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Kuwaiti RECON Hornet (Italeri 1-72)

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  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Kuwaiti RECON Hornet (Italeri 1-72)
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 3:59 PM

Having broken the old Italeri RF-18A kit out of my stash to use the decals in a group build project...I thought I might as well go ahead and build the kit, for nostalgia's sake. It turned out to be a timely notion, since I'd just acquired a set of aftermarket decals--Orion Scale Models' very nice Kuwaiti AF F-18C/D sheet--for which the past-its-prime Italeri offering would be perfectly-suited.

The '80's vintage kit has options to build either the then-current single-seat A-model fighter or the 2-seat B version. It also comes with the (R)F-18 reconnaissance-nose option which was originally prototyped and tested for the US Navy--as a single-seat recon platform--but which never went into production. What lifts the last bit from mere 'what if' curiosity is the fact that kit-included recon palette is virtually identical to that used for the USMC's more recent (2000-onward) two-seater ATARS (Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System) modification; a cutting-edge real-time digital recon platform replacing the Corp's old RF-4B/C Phantoms. The mod can be fitted to any later-production F/A-18D, simply replacing the nose gun...but still allows the modified aircraft to carry both dropped ordnance and offensive and defensive missiles.

Kuwait has operated numbers of both single-seat and two-seater Hornets in two squadrons since the years following the Gulf War, in a distinctive wraparound 3-color camouflage scheme (which is nicely documented in the full-color Orion instruction sheet). I decided to build the Italeri kit as one of their two-seat -D models 'upgraded' with a hypothetical ATARS-like recon capability: basically the kit parts as provided, 'juiced' with the now-standard LEX fences and a few add-on  antennae and sensors to more closely resemble the USMC machines.

Great fun...and a useful test 'mule' for what I plan to do as a much more accurate and carefully-built Kuwaiti bird to come. Enjoy the photos.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 4:07 PM

Hello!

Lookin' good! A very nice camo! Thanks for sharing and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, July 11, 2019 7:23 AM

Thank you, Pawel. Yes

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, July 11, 2019 9:12 AM

Very nice!  Great pictures, too.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Thursday, July 11, 2019 9:43 AM

Great pics! Did you take the pictures outside?

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, July 11, 2019 9:55 AM

Thanks, Don and Johnny!

JohnnyK

Did you take the pictures outside?

No, it's a patio/sunroom with ceiling-high windows. The afternoon sun sometimes does strange things through the skylight above--that day it was alternating bright sun and clouds. Kind of bleaches out some of the shots...but the weird light can sometimes make the pics a little more life-like.

The backdrop is my 'stock' airport panorama, taken off the internet. [If you look closely, you can see the seam where the two legal-size sheets lap together! Big Smile]

 

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Thursday, July 11, 2019 6:51 PM

Well that's impressive. Model and photography.

Excellent, Greg!

Oh, and I missed the join between the pages as i was fooled into thinking that was an actual background lol. Again, well done.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Thursday, July 11, 2019 6:59 PM

Totally missed the splice in the backdrop - I was too interested in your Hornet. Great looking and unusual build, and yes, the lighting really adds to the photos. Thanks for posting!

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, July 11, 2019 7:20 PM

gregbale

Thanks, Don and Johnny!

 

 
JohnnyK

Did you take the pictures outside?

 

 

No, it's a patio/sunroom with ceiling-high windows. The afternoon sun sometimes does strange things through the skylight above--that day it was alternating bright sun and clouds. Kind of bleaches out some of the shots...but the weird light can sometimes make the pics a little more life-like.

The backdrop is my 'stock' airport panorama, taken off the internet. [If you look closely, you can see the seam where the two legal-size sheets lap together! Big Smile]

 

 

I used to paste two sheets to foamcore before I bought an 11x14 printer.  That still isn't big enough for 1:32 scale models.  I find ads in the photo magazines for "poster prints" at a good price.  Resolution is not that important, because for closeup work one works very hard to get enough depth of field even to get the whole model sharp.  I shoot all my model work at f/16, and the backdrop is not really in that sharp a focus (hence the line between two sheets isn't bothersome).  Just a pain to do the lining up.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2015
Posted by RONALD ALVAREZ on Thursday, July 11, 2019 8:00 PM

Very good Greg, Very Very Good............

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, July 11, 2019 9:32 PM

Thanks, guys, for the interest and the comments.

For anyone who might find it useful...the image I used for my backdrop is a panoramic shot of Palm Beach International Airport which is available on Wikimedia Commons. The image is so huge and clear that you can crop it in a bunch of useful slices to meet your needs. it's also deep enough sky-wise that you can size it to pretty much any scale, as long as you can print it out (or get it printed) in a suitable format.

On mine I did a pretty simple MS-Paint 'fiddle' to put a little more concrete apron in the foreground, but the long, 'clean' horizon-line and that vast gorgeous sky make it a pretty great utility backdrop for aircraft and even vehicles.

Here's the link, if anybody's interested:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KPBI_PBIA_Panoramic.jpg

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Saturday, July 13, 2019 4:44 AM
What a cool scheme. Nice build.

 

  • Member since
    October 2009
Posted by JacknewbIII on Saturday, July 13, 2019 11:10 PM

Great build, fantastic color scheme and awesome photos!! Nicely done all around on that one!

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