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dmthamade

Trumpeter F/A 18F 1/32 build

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Hello all!! Starting in on my second build, Trumpeters recent release of the Super Hornet. As the description says, this is the first Jolly Rogers build i have ever done in 20+ years of model building. For the most part, this will be OOB, additions will be the new Fightertown decal release VFA-103 Super Hornets, and possibly Wolfpack resins GBU-38s. The Fightertown sheets give a LOT of options from full color birds to line birds. Pretty much all info and needed references are right on the instruction sheets, i still have to decide what bird to build. Will start this afternoon or tonight, still fondling the sprues (maybe too much info?)

Don

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Finally! Someone tackles this kit...been waiting since it came out to see some In-Progress threads on this. :santa:

Good Luck!! :thumbsup:

_Awan

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Had a look at the sprues, and everything looks OK. I see areas where there seems to be missing detail or simplified parts, will compare with references to see if i should add. Trumpeter packaged the weapon sprues and seats in a separate box within the big box, after sorting through what i will need twenty of twenty two sprues went into the spares box. The weapons given are mostly seen for the first time in any kit, but they are not needed for this build. Some of them are also totally off in shape, the AIM9X Sidewinders are pretty bad. The weapons i will use came from the Academy F-16 and F-18 kits. AIM-9X and rail from F-16 and the Maverick and rail is from the Hornet. GBU-12 is from the kit as is the ATFLIR. Dry fitting some parts show the fit is OK, typical Trumpeter. Cockpit and seat detail is fair, a resin pit would be better but IIRC none are available yet. There are resin seats, i think i'll try the kit seats first. You are right, Anthony. There doesn't seem to be a lot of online builds for this kit. I'll muddle along and see what i can do.

Don

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Sounds good Don. Can't wait to see some pics :D

In the meantime, if you're considering aftermarket options - you might check this out: http://cgi.ebay.com/1-32-F-A-18E-F-SUPER-H...#ht_7290wt_1139

Rhino Models' stuff is top notch according to a few people I know who have used them. Can't beat a set of seamless intakes in any case - and a set of resin wheels included. :cheers:

Take care,

_A

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Sounds good Don. Can't wait to see some pics :salute:

In the meantime, if you're considering aftermarket options - you might check this out: http://cgi.ebay.com/1-32-F-A-18E-F-SUPER-H...#ht_7290wt_1139

Rhino Models' stuff is top notch according to a few people I know who have used them. Can't beat a set of seamless intakes in any case - and a set of resin wheels included. :salute:

Take care,

_A

Those intakes and stuff do look good. I'm going to try and use the kit parts for the intakes, after dry fitting them they do look workable. The yellow and black border around that ad looks real familiar.......The Fightertown instructions say the represented birds are all ACS cockpt birds with the BARD stacks. I'm OK with the stacks but SOL on the ACS panel. There are no aftermarket sets available with the right rear pit, and my scratch building skills are no match for what is needed. So what do i do, shelve the kit and wait for the proper pit or live with the inaccuracy?? I'm going to have to think about this..... Ok that's long enough, i'll live with it. I still haven't started gluing anything, i've been dryfitting the fuselage to see the best order to assemble all the parts to give the least amount of fit issues. The breakdown is similar to the Academy Legacy Bug, if you've built that kit you know there can be be problems when assembling the fuselage/wing paarts.

Don

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Started assembling some stuff today. I'm going to loosely follow Trumpeters sequence. I've started by assembling the intake openings to the fuselage sides, then the intake ducting. These will be filled and sanded before installing into the the intake openings. After that, i will assemble upper fuselage/ cockpit then glue upper and lower together. Dry fitting the parts show fair OOB fit, to get the best fit you need to clean up the joining surfaces of flash and bevel joints to improve the fit. I've found this on all Trumpeter kits i've built, they have excellent fit after giving everything a good cleaning. I found the intake ducts were a little too narrow for the openings, so i shimmed the seam right at the front with sheet stock. Will have to trim and fill later. Pic shows where fill was done.

IMG_0311.jpg

Fitting the cockpit tub to the upper fuselage half, there is a HUGE gap where the sidewalls meet the consoles on the front pit. Fixed these with some sheet stock, and will add some detail after i check references.

IMG_0309.jpg

IMG_0310.jpg

D

on

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...The Fightertown instructions say the represented birds are all ACS cockpt birds with the BARD stacks. I'm OK with the stacks but SOL on the ACS panel. There are no aftermarket sets available with the right rear pit, and my scratch building skills are no match for what is needed. So what do i do, shelve the kit and wait for the proper pit or live with the inaccuracy?? I'm going to have to think about this...

Don

~Hey, Don, you've probably heard by now, but with the release of Trumpeter's Growler kit, they've made it an ACS pit in the back...and, if I'm reading correctly, there are actually two sets of ACS panels & shrouds, so if you don't intend to do a Growler at some point, you may ping the community at-large to see if anyone building theirs has the spare bits available. Just a thought...

Looking forward to watching your magic at work,

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~Hey, Don, you've probably heard by now, but with the release of Trumpeter's Growler kit, they've made it an ACS pit in the back...and, if I'm reading correctly, there are actually two sets of ACS panels & shrouds, so if you don't intend to do a Growler at some point, you may ping the community at-large to see if anyone building theirs has the spare bits available. Just a thought...

Looking forward to watching your magic at work,

Hello Harv, long time no talk. I did read about that, and i'll do a post in the spares box. Right now thought, i'm battling pneumonia. Doc figures two/three weeks to clear it up. So the build is dead in the water. Never felt this sick before.

Don

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Well, i finally recovered enough from pneumonia that i can spend some time at the bench. It's been a terrible three weeks of being ill in the hospital, still feel very weak. Might be another 1-2 weeks before i can get back to work. Anyway, it looks like i was playing with the intakes, i must have added a couple of coats of MR Surfacer to the insides and some reinforcement strips to the outside of the intake tubes. I will also have to grind/sand/scrape some clearance for the reinforcement strips on the intake/fuselage sides. Hopefully i shoud have these done by the weekend and post some pics. Man, i'll be glad when this pneumonia is done with me.

Don

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I am glad to her that you are about recovered from your medical difficulties. Being sick or injured to the point that you can't work on models really sucks.

Darwin

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OK, done with the intakes, they tok a little bit of fill and about three coats of Mr. Surfacer 500. Had to add some reinforcing strips on the outside near the front opening, the plastic here is really thin. There is some molded in detail on the inside of the intake entrance, if i try to fill and sand i will lose it all. What i will do is paint the tubes white/offwhite and the entrance part the color coat. It looks like the demarcation line is where the two parts come together so i hope with careful fitting and gluing i should be good to go. One pic of the reinforcements

IMG_0342a.jpg

I also had to sand/scrape corresponding areas in the fuselage insides to clear the reinforcment strips. Hopefully more tomorrow. I wonder if airbrushing while recovering from pneumonia is a dumb thing to do.....

Don

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Have you seen the "Rhino Models" intakes for the Super Bug on Ebay? I just happened to stumble across them and ordered a set (comes with wheels too, all for $30). They shipped today, so whenever they show I can give you the 411

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Have you seen the "Rhino Models" intakes for the Super Bug on Ebay? I just happened to stumble across them and ordered a set (comes with wheels too, all for $30). They shipped today, so whenever they show I can give you the 411

Yes, i've seen these. Anthony Wan gave a link to them. For $30, they look tempting. I'm going to think long and hard if i want another one of these Super bugs. I know Afterburner is coming out with some nice sheets for the E/F/G CAG birds. I think if i take the plunge i will do these intakes. I think we would all appreciate a heads-up on these, thank you very much!!

Don

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Its been a while since the last update. At this point i have built and painted the intake ducts and openings. This really wasn't as bad as i thought. One pic to show everything in place. I found it easier to build and finish the intake tubes first before gluing them to the intake opening and fuselage sides. I found a little warpage on the fuselage bottom, i had to glue and clamp short sections at a time. The fit here is important, as the alignment of the fuselage top and wings depends on a good fit here.

IMG_0390a.jpg

The front of the engine can barely be seen, i painted it tan as seen in various walkaround.

After fitting the sides i found that there is potential weak spot at the joint. I reinforced it with sheet styrene stock. Anyone that has done the Academy Legacy bug will understand about the weak joints in this area, same thing for the Super bug.

IMG_0367a.jpg

After fitting the sides, i dryfitted the fuselage top and found a big mismatch between the top and bottom halves.

IMG_0377a.jpg

To fix this, i will install spreader bars from one side over to the other. I had to cut the tops out of the forward engine halt to clear the bars.

IMG_0379a.jpg

This gave a good fit and alignment. The gap seen will go away once glued and clamped.

IMG_0380a.jpg

The rear of the engines and tube were painted and weathered. I have to say, once they are installed and the exhaust can installed, very little of this will be seen

IMG_0416a.jpg

IMG_0410a.jpg

Anyway, this is where i am. I will start tomorrow on the pit so the fuselage can be finished.

Don

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Good tips Don! The painting on the engine and tube look great! ;)

Can't wait to see more..

-Anthony

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Excellent work on overcoming some nasty fit problems. I like that spreader bar solution to moving the fuselage sides out wider.

Darwin

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Good tips Don! The painting on the engine and tube look great! :blink:

Can't wait to see more..

-Anthony

Excellent work on overcoming some nasty fit problems. I like that spreader bar solution to moving the fuselage sides out wider.

Darwin

Thanks for the feedback, guys!! I think there are a lot of potential fit disasters on this kit. When i did the Academy bug i didn't pay attention to fit and best construction sequence and had a lot of gaps and misalignment problems. With this build i'm doing a lot of dryfitting to see the best sequence to assemble and areas that need tweaking. I can see there will be one area where the upper fuselage, lower fuselage, lower forward fuselage, and wings all come together at once. I'm hoping careful dryfitting and tweaking will give me a good fit. You can see how sloppy fit in one area will result in problems down the line. Can't remember doing the 1/48 Hasegawa bugs, were they like this, too?

don

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Just playing with the dry fitting of parts, i found the upper wings to fuselage joint had mismatches at the leading and trailing edges at the wing root.

IMG_0417a.jpg

IMG_0418a.jpg

Now, i guess i could try and fill here or scrape the surfaces to align everything, but i fixed this another way.

Imad some relief cuts on the bottom of the top wing half at the root. The cut at the front was done with sprue cutters. At the rear, i first did a cut with a razor saw through the tab that mounts the wing to the fuselage, then did the relief cut at the junction of the root and the first cut.

IMG_0419a.jpg

IMG_0420a.jpg

Doing this allowed enough flexibility to allow me to align the wing surfaces perfectly. A lot easier than filling and sanding or scraping.

IMG_0421a.jpg

IMG_0422a.jpg

HTH someone.

Don

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More fit issues!! I glued the upper wing halves to the upper fuselage then i checked the fit of the lower wing parts to the upper and fuselage. I found there would be a large gap between the wing and fuselage.

IMG_0424a.jpg

To fix this i needed to do..... another spreader bar!!! This one had to clear the engines, so i used a piece of sprue that had a corner bent, the other bend i did with a lighter and bending to shape. I made it larger to allow me to finesse the fit. I will have to redo the other two as this bar took away the fit of the other two. If you use this method, fit the front bar first, then do the rear two. Pic shows the bars.

IMG_0425a.jpg

IMG_0426a.jpg

This tightened up the gap.

IMG_0428a.jpg

I had to scrape away some of the lower wing surface, the fit here was lost when i relieved the upper half. This would have bowed the lower part enough to affect the fit of the pylons. This pic shows where the part was scraped, indicated with black marker.

IMG_0430a.jpg

This shows the part in place.

IMG_0431a.jpg

I'm going to assemble the wings now, shouldn't make a difference now or later. The reason i worry the fit so much is i really hate using putty or filler. I would rather work the fit than slather on the fill and worry about sanding/filling and replacing lost detail.

Don

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this will really help my build, watching closely!

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this will really help my build, watching closely!

Happy to help!! Something i failed to mention early on, and it is VERY IMPORTANT to the fit of many parts!! At page 7 in the instructions they have you glue the intakes/fuselage sides to the bottom. DO NOT GLUE THE INTAKES TO THE FRONT OF THE FUSELAGE BOTTOM!! pic below hopefully shows what i mean.

IMG_0433a.jpg

You can see the gap between the two parts. If you glue this at the wrong spot, there are a lot of things that will not line up right. Do all your adjustments first, then when you assemble top to bottom, glue this first. you might want to tape top and bottom together first, then glue this part to the bottom of the upper fuselage. I would let this harden completly before going any further.

This pic shows a nasty gap between the top of the intakes to the bottom of the upper fuselage. To correct/prevent this, make sure when you glue in B5, you work on the fit so there is no gap at the sides. You shouldn't need any filler here, i will need a small amount of Mr. Surfacer for very small pock marks. You also need to make sure at the rear of this piece that it fits flush and level with the bohhoms of the wings. Pics.

IMG_0441a.jpg

I bevelled the edges of this part so it would have a tight fit. No putty will be needed here.

IMG_0443a.jpg

At the other end, you can see the joint is tight and level with the botton of the wing. I also installed sheet styrene spacers to prevent the bottom part from being pushed up, resulting in a gap at the top of the intake. These are held in place by green tape in the pic.

IMG_0444a.jpg

After dryfitting, you may find the gap is still there. The red marker shows where you can shave away plastic to get rid of the gap.

IMG_0445a.jpg

After all that, here is the result. No gap seen in an area that would be a PITA to fill and sand.

IMG_0447a.jpg

I don't have the pit installed, it will go in with the upper parts assembled, through the bottom. If you do work on the cockpit sides where there is no detail or if you use any future aftermarket cockpit, you will have to install these and the pit before gluing the bottom part B5 in. Also, K1 the pit rear deck would have to be installed after the pit is installed, it would be in the way trying to install the stock pit through the bottom. HTH

Don

Edited by dmthamade

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Working on the horizontal stabs today. Trumpeter didn't do a great job with these, There is a very small stub on the stab to glue into the fuselage. Looks very weak.

IMG_0449.jpg

IMG_0450a.jpg

I took a cue from the Academy bug. First i drilled a hole into the stabs to take a piece of sprue. Brass or aluminum tube would work better, but i'm out of stock aqnd too lazy/sick to go get some.

IMG_0451.jpg

I then made a block of styrene with a hole drilled into it to take the sprue, sanded and scraped it to fit the fuselage and glued it into place. Gives a much stronger joint than the stock fit.

IMG_0452.jpg

Don

Edited by dmthamade

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For me, a big step in the build. I'm finally OK with the fit between the upper an lower fuselage halves. Started the assembly by first gluing the front of the lower fuselage to the bottom of the upper. Work carefully here, fit here is important!! You can also see the sides of the intakes and how they will glue to the fuselage. I still have to glue and clamp here, this will be the last joint i will do. If the gap here is too large, you need to clamp here to remove the gap, and clamp the havlves top to bottom. You have to do both these at the same time.

IMG_0482a.jpg

This pic shows the fit of the upper half to the lower in the area above the intake. This is what all the work was about. If the front of the lower fuselage had been done wrong, you would see fit problems here.

IMG_0483a.jpg

This shows a dry fit between the foreward fuselage halves to the upper/lower assembly. Bit of a gap at the rear, but it is aligned correctly, Mr surfacer will work here. Once again, if the fit with the lower was wrong, these parts wouldn't fit this well. Looking at the long seam between the fron lower halves and the upper, you can see the tightness of the fit and the alignment at the rear.

IMG_0489a.jpg

So far so good, i've used no filler yet.

Don

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