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Janissary

1/48 Hasegawa F-18C 30th Anniversary

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Hello, here is my new project:

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I was not aware of this scheme until recently when I discovered Ken Middleton's great build:

Ken's build

This reminded me of the very first F-18 I built many years ago. It was an Italeri 1/48 Hornet with in white and navy blue colors. I found quite a few pictures of this 30th anniversary scheme, and fell in love with it.

Pic 1

Pic 2

Many more

I plan to build just the base aircraft like in the pictures, no weapons, no external fuel tanks etc. While the kit decals look good, I got the Fighter Town's decals. I also got the Aires cockpit and exhaust sets.

I found the following two links to be pretty useful for explaining the kit in detail and some tricks regarding a better build order, and things to be aware of.

Link 1

Link 2

Edited by Janissary

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Even though I had the Aires cockpit, I decided to use the kit's tub and front instrument panel. Only the seat, stick, and the side wall panels are from the Aires set, including some photo etch (mostly for the canopy railing). The seat painting is not finished yet.

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Windshield and canopy sanded, polished and futured. I airbrushed the inside of the windshield with light clear yellow/smoke prior to the future bath.

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I think the Aires exhausts are great. I painted the tube and exhaust face Testors burnt iron (metalizer) + various metallic and earth colors.

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All parts are off their sprues, cleaned up, rescribed (larger parts), and some are painted.

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One step where I deviated from the instruction sheet involves the rear side panels. It is better to attach them to the bottom fuselage, before assembling the top and bottom fuselages together. This allowed me to get a descent alignment where the parts meet (looks like no major puttying/sanding will be required). Also, after countless dry fits with the upper fuselage, I inserted a sprue piece to widen the lower side panels ever so slightly. When the top fuselage is set in place, the two halves sit more flush this way.

Also, I cut in half a 1/72 Tomcat (I think) compressor face and painted/washed/assembled it to simulate the engine when viewed from the front.

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Depth-wise and shape wise, this is too unrealistic, but I hope it is better than nothing. The paint is MM enamel silver (airbrushed), followed by a wash of watered down Tamiya acrylic Smoke. I have found this diluted smoke to be a great wash option when the base paint is enamel and the part to be washed is small.

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I recently got a hold of this touch-n-flow system. It works with capillary action. I was skeptical about it at first (always thought it was messy) but when I saw the live demo of it at the Nats this year, I decided to give it a try. This is one of the best tools I have ever used for modeling! I always thought my Tamiya extra thin cement with its fine brush is sufficient, but now I am changing my mind. This really gets a continuous flow of thin cement along very tight seams, and it welds the parts together pretty well.

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Now, the major time drain of the build: rescribing. Even though the kit has recessed lines, I have to scribe all lines and rivets. Otherwise the wash does not sit well and becomes inconsistent. This is a lesson I learned from Honza years ago. He says 90% of a good paint job is surface prep, so even though it is boring, I think it has to be done. It slows down the progress quite a bit though.

For straight lines, I usually start with a fine razor saw, and then use the UMM scriber to clean up. Even though I like the UMM scriber, I think the saw might be enough at times: no matter what, I end up sanding and cleaning the scribing residue under running water with an old toothbrush anyway. So, even though the UMM scriber is great at doing this cleaning automatically, I still end up sanding as I said.

The saw, however, I think is great because: (1) It deepens the panel lines pretty well, (2) It does not widen the line as much as some scribers do. So, the saw is good for getting deep but fine lines. Also, I think the micro-roughness it creates inside the line is very useful because it helps hold the wash much more strongly similar to how flat paints locks in spilled paint (undesirably in this case) pretty strongly.

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For non-stright or short lines, a sewing pin is ideal. Without a guide, it is best to start very lightly without any pressure until the pin creates a path for itself. Gradual increase in pressure will deepen it, but the first few light passes will help prevent slippage. However, occasional slippage is simply unavoidable, so I always sand down those mistakes during the scribing process. All rivets are also deepened using this pin. However, I don't follow a strict order about when the lines or rivets are rescribed. For hard to reach places, or curved surfaces, I may rescribe them before assembly. For bigger, flatter surfaces, maybe after all assembly is complete. Sometimes, I end up rescribing the same lines/rivets at multiple different times during the build.

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Edited by Janissary

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Here is the result after rescribing but before cleaning:

IMG_6130.jpg

After some cleanup (more cleaning and inspection is needed):

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For cleaning, I use a 800 or higher sand paper and light go over the surface. A few different grits might be needed. Recently, I also started using steel wool for a final clean up. This steel wool also helps roughen up the surface very very slightly (shiny plastic becomes a little dull) while creating a smooth surface.

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Wow, fantastic start! And thanks for the tip regarding the saw !!!

Cheers

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I recently learned about rescribing even scribed panel lines as well. No matter what I was trying, or how long I was allowing dry times, my wash simply wasn't staying. Hasegawa in my opinion is one of the worst offenders with their very small and shallow panel lines, it seems like after paint, and cover coats, you have next to no lines left. I lightly rescribed a recent Su-25 project just mostly along the wings and stabs to see the difference, and it made a huge difference. Just a few passes with the UMM goes a long way towards giving the wash room to rest. Off to a nice start.

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Thank you guys. This is more like a therapy build and so far no major headaches. Since the model will be painted in a monochromatic light color, I fear all surface imperfections will be disturbingly visible. So, I am trying to prep the surface as much as I can, but there are still lots of issues I see. I have to admit I have been less concerned around the regions that will be covered by decals.

Luckily, I did not have to use a lot of putty. I mostly used MM enamel yellow as filler. I've found using enamel paint as filler/putty to be satisfactory when the gap is not too wide or large. I had to use minimal amounts of Tamiya white putty around the flaps. I also used Microscale Kristal Klear to fill some hard to reach gaps, and cleaned it with a wet brush. All lines and rivets are deepened, sanded down and cleaned up.

Here are some pics of the current status:

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Hiya,

You're doing well so far. Just a quick point for you.

The door which you are scribing in the below picture does not exist on the real USN version.

You'll need to fill it and sand it out.

IMG_6156.jpg

Hope this helps.

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It should be plain like this from the walkaround section.

10.jpg

The right side should look like this:

12.jpg

Edited by loki

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I'd like to know your thoughts on the colour of the radome tip section. Obviously the instructions call for a radome colour (gunze C318) but it looks grey to my eyes.

Is it changed due to build up of grime like F-16?

Any thoughts on this at all?

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Thank you very much Loki. I very much appreciate it. I will remove the panel you pointed out. There are other inaccuracies I see in my build, but I think I will leave them as is. One thing I need to correct, though, is the starboard side ellipsoid antenna (?) that sits right under the tip of the lex. I apparently attached it too high, and that will interfere with the tail of the blue hornet decal.

For the radome tip, I was thinking of using Tamiya-54. That is slightly darker than FS 36231, and to my eye, looked like a reasonable match to the gray I saw in many pictures.

Edited by Janissary

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Hi,

So you agree that it looks like grey and not a radome tan colour? I'll have to look at Tamiya 54. I still can't decide whether it's just a trick of the light and the colour really is radome just darkened like F-16 nose cones through time.

The last picture I posted looks almost pinkish.

Yes, your blister is too high. You need to remove the panel line caused by the nose join as well :)/>

Edited by loki

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The radome tip looks like heavily weathered radome tan to me. These are actually unpainted and weather to all sorts of colours. I'd probably shoot it radome tan then mist some light grey over it to nail that particular colour.

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Some small progress:

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I tried to mimic Jesse's neat idea for the HUD lens (Jesse's build)

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Futured the two HUD glasses:

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Following Loki's suggestion and mistakes I noticed, I revised the two sides of the front section. I also attached various antennas at this time, I will have to mask and paint them in grey toward the end:

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Removed the panel Loki pointed out (CA glue, baking soda, sanding). The vertical panel line in the middle right next to the blister does not look good. I will have to fill that up a little bit. Any ideas what would be a good material here? I don't want to lose the line altogether, but it has to be toned down a little bit. I also don't want a major surgery of CA, sanding, and rescribe. I was thinking about Klear but I am open to suggestions. Maybe brushing some Tamiya grey primer may also work. Various other issues are (1) Bad slime light rescribing, and (2) Partial loss of the panel hinges right under the lex tip. I see that these will fall right under the decals, so I won't rework those sections:

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Various other details attached:

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I will need to dry brush the black IP coaming and the section behind the cockpit, but this is how it is shaping up:

IMG_6183.jpg

I guess once I attach the windshield and mask it, it should be ready for primer!

Edited by Janissary

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Good stuff.

What part is the GPS dome please? The instruction part number and step please. Need this for researching my next project.

Thanks

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Many thanks Burak.

Didn't think I saw it. But clear now - have a Merry Christmas :)/>/>

You'll need to fill the line that is created by attaching the nose section. It is not there on the real thing (under canopy section).

I'd suggest the same method you used to get rid of the other panel I mentioned. Just the sections that are not required to make the other panels that are there though, of course.

Edited by loki

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IMG_6174.jpg

Nice build so far!

This punch and die set in the picture, who makes it and where can I get it from?

Thanks,

Thomas

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Burak-

Nice work as usual. Will you bring this to the January club meeting? I'd love to see it.

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Many thanks Burak.

Didn't think I saw it. But clear now - have a Merry Christmas :)/>/>/>

You'll need to fill the line that is created by attaching the nose section. It is not there on the real thing (under canopy section).

I'd suggest the same method you used to get rid of the other panel I mentioned. Just the sections that are not required to make the other panels that are there though, of course.

Thanks Loki, I reworked those areas with putty (pictures below). It's not perfect, but I'll have to live with it. I also filled/sanded down the wide panel line on the port side, and rescribed a new one right next to it.

Nice build so far!

This punch and die set in the picture, who makes it and where can I get it from?

Thanks,

Thomas

Thanks Thomas, I got mine this past August from UMM, here is a list of their sets:

Link

It is not something I'd be using too frequently, but for what it is used for, it is a great tool with almost no satisfactory alternative.

Burak-

Nice work as usual. Will you bring this to the January club meeting? I'd love to see it.

Thanks Ben, sure I can bring it. I have missed the last few meetings, but hopefully I will make it in January.

I finally attached the windshield.

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I attached the windshield using Tamiya liquid cement. I then filled the gaps with Klear using a brush, and wiped the excess off with a q-tip dipped in water. After it dried, I sanded down the edges to blend them to the fuselage using a small 400 sandpaper rolled up in a pair of tweezers. There were some scuff marks I could not avoid. So, using a q-tip, I scrubed the outer surface with Tamiya compound. This, inevitably removed the future layer at the top. So at the end, I hand brushed future over the windshield and the seam to blend everything together. I think brushed future levels nicely, so is a reasonable alternative to a future bath in these situations.

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I recently saw that the exhausts have the ceramic inner tiles. So I masked out those sections with make-up sponges and sprayed Tamiya Buff mixed with Tamiya clear gloss. After it dries, I will apply a dark wash to bring out the details.

IMG_6189.jpg

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Would be a nice touch to replicate a new ceramic petal. Paint one or two in off white, that would look great.

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