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Tamiya F-35A-WIP

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41 replies
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  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Sunday, December 18, 2022 4:03 PM

Didn't see this,good start.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, December 18, 2022 4:09 PM

Thanks, Tojo.  Gonna try my best not to let this one turn into a glacier. Time

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, December 18, 2022 4:44 PM

Base colors on engine exhaust parts:

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    June 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Sunday, December 18, 2022 7:18 PM

I will be following this build with great interest, Eaglecash. I built the Hasegawa 1/72 scale F-35A a couple of years ago in memory of my youngest brother Gerry, Buzz to the family. Buzz was a systems engineer on the F-35 program at Ft. Worth until he passed after suffering a stroke at age 52. I plan on adding this Tamiya kit to my stash sometime after the first of the year and I hope to have it built by the end of 2023 to honor Buzz's memory. Thanks for posting your W.I.P.

OK. In the stash: Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 10:22 AM

Welcome, Frank!  Thanks for following along.  You did a fantastic job on your F-35!  As I'm finding out, the paint work on these is quite complicated.  Heh...I was pulling my hair out, trying to find a good painting guide for the post-2017 Z-13 scheme for it.  Finally thought to look at the back of the painting poster for the early F-35 in the kit, and...there it was! [smacks forehead]  Heh...even says (Z-13 overcoat) right at the top in big, bold letters.  Having a little trouble masking the insides of the intakes.  Even my trusty Tamiya masking sticker sheet stuff is not wanting to settle down into the sharp bends.  Normally I don't use liquid maskers much because of the lack of a sharp, clean edge.  But, I think that might actually do the trick here, since the two different-colored areas inside the intakes have a nice, engraved line between them.  Got the grey color wrong for the Z-13 scheme, so I'll try the liquid mask and paint over that grey with the right color.  Only tried one intake tunnel half, so the rest are still a pristine white all the way through.  As long as the messed up one ends up looking like the others, I'll go with it.  Don't want to have to strip and re-paint that one again.  

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 11:08 AM

Looking forward to watching this one.

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 7:10 PM

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 7:49 PM

Little bit of a bumpy start,hopefully it smooths out.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, December 23, 2022 9:22 AM

I went with the liquid mask method on everything, and I still can't say I'd recommend it for much, as there still wasn't a sharp, clean edge.  That being said, with the angles and the way the intake tunnels on the F-35 twist and turn, the small imperfections aren't even visible when everything is put together.  The seams are also hidden by the twists and turns, so Tamiya did a great job with how they designed this to go together.  Here is the completed intake sub-assembly:

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, December 23, 2022 11:37 AM

Engine exhaust sub-assembly is done.  From all of the pics I have been able to find of the F136 engine, it looks like its a pretty clean-burning engine, so just used a little grey and a little grime Flory to streak the exhaust tube.  The streaks help the seams blend in with the rest of the structure.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Sunday, December 25, 2022 9:04 AM

Looking good! I to am hoping to start a new Tamiya F 35 after the first of the year. Will follow along for inspiration Big Smile

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list...NOT! Ha, added to it again - Viper MkVii, 1/32 THUD & F-15J plus a weekend madness build!

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, December 26, 2022 11:49 AM

Welcome to the build log, Mongoose!

Got the nose gear assembly done.  Tamiya designed the nose gear with a little retaining mechanism to keep the gear retracted until later in the assembly process where they have you cut that retaining mechanism to let it swing down.  Kinda cool feature that keeps it stowed during construction handling so you don't accidentally snap it off.   Heh...but...I broke the retaining mechanism so the gear swings freely right now.  I'll probably just use a little blob of silly putty to temporarily lock it in the retracted position.  No point in "repairing" something that is meant to be cut later anyway. 

Edit:  This one is the first gotcha I ran into on this build.  So don't make this same mistake.  [There is no lens for the landing light in the kit that I could see, so I used some Bondic to make one.]  See my later posts for details on this.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, December 26, 2022 11:54 AM

That is a neat feature

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Monday, December 26, 2022 12:37 PM

Tamiya engineering at its best!

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/48 Airfix Bf109 & 1/35 Tamiya Famo

On deck: Who knows!

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Monday, December 26, 2022 4:11 PM

Too bad they can't do that for antenna and pitot tubes. I snap those of all the time.

BK

On the bench:

A lot !! And I mean A LOT!!

2023 Kits on deck / in process / completed   

                         14 / 5 / 0   

                              Tongue Tied

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, December 26, 2022 5:15 PM

Thanks for stopping by Chad and Brandon!

I hear ya on the antennas and pitot tubes, Brandon.  The little machined metal ones from Master Model have saved me from myself more than once, and so far I have managed to not end up with one of those embedded in my fingers.

Did some spoon tests of different techniques for the Have Glass finish this afternoon, and I was almost ready to decide on doing the MRP280 base coat, with MRP278 clearcoat, followed by the decal, and MRP126 semi-matt clearcoat to seal the decal, but I wasn't crazy about the sparkly appearance of the MRP278.  I know the real thing might have that appearance, but I think these sparklies magnified by 48 times would end up looking like a metal flake paintjob on the full size aircraft.  I tried a spur-of-the-moment idea on the upper half of the left spoon, and I really like how it looks.  I tried rubbing it with some powdered graphite, and it gets the paint underneath a darker shade (which is good), and it has a metallic sheen to it now that isn't sparkly.  Just a matter of playing with different clearcoat techniques at this point.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Monday, December 26, 2022 5:33 PM

Looking good Eagle.  When the F-4B sprue shows up will you shelf the F35?  

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, December 26, 2022 5:54 PM

Thanks Paul!  The F-4B sprue is here, so I have been working on that as well.  I may end up having to pause the F-35 after I have gotten it as far as I can, pending a Quinta cockpit set and Eduard wheels and masking kit (none of which have been released yet of course).  Not sure how long it will be until those come out...hopefully soon.  Just can't deal with the kit cockpit stuff.  Its got really good base detail, but the main details in it are done with Tamiya decals, and the ones they make for the interior stuff all kinda have a comic book appearance to them.  If they'd advance their decal technology to the level of Furball Aero, they will have achieved perfection in their kits...they're so close, but the decals are still kind of a letdown.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Monday, December 26, 2022 6:21 PM

Its so odd Tamiya get the decals so wrong.  They are recognized for superior models in fit and engineering but fail miserably with the decals.  Another odd thing is the consistency of the adhesive mask across kit genres.  When I built their 1/32 Corsair the kit included a canopy mask that you had to cut out.  When I built one of their endurance race cars, a far less expensive kit, the wind shield mask were cut out for you.  I always buy aftermarket decals or paint mask when building Tamiya.  
Looking forward to seeing more of the F35 and F-4B.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, December 26, 2022 7:02 PM

The canopy mask thing is why I'm waiting for the Eduard set to be released.  The F-35 has the masks in the kit, but you have to cut them yourself.  Doing that for the canopy is one thing, but the F-35 has all kinds of intricately-shaped sensor windows which they have masks for...but I can't imagine being able to cut those exactly right.  The width of the line drawn on the masking sheet is enough to throw things off by enough when you cut it that it will leave noticeable underlap or overlap when the paint goes on.  Weird how inconsistent they are about that.  The Tamiya F-14A I built in 2016 had pre-cut masks included with it, and they worked beautifully.  From what I understand, when Tamiya re-released the same kit a year or two later, along with their F-14D...both suddenly had masks you had to cut yourself.  I used the Eduard masks on my F-16CJ and on the F-4B, and they were absolutely flawless...especially the ones for the F-4B, since they now have that T-Face series that has masks for the inside and outside of the canopy.  It will definitely be worth the wait for that kind of quality and ease of use.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 5:47 PM

And we have a winner!

Did a little more experimentation with getting a good, smooth, metallic appearance to the Have Glass grey.  I have settled on these steps, just in case anybody else wants to try it.

1. MRP280 Have Glass Grey

2. Rub with powdered graphite

3. MRP125 Semi-Gloss Clear to seal the graphite onto the paint

4. Decals, MicroSet, and MicroSol

5. MRP126 Semi-Matt Clear to lock it all down

Nice metallic sheen with no little sparklies.  Looks pretty close to photos taken of USAF F-35As in the last couple of years.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, December 30, 2022 6:25 AM

Got a little more work done on some of the pieces of the main aircraft assembly.  I'll be building it with the boarding ladder deployed.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, January 1, 2023 2:30 PM

Got the weapons bay mostly done...just a couple of tiny pieces left to put on that go on from the opposite side.

It builds up from 22 separate parts, and Tamiya's painting instructions for everything are excellent.  A little daunting at first, because each step is FLOODED with paint numbers and arrows pointing at various parts of the weapons bay, but its very easy to follow.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Sunday, January 1, 2023 9:31 PM

Wow that looks busy. Keep it coming. Excellent build!

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list...NOT! Ha, added to it again - Viper MkVii, 1/32 THUD & F-15J plus a weekend madness build!

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Monday, January 2, 2023 9:39 AM

Coming along nicely, great detail work. 

BK

On the bench:

A lot !! And I mean A LOT!!

2023 Kits on deck / in process / completed   

                         14 / 5 / 0   

                              Tongue Tied

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, January 2, 2023 5:29 PM

Thanks guys!

Doing test fits and primer/paint shots here and there around the bottom half of the aircraft and weapons bay to get everything painted that needs to be painted...along with figuring out the best sequence to paint things in to minimize masking headaches.  Also got the Tamiya LP-1 base coat on for the final coat of Alclad Chrome that will go into the bottom sensor bay.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, January 2, 2023 10:56 PM

I'll take those paint tips and run with them, though I am trying very hard to not buy this gem.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 6:46 AM

jeaton01

I'll take those paint tips and run with them, though I am trying very hard to not buy this gem.

 
I definitely understand that.  Heh...I really don't even like the F-35, but it was a new Tamiya kit, and I had to buy one (well...two) just for the experience of building it.
 
Last night, I was reviewing the instructions to make sure I haven't missed anything in what I have done so far...and, technically, I haven't.  Then I went further in the instructions to start planning for what other subassemblies I was going to be able to get built while I wait for the pending Eduard and Quinta upgrades I want to add.  I ended up finding out that Tamiya DID include a lens for the landing light (actually, its the whole landing light in clear plastic, they just have you mask the lens before painting).  What I thought was the "landing light" earlier was actually the recess the landing light goes into.  Anybody ever tried to drill cured Bondic?  LOL.  Can't be done...even my brand new Titanium drills don't do much more than scratch it when being turned by hand.  So, I have to replace the nose gear strut.  That is where the second kit comes in...bought it when I screwed up with drilling holes in the upper half of the aircraft.  Looking at how previous builds have gone sometimes, paying for replacement sprues and shipping, it just made more financial sense to buy another kit.  Hopefully I'll be left with enough untouched sprues in it that I can part those out on Ebay and maybe make the money back.  Luckily, the sides of the gear well are thin and flexible enough that I was able to extract the strut and will be able to install the new one.
 
When I was looking for the landing light lens, I looked through the manual, over and over, and never saw it...until last night.  Here's the step its in.  Its part B5...plain as day...but I just repeatedly missed it when I was looking for it.  So, I guess its the printed version of losing a part to the carpet monster...the only way to find it is if you stop looking for it. Bang Head
 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, January 14, 2023 1:47 PM

Jumped back over to my F-4B project for a bit, since I finally got my MER mounting issues on that squared away.  Ended up finding an on-line specialty part maker in Germany that already has pre-cut paper masks for the Tamiya F-35A, as well as a weighted resin wheel set, so I placed an order with them.  Never used them before, but I have seen lots of good reviews of their stuff on YouTube, and I'm always willing to try new manufacturers.  Ordered yesterday, and today its on its way.  Sent by DHL too, so I'll probably have it by next weekend (DHL is crazy fast for international shipping).

Here is their link if anybody wants to take a look at what they've got.

https://anyz.io/shop

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

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