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PaulR

Sparkvark - 1/72 Hasegawa EF-111A 42 ECS Upper Heyford, July '87 +++ Finished+++

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Evening all,

Am somewhat chuffed to have had an idea for a GB adopted . . . but have then spent ages agonising which project to do . . . first! Have got an Alconbury A10, Bitburg F-15C and Lakenheath F-111F (all 1.72) but this one has made it to the top of the pile! It''s the top Hasegawa kit, with (not pictured) Master pitot and Eduard masks. The decals are coming from the Modeldecal sheet, which I think is still unique in having an entire unit's aircraft from a specific point in time - specifically summer '87. What makes it particularly special is that every plane has nose-art; although it may change, I am minded to go for 'Cherry Bomb' mainly because of the colour of the (later) marks!

Living and growing in Suffolk during the 80s meant that all these aircraft were frequent sights over my house. Halcyon days!

Anyway, obligatory pics before I start.

IMG_20160416_183715.jpg

IMG_20160416_183746.jpgIMG_20160416_184003.jpgIMG_20160416_184016.jpg

Edited by PaulR

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Nice! Love the F-111 and the Hasegawa kit is lovely, look forward to seeing how you tackle your build. I have an FB-111A in the stash but I don't think I could shoe horn it into this GB :)

DAvid

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Nice one Paul. Not seen one of these being built before.

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Very nice choice Paul, gotta love an F-111 in all of it's forms.

Have fond memories of these as well, I organised a visit to Upper Heyford for my year of apprentices at work in 1988 or 89 and we were very well looked after by the base personnel. We got to have a very close look at one of the E's in a shelter and there were some EF-111's around as well, those were the days! We were even given free tickets to the base air show a week or two after our visit, as I said we were very well looked after.

And well done for proposing the GB in the first place, inspired choice.

Craig.

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Thank you Paul for the original inspiration for this GB. Your addition of an EF-111A 'Sparkvark' just makes it even better!

Michael

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I spent half the decade living near Cottesmore and the other half not far from UH so it was swing wing times for me. I remember a noisy night in '86 then waking up to the news of Libya being bombed.....glad things have moved on....

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Hmmm, a Vark.

Ill never forget when I first saw one at a show in the early 80s -

Dad: Whats that?

Me: I dunno, but its massive.

Dad: What do you think its for?

Me: I dunno... but I reckon it does it real fast.

Funny looking things, but I do have a soft spot for them, alas not the shelf room in 1/48. Will be watching this though, just because theyre funky fellas.

Edited by RMP2

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gotta love a Heyford spark vark - coming from Lakenhaeth the F111 holds a place close to my heart...I have a 1/48 boxing, saving it with an F for the F111 STGB next year....will follow with interest...

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A quick update! Today I have mainly been sticking bits together. For a complex shape, Hasegawa have done a good job of capturing the essential shape in relatively few pieces, which suits me fine; the increasingly over engineered high parts count kits that seem to prevail today puts me off frankly. Most of the parts count for this kit reside in the wheel wells and engine exhausts, but in the meantime the Sparkvark starts to take shape. Off to get my grey primer aerosol prior to getting the first lick of paint into the cockpit!

IMG_20160418_203712.jpgIMG_20160418_203726.jpgIMG_20160418_203748.jpg

Edited by PaulR

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Looking suitably pointy. :)

You guys arent hanging about are you? I need to find a bit more mojo and get going!

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Time for an update...work getting in the way to say the least. I have been doing alot of painting on the sprue, so not necessarily a huge amount to show, but hopefully it will speed things up come final assembly time. Hasegawa have done a great job in allowing this modular style of construction. The kit itself fits extremely well, and together it begins to give a hint of just how big the F-111 was. Anyway, pics - cockpit done,wings are together (not seen are all the flaps etc painted up) and tail planes and fin painted. The dielectric panel at the front of the fin gave me pause for thought. Most pics I have unearthed show a similar shade of grey to the main camouflage, but the pics in the Modeldecal instructions of the specific airframe I am building show a much darker grey - I guess the heavy use on the frontline (so to speak) caused them to weather heavily. Anyway, the shade I used XF54, specifically) contrasts well with the Xtracrylix FS36320. The unusually light grey the Sparkvark used on the underside (FS36495) was a problem; my Modelmaster jar had dried up. A quick scan the interweb noted a good mix being 4 parts of Tamiya white with Grey XF19; seeing how Tamiya are my favourite paint for spraying, I tried this and it works very well, picking up just the right contrast with the FS36320. I'll use this when it comes to the main painting.

IMG_20160501_174447.jpgIMG_20160501_174919.jpgIMG_20160501_191643.jpg

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Good to see you getting this one together Paul. They certainly were a big beast!

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Cracking start Paul

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Good progress, looks well detailed, and er big, very big!

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Lovely stuff Paul, I'm impressed with how well you have fitted the front fuselage parts and nose panels, I'm getting a few gaps all over mine! :doh:

Can I ask if you got any significant gaps around the front area of the MLG bay? I'm having trouble seeing how it all lines up atm without resulting in maybe an exaggerated fuselage droop where the front and rear sections join.

Cheers,

David.

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Better get a move on with this. . . work has completely got in the way, and I have at least one more project for this GB. Been doing a lot of masking for the red of wings, and got the canopy masked off tonight. Just waiting for a minimal amount of filler to dry before I can prime and paint the main fuselage. The way Hasegawa has engineered this kit allows for a very modular approach. Pics tomorrow after camera has charged up!

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Right, some pics at long last. Main fuselage all done, with canopy masked off . . . second shot is post priming and with the turned metal pitot in place. I've also painted the red underneath the tilting wing glove, and the olive drab for the wing seals. I'll mask these separately when it comes to doing the overall camo. There are various parts drying, so I figure I'll leave this overnight before doing the underside colour.

IMG_20160604_1853141.jpgIMG_20160605_1636521.jpg

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Evening all,

Well , lashings of paint and gloss cotes! Painted the light grey with a Tamiya mix I found online ( 4 parts white, 1 part XF19) which sprayed beautifully and really looks the part, and used Xtracrylix fs36320 for the topsides which also went on well. I misted on a couple of coats of future, and then applied a very subtle wash of burnt umber oil wash on the panel lines. Well satisfied with the result, and now in the midst of applying the model decal unit marks, and hasegawa stencils. Am not convinced that 'Cherry Bomb' carried all the stencils that I have put on; will have to check this. In the meantime, this has to be one of the most satisfying models I have built for along time. Am already sizing up my Hasegawa F-15C for the follow on project!

IMG_20160612_124737.jpgIMG_20160612_130617.jpg

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Well, all done with the decals. No problems with the Hasegawa decals, and considering the Modeldecals are the best part of 30 years (!!!!) old they did very well. A bit of silvering on the decals where you had to place one on top of the other, but nothing a pin and microsol couldn't sort out. Am very chuffed with this; rare is a model I build where it nothing seemed to go wrong! Am now digging around for my second project - a 1/72 Hasegawa F-15C with Two Bobs Bitburg decals! More pics in the gallery, but here is my rendition of 'Cherry Bomb ' as she would have appeared in July 1987!

IMG_20160619_133718.jpg

Edited by PaulR

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Cracking job Paul, lovely finish.

All the best chris

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Congratulations Paul! A model with real 'presence' and I love the flashes of cherry red.

Cliff

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Stunning, makes me want to try one in 1/48

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