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The Great LSP Twins Group Build Starts Jan 24, 2024 - End July 3, 2024 ×

CF-18 439 Sqn Tiger Meet

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This is a project I've wanted to do for a long time. Originally I was going to do it in 1/48 using the Hasegawa CF-188 kit but that went sideways. Both times. Then Kinetic came out with their re-box of the Academy kit so I grabbed that. Then purged it from the stash in a bit of down sizing. Finally I got a regular Academy release and started collecting the necessary bits. And it's finally time to get this onto the bench. 


Some of the AM involved in the build. The decals are only a partial set. They include the smaller markings but give you stencils for the stripes. I contacted the folks at DN Models and they made the templates into masks along with some of the bigger markings so I can paint them on. 


I've also got an Aires cockpit set, Rhino seamless intakes and some various PE sets. 



For reference, I have Jake Melampy's book on the Hornet and this book on 439 Squadron. 


There's some great shots of the two Tiger Meet planes if which I'll be doing the latter one. 




Edited by BlrwestSiR
Forgot the pics
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One of the first things I did was to check the ift of the Aires cockpit set. As they're notorious for having challenging fit issues, I wanted to know what would be involved and was it even worth it to grind/shave a ton of plastic and resin to make the 'pit tub fit or just use the kit one. 

Well I got a pleasant surprise.


I taped the fuselage together with the resin tub in place and it was an almost perfect fit. It's slightly short in length but fit between the fuselage sides. Without any sanding or grinding. I did decide to leave out the two resin side panels so I may have cheated a bit. Still worth it to not have the extra hassle. 

So time for some paint. 


I used AK Dark Gull Grey and NATO black for the panels. I did the same on the IP panel with Clear green for the screens. 



There's some PE details to add to this but that's where I am so far. 

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3 minutes ago, Bomber_County said:

Those squirrels around your neck of the woods must be active again Carl……….good on you buddy…….looking forward to this,  as only having done one fan thing, I need for another ……I think………:popcorn:


Phil, maybe I need to get my sister's dog up for a visit. She's proven to be an exceptional squirrel hunter. :lol:

Actually I did finish the U-boat so that's something. 

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Got a bit more done on the cockpit. The Aires set uses PE with clear film for some of the instruments. My first attempt at painting the PE ended up a mess so I stripped it and started over. 

I primed the parts and then sprayed them  Dark Gull Grey. 

I then masked off the individual bezels and painted them with NATO black. 





 I then cut them out and applied them in the appropriate location.


I gave them a wash and a dry brush to make some of the details pop.


I took the same approach with the side panels. 



Here's a dry fit of the cockpit so far.



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Gotta love those Aires seatbelts, eh? I have two C's in the stash. One will be a C from VMFA-232, and the other converted to an A from VMFA-314. I need to fine another D so I can do Blue Angel #7, but they are hard to find nowadays.

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3 hours ago, smitty44 said:

Gotta love those Aires seatbelts, eh? I have two C's in the stash. One will be a C from VMFA-232, and the other converted to an A from VMFA-314. I need to fine another D so I can do Blue Angel #7, but they are hard to find nowadays.

Actually, I do like them. I find it much easier to get them to fit a seat than the Eduard ones. But I still prefer the HGW or Wako ones the most. 

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I started work on getting the intakes fitted. The kit ones have a full trunking to them but the diameter is too small. The resin ones I picked up improve on that plus reduce the number of parts considerably. 


Doing some initial test fitting, I saw that I needed to remove a bit of the lump on the rear of the intake so they could clear the MLG bays. 


I also found I needed to have the lower wings glued in place to the upper fuselage half before I joined them together. 


I added some styrene sheet to the inside of the lower fuselage to help space the intakes and reduce any mismatches between them and the fuselage. 


I determined that I could join the rear section of the fuselage and still be able to separate  the front section to get the intakes in. I added some tabs to strengthen the joint. 



All joined up and drying at the moment. 




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3 hours ago, Bomber_County said:

looking good Carl, you are storming this one…….

I hope the dog doesn’t fart……….not good positioning …….

Thanks Phil!

Zoe actually sat on Sunny. Dropped 40lbs of collie butt on him to get him to move over and share her dog bed. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Peterpools said:


Nice work on working the intake ducting to fit perfectly. From what I've read, the kit has a reputation of testing a builders metal and you absolutely have everything under control and looking good.

Keep 'em comin


Thanks Peter. There are a few places that could be fussy so I'm trying to anticipate and solve them before I glue things. Hope it works. 

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