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Kinetic's EA-6B + A whole lotta aftermarket | Finished 2/21/21


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Hi everyone, this is my first WIP thread here and its looking like it'll be a big one. 

 

Going to be building this with the following

 

  • Aires ICAP II cockpit
  • Eduard AGM-88B HARM
  • Eduard canopy masks
  • Fightertown decals - VAQ-141
  • With aid from The Modern Prowler Guide by Jake Melampy

 

I am going to try and challenge myself with this kit, it being my first to use a resin cockpit and I have a few techniques I want to try when it comes to painting and weathering. 

 

vaDqqVY.jpg

 

Every thing together before I dig in.

 

TUUXD2T.jpg

 

I knew this was a big aircraft but for some reason I didn't expect it to be this big. I'll be building it with wings folded so its not going to be huge but my shelves are definitely running out of space!

 

Ohd1ruH.jpg

 

Heres just a little progress from this evening, mainly getting the resin cockpit to fit before I start working on it, luckily I seem to have gotten the fit pretty good after an hour or so. Off to a good start!

 

More to come soon. Thanks for looking!

Edited by looped80times
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Hi everyone. 

 

I've been making some progress, a little slow because of school but nontheless progress.

 

Picking up where I left off, here is a picture of the supports I made to hold the resin tub. The tabs seem to work and I secured it with 5 minute epoxy which should hopefully keep this thing together.

 

IT2Uh8v.jpg 

 

Heres the front IP when I was working on it. You can see the radar display is masked so can paint the metal border. I cut small circle of clear green plastic for the screen and it looks pretty good, it can be seen better in the next picture. Once I painted it this cockpit blew me away with the detail it has, I don't know if I'll do another resin tub soon but I enjoyed doing it.

 

RtCq7QG.jpg

 

Final pictures of the tub before I put it in. I think it turned out really great. Theres a better view of the radar screen along with the rest. The tub is painted with in Mr color 307 and details are painted in Tamiya acrylics. I tried some highlights and shadows on the cloth cover but I'm not sure how noticeable it is. 

 

OOCsAyJ.jpg

uYsQDY2.jpg

 

Here is the scary part of gluing the fuselage sides together. I used 5 Minute epoxy to attach the tub to the fuselage and once I glued the other half on I used the remains to secure it all. It looks to have gone together pretty well, my major concern is the connection between the front and aft cockpit as well as right by the nose where the refuting probe goes. The front canopy piece looks like the fit is good even though there is a small gap but I think it will work out. My plan was to have the canopies closed but I'm worried there might be too much stretching of the fuselage. I'll see if they fit and if not I might have to have the canopies open but preferable not. 

 

I left it like this overnight and the next morning I wet sanded all the seams and got rid of those black MR Sp glue stains. I will fill and re-scribe once I get the wings on in the next post. 

 

PW4ErYp.jpg

 

Last thing for this update, I painted and masked the intake and exhaust. The intakes fit pretty good but leave some large gaps to be filled so add that to the list. I tried to use MIG one shot primer because I hate to spray MR surfacer for small paint jobs. My main concern was using MR color lacquers over it since its an acrylic primer. I had read online it would work and also it wouldn't so I decided to test it out. I painted the exhaust with MR color and it worked pretty well, I also did a test strip to get a better look. I think for small parts I'll use one shot but I'm not confident to use it on the whole plane. If I'm missing something about this let me know but I think we are good. 

 

nLU8Z0w.jpg

 

JHcvIc3.jpg

 

 

Thanks for looking, I hope to have some more work done soon so until then. 

 

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Hello everyone, 


Picking up where we left off I have gone further along with construction. I cut the wings in half in order to display the kit with wings folded. Apparently the original boxing of this kit came with the wings moulded in halves so no cutting was needed to have them folded, but in later boxings they remolded the wing parts extended with little guidelines to cut. I thought the boxing I had would be an early one with the cut wings but it turned out to be updated. I think its ultimately worth it because I read that the molding on those old parts were pretty bad. 

 

Here it is with the little jig I set up so the wings could glue overnight.

 

wIUyp84.jpg

 

After masking the gaps with tape I began to fill with Mr White putty. I prefer this putty due to the ease of cleaning with thinner.

 

bHBdthS.jpg

 

After all the gaps were filled I began to scribe some missing lines and redoing rivets. Here is a before and after of the tail, it might be hard to see but the kit's original panel lines and rivets are very soft so I wanted to make it a little sharper.

 

EzWWLN1.jpg

 

xVTfH5Z.jpg

 

Additionally I drilled out a few exhaust holes on the belly of the airplane based off of reference pictures.

 

PrFapa9.jpg

 

 

Now for something different, looking at reference pictures I saw that Kinetic did not model the refueling receptacle on the engine cowling. It was simply a circle on the kit, but looking at reference pictures I thought it was noticeable in pictures, so I decided to 3D print it.

 

Here is what it should look like versus Kinetic's rendition.

 

z6NREUd.jpg

 

OlJIOzf.jpg

 

The circle is only 3mm in diameter so I was worried that I might not be able to print it but decided to go ahead anyways.

 

Here is my initial model that I tried to make as accurate as I could.

 

F0PRBJM.png

 

I wanted to give myself a little insurance in case the 3D printer couldn't properly print it so I made 3 more versions getting progressively simpler hoping one would work out.

 

Cw1hXpa.png

 

After this I put them into CHITUBOX which is the slicing program I use. I decided to make 4 of each just to have extras.

 

AQtdVLk.png

After 15 min of printing I cleaned the parts and the printer and inspected my work. My printer is a SLA printer so it is pretty precise to start with but I was worried nothing would show, and while not perfect I am happy with what it gave me and surprisingly the most complex one turned out the best.

 

hGKsBPl.jpg

 

Its also pretty much 3mm on the dot which I was very surprised with.

 

WpR0ddW.jpg

 

So after some cleanup and fitting the part with super glue I think it turned out really nice. I had an issue with some of the parts being half filled with resin. I'm not sure if the issue is in how I sliced it or just the size of the part, but after seeing how well it turned out in 1/48th scale I'm sure it would be perfect in 1/32 scale. Once installed I cleaned it up more, it looks a little messy now but once painted and weathered I think it will have been worth it. 

 

29jJNxM.jpg

 

This is also the first time designing something specifically to be 3D printed for a model so I think the fact I got anything is a success :laugh:.  

 

In the next update I will probably still be working on smaller parts of the construction and start working on the ordinance, I hope to get painting soon!

 

Thanks for looking everyone!

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1 hour ago, 2lefthands said:

Looking very good!

The 3d printing world opens up completely new possibilities

Thank you and I agree. It will be interesting to see how much 3D printing will change the hobby in the coming years. Hopefully I'll get better at modeling so I can make better use of the 3D printer in the future :smile:.

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Hi all,

 

Just a quick update for today, this last week I couldn't get much work done due to school projects and some other stuff. I did make some progress mainly with the canopy tinting which I'll cover here. 

 

The prowler has some pretty noticeable gold-tinted canopies, this serves as protection for the crew from all the radiation from the ALQ-99 pods. In some pictures the gold tint looks almost opaque and in others its hard to see it at all, so I decided to settle in-between those two.

 

 

The look I'm trying to achieve

89wDtU0.jpg

 

Not knowing how to entirely achieve this look I began experimenting to try and get the right look.

 

FvCd19l.jpg

 

I first tried x-24 and x-27 and just applying it lightly on a spare f-16 canopy, this just made the canopies look old and sun damaged so that wouldn't work. Next I tried 10 parts x-22 with 1 part x-12 gold. This was looking pretty good but the gold flecks were to prominent in my opinion and it looked much to yellow.

 

JlwEZUh.jpg

 

The real prowler does not have any visible particulate in it so I decided to clean the part with thinner and try again. The recipe I eventually settled on was 

 

1: X-24 clear yellow

1: X-27 clear red

1: X-22 clear

1/3: X-19 Smoke

 

This got me the nice orange color and I settled on that. If I where to do it again I would probably increase the amount of X-19 smoke so make them all equal parts, this would just tint the canopy a little more and make it look more realistic.

 

gqE4Keq.jpg

 

I think it turned out really nice. Looking through the glass from a profile view it looks very good, I think the very bright edges are a little deceiving but they will of course be hidden when painted. I sadly made the mistake of trying to apply very thin coats of clear on top of the mix in order to return the transparency. This left me with very small imperfections which I should have polished before applying a clear coat

 

1ymaPZt.jpg

 

I've polished it since and it is much better but still not perfect. Im happy with it so I'll move on. 

 

I think I now have a pretty good idea how to go about tinting canopies, though I am sure there are much better ways to do this, overall I think it'll be fine. If I made an obvious mistake feel free to correct me so if anyone follows this they might get a better result. Currently the model has been primed and awaiting painting to begin which will be the next update. Thank you all for looking!

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, woody37 said:

Nice progress, I've never had great success painting the Tamiya clear stuff on to canopies, but these have come out pretty good. Wonder if a felt tip pen of some kind would work? Must experiment one day!

I agree, I usually avoid airbrushing Tamiya acrylic clear paint just becauseI never get a nice finish and I prefer lacquers like Mr. color gx 100. I'm sure a felt pen could work well if its sealed after the fact, I also believe Alcalad has a line of clear paints for canopies but I have not used them before and did not want to buy them just for this...

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Hi again everyone.

 

This update will be about painting the prowler. Just like my F-14D I primed it in Mr surfacer Black 1500 and then molted using mr color 1 white. I like this approach on montane aircraft because I think it helps break up the surface well.

 

gy7Qoms.jpg

 

Next for the main coat I used Mr color 308 for the undersides and stores, 307 for the top and sides, and finally 337 for the wing edges and canopy area. For some reason I really like painting USN TPS schemes, they are very subtle but a great foundation for weathering and will make the white and red on the wing fold mechanism really pop. In addition to the main coat I also used some of the colors in the wrong areas in order to simulate mismatched repaint spots. Its not super noticeable but I did not want to go overboard with this specific detail. 

 

8XTIhaH.jpg

 

Next up I painted the no slip walkways that are on the top of the aircraft. There was some variation in where those no slip walkways are between my picture references and the paint guide from my decal set, primarily on the top of the fuselage near the oval dish. I decided to go based on my picture references, which you can see below.

 

gWusOxw.jpg

 

In order to get that no slip texture I first masked the area and then used a brush to blotch Mr surfacer 500. 

 

zOmZ8X6.jpg

 

After that the walkways were painted with Mr. color 305.

 

3qpOFnR.jpg

 

Visually I think the walkways add a lot to break up the scheme and the effect is subtle enough. 

 

u1pFo6w.jpg

 

Here is a close up of it. It is not super prominent of an effect but I think once the matte coat goes on it will look very nice, overall I'm pretty happy how it came out. 

 

DrLJjMN.jpg

 

Here is the it after some detail paint. 

 

Wzg35DV.jpg

 

I also painted the exhaust and some other details using Alclad stainless steel. This was the first time using alclad paints and I think they'll look good once weathered and all done. I was very surprised in how easy it was to spray so I will use it again for sure. 

 

Well that's all I have for this week, next I have to paint all the smaller parts like the landing gear and gear doors as well as the AGM-88 so the next update will be probably just showing those off. 

 

Thanks again for looking. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone, this is going to be the final update before the RFI post! Very excited to have finished this one so let's get started.

 

Well, first thing is the decals, I used the fightertown decal set and while very soft they were also brittle, I had a few of the large decals and slime lights crack. They did go into the panel lines very well though so no real issues there. The greatest issue was that these decals were designed for the Revell kit and they were simply to big, mainly the large tail decal and the AJ on the tail. after lots of fighting, blowdrying, decal solution, and patience I got them on.

 

u3fGMyP.jpg

 

Some small creases and rips but I patched them up with paint and overall the low-vis scheme helps hide it.

 

Next step is I wanted to try salt chipping, I'll be honest in saying I failed at this so don’t follow it as a guide, I'm just posting these for posterity. 

 

BDHb0k1.jpg

 

The main issue I think was using too large of salt chunks and the low vis scheme gave me very little room to adjust the shade.

 

J9EWQ6u.jpg

 

Above is a close up and you can see the chunks are pretty large and some of the subtle tone changes are gone, I later resprayed and toned the slat effect down and brought back the tones. Oh well I'll try again another project!

 

In addition to the many firsts in this build I decided to build a base along with the prowler. Full disclosure I built this guided by Max_afterburner's video so I will link it here and all credit to the process goes to him.

 

 

Differing from Max I used 1/2" MDF as my base as it was easier for me to get cut at a local hardware store. 

DA899SA.jpg

 

The base was cleaned with alcohol and then applied AK terrain concrete. This went on really well and I'm super happy with the outcome from it texture wise.

 

0sRGVbV.jpg

 

Here are the lines drawn in and holes drilled. I used Rhino to help me scale an image of the carrier deck and get some dimensions for the lines. The tie down hole distances are measured out but as you can see not perfectly aligned, they look good enough though as long as no one comes with a tape measure. :laugh:

 

iz2cG2k.jpg

 

The base was painted with Tamiya spray cans white and German grey. Using the spray can saved me a lot of work so Im glad I took this approach opposed to airbrushing. 

 

oyQIeQx.jpg

  

Finally here it is done with tie-downs installed. Here is the AMK Tomcat on it just to see how it looks. I measured the base for the prowler and it ended up being 20" x 12", the Tomcat fills it up here but as you'll see in a bit the prowler fits perfectly on it.

 

Speaking of the prowler, back to it. 

o5i2hQl.jpg

Here is the prowler with a grey-brown wash being applied.

 

qLtVqIz.jpg

 

And here it is in the middle of final assembly. As a side note when taking off the canopy masks I noticed there was residue from the masking fluid stuck on the inside, this basically ruined the canopies and the tint. I'm assuming I did not let the clear coat inside cure fully, so my fault for that. I cleaned the canopies with IPA and redid them. Definitely a moral killer, but I got them to work. They are not as clear as before but the orange color is more pronounced so I'll take the trade off. (They are serviceable but I left them unglued so I can always get a better view of detail, maybe one day I will fix it again but probably not.) Some pictures will be included in the final post.

 

Here it is done on the shelf, just a quick photo for this thread. I will make the RFI post in the next week and will link it here.

 

3qLiqiW.jpg

 

Overall, man. This kit took me about 4-5 weeks of work and while it turned out great, by the end I was ready to wrap it up. This kit defiantly fights you to get it to look good so if you like amazingly engineered kits maybe pass on this, but if you like to scratch build, and spend lots of time on a kit you can get a lot out of it. The only Kinetic kit I've built before is the S2F tracker which was very rough to build and is sitting in its box unfinished, I have also bought the Kinetic f-18 and that kit looks very very nice. So on a scale between those two this prowler would fit right in the middle. 

 

Some better pictures and a more detail write up will be in the RFI post.

 

I just wanted to thank everyone who helped out with advice and comments throughout the build. 

 

Thanks everyone!

 

 

 

 

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  • looped80times changed the title to Kinetic's EA-6B + A whole lotta aftermarket | Finished 2/21/21

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