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My wife gave me this kit a couple of weeks ago for my birthday.  It's the new press-fit kit from Academy, following on their press-fit F-4.  I have the F-4 in my stash and it looks good, as does this one...so since my Me 262 is done, and I'm struggling with the challenging SB2A-3 from Special Hobby, I thought and easy build would be just the thing!


Nice instruction book:


Multi-colored parts are a drag from my perspective, as they make things challenging to paint, but I get that Academy's strategy is to pitch these kits to both experienced modelers and newbies as the same time.  It's a good strategy, as anything to get new people into the hobby is most welcome.


I started it today, so in-progress pics will be coming soon!


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1 hour ago, RKic said:

How does the detail compare to the Revell and Hasegawa kits?


I don't have the Revell kit, but this Academy one is more detailed than the Hasegawa kit.  The cockpit is much better, as are the wheel wells.  The intake trunking is deeper and ends with engine facings rather than the flat panel in the Hasegawa kit.


Surface detail/panel lines/etc. is at least as good as Hasegawa's.


The only problem I can see so far with the Academy kit is the Academy decals, which are well-known to be difficult to work with.



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Here's progress so far today...


Easy assembly of parts!




Painting gear, wells, and intakes white...the gear/wells took about 60 seconds to build, with perfect fit.






Cockpit builds up nicely and has good detail for a 1/72 kit.  Control panels are detailed with a mix of drybrushing and decals.










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Thanks guys!


Here's a bit more progress.  The one-part nose is receiving a couple of fishing sinkers; my balance test showed the finished build would probably not be a tail sitter, but I didn't want to take a chance.




The nose is the only part so far that didn't fit well.  The gaps were big enough to cause me to break out the Squadron putty.  You can also see a little white swipe of Vallejo Plastic Putty aft of the cockpit.  Having built the Hasegawa F/A-18C, which is has several fit issues, this one is a treat to build.






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The cockpit looks superb, and you flew through the rest of the build. This is fast, even for you! :) 


Are the decals that bad? The recent Academy kits I have built have had pretty decent decals. Just use hot water to melt the adhesive adequately. A tea-warmer under your decal water works great for this. 

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Thanks.  Yes, unfortunately the decals are hard to work with.  I used hot water for the cockpit decals and still had to use multiple applications of Solvaset...even after that I had to press on them pretty firmly with a damp cotton swab.



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A bit more progress.  The seam resulting from the poor fit of the nose has been taken care of.




There is a seam in the middle of the canopy that runs the entire length.  This is common with large curved canopy parts like this, so I wasn't surprised to see it.


Very easy to take care of.







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Moved over to the paint booth last night.  Coat of Light Ghost Gray on the underside.




Assembling bombs and missiles...




Some of the small parts.  First coat of Life Color "Tire Black" around the rims of the wheels.





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9 minutes ago, murad said:

that's a nice build considering it's academy, surprised that fit was this good honestly. 


I wasn't sure what to expect with the press-fit approach, but I'm really, really happy with the kit so far.  Very enjoyable build, and the Academy press-fit F-4 just might move a bit more quickly out of my stash and onto the workbench.



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Thanks guys!!!



I very much like what I see. Really too bad about the decals.



Here's the results after applying the decals.  They were miserable to work with.  They didn't stick worth a d*mn and are almost totally immune to Solvaset.  They also are very shiny and, from past experience, will almost certainly silver badly under a flat clear coat...in other words, par for the course with in-house Academy decals.





Edited by mlicari
forgot the pics!
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Thankfully the decals did not silver under a flat coat.  Attaching the bombs, drop tanks, and missiles was very easy: no more than a few minutes to get all 9 attached.  MUCH more pleasant than the traditional model where that stage takes me an entire evening.


I weathered the plane using MM Acryl Black and Brown (for the vertical stabilizers) washes.















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