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themongoose

USAF F-35A

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I can't believe it's done!! Well, pretty much as I should put some clear coat over the decals. I am so thrilled with how this turned out   :party0023:   Each one I do is getting better and better; I improve on something that looked horrible on the last one and ... I continue to struggle with canopies LOL Maybe somebody can do some airbrushing on my photos that get too close to the front of the cockpit  :doh: . So here's a bunch of shots. I'll put more detail shots here for those who are following along and then post a whole slew of them over in the Ready For Inspection thread. This is nearly all out of the box, a few scratch built parts to add some detail in the cockpit is all I added. 

 

I decided to do tribute to the outgoing F-16 and I found the perfect art on the USAF site. This poster was created by SSgt Jon DuMondof the USAF Thunderbirds and they had a 3mb file available for free download, perfect. The key for me was the 2 F-16's outbound in the visor reflection. I used watercolors to blend the photo into the base and wrap it up into the F-35A Thunderbird.

 

BIRD_BOTTOM-X2.jpg

INVERTED_SIDE-X2.jpg

INVERTED_FRONT-X2.jpg

REFUELING_1-X2.jpg

 

They do show the shadow of the screen over this port but I'm not sure I like it. I was happy with how the pE formed though. I took a piece of clay that I used for sandbags on one of my tanks and formed it over the vent. Then after it dried for 2 days I laid the PE over the clay and slowly rolled it into shape.

EXHAUST_COVER-X2.jpg

 

I think the nozzle turned out pretty good to. At least it has the color gradient and some of the shadow between petals that I tried to apply. I used the kit part but it took so much work to clean up and even then I still don't think it looks very good.

NOZZLE_CLOSEUP-X2.jpg

 

NOZZLE_FLAME-X2.jpg

 

After the Thunderbird graphic this is the part I'm proudest of on this build - The joint for the vertical stabilizers and the fuselage. No putty! I massaged it and taped up the area prior to starting paint. Kept the tails off the whole time then assembled them after everything was done. it was also way easier to apply the decals to the tails on the table rather than when they are angled down away from the vertical.

VERT_STAB_JOINT-X2.jpg

 

You can see the glass isn't very clear. I tried using something different and it looked good for 3 days so I figured it worked...but when I took the masking tape off the whole picture had changed. What'd I do, I used RainX headlight polish on it. I already sent Italeri an email so I can get a new clear sprue. What does look pretty good I think is the PE from a 20cal shield for the detonator on the canopy. 

COCKPIT_REAR-X2.jpg

 

I hope you enjoy these. I keep learning from everyone elses posts so I I've tried to add detail that may be useful to others. If you see something you'd like to know more about drop me a line. And if you know the secret to the perfect build, or even a few of my model building dilemmas as detailed here feel free to post it up. Chris

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Here's a really small thing that I ended up thinking was important. Italeri put the same lightning shaped markings on each side of the cockpit, toward the rear. I spent alot of time looking over pictures and air show footage and in nearly every one the bolts on the starboard side were invisible. Honestly, I think I found only 2 shots where you could see them, and then it seemed only in shadow. So I sanded them completely off. Then when I did the clear pearl i cut out the negative of the lightning bolts off the Italeri masking sheet and just sprayed the clear pearl. When you look at this shot you will see the raised bolts on the port side to match the real world photos and the shadowed bolts on the starboard side to try and reflect what I thought I was seeing in all the pictures of the aircraft.

BOLTS-X2.jpg

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You've done a fantastic job on that!! Inflight is the best way to display a Tbird. What's next? 

 

Don

 

Ya know, if it weren't for the F/A-18E, the Blue Angels could be in these too....

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You've done a fantastic job on that!! Inflight is the best way to display a Tbird. What's next?

 

Don

 

Ya know, if it weren't for the F/A-18E, the Blue Angels could be in these too....

Thanks Don. I think the Talon is next. I have the conversion kit to take the F-5E to an A and i picked up an extra set of clear parts so I can make it a twin seater!

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