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Old 11-01-2019, 06:38 PM
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Tiberious Tiberious is offline
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Default 1/72 F/A-18F 'Fear the Bones!'

Alright, another model has come across the table, this one more of a 'commission' for a co-worker.

She wants to get a model of the F/A-18F for her Uncle and chose 1/72 for a manageable size. Looking for a kit, I was wanting to get the Revell version, since the wings were molded as one with the main upper fuse and the good cockpit detail and complete intake trunking. Hasegawa also has an F-model out, but it suffers from a lack of cockpit detail and that the intake trunking is shortened.

But the Revell version is almost unavailable without spending a pretty penny, so I went with a third option which was the Academy kit. It has good cockpit detail and full trunking, but it is also a 'snap-fit' kind of model, kind of having one gear both in more mainstream modeling and the other meant for a simpler, easier construction. The latter I can deal with, but what helped the most was that it was readily available and less than thirty bucks!

So, onto some pics. The box art is really nice.

The canopy looks good and will be kept wrapped until it is needed.

The model comes with some precolored parts, including an extra set of verticals. Comparing the gray and the black molded parts, I'm going to use the black parts seeing as they are molded just a little bit finer than the gray pair.

The last two pics show the more 'snap-fit' nature of the kit, those being the underwing stores and the gear bays.

I'm going to see what can be done about removing/hiding the big locating holes around the gear bay, and I am also going to detail them up a little bit more.

As for livery, I'm staying with the kit decals, those being for the Jolly Rogers. Doesn't hurt that it's my favorite squadron.

Once again, some fine detail on the plastic.

That pin in the vise is not there just to point out the fine panel lines, but to cut through them.

As can be seen, I have decided to build the model with dropped flaps and slats. She will ultimately be modeled as parked with those drooped sections and the canopy down. So, a little bit of cutting and scratching will be in order before I can even get to the actual build!

And that starts with getting the flaps cut off and then put all together again.

Academy did not help in that regard, seeing as the bottom of the main flaps are actually split in two, so those have to be glued together to form one piece.

As those were drying, I moved to the slats, cutting into the shoulders with a PE saw and using a pin and hobby knife to cut through the plastic and break them loose.

Which leaves me with all of 'dis... 3 parts turned into 13!

Sticking with the flaps, I used CA to fill the join on the bottom,

And then used blank styrene to fill the gaps on the upper leading edge where it had been cut away from the wing.

That was then trimmed to shape and more added for the 'kink' near the fuse,

All that was seam-filed with CA and then sanded smooth and profiled,

That was the main flaps, but there is a second set on the outer wing, where the wing fold is located. Cut away from the wing, those flap parts were too short, and so more styrene was added there as well, then also seam-filled and sanded to shape.

But there's more! Between the wing and the flaps there is an airfoil, and that needed to be thinned and profiled in order to fit the new arrangement.

Thinning those were easy and they look good fitted up, with everything else strategically placed for future placement.

But there is some gappage to deal with where that 'kink' is near the fuse. Some material will need to be added and then sanded to shape to close that gap up.

Hopefully I can get it nice and tight looking - without doing too much damage!

More updates to follow. Until then, model on!

Attached Images
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My stuff. Some even completed!
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