Saturday, 14 September 2019

1/48 Airfix Hawker Hunter F.6 - Central Fighter Establishment RAF


This kit was built for the 2020 NSW Scale Model Show's "Airfix Cup".  Although as the Hunter is one of the few early jets that I actually like I was really excited to see Airfix one in 48 scale.

The aircraft I've modelled is one from the RAF's Central Fighter Establishment detached to Sharjah in the UAE in 1963

The Kit

1/48 Airfix Hawker Hunter F.6 Kit No. A09185






Aftermarket

None

The Pilot

Unfortunately the kit doesn't give you a pilot so this one was taken from a Hasegawa Hornet kit. Yeah his flying clothing and equipment is not accurate but only the safety equipment nerds will know.

Decals

Xtradecals 48189 for the underwing codes, tail letter and serials.
Kit decals for the rest

The kit decal sheet is excellent. even the smallest stencils are readable (albeit under magnification) and performed perfectly.

Paint

Dark Green  - Mr Color #330
Dark Sea Grey - Mr Color #331 lightened with white
Yellow - Mr Hobby # 413 RLM 04 Yellow
Silver - Tamiya AS-12
White - Tamiya XF 2 with a drop of grey
Vallejo Acrylics for details 

Clear Coats

Gloss - Gaianote Clear
Flat - Gaia Notes Flat 

Weathering

Shades of the base colours were used for post shading prior to decaling. These were applied  through various airbrush stencils

Oil paints for the wash

Coloured pencils for streaks 

The Base

The base is inspired by the coastal kits blur bases. The original image is of a random bit Australian landscape taken during my last flight in the one of helicopters I worked on. It was specifically taken for "blurring". I then used the motion blur tool in Corel Paintshop Pro multiple times to blur the image until I was happy with the result. I then got it printed on card at the local printer. This was then glued to core flute board.

Build Thread

Conclusion 

This kit is a pretty simple build and it fits really well.  While it lacks a bit of detail compared to many other modern kits it's simplicity makes for a fun fast build, especially if you do it in flight. I'd estimate that I spent about 20 hours to finish it. I probably spent more time on the base.

If I did it on the ground I'd probably add a PE set for the flaps, wheels and a seat but to be honest it looks better in flight so I reckon any subsequent ones I build will also be flying. 

After the Revel Eagle, Eduard's Tempest and the Special Hobby Firefly I really enjoyed building something that just goes together without issues. I will definitely build future releases.. roll on the export versions.  

The Photos























Sunday, 8 September 2019

1/48 Revell F-15E Strike Eagle - 336th Fighter Squadron Operation Iraqi Freedom


This aircraft (89-0503) was operated by 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing when deployed to Al Udeid Air Base Qatar during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The nose art was the reason I chose this jet.

I also wanted to do a fully tooled up jet. I'm not sure if this particular jet flew with this particular load but it was one of the loads used by F-15E's during OIF Thanks to the Internet Archives wayback machine I found a copy of excellent F-15E.info web site which has great information on weapons loads used on the F-15E.

The Kit - Revell F-15E Strike Eagle - Kit No. 85-5511


The Revell kit has a reputation as a very good kit. It has fine panel lines, a well detailed cockpit and a great exhausts straight from the box. It is the best Revell 48 scale kit I've built and is a considerably better mould than the newer Eurofighter and Ventura kits.



It also pretty cheap for a big 48 scale kit, As an aside this is a reason I think Revell kits get a bit of free pass from many. This boxing was from the now defunct Revell USA.

Now some of the bad points. The mould is showing it's age. My example was riddled with flash on the small parts. Particularly the exhaust actuator arms.


The way the canopy was designed is poor. It has its sprue attachment point directly onto a clear part of the canopy. The Canopy is then to be glued to a plastic frame. This allows nice detail on the frame but I found the canopy doesn't fit that well in the frame plus you have the risk of damaging the clear parts. This is the worst part of this kit and one of the parts I'm not happy with on the build.

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The boxing I had contained no weapons bar AIM-9M's. and the decal options didn't use the drop tanks so there were no decals for those

Fair enough I suppose but how often do we see Strike Eagles without tanks? Plus the decal sheet didn't look that great. This isn't really a problem for me as I was always going to use an aftermarket sheet. (Unfortunately there were no tanks decals on the aftermarket sheet.

Decal Sheet - Speed Hunter Graphics 48006 1/48 F-15E Striking Eagles Part 1


As expected from Jake at Reid Air Publishing these are fantastic Cartogragh printed decals. My only minor niggle is the lack of stencils for drop tanks.


Aftermarket


Wolfpack F-15E Strike Eagle OEF/OIF Update Set

Quickboost Ejection Seats -

Royale Resin Wheels

Two Mikes Blank Set

Eduard Steel and Fabric RBF tags

Aerobonus RBF tags
 

Weapons and Stores


Hasegawa AN/AAQ-13 Navigation Pod

Hasegawa AN/AAQ-14 Targeting Pod

SHULL 24 LAU-128/ADU-552 pylons

Eduard AIM-9M Sidewinder's

Eduard GBU-12 Laser Guided Bombs

Hasegawa GBU-10 Laser Guided Bombs

Hasegawa AIM-120' AMRAAM



Paint


Gunship Grey - Mr Color #305

Nose Cone - Mr Color #305 Darkened with Mr Color Extra Dark Sea Grey

Metal Parts - Tamiya AS-12 with Alclad Tinting

Exhausts - Alclad Jet Exhaust with burnt iron tinting

Bombs - Mr Color # 304 Olive Drab

Missiles - Mr Color Lacquers for the greys and Alclads for the metallic shades

Vallejo Acrylics for details 

Clear Coats


Gloss - Gaianote Clear

Flat - Gaia Notes Flat prior to weathering

Dullcoate as the final Clear Flat

Weathering


Shades of the base coat was used for post shading prior to decaling

Oil paints

Coloured pencils

Tamiya Weathering Sets


Build Threads


Britmodeller

Conclusion 


This is still a great kit despite the mould showing it's age and that it needs a series of upgrades if you want to build anything but the earliest F-15E's. It is also very cheap for a large 48 jet clearly so is also a plus.  Just be aware what boxing you are buying as there is a mixture of what is included in each particular boxing.

All that said the canopy moulding design is poor and annoying. If I build another strike eagle I'll probably try the Great Wall kit.

As for my build I'm pretty happy with it overall. The canopy and  in particular the exhausts are the areas where I didn't achieve the standard I'd hoped. For such a prominent feature I'm quite disappointed in the job I did on the exhausts. Teh canopy I out down to the poor design of the moulding.

The Photos 




















































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