1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

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1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby Chris Becker » Fri May 31, 2019 9:46 am

Hi everyone, I was recently gifted a 90% complete 1/32 Trumpeter SuperHornet at my local meetup. It had been nicely painted and decaled in CAG colors OOB, but had some Eduard cockpit enhancements, resin seats etc. The builder had a problem with one of the wings and hadn't finished the ordnance/fuel tanks and left it at that.

So I thought, hmm a lovely project to get my hands on and try out some heavy duty naval aircraft weathering, since I want to do that to an F-14 build eventually.

On the night I was able to disassemble most of the model since the glue bonds weren't heavy duty. Here it is on my bench the following morning:

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First thing first - I always build my aircraft wheels up flying, the resin seats were tossed (too high, didnt fit the closed canopy) so I built up the kit ones and added some crew, sourced from spare Academy and others:

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But the canopy as designed/built won't close - a 0.5 to 1mm gap all round after a LOT of fettling. Will add some strips to bottom and build up:

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More to follow....
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby Chris Becker » Fri May 31, 2019 9:51 am

Next, to work out how to pose it inflight. Since the fuselage is all buttoned up and glued together, I needed a different approach and didn't have any large acrylic rod at hand to do up the tailpipes.

So why not carbon fiber rod?

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Haven't done this with an aircraft before, just a Star Destroyer. This is leftover 3mm rod from that project, drilled into a nice base I got off Josh Taylor at the recent PX.

Next, put a tube in the fuselage after finding the best resting spot and working out an appropriate posing angle (straight, but slightly climbing)

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The hole is just behind the centerline fuel tank so a small tube that runs right up into the spine will be mainly hidden:

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Oh did I mention it took forever to strip all the paint off? Still a bit to do here and there, but most of it came off with straight 99% IPA.

Here's the pose - might add a squadron badge to the base:

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More to follow
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby Chris Becker » Fri May 31, 2019 10:00 am

Last update, this is where I'm at.

To complete the wheels up conversion, I needed the wheels up. The wheel well doors were lightly superglued on in the open position, so it was easy to remove them - plus the wheels - but to fit them closed required each surface to be slightly modified, plus shims added underneath to support them in that position.

Not the best fit, but it will do:

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Next, filling in those weird triangle holes that Trumpeter put into the kit, used 1mm plasticard to shim them in, should be easy enough to sand back and rescribe:

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The ladder was built but i took it apart to use the covering piece in the LERX (?) which was a PITFA to fit, still needs some shimming/filling. Plus another piece of plasticard for the missing top piece:

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You'll also notice I went back and redid most of the assembly seams with red Bondo especially around the rear fuselage, which needs rescribing as well. I'll spot prime them first to see if the seams are gone, then get the rescriber out.

Next will be fitting the wings, which may need some reinforcement since the original builder had one of the wings drooping.

Stay tuned.
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby MichaelDrover » Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:00 pm

No kerb side collection for that one Chris. Looks good.

What will the final markings be?

Mick
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby Chris Becker » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:25 am

Hi Mick - indeed, its been a good rescue so far.

I'm going for one of the birds on the CTA SuperBug sheet, same squadron, but a non CAG, low vis VFA103 jobbie.

My intention is to make it as dirty as a late F-14D in terms of weathering, so really stretching how dirty they get.

Fitted the wings, and have made up the ordnance last night. More pictures later. Going for an assymetric load with this one...
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby MichaelDrover » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:38 am

Sounds good. Let us know how the CTA decals. They look interesting.

Is it a goofy gas config or just different ordnance?
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby Calum » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:51 pm

Nice work. Also interested in the CTA decals. They look great on the sheet I have
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby RayS » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:57 pm

You are doing some nice work there Chris, the kit is tiding up nicely. Looking forward to seeing your weathering technique.
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Re: 1/32 Trumpeter F/A-18F SuperHornet - RECYCLED

Postby Chris Becker » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:40 am

CTA decals are en route, hopefully should have the airframe ready by the time they get here from the 'States.

Going for goofy loadout - HARM and fuel tank on starboard wing, centerline fuel tank, two GBU's on port wing. I've added the correct targeting pod on the left cheek as well. Its common for the Superhornets to have the fuel tank only on the starboard side, since putting one on the port obscures the targeting pod somewhat.

Spoke to a USN Rhino handler (he just came back from a six month tour), said the centerline fuel tanks always get dirty first because they pick up all the crud from the catapult - which they almost never clean off, while the wing tanks not as much. BUT, they are all interchangeable, so you can have dirty ones everywhere.

He also said they do all their paint touchups with a six inch wide paint roller, they only use a very small aerosol for tiny touchups.

Weathering is going to be so much fun for this bird, im eager to get it buttoned up! More pictures soon, just fixing the seams all round again...
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