinning down the fuselage sides and the tube itself. While I was leaning towards the later idea, I had a moment of enlightenment and decided to go for a totally different approach – scratchbuilding it!
I have calculated the circumference of the inner tube diameter and cut the rectangular piece of 0.25mm sheet styrene. Placing it into boiling water it softened enough to be easily curved. Using the existing tube as a “mould”, sort of, I managed to get a respectable new narrower tube, that doesn’t interfere with the fuselage halves.
As R-15 engines aren’t just bare inside, I Googled for photos of MiG-25 engines and soon found a photo that helped me the detailing. The afterburning chamber has what looks like a wavy sheet metal. I have used 2mm half round Evergreen rods to simulate that. I am aware they are not exactly the same shape and are a bit oversized, but still represent this area much better than the original kit part 🙂
Using sheet styrene again, cut to rectangular pieces, the petals at the edge of the exhaust were recreated, according to reference photos. Dark wash was applied over the petals for better representation.
The tube was first painted Alclad Jet Exhaust, followed by a slight misting of Alclad Pale Burnt Metal. Petals were painted in Flat Green. The tube was finished with a dark wash over petals and brown pigments on the inside, simulating grim and soot. Photo is a bit overexposed to show some of the interior detail.