Jump to content
ARC Discussion Forums
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
Sign in to follow this  
falcon20driver

VX-23 F-18F

Recommended Posts

I know, another F-18 build :rolleyes: . My T-2 is nearing completion, so I am starting up my next project. I was lucky enough to win some wonderful Fightertown Decals and I chose the VX-23 decals (Thanks Brian :wave: ). I really like the "Salty Dog 123" scheme with the blue tail and squadron logo and this will be the jet I'm going to build. "Salty Dog 123" is a lot 29 jet and has the ACS cockpit and the Bard stacks. First, the loot:

GEDC0061_zps2844f326.jpg

Obviously I'm using the Hasegawa 1/48 F-18F, and the Fightertown decals for VX-23. I'll be using the Avionix cockpit to represent the ACS cockpit, quickboost ECS pipes, Steel Beach exhaust nozzles with covers, and Steel Beach intake covers. I'm going to try hard to improve my photography with this build since I have a new camera now and I've been learning a lot from the wonderful talent on this forum.

I also have a few interesting ideas bouncing around in my head for the display base for this build. I just need to put pen to paper then knife to wood! Progress will initially be slow since I'm finishing up my Dad's plane and there is a move and wedding in my near future, but I'll get it done by next Christmas hopefully!

Thanks for stopping in :wave:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since all I'm doing right now is some basic sanding and dry fitting of the resin cockpit and associated pieces, I thought I would share the beginning stages of the display base idea I have. I always enjoy adding display bases to models that I really put a solid effort into. Since I really want this F-18 to pop, I floundered on what I would do with the base. In my TA-4/T-2 thread you can see my previous idea, using printed carrier deck sections over wood then covered with resin. I liked that look a lot, but its time for something different. After much back and forth with my fiance's dad, I decided on a 3D effect using the VX-23 squadron logo set into a base, then filled in with resin for a solid and reflective surface. The first step, creating the 3D logo. I printed the logo then started tracing the different layers of the logo onto balsa wood.

IMG_20140214_143007_019_zpsdb0dd6d9.jpg

IMG_20140214_143639_114_zps934d93e8.jpg

I then cut out all the layers one at a time:

IMG_20140214_144959_290_zps4ce4f46d.jpg

Finally ending up with all the layers together:

IMG_20140214_154344_928_zpsdfa0585a.jpg

There is some cleaning up to do on the different sections, but they fit pretty well for a rough cut. After clean up and final fitting, I'll move on to sealing and painting in the next stage.

Thanks for looking :wave:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very clever, creative and, different. I like it alot. Depending how much effort you put into a display base, they can become a seperate model / job themselves. I always like to see a display base with a model, it adds more interest. This should look really cool once it's finished.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time to get to work on this build. So far it has been slow going, but things are starting to move. It has been mostly lots of sanding and dry fitting so far. The Avionix cockpit fits much better than an Aires one, but it still isn't a perfect fit. As you can see in the photos, I'm installing the ACS backseat since this BuNo is a lot 29 jet. The photos show the dry fitting of the resin cockpit, but it isn't snuggly installed. It drooped a bit since it wasn't glued.

IMG_20140304_144118_325_zpse59fb323.jpg

IMG_20140304_144149_756_zpse56124b1.jpg

The last photo is to check that the seam removal from the canopy was successful and just to see how it would look! ^_^

IMG_20140304_144328_068_zpscc6a6a12.jpg

Hopefully I can start to get the basic paint colors on in the next few days before I head back to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man that wood patch is awesome, I'm not much for the Super Bug, but I'm looking forward to your build

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not too much to report so far, been busy lately, but I have gotten some work done. I'm bouncing between working on the Quickboost ECS pipes, gas bags, and painting the cockpit parts. I was able to get the bang seats all painted, they just need some decals placed and they should be good to go. I'll be working on painting the fiddly bits in the cockpit tub next then the instrument panels.

IMG_20140325_162715_708_zps746ac3a9.jpg

IMG_20140325_162744_705_zps6e3fb84f.jpg

Thanks for looking. This will be a slow build because I really want to attempt to take this build to the next step in my skill set, and its golf season!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll certainly be following right along with your build. Your idea for the base is certainly unusual, but will be an attention getter for sure. Your cockpit is coming along quite nicely.

Joel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Due to an engine change on the plane I have some extra time to focus on this build. The cockpit is painted and pretty much put together. There is some minor things left but I'm happy with it.

IMG_20140328_141802_593_zps792effc0.jpg

IMG_20140328_141834_008_zps2b5600ca.jpg

IMG_20140328_141852_510_zps0409b249.jpg

I'm now knee deep in the sub-assembly phase. Dry fit, glue, sand, gap-fill with CA, sand, sand, sand, sand.... :wacko: . I keep reminding myself it all shows with a coat of paint so get it right!

IMG_20140401_101209_472_zps6bbe5769.jpg

IMG_20140401_113155_336_zpsf2ca31c7.jpg

The intakes were quite the adventure. This picture shows them glued in place but before the seams have been attacked and blended into the kit. They've since been pummeled into submission :chain-gun: and now look quite well. I'm not overly concerned with the intake interiors since this Bug will have intake covers. Thanks for looking :wave:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work so far man! Looking forward to the rest of the build. The 3D patch idea is pure brilliance! Might have to file that one for a future build. Great work and keep up the updates!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 3-D patch idea is great. I bet that will look amazing when you get it done.

You may want to check your references on the aft cockpit. The rear instrument panel appears to be somewhat incorrectly-installed.

Jake

ACS cockpit pics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jmel, thanks for the heads up.

It is amazing how much you can get done when you have a lot of time at home! I started gluing major fuselage sub-assemblies together and started on the seam removal/rescribing. Thanks to Crazy Snap Captain for advice on how to rescribe rivets and fasteners, the technique worked great! Here is the nose section together:

IMG_20140403_124645_372_zpsc83e9608.jpg

I started using a pin was at this point thanks to lessons learned here at ARC. It really helps to verify that the rescribing is going according to plan and makes the panel lines stand out but subtly after paint.

Next was installing the new ECS pipes and rescribing around them:

IMG_20140404_093944_425_zpsbbbb2449.jpg

I've also started working on the ARDs pod. I initially started by cutting up a couple missiles and gluing them together, but after realizing there was a much easier way I went to the hobby store and bought a plastic rod the right diameter, stuck it in a drill and a few sanding sticks later had what I was looking for. I'll add some weights and lettering later.

IMG_20140404_124527_740_zps3cb8d0b7.jpg

I was then able to get the tails painted in their blue, the cockpit installed (although there is some painting/work to be done on it. Gotta get the area behind the backseat black), and more fuselage work done on the Bug. I've also been busy working on the hardpoints. The final picture shows an "as it sits" look. It also shows the planned load out of 3 drop tanks and the ARDs pod on the left wing tip.

IMG_20140405_141814_754_zps9783d812.jpg

There is a lot of gluing, sanding, and rescribing left but I'm very happy with how this build is going. As it sits now it definitely has a chance to be my best work so far and one for me to be proud of, even if its not up to the standards of a lot of guys here at ARC. But I'm learning and that's what counts! :)/>

Edited by falcon20driver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting technique of using pin washes in the recessed panel lines to check re-scribing (which I'm terrible at). You're being way too modest about your modeling skills. Your just completed double build were both excellent models built to very high standards, and the F-18 is certainly more then holding its own. The Cockpit & bang seats really turned out well. Most impressive to say the least. Those are some really nasty seam in the intakes. Seems to me that they could have done a much better job of engineering it. Cover plates certainly will take care of that issue.

Joel

Edited by Joel_W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting technique of using pin washes in the recessed panel lines to check re-scribing (which I'm terrible at). You're being way too modest about your modeling skills. Your just completed double build were both excellent models built to very high standards, and the F-18 is certainly more then holding its own. The Cockpit & bang seats really turned out well. Most impressive to say the least. Those are some really nasty seam in the intakes. Seems to me that they could have done a much better job of engineering it. Cover plates certainly will take care of that issue.

Joel

Joel,

Thank you for your kind words. I saw the pin wash idea on a few other builds here and thought I'd give it a try. Needless to say I'm going to be using it from here on out. Some of the engineering choices on this kit can make for a very tricky build. I've spent a lot of time dry fitting and planning my build steps to avoid to much trouble (this is where that awful T-2 build pays off). Hopefully I'll have a fully assembled fuselage in the next few days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is looking really good. Great work on the cockpit, and you have also managed to get the main structure to fit nicely, despite some less than ideal kit engineering. It's hard in that scale to do a good job on the multi-function displays; how did you manage to highlight the individual softkeys so nicely? I find that I often blur the light grey around the black display bezels, and it's really tough to pick out individual buttons.

ALF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update time, even though all the work doesn't show too much at this point. Alf, I use a small brush and use an amount of paint somewhere between a normal amount and a dry brushing amount. I then gently brush across the raised details I'm trying to highlight, starting with the brush above the detail and slowly working down until the brush just clips the detail. One touch of the brush should be enough paint, and I reload the brush for each key. It tends to work well for me, except the headache I get staring at the details after a lot of detail painting.

Right now the F-18 is in the body shop. All the work is filling and blending seams then rescribing. I'm not a fan of this part of the build but I think it is the most important part, so onward and upward. I really enjoy Hasegawa kits, but the engineering on this kit is a little frustrating at times. Between the nose section, intakes, and tail area the kit is a little tricky.

I'm fairly happy with the nose area, it just needs a few more touch ups and it should be paint ready. You can still see the upper seam area but it is all filled in with CA and should :pray:/> disappear under the paint.

IMG_20140411_154153_514_zpsaf383f06.jpg

Intakes are all in and seams addressed. I'm finishing rescribing the panels that suffered during the seam removal and then the belly should be done.

IMG_20140411_154402_287_zps6e76fce1.jpg

The final as it sits photo. Tails are just dry fit though.

IMG_20140411_154017_622_zps52d0a5ba.jpg

Edited by falcon20driver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking really good. I know how frustrating the filling and sanding stage is but your work is paying off.

Rodney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job so far. If I may, remember that when 123 was painted with the blue tails, it was a brand-new jet and kept in a hangar environment when not flying, so the overall finish was very clean and uniform. Other than a bit of staining under the aft fuselage engine bays, go VERY lightly on weathering this jet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcon20Driver,

Looking good. It's all coming together now.

Joel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job so far. If I may, remember that when 123 was painted with the blue tails, it was a brand-new jet and kept in a hangar environment when not flying, so the overall finish was very clean and uniform. Other than a bit of staining under the aft fuselage engine bays, go VERY lightly on weathering this jet.

Thanks for that info! I've been wondering this exact thing. The few photos I have found of 123 all show it in very good condition and its nice to hear that confirmation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hornet97, thank you very much for that compliment but I'm not even close to jensif-16's level! Hopefully someday though.

Latest progress report:

Life has been very busy but I've gotten a little done on the VX-23 bird. Major airframe construction is mostly complete and initial painting has begun. The last of the airframe attachments was the S.B. resin exhaust with covers. They fit fairly well but there was some cleaning and blending that needed to be done.

IMG_20140503_111044_551_zpscd2208c6.jpg

After that is was time to start applying the initial paint layer. I'm trying to gently build up my paint, in order to use as little as possible and preserve as much detail and "pre-panel line shading" as possible. The next photo shows how the panel lines and rivets look after paint. I'm really happy with the effect (I think it looks better in person). I want it to be noticeable, but not a stark contrast.

IMG_20140502_174750_179_zps21802192.jpg

I also had to adjust my display base idea. Although I think my 3D patch is promising, I don't think it is quite where I want it at this point. I'll take that idea back to the drawing board and try it again on a future build. Instead, I took the squadron patch and used some balsa wood to create a coin like label for the base. I realized after watching all the NMF builds in the Bare it All group build that black would be the best under color for mirror finish on my base. With that said, here is a basic set up of the plane as is sits now (with the first coat of grey on the belly) and the initial base completed. I need to clean the edges of the base and decide if I'll paint the edges flat black or possibly use the squadron colors for some striping.

20140507_131118_resized_zps00876a77.jpg

20140507_131152_resized_zps37583f44.jpg

Thank you very much for stopping in to check on the progress and all comments are welcome! :wave:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcon20Driver,

That gloss black base is just perfect for displaying the F-18F. Looking forward to seeing some paint on it in your next update.

Since you mentioned trying to use thinner coats of paint, I've been doing the same exact thing. I use to air brush Tamiya Acrylics thinned 1:1 with their X20-A @ a flow rate of 13-15 psi (that's a regulator static psi of 23-25). I've switched to Tamiya's Lacquer Thinner, which breaks down the paint particles to a smaller size, and increased the thinning ratio to 2:3 paint to thinner, while reducing the air flow rate to 10 psi. The results have been very good to date. The paint layers are thinner and somewhat more consistent. I'm also very slowly switching back to good old Model Master Enamels. I'll put up with the sweet smell, and longer drying times, as they still flow much smoother then any acrylic I've ever used.

Joel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Joel and CSC.

Here's a quick update. Just finished up the first round of painting.

20140523_122124_resized_zps353b5c78.jpg

It's tough painting gray on gray over gray plastic! I'm very happy with the panel line effect I was trying to achieve. It is noticeable but subdued. Hopefully I can make some more progress next time I'm home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...