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DaveJL

Lightning II, FGR.1 (F-35B), Royal Air Force, 2022.

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Hello all,

Here is my second entry for this GB; 1/48 Kittyhawk F-35B in Royal Air Force markings...

After lengthly delays and political arguments, the F-35 (Lightning II FGR.1 in the UK) finally entered Royal Air Force service in 2020, but the fleet of just 40 jets was grounded almost immediately due to problems in the software for the Storm Shadow cruise missile. Six months later and at an additional cost, the jets were ready. Pilots weren't overly impressed by the aircraft and many preferred to remain on the Typhoon and ageing Tornado GR4. However, by late 2021, their opinions changed as newer software came 'online.' The updated computers and sophisticated avionics thrilled many of the younger generation of pilots and very shortly they would get the chance to prove their worth.

In February 2022, Iran launched a surprise attack on Iraq, fired ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel, killing many civilians, and attacked the USS Nimitz which was sailing in the Persian Gulf. Condemnation spread and fearing a Nuclear attack, the UN stepped in. Spearheaded by the US, UK and Saudi Arabia, Operation 'Urgent Response' was launched involving large scale air strikes across Iran. The Israeli Government was close to launching an all-out nuclear assault, but were talked down by the United States. The RAF's contribution included 12 Lightning II's.

Flying from Prince Sultan air base in Saudi Arabia, the Lightning II's attacked key facilities around Southern and Eastern Iran and aided SF units on the ground. Armed with the Storm Shadow, enhanced Paveway II, III and IV, the jet performed magnificently, achieving a 98% sortie completion rate, with the advanced and costly avionics proving their worth when penetrating Iran's sophisticated air defence network. One Lightning II successfully engaged and destroyed an IRIAF SU-24, which was attempting to 'sneak' out into the Persian Gulf to attack allied shipping, with an AIM-132 ASRAAM.

12 Strom Shadows were launched by a mixed RAF flight of Typhoons and Lightning II's on the night of 22nd March in what was the prelude to a massive bombardment by USAF B-52's and B-1's on key targets in Tehran. The next day the Iranian government pleaded for a truce....

The aircraft shown here depicts a standard 'early' raid configuration, used to attack Iranian airfields in the south of the country.

The kit:

IMG_3070.jpg

IMG_3071.jpg

Extras:

IMG_3072.jpg

Unsure on markings at the moment.

More to come.

Dave

Edited by DaveJL

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The DaveJL Group Build juganought rolls on. . . .

Great back story looking forward to seeing it take shape.

Edited by Neal

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Ahh, a companion to my FRS Sea Vespid :) Will be looking forward to seeing this!

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Thanks chaps. Perhaps a glimpse into the future, if the Jet ever gets itself sorted! (hopefully not the conflict though) :lol:

Dave

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Cut-backs and teething troubles? You back-story sounds perfectly plausable and those extras look interesting as well.

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Thanks Col, i'm looking forward to it! Just need to sort out some fuel tanks and we're good to go!

Dave

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What a ludicrous back story.... Oh hang on :)

Dan

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Thanks mate. Story is a bit far fetched (hopefully!!)

Dave

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Ok, bit of a delay, but i should hopefully be making a start on this at the weekend. The plan is to bomb it up to the max, but since I don't know what the limitations are in terms of payload, it might be a bit daft!

A question for those in the know: What colour will the RAF/FAA jets will be delivered in? The instructions say Gunship grey, but wasn't sure wether to go for this or Medium Sea Grey.

Dave

Edited by DaveJL

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Hmm, good question, not sure if we'll get them in standard colour or a shade of our own choice. Guess it's up to you fella, I say go with whatever you fancy.

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Hi Dave.

Just a friendly note when you start building your JSF.

Take some extra care when mounting the intakes.

And dry fit everything !

Cybermodeler has some good buildnotes on the fit.

http://www.cybermodeler.com/hobby/builds/kh/build_kh_80102.shtml

Good Luck with your build.

/Bosse

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Thanks chaps. Might go for the Medium Sea Grey...

Bosse thanks for the tips and the link. I'll be using your build for guidance, though I do plan to model the jet with the engine in a horizontal configuration and it will be 'fully bombed up' :lol:

Dave

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Ohh using my build for guidandce, I'm honoured.

Doing the engine in horizontal mode that's brave.

I havn't tried to close any of the doors on mine, but with the fit being as it is I doubt the doors will fit very well.

I also plan to load mine up fully. I'll be using 6 Hasegawa GBU-12's converted to PW IV and a pair of Amraams and Asraams.

Good luck with your build, or as I would have said it in swedish. "Lycka till med ditt bygge."

/Bosse

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Hopefully won't be too difficult to do it, despite the lack of instructions!

I plan to close the bomb bays and load up the wing pylons with a mix of missiles and bombs, load-out yet to be decided!

Dave

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Didn't get around to starting the kit today, but I did pull together all the weapons I have gathered.

IMG_3363.jpg

IMG_3364.jpg

Here's what i'm thinking...the 2 Paveway II's could go in the internal bomb bay, with the fuel tank on the centre line station, the Storm Shadows on the inner wing pylons, ASRAAM's on the outer with either 2x Paveway IV's on a double ejector rack with a Paveway lll on the opposite wing or just close the bomb bays and use the Paveway II's on the wings.

You may also notice there are 2 F-16 CFT's in the first picture...

Dave

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Finally made a start today, albeit a small one!

Built up the main landing gear bays and internal weapons bays. I took one look at the sink marks on the inside of the weapons bay doors and decided to close them :lol: I imagine they'd be closed when the jet is on the ground anyway. We'll 'pretend' that 2 Paveway IV's are tucked away in there!

The weapons bays and landing gear bays installed. The fit and detail is good:

IMG_3396.jpg

Nose wheel bay, again, good fit:

IMG_3397.jpg

The cockpit with paint on. Just need to paint all the small dials, switches etc:

IMG_3399.jpg

The kits ejection seat. Again, quite well detailed but i will need to add some etched harnesses:

IMG_3400.jpg

I also decided on the weapons load. Two imaginary Paveway IV's will be in the closed weapons bay, with a centre line fuel tank on along with 2x Storm Shadows on the inner wing pylons, 2x Paveway III's on the middle wing pylons and 2x ASRAAM on the outer pylons.

IMG_3398.jpg

Bombs and Storm Shadows are from the Airfix Tornado GR-4 kit, while the fuel tank is left over from a Revell Typhoon.

This configuration was used to attack Iranian airfields at the start of the conflict. The Storm Shadows were used to destroy the air defence system from a safe distance, while the Paveway III's were used to destroy Hardened Aircraft Shelters (HAS) and the Paveway IV's used to mop up any 'leakers' that may be taxiing.

During these early raids, the RAF flew mixed bomber/attacker formations of Lightning's and Typhoons, while 'top cover' was provided by either RAF Typhoons armed solely for air-air missions, or USAF F-22's.

More to come.

Dave

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A bit more done. The decal that represents the instrument panel was added:

IMG_3427.jpg

The 'instrument panel' is basically a big computer screen! Finished the tub:

IMG_3428.jpg

IP and coaming added:

IMG_3429.jpg

Attached to lower fuselage:

IMG_3434.jpg

Main fuselage with all the weapons bay doors added. These fit very well indeed in the closed position, all at the same level, no sinking and only a little glue required to seal the gaps:

IMG_3435.jpg

Next up is to tackle the engine assembly. I plan to model the jet with the engine in the horizontal position as I doubt the jet would be able to go VTOL with the weapons load i'm putting on!

More to come.

Dave

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Looks nice Dave.

Good to know that it's possible to close the weapon bays.

/Bosse

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Thanks mate. I had a look at all the sink holes on the inside of the weapons bay doors and that made up my mind to close them! Call it cheating if you will :lol:

Dave

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More to show today. First up, the engine assembly:

IMG_3441.jpg

Looks like a bugger but it actually went together fairly well. I'm modelling the engine in the horizontal position. The parts are supplied, but not shown in the instructions. I then added some scrap etch harnesses to the seat:

IMG_3442.jpg

Finished the Storm Shadows:

IMG_3443.jpg

Installed the engine into the fuselage, again, it fits well:

IMG_3462.jpg

The instructions call for you to add the forward section of the front fuselage to the main part first:

IMG_3463.jpg

After dry fitting however, i discovered that it does not line up with the upper fuselage correctly so I took it off. I then attached the lower front section to the upper section and left to dry In between this, I added the upper fan doors. These too fit spot on:

IMG_3465.jpg

Then the pylons:

IMG_3466.jpg

Only the missile rails are shown in the instructions, but the other 4 are easy to assemble. The outer missile rails are angled correctly outward. I also built up the tails and stabilisers:

IMG_3467.jpg

Followed by the wings with dropped flaps:

IMG_3471.jpg

Finally for today, i attached the 2 parts of the fuselage:

IMG_3468.jpg

IMG_3469.jpg

The fit is fine but all the tape and clamps are necessary to ensure a good seal. One thing i must point out is that the numbers in the instruction call outs do not match the part numbers, so just be careful when working your way through. I've found that the numbers called out are the opposite to the correct ones, e.g part 33 is part 34.

Next up is to tidy up the fuselage and add the wings and tails.

More to come.

Dave

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Another update today. First thing I did was to remove the tape and clamps holding the fuselage together. Apart from one or two small gaps, it closed very well:

IMG_3472.jpg

I then moved on and added the rest of the doors- front fan aft of the wheel bay and the rear section that opens for the nozzle to point downward. I also added the wings. These were tricky. Both the fuselage and wings have female mating points, but no male points. Slightly confused by this, i dry fitted them to find that the fit was poor. I Had to remove the flaps (leave these off until you attach the wings to the fuselage) and cut off the locating holes and gently attach the wings to get the right fit, but they do need filler:

IMG_3473.jpg

I then moved on and added the nose, tidied up the join lines on the forward fuselage and added the tail fins. Starting to look like a F-35 now!

IMG_3483.jpg

IMG_3484.jpg

IMG_3485.jpg

One idea i'm toying with....

IMG_3486.jpg

IMG_3487.jpg

CFT's made from halves of Fuel tanks. I know it's probably unrealistic for the F-35B, but I think it looks quite rugged! Also makes one think that perhaps the F-35A was the way to go :lol:

Next up is to re-add the flaps, tidy up the filler and add a few odds and sods before priming.

More to come.

Dave

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Had the same idea with this kit, never thought of conforming tanks though, nice one.

Might need a wee hand to get off the deck with all that weight cos it hasnae got the power(captain)to do it on that hairdryer that they call an engine.

Remind me, why are we buying this? :shrug:

What sqn will you do and are you going hi or lo viz? :popcorn:

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Thanks mate. In my 'story' they are land based so at least it would have a long-ish runway for a conventional take off :lol:

Not sure why we are buying them either, but that's another story for another thread!

Not sure on markings. Most likely pale red/blue roundels etc.

Dave

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Just about got her ready for painting today. The Flaps were re-added and all the filler was tidied up and smoothed off. I decided in the end not to go with the CFT's.

IMG_3506.jpg

IMG_3507.jpg

Primer is on as I type this and I hope to get the paint on before I return to work on Tuesday. I'm going with all over Tamiya XF-83 Medium Sea Grey 2, as I think this would look more 'British' than the standard US Gunship Grey! Does anyone know what colour the British F-35's will be when/if they are delivered?

More to come.

Dave

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