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AGGRESSOR F-5E in Afghan Camo - Finished!


themongoose
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Time to kick off my next Kitty Hawk build. The vaunted but, still a copy of old, F-5E. This one will be a Marine tribute in colorful aggressor camo as is my love. Just a few adds here. I’ve got a set of Phase Hangar Resin seemless intakes to fill the fuselage void. Wheels and the ACMI pod(planning to modify it as suggested here on LSP) from Harold at AMS resin. Plus I’m bound to add Archer Fine Transfer rivets and access panels :-)

Here’s my box shot as I roll into the weekend!

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A mid build addition was a set of AeroMasks. Jim had these in 1/48 scale and was happy to explode them to 1/32 for me. What a great guy and company. They come with decals as well so it really set me up right to finish this build.

 

Edited by themongoose
Added aeromask info
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Halfway decent progress this weekend. Not as much as I hoped tho. The seat and cockpit tub are painted. Side panels on the fuselage and the pilot primered. May not use the standing pilot tho. Thinking of a different scene for the base so will hold out on him. Decal on the IP is done. Tomorrow I’ll clear it and then put Gauzy in the bezels to see if it shines better than future. I think it might be good for this application.

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What slowed me down today was deciding whether to open or close both the gun doors. We all know they don’t fit closed. I needed a pic of what’s in the Aggressor gun bay though. Phewww, I found a pick. The opposing gun bays in the bottom right corner are modified now. The white styrene will end up bright red on a gray frame. 
the IP came out pretty good. This decal had all the colors(my F-5F was short the gray). One spot hasn’t settled down yet i see now in the pic so will have to sort that.

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Should be closing this up before next weekend. All these little nits in the kit just keep slowing it down.

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I was so excited about these F-5 kits. Now, not so much. I got the mold line down the rear fuselage cleaned up easy enough. An hour of work for both planes.

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Now I’m assembling the nose. The dry fit is horrible. There’s no way i could have made the gun section narrower! 

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how can they screw this up. It’s not like they started from scratch, the dang thing is 3/4 Hasegawa. Ugggh rant over. Although i won’t guarantee it won’t return before I’m done lol

 

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I had to take 2 of the small frame pieces off the top of the gun assembly and sand the bulkhead  sides to get it to fit. Just a small spacer at the top now so the windscreen fits perfect. Happy with this now. Another hour lost but i have a 3 day weekend so i should make lots of progress with this out of the way.

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Here’s a few shots of the finished cockpit. Used the kit IP decal. All stock outside of Harold’s AMS Resin seat to really jazz it up 

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Moving on to assembling the cockpit fuselage today. My solution to the gun door issue and windscreen poor fit was to grow two extra hands :clap2: 

to start, i did not glue the fuselage to the edges of the wheel well and I didn’t glue the very top radiused section of the gun assembly to the fuselage. I used cement on the tabs for the cockpit so i could move it around for a minute or so. I glued the bottom fuselage seam closed. Then i laid the windscreen in place and I ended up separating the top of the fuselage just a 1/2mm or so to the point where the windscreen sat down flush with the canopy rails. I let this dry overnight before starting on the nose.

for the nose i placed both sets of gun doors in place with blue tape. Then when i put the nose section in place it centered itself on the doors. This kept it from shifting and going cockeyed as the glue dried. The result was a perfect vertical and horizontal seam.

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With everything centered and in place and showing flush panels I went back and glued the fuselage to the wheel well and to the top of the gun door assembly.

Now to let this dry while i work on the seamless intakes

Edited by themongoose
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Lots of little stuff going on, plus most has been shown before so no reason to bore anyone ;-) 

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The aversary aircraft don’t have guns.  I was lucky enough to find the plane I’m portraying with a gun door open. Here’s my rendition of the electronics...a big red box is mostly all that’s in there.

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In the above pic the errant access hatch and door are filled with superglue. Planning to use the Archer Fine Transfers hatches as a replacement. They’re thin enough to lay down here i believe. 

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Ohhh I’m starting to paint and that’s the truly exciting part for me. You know I’m close when I’ve got the 8x10 glossy up. I can tell you it’s not the same as the ones my Uncle Dennis used to have up in his studio back in the 80’s :excl:

 

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I was so excited thinking i was ready to assemble the fuselage...and then it hit me, the intake ramps and the area of the fuselage behind them has to be painted before it can all be assembled. Dang, full stop. So here’s how they are coming along. There’s 4 ugly giant ejector pin marks on these that have to be eliminated before even starting. For the internal seems I made color matched putty to fill the voids. On top I’m trying tamiya white putty and lacquer paint & on the bottom perfect plastic putty and vallejo acrylic paint. I’m hoping the acrylic works best as i can smooth it out with water and not affect the base color paint at all.

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did all my paint mixing yesterday and have my colors set in stone. Hoping to at least get to primer this weekend.

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Before I get too far do you guys think this looks like the shovel nose as opposed to the sharp pointed nose for the F5E? It’s not supposed to have that shovel nose but it sure looks like it does in the picture. Maybe it’s just the shadows and change in paint sheen?

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The missile is assembled B) Big update tonight. I’ve spent lots of time reading build logs and checking out that 80+ page F-5 thread ;-) to know where the assembly issues are for sure. Rubberbands and all around and it’s ready to dry. Definitely going to be in primer this weekend.

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Adding the seamless intakes added another dimension to the build for sure. What i decided to do was essentially dry fit it all - both fuselage halves (in 3 pieces) and both intakes all at the same time. I tacked the top shoulders with CA to hold the alignment, rolled it over and tacked the bottom once the panel lines were mated. Then i did a similar thing with each intake, tack the corners, get it aligned and do a final tack. Then i went over every seam with Tamiya Extra Thin.

Forgot to get a dry-fit pic of the E so here is the same setup on the F which is next up

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this is the only one that didn’t mate up right once i started gluing. Some putty, ca and rescribing and it should be ok. It’s pretty flat and way better than having to fix a step in that bottom joint!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

HaHa, you know the next time I say a model will be ready for primer this weekend someone call BS! Lots of family stuff happening so I've only been sporadically working on my F5's. I did however get primer on the E yesterday :clap2: Overall it's not too bad. It's so hard to keep from filling in these shallow rivets. Most of my rescribing worked out ok. I plan to preshade the rivets and panel lines so that something will show up ;-) Actually it will probably be close to reality then as the rivets will be mostly filled in and will look flush. That's my hope anyway.

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And look at these horrible sink marks, ugghh. Chuck showed these in his build. It's amazing how deep they feel when running your fingers over them. Bondo and sanding away...

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  • themongoose changed the title to AGGRESSOR F-5E in Afghan Camo - Finished!

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