Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

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Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Dasphule » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:22 am

Well, I decided to bang out one of the raffle winners. I've yet to see one built anywhere and it looks fairly simple for it's size. So, out comes the Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet I won at the Jacksonville show a few years ago. Glad I won it, I'd never have spent the money on this beast! This sucker is gonna be pretty damn big!

The kit is packed really nice in a very thick box with several cardboard space fillers inside to keep everything from sliding around. The fuselage parts and clear bits are in vac formed plastic holders and most of the trees are individually bagged. There's an assload of weapons included. Obviously some won't get hung.They're packed in a box that's a tad bigger than a 1/24th scale car model box. Truly, an ASSLOAD of weapons! The only PE included is the seat belts and harnesses. Weird, Trumpeter usually includes a ton of PE bits. Oh well, I'm not a big fan of working with it anyway. I probably won't even use the belts, I prefer to put figures in my planes for scale reference. There's also some metal inserts for the landing gear to hold this heavy sumbitch up. They get sandwiched inside the styrene struts and look like they'll be plenty strong.

There's decals for 3 planes. The first is for the VFA-31 Tomcatters. Has Felix the Cat carrying a bomb on the tail and the top surfaces are black. Yawn. Next up is the VFA-27 Royal Maces. Black topsides with a hand holding a mace on the tail. Double Yawn. Last scheme is from VFA-143 Pukin' Dogs with blue tail tips and the pukin dog under it. Winner! Not as elaborate as the others, but I'm not a fan of the black schemes. Weaps load out to be determined.

So, I'm diggin in. Pics as it develops.

Erin
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Godfather » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:56 am

Awesome. 8-) My favorite "bug."
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Dasphule » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:18 am

As with all aircraft kits, this one started with the cockpit. I painted the base colors then decided to use the decals for the displays and side panels. The blurry pic doesn't do them justice, they look pretty good in person. Better than I could paint them freehand anyway. Also, to get the cockpit done and include a pilot, he has to be built now. So, out came one of my resin copies of the Tamiya F-14 pilots I made years ago and some paint was smeared on him to make him look not so resiny.

Next they have you build the front gear bay. Not sure why they split it up into the floor and two side walls, but it was annoying to assemble. There wasn't anything to keep the walls from caving in while it dried and it HAD to be clamped due to warpage. Also, the metal rod that goes in the front gear made it so that the two halves of the shaft didn't wanna come together for gluing. Had to break out the big clamps to force them together. While all that was drying, I moved on to the next step and assembled/painted all the radar parts. The next step would be to install the radar and front gear bay into the two fuselage halves, but I need to wait for them to dry so I moved on...

Next step are the engines. Not sure what Trumpeter was looking at when they designed this, but the exhaust is WAY too deep and the engines are WAY too short. Flameholder detail is decent enough, but it's 2" inside the exhaust tube where you can't hardly see it. All my refs (the few I could find) show the flameholders damn near at the cones. Oh well, I promised myself this would be OOB, and it will be! No changes!! I aint even going to wire up the gear bays. Keepin it simple. Anyway, the tubes leading back to the flameholders were in three pieces and were no fun at all to assemble. Everything got painted before assembly as I knew there'd be no way to address the seams in the tube sides. So, it is what it is.

Back at it. More later.

Erin
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Dasphule » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:38 am

Another slow build session. Actually, lots got done as far as gluing sub assemblies. All the wings and pylons are glued up, and the intake tubes are glued and filled. The intakes are going to be a challenge. I think the trunks are too long to fit with the engines, and the outer portion of the intakes are part of the fuselage sides. None of it fits, gaps everywhere and very few surfaces meet up well enough to glue. I'll be doing lots of test fitting and shaving parts to get it as close to fitting as possible before gluing to minimize filling. Trumpeter really made this one a challenge.

The cockpit is done with pilot installed. I couldn't resist creating some side wall detail in the cockpit, it was either that or allow the hole that is the inside of the LEX to show on both sidewalls. Tacky, so it was fixed with some sheet styrene bits. The radar unit is now glued up and slides forward and backwards easily. I may make a hinge for the nose so it can be displayed. It's nothing special to look at, but I think it's neat and is actually pretty accurate. The real thing is as boring as the kit part!

Weekend is over, so it's back to casting. :cry: More when it gets done.

Erin
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Kylwell » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:17 pm

ye-ouch what a crappy fit
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Valkyrie013 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:54 am

man.. Makes the 1/48 T-50 i'm building look like a picaso... mine just falls together... this.. falls together as well.. then you have to take a hammer to it! ... sheesh... this is why I can tell that the people at Tamiya, Academy, Hasegawa ( for the most part) actually BUILD what they make.. most seems are hideable, or along a natural panel line. this... Grand Canyon... .... sheesh..


Good Luck with it!
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Dasphule » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:26 am

Hey kids! It's time for everyone's favorite part of modeling; filling seams! Actually, so far they haven't been that bad, just not very well placed. Not any worse than the average Hasegawa kit, but not quite 1970's Revell-esque seams, either. Several go through molded details like panel lines and grillwork, but overall I tried to eliminate most of the worst ones by carefully fitting before gluing. Gluing the sidewalls WAS a PITA, there's just no way to clamp them. At all. So, I glued inch by inch with Tamiya thin, then once I'd held it for a few minutes I secured it with CA and let it sit overnight. Next day I glued in the intake trunks which fit surprisingly well considering they just butt up against the inside of the intake structure. Absolutely nothing to position them, just stick em in and hope they line up is the Trumpeter way I guess. No big deal, I got them in and they look acceptable to me. Hopefully I can get the paint thick enough inside them to hide the small seam left over from my pitiful filling attempts.

All the seams were filled with Mr.Dissolved Putty. I love this stuff, and was dismayed that a half of a bottle of it had dried up into a thick goo. It worked, but more like putty than the paint like consistency of the newer bottle I used for most of the seams. Like Kenny, I love this stuff. If you haven't used it, get a bottle and try it. It's filling made simple, and it's easy to sand, too! So, I slathered it on with a brush and it's sitting to dry overnight as I type this.

Check out the engines. Pretty nice details, hunh? Too bad they'll be glued up tight inside the hull! That's a buncha tooling costs they coulda eliminated and made the kit cheaper IMO. At least the Tamiya F-16 engine is removable for viewing. I aint a fan of engines, waste of plastic to me but whatever.

The wings are pretty neat. You can choose folded or not, and parts are provided for either to get the moving surfaces in the right positions for each pose. There's also overlapping pieces to portray the way the wing's moving parts are streamlined. Very cool. Woulda been better if they moved. Then again, after having built the Wildcat and seeing how Trumpeter does moving parts, maybe not. Hey, at least they give you the option of putting flaps and stuff in the position you want them. They could have just given me a solid one piece wing.

So, waiting for glued and filled stuff to dry. More as it develops.

Erin
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Attachments
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These are the folding wingtips. Love the way they did the ailerons.
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Ailerons, flaps, and LEX filling.
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Lower hull seam filling.
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Side of hull seam. Wasn't so bad, but covered in Mr. Dissolved Putty anyway to ensure no holes in seam.
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This is going to be the hardest part to sand, and it's the biggest of the gaps so there's a lot of filler in there.
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Nice engines. Too bad they'll never get seen again.
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Godfather » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:24 am

Dasphule wrote:Hey kids! It's time for everyone's favorite part of modeling; filling seams!


Sand baby, sand. :lol:
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Kylwell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:12 am

*Yosemite Sam voice* I HATES, I say I HATES fill'n seams!
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Re: Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18E Super Hornet "Pukin' Dogs"

Postby Dasphule » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:25 am

Fun fun fun! I sure know how to pick em! Ok, so the wings can be made in the stowed position or in the down position. Instructions say to use the joints for up and eliminate them for down. If they're down, you just butt the two wing parts together and glue them. Easy! Yeah, right. So, I glued a shim to one half of each wing the other day and tonight had something to hold the halves together other than the thin edges that touch. Even that only marginally worked as there's a bow in the wings and the back halves didn't wanna line up. So, I clamped it as well as I could, then used rulers and tape to keep the wing halves straight while the glue sets up. Once set up they should be pretty strong, but until then if you so much as look at them hard they fall apart. My only concern is glue seeping out and getting between the clamps and the plastic. The wings are glued though, so progress of some kind.

The seam issues are being addressed as they show up. The seams showed earlier have been sanded and the rivet and lines obliterated have been restored. Only two sanding sticks gave their lives to accomplish this task. My shoulder says I'm done sanding for the evening. Moving on.

The intake trunks were horrid looking, my seam filling was less than adequate. So, I taped up the engine ends so they were sealed, then masked off the demarcation line between the white trunks and the outer grey areas of the intakes. Next I used a pipette filled with Kilz latex paint to liberally coat the insides of the trunks. Because it's really thick it slowly oozes down the trunks coating them with a really thick layer of paint, filling gaps and giving that smooth look of the real deal. Once all the surfaces were covered I removed the tape at the bottom and allowed the excess to pour out, then set it upright to let it drip for a while. Any drips were wiped off as they appeared, and the edges were periodically wiped clean for gluing the engines to them later. After it set for a little while, I removed the tape on the intakes before the paint set up, doing it later would have pulled it all out of the trunks as latex don't stick to styrene well at all. Painting the grey later will be tedious, but it's worth it to have the trunks smooth and white.

I also addressed the gaps in the gear bay edges. I tried to fill them with ApoxySculpt, but it just kept going through and falling down inside the hull where I couldn't back it up. So, I cut shims of styrene and glued them in and will seal them up with Aves later. Other gaps that did have backing were filled with Aves, as was one small gap spotted in the intake assembly.

So there it is for now. I'm still piddling with it tonight so I may post more later.

Erin
<*>
Attachments
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.030 gap shimmed with styrene and the other gap filled with Aves ApoxySculpt
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My wings will be straight!
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They don't look it, but these seams are smooth!
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These, too!
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A look down the freshly coated trunks.
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