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ALF18

1/48 CF-18 188790 - Brand new

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Having bought the F/A-18C version of this kit (it was the cheapest deal I could find on e-Bay at the time), I knew I'd have to chop off the extra bulges on the vertical tails. Not a perfect solution, but way cheaper than paying full retail for the F/A-18A kit or buying AM tails. Here you can see the chop job in progress.

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By now, the flap hinges had dried enough to glue the flaps in place.

P1160679.jpg

Now to tackle the ailerons - the alignment with the flaps is the tricky part here.

ALF

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More progress. The vertical tails are in place, as are the ailerons and the other part that covers the gap between the flaps/ailerons and wing. I've also installed the speed brake (closed, because we never left them open on the ground), and the upper deck parts.

P1160680.jpg

I canted the rudders both to the right - sometimes a wind will blow them to one side or another. The rudders can move the same direction, or in opposite directions, depending on the flight control computers. On the ground it is further complicated, because normally you taxi with nose wheel steering engaged full time; pushing the rudder pedals deflects the rudders and the nose wheel together. When the nose wheel is centred, and flaps set to take-off, the rudders will both be "toed in" (15 degrees inward on each side), which helps with lateral stability in the beginning of the take-off roll. By take-off speed, the rudders have returned to the neutral position.

P1160681.jpg

ALF

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I sprayed some white Tamiya primer in the wheel wells, and on the gear struts. I'll leave the gear off until the main paint is done on the bottom - saves on masking. I'll have to paint some more white on the gear struts - the coverage on the metal portions is not opaque enough.

Here almost everything is assembled on the fuselage, with the exception of the RWR panel by the nose, and the gear parts.

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A first coat of primer. Takes patience and time - coverage is not fully opaque. Sprayed once more after I took this shot.

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As I was spraying, I realized another problem using the F/A-18C kit. The fuselage has no provision for the ID light! Using the keenly honed skills of a veteran instructor, I will claim (with a straight face) that I have had this planned all along. You see... (he says with a straight face) when we had these aircraft at 410, prior to opening up 433 in Bagotville, there were no ID lights installed. Instead, we had the ACMR/I (Air Combat Manoeuvring Range/Instrumentation) black box installed inside the gun door where the ID light goes. It plugs into the armament bus, beside the gatling gun encoder/decoder. That way, the box would know when the trigger was pulled on the gun or missiles, and it also knew the mode the radar was in, whether or not it was locked on a target, and the azimuth and elevation of the tracked target. Since then, we have gone to a different "untethered" ACMR/I setup; they are smart boxes inside the wingtip-mounted tubes that do not require a system of transmit/receive towers on the ground like the ones we had at Cold Lake.

So why do I mention this? Well, when the ACMR/I box was installed, the gun door had a blanking plate installed right under the glass, so it looked like a milky circle. Some kits have used a decal to represent a door with blanking plate installed. So (still with a straight face, I claim) I will be cutting a circular bit of the off-white decal that came with the kit's Japanese markings. The only thing I have to figure out is how to cut it - I'm thinking of using a plastic template I have with various sizes of circle.

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Here's a wider view of the two aircraft I'm building at the same time. I love the sexy lines of the Hornet, and the Starfighter. Unfortunately, these kinds of clean lines are going the way of the dinosaurs with the modern generation of front-line low-observable jets.

P1160688.jpg

ALF

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I glued the part under the nose where the RWR antenna goes. I made sure to chop off the little stub that sticks out of it - that isn't there when the RWR is not installed.

P1160693.jpg

The landing gear got another spray of white Tamiya primer. They will be ready for detail painting now. I will not be applying any wash - these were kept clean most of the time, and in the fall of 1987 they were super clean and white, like this.

P1160692.jpg

Now to start on the resin seat. I hate chopping off these casting blocks!

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I use a little saw to chop it off. I really should use a pair of pliers to hold the casting block while I hack away; holding with my fingers is painful.

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This is as much as I dare chop off. I managed to snap off the little parts that stick out on the right side of the seat (the safe/arm handle and leg guard), while trimming the last bits of resin from the bottom. I'll just paint the bottom parts light grey, and they won't show as much.

P1160691.jpg

ALF

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Motoring right along aren't you? It looks pretty good overall and the seat looks really nice.

Edited by -Neu-

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Motoring right along aren't you? It looks pretty good overall and the seat looks really nice.

Yup! I've done one of these seats before, and it looks great if properly painted. I'm happy to have tackled two projects at once. Even though bench space is at a premium with a 1/32 and a 1/48 jet going at the same time, I'm finding that with the requirement to prepare the surface with glossy primer for the Alclad on my Starfighter, there are lots of periods of waiting for things to cure. Having this to work on at the same time is helping with the down time.

ALF

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After looking at the part on the wing that was broken off in the box, I decided to make a facsimile. In the lower part of the pic, you can see the remains of one of the Nighthawk pod halves that was sacrificed to carve a new part. I've glued the replacement part in place on the wingtip. In the second pic, you can see it's reasonably close to the original shape.

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I had spoken previously about the brackets on the interior mounting points for the vertical tails. My fading memory was confirmed by Scooby. He agreed that we didn't have the little brackets installed on initial delivery of our Hornets; so I filled in the divots that were provided in the kit.

P1160699.jpg

Finally, I glued the centreline tank in place. One thing I like about this kit is the sway braces and other mounting hardware that is very good for the scale.

P1160700.jpg

ALF

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I have sprayed the bottom colour (FS 36375). I often use Tamiya light grey primer right out of the rattle can for it. The paint is a bit lighter in shade than the Modelmaster Acryl FS 36375 light ghost grey, but it looks very close to the right colour.

I glued the external tank in place on the centreline, installed the missile rails on the wingtips, and masked up the white wheel wells.

P1160702.jpg

Then I glued the metal gear struts in place with crazy glue. I have done some silver detail painting on them with a silver foil pen. Next step will be to hand-paint some touchups on the white wheel wells. I will not be installing the PE chaff/flare buckets; I'll leave them like they are here, to represent blanking plates from the factory. The ALE-39 chaff/flare dispensers were installed at the squadron, with the RWR. All of 433's aircraft got them, even the ones without RWR at first.

P1160705.jpg

ALF

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Starting to look like a Hornet70.gif. Just started another of those myself.

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Starting to look like a Hornet70.gif. Just started another of those myself.

I love these Hasegawa 1/48 kits. Building one is like reuniting with an old friend.

ALF

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Looking Good there can believe i missed this build thread ...

maybe i was too hypnotised by you 104..

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Looking Good there can believe i missed this build thread ...

maybe i was too hypnotised by you 104..

Glad you found it!

I hope the windstorm wasn't too tough on your house. It made painting a bit sporting today with the garage doors open.

ALF

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Progress is slow. My paint area (airbrushing) is the garage, and with the -35 overnight and -25 C daytime high temps lately, combined with a heavy load at work this week, I have not felt like airbrushing frozen paint...

I did some masking, ready for the dark grey upper colour. First shot at masking (also have masked the nose cone so I can do the radome tan area as well).

P1160706_zps3ff62ec7.jpg

After close examination of ref pics, I realized that on initial delivery our jets had no dark grey along the top of the vertical stab outer sides, so I will mask those parts off as well before painting (not done in this pic).

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I also started to finish up the gear doors. Tamiya white primer inside, Tamiya light grey primer outside, and red Lumocolor felt pen for the edges. Some touchups required still. Those who look carefully will note that my big 104 tip tank is there; this is one part I didn't screw up when painting the black undercoat.

P1160709_zps80f9cbaa.jpg

ALF

Edited by ALF18

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Yah! an update. :nanner: I've been experiencing some ALF CF-18 withdrawls. Glad to see you back at it. I can't wait for these temps warm up as well. Only one more week until my Caribbean cruise, can't wait.

Denis

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Jeez....go away for a couple of weeks and look what I miss.

Some very nice progress ALF. Any work done on the seat or is that on the back burner for now? As a friendly Public Service Announcement, be careful if you plan to add any kind of a clear coat over your finish, especially around the red marker applied around the gear doors. There's a possibility that the inside of your landing gear doors will be pink. The clear coat might cause the red marker to bleed. Ask me how I know... :bandhead2:

Now I'm off to check some other projects I couldn't follow while we were away.

Keep up the good work.

Mike

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Good tip Mike. I had done the same red marker trick with my VMFA-122 build and the clear coat did not react, maybe I was just lucky.

BTW, I have walked by 790 several times going to and from mission briefings at hangar 7 here in Bagotville. A bit more dirty and used than what ALF is buildeing her as.

Denis

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I just wanted to note that I've really enjoyed reading about your build, ALF, especially as I'm planning on building some (1/72) Canadian Hornets later this year.

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Jeez....go away for a couple of weeks and look what I miss.

Some very nice progress ALF. Any work done on the seat or is that on the back burner for now? As a friendly Public Service Announcement, be careful if you plan to add any kind of a clear coat over your finish, especially around the red marker applied around the gear doors. There's a possibility that the inside of your landing gear doors will be pink. The clear coat might cause the red marker to bleed. Ask me how I know... :bandhead2:/>

Now I'm off to check some other projects I couldn't follow while we were away.

Keep up the good work.

Mike

Mike

Nice to hear back from you. Thanks for the tip - I too have learned the hard way that felt tip markers and Future or Testors Dull Cote do not get along very well! I won't be spraying the clear coat onto the gear doors.

The seat is still on the back burner for now. I am banging my head against the wall with the CF-104 and its paint job. :bandhead2:

No Hornet pics for the moment, but the touchups to the top/bottom colours are proceeding nicely.

ALF

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Nice work on the Bug so far ALF!!! Sometimes just walking away from the bench is the thing to do.....think about it over some brews, but don't be sleep talking about how you going to fix things. Ask Char about my plan.... :woot.gif:

Anyhow Keep her coming eh!

:cheers:

Emil

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I just wanted to note that I've really enjoyed reading about your build, ALF, especially as I'm planning on building some (1/72) Canadian Hornets later this year.

Thanks Procopius

Glad to have you aboard. Progress will be coming soon - a bit slow, due to some extra translation work I've gotten (moonlighting), and other real-life constraints.

As Denis (Ex Bird Gunner) said, 790 looks way grungier now that it did back in 1987/88, the era I am building.

Here's a teaser on progress. Done some touch-ups on the paint, and started detail painting here and there. Seat coming along too - pics of that later. These pics were taken before many of the touchups were done.

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P1160746_zps9f765106.jpg

ALF

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Looks good ALF but how are you going to replicate that new cockpit smell?

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Hey, thats starting to look like a Hornet!!!

This is the fun part. When the shape and colours are taking their final forms, I get more motivated!

Nice she looks good

Merci Neo

Looks good ALF but how are you going to replicate that new cockpit smell?

By opening a window, and refraining from releasing intestinal gas?

I will display it next to a leg garter strap that I kept from the real jets - soaked in sunlight, it gives off some of that new cockpit smell.

Luckily, the single-seaters don't smell as bad as the duals when they get old. The odour of sweat is unavoidable, as is the jet fuel and grease and burnt avionics - but the singles haven't been barfed in!

That gets me thinking - what does the back of a police patrol car smell like? Ewwwww! I can only imagine.

ALF

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