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Questions - Hasegawa's 1:48 LM F-22A Raptor


Phantom_Wolf
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Hello,

First and foremost, this is my first post on this forum so bare with me.



I'm getting Hasegawa's 1:48 scale model F-22A kit soon. I'm still quite new to scale modelling and i have some questions that hopefully the community here will answer.

I have experience with kit modelling before, Kitty Hawk's LM F-35B. It didn't work out as great as i expected to be, but nonetheless, i had injuries but i had fun. It ended with a lot of errors in fitting, some parts broken, some parts with way too many glue, and... No paint... Not even decals.

I heard the the F-22A is not a good kit to start with as a beginner, but i am willing to be patient for it, as i am very interested in military aviation.



Anyway, on to the questions:



1. Tools.

Probably a dumb question, since i should Google it myself. In this case though, i'm asking if i should get more advanced tools.

Is an X-Acto knife necessary? I did my F-35B kit with a simple office cutter and it worked okay. And if it is, what blades should i get?
Should i get a putty/filler? Sometimes i do accidentally damage a kit. It would be really terrible to break the landing gears. What putty/filler should i get?
Do i need decal solutions? Quite serious question. I never tried decals before, but i'm planning to practice decals on my unpainted F-35B. The question is, do water slide decals necessarily require decal solutions? Or will they just 'stick'? If i do need decal solutions, which one should i get?
Glue. I have a scale modelling glue from Tamiya that worked pretty okay with the F-35B, but is that enough for the F-22A? Should i get a special glue? And if so, which?
Is there a special tool to remove excess glue?
What kind of tweezers should i use? I used a set of 'electronic tweezers' for my F-35B, it's not that bad but needless to say, i prefer fingers more due to dexterity. Do you know a special pair of tweezers for modelling that provide extra dexterity? Or are standard tweezers sufficient?
Sanding stick or sanding file? I've been using 'electronic sanding files' for the F-35B. They're... Okay i guess... If rusting and bending is normal... But anyway, which one should i get?
What kind of brushes should i get? Do simple ones do? I'm also planning to use brushes to paint the model. Do i necessarily need special brushes or will normal ones do?

2. Photo etch.

Thin metal parts, used for specific parts that are too thin to be made with plastic. The first time i tried to install a photo etched part, i didn't even know the exact point to 'stick' it, and lost the part. Now i'm too scared to even touch the ladders for the F-35B since it requires folds which i am not confident enough to do.

Do you have any tips on them? I heard some boxes of the Hasegawa F-22A comes with photo etch, but even if mine doesn't, it's probably not that bad, right?

3. Model position.

Weapon bay open or closed? Kind of want it to be a show unit similar to air shows.
Canopy open or closed? Also, with or without pilot?
Exhaust nozzle up, down or leveled? In case you didn't know, the F-22A can actually move it's exhaust nozzles horizontally, hence thrust vectoring, hence supermaneuverability (Yes that is a correct word).
Flaps and elevators downwards or leveled? Honestly i don't even know if the F-22A has options for downward flaps and elevators, but i heard scale modelers can always cut it and do it manually.

And, is there a special stand/case any of you know that is fitting for the F-22A? Personally i'm alright with just letting it stand on top of a table, but it would probably be nicer to write "Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor" somewhere.

4. Painting.

I am not planning to get an air brush since i am not planning to make scale models for a long term. I am only planning to use simply brush paints or even simple spray cans combined with water slide decals.

I have never painted a scale model before, and my hands are quite unstable. (Bad at drawing circles for example) Any advice would be appreciated.

Anyway, what paint should i get for the F-22A? I'm not planning to get an arsenal of them since i wouldn't need them beyond the F-22A.
What do i paint the cockpit with? Also very important - Paint the cockpit tub after installing it or before installing it? Apply decal and 'mask' it first or paint first and decal it later?
I heard there are paints that specially replicate the metallic look on the real F-22A, that is 'changing' depending on the angle of incidence. Can anyone confirm this?
Can it be done without an air brush? Hopefully just a normal paint brush, because as i already mentioned, i am not planning to get an air brush.
What happens if i painted wrongly? Is there a special solution to remove the paint? Or should i just paint the correct color on top of it after it dries?
What kind of tape should i use for masking? Normal 'masking' tape?

Also, try to list as few paints as possible, notably the essential ones, since i do not intend to buy so much paint and to go as far as mixing them to get one RGB color.

I've heard about gloss coatings. Are they important? If so, can anyone explain which layer to add in order? Which is first and which is last? (Example: Colour, gloss, decal, metallic finish)



That's pretty much all of the questions i can think of right now. I might have forgotten a few questions but i'll get into that if i need to.

Thank you for your time.



Also, apologies if i sound like someone who shouldn't be scale modelling. I am very interested in the F-22A Raptor in particular and willing to spend time away from the computer to do something else; making this F-22A. I am asking kindly for help, not forcibly requesting.

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I've added some answers to your questions in red text. Hope they help.

Anyway, on to the questions:



1. Tools.

Probably a dumb question, since i should Google it myself. In this case though, i'm asking if i should get more advanced tools.

Is an X-Acto knife necessary? Yes. A good craft knife is essential for trimming parts to fit and for trimming excess plastic where you remove the parts from the sprues. I'd also suggest getting a set of side cutters to remove the parts from the sprues, and some sanding sticks for minor adjustments.

Should i get a putty/filler? Sometimes i do accidentally damage a kit. It would be really terrible to break the landing gears. What putty/filler should i get? Again, yes. Filler is really useful for filling in any gaps or seams where you have glued parts together. Not necessary on every joint, but if they are visible on the outside of the aircraft then definitely fill them. Squadron Green Stuff (that's literally what it is called) is great and because it's green it is nice and visible. Put a thin piece of masking tape either side of the seam, spread the filler, remove the tape and then sand it smooth.

Do i need decal solutions? Quite serious question. I never tried decals before, but i'm planning to practice decals on my unpainted F-35B. The question is, do water slide decals necessarily require decal solutions? Or will they just 'stick'? If i do need decal solutions, which one should i get? You don't need them immediately, but they are good. Perhaps something to try once you have practiced applying decals. Incidentally, don't apply them to unpainted plastic because they won't go down very well. Always apply over a glossy painted surface. If your paint is matt, then give it a coat of gloss varnish over the top. Tamiya Clear out of an aerosol is fine - I use it with no problems.

Glue. I have a scale modelling glue from Tamiya that worked pretty okay with the F-35B, but is that enough for the F-22A? Should i get a special glue? And if so, which?
Is there a special tool to remove excess glue? I use either Plastic Weld or Tamiya Extra Thin cement. They don't need any special tools other than a spare paintbrush with which to apply it. Put the parts together and then run the glue along the seam, it will do the rest. Be careful not to put your fingers near the glue unless you want a fingerprint in the plastic, and be sure to put the lid onto the bottle so that it doesn't evaporate. Don't apply that kind of glue to the parts before putting them together, because it will evaporate before you can stick them together. For canopies, use normal white PVA glue (aka wood glue). It dries clear and won't cloud the canopy when you apply it. You can also use Humbrol Clearfix for this job.

What kind of tweezers should i use? I used a set of 'electronic tweezers' for my F-35B, it's not that bad but needless to say, i prefer fingers more due to dexterity. Do you know a special pair of tweezers for modelling that provide extra dexterity? Or are standard tweezers sufficient? Horses for courses here. Different people have their own preferences, but I like to use a pair of very fine tweezers for applying decals and small parts. You can get a decent set of tweezers from most hobby shops, art shops or tool shops.

Sanding stick or sanding file? I've been using 'electronic sanding files' for the F-35B. They're... Okay i guess... If rusting and bending is normal... But anyway, which one should i get? Sanding sticks. Have a look for Ultimate Products sanding sticks, they're really good.

What kind of brushes should i get? Do simple ones do? I'm also planning to use brushes to paint the model. Do i necessarily need special brushes or will normal ones do? Get good quality artist's paint brushes in a variety of sizes. I have 000, 00, 0 and 1 for detail painting, and the main colour I apply with an airbrush. For a beginner, a larger size brush should suffice. Your best bet is to go to an art shop and ask them for advice. Tell them what you want to do and they will suggest some appropriate brushes. If you care for the brushes they will last for a long time, so be sure to clean them properly and store them upright so the bristles don't get damaged.

2. Photo etch.

Thin metal parts, used for specific parts that are too thin to be made with plastic. The first time i tried to install a photo etched part, i didn't even know the exact point to 'stick' it, and lost the part. Now i'm too scared to even touch the ladders for the F-35B since it requires folds which i am not confident enough to do.

Do you have any tips on them? I heard some boxes of the Hasegawa F-22A comes with photo etch, but even if mine doesn't, it's probably not that bad, right? Don't worry about photo etch until you've got some more confidence with building models. If you do use it, cut it from the fret only when you need it, cutting with a sharp knife as close to the part as possible. Apply to the model with superglue. If you do use photo etch then you will need to prime the model before painting. Grey acrylic car primer out of an aerosol works fine, or there are primers from Tamiya and Humbrol that come in an aerosol can.

3. Model position. All of these are entirely up to you. Have a look online at some photos and see what is out there.

Weapon bay open or closed? Kind of want it to be a show unit similar to air shows.
Canopy open or closed? Also, with or without pilot?
Exhaust nozzle up, down or leveled? In case you didn't know, the F-22A can actually move it's exhaust nozzles horizontally, hence thrust vectoring, hence supermaneuverability (Yes that is a correct word).
Flaps and elevators downwards or leveled? Honestly i don't even know if the F-22A has options for downward flaps and elevators, but i heard scale modelers can always cut it and do it manually.

And, is there a special stand/case any of you know that is fitting for the F-22A? Personally i'm alright with just letting it stand on top of a table, but it would probably be nicer to write "Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor" somewhere.

4. Painting.

I am not planning to get an air brush since i am not planning to make scale models for a long term. I am only planning to use simply brush paints or even simple spray cans combined with water slide decals.

I have never painted a scale model before, and my hands are quite unstable. (Bad at drawing circles for example) Any advice would be appreciated.

Anyway, what paint should i get for the F-22A? I'm not planning to get an arsenal of them since i wouldn't need them beyond the F-22A.
What do i paint the cockpit with? Also very important - Paint the cockpit tub after installing it or before installing it? Apply decal and 'mask' it first or paint first and decal it later? Cockpit is a medium grey colour. Paint it before you install it.
I heard there are paints that specially replicate the metallic look on the real F-22A, that is 'changing' depending on the angle of incidence. Can anyone confirm this?
Can it be done without an air brush? Hopefully just a normal paint brush, because as i already mentioned, i am not planning to get an air brush.
What happens if i painted wrongly? Is there a special solution to remove the paint? Or should i just paint the correct color on top of it after it dries?
What kind of tape should i use for masking? Normal 'masking' tape?
Tamiya tape is brilliant. I would use that.
Also, try to list as few paints as possible, notably the essential ones, since i do not intend to buy so much paint and to go as far as mixing them to get one RGB color.

I've heard about gloss coatings. Are they important? If so, can anyone explain which layer to add in order? Which is first and which is last? (Example: Colour, gloss, decal, metallic finish) Gloss coats are essential to get decals to work properly. Paint, gloss, decal, and then the final coat of whatever finish you want (gloss, satin or matt).



That's pretty much all of the questions i can think of right now. I might have forgotten a few questions but i'll get into that if i need to.

Thank you for your time.



Also, apologies if i sound like someone who shouldn't be scale modelling. I am very interested in the F-22A Raptor in particular and willing to spend time away from the computer to do something else; making this F-22A. I am asking kindly for help, not forcibly requesting.

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This is just MHO, but with the questions you've asked and your current skill level, I don't think the KH F-35 and Hasegawa's F-22 are your best starting points. I'd conside r something along the lines of a Tamiya Spitfire or Corsair or if you're more into jets, maybe a Hasegawa F-86 or other early single-engine jet.

I've seen too many guys get a kit that's of a higher skill rating than they can achieve, then they get disenchanted and give up the Hobby. I stopped a grandmother one time from buying her pre-teen grandson a Monogram B-52 as his first kit. I don't think that would have worked out well.

Start out buying simpler kits (if you need guidance ask here or other modeling forums). You don' need to buy all your tools at one time, either, if money is an issue. Buy a knife (or two) here, a couple of brushes later, dome clippers at another time... I've amassed a goodly amount of tools (and kits) over a period of years (decades?) so that part wasn't overly burdensome.

Please note, I'm trying to inform you and not discourage you, please don't take my comments that way.

Let us know how you get on.

Edited by Don McIntyre
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I've added some answers to your questions in red text. Hope they help.

Thanks. That clears up things very well.

This is just MHO, but with the questions you've asked and your current skill level, I don't think the KH F-35 and Hasegawa's F-22 are your best starting points. I'd conside r something along the lines of a Tamiya Spitfire or Corsair or if you're more into jets, maybe a Hasegawa F-86 or other early single-engine jet.

I've seen too many guys get a kit that's of a higher skill rating than they can achieve, then they get disenchanted and give up the Hobby. I stopped a grandmother one time from buying her pre-teen grandson a Monogram B-52 as his first kit. I don't think that would have worked out well.

Start out buying simpler kits (if you need guidance ask here or other modeling forums). You don' need to buy all your tools at one time, either, if money is an issue. Buy a knife (or two) here, a couple of brushes later, dome clippers at another time... I've amassed a goodly amount of tools (and kits) over a period of years (decades?) so that part wasn't overly burdensome.

Please note, I'm trying to inform you and not discourage you, please don't take my comments that way.

Let us know how you get on.

I already have it coming my way (Meaning i purchased it) actually, so unfortunately there's no going back.

Even though it might not turn out to be the best, because scale modelling is not that easy as i found out the physical way (Meaning i actually tried it), i at least want it to turn out to as good as i can make it. At this point i can't simply buy another kit anymore due to logistics and finance.

Anyway some extra questions is someone is willing to answer:

Has anyone ever seen an F-22A with a different paint scheme then the standard two color metallic paint? Maybe a simpler paint job with a black fuselage and a white nose/radar? (I am aware that the link is not an F-22A)

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FWIW, and I have not built the kit myself, I have heard nothing but good things as far as the Hasegawa F-22 as concerns assembly. Hasegawa is usually pretty good in that regard, and if you were able to wrestle the Kitty Hawk F-35 into an F-25-like shape, you'll probably find the F-22 a lot easier.

That said, test fit before commiting to glue. That really goes for any kit, and is tricky sometimes with smaller bits, but do things like put the cockpit tub, gear bays and weapons bays into place with tape or something, then close the fuselage up to be certain it all fits properly. If the stabilizers are multi-piece (left and right or top and bottom) assemblies, tape them together and then test their fit onto the fuselage. Hopefully there will be no problems, if something seems to bind or not fit right, use sandpaper or files to remove a little plastic until things do fit right. Then, and only then, break out the glue. It is much easier to fix things before you bond them into place.

Also, as regards Hasegawa decals, the general point about "not on bare plastic, use a gloss coat" applies as it does to all decals, but in addition use HOT water. And I do mean HOT. If you can stick your finger in it without screaming, it is not hot enough. I boil water in a kettle and pour it into a thermos, then pour out a bit at a time from the thermos into the decal tray and replace the water frequently as it cools. Also brush water onto the area where you will place the decal (it will bead on the glossy surface, that's fine, just put the decal in the puddle) and use more water on a brush as you adjust the decal to its final position. Sop up extra water with a paper towel, tap the decal lightly with same towel to get out any air bubbles, use a cotton swab to roll FIRMLY and crush that decal down onto the surface. If you do all of this, you don't generally need to worry too much about setting solutions, but they also don't hurt.

If you do get silvering, the following works as long as you are careful:

If near the edges, take a very small brush, moisten it in lacquer thinner (just a bit, you don't want it dripping...) and CAREFULLY touch it along the edge of the decal. You should be able to see the area darken as the thinner gets sucked under the decal. Tap it down lightly with a cotton swab.

If there is silvering in the middle, for example the center star of modern US insignia where it is just a star-shaped area of clear decal film surrounded by the printed area, use a small pin to lightly tap in the silvered area to make small holes in the decal film. LIGHTLY, you do not want to create rivets marks in the plastic. Then lightly brush a tiny amount of lacquer thinner over the area. Again, you will be able to see if it is getting wicked under through the pinpricks.

I find this method faster and surer that trying to remove silvering with setting solutions, but care is needed! Lacquer thinner will melt the decal film, which is good if you want it to melt and bond to remove silvering but it not good if you dissolve the whole decal! So go VERY sparingly, you really do not need much at all, and if the brush is too dry you can always wet it again. Dip brush, lightly touch to a tissue or paper towel to remove excess thinner, and then and ONLY then touch it to the decal!

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I've added some answers to your questions in red text. Hope they help.

Actually, about the F-22 cockpit, it is black as it is NVG compatible. Dark Gull Gray, as found in many US cockpits, is really not, it causes glare issues with the goggles. The F-35 went back to DGG as it has other methods of letting the pilot see outside at night and NVGs are not required.

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Has anyone ever seen an F-22A with a different paint scheme then the standard two color metallic paint? Maybe a simpler paint job with a black fuselage and a white nose/radar? (I am aware that the link is not an F-22A)

Look up some images of the aircraft in primer. Lots of grey, mint green and brown and no metallic paint. That's what mine is getting built in.

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Even though it might not turn out to be the best, because scale modelling is not that easy as i found out the physical way (Meaning i actually tried it), i at least want it to turn out to as good as i can make it. At this point i can't simply buy another kit anymore due to logistics and finance."

It doesn't matter if it's the best. As long as you're enjoying it, that is the important thing.

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Glue. I have a scale modelling glue from Tamiya that worked pretty okay with the F-35B, but is that enough for the F-22A? Should i get a special glue? And if so, which?

What kind of tweezers should i use? .

Don't need special glue - I just use the liquid stuff Humbrol Poly or whatever its called. Normally next to the model kits in a hobby store.

Tweezers ? I just borrow the pair from the bathroom cabinet - hope SWMBO never reads this ! :)

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