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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

CF-18 439 Sqn Tiger Meet

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Thanks Kai! It worked out better than I'd hoped. The bonus is I can use regular glue to attach them when it's time. I'm going to leave them off for the moment as it'll be easier to mask the tiger head that goes on the inside of the tailplanes. 


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I've run into a small snag. I thought I had a set of AM burner cans but it turns out they're for my Super Hornet. I debated using them anyways as they're close enough but bit the bullet and ordered the correct ones. Meantime I'll continue on with the rest of the build. 


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Ok, major milestone in the build. The front and rear fuselage halves are now joined together. 


Looks a bit anorexic without the flaps and slats or LEXs on. 

Meantime I've been figuring out what order for the paint colours. Hope to have that figured out soon. 


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Thanks Peter, it definitely is looking more like a Hornet. 

For the paint, the challenge is figuring out the best order to do the tiger head that goes on the vertical tails. It's three different greys surrounded by two other greys. The rest is easier to figure out. 

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I started fitting some of the upper and lower fuselage panels. 

As part of the Aires cockpit set, there's a replacement panel for the hell hole behind the cockpit. Mine was a bit warped and unfortunately I snapped it in half trying to straighten it out. 


Fortunately it's not as bad as it looks and I found a very straightforward fix.

Meantime, in test fitting the spine panel, the fuselage sides were a bit narrow so I added a spreader bar to get the right width. PXL_20210921_025502367.thumb.jpg.1427e04d2f3b8ce46f7f3e2ca1065d34.jpg

To support the broken hellhole panel, I glued in a piece of sheet sprue that spanned the rear opening. PXL_20210921_025820787.thumb.jpg.7bef13f37b075d377ab07c17cf6f1afb.jpg



With the two pieces in place. 


However, I only need the front half as the spine panel covers over where the break is. 


So that makes things easier.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Been a while since I've done anything on the Hornet.

I finally started on fitting the LERX. First step was to get some paint on the upper parts of the intakes that will get covered by the LERX.




Then I glued on the upper halves of the LERX. 


I'll wait til they're dry and then add the lower halves. 


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On 8/28/2021 at 6:01 AM, BlrwestSiR said:

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. 




Heat exchange, without any diplomatic acceptance.

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With the upper halves dry, I fitted the underside halves of the LERXs.


They didn't fit flush and after some repeated test fits, I realized that there was some interference.

There is a tab/extension on the end of the LERX. It was too long so I shortened it a bit, test fitting as I went. You can see the difference in the two below. The one on the right has been shortened.


ThIs resulted in a much better fit. 


So it's slowly moving forward on this build. Meantime, I've tentatively looked at another Canadian aircraft build. Another multi engine subject. I'll see how far I get.





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Tiger tail time. This had to be the hardest part of the build hands down. So far anyways. 

439 Sqn' s mascot is a Sabre tooth tiger. This has appeared on many of their earlier Tiger Meet planes such as the CF-104. On the CF-18, they decided to do a low vis version. The first version was much simpler, the same colour as the stripes. 

On the later jet, they made it a bit more complex. On top of that, there are the Tiger stripes all around it. After some careful planning I decided to do it in the following steps. 

I first painted the entire tail in Gunship Grey. 


Once that was dry, I could start on the paint scheme. 

I asked DN Models if they could make masks for this project and after taking a look at it, they agreed to do them for me. Only thing is I shouldn't have waited so long before starting this project as vinyl masks don't age too well. 

Here's what they looked like when I took them out. 


The vinyl and the backing material expand and contract at a different rate once the vinyl has been cut. This gets worse as the older they get. They don't actually shrink as some folks say they do but they do get warped. These are 2 1/2 years old. This is not anything to do with DN Models. They were perfect when I got them. This is one of the reasons I wanted to get to this build so the masks wouldn't get any worse. 

Anyways, back to the model. 

First thing I did was get the mask for the stripes in place. I removed the excess material, in this case not a lot.


I then used transfer tape to pull the mask off the backing paper without it getting all crumpled and possibly warped even more. 


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I then placed the mask into position. The transfer tape helps here as you can move it around a bit and get the alignment right before pressing down. 


With this in place, I masked off any gaps and around the edges. 


I then painted the second colour which is Dark Gull Grey. 


With the mask removed I now have stripes.


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The next mask is an outline of the tiger's head.  This mask had to be carefully aligned within the tiger stripes. I forgot to grab a pic of it before I sprayed the next colour, which was Light Ghost Grey. 


I then added the inner shape of the tiger's head. I free handed the placement but I think I got it relatively even all around. 


I then sprayed Zeon MS Grey which is very similar to Gunship Grey. This forms the outline of the head 


Next was the mask for the details in the head. This was "weeded" and the excess bits discarded. 


Then it was applied in place. 


The final colour of Dark Gull Grey was then sprayed. 


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