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best F-35 in 1/72


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Well, the 'best kit' is totally subjective... Have a look at these to inform your opinions, tried to use images of manufacturer built models too:

Italeri X-35 JSF (also re-boxed by Tamiya)

Prototype aircraft in it's short take off/vertical landing configuration.

Italeri F-35A (also re-boxed by Tamiya)

New tooling but typically soft detailing with over exaggerated RAM panels. Open weapons bays though...

Academy F-35A

Much more refined and sharper detailing over the Italeri kits in every way. Open weapons bays plus Matchbox style multi-coloured plastic

Hasegawa F-35A

Typically refined, sharp and fairly well detailed kit, it's designed to be an 'easy build' of sorts. Closed weapons bays... The moulds are modular, so an F-35B and F-35C won't be that far away, Hasegawa has already released a more colourful F-35A Prototype kit...

Fujimi F-35B

Well detailed (apart from ejection seat), refined (though with 'heavy duty' location pins/tabs), with a lot of 'features', the entire engine and lift fan systems are included... Open weapons bays and also moulded in multi coloured plastic. There are two JASDF 'what if' releases plus another with a pre-painted photo-etch fret included - Expensive...

Orange Hobby F-35C

Only F-35C almost in the the market. RAM panels are much like the Italeri kit, far too exaggerated, still looks nice though... Comes with the hangar deck tractor too.

Kitty Hawk F-35A, F-35B, F-35C

Still in CAD land at the moment, more likely to be scaled down, simplified examples of the 1/48 kit(s) produced.

There is quite a lot going on at present and in the near future, so you're spoilt for choice I'd say!!!

F-35-Money.jpg

That'll sort out our budget deficit...!!!

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That pile of notes should be at the top, it sucks money in, not blows it out.

Hehe, that particular picture can mean whatever you want it to, weather you like the F-35 or not... It's pretty clever, at least I think it is.

If you're not in a hurry to build one, I'd wait until Kitty Hawk releases their kits. That's my plan.

Steven Brown

Scale Model Soup

Yes, they've got all 3 variants on the go, which is great. It would be nice if those RAM panels could be toned down a bit from the 1/48 kits though... Personally, I'm waiting for the F-35B and F-35C from Hasegawa, just to make some quick, inflight desktop models of all 3 variants.

BTW, your blog is really good, especially with regards to attitudes...!!! Bizarrely, a common sense approach comes across as quite original, which is an odd thing to say in today's world...

All the best.

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I've got the Hasegawa, not built it yet though. Looks like a nice, refined kit, and a simple, uncomplicated build, mostly because it doesn't have as many features as the others. It's priced accordingly though, I got mine straight from Japan for a very reasonable sum - unlike the real thing.

Edited by sroubos
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you mean Italeri 1331 kit ?

Their newer-tool F-35A kit that was released last year, whichever kit that is...

You're both right! The new Italeri F-35A kit is cat. no.1331, it has also recently been re-boxed by Tamiya (cat. no. 60787 with exactly the same box-art and decals).

You can get a quick glimpse of it through my link on post #3 or have a look at this 'quick build' review. It's a typical Italeri kit, decent effort but for me, the detailing is just too soft and inconsistent. Aside from the usual USAF markings, it does contain national insignia for British, Italian, Belgian and Dutch aircraft too.

On a slight tangent, of all the orders/prospective orders published, the Israeli F-35A (F-35I?) is of some interest considering their 'unique' developments of current and previous aircraft.

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You're both right! The new Italeri F-35A kit is cat. no.1331, it has also recently been re-boxed by Tamiya (cat. no. 60787 with exactly the same box-art and decals).

You can get a quick glimpse of it through my link on post #3 or have a look at this 'quick build' review. It's a typical Italeri kit, decent effort but for me, the detailing is just too soft and inconsistent. Aside from the usual USAF markings, it does contain national insignia for British, Italian, Belgian and Dutch aircraft too.

On a slight tangent, of all the orders/prospective orders published, the Israeli F-35A (F-35I?) is of some interest considering their 'unique' developments of current and previous aircraft.

I have it, the engine jagged edge nozzles could be nicer and I agree on the RAM panels excessive detailing, but hey it`s Italeri we talk about

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Im thinking Hasegawa's F-35A....

thoughts? opinions?

Hehe! Well Mr Esposito, I guess your two contenders for the 'best' 1/72 F-35 are the Academy and Hasegawa kits. You can bet your bottom dollar that Hasegawa will be doing an F-35B and F-35C within the next year or two also. We'll just have to wait and see what the 'scaled down' Kitty Hawk 1/72 F-35A, F-35B and F-35C look like 'RAM panel' wise, if that matters...

Yeah. Aside from markings, not impressed at all w Italeri

I thought it was a really good, the reviews were upbeat but no hi-res pics could be found... When I bought it (the Tamiya re-box from Japan), it was just a bit deflated because it was just typical Italeri - fairly decent but lacking refinement... Will still build it though.

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  • 1 year later...

My personal preference goes to F35A Academy is a beautiful model that mounts easily. For the F35 C is the orange although there are some small assembly errors, it is also a pleasure and the only one that day.

 

Academy:

img_9314.jpg


img_9315.jpg

 

Orange Models:

img_9821.jpg


img_9822.jpg

 

 

 

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  • 4 years later...

I am working on the 1/72 F-35A from Academy.  It is a nice model, fits well with some small gaps here and there (or maybe I don't know how to glue properly) despite the snapfit design.

Anyone can recommend how to mask the RAM details for spraying without buying the precut mask or decal?  I mean I am prepared to mask it slowly using tape (but not looking forward to it) so just checking if anyone has come up with a clever idea to make this less painful.

 

I tried to stick a flat masking tape over the body and then use a sharp stick to define the RAM outline with the intent to use a sharp knife to cut the mask (like what we do for masking canopy) but the detail is too light.  Perhaps if I have Bare-Metal foil which are thin enough to allow the RAM edges to show through for cutting, like what Paul Boyer did.

 

I am left with just cutting small bits of tape in 3-5mm width to slowly stick the pieces to the RAM shapes but this will take forever...at least 8 hours if not more...

 

Does anyone know where to download a high definition painting guide for an F-35A that perhaps I can scale it to the right size and use that to cut out the RAM masks? I am hoping that any painting guide even if from different kits have the same RAM layout so it does not matter if Academy does not share one?

 

Or maybe I should buy maskol and paint it over the RAM patterns?  Anyone tried that? Does it give a crisp edge?

 

The instruction sheet that came with the model is too grainy and rough.  Looking for a clearer guide to cut the masks.

 

In this era of digital, I wish all model makers provide us with PDF copies of the full scale hi-res painting guide like what Finemold does.

 

Edited by CasualModel98
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Hi there

Maskol being a liquid will not give straight line or corners unless you are very lucky. SaminCam built a very nice Hasegawa F-35 a year or so ago.

 

I have a couple to build and I plan on using lots of small tape bits. At the end of the day it will be quickerbthan all the other solutions that have been proposed. The other fun part when building an F-35 is to get the correct shades of grey, but that is another story.

 

regards Toby

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Would a feasible approach be getting thin masking tape like 0,7mm width (or less) mask out the edges of the RAM panels with it and then fill the interior with a masking fluid?

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On the newer planes the majority of the RAM panels are now the same shade as the rest of the fuselage. There is still plenty of masking left to do do but not nearly as bad as on the first planes that came of the production line.

 

Old:

 

1200px-F-35A_flight_%28cropped%29.jpg

 

New:

 

f35-f009-31102019-mdv-col.JPG

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On 12/12/2014 at 12:47 PM, bentwaters81tfw said:

That pile of notes should be at the top, it sucks money in, not blows it out.

Now there’s a great diorama idea! Who makes 1/72 thousand-dollar (U.S.) bills?

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