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Old 11-01-2019, 07:38 PM
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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!

Thom
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: 1/72 F/A-18F 'Fear the Bones!'

Got some more work done today. The flaps are pretty much done, so I moved onto the airfoil that covers the join between the wing and the flap. These have been previously thinned, but the last pic shows the gap at the inboard corner that opens up as it is rotated down at the back.

To combat that, I took some scrap styrene and glued two pieces at the front edge.





Once those were dry, I flattened the front edge until it was snug where it met the wing, then added CA to build it up to match the height of the wing trailing edge. With its new orientation it was sitting lower than it should. So I built that up and sanded it smooth.



The gap is gone and the join is a lot better, but I think I need to open it up just a little bit in order to match the outward seam between the 'foil and the flap. And now to do that again on the other wing!
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: 1/72 F/A-18F 'Fear the Bones!'

Alright, with the air foils all set it was time to figure how to mount the main flaps, and for that I went with the trusty pins. And the best place to drill the holes is of course where the actual actuators go.



Pins were then drilled into the matching locations on the flaps.




And a test fit.




At first I thought I might have to adjust the spacing, but adding the air foils covered that up just the way they are intended to!







With those done, although needing a little adjusting, I moved onto the slats. They had already been cut off previously and now were profiled to drop them down at the front.



The one on the right has been profiled while the one on the left has not yet.



With those done it was time to close up the gaping holes left in the sides. This was done with thin styrene cut roughly to shape. Once dry they'll be sanded flush.



After that I moved onto the main gear bay. Detail is not too bad from the box, but I wanted to add some detail, so I raided the misc bin for some wire for the hoses and wire for the... wire... Also added some scrap PE and I redid the pistons set between the gear leg mounting holes. From the kit they were represented only by some raised plastic.




I also wanted to diminish the big mounting holes for the gear doors, so those were sanded down some.



The nose gear doors are little more difficult seeing as the mounting areas are pretty solid structures and it is a small area to work in. Not wanting to get too deep into that and risk destroying it (which I could easily do) I'll still see about adding the rather prominent hose into there.



While I had the nose pieces out test fitted the nose cone and found a little step on one side. To fix that I made a spreader from sprue and glued that in.



A test fit after showed a nearly perfect join there now.

While working the lower fuselage, I noticed that the plastic around the intakes were a bit rough. Those were cleaned up with a sanding stick.




The intakes were then glued together and PPP applied to the joins on the inside before being smoothed. May not have needed that as they are set into the 'corners' anyway.




Next I went to add some detail to the gear legs. Straight from the box they are good, but missing some 'stuff.'



And with some 'actuators' added to the main legs. I'll be working on some springs to add to it, but not until after the oleos have been sprayed silver and masked.



The nose gear had its light drilled out. I'll paint it silver and then make a lens out of Krystal clear or clear Gorilla glue.



And with some detail added with stretched sprue and scrap styrene. Near where the clip is, some 22 gauge guitar string was used to make the spring for that area.



And that's where she is so far. 'nother update coming soon!

Model on!
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: 1/72 F/A-18F 'Fear the Bones!'

Okay, the gear are done as much as will be for now. They are painted up and dirtied up and are just waiting for some placards to be added and a flat coat. Since I had painted them silver first to do the oleos, I was able to scratch the white back and show some scratches. I then hit them with a Tamiya panel line wash to dirty them a bit.







The main gear well will be added to the main fuselage tomorrow as well as the intakes. More to follow!

Model on!

Thom
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