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USMC AH-1Z ... NOT a shark mouth ;-) FINISHED


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I haven't built a helicopter since I was a kid! This could be ugly. From the sound of it this Academy 1/35 kit should come with a cheat code to help me out - good engineering, a quality kit. The plastic sure looks beautiful.

Excited about doing a Marine Zulu on the USS Boxer, Amphibious Ready Group. There's a couple BuNu on the Marine Skid Zulu sheet. The Evil Eyes Pirate appeals to me as i played Captain Red Beard the pirate at campouts for the Cub Scouts when my kids were growing up :-)

I've really been trying not to spend any extra money on my builds but this one needs the full motion video mod and without the rotor fold not sure where it would fit so it may be time to spend a little on upgrades. What are the odds I won't use purchasing 1 upgrade to justify the full metal jacket?

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Great project! You'll love the kit, it's brilliant, just carefully clean up all glueing surfaces. You should invest at least the amount for the Werner's Wings sheet in order to replace the kit stencils. They are totally off colour wise and won't be visible on the painted model. Keep in mind the upper surfaces are not FS36320 as incorrectly stated by Academy but FS35237. 

I threw pretty much all the (back then) available aftermarket at my kit and added some home made 3D printed stuff. It was huge fun. The cockpit needs wuite a bit of love and the clear parts aren't great, but apart from that it's one of the very best kits I have ever built. Looking forward to seeing your Viper come together! 

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Just finished mine and loved every minute of the build.  Listen to Starfighter because everything he said is absolutely true.   This is not a big model and with the four blade rotor disk, it takes up less shelf space than you’d think.  Werner wings will be your new best friend.

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Will be fun to watch!


I was going to go the route of Ben and upgrade the pit, but instead I purchased the DEF.Model Viper pilot and gunner set, and will probably have my glass  fully closed. Will book mark this to make sure I get the correct colors as well. 


Cant wait to see some of the build!

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The last couple days have been fairly productive. I’m about 95% done detailing the cockpits. There’s some white painted wire set aside and 1 piece of tubing that have to wait till the pilot IP is glued in place to install. Looking at it i just think it’ll be better to paint it separately. Agree, disagree?

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the wiring behind the pilot seat is just set in place for now. A few wires to place over and around the pilot coaming. The gunners cockpit is pretty much set i think. Tried to add as much as i could from photos. There’s quite a few walkarounds but cockpit details are harder to come by. If you guys see anything out of place let me know. 

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Here’s my next in-process shot. Take a look around and offer any advice. Now’s the time for me to make additions while i can still take the IP and seats in and out :D The wires for the side of the rear IP aren’t on, too fragile to do till very end. Once this is set then the PE for the center consoles, the detailing and weathering can commence. Looking forward to comments :beer4:

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Edit- if you click on the pics where seats are visible you can see the cloth look I tried using a screen to paint thru. These pics uploaded poorly using the link i guess.

Edited by themongoose
Noted, spell
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Nice work, looks every bit a Viper to me! I have this kit myself, and am looking forward to cracking on with it at some point. My daughter-in-law was crew on these during her career, and my Dad worked on early Cobras in the Army. So we have a soft spot in the family for Cobras of any vintage!


THOR    :ph34r:

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  • 2 weeks later...

THOR thanks for the encouragement. Hope you can check out my final views here and offer suggestions.

Guys this is ready for a critique :ph34r: I’ve added alot of details to this cockpit because it will be so open. Used flat, satin, and gloss to change up the different black shades based on what i saw in cockpit photos. I found a shot of the area behind the pilot seat so i was even able to make that look more accurate. I used purple foil wrapping paper for the screens. Used a piece of pe from a ship for the computer connection on each side of the pilot IP. Added the leather armrest in the gunner pit per pics. Then i made a seat shaped screen from a kitchen seive and airbrushed the seats to give them a cloth look. The brown on the headrest and pilot seat sides is to simulate sun fading i saw in lots of pics. Seemed to vary alot which makes sense as it probably depends on how often they were covered and what theatre they were in. I made the ILII decals on the pilot IP, in reality there are 2 one over the other but I couldn’t get them that small. Does what i have look good or should i either do the double ILII or not use this at all? 









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gosh i wish i could keep the dust off this black. Crazy how fast it shows up, especially with close ups.

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Not much progress but to be expected over the holidays huh. Some slowness is my approach. I’m trying to set up as much stuff to paint at once that I can. Waffling around between steps on the instructions. Pretty close to closing up the body. The one thing worth showing may be the PE work I’m doing. I’ve cut out all the vent openings that i can reference on the walk arounds and am in the process of creating ’shadow boxes’ of stuff that will be behind them so it’s just not open space. Check it out :-)








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Today’s creative thoughts brought out the magnets again. The target sight system can now be installed after the paint is done. It spins really smooth on the magnets.

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I’m not sure if these will be strong enough for the gatling gun since i bought the brass barrels. Will have to see and then maybe go to a different size. These little 3mm magnets fit alot of places and are pretty strong overall.

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More of the basics done today. I put a wash on the cockpit and finally got the two fuselage halves together. Is it called a fuselage on a helicopter? Just a little perfect plastic putty needed in a few spots. I’ve got wiring and background “stuff” behind all the screens. I managed to make all of them open using the PE from the kit and some fine 60mesh screen i bought earlier this year for my aircraft carrier build.

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  • themongoose changed the title to USMC AH-1Z ... NOT a shark mouth ;-) FINISHED

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