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I started my Hasegawa CF-18 earlier tonight, not a whole lot done yet, just some prep work and a coat of dark gull grey paint in the cockpit. Once I get some more done, Ill snap some pics. I have built 3 of these in the past and even though its been a few years since my last, it seems like Im visiting an old friend. The build will be straight forward, not looking for something too involved, will only be replacing the seat and backdating the tails. Decals are the nice 1992 Tigermeet decals from Leading Edge. Part of 1st Canadian Air Group, CAF 439 SQN were based in Germany from the late 60's til 1984 flying CF-104s, then from '84 til 1993 flying CF-18s before beign disbanded and transfered back to Canada. The sqhuadron took part in Op Desert Shield/Desert Storm, flying out of Qatar.

Edited by Charlie Cheetah

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Alrighty then, time for an update. I decided to go back to my comfort zone for a bit and build an F/A-18 Hornet, I have built a number of these over the years in several scales, all but one of them were done in Canadian Markings and this one is no exception. the kit is the Hasegawa 1/48 F/A-18C which I will backdate to a CF-188A . This will be my 4th Hasy 1/48 Hornet, very familiar with it so its almost like visitng an old friend.After joining the nose cone, I then started painting the cockpit using Vallejo dk sea grey, a pretty close match to dark sea grey.

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Next came the turtledeck.

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then the tail mods...

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landing gear assembly

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oops, forgot to snap pics of the nose gear assembly

A little trick I picked up a few years ago when building the 1/32 Academy Hornet for painting the difficult to cover white parts on modern jets like the landing gear, gear bays, inner doors and intakes is to prime these with flat black paint. You can then more easily modulate the white by shooting successive light coats of gloss white. I was a little skeptic about this method til I tried it out, works great and adds the illusion of depth and shadow to the gear bays too. The first shot her show how well the white can cover the flat black, paints here are Tamiya thinned with rubbing alcohol and a few drops of FlowAid. The white will darken a bit as the paint dries, but with each fine coat, the color gets brighter and brighter. I only used 3 coats here, one more would have been ok.

The first pic here shows one coat of gloss white over the flat black (Tamiya Nato black), the second a little later in the assembly after 3 coats of white.

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Ok, here's where I took a new leap of faith. With the 3 Hasegawa Hornets I've built in the past, I have never been happy with the fit of the parts at the rear of the fuselage. There are upper and lower fuselage sections, plus left and right side panels that go between them with little more than a few locating tabs and butt joints to help keep things together. I have always followed the instructions to the letter here and always, I have been let down with the fit, particularly where the sides meet the bottom. The instructions have the builder join the upper and lower fuselage first, then insert the sides, this makes it really difficult to work the seams to keep everything flush. What I did this time was to attach the sides to the lower fuselage first. I was able to gently work the seam to get everything lined up as flush as I could. Then I though why not go one step further and attach the intakes before adding the upper fuselage. These never ine up right and are nearly impossible to sand after the upper fuse is in place. This actually worked pretty well. After a little putty and a few minutes sanding, the intakes were smooth enough for me. Finally I attached the upper fuselage, progressively joining seams from the front to the back.

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Moving on to the canopy... ugh!

The very worst mold seam I have ever seen was on the canopy glass of this kit. I am not kidding or exagerrating. There was a ridge of flash .3mm thick and about 3mm wide running up the middle of the glass. :blink:

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After 2 attempts of sanding with progressively finer grit sanding sticks and pads, I was finally able to remove the ridge line.

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I cleaned the canopy parts and dipped them in Future last night, right now you can only see the seam line if the light is just right, it will have to do. More pics soon.

Edited by Charlie Cheetah

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Nice job so far. I like the trick of the white over black in the wheelbays, will have to try that myself. Any more progress?

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A bit more progress, I need to snap a few pics. I have the fuselage closed up now, getting ready to attach the windscreen, then some paint. I am off this weekend so I hope to get an update done.

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Been feeling a bit under the weather this weekend so I didnt get a whole lot done.

Primer coat is on, will sand it a bit today and see if I need to fix a few trouble spots before starting the preshading and color coat.

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Nice work so far, CC. Keep it up.

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Nice job Charlie... I really liked how you put a black undercoat for the bays and then overcoated them with white... I'm going to use that method on my next build!

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Thanks guys...

I havent gotten much further in the progress, been under the weather. I have cleaned up a few troublesome seams on the aft fuselage and sanded and primed the gas bags for the 3rd time (I hate doing those). Also took my time tonight to carefully sanded the primer coat out with a 3200 grit sanding pad to smooth it out in preperation for some light preshading before going ahead with the color coat. I mustn't forget to rescribe a few lost panel lines too.

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A little more progress... Got some paint put on, I didnt have very much paint so I had to thin it out a bit more than I normally do, will buff the paint out then do bit of postshading with a slightly lighter color.

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Well, I may be able to skip the post shading. Lightly sanding the dry paint with a 4000 grit sanding pad not only smoothed the surface but also lightened the shade a bit, and brought out the panel lines too... killed 3 birds with one stone!

Edited by Charlie Cheetah

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Disaster struck... The decals were bad... they were all flaking apart as soon as I removed them from the water dish, and yes, the water was heated. Gonna decide If I want to hand paint all the tiger stripes, but I still run the risk of the national markings and stencils falling apart one me.

Afraid Im pulling out of this one, should have gone with plan A, the Abrams. :bandhead2:

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Gonna email Dave at LE about the decals, the latter editins of this decal set have improved a lot, much thinner and more flexible now. Worse case sceneario, Ill just order a new set.

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I've started applying the new decals, and they are vastly better than the old set I started with. Much thinner and stronger, seemed to adhere better as well. First to be redone were the inner tails, I used Future as a setting solution there as well as on the horizontal stabs. I had a bit of silvering there, my fault though. Moving on to the fuelage after that. These decals are quite large and complex in shape so I had to be really careful placing them. First was the decal for the nose which I had placed a little too far forward on the first try. After soaking the decal on the model I was able to coax it into a better position, that one decal took me the better part of 15 minutes to place. Next came the larger decal for the spine. I decided to cut this one up into smaller more manageable sections. 4 separate parts were cut, I started with the rear section and worked my way forward, making sure asection was positioned as close as possible to where it needed to be. In all, it took me about a half hour to apply these 4 sections. Most of the remaining stripes are individual segments, they'll be more time consuming but much easier to apply neatly.

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Now thats what i call motivation !!!! looks great but i would never dare decal all that !!

Hey btw are you in SMA contest 2012 ??!!

Edited by Neo

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Now thats what i call motivation !!!! looks great but i would never dare decal all that !!

Hey btw are you in SMA contest 2012 ??!!

Wow, just took almost 2 hours to do one wing and all its control surfaces. Will be decaling for most of the weekend I think. Made a slight rookie mistake and applied a few decals out of sequence, so I may have a few touch-ups to do after.

I am in the SMA Contest again this year. I will be building a Revell Germany Mossie B IV, Guy Gibson's markings. I'll be starting it as soon as I finish either the Hornet or the HAsegawa 1/48 Sufa, that one is almost done. What are you building for the contest?

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Wow, just took almost 2 hours to do one wing and all its control surfaces. Will be decaling for most of the weekend I think. Made a slight rookie mistake and applied a few decals out of sequence, so I may have a few touch-ups to do after.

I am in the SMA Contest again this year. I will be building a Revell Germany Mossie B IV, Guy Gibson's markings. I'll be starting it as soon as I finish either the Hornet or the HAsegawa 1/48 Sufa, that one is almost done. What are you building for the contest?

2 hours!! that almos has bad a JDSF F-4 stencil job!

Im in with a 1/48 A-7E

Cheers

Neo

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Cool tigerstripes! Are you done with them all yet?

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Almost Pete, I still have the starboard side stripes to place and the stripes on the pylons and external tanks. Ill take a bunch of pics then before I start the other markings.

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Your build brings memories when I was building this aircraft some 15 years ago... But I've decided on masking the stripes instead of using decals. In 1:72 of course :)

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Your build brings memories when I was building this aircraft some 15 years ago... But I've decided on masking the stripes instead of using decals. In 1:72 of course :)

I may do that on a few future Tigermeet builds, I have a Revell 1/48 Tornado ECR with the Tigermeet decals, but the decals are so thick, they are probably not usable. I think I will copy the decal sheet to a sheet of frisket film, cut out the stripes and use that as a mask.

Pictures soon, I promise. I am nearly done with the stripes, just the external tanks and canopy frame left to "stripe". Then I will do any requiered touchups before placing the rest of the decals.

Edited by Charlie Cheetah

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Ok, Coming along slowly. I have a soft deadline on this build if possible for the 25th of May, will see how it goes. Also started my scalemodeladdict.com Big Spring Contest entry last night, I need that one done by the 25th as well.

Alrighty then, the Tiger has its stripes... I just need a few small touchups as soon as I figure out what paint to use.

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Edited by Charlie Cheetah

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