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I've decided that my first entry for the GB will be the 1/72 Academy AH-64D. This is the new tooling that was released some time back. It's mostly a single color so painting it should be easy. I'm still testing out several colors to see which one looks right to me though.


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  • 1 month later...

While the site was down, I got distracted by another kit on the workbench so I didn't get as much work done on the Apache as I wanted to. Anyway, I built up the stub wings, the cockpit tub, and part of the rotor assembly.

The cockpit in this kit is one of the best I've seen out of the box, with plenty of raised detail. In my opinion, with the exception of some seat belts, there is absolutely no need to replace the cockpit with resin or photoetch unless a) you're a glutton for punishment and b) you have too much time and money to burn. The canopy only comes with a closed option so any super detailing will be wasted anyway.

I painted the cockpit Tamiya Rubber Black and drybrushed the buttons with white.


For the consoles, I used Tamiya XF-61 Dark Green on the MFDs. I find that this gives a good approximation of a powered-down screen. I also applied some gloss clear to them to simulate the glass.


The only modification I did to the cockpit was to add some scratchbuilt seat belts and buckles. Some strips of masking tape and buckles cut from styrene sheet were added and painted. They're definitely overscale but nobody's going to take that close a look at them.



The completed cockpit assembly.



Edited by White Wolf
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  • 5 weeks later...

Just a small update to show that this project isn't dead. It is moving at a glacier's pace, however. The fuselage halves have been assembled and the fit is very good, despite the multiple parts and inserts. Some of the things that I observed while putting it together:


-The various avionics panels look a bit strange up close as they didn't sit exactly flush with the fuselage. Either the panels were too thick, or the depressions in the fuselage parts were too shallow. I left them alone but if I built this kit again, I'd explore the option of sanding the panels to be less thin.


-There is no easy way to install the gear struts late in the build because the side sponsons prevent the struts from being slotted in from below.


-If you're the kind who leaves the wings off for painting and attaches them late into the build, you can do that with the right wing but not the left, as the left sponson "slips" over the left wing. You can see how it looks in the picture below.


Hopefully I can get it ready for painting soon.



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  • 1 month later...

Been slowly working on this, but I'm on vacation now till the end of the year so I'll have more time for the build. Hopefully I can make some progress.


Attaching the canopy was difficult because of the tight fit and it was difficult to take it off too. To make matters worse, the front instrument panel kept popping out whenever I put the canopy on, so I suspected that it may be too wide for the canopy.


The main body was painted with Tamiya AS-6 Olive Drab over black primer. I think this looks about right to my eyes. The fit of the engines is so good that I'll leave them off until the end to make it easier to apply the decals.




An example of the good engineering Academy did for this model. The engines and exhausts are separate pieces and this makes it much easier to paint. The exhausts are a simple push fit with no glue needed.





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Got the main body glossed and decals on over the Christmas weekend. The decal sheet comes with a full set of stencils, took me almost a whole day to apply them all. And that's not even including the markings for the rotors, Hellfires and rocket pods. But at least the hard part's out of the way. The Cartograf decals work well, but they're thin and have a tendency to fold over on themselves. Next will be a wash and flat coat before putting the main components together and then assembling the smaller bits.



Edited by White Wolf
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My last progress report of 2016. I've painted up the rocket launchers and Hellfires and applied the decals. I've also gotten the main rotor and Longbow radar painted and glossed, but I haven't applied the stencils for them yet. Unfortunately I've run out of gloss and I won't be able to get restocks until Tuesday at the earliest. I say I should finish this build by the end of next month or early February.



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  • 3 weeks later...

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