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Revell 1/48 F-15E Mudhen OIF "Shangri La II"


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Update time!  I’ve been out of the country for a few weeks for work, but below is what I’ve accomplished since the last update.  

I found a few areas to detail as I completed the main assembly.  I replaced the kit gun barrels with tubing from my Albion Alloys tube set.  I also reshaped the fairing around the gun with Apoxie Sculpt.  

 

 

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Following Jeffrey’s build, I trimmed the intake faces so that they sit at a higher angle than the Revell it.  If you build the kit straight out of the box, the top of the intake faces sit roughly parallel with the top of the fuselage.  However, nearly every photo of an F-15 on the ground shows the top of the intake faces slightly angled up in relation to the top of the fuselage.  I also used thin sheet styrene on the sides of the intake faces with some panel lines engraved to simulate the sides of the intake ramps.  Even using Tamiya glue sparingly, it still created some sink marks in the thin sheet that had to be filled with Mr. Surfacer.  

 

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I added the bases for the formation strips on the rear of the fuselage with thin sheet styrene.  I also used styrene on the edges of the flaps.  The bases of the vertical stabilizers were trimmed down to sit flush with the stabilizers.  I installed brass tubing where the horizontal stabilizers mount so that I can use corresponding brass rods in the horizontal stabilizers to mount them to the fuselage.  
 

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I used thin sheet styrene to improve the look of the area between the engine nozzles.  I also thinned down the edges of the hot air exhaust ducts at the rear of the CFT’s.  The kit has engraved panel lines on the CFT’s, but in actuality, these panel lines look raised, which I assume is because sealant is used between the panels.  I used stretched spruce to replicate this look.

 

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I wasn’t happy with the kit pylons for the CFT’s.  I had already purchased the F-15E wing plyons from Phase Hanger, which come with separate 3D printed bomb racks.  I thought I could use these bomb racks on the CFT pylons, so I asked Mike Reeves of Phase Hanger if he could sell me some extra bomb racks.  I have to give Mike a shout out since he sent me 15 bomb racks for free!  He’s truly a stand up guy in the modelling community.  

 

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I had to hollow out the pylons to get the bomb racks to fit.  I also had to shorten most of the bomb racks, since they don’t match up exactly to the Revell pylons.  The sway braces on the outer CFT pylons were trimmed down, since they appear smaller than the sway braces on the inner CFT pylons.  Finally, I used Top Studio rivets and MFH rivets to add detail to the pylons per this post.

 

That’s all for now, take care and thanks for looking!

 

Drew
 

Edited by Drew T.
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Superb work, Drew; did you create a tab around the flap edges? I'm aware of your scratchbuilding talents, but that is a difficult stunt to pull off, amazing.

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I’ve done heaps of eagles, and I never noticed the angle of the intakes on the ground being higher! Great attention to detail, and great execution on achieving the results, somehow I hadn’t seen this build, but I’m following it now, I can’t wait to see some paint flying!!

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Thanks everyone!  I probably wouldn't have caught the wrong position of the intakes myself if I hadn't come across Jeffrey's build.  Cruiz, I created the flap edges by first cutting off about 1/16" off each end of the flaps and replacing them with a couple of thin pieces of strip styrene.  I then sanded and carved them down to very thin pieces to replicate what the real thing looks like.  Let me know if I'm not making sense or you need more clarification.

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Thanks for the explanation, Drew; it's clear indeed; I'll try it next time because when I did it, I just carved directly into the kit part and spent more time repairing my errors.

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  • 3 weeks later...

ime for a quick update. Now that basic construction is complete, I applied a light coat of white Tamiya primer to highlight imperfections.  This is an iterative process where I then go back and spot prime areas that I fixed to see if the problem is gone.  If not, I try again and prime again and repeat the process until all imperfections are gone.  I then sanded down the primer with 1000 grit sandpaper and cleaned out all sanding dust in the panel lines and rivet detail.  Finally, I applied a coat of highly thinned black Mr Surfacer 1500 to use a base for painting.  Again, I found a few rough areas that I fixed and re-primed. 
 
Next, I used a set of Archer rivet details, set AR88146 to replicate raised rivets on the airframe.  This set is meant for 1/72 scale, but I found the spacing to be just about right for the raised rivets on the F-15 stabilizers.  I used these rivet decals on both the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, as well as the top of the fuselage behind the speed brake and the area between the engines.  Excuse the blue tape on the wing edges, I tape these edges to prevent wearing down the paint from handling.
 

 

 


 

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I recently came across the 3D printed chaff and flare set for the F-15 that Frank Crenshaw of Kokopelli Scale Design sells.  The set looks much nicer than the PE I was using from Furball, so I decided to buy a set and use them in this build.  He provides more than enough pieces to make any chaff/flare combination you want. 


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Since the areas around the engines are unpainted, I plan on painting these areas with Alclad.  A gloss black primer seems to work the best as a base for Aclad, so after sanding the Mr. Surfacer on these areas with 2000 grit sandpaper, I sprayed a few coats of Mr. Color GX-2 gloss black.  I’ll wait until the rest of the model is painted before spraying the Alcad to avoid masking over the Aclad.  For now, I masked over the panels to be painted with Aclad.


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 Since the tail fins will have a yellow stripe for the 336th FS, I painted them first, since I didn’t want to have to spray yellow after the main painting is complete.  After a base coat of gloss white, I used Tamiya spray TS-34 camel yellow decanted into the airbrush. 
 
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With that complete, I’m finally ready to start painting this thing.  That’s all for now, thanks for looking!
 
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Thanks Kelly!  I finally had a chance to get a coat of paint down.  I started by applying a splotchy coat of Mr Color 305 over the entire model darkened slightly with black Mr. Color 92. 

 

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Then, using an Uschi airbrush texture stencil, I applied a mottled patchwork of Mr. Color 308, 306, and 92.  


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Finally, I followed up with a light coat of the same darkened Mr. Color 305, leaving just a slight amount of the patchwork pattern to show through.  I left the pattern more noticeable on the horizontal top surfaces, since they are usually the most weathered area of the plane.  The overall gray still looks a bit too light to me compared to photos, but I’ll probably leave it since I can’t darken the gray anymore without losing the patchwork pattern.  


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I used a similar process on the drop tanks.  I first painted them Mr. Color 308, then used the texture stencil with Mr. Color 338, 305, and 306.  Finally, I applied a light final coat of 308 to blend the mottling.  It turned out so faint that it hardly shows in the photo, but I wanted to keep the effect faint, as most photos show the drop tanks as fairly clean.  

 

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With painting started, I need to get the underwing stores completed.  The Eduard LANTIRN targeting pod I’m using has an incorrectly shaped side scoop. I used scrap plastic to extend its length to match my reference photos.  


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That’s all for now.  Now I need to force myself to sit down and build 8 Eduard GBU-12’s!  Thanks for looking!
 

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I love the paintwork you have done here, Drew; the color texture you achieved is top-notch.

 

Which of the Ushi's masks did you use to get that tight pattern?

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thanks Greg and Gianni!  
I'm finally finished with all the painting, so I figured it’s time to post an update.  I painted the bare metal areas around the exhaust with Alclad polished aluminum.  Right now, it looks way too clean and polished, but I'll tone it down with oils and a clear coat later.  

 

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I wanted to paint the larger markings with masks using my silhouette cutter, which really only amounts to the tail codes and the white outline around the in-flight refueling door in this case.  I tried cutting masks for the national insignias, but I could never get a result I was satisfied with.   


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I replicated the seeker heads of the bombs by sanding off the tip and replacing it with a drop of super glue gel sanded and polished to shape.  I then masked off the super glue and painted the surrounding area yellow.  Finally, I removed the masking and painted the super glue with Tamiya clear yellow.


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The probes on the insides of both intakes were scratchbuilt from Albion tubing and sheet styrene.  After painting, they were glued on the outer walls of each intake.


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Now that all the painting is complete, it's time for decals and weathering! Thanks for looking!
 

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This reminds me of a time when one of my fellow crew chiefs that was assigned to 90-0233 (the squadron flagship) used his micro mesh kit to polish the engine bay panels. The aircrew that flew it were not happy because they were easily spotted or something like that. The Senior Master Sergeant made him dirty it up the next day. So im glad you're going to tone it down lol.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello everyone!  Back for a quick update.  Decals are on and I applied a wash in all the panel lines.  I originally planned to use the TwoBobs sheet I had for all the decals, but I decided to use the Hypersonic decal sheet for stencils and US insignia.  Also, I was unsatisfied with the 4th FW emblem on the TwoBobs sheet.  They used a light blue on the insignia, when it should be a dark blue.  I found a SuperScale sheet for OIF F-15E's of the same squadron, so I used the wing, squadron, and ACC insignias from that sheet.  To highlight the panel lines, I applied a wash of Tamiya dark gray in most of the panel lines, and the Tamiya black wash around removable panels.  

 

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I hand brushed Vallejo Metal Color Aluminum around the in-flight refueling door using reference photos as a guide.  Before proceeding with further weathering, I applied a 50:50 mixture of Gunze GX112 and GX113 for a semi-gloss finish.  I like the surface to have a slightly rough texture to allow oil paints to stick, but I have found that 100% GX113 is so flat, it can make removing excess oil paint difficult.  

 

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Finally, I heavily weathered the bombs with oil paints, as most photos of F-15E’s in OIF and OEF show bombs that look heavily weathered.  
  
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Once weathering is complete, final assembly is the last step before I can finally call this project finished!

 

Thanks for looking!
 

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