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1/32 Trumpeter F-117A Nighthawk - in 45 Days!?!?

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You know that point in a build where you're doing a whole bunch of things, but feel like you have nothing to show for it?

 

That's where the 117 is at. Installed DLIR mesh, cockpit and canopy PE elements, prepped control stick and throttle (using parts stolen from Academy Hornet), some light wiring work on the rear bulkhead, some light scratchwork inside the canopy frame. Further fuselage cleanup. Priming a lot of PE. 

 

There's a lot going on, but it doesn't look like I'm making any progress. 

 

IMG_20170303_014828-01-X3.jpg

 

Looking forward to when that changes, because it'll change suddenly. 

 

Oh I know that point in a build intimately!  Hehehe  (How many years now has my own '117 build stalled?!)  But love the progress you're making!  On this jet in particular, the devil really is in the details...because there are so few of them on the fuselage.  Taking the time to really sort out the cockpit & gear wells pays off in spades with this jet I think.  Great work so far!  Would love to see your work on the cockpit and bulkhead if you have any progress photos.  :)

 

Also, when the time comes, if you're opting to use the PE RCS screens in front of the engine intakes instead of the solid plastic versions, the intakes themselves were painted white - not black.  Well, a "dirty white" is what I've seen and been told in confirmation.  Mike at Sierra Hotel also has some very nice engine face updates for the GE F404. 

Edited by Uilleann

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Now that`s some really Overwhelming scenery :) omg, so much going on...

Btw i was wondering, why most of the edges are painted black, like they are preshaded? Looks very stealthy like that, i like it alot!  :thumbsup:

 

That's primer! And in many cases (intake lips, FLIR, cockpit...) they're going to have to be painted up before the rest of the airframe. 

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Progress continues to be made!

FLIR and DLIR sensors. Have to say, I really love the depth that Trumpeter put into the clear parts, especially the FLIR. 

 

IMG_20170304_020817-01-X3.jpg

 

Some wiring on the bulkhead to liven things up a bit. 

 

IMG_20170304_004518-01-X3.jpg

 

Work on the canopy frame. I totally stole Brian's excellent tungsten cone idea, and man was that some fiddly work with the mounts. Scratchbuilding is definitely not my thing.

 

IMG_20170306_013035-01-X3.jpg

 

The cockpit sill. This shows as a very light gray in reference photos - markedly lighter than the dark gull gray interior. I used some MRP Light Gray (for Slovak MiG-29s or something) mixed with some USN Insignia White. Phone camera had a fit with levels trying to capture it, but it's a very light gray (some darker portions are masked off). 

 

IMG_20170306_013012-01-X3.jpg

 

Finally, cockpit work. Trumpeter's gauge decals are a bit too bold for my taste, but I'm trying to move quickly and am just going to deal. If I were doing it again I'd use Airscale stuff for sure. 

 

Airscale stencils are also being employed to break up the side consoles a bit. 

 

IMG_20170306_013101-01-X3.jpg

 

IMG_20170306_013114-01-X3.jpg

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Simply delicious Matt!  Love all the greeblies too - they really make the difference.  :)  May I ask about your panel wash used in the cockpit?  I've been wondering what to use for my own build there.  The canopy does have a lot more going on than many kite provide for (yeah you Trumpy!) and those little parts I think help to set things off nicely.  I noticed you even got the map lights worked in.  Excellent all around. 

 

:thumbsup:

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Matt,

 

Excellent work! Which aircraft will you be depicting?

 

Cheers, Tom

 

honestly I haven't even gotten that far yet - it's going to be black so I'll dig into markings when I get closer to paint

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Matt,

 

Note that the DS wheel hubs (center) differed slightly from later aircraft:

IMG_0179_zps4cf12e4f.jpg

 

I'm not using these so let me know and I'll drop my set in the mail.

 

Cheers, Tom

Edited by Uncarina

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My understanding was that the gear and wheel change from early to late types was a rolling update to the fleet.  Some of the nighthawks in DS already had the mod, and some did not.  You'll want to poke around the interwebs once you know which particular jet - and at which point in it's operation - you want to model.  There's also a great book out on every individual plane built with some history of each unique unit.  I found mine on Amazon:

 

Lockheed F-117 Night Hawks: A Stealth Fighter Roll Call

 

Might be of some help in deciding which one grabs your interest most.

 

Cheers

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So my plan to use acetate for the MFDs didn't work. I really wanted to find something identical to the acetate Aires, Eduard etc throw in. Thin but stiff. But the stuff I found was very floppy, and when glued in place, curved on me. Fortunately, PVA can be removed without too much issue. 

 

IMG_20170307_092721-01-X3.jpg

 

Since I need to keep moving, FICE is in full effect, and I ended up using Bondic for the displays. Not terribly pleased with it, but...need to keep moving. 

 

TrumpF-117%2003-07-17-1-X3.jpg

 

Cockpit sills and coaming painted up - reference pics show that the coaming seems to have more weathering than the rest of the cockpit combined, so that'll be coming up here soon. 

 

IMG_20170308_015137-01-X3.jpg

 

I was also looking at the Eduard exterior PE set and decided I wasn't happy with the intake applique panels. The raised rivet detail just doesn't work for me. So...I scanned them in:

 

FB_IMG_1489039486614.jpg

 

And used Illustrator + my Silhouette cutter to make some replacements out of .005 styrene sheet. 

 

FB_IMG_1489039493296.jpg

 

IMG_20170309_000310.jpg

 

Rivet lines were marked and riveted.

 

IMG_20170309_002939.jpg

 

And the panels glued in place:

 

IMG_20170309_005752-01.jpg

 

IMG_20170309_005818-01.jpg

 

Plan tonight is to weather the coaming and start getting that squared away, get final paint down on the FLIR and DLIR mesh so I can drop the insides in place, and get to some of the fuselage stuff I've been putting off.

Also - anybody happen to know if 1) the gear struts can be installed after the fact? They look like they can be. And 2) if this sucker needs any ballast to keep it from tail-sitting. NOTE that I'm leaving the middle engine sections out. Though they're mostly in-line with the gear bays so probably wouldn't impact weight distribution in any significant way.

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