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Nice work, my friend.

 

I'm visualizing the ski hills in your back yard.  No fun!

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The dark areas have been painted with the dark grey. Masking now complete, ready for the top grey FS 35237.

qgQpxZK.jpg

 

I hand-painted the red around the gear doors.

IY4qh5q.jpg

 

The gear have been sprayed with multiple layers of white Tamiya primer. I then used a silver metallic pen to do some of the bands where required.

WoxSbf1.jpg

 

Here's what the top looks like with a very light coat of FS 35237 sprayed. Next step is to dirty it up with my patented pencil method.

RTlEPgN.jpg

 

ALF

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Short update, no pics tonight. Had a bit of a disaster, but recovered. For some strange reason, the main gear were at strange angles. I finally switched to the metal main gear, but had to remove and transplant some of the plastic. I just repainted the mains today. Pics tomorrow.

ALF

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29 minutes ago, ALF18 said:

Short update, no pics tonight. Had a bit of a disaster, but recovered. For some strange reason, the main gear were at strange angles. I finally switched to the metal main gear, but had to remove and transplant some of the plastic. I just repainted the mains today. Pics tomorrow.

ALF

Hmmm, interesting. Was the issue with the engineering  of the gear? Something you could share to help us out on our builds?

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I had this problem with my Kinetic 1/48. I couldn't fix it enough to not be obvious if you look at the aircraft from the bottom or from directly in front. 

 

My mistake, AlienFrog, was rushing to glue the wheels before mounting the gear themselves to the airframe. You'll want to do lots of testing before gluing. I don't know if I mounted the wheels wrong or what, but beware.

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In response to AFM's query, I honestly have NO idea how this happened to the gear. I have built several of these big Academy Hornets, and this is the first time this has happened to me. I suspect that I somehow managed to swap parts between left and right as I was obsessing over getting the CA glue in place to ensure strength in the main gear struts. 

In any case, I now have the metal SAC gear installed. First pic is the box for the metal gear, with some kit parts installed on one of the struts. Second one shows the kit parts in all-white, with the metal gear as yet unpainted and dry-fit. See how far off the angle is on the wheel on the kit part? Rather than figure out what happened, I am just moving on. Luckily, Emvar showed me a trick with Tamiya extra-thin glue, where a joint can be loosened and undone by re-applying the same glue and waiting a while for it to loosen it.

RqR3SGV.jpg

 

fuaMfON.jpg

 

This pic shows the more normal angle of the main wheels. Phew. Problem averted.

xQbqNxp.jpg

 

Here are the gear struts, painted and dry-brushed to show some hydraulic fluid (red stains) and general grime. Soon it will be sitting on its legs.

ZpzVTPz.jpg

 

ALF

 

 

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Now to the weathering (dirtying-up) of the paint.

I use an HB pencil, a finger, and some water. Draw some grime where it usually shows up with the pencil. In this case, from behind the actuator for the leading edge flap, trailing backward. I have also traced along some of the panel lines on the upper fuselage in the left side of this picture.

GL9eQPX.jpg

 

I then wet my finger and scrubbed back along the airflow direction to erase the pencil marks and blur them into a grime streak. The darker area near the wing root, on the access panels just forward of the flaps, is the darker paint partially covered by the top grey (light airbrushing).

SLnZTn6.jpg

 

Here is the other wing, with the leading edge flap actuator at right, and wing fold at left. The beauty of this method is that you can vary the intensity. If it is too grimy, just press harder and it comes off. In extreme cases, you can use a pencil eraser and start over. I plan to use an eraser to create some cleaner patches amidst some grime, making it look like a paint touch-up after a skin repair.

TLjQFOj.jpg

 

The aft rear fuselage. This gets quite dirty on some aircraft. This is a bit of a light job; I may darken it up here and there. For the metal grilles forward of the nozzles, I used a silver metallic pen (easier to not overdo, and easy for me to colour within the lines). The petals just forward of the nozzles (nozzles aren't installed in this picture) have been done with the same silver pen (Sharpie brand).

wrrRP65.jpg

 

I am also working on the Sniper pod. Here is the forward section of the resin pod from the update set. I've used a silver metallic pen on the sensor, and have painted Tamiya semi-gloss black and some red around the opening and the edges of the transparency (just visible on the right).

ov9uL3i.jpg

 

Finally, the interior of the exhausts. The latest engines in our fleet have the lighter-coloured ceramic inside the VENs (Variable Exhaust Nozzles). Earlier ones were a darker metal. I used Tamiya Desert Yellow as a base. I will dirty it up before gluing together. Much easier to paint before assembly.

lMdUSCQ.jpg

 

More soon!

Thanks for stopping by, loyal followers and lurkers.

ALF

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On 4/26/2019 at 6:15 PM, Wolfgun33 said:

Very nice work! 

Thanks!

 

Interior of the VENs. The dark dots represent the fasteners. The one on the left got the smear job; the one on the right is pre-smear.

5BUsc5C.jpg

 

A bit blurry, but here are the nozzle interiors installed. I've painted the nozzles themselves with Tamiya XF-56 Metallic Grey (yet to be installed here).

EN3sQTR.jpg

 

mSjc5nB.jpg

 

The nozzles are glued in place here. You can see some of the weathering with smeared pencil, including a patch on the left vertical stab where I used an eraser to make it look like a paint retouch.

anBXGF7.jpg

 

Now for the landing gear. I told you early on that the nose gear could be installed after painting the exterior, therefore saving lots of masking work. The secret is having the joint between the drag brace (the long part sticking out the back here) and the vertical strut be movable. I've bent the drag brace away from the fuselage. I then turned the vertical part sideways, pushed it down until the pins were inside the fuselage, and then rotated it back to the proper orientation, as shown here.

K4DYJtP.jpg

 

At this point, I have put a bit of CA glue into the vertical strut, and am about to push it fully into the hole, also snugging the little nubs in place on the sides. Notice I have painted the interior of the landing/taxi light metallic silver. I will leave off the clear lens until after the dull clear coat has been applied.

A78b2HB.jpg

 

The rear part of the drag brace is now glued in place. Sometimes it is necessary to trim the nubs a tiny bit to get this part to snick into place, but I was able to use the Exacto knife to wedge it into the fuselage.

OXptdgR.jpg

 

Now the jet sits on its legs.

ALF

 

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Oops. Forgot to show you the main gear struts glued in place. This jet has been working really hard, and the techs have not had the time to keep it clean.

I will also paint the appropriate expendables (chaff/flare) in the little recesses on the dispensers.

0PFmTC9.jpg

 

Some views of the weathering so far.

eiagdX8.jpg

 

aOSmv9j.jpg

 

XLedwNU.jpg

 

Thanks for stopping by. Next I am working more on the Sniper pod, external stores, and seat, as well as the canopy.

ALF

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Outstanding work! What a beasty!

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On 4/29/2019 at 5:41 PM, Jamie Cheslo said:

Outstanding work! What a beasty!

Thanks Jamie!

Things are coming along slowly, and my customer (a CF-18 pilot in Cold Lake) is happy with the weathering. He's told me he wants a load-out with two JDAMs, one AMRAAM, Sniper, two AIM 9Ms, and fuel. Unfortunately, we're a bit limited by the ordnance that comes in this kit. It's a great selection, but getting dated.

ALF

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Starting to work on the external stores, canopy, and various antennae.

Here are the GBU 31s (JDAMs). Still need to apply decals to them.

FWqgyu1.jpg

 

Wingtip AIM 9Ms that I had built up previously; I made multiple missiles while building one kit, to maximize work done at the time.

NWUo4mL.jpg

 

Sniper pod, ready for clear coat and decals.

HVzCDcp.jpg

 

ALF

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Wow. Long time no update. I've made a lot of progress. Here is the front canopy (windscreen) that I am adding some of the PE to. Makes a bit of a difference.

sl9HJfG.jpg

 

gnpQtGe.jpg

 

Main canopy, PE bits. I decided not to use the PE for the tiny mirrors. The kit parts were pretty good, and much easier to work with. With my fat fingers, it's more likely I'll smear CA glue on the clear plastic and make a huge mess if I try to use PE on that canopy bow interior.

HRMq3AZ.jpg

 

Paint started; detail paint to go still.

I used a silver metal pen to represent the mirrors. Nice and shiny.

opV0KT3.jpg

 

Here is the overall jet with weathering done, and clear coat applied. Next step: decals!

6dWOFdf.jpg

 

Decals applied, and dull coat applied. Now I can remove the masking tape from the cockpit and finish it off. The avionics hole is looking good. Seat being painted.

FzzsEgq.jpg

 

ID light. I used some metallic pen to make the lens area shiny (before adding the clear plastic lens). Lens installed. I touched up the flaked paint behind the ID light after I took this picture.

ZwGUlVn.jpg

 

Next to the part this boxing of the kit says to use, is the CF-18 one with the ID light.

YGdTsp3.jpg

 

More in a moment.

ALF

 

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Now for the mission markings. The kit sheet comes with several options, and I had others from some old Leading Edge sheets. You can see I chopped some out to try to come close to what is actually on 770.

FlFXovA.jpg

 

This is the ref pic I used, courtesy of an avid photographer in Cold Lake (thanks, Megan!). I flipped it upside down so I could more easily mix and match the bomb markings.

WfFkfzw.jpg

 

Here's the assortment of markings I cobbled together. Not perfect, but similar.

Q65n1lM.jpg

 

5BWeS0h.jpg

 

This is what it looks like now.

rRRnYxw.jpg

 

***BREAKING NEWS**** As a result of some discussions on FB, Colin Kunkel, that wonderful guy, has come through with an offer to make decals of the correct mission markings, including the name of the pilot. He tells me that they're done, and have been mailed over the weekend. I can't wait. I'll rip off the cobbled-together decals of mission markings, and use his, as well as add the pilot's name. Should look really nice! Thanks Colin.

 

Colin will also send some RCAF/ARC legends for the fuselage roundel sides. 

 

Meanwhile, much finishing work. External stores installed. Gear doors. Sniper Pod. Antennae.

fDNHzNH.jpg

 

XG57kVo.jpg

 

I also installed the rubber tires. Love the way they make the painting of landing gear super easy, and add a bit of realism to the model. On the CF-18, the tires are 250 psi (main gear) and about 200 psi (nose tires). They don't bulge much at all, so these look OK to me.

VBdtSn9.jpg

 

Waiting for Colin's decals. I don't want to install the wingtip missiles yet, because they can get damaged in handling too easily.

jR694wm.jpg

 

Checking the mailbox daily... can't wait!

ALF

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1 hour ago, ALF18 said:

***BREAKING NEWS**** As a result of some discussions on FB, Colin Kunkel, that wonderful guy, has come through with an offer to make decals of the correct mission markings, including the name of the pilot. He tells me that they're done, and have been mailed over the weekend. I can't wait. I'll rip off the cobbled-together decals of mission markings, and use his, as well as add the pilot's name. Should look really nice! Thanks Colin.

 

Colin will also send some RCAF/ARC legends for the fuselage roundel side

My pleasure, Dan!  Actually, Megan's photos came in handy, as far as making the decals for the mission markings and name.  The RCAF titles, I had done in 1/48, but just upsized them to as close to 1/32 as I could guess.  I test fitted them with a 1/32 roundel and they looked pretty good.  I can't wait to see them on the model!

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Part of the Op Mobile set is a PE HUD, and thin plastic transparencies for it. The kit's HUD is plastic, and slightly thick. I also find that this kit tends to have a HUD that interferes slightly with the windscreen fit, so I am making the HUD as small as possible.

X1LQreI.jpg

 

Lots of fiddling required, but it looks pretty good. I used a green permanent marker to colour the plastic HUD projector transparency you can see through the HUD glass. For real, it looks a bit green when you look down on it (which nobody but a modeller ever does!).

Gzt8f9Q.jpg

 

Lots of dry fitting of the canopy required.

RSu66Ih.jpg

 

I've set this aside until Colin's decals arrive. Notice I have added the little PE avionics bay cover behind the seat. I'll get a better pic of that soon.

K4V8b33.jpg

 

ALF

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On 6/4/2019 at 10:33 PM, Emvar said:

Love it!

Thanks, Elmo! Here is a closer picture of the avionics bay with its PE cover. Colin's decals didn't make it here before the weekend; I think the dog sled ran into some rocky roads at some point. Hopefully early next week I can finish this off.

7ZvxfXY.jpg

 

ALF

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Looking good, ALF.  Maybe you'll still have it so I can see it up close and personal in a couple of weeks.

 

Mike

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12 hours ago, AX 365 said:

Looking good, ALF.  Maybe you'll still have it so I can see it up close and personal in a couple of weeks.

 

Mike

I will delay delivery just for you, buddy! 

Actually, I haven't heard when the clients may be showing up to retrieve it, so I'm sure it'll be done and still here. Something to look forward to!

 

Colin K, as I mentioned, came through with some decals for this. They arrived in the mail today. So excited!

In preparation for the decals, I removed the old mission markings (which look terrible compared to Colin's decals). The tape I used took most of them off, but I had to scrape a bit more, because the clear coat and dull coat held some of the markings too well.

nLErcsM.jpg

 

Colin's decals are like Canmilair's; the whole sheet is one big decal film. I therefore cut out a larger piece of the paper backing, and then trimmed closely around the RCAF to limit the amount of carrier film that exists around the RCAF.

dWn6cLo.jpg

 

Of course, this RCAF fits between the roundel and the big 'E' (electrical symbol) aft of the electrical door and fuselage crank. I realized that I put the roundel a bit too far forward, and the properly-sized RCAF does not fit between them. I therefore tried to remove the roundel; it was too well sealed in place. I then painted over the roundel and remaining mission markings. Here, I have started to dirty up that area with some pencil lead smudging.

xlpciuG.jpg

 

Next, clear coat, decals, dull coat. More soon!

ALF

 

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On 6/8/2019 at 8:00 PM, ALF18 said:

Thanks, Elmo! Here is a closer picture of the avionics bay with its PE cover. Colin's decals didn't make it here before the weekend; I think the dog sled ran into some rocky roads at some point. Hopefully early next week I can finish this off.

7ZvxfXY.jpg

 

ALF

Looks good, but THIS I really like.

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21 hours ago, phantom said:

Looks good, but THIS I really like.

Thanks Phantom! Colin's decals were perfect. Here's the RCAF, pilot's name, and mission markings. Great finishing touches. I had to move the roundel further aft, because I had put it slightly too far forward and the RCAF was crowding the electrical outlet.

VkHCPbq.jpg

 

Now to apply flat coat, and attach the canopies. Almost done!

ALF

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