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Revell 1/48 Strike Eagle


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Started this guy a few days ago, and have a few objectives in mind:

  1. Gear up, and all the baggage that entails. I do NOT have pilots, but plan to leave the canopy loose in case I ever get some that fit.
  2. Variable weapon loads--at least 5 GBU-31s as a starting point. Provisions for AIM-120s or -9Ms on the missile rails (have the proper LAU 128s and adapters on order from Shawn Hull). I have copies of the Revell F/A-18F -120Cs & -9Xs already, the -9Xs waiting for that glorious time in the future when the Strikes get the proper helmets and qual'd (and hopefully I have pilot figures with correct helmets).
  3. Replace the kit cannon barrels with hypo tubing.
  4. Update with the Sniper pod, also from Hull.

In an effort to provide something unique to the forum, I decided to start with the inlets, not the cockpit. I plan to paint them fully, the interior gloss white, the front ends (thanks to strikeeagle801) 1.5 inches the dark gray. First thing I did was lightly file the mating edges to help control the seam.

Here's the mildy beveled inside edge of the kit:

dscn4085.jpg

And here it is after filing and gluing--much tighter seam:

dscn4086.jpg

Here are the puttied and sanded inlets. This took WAAAAAYYYY less effort than the inlets on the Revel F/A-18F. Front end:

dscn4092.jpg

Back end:

dscn4093.jpg

Turns out the Krylon primer I used is a slight shade off from Gunship gray (on the outside edge), which for purposes off this build is fine.

dscn4123.jpg

Next step was the main landing gear doors. In place and puttied:

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Door edge rescribed:

dscn4107t.jpg

OK, enough obligatory building. Now for the cockpit you've all been waiting for. The seats:

dscn4112.jpg

Now the panels. I was going to use the confetti approach on the displays but came to several important conclusions.

  1. The panels are next to impossible to see canopy open, and I'm closing the canopy.
  2. The confetti pieces are too thick to fit into the shallow 1/48th display panels.
  3. I would die of old age before I finished cutting confetti pieces that both wouldn't fit and be visible for the 8 displays.
  4. I had an option.

My option was to paint the panels black, then I put clear green Tamiya over the black on most of them. On the right two panels in the rear, I mixed some interference violet in with the clear green, which lightened the color. It worked well enough I was able to go back and redo all the panels with the clear green/interference violet mix. The result?

dscn4113.jpg

Agian, since this will be a closed canopy job, I didn't work it super hard. But I think it will work fine for a through the canopy look.

In the assembled cockpit, with the seats in place:

dscn4122.jpg

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Putting the intakes together has delayed the fuselage join, so I began work on the CFTs. Having access to the glue points on the inside of the tank I think helped a bit. One question, though: Looking at the picture below, there is a prominent edge around the tank, but especially along the top edge. It is so pronounced, it looks intentional, but then again, this kit has had some flash issues. Before I sand it away, is it supposed to be there? The edge continues all the way around the tank, but looks a lot more like flash on the bottom side.

dscn4119copy.jpg

Then again, looking at the reference pics here, it looks like that seam line is intentional.

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Putting the intakes together has delayed the fuselage join, so I began work on the CFTs. Having access to the glue points on the inside of the tank I think helped a bit. One question, though: Looking at the picture below, there is a prominent edge around the tank, but especially along the top edge. It is so pronounced, it looks intentional, but then again, this kit has had some flash issues. Before I sand it away, is it supposed to be there? The edge continues all the way around the tank, but looks a lot more like flash on the bottom side.

dscn4119copy.jpg

Then again, looking at the reference pics here, it looks like that seam line is intentional.

Yep. Leave it. It's a rubber seal that extends the entire length of the CFT's to help provide an air-tight, aerodynamic seal between the CFT and the fuselage.

Aaron

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That is like a weather stripping around the tank. On the back side were your arrow shows, do a tad of dry fitting, That piece seamed to leave a tad of a gap there on mine.

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Started this guy a few days ago, and have a few objectives in mind:

[*] Gear up, and all the baggage that entails. I do NOT have pilots, but plan to leave the canopy loose in case I ever get some that fit.

[*]Variable weapon loads--at least 5 GBU-31s as a starting point. Provisions for AIM-120s or -9Ms on the missile rails (have the proper LAU 128s and adapters on order from Shawn Hull). I have copies of the Revell F/A-18F -120Cs & -9Xs already, the -9Xs waiting for that glorious time in the future when the Strikes get the proper helmets and qual'd (and hopefully I have pilot figures with correct helmets).

[*]Replace the kit cannon barrels with hypo tubing.

[*]Update with the Sniper pod, also from Hull.

I like what you have planned for this Strike Eagle.

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Thanks to all for confirming the CFT rubber seal.

Today was a busy day. Started with my new toy, a Dremel Stylus. It is a cordless pistol grip Dremel if you are not familiar with the model. It most importatntly has a low speed of 5,000 rpms, which means it cuts plastic, not melts plastic. I decided to dress up the spare Hasegawa Weapons Set D AN/AAQ-13 by adding exhaust to the rear. Here's my first attempt by hand and 30 minutes:

dscn4134.jpg

5 minutes later with the Stylus:

dscn4135e.jpg

And with some rivets and the exhaust screen on. I'll need to prime it, but by eyeball it looks better than the photo due to bright brass spots:

dscn4137h.jpg

Next, the nose gear doors. The front door is engineered to be open or closed, and essentially dropped in. The rear door isn't. It is flat instead of curved, and abou 1.5mm too short. So, I put in some shims to hold it up:

dscn4130.jpg

After a another edge shim and putty work to get the door's curvatures to match up, wheels are up!

dscn4136.jpg

Next thing was dealing with the inlets. I realized before I tried that masking tape would be tricky in theat tiny space, 1.5 inches in. One attempt was enough to convince me tricky was mild. So, I cut the Gordian knot, or in this case the inlet in half with my trusty rusty X-Acto saw:

dscn4133c.jpg

Yes, this involved a bit of a pucker factor. After sanding the edges very carefull to keep flush, I used a spray bomb of Rustoleum white to paint the rear section. After setting it on a HVAC vent blowing cool air all day, I carefully sanded the mating edge one more time to remove the white paint, and checked alignment. I was also able to see that aligning the bottom edge was more impotant than the top, because due to the color difference and angles, you could see a small step between the front and back on the bottom, but not on the top. Assuming it is backlit. Since my inflight model will not be having any sort of combustion coming through the fan, it won't be backlit...so, what did all this effort get me when the fan is in place?

dscn4144a.jpg

It took me about 20 pictures to get one where you can see the fan... :thumbsup:

Final thing was scratching a hypodermic tube gatling gun. Took a couple times to get right, but now I'm ready to start sealing up the fuselage.

dscn4150.jpg

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Wow. You have A LOT to add with this model. I'm taking notes on this! Can't wait to see you with some more progress. The idea of cutting the intake is a good one, and one I may have to use if I ever get brave enough.

Aaron

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It was a "this is going to work, or all the seam cleanup work I did will be a drop in the bucket compared to fixing this!" moment. The key is cutting both at the same time, so you mentally have no recourse but to make it work. Another key point is you simply need to make a flat cut, it doesn't need to be exactly perpendicular to the inlet walls. As long as the cut edge is flat and mostly perpendicular to the tube, re-mating the inlet front and back was pretty trivial. There simply isn't enough view angle to see if the cut isn't exactly perpendicular. One other thing--the X-Acto razor saw takes a mm or so, maybe less, out of the inlet length, so the locating pin on the rear of the inlet that mates with the landing gear well top won't connect if you want a good mate at the inlet edge. I went for a good edge at the front, shaved the pins off and just slopped a ton of solvent glue on the rear end to nail it down without the pin.

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It already looks better than mine.....very nice job Mark. Watching to see how it all turns out.....

Justin

Thanks, but I'm going to have a hard time beating that paint finish on yours! :lol:

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No picture worthy update today, but some progress. Added a GPS dot, and have completed major assembly. I screwed up the right lower wing panel alignment while hurrying, not getting it snug to the fuselage, which has caused some headaches getting the right wing tip to fit properly. Worse, though, is the antennas at the wing root don't line up. So, I rescribed the lower side panel lines, and am now waiting for putty to dry before I repair the rivet details. Turns out that 5 light twists of a 1/32" drill bit in a pin vise works perfectly to replicate the rivet detail. I am really loving my Hasegawa TriTool photoetch saw for rescribing straight panel lines.

Also had some misalignments around the cockpit section/fuselage join, but that is mostly working out. Once I get the final skim coat of putty dried hard and sanded, I can rescribe/drill messed up detail and attach the inlet ramps. After that, it's the canopy and vertical tails. I test fitted the vertical stabs, and they fit perfectly but floppy, which is a little dissapointing--the Revell F/A-18F stabs fit without glue perfectly. Has anyone figured a way to make the Eagle's stabs fit straight without glue? I move a fair amount, and being able to pop tails off helps with packing.

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Minor updates:

Received my Sniper Pod and LAU-128s today from Shawn Hull. Purty! :thumbsup:

Modified the kit CFT front racks for the straight leading edge look:

dscn4167z.jpg

Fixing the right wing root antenna goofed up by misalignment--not done yet....

dscn4161.jpg

Just got the Academy F-22A, which seems to have much nicer AIM-9Ms (bottom)...

dscn4176.jpg

And what's this?! the instructions clearly state attach the inner then outer portion of the inlet ramps!

dscn4174.jpg

Getting ready for the in-flight pose! Just wish there were good reference pictures of the inlet mechanisms--Strike Eagle shots are next to useless, looking in a dark place painted Gunship Gray... :coolio:

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Getting ready for the in-flight pose! Just wish there were good reference pictures of the inlet mechanisms--Strike Eagle shots are next to useless, looking in a dark place painted Gunship Gray... :thumbsup:

Mark what part are you talking about? The inside of the intake, or the out side pie cut you have to make now?

-----------------

Since mine has the ramps up and CFTs on, I can not look to see if it has the vents on the outer intake sides like the none Es. But if it does, They are blocked off on the E model.

Since you are playing with putty anyway, if you feel fit. Revell made the ramps behind the intakes open. they hardly ever are open and should be shut. They are those 2 recessed indentions on the top side of the intakes, right in-front of the grills. Left and right of the antenna on the spine.

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Mark what part are you talking about? The inside of the intake, or the out side pie cut you have to make now?

-----------------

Since mine has the ramps up and CFTs on, I can not look to see if it has the vents on the outer intake sides like the none Es. But if it does, They are blocked off on the E model.

Since you are playing with putty anyway, if you feel fit. Revell made the ramps behind the intakes open. they hardly ever are open and should be shut. They are those 2 recessed indentions on the top side of the intakes, right in-front of the grills. Left and right of the antenna on the spine.

Primarily how to cut the plasticard to make the ramps go down. The top piece is easy, appears to have a couple ovals on it if extended enough. The side triangles are trickier, especially on the inside. As the ramp pivots forward, I assume it exposes metal on the airframe side that sldies into the front of the inlet.

Anywho, good details of the inlet inside when pivoted down would be appreciated!

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Ok, some updates. Thanks to the "Update your Eagle" thread, and a few other pics online, I isolated the GPS antenna location fairly well (ignore the suspicious looking dot right behind where the real dot is), as well as a fair representation of the rivet patterns. I might smooth it down a bit more, as it may stand too proud.

dscn4178.jpg

Thanks to adamitri, I now have crew with ground attack helmets! My jet is now, by the way, ADA accessible... :salute:

dscn4181c.jpg

Seems like the GiB always seems to have a free hand, so I modified the right arm for this guy to be relaxing, or holding on for dear life. Might have him either heads down, or looking out the side.

dscn4182.jpg

In the above is the first shot of the new downangled inlet ramps. Top plate, is of course the easy one...this would have been easier had I chopped up the inlet ramp before assembling the fuselage, but then I wouldn't have known about the issue. :salute:

dscn4179.jpg

Finally, the LAU-128s and adapters came in from Shawn Hull. In the above, they are attached, and I have tested the use of mini super magnets. Turns out the AIM-9M can be held with one 1/16" diameter neodymium magnet. The resin AIM-120C (that is a crappy spare for testing) requires 2 of the 1/16th inch magnets. The beauty of the 1/16th inch magnets is they fit perfectly inside the LAU-128 rails, and when set right snug the missiles down fairly tight. The only tricks here are drilling sidewise into the AIM-9 missile bodies, which are about 2X the diameter of the drill, nd making sure to keep the polarity of the magnets worked out so any missile can go on any rail. That's fairly easy, just gotta pay attention. Initial loadout will be 4 AIM-120Cs, or 3 AIM-120Cs and one AIM-9M.

dscn4184.jpg

I also cut off the wingtip nav lights--need to decide the 5 minute epoxy look (any recommendations on the clearest epoxy brand?), or just using the clear sprue with a drilled out light and paint. I'll also look at the inlet topside ramps being closed.

Edited by MarkW
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