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Building the
Nanchang Q/A-5

The prototype The prototype next
to my keyboard.

The development history of the Nanchang Q/A-5 was unique in that it was divided into a pre-release phase and a full release phase, with a time period of 10 month between the two releases. This was based on my idea to produce this model for the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on Oktober, 1st, 2009.
The time available for the production was only one month, in which it would have been impossible to produce more sophisticated versions, but the one month was enough to produce 4 more simple versions.
It was still hard work to get the model done in one month. During the prototype phase I redesigned the air intakes several times, but there were no major changes during the beta-phase.
As the Q/A-5 is a rather rare subject, I decided to make the model more interresting by including the possibility to build an open bomb bay.

The first beta
The first beta
  The pre-release version was released, as planned, on Oktober 1st and was a complete surprise to the visitors of this site. The first 8 images in the image gallery are photos of the pre-release version.
After the pre-release, I wanted to finish the F-18 Hornet first, so the Q/A-5's development was very slow. When I finally got to work on it, I decided to make some serious improvements to the pre-release version. I redesigned the nose and included three-dimensional wing roots. I also added cones to the exhausts and added more detail on the exhausts.
The full release was meant to not only include Camouflaged versions, but also the modified variants, namely the Nuclear Strike Variant, the Torpedo Bomber, the Precision Strike Variant and the Two-Seater. These required modifications of the nose, fuselage parts and tail.
For the Camouflage Versions I painted the Camo-Lines on one of the Betas to produce a Camo-prototype. This one was taken apart and scanned to get the versions drawn from it.

The Camo prototype
The Camo-prototype after all lines have been drawn

The addition of the 3-dimensional wing root caused some delays as it proved difficult to add the camo lines on it, after the Camo-versions had almost been done. Fortunately it was unnecessary to do complete testbuilds of the modified versions.
Before the full release, I built three versions within one week for shooting the official gallery pictures. Werner Smuts contributed the build of a Pakistani Version.

  Testbuilds for the Nuclear strike version
The four Camo-Betas, which I unofficially called "the international squadron"   These are two test builds of the nuclear strike variant belly, with different bomb alignment. The Left is the final one.
The Q/A-5's cockpit was among my first cockpits to be created. I actually created it when working on the full release of the Q/A-5, which is why the brackets for cutting the hole in the fuselage were already present in the full release versions. It was also the first two-seater cockpit I created, for which I simply duplicated the front cockpit. However the dimensions had to be modified to make sure that the instructors seat is somewhat higher than the pilot seat. As I had originally intended to release all cockpit versions at once, it was held back and then held back again when I decided to pre-release with thinner panel lines.
  Testbuilds for the Nuclear strike version
the front and rear cockpit before installation   The single seater cockpit test in 1:30 scale
  Testbuilds for the Nuclear strike version
two-seater cockpit still without canopy   Both test builds for the two-seater cockpits
Another big thing concerning the Q/A-5 development was the creation of the armament set. For many years, this remained announced with me having no lust to work on it. When the pre-releases progressed, I decided I was gonna have to do it for the pre-release or never. As bombs and missiles aren't that much of an exciting subject I decided to make it an exercise in becoming better with sketchup. I also found some more interresting payloads like the winged bomb. The laser pod was not practical to build in 3D and I went through at least 5 test builds to get its front right.
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