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The bomb bays mostly went through a ''functionality'' modification rather than detailing. I also kept a subtle weathering overall. So, to open and close, I added some magnets on specific places, embedded metal rods on the opposite sides (to the doors), and two pins on both sides of the bay, to keep the doors at an equal distance from each other while open. 







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The hydraulics can also retract and extend with the doors. Then painting, and a testfit with the doors open and closed:







They fit perfectly. I did that suite some time ago, but I remember that no additional sanding or alignment was required. The kit is spot on.

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And here they are complete - with the subtle weathering, and a few wires/elements as addons. I know the bay ceilings will not be visible at all, but I had to add at least a few extra details... 🙂 This is with the launch pylons retracted:






And extended:






And they are still not 100% ready yet. The launchers/rails are next, which will be visible easily, so I should add dozens of tiny decals and pieces to make them look like tiny models. I also plan to make them compatible with different bombs. I want to make two AGM-158s so much, I searched a lot, but I couldn;t find them in 1/32. I have a few alternative options from other kits though... will figure it out. Cheers. 🙂



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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know how many years later, both halves of the fuselage are now glued. 🙂 It feels like a milestone. I had to make some contraptions to straighten the leading/trailing edges, which were pretty much straight, but not on a macro level, especially from the transition to the nose chines. Now they are straight, and I will give them a whole week to dry. I used both cement (gel) and CA glue (liquid). 








It's an even more beautiful silhouette with the tails - I'll add them next.



Edited by my favs are F`s
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  • 3 weeks later...

A few updates on the horizon - there are two engraved hex shapes right behind the canopy.. I made them flush. Also, all antennas will be retracted, so their provisions/covers also gotta be flush with the fuselage with engraved channels along the edges, something like that:






These little pointy triangular ''winglets'' on both sides of the exhaust plates are out of scale. They are barely noticeable in the real plane, so I couldn't leave them just like that. I ended up making the out of PE and they look way way better now:






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And, of course, this 1/32 scale is just perfect for oil canning effects of the surface. 🙂 The real plane was covered in RAM and almost not a single river was visible, so I'll skip the riveting part, but those planes saw quite some tear and wear. I'll do 80-788 airframe, which looks rather smooth, so the oil canning effect will be very subtle. Here is how it started from the underside - some tracing of a pattern with a pensil in the first place...







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  • 2 months later...

The top side - first things first - highlightning the oil canning patterns:




the results: 






After that - some unsuccessful trials with aluminum self-adhesive tape... I thought to keep these stripes permanently, but they are too too out of scale...




So - instead, the easy way 🙂 - just proper masking tape that will leave very very subtle (almost invisible) indentations once removed after the priming, which I hope (and I'm 99% sure) will look right to scale:




And here it is after the first stage priming:




Now I gotta remove the stripes, and continue with the paining stage. Will keep you updated. 🎄 🎇 Happy Holidays!

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Thanks lgl007,

and thank you, Rich!

Could be, who knows 🙂, and btw it depends on the specific plane/airframe, and also on the viewing angle/light angle. For example, here is a pic of the real plane:




and here is the model from a distance, slightly zoomed picture:




and from another angle and a closer distance - the oil canning is barely noticeable:



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Very cool.  Anyone know what causes this or was it like this out of the shop?  I know nothing about these stealth fighters.  Very interesting though... never noticed it before to that extent as in the pics above...



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In my opinion, everything made out of ''thin'' metal sheets and that has bulkheads in the framework - gets tear and wear over time. Pretty much every plane and boat... even the passenger planes can have this. Of course, it is normal to become more evident over time... the weight alone of the metal sheets/skin is enough for such deformations, I can only image what would it do to giant planes with tons of weight just by sitting on the ground with years, not to mention when the air pushes those huge flat surfaces at let's say ''high speed''. 🙂 Stealth doesn't play a role I think... if they still keep designing stealth machines with such constructions, even the Zumwalt has this effect..




Only in the metal construction, not the composite areas. I studied the Nighthawk quite a bit, and it also has clear demarcation lines between the oil canning effect in the metal structure underneath, and the areas with stealth composites underneath (without oil canning) along the edges + control surfaces. Here for example in this pic - I highlighted them in yellow and white, and the demarcation lines are clearly visible right between them... 




If everything goes well, I found a way to recreate them by using just the thickness of a couple of coats of primer (Surfacer 1000). So far so good, but I'll post pics when I'm sure everything is a-ok.


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Pretty sure what you're seeing is not due to thin sheet metal, but wrinkling or puckering in the RAM mats applied to the exterior of the airframe. They was virtually no exposed metal skin on the F-117, it was all covered with RAM mats and RAM butter. 

Edited by habu2
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Yeah, it is the RAM mats that is visible for sure, but what is there underneath them? - isn't it the skin of the plane, which is some kind of a ''thin metal'', be it aluminum, steel, or whathave you. And the RAM mats are so thin that it is quite possible to accept any shape/wrinkle/form on the surface underneath them.


I didin't see any one of them in live, 🙂 so it's just guessing that I can. But here is the airframe from the Reagan Library display - it is without the RAM mats - the finish is just bare paint to ressemble the real plane in color... maybe one of the few cases when all the rivets and panel lines of the original skin are clearly visible.




Yet, the wrinkles and the ''oil canning'' effect is clearly visible as well. However, note how it is missing on the surfaces that are known to be composite parts - the eading edge, the whole flaperons and ailerons, the facets around the wing tip on the very foreground. There is discoloration also, but it is different.


If we talk about these lines over here:




... the reason for this could be the RAM mats only - that, I get it. But I'm not sure how and why it is created - is it overlapping of two mats, some kind of a tape over the edges of two adjacent mats, retrofitted repair patches, something corosion control-related, or maybe some kind of a combination... no indea indeed. 🙂

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I had some difficulties nailing the perfect ''main black'' color (I want ''transparent colors'' (filters) after the main color, also a light ''blending filter'' after the white decals, also an overall matte finish that must slightly lighten everything underneath)... and had to take all this into account now, but I think I did it right. 🙂 So, after removing the masks, the goal is to reveal the bare plastic with slightly higher edges from the two layers of Surfacer 1500, and at the end (after the main color), I will slightly sand them down to reveal the contrasting white lines in some key areas, that otherwise would have been impossible to recreate with just masking and painting. So far this part went very well:




You can see the edges/rims shining from the angled light from a white flashlight:




After that - the main ''black paint''... well, this is after two invisible coats underneat... I initially messed up the hues and made it quite reddish, then quite bluish... but now it's fine (again, I have to leave room for the finishes afterwards).



And after the subtle sanding - I'm happy with those white edges at key areas only. 🙂 The combo with the oil canning effect is legit:










No such extra on the bottom fuselage, but as far as the reference images say - the weathering underneath is also way different...




Next up - panel discoloration, masks, and decals.

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Thx guys! Here are the final mods of the exhaust plates (without weathering) - I imitated the moveable cooling plates with self-adhesive bare metal foil:




Then finished it with very thin transparent coats of paint, to preserve the shine at certain angles:






I plan a heavy weathering for these exhaust areas, so they will change the look quite a bit as well.

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