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1/48 Meng F/A-18F RAAF 1 Squadron


arfa1983
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I expected to see a few more of these in the group! 

 

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The kit has some really nice options for decals. Not least of all the one on the front of the box. But I need a RAAF bird in my collection. (I still call Australia hooooooome!)

So I'll be using these decals instead. Another boring grey bird yes. But, they looked very very sharp when they were first delivered if you check out any photos of them online. I think I will go for that ultra clean look with very little contrast between the top and bottom greys.

 

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But not to make it too boring. I will do this in beast mode. Also making a little head start given the gregarious nature of the host! 🤗

 

I have been collecting AMRAAMs for a while with this concept in mind and now it is time to do it! They vary a little in detail as well as fins design but I think they will look ok once all painted and installed. The kit missiles are actually a fraction smaller diameter which is quite noticeable so I'll keep those or another project. The LAU115 launchers and rails will come from the Hasegawa Weapons Set E.

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Nice!

1 hour ago, arfa1983 said:

They vary a little in detail as well as fins design

The ones with the clipped fins represent C models, ( in order to fit into F-22 and F-35 weapons bays.) The another ones earlier A/B models 

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I'll be very interested in following this build as I am after a F/A-18F (for a 6 Sqn bird) and interested to see how this builds up compared to the excellent Hasegawa version.

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2 hours ago, Sam said:

Someone just bought all the LAU-115 and LAU-127 at hannants… 🤔

Actually I was looking for resin ones everywhere and couldn't find them! Then I realised they are in the Hasegawa Weapons Set E. 

5 hours ago, exdraken said:

Nice!

The ones with the clipped fins represent C models, ( in order to fit into F-22 and F-35 weapons bays.) The another ones earlier A/B models 

Ah! Makes sense.

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4 hours ago, Anatol Pigwa said:

Nothing wrong with a grey bird and beast mode will make it even more impressive. Do you intend to put some dindeminders on the wingtips as well, or will it be AMRAAMS only?  

Yes. Beast mode requires all the hardpoints to be used!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally made a bit more of a real start on this. I Need to get out the airbrush but it's been raining here a lot and that means successful spraying lasts about 10minutes before water starts spraying out of my airbrush. Also been trying to finish my F14 which I didn't finish yet for the group build and also a 1/72 JASDF F15 aggressor which has a billion tiny stencils which are "integral" to the look of the finished plane (they also distract the eye from the many imperfections!)

 

Also beginning to panic about the Attack/Bomber group build,  though of course there is still plenty of time for that.

 

Work is not doing me any real favours at the moment either with frequent travel, plus it's 3-year old birthday time of the year for all our friends 😐

 

Anyway! This progress until now! 

 

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Not much yet, but looking at instructions once I get the airbrush fired up, the rest of the assembly will go together quite quickly. 

 

But look at these wheel wells! I am so impressed with these.

 

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This is giving me deja vu; it's so similar to the E version. I'm going to be watching closely to spot the differences as you go. I really enjoyed my E but in the light of this 'Beast mode' version, I'm almost ashamed to admit that I didn't even use all the pylons!

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1 hour ago, Bertie Psmith said:

This is giving me deja vu; it's so similar to the E version. I'm going to be watching closely to spot the differences as you go. I really enjoyed my E but in the light of this 'Beast mode' version, I'm almost ashamed to admit that I didn't even use all the pylons!

So far it seems to be going together very well. I noted your issue with the wheel well doors. This sounds like my nightmare. I think my least least least favourite part of this hobby is getting wheel well doors to stick, especially at the exact right angle! But I'll be sure to dry fit them before painting to see what needs doing. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, arfa1983 said:

I noted your issue with the wheel well doors.

 

Indeed. It was a nightmare because it was so unexpected. Everything else had gone so well. My suggestion would be to test fit the hinges well before you do any painting. I suspect that the slots in the bay sidewalls were the problem. Moulding requirements perhaps forced the slots to have less than parallel sides and had I noticed in advance and squared them up there would be no problem at all. 

 

Actually, they are all solidly attached now and easily support the weight of the whole thing while decaling is happening, with its many picking-ups and putting-downs, so the problem wasn't ever a huge one, just a surprise.

 

 

3 hours ago, arfa1983 said:

But look at these wheel wells! I am so impressed with these.

 

Fabulous!

 

 

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Well I finally got a good day's modelling in yesterday. We are transitioning in UAE to a Saturday Sunday weekend so yesterday was a free day off for me.

 

Weather was gusty and terrible though so I finished the cockpit with the hairy stick and the kit decals. I know it's not the best representation, but they do the trick for making the cockpit look a little busier under the canopy. 

 

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The other thing I wanted to paint was the intake trunks. So, I used some white housepaint and poured it down the intakes. It's a method I want to use on my A7 Corsair, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out.

 

It turned out pretty ok I think. Though the fanblades are covered in white now because I was to impatient to let it dry. 

 

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I have more to update but I'll do it later. SWMBO is calling me!

Edited by arfa1983
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Ok little sibling for my son making done. 😄

 

This kit goes together pretty nicely. Not like the Tamiya F14. But I'd say a little better than the Academy F4 Phantom II. 

 

However be careful when assembling the front fuselage/cockpit assembly with the top and bottom fuselage pieces. I stuck the top and bottom together first and then it was not possible to insert the cockpit through the hole. I had to trim a couple of tabs off the sides of the cockpit which I think should locate the assembly in the top fuselage. Anyway it seems to be OK now. Instructions are not very clear about the order. It may have been better to have a separate step in the instructions. 

 

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After tab removal and forcing it in.

 

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A couple of nice features of the kit. The sprue letters are big and recessed. Just hit it with a sharpie marker and finding the sprue you need is easy! Simple but ingenious. Especially for such a kit with a million sprues. 

 

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All photoetch should be done like this! No connection between the frame and the part! Just sticky plastic covering and holding in place! So easy to use. 

 

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As I mentioned the kit goes together nicely with a little dry fitting. Just a little gap to fill on the front. I can thank @trickyrich for explaining the use of nail polish remover to get a super clean fill. I must say I've learned a lot of great tips and tricks since joining the GB community. 

 

I made the flaps dropped version, and I'd probably had one or two beers too many so they ended up a little wonky, but I don't think it will be too noticeable when done.

 

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And so we are ready for primer! I've got to sand the canopy seam line down though. Ugh I wish they would figure out how to make canopies without the seam. 

The rear stabs and tails are not glued. Either is landing gear. A funny thing is the hasegawa plastic for the missile rails didn't really want to stick to the meng plastic so easily. 

With a bit of luck will get primer on tomorrow. 

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Edited by arfa1983
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4 hours ago, DaveJL said:

Nice work, looks a lot crisper and easier to assemble than the Hasegawa version.

I haven't built the Hasegawa one. The last (and only) one I made was an Italeri Growler, which was OK but just didn't quite look right either. 

 

I was actually waiting for my local hobby shop to get the Hasegawa one back in stock for this build. Then one day I was looking for AGM-65 missiles for an F-16 kit and learned this kit had two included. Seeing it was my birthday at the time I treated myself to this and a few other nice kits from my favourite Japanese Hobby mail order website! 

 

No regrets at all! 

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gee she's coming along very nicely! I think I may have to get me one of these models for a "normal" 6 Sqn F/A-18F.

 

Glad my tip worked for you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow it's already February! Better get a wriggle on! 

 

I removed seam and polished and dipppppped the canopy today. So it should  be nice and dry by weekend to mask up and start priming and painting. Painting shouldn't take too long so it should be a quick sprint to the finish! 

 

I want to start the Attack group build and I feel that my likely selection for that one is going to be a bit of a marathon. I will make my final selection once I have this F18 a little closer to finished. That way I can change to something simpler if I don't think I'll have time.

 

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