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Dazzio

Dragon 1/144 EA-18G Growler, F-18 E and F-18 F - **FINISHED**

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Hello one and all,

There will be 3 builds in this thread. My logic being that all of the aircraft are near-enough the same (same moulds anyhow), so I am hoping to get them all done in a production line style... it'll probably fail epically tho. lol

Right the EA-18G will be from VAQ-141 "Shadowhawks", the F-18 E will be VFA-31 (not the Revell version), and last but not least the F-18 F will be VFA-32 Swordsmen. On to the pictures. :)

img1237mo.jpg

The Shadowhawks plane you can see in the background, I will be using the other airframe for the Swordsmen example.

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Here is the Tomcatters example, see what I mean about it being different from the Revell version? Also can someone clear up something for me? Is that missile closest to the "1+1" logo a Sparrow or a HARM? It really looks like a HARM to me for some reason... weird...

img1242pj.jpg

Love the Dragon drawings :P

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The Shadowhawks is the top version.

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I am not too sure the difference between the two sets of markings, I am assuming one is for a CAG and the other isn't??

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Onto the sprues...

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If you look closely you can see that there is two sets of nose wheels, one up and one down for the catapult. Why am I mentioning this? You'll find out...

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See the etch for the AN/ALQ-218... they are tiny! They will pin off into the dogs hair no doubt...

img1243zy.jpg

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The sprues for the other two aircraft. I might think "screw it" and do the Gunslingers too... I dunno yet.

I also have this...

img1246ya.jpg

I have the Dragon carrier deck thing which I will be using also, for some reason I didn't take a picture of it... I dunno.

Looking forward to doing this one. :)

Kind Regards,

Dazz

Edited by Dazzio

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Nice dazz, was looking at that deck decal set myself, must send you a pic of the deck made up

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Nice one, I've wondered how the dragon kits compare to the revell sets, it looks like there's a wing fold option as well. I've the carrier deck set with a tomcat and I'm not that impresses with the F-14 but the the deck looks good other than the lack of decals, althought I seem to think mine has quite heavy raised panel lines. Watching with lots of interest.

The pic look like HARM to me.

Edited by Neal

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Going to have to have a look at the 1/144 and with the after market stuff makes a nice build

I will be watching your builds

Les

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Mark, if you could show me a picture of the deck made up that'll be sweet. :) my deck is different to the decals. I don't have the little window place. Although I'm pretty sure that'll be easy to knock up.

Neal, the Dragon kits aren't actually too bad, the pilots look totally crap mind. But the Hornets have proper cockpits for once!!! I got the deck set with an F-18 C, got it on EBay for £3 from someone in France. :) the F-18 in that set is truly shocking though!! I got the Dragon F-14A "Fightertown" too... Shocking. I've finally managed to get a Prowler tho!!! \o/ yay!!

Wellzy, you'll be amazed with the detail you can get into 1/144 now. Really cool :) the aftermarket stuff isn't that great, not as well loved as say 1/72 or 1/48 but we are getting there :)

Nimrod, tell me about it!!! This month is going to kill me, my work place is going through a major refit, I'm doing an 8 week night college course (CCNA if anyone cares), plus I've gotta see the gf I suppose :P don't think I'll get them started until 2 weeks. Got 3 Tornado GR.1's on the go too!! Glutton for punishment I guess :). Looking forward to this build :)

Thank you for the encouragement and interest all. :)

Kind Regards

Dazz

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Well it's taken me long enough, but I have finally made a start on these little ones. I've decided to do all 4 of them as it's just easier I think. I can honestly say that I am not enjoying the Dragon models thus far... to me it feels like they've deliberately tried to make the models go together in the hardest way possible. If I knew it would be this much trouble I would of just bought 4 Revell F/A-18E's and tried to modify them somehow. I'll post pictures of them and post a little about them first of all.

zbfg.jpg

Here we have all 4 of them lined up, the two F/A-18 E's, the F/A-18 F and the E/A-18G. No real difference between the lot except for two less seats.

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Lots of filler needed for the two F/A-18 E's, esp for that bit behind the ejector seat. I'm sure that area is more busy than just a flat piece of nothing. Will have to look into that one.

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Same holds true for the E/A-18 G and the F/A-18 F, the cockpits are really lacking on these models. Shame there is no cockpit upgrades (that I am aware off). Still I guess this is better than the usual stick robots eh?...

7y6g.jpg

Right I dunno how well you can see it from here. The rear part of the fuselage is split down the horizontal middle up until the nose fuselage joins the main body just before the intakes/centre pylon attachment point. Also if you look at the intakes, you will see a bloody great big gap. That is because Dragon in their infinite wisdom decided to have the top and side closest to the fuselage as a separate part. The wing root bottom half was also a separate part, hence the gap in it. All in all, to get this far I needed 7 different parts to Revell's 4... Think I will be comparing this model to Revells all the way to the finish.

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Oh yeah I forgot to mention... NO LOCATION PINS!... So I've got to be extra careful when I put these together and make sure they don't slip and slide out of position if I can help it. I can see a lot of re-scribing coming my way... :/

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I've done a very Spartan job on the IP's and the cockpit in general. Look at the massive gap between the IP and the floor, pretty sure I could sit in there!!! Okay I can't, that's a complete over reaction but you get my point. Don't think much will be seen once I have shut the canopies down anyhow.

Hopefully I will get some more time in the up coming weeks.

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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They're coming on well, stuck with it.

I've always liked the look of the dragon kits, there are some great subject and schemes and some nice options (compressed nosewheels and folded wings) that Revell never do but I've always been a bit worried that they're not very well executed.

Keep the updates coming I'm watching with interest.

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All looking good Dazz,keep up the good work

Les

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They're coming on well, stuck with it.

I've always liked the look of the dragon kits, there are some great subject and schemes and some nice options (compressed nosewheels and folded wings) that Revell never do but I've always been a bit worried that they're not very well executed.

Keep the updates coming I'm watching with interest.

They do have some interesting schemes thats for sure. Got some very nice kits of theirs to build in due course. Best thing about Dragon kits is the amount of ordinance they put in the box. It's usually enough for 4 planes! :) Now I am looking at the cockpits, I wish I spent more time on them. Guess I will for the next lot. I have to confirm that the wing fold is poorly excuted, comes nowhere near the Retro-wings stuff. I'll try to get a close up to show you laters. Would you like me to do some more in-detail updates for you neal?

All looking good Dazz,keep up the good work

Les

Cheers Les, I see you liked one of the banners I made ;)

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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Yes Dazz they are all good thanks for doing them ,your kits are coming on

good as well .

Les

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Dazz, the detail on the updates is great. I'd noticed the abundance of stores, worth getting just for the LGB's

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Isn't it great when you can get a production line going Dazz. You can just get into the swing of things and before you know it you have 4 of the little blighters assembled.

Mmmm an assembly line, now there's an idea for a diorama.

Keep up the good work.

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Dazz, the detail on the updates is great. I'd noticed the abundance of stores, worth getting just for the LGB's

Cool cool... It is worth getting these kits just for the LGB's, you get 2 x GBU-12's and 4 x GBU-10's per store sprue (or the other way around). I got about 8 of the buggers now. You also get some nifty SLAM-ER's and AIM-9X's, always handy to have. :)

Isn't it great when you can get a production line going Dazz. You can just get into the swing of things and before you know it you have 4 of the little blighters assembled.

Mmmm an assembly line, now there's an idea for a diorama.

Keep up the good work.

Yeah it is pretty cool, but it's annoying when you get to a boring/hard part and you then realise you've gotta do it 3 more times. Or if I pull my finger out, 7 more times... :( Still it gets the work done. :) The assembly line diorama is a cool idea, always makes me think of B-24's or Shermans for some reason. Can you imagine making a line of 1/144 B-24's?! let alone 1/72 or even bigger... hhmm...

Nice work!

Dave

Cheers Dave :)

Dazz,

That rocks!!! Simply great stuff.

Nice work so far.

Keep it coming.

:worthy:

Thank you Houston, they will be getting some more work done to them really soon.

I apologise for the lack of work thus far, I have been going to college at night-time, so my days where starting at 04:30am and finishing at 22:00 pm... long days. Anyhow I have passed my course now so I am free!!! woohoo!! (I was doing a CCNA incase anyone cared).

Thank you for the encouragement all.

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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Finally managed to get a little work time done today, had some more fun with these models. I'm starting to think that I have built them in the wrong order... Will try another method when I build the others. Here is a little on what I have done. First of all, the holes in the cockpit area have been filled in and sanded, the bottom half has been glued to the top half. Oh yeah before I done that I noticed this...

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Bloody typical eh? I couldn't see no viable way of getting that sorted with filler unless I sanded all of the detail off and I am not doing that! So after an hour of cutting and sanding I got this..

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On the left is the original part and on the right is the newer part. It looked like to me that the plastic strip was stopping the fuselage going flush. Doing this for all 4 took me an hour like I said earlier... really not enjoying these Dragon models.

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That nose cone is p***d to all buggery... I know it's bad but it'll have to do. Luckly only one is like this, the others are okay. Just letting the glue fully cure before I take the clamps off them. In the mean time I have put filler on the inside intakes and am waiting for that to cure also. Hopefully I will not get any more issues when these kits... I seriously must be building them wrong... :confused: :confused: :confused:

Well I'll see what other fun and games these kits throw at me...

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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Looks like you will have a bit of fun with your build good luck Mate

Les

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Cheers Wellzy, I am having lots of "fun" with them :P

I finally got some more time over the last few days. Think I am going to have to miss out on that little luxury called sleep to get these all done. Oh well...

ehfe.jpg

I had so much fun masking that canopy... well all of them to be more precise. Anyhow this is the Growler with the wing tip rails cut off. I need to sort out that gap in the wing fold, it's diabolical! Various bits of sanding was done here and there.

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Think this will be the Tomcatters version, not sure yet. Just wanted to test the wing fold option, it works okay but the actual fold is blank. Gonna have to see if I can do something about that.

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Here is the Swordsmen version, nothing more to say other than it's had the same work done to it as the Tomcatters version.

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Last but not least is the Gunfighters version. That gap is really hidious! Will have to sort that out.

Next up is the tailplanes for the other 3 aircraft then the coat of primer to see what needs doing. Whoopie!

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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Thanks Neal,

Only just realised that I have two weeks left on these little BAS***DS... I mean little darlings. So I've been doing mostly tiding up work. Sanded the fuselages flush, filled in gaps and sorted out the massive gaps in the wings (where the fold is). Then I started with the undercarriage, what a nightmare!!! Pretty much every front nose wheel has snapped in half. It's not my ham-fisted attempts to get them off, it's the moulds, they are actually broken/weakened on the sprue. So I have had to glue the metal pulley thing, the bit that goes into the catapult and pulls the plane along while it was still on the sprue. I then had to let the glue harden then remove it, a few still snapped. I got another 8 to try it with, so lets see what happens. I've also glued the AN/ALQ-218 the wrong way around, so I've gotta sort that out. I found a really cool website for the Shadowhawks that have a walk around for the particular plane I am making and I have noticed a few things. I will need to sort them out too, these little toys really are giving me a fight. However on the plus side, I have to say that the main undercarriage is a dream. They fit perfectly and are easy to do as well. Well impressed.

No photos but I am endeavouring to get a blitz on tomorrow after work and make some photos.

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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Done some more work on these little ones today while SWMBO was out with the girlies,

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All 4 of the Super Bugs and two of the three AN/ALQ-99. This is after their first coat of "Vallejo USA Grey"... think it's a little too dark. What does everyone else think??

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The Growler in all her beauty, hoping to start decaling this one soon. Got the two AN/ALQ-218 pods on too. :)

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AN/ALQ-218 pods with their etch on!!! in 1/144!!! and I didn't loose them all! :) I am not too sure if the bottom stakes are supposed to be there, the instructions say yes, and the pictures I have aren't too clear but it doesn't look like it. I prefer them like this tbh so meh...

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Both F-18 E's the paint on these two is still drying when I took this picture.

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The two E's with the F model. Trying to get these done asap... might not make the deadline tho... :( My own fault for being lazy.

All undercarriages are fitted and I am now working on the plyons. Not sure what load outs I want to put on these... hhmm...

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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Looking good Dazz keep up the good work

Les

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Thank you Nimrod and Wellzy. I've painted the main colours today. All I gotta do is paint the undercarriage and wheel and the little black bits and then onto decalling. Hoping to get at least one of them finished for the deadline. :)

Kind Regards,

Dazz

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