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Rampage55

F/A-18F VFA-211 "Fighting Checkmates"

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Here's my Enterprise build. The plan is to build an F/A-18F from VFA-211 during the SuperHornets first combat cruise aboard the USS Enterprise in 2006.

F-18F211_2006_01.jpg

This is what I've got to work with for this project.

SH_VFA_211_bld01-1.jpg

SH_VFA_211_bld02.jpg

In addition to the 1/48 Hasegawa F/A-18F, I'll be using;

Afterburner Decals VFA-211 "Fighting Checkmates"

Two Mikes Seamless Intakes

Wolfpack IFR Prob

Wolfpack GBU-38's

Wolfpack LAU-117's

Avionix NACES seats

I hope to get started over the course of this following week.

Mark

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I've started by removing the IFR prob door and installing the prob bay.

SH_VFA_211_bld03.jpg

Here it is installed. This is a nice little set from Wolfpack and was a breeze to install. Just cut out the door and glue it in.

SH_VFA_211_bld04.jpg

Thanks for looking,

Mark

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Mark

I'll be following with interest. I have the same decals but only Revell Supes, haven't pulled the trigger, yet.

Does the Wolfpack probe set have replacement doors?

Looking forward to another awesome build.

mason

Edited by doupnik

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Does the Wolfpack probe set have replacement doors?

Thanks, Mason

Fortunately it does come with the new door because there's no way I could cut out that door and reuse it. I'm deliberating cutting out the wing folds, as the Hasegawa kit gives you this option, but I'm concerned about cutting out those wing tips and still have them look good. My skill with a blade is limited.

Mark

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Hi

My skill with a blade is limited.
after the job you did on that tiny little door i think you are good enouph to cut the wings for a wing fold!!

Keep up the good work

Cheers

Neo

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THw eing fold is easy, follow the Hasegawa instructions OOB.

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after the job you did on that tiny little door i think you are good enouph to cut the wings for a wing fold!!
The wing fold is easy, follow the Hasegawa instructions OOB.

Thanks for the encouragement guys. I decided to give it a try.

It wasn't as difficult as I had envisioned. Fortunately the soft plastic Hasegawa uses is very easy to cut.

This took about 35min of scoring with a #11 blade.

SH_VFA_211_bld05.jpg

SH_VFA_211_bld06.jpg

I still have the other wing to cut out and some clean up to do but not to bad, it just might work...

Next, I've got the intakes to sort out.

Thanks for looking,

Mark

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Nice work on the IFR Probe bay, Mark ...

The Checkmates are one of my favorites ...

Gregg

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Thanks Eric and Gregg... :salute:

Here is my progress so far with the intakes;

I began by assembling the intake mouth and used a little filler to blend in the join at the top.

SH_VFA_211_bld07.jpg

The Two Mikes intakes have been separated from the pour stubs and the engine faces painted.

SH_VFA_211_bld08.jpg

Once the intake mouth assemblies dried I was able to test fit everything. The Two Mikes intakes fit like a dream.

SH_VFA_211_bld09.jpg

These intakes look pretty slick. There is nothing holding them in at this point, I just slid then into position. I think I may paint the plastic parts before I attach the resin intakes to save me a bit of masking the fit is that good.

SH_VFA_211_bld10.jpg

I've also started working on the cockpit. I painted it before I realized I need to remove the stubs on the cockpit floor for the kit seats before I can install the resin ones.

SH_VFA_211_bld11.jpg

Here is a test fit of the fuselage assembly to see what surprises may be lurking. The fit looks quite good so far.

SH_VFA_211_bld12.jpg

Thanks for looking,

Mark

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Nice progress, Mark ...

Those intakes do look sharp ...

Gregg

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Nice progress, Mark ...

Those intakes do look sharp ...

Gregg

Thanks Gregg... :jaw-dropping:

I have made some progress over the course of this past week on this project,

I chose to attach the nose section to the bottom of the fuselage before attaching the intake parts so I could get at this seam with out the intakes in the way. During the test fit this seam looked to be lined up quite well but once I started gluing things together I ended up with a bit of a step here that needed some filler.

SH_VFA_211_bld13.jpg

The intakes have been glued in place. They just drop right in... :bandhead2:

SH_VFA_211_bld14.jpg

I painted the inside of the plastic part of the intakes before attaching the resin so I wouldn't have to mask it off. This worked well due to the excellent fit of these intakes.

SH_VFA_211_bld15.jpg

Before gluing the fuselage haves together the wings need to be attached, I also decided to attach the vert. stabs. at this time as well so I could glue them from the bottom.

SH_VFA_211_bld16.jpg

Here are the sub assemblies being test fit once again. Once I finish painting the cockpit I'll button everything up...So far so good.

SH_VFA_211_bld17.jpg

Up next I'll have some images of the painted cockpit.

Thanks for looking,

Mark

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Interesting build sequence, Mark ...

I like your thought process ... :jaw-dropping:

Gregg

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Thanks for the encouragement gentleman!... :thumbsup:

Here is an update of my progress on this build as of today.

This is my first attempt at painting the buttons on the MFD's with a sharp tooth pick vs a brush. It looks good from about a foot away but up close it doesn't look to great. While it certainly is no contest winner it's good enough for my display case.

SH_VFA_211_bld18.jpg

Here's the cockpit with the fuselage halves joined together

SH_VFA_211_bld19.jpg

Once the fuselage halves were together the leading edge slats were attached to the wing. The fuselage halves went together fairly well but I did have a few seams that needed filler.

SH_VFA_211_bld20.jpg

Particularly around the tail section. This seam is going to need some more work to blend in.

SH_VFA_211_bld21.jpg

The seam at the nose needs some attention as well.

SH_VFA_211_bld22.jpg

But overall the fit is quite good. the plan now is to start getting the wing folds sorted and the flaps assembled, then on to the pylons and the underwing stores.

Thanks for looking,

Mark

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I think the pit panels look great, Mark ...

Gregg

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Any more updates on this Beauty, Mark ? :unsure:

Gregg

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Any more updates on this Beauty, Mark ? :)

Gregg

Hi Gregg,

This project got set aside for a bit while I focused on finishing off my 'Warlords' Hornet. Then the usual holiday commitments arrived but I have been making some small progress. Mostly with the tedious things like gluing pylon, fuel tank and bomb halves together. The wing tips, which are comprised of 10 separate parts each, have been assembled. And I'm making a start on the landing gear assemblies. I hope to have an update sometime this weekend.

Thanks for asking,

Mark

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Hi Gregg,

This project got set aside for a bit while I focused on finishing off my 'Warlords' Hornet. Then the usual holiday commitments arrived but I have been making some small progress. Mostly with the tedious things like gluing pylon, fuel tank and bomb halves together. The wing tips, which are comprised of 10 separate parts each, have been assembled. And I'm making a start on the landing gear assemblies. I hope to have an update sometime this weekend.

Thanks for asking,

Mark

Ah yes, the "Holiday Hectics" !

Your Warlord's Jet is a Beauty ....

Gregg

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Fist update of the new year. After a bit of a break over the holidays I'm back at it.

The seats have been painted, but still need a wash and the stencils need to be applied.

SH_VFA_211_bld23.jpg

The pylons have been assembled and attached.

SH_VFA_211_bld25.jpg

The loadout has been assembled and is ready for paint.

SH_VFA_211_bld24.jpg

I've also attached the pylon adapter for the ATFLIR which has been dry fit.

SH_VFA_211_bld26.jpg

I have some more fine tunning to do some areas before I start painting but I hope to start that this coming weekend.

I've started assembling the landing gear and the main gear looks like it might be a bit of work cleaning up some of the seams due to Hasegawa's interesting choice of engineering these parts... :)

Thanks for looking,

Mark

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Nice work, Mark ...

Can't wait to see those classic Checkmates markings start to go on ...

Gregg

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It's been a little while since my last update but I have been making progress on this build. I managed to photograph some of my progress along the way, but I got on a roll in the paint barn the last couple of days and didn't bother to take the time to photograph anything until I was finished.

For the wing folds I decided to add a few strips of styrene to each part to increase the contact area and strengthen the join.

Main wing section.

SH_VFA_211_bld27.jpg

Wing tip.

SH_VFA_211_bld28.jpg

Next up was the landing gear. I started by filling in all of the annoying ejector pin marks on the gear doors and then primed them with Model Masters white primer out of a rattle can.

SH_VFA_211_bld29.jpg

The gear assemblies were completed and the wheel halves joined. I found, the main gear especially, needed a fair amount of work to clean up more of those annoying ejector pin marks and the two piece assembly of the main gear legs left me with some unsightly joins that needed cleaning up. I preferred the way Hasegawa chose to do the landing gear on their Legacy Hornets to this approach. I think next time I'll go with some G-Factor legs and save myself the hassle.

SH_VFA_211_bld30.jpg

The loadout is coming along. I need to add a gloss coat so I can add some decals followed by a dull coat and some more weathering.

SH_VFA_211_bld31.jpg

The burner cans and flame holders are about ready to be attached to the exhaust but those haven't been painted yet, I'm hoping to get to that this afternoon.

SH_VFA_211_bld32.jpg

A fair amount was accomplished in the paint barn the last couple of days. Most of the main masking and painting is done. There are a few smaller things that need to be painted still but I think I'm going to spray a gloss coat on at this stage. Then I can start applying a wash.

SH_VFA_211_bld33.jpg

The landing gear, fuel tank, stabs, seats and windscreen are dry fit, I couldn't resist...I really like the way this is looking. I can't wait to get the decals on it.

SH_VFA_211_bld34.jpg

Typically when I get to this stage of a build I become obsessed with it until it's finished and this build is no exception. I'm having a lot of fun with this kit.

Considering I'm approaching the 90% complete stage and we all know that 10% of the details take 90% of the time to complete, I just might be able to finish this by deadline.

Thanks for looking,

Mark

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Very nice update, Mark ... :whistle:

The paint looks great ... :stupid:

You shouldn't have to worry about the landing gear ever sagging ...

Gregg

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Here's a small update on the current status of this project. I've applied a dark Promodeller's wash. After that dried I starting applying the decals. I'm very pleased with the way these Afterburner decals look. They were a pleasure to work with as well. Settling down perfectly with very little encouragement... :banana:

SH_VFA_211_bld35.jpg

I think I may have made my top color just a little too faded because a lot of the small stencil decals are very hard to see and some are just invisible, such as the "No Step" and "No Push" ones on the control surfaces. Although after looking at photos of the real deal it's hard to discern much of any visible stencil data on them either. I wonder how much stencil data would still be apparent on the air frame of these aircraft near the end of a combat cruise anyway?... ;)

After the decals were dry and the wheel wells painted, I attached the landing gear. The landing gear doors are ready to be attached after painting those pesky red edges on the doors, I just need to add a couple of decals to them before I glue them in place.

I hope to be back with a more comprehensive update over the weekend.

Mark

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