Trumpeter F/A-18E Super Hornet 1/32

BarryW

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The box
17C745E9-5225-4938-A4BC-8108B2EC30B7.jpeg
The extras, no cockpit detailing set sadly.
8013F1BA-702A-4042-B405-BC563A7F293E.jpeg

These big Trumpy kits are always thoughtfully packed, lets hope the contents live up to the packing.
9B87D2CD-BDF1-4216-9DC0-6A52C86F3068.jpeg

Apparently the weapons are an issue, I will need to be selective over what I use. These have a box all to themselves.

266CF8EF-A818-4C0C-8ED5-EABC04BFC6F5.jpeg

Hopefully I can make a start later today. I love all this extra time at the bench thanks to lockdown....about twice as long as usual....
 

BarryW

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I have made a tentative start to this one.

Interesting to compare the resin seat with the kit one... You can see how much nicer the resin seat is.
IMG_2045.jpg
The seat came away from the block with no issues and, I have to say, this is the nicest molded of all the resin ejector seats I have had for these modern jet builds. After a test fit I had to do a little light sanding to the sides of the seat to improve the fit tolerance into the tub.

This seat, unlke the others, does not have any seatbelts molded in. Instead there are some p.e. belts included with quite a few parts including resin. It was clear to me when I started removing the p.e. from the fret that these belts are not practical to use.

Consequently I will be using the kit's p.e. seat belts, these are a bit too stiff and need painting but are definately the better more practical option.

IMG_2046.jpg
 

Steve Brodie

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Tagging along for the ride. Shame no one makes modern seat harnesses in cloth the same way they do for WWII aircraft.
 

BarryW

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Tagging along for the ride. Shame no one makes modern seat harnesses in cloth the same way they do for WWII aircraft.
No loss to me. I have never yet succeeded with the micro cloth ones and have just wasted my money. I vowed never to buy one of those sets again.
 

BarryW

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Played hooky from work (making the most of working from home) with an hour at the bench.

the cockpit subs ready to spray the colours below:
789BF48E-AAC8-4F5E-89BE-B00D4AAAFDE3.jpeg

the Desert Tan is a good seatbelt shade. The Olive Drab is for the seat cushion and back, the black will be sprayed in my next session after I have masked the tub and seat.

858FF5E7-68BF-4288-B503-505CEA69473F.jpeg

Ready to be masked tonight....

Trumpeter provide some pretty poor decals for the sidewalls and i.p.
FE391930-9179-4E1C-9F5F-C07879855793.jpeg

using poor quality decals over raised detail rarely turns out well. I am planning to paint the side walls using the decal as a guide. For the i.p. I am hoping to use some elements from the decals, it will partly be painted. Pity that I found that the Eduard detailing set for this kit has been discontinued and I could not find a set Googling.

The detail painting Instructions for this kit, typically for Trumpeter, are very poor and incomplete so a lot of the painting will be from Googling.
 

Jim R

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Hi Barry
Another masterpiece in the making.
Jim
 

BarryW

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You may notice that I have not primed the interior as I usually do. I am experimenting to see whether internal prIming is necessary with MRP, I believe not, as these modern jets soak up a lot of paint. This is only for the internals, priming is defiantly needed for the exterior if only to check seams and pre-shade. I may not black base this one as it is a freshly painted ‘celebratory’ scheme and I want a cleaner look. The weathering will be more subtle.
 

langy71

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I'm gonna lob a chair in the corner and watch this with interest, always liked the look of an F-18,
looking good so far though... :thumb2:
 

scottie3158

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Barry,
I will tag along for the ride and watch another masterpiece.
 

BarryW

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I have done a spot of work to the wheel well/fuselage fit. Some seam treatment needed there.
AE26E636-042A-4D4B-8E50-63D418BCC25A.jpeg

progress on the cockpit, the i.p.CA23EF87-5FAA-4352-AC6D-AF64E17ED88A.jpeg

Side panels
FEC8C42C-2305-430A-A0C0-CCDFE8876F2F.jpeg
As you can see the up and side panels were mostly painted. Using decals for this over the raised detail rarely turns out well, a pretty dumb idea really. Using poor quality Trumpy decals is a recipe for misery. So I used the decals as a guide for painting. I did get a couple of small sections of decals used though. Overall the decals are poorly sized. I am happy with the painted look, not perfect but when in situ it will look effective. Gloss varnish was used for glass.

The seat in place
274B310C-BB41-40A9-A587-79EB6DAFD9FE.jpeg
The Trumpy seatbelts are not easy to fit and make natural. Moulded in seatbelts would look better. However after a brown wash they don’t look too bad at all.

F4239113-22DA-489A-BA10-D98C4898979A.jpeg
 

BarryW

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I have been getting on with some sub-assemblies.

The front undercarriage ready for paint
8E57A946-C078-4C74-9E81-A5E38D9E0F3B.jpeg

The main undercarriage under construction currently waiting for the cement to harden so I can sand seams before attaching smaller parts.
F593516C-615F-43F4-A8E0-999E21714C1D.jpeg

Engines under construction. Fit is OK but it lacks the refinement and thoughtfulness of a Tamiya kit.

A4A5E126-A541-4BF9-911B-DDE3329956DD.jpeg
 

BarryW

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I got to the fitting of the trunking and engines to the lower fuselage and ended up having to walk away from the bench. Quite frankly, I am stumped and right now don’t know exactly what to do.

The trunking looks as if it don’t belong to this kit.
0950E9A1-0C18-4620-BD4E-96BDA3A20AFE.jpeg
You can see above how different the plastic looks to the drawing.

The positioning of the engInes is very vague in every respect. No positive locations and the position would no more than a rough guess. Attaching the trunking to the engines might help but there is no way to see exactly how that should be positioned either. Get that wrong and it knocks on else where. In fact nothing has a definite positive location that I can work back from. The exception being the side panels but they don’t fit and I cannot glue them into place until the engines and trunking is in position. Every dry fit I attempt has failed to give me a solid basis on which I can proceed. Nothing really looks right.
D3F75516-AFE5-4E1A-B827-751770479E5E.jpeg978AD411-75D3-47C3-94D0-828AC13245CF.jpeg

I will take another look tomorrow.
 

scottie3158

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Barry,
That does indeed look very confusing. I'm sure you will manage to figure it out.
 

Gary MacKenzie

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I got to the fitting of the trunking and engines to the lower fuselage and ended up having to walk away from the bench. Quite frankly, I am stumped and right now don’t know exactly what to do.

The trunking looks as if it don’t belong to this kit.
View attachment 387575
You can see above how different the plastic looks to the drawing.

The positioning of the engInes is very vague in every respect. No positive locations and the position would no more than a rough guess. Attaching the trunking to the engines might help but there is no way to see exactly how that should be positioned either. Get that wrong and it knocks on else where. In fact nothing has a definite positive location that I can work back from. The exception being the side panels but they don’t fit and I cannot glue them into place until the engines and trunking is in position. Every dry fit I attempt has failed to give me a solid basis on which I can proceed. Nothing really looks right.
View attachment 387576View attachment 387577

I will take another look tomorrow.
Might find some useful info @ http://www.ipmsusa.org/reviews2/aircraft/kits/trumpeter_32_fa18e/trumpeter_32_fa18e.htm
 

BarryW

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Thanks Gary, that link is uselful and it does give me some clues about how I can proceed. I am not entirely sure what it all means as he is using some technical jargon I am not familiar with but I will see if I can work it out when at the bench. Trumpy have poorly engineered this kit though, no doubt about that.
 

BarryW

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Just a quick note to say that I am tentatively progressing with the intakes/trunking/engine installation. The link from Gary (thanks...) gave me some tips and ideas. I will post some pics of the progress in due course. Fingers crossed, so far, so good.
 

BarryW

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Progress is slow at the moment but I am approaching it my way working from the one definate known exact location on each side, attaching the front inner side of the intakes to the sides of the fuselage.
As below with one side in place. There are no location pins so it needs careful lining up, more like a short run kit than a Trumpeter.
IMG_2085.jpg

When fully dry I then cement it to the side of the main airframe. Problem is, it is not a great fit and one side seems somewhat warped. I therefore started gluing in sections working forward as each section dries.

IMG_2086.jpg

Below is with both sides in place. I have left that overnight for the cement to fully harden. I will have some work to do on joins over a couple of sessions.
IMG_2088.jpg
I did do a test fit and found that I should be able to fit the ducting into the right positions behind the intakes without using slivers of plastic sheet inside the intakes holding it in place, which was the solution the link required which would inevitably be visible when looking into the intakes.

In between I have been moving on with other sub-assemblies.

As regulars know I like to complete my builds 'buttoned up' with only the cockpit open. I just like seeing the clean lines of the aircraft while focussing on cockpit detail. This model is engineered to have all hatches open and it is taking a lot of work modifying parts to have them closed up. On the F/A18E there is a crew ladder that folds up into the underside of the front starboard wing, the model is designed to have it lowered. While technically I am sure that would be correct, with the aircraft on the ground without a pilot, I dont want that. So I have scraped out detail from the wing recess and then scraped and sanded the side of the ladder to fit the gap so it is displayed closed.

IMG_2087.jpg

Tonight more work on the airframe and, perhaps see if those ducts do fit as I hope.
 

BarryW

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Trumpeter are an odd company. They are capable of producing some great kits like, in 1/32, the Dauntless, Avenger and Swordfish and yet even with new tools they can produce some real ‘dogs’. It is to such a degree that it is like they have two teams, the A Team, who are among the best and a third rate ‘B Team’ developing kits.

This kit was definitely produced by the B Team and it is the worse Trumpeter I have built. That said, so far I have navigated the issues, none of which are insurmountable.

The trunking fitted in well. My approach worked without having to add plastic sheet tabs to fix it in place avoiding some ugly edges inside the intake.
9765BDE9-E444-4111-9D59-89D7B036BEA3.jpeg
4C3A1190-EC2D-4456-99E1-F5283AABE6E8.jpeg

Engines then fitted perfectly into place.
C8A5949A-B9D4-4F69-A53F-0AF5B9A7F2D3.jpeg

The instructions show how to fit the ends of the wings in the extended position but, clearly the kit was engineered to have the tips raised. Indeed for raised wing tips there are some very good strong hinges. But not for extended tips, there is no way to get a secure join between the two wing parts without using strips of plastic sheet.
2DD765AA-A858-48F6-8A7A-F0CDDB07A596.jpeg

it is irrational but I do find myself getting annoyed at Trumpeter’s lack of diligence with this model.
 

Jakko

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Very odd indeed, but then, I get a similar (not quite an A- and a B-Team) impression from Trumpeters 1:35 scale AFV kits: they’re generally quite good and well-moulded, but they almost always get various details wrong that makes you wonder how they did their research. Not to mention the assembly sequence seems to have been thought out by someone who has never, ever built a plastic kit.
 

stona

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I share your experience of Trumpeter kits, variable would be a polite way of putting it. Their Me 262(s) are really good, others, not so much.

Their painting and construction instructions are at least consistently bad.

Anyway, it looks like you are beating this one into shape!
 
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