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Hasegawa 1/72 F-35A Lightning II - fast simple build!

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Got home from evening shift and spent 3 hours putting on all the decals. They are amazing and respond well to Mr Mark Setter which is essential to get some of them to conform to the curves.


From this photo you can see that the decal grey has a bluish tinge that makes it look more like a compass ghost grey color like FS36320.

I doubt it will matter too much as my clear coats will have base color/sheen that will lighten all the colors and hopefully blend them in more.

At this stage I'm a little worried that my metallic main color is too dark, but it looked fine before the clear gloss so am hoping it will look better when the flatter coats go on.

Edited by tomcat21
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Painted the canopy frame today, decided to try another shade of grey to try and nail the decal grey for another future attempt at the F-35C. Tamiya XF-66 is closer being bluer but too dark.


Glued the canopy on with Krystal clear and gave the entire model a coat of clear gloss.

In this pic you can see the decals Vs XF-66 color match. I'm not worried as my other paint is out, just hoping the flat coats smooth things out a bit.


Has to be finished tomorrow for the weekends model show.

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Looking good! I actually saw some more pictures of this one where that base gray is a bit darker...so I'm sure you're actually really close to the mark.

Question about the decals though, in this last pic it looks like the kit detail to decal shape is either out of alignment or the decals aren't registered...is this the case with a lot of the decals or just that one area? It's one of those things that's good to know BEFORE applying, because otherwise they get wasted...

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Yes I definetly had trouble lining some up with the panel lines underneath.

The bigger decals were the main culprits. However it was 2am when I was putting these on and I tore one or two trying to move them back and forth. This build, while being primarily for fun and to make sure the F-35 is represented at my local show, has been a great learning tool for the C model I will invest more time in. This thread is also a storage place for all my lessons learned.

I thought about trying to mask and paint all the lines but having seen how complex it all is I doubt I would ever have the patience for that.

Just glad I didn't accent the kit panels lines as the mismatch is not that visible from a couple feet away.

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Alright, mixed some light grey acrylic with Vallejo clear flat and gave the Lightning 2 a coat. The colors lightened nicely and the greys evened up but I lost any semblance of a metallic sheen.


I decided to take a gamble and mixed some Vallejo Satin finish with the Citadel Ironbreaker in an attempt to put an all over metallic sheen back on. It was very hard to gain the courage and I was only able to because of how fast and easy this build has been.


And the results? I'm very happy and think the sheen looks awesome. From some photos I've seen the sheen does look to be all over, even on the jagged light grey bits.


Here's a shot of the unmasked sensor window on the nose. It's a separate clear part that just glues on, I paint the nose under it black.


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Oh forgot to mention one last dumb mistake I made. The inner canopy frame should be black. I, for some unknown reason, decided to scrape the paint off then glue it so the canopy inside so it appears grey. You can see my mistake in the photos above.

So yeah, paint the inner frame black and only glue it at the bottom points of both sides.

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Thanks Nicholas you're support and ideas have been very welcome!

The bases are just simple bits of wood with sheet Perspex cut into strips, sanded smooth/ polished. Then I use a heat gun to bend them and place the aircraft in flight.

The kit comes with a clear plastic stand which I haven't assembled. It looks to be adjustable and of good quality.

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Thanks Wolfgun!

Here is my Lightning 2 right now sitting on the table at the Brisbane Model Expo:


It's strange how building a model changes your perspective. The F-35A used to look a bit squat to me, but now I see it as a sleek thing of beauty.

Building and painting it felt more like building something out of a Star Wars movie than a real aircraft.

Am happy to see it parked next to a Bi-plane too, 100 years and the evolution of aircraft is truly remarkable.

The Hasegawa kit is a perfect gift for a youngster too. It's a tough kit, simple and very satisfying.

Edited by tomcat21
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Just find a shop that sells Perspex. They normally make great display cases out of it too.

I just got a bunch of tapered lengths about 8 inches long cut and polished the edges myself with sandpaper down to plastic polish.

Then I carefully drill holes each end and screw them to a piece of wood, and to the bottom of the model.

Then with a carefully aimed heat gun I gently warm the Perspex until it starts to bend. It happens quickly and you have about 5 seconds to position the model how you want before it starts to go solid again. I have 2 F-14s, a Super Hornet and now the F-35 all flying in parade formation at the exact same height and it's my favourite part of the model cabinet.

You can reheat and reform it as many times as you like.

It's strong too, check out this 1/48th Super Hornet with resin pit and wheel wells in landing config being totally supported through the exhausts. This is a heavy model.


I only build inflight models now as I much prefer the dynamic look of an aircraft flying. I do appreciate the exquisite detailing that goes into open cockpit/weight on wheel builds though. Maybe I'm just too lazy nowadays :)/>

Edited by tomcat21
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I've been thinking a lot about the 'Raptor / Lightning Sheen" and for the F-35C I will just go with normal colors until the decals are sealed. Hopefully I'll do a better job of color matching and won't require many 'fading coats'.

As final coats I think ill use the Ironbreaker with a slightly more glossing clear. The model just looks that little bit too dull to me, I think it'd be nicer with a bit more glossy finish.

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