Author Topic: F-22 Raptor  (Read 3479 times)

September 13, 2012, 12:40:35 AM
Read 3479 times

Will Vale

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Hi folks,

I should probably be doing something else (I did build the IR receiver for Yamato though) like painting little spiders, but I started test-fitting an Academy F-22 and now I seem to be building it. My first jet, and first 1/72 plane since I was a boy. Also my first fully-airbrushed model since I finally have a compressor! So much better than the canned air, it makes painting fun.

Anyway, so far I've been working on the cockpit, intakes, and weapons bays:





(Flickr link)

It's a pretty nice kit, apart from the intakes which don't really go together cleanly. The intake floor moulded into the lower fuselage has a step and various sink marks, and the fronts don't line up at the bottom. I made new intake floors from thin styrene sheet which are really smooth, and filed down the old ones to make room. Still needed a styrene fillet and some putty to finish up, I'm going to start sanding that next I think.

The point of this particular model is to have a go at building the kit, I have two and the next one is going to be converted into a what-if covert airborne laser drone from ~20 years in the future. There are already some suggestions for a Raptor-based delta bomber thing (see X-44 MANTA) and I think it should be an easy conversion. I'll probably go for the "paint it black" approach for that one because the proper Raptor scheme is really tricky.

Cheers,

Will
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 12:53:24 AM by Will Vale »

September 13, 2012, 04:01:23 AM
Reply #1

Hunter Rose

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Those weapon bays are looking really nice! I made the academy 1/48 kit, and even on that those damn air intakes are a bit of a nightmare!

The F-22 is my favourite jet so I shall be following with interest Will, and I like the sound of the future 'what if' project  :-)
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

September 18, 2012, 02:30:35 AM
Reply #2

Will Vale

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I think the what-if will be fun - I was thinking about putting a retractable laser turret in the main bay, with heat sinks in the sidewinder bays. The idea would be that the drone would attack, then roll inverted and open the the heatsink bays to radiate the waste heat without showing as a hot spot to ground based air defences.

I'm sure it's ludicrous, but it'd be fun - all those fins :)

Still plugging away at this one though. I got the cockpit installed and the fuselage halves together, although I'm still working my way around the seams with Tamiya extra-thin and clothes pins so they're a bit gappy in places yet.


Flickr link
(click for bigger)

I painted up the nav lights before I put the fuselage together, but it was late and I wasn't really checking references. I assume that the light reflectors would be small (because the bulbs are) but it seems from some in-flight shots that they fill up the entire diamond. Whoops:



At this point it helped that I hadn't sealed up all the seams since I was able to slit open the wingtips with a scalpel and do some keyhole surgery. I took the paint off the reverse of the clear part with an IPA-soaked cotton bud, and then installed some heavy gauge foil from a disposable roasting tray, held in place with masking tape. Much better, I think:



In case it's interesting, I did the bulbs/gels by drilling up into the rear of the clear part and wicking GW red and blue glazes into the holes. I think it looks quite good, although maybe a smaller drill would have been better - I used 0.5mm and I think I should've used 0.3 - pics of the real bulbs suggest that they're really really skinny. The Games Workshop glazes have beautiful deep colours, I'd definitely use them again for lights.

Oh, the other thing I've been doing is slowly fairing in the intakes - I had to build up about 1mm of styrene and putty, feathered down to the front edge.  I think three layers so far, but it's nearly there, hopefully one more round of sanding will sort them out. Then I can glue the upper seams and try and deal with the interior faces.



More soon hopefully, there's a club meeting next week and it'd be nice to have it done for then.

Cheers,

Will

September 19, 2012, 10:44:43 AM
Reply #3

Hunter Rose

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Nice progress dude!

When I did my 1/48 wing bulbs I totally screwed them up, I thought the parts were defective, turns out they aren't identical, the top and bottom ones are a slightly different size, which I found out at my peril! So I too know all about fiddly key hole wing surgery on the raptor!
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

September 30, 2012, 02:00:16 AM
Reply #4

Will Vale

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Glad I'm not the only one - at least the wings were bendy enough to pry apart and not break in the process.

As you can probably guess the Raptor definitely wasn't done for the meeting! I tend to build a couple of things at a time (apart from the usual shelf-of-dooom stuff) and if one looks like it's getting nearly finished (in this case the French submarine Surcouf) then it gets the attention.  I think I was scared of the Raptor intakes after another round of sanding - it must have been pretty scary if 1/350 seaplanes were a more palatable alternative...




Mind you, all that's left to do there is rig the thing and paint more tiny sailors, so I've run away from that in turn and am back looking at the Raptor. Is fear-driven modelling a phenomenon? It definitely seems to describe the way I approach things  :twitch:

Back to the plane: I added still more putty to the intakes and filled in the interior seams with Tamiya putty, then Liquid Surface Primer and finally superglue. Some fairly fraught sanding was involved (trying not to destroy the decals) using various grades of wet & dry glued onto lolly sticks.


(Click for bigger, unless scratches and lumps offend)

I thought it was finally close enough that it could do with some paint to see how things were going, so I stuffed the rear of the intakes with bogroll and sprayed some Sea Grey over the interiors (and the outside just to check the surface) - it's not perfect, but it's much better than I'd hoped for. I'll do some final tidying up of loose bits of putty, and maybe fill the inside ends of the top seam again, and hopefully I'll be back doing fun stuff like sticking the fins on soon



I've also glued up (and/or filled up) the remaining gaps around the airframe, and I'm working on smoothing the vertical surfaces aft of the engines, which are a bit of a mess as moulded.

Sorry this isn't the most exciting or speedy build, there's a lot to learn about jets because I haven't built one before. At least for the drone what-if I'll have a better idea about how to approach this - I think painting the intakes first is definitely the right thing to do, but doing the decals after the install would make a lot of sense. They'd be hard to line up, but the sanding would be way easier.

Cheers,

Will

October 04, 2012, 02:54:04 AM
Reply #5

Will Vale

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I've been finishing off various jobs on the airframe to get it ready for priming - I filed/trimmed a bit off the flaps so I can drop them as per my source photo, and filled a couple of deepish sink marks (opposite the bulges) with CA, sanded flat.


(Flickr link)

I also attached the vertical tails (which fit amazingly well despite the difficult curved surface they have to sit on) and sanded the exhaust sides some more. They're still not perfect, so I think another round of CA and sanding lies ahead. The surface only needs to be good as far as the petals because I'm going to fit FOD covers. There's also a raised surface, I can't remember if it's inner or outer, which might need to be added (or faked with a scribed line).



Even the intakes are looking pretty good now - few tiny blemishes to sort out.



It's nice to see the whole thing starting to look like a plane, and the primer has also revealed how nice the surface detail is - top stuff!




Apart from cleaning up I think the primer could do with a little rub-down before painting. I also need to re-fit the spare canopy since the PVA didn't hold it.

The most exciting thing about all this is I was able to do it indoors on my new (hand me down) desk with a spray booth! Feels like levelling up in modelling :)

Cheers,

Will

October 04, 2012, 11:03:19 PM
Reply #6

Hunter Rose

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Looking good Will!

Your new set up sounds good, modelling indoors is the dream!  :lol: I'm still stuck in my draughty shed!
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

October 10, 2012, 02:24:35 AM
Reply #7

Will Vale

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Having got my stuff together in one place I found I was lacking in much mojo over the weekend - I guess the nice weather and holiday time didn't help. I caught up today and sprayed the light grey edging, which is almost the same colour as the primer so it may not have been worth bothering...


Flickr link

I've nearly done the masking, which was a bit tedious but could really have been worse. I still need to finish and trim around the intakes, and do the vertical stabilisers. I doubt if the demarcation is exactly the 4.2mm specified in the instructions, I laid out the tape by eye working on the basis that it was 6mm wide. The edging varies a bit around the real plane (e.g. the insides of the flaps have only a thin band of grey) so I expect I'll get away with it.

One thing I did (which I figured out for myself instead of learning from elsewhere - woo hoo) was rub over the masked panels and the nose radome dividing line with a pencil. This made it much easier to see where to cut, which was useful for some of the crazy stealth zigzags.

Hopefully some shiny paint will go on tomorrow - I'm intending to use a Tamiya grey mixed with a bit of their Titanium gold to give a warm metallic sheen. Be interesting to see how that comes out.

Cheers,

Will

October 10, 2012, 04:07:39 AM
Reply #8

Hunter Rose

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Looking good Will! Good idea adding the metallic to get the warm sheen, look forward to seeing that sprayed on! :-)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 04:09:30 AM by Hunter Rose »
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

October 13, 2012, 03:30:31 PM
Reply #9

Will Vale

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After a fairly long session, several paint mix attempts and some practice at free-hand airbrushing I have the basic colours on and unmasked:


(click for bigger)

The camo patches are a bit soft-edged, but I think it was good to attempt them this way and it made it possible to try and get the darker borders visible on some pictures of the real thing.

I went for a fairly low-contrast trio of greys since I thought that would suit the scale better. I did look at the Academy instructions for inspiration but ended up picking paints by eye. The light grey is Tamiya Sky Grey, the light metallic is about 50:50 Sky Grey and Titanium Silver, with a blob of Medium Blue to cool down the warm Titanium. Finally the dark grey is one of the IJN greys (the slightly bluer one) plus Titanium and Medium Blue again.

I tried some other combinations and the Titanium seemed to have much finer metal flakes than e.g. Flat Aluminium. I was surprised how much metallic paint I needed in the mix for the sheen to register at all - I was expecting something like 2:1 or 3:1 rather than 1:1.

The flakes are still visible in close-up, which is a shame but probably unavoidable:



The good news is that the intakes look quite nice now!



I've been waiting for some sun so I could evaluate the paint with a strong backlight to check the sheen in non-cloudy conditions. It finally arrived this morning, and I think it looks OK. From different angles it's possible to read the metallic light grey as lighter, darker, and close in value to the matt grey edging, which is what I was hoping to capture. :D



The really big question now is how on earth do I apply the decals without either a. silvering or b. spoiling the sheen??

I can see a few options for this - Klear the whole thing, decal and seal as normal, then Dullcote, re-mask the edges, and spray a mist of Titanium and matt varnish? Or try and polish/buff the paint so the decals can go on without Klear, or some combination of these. Bit scared at the moment since it looks pretty nice, but I guess that's normal as you get further into a build :)

I've got some other panels and bits to paint before I need to decal so I'll probably do those in order to put it off...

Cheers,

Will

October 14, 2012, 11:25:51 PM
Reply #10

Hunter Rose

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Looks great Will! The trio of greys you mixed look great, I really like that they arent vastly contrasting, and agree with your reasoning.

As for the sheen decal issue, I would be tempted to klear, decal and then seal it with a satin finish to retain the sheen. I think you'll find the sheen wont be affected too badly.

Although having said that, I think the best way to go forward is to spray a test piece with your metalised paint then fool around with some spare decals and different top coats to seee how its affected.
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

October 18, 2012, 06:10:09 PM
Reply #11

Will Vale

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Thanks for the vote of confidence. I realised that after another evening messing around adding the pin-stripes to the control surface hinge lines I should probably man up and do something towards the decals - it was getting to the point where I was putting things off and fannying around instead - never a good sign. I brushed one coat of Klear on to each panel where decals would be present, trying to go up to the nearest panel line but not spill over into neighbours or onto any of the matt trim (except the tops of the tails). Then wet-sanded with 2000 grit paper and buffed it again. It's not wildly different in sheen, but it is different so it should really have a top-coat to bring things together.

The decals went on nicely though:



(click for bigger)



They're mostly a bit more contrasty than I'd like, but not too bad. Except for the tail flashes (pawprints) which really need to be faded. One of those also wrinkled up a bit, but it's not awful. I still need to try and wrap them around the leading/trailing edges, or else slice the surplus off and touch in with paint.



I should've extended the dark blob on the tail down a bit I think - oh well.

One thing I was pleased with was this little frame decal over the left weapons bay - it had a "grill spots" section in the middle, and as I was applying it I noticed there was actually moulded detail for this - I was able to put it back on the sheet and slice out the middle with a scalpel, then re-apply just the frame :)



Once I've got the fins sorted out I have a few panels to touch in. I tried both variations (light and dark-on-light) for the refuelling target thing on the top, but they were much too stark so I removed them and I'll have to paint these markings instead - ulp!

Will

[edit: re-save to fix first image]
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 02:01:26 AM by Will Vale »

October 18, 2012, 09:55:29 PM
Reply #12

Grail

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Very Nice. Very precise  8)
Throw it Hard

October 18, 2012, 10:39:50 PM
Reply #13

Will Vale

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Thanks, it's been good practice to do something where I can't hide behind weathering (much). Also very good masking practice!

October 19, 2012, 01:46:16 AM
Reply #14

Hunter Rose

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Great work on the decals Will, glad you got your finish sorted, its looking really good
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite