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Kinetic 1/48 F/A-18A ex US Navy adversary in Spanish service.


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For my entry in the GB I am going to be building the recent Kinetic 1/48 F/A-18A/B/CF-188 as a Spanish Air Force example, but not in the usual grey scheme (even though some of these get spectacularly dirty and weathered) but rather as one of several ex US Navy aircraft that were sold to Spain after they were retired from VFA-127 (Cylons) where they were used in the adversary role. As adversary aircraft they had been painted in a disruptive desert type camo scheme of sand and brown and they were delivered to Spain still wearing this scheme, they were re-painted when they went through scheduled maintenance later in service but looked very good in their adversary scheme with touched up areas where the US Navy markings were over painted and with the colourful Spanish roundels applied.

So onto the kit. This is the boxing that I shall be using;

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Lots of plastic bags full of sprues;

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And a very nice, large and comprehensive decals sheet;

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Enough codes there to build any Spanish Hornet, happy days! Though as I will be doing an ex adversary the warnings and stencils need to be in the original adversary colours so I have bought a set of decals from Hi Decal which has one of those as an option on it to take care of that issue. The model should like the aircraft shown on these images of the scheme on the instruction sheets from a decal set by Series Espanolas which also do a dedicated set for these aircraft;

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Now having finished my Draken a couple of weeks ago I decided to make a start on this but keeping it below the 25% margin, fortunately there is quite a bit that can be done before you are in danger of breaching this limit and ( surprise,surprise) I started with the cockpit. The cockpit tub and IP come with nice raised details for switches etc which I thought would look good with some detail painting and drybrushing rather than removing it all and replacing with 3D decals so that is what I did and this is what the cockpit tub looks like now with the Joystick and pedals fitted;

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The IP got the same treatment, now Kinetic supply decals for the screens which represent the MFD's if they were powered up which is not appropriate to an aircraft parked on the tarmac without someone sat in it running through checklists so they were painted instead and the decals for the instruments are way too big to fit into the recesses on the IP so they just got a basic paint job too. This is how the IP looks;

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I have also built up the undercarriage legs;

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And painted the main undercarriage bays;

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Now while this is a modern kit I have to say I am not impressed by the amount and location of some ejector pin holes on some parts, the undercarriage legs being particularly bad, and the sprue gates which are really big in places and on the mating faces of the parts too. The instructions are pretty bad too, being very vague about how some parts fit together and on where to drill holes for parts to fit and also being just plain wrong with the part numbers they tell you to fit, there are at least 2 parts which the instructions call A6 which are completely different! Having built a Kinetic kit before (Harrier T.10) this is not the first time I have come across this issue but there really is no excuse for it at all, might be an idea to have someone proof read them first or even to try and build a model using them, shock horror!!

 

Anyway lots more to do so thanks for looking in and hopefully it won't be much longer before there is another update.

 

Craig.

 

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1 hour ago, Sam said:

The „desert scheme“ is composed with wonderful colours!!! I will be eyeing your paintjob process 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

 

14 minutes ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Thank heavens it's not another grey one! I'll be looking out for this one throughout the GB.

Cheers guys, hopefully she will meet your expectations.

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18 minutes ago, Lex77 said:

Nice choice Craig! Looking forward to this one.

Will be building the Kinetic kit aswell so will be following this one closely!

Always a pleasure to have you on board Lex.

As I said above, take care with the instructions. I shall give you an example of what I mean. I built up the kit ejection seat  (quite nice) and tried to make my own belts for it but failed so I ordered a resin seat from Pavla which has built in belts only to find later whilst looking for something else that Kinetic have hidden in the instructions that there is a full set of belts provided on the small etched fret in the kit!!!🤬 There is no mention of these parts on the instructions at all!!!

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Same mistake is made in this boxing. Kinetic releases some nice subjects but they should be giving some more attention to the instructions and what colors to use!

Will be using the Quinta studio decals but am not sure they include the seatbelts.

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.... and you're not building an RAAF version why???  :fight:

 

So you could wait huh! :D  I know the feeling (been playing with other horrible stuff to try and help remove temptation), plus more so to because I'll miss the start of this one. But guess it'll give me time to get some more AM stuff! :D

 

Good luck with this one, will be following.....

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5 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

.... and you're not building an RAAF version why???  :fight:

Purely because the adversary Spanish scheme is an itch that I have wanted to scratch for a very long time, but don't worry I do want to build an RAAF one too, in fact I really like the scheme your Growler (they really should have checked all the meanings of that word before naming an aircraft after it!) and the centenary markings for 1 Sqn on their F. I am also looking forward to Caracal Decals' sheet for RAAF legacy Hornets.

17 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

 

So you could wait huh! :D 

No I couldn't wait, it was either start this and stand a chance of finishing it in time or get distracted with something else and then end up finishing nothing.

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Growler - 2ltr refillable beer bottle! :D

 

https://www.keg-king.com.au/ultimate-growler-2-litre.html  :thumbsup: :cheers:

 

Yeah the 1 Sqn anniversary scheme is nice to......... but for obvious reasons I just can't do that one! There are some nice legacy anniversary schemes as well.

 

These are the best lot to get those decals from, either direct or from evilly, they're nice decals.

 

https://roningraphicsaustralia.com/shop/ols/categories/148-decals

 

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4 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

Growler - 2ltr refillable beer bottle! :D

Not the meaning I had in mind.😉

6 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

Yeah the 1 Sqn anniversary scheme is nice to......... but for obvious reasons I just can't do that one!

I understand your reasoning behind your choice, can't go building rival squadrons aircraft can we!

 

Ronin decals do look like they have some very nice stuff, will have to give them some thought.

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10 minutes ago, modelling minion said:

Not the meaning I had in mind.😉

 

yes well...... it's way too early in the year to lower the standards..... gotta wait a couple of months  :D

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What a cool subject choice Craig :speak_cool:

 

12 hours ago, trickyrich said:

yes well...... it's way too early in the year to lower the standards..... gotta wait a couple of months  :D

Pfft! Amateur :rolleyes:

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Some more pre official start time progress to report.

 

The nose comes in several parts and the kit gives you the option of having the in-flight refueling probe either stowed or deployed and there are several options provided for the panel which makes up the bottom piece of the nose. I have chosen to not have the probe deployed to keep the shape of the aircraft. The nose pieces all fitted together very well with the only filler required being on the outside where an internal recess, that I assume is intended for aircraft with the nose mounted searchlight fitted, had left a visible mark that needed taking care of. I don't know why Kinetic have done this as they also supply a separate nose which has the searchlight aperture open in it, anyway this is what the nose looks like when built up;

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And with that all set I could attach it to the lower fuselage piece which fits quite well with only a very small amount of tidying up to get a smooth fit;

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The intakes have also been fitted, and these are not a very good fit. I found that the best thing to do was to remove the locating pins from the parts and align them by eye as you get a much better fit that way;

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There were still gaps to be sorted with some filler but nothing horrendous and after a little work I had this;

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Much better.

 

I have also attached the lower wings to the one piece upper wing/fuselage piece (a very nice touch);

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A very good fit. You will note that the wing has separate leading edge slats and flaps, which is another very nice touch though it would have been nice if Kinetic had got the numbers the right way round for which ones fit on which wing, fortunately there are recesses in the front of the wing section which fit extensions on the back face of the slats which.

 

So that is how she stands at the minute, thanks for looking in and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received.

 

Craig.

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7 minutes ago, PhantomBigStu said:

Just had a look in as I'm doing the original aggressor and needed a paint match for the sand, which the decals, I shall stay for the build :)

Always a pleasure to have you aboard Stu.

I shall be looking into what paints I need soon in case I need to order any.

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