This is the start of the Hasegawa 1/48 F-22 Raptor. I will also be using Ares resin cockpit and Eduard photo etch to detail this kit. The F-22 Raptor is fourth generation in stealth aircraft technology by the USAF. It is the first operational aircraft to combine super cruise, super maneuverability, stealth, and sensor fusion in a single weapons platform.
The Ares resin cockpit required the removal of the dash hood/HUD panel so that it can be replaced by the resin part. The nice thing about resin parts is they have much better detail than the injected plastic kit parts. The cockpit tub just required a couple of photo etch parts like the pedals and levers then was painted. For the resin dash I found a photo of the F-22 dashboard for the F-22 simulator. Using Adobe Photoshop I cut and sized the screens to make decals for the resin dash. Once the decals were applied and coat with clear gloss, the dash buttons and controls were painted.
The ejection seat was painted and detailed with the Eduard photo etch parts. After installing the seat into the cockpit tub the cockpit was weathered with dark gray pastel chalk. The dash was then installed into the fuselage and resin details were added to the fuselage for the canopy mating hooks. Next I will be working on the main bomb bay section.
Weekly update on the Raptor, I started on the weapons bays. First the main bays. I found a photo on Google that gave me a close look at them. Using 32 awg wire with black sleeving I shaped the harness and used CA glue to join them together. I was looking thru my scrap photo etch items to find something I can use for the harness ties. I taped the photo to the wall for reference then realized the blue painters tape was an exact match to the color of the harness ties! I then cut small strips and wrapped them along the harness.
Once all the wire harness’ were built and installed I stripped some wire and used the bare wire to simulate the hydraulic lines. I made my own fittings and ran the lines to the individual launchers as well as left some hanging for when I attach the doors. I added some weathering and used a black colored pencil to color in some of the fine wires.
Next I started on the starboard missile bay. Eduard provided some photo etch parts for the avionics and I then drilled and installed the wires for each. Still need to do some fine details on the missile rail then I can repeat the process for the port missile bay.
Spring snow storm update on the 1/48 Hasegawa F-22 Raptor.
Spring snow storm update! Yes it is spring and the middle of April but I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. Snowing like crazy here. So spent the day finishing the weapons bays and starting on the landing gear bays. The front landing gear bay is done. I added some wiring and hydraulic lines as well. I drew out the shape and laid out the wires then CA glued them together then fit them inside the bay. The photo etch supplied the wall details. I then glued the weapons and nose landing gear bay into the lower half of the fuselage. Next moving to the main gear then the engines.
Continuing onward this week I am working on the main landing gear bays. After locating reference photos on Google, I started by drilling many, many holes to install the numerous hydraulic lines. Using a .09 drill bit I drilled out the many locations where the lines go to. I then took 32 awg wire and ran the individual lines. I then added the electrical cables and routed them.
Still have a couple of more lines to run then need to do all the yellow and blue connections and holders on the lines. Then I can weather and highlight the bays.
This week the Raptor build is moving forward with many details. To start with the kit does not come with any weapons so I purchased some Eduard Brassin AIM-9X and a few AIM-120’s to load up the weapons bays. I finished the main landing gear bay walls then moved on to the exhaust. The photo etch kit supplies the inside details of the exhaust. Once installed they were painted then weathered with pastel chalk.
The top part of the fuselage is also the top of the main landing gear bays. I added the kit parts then detailed them with more wire and cable mounts. I turned to the intakes by painting them white and adding the decals. I like that the intakes assemble on the edges instead of the middle. Makes the intakes look seamless.
Finally I assembled the fuselage halves together. This was a bit tricky especially around the intake openings. But once I got it lined up and some minor trimming they fit well. Will need some minor putty in a couple of areas to smooth out some minor gaps. The next step is to address the fuselage and some overly thick RAM panels.
Work continues on the fuselage of the Raptor. To start with the RAM panels on the fuselage are very thick. In scale they would be 4” thick! So I grabbed some 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper and went to work wet sanding all of them. The 600 did a nice job thinning them out. I then wet sanded with 800 grit, 1000 grit, and finally 2000 grit. This removed any sanding marks. Once the few photo etch vent panels were applied I looked into the paint scheme. Using some home experimenting mixology I ended up with the following colors. The lightest color is 3 parts light ghost gray and 1 part flat white. The median color is 9 parts dark ghost gray and 1 part gunship gray, the vent panels are gunship gray and I will be using neutral gray for the last color for the scheme. The final color “blobs” will be applied with an airbrush so I can get a good fade line between the colors. The paint on the actual F-22 has a color changing hue similar to a pearlized clear coat. This causes the aircraft to appear to lighten and darken depending on the angle of the light. I am still experimenting with different ideas on how to accomplish this. Once I figure out the process it will be applied as a final coat after the decals.
I am now working on the landing gear. So far the nose gear is just about ready to install. I will attach the landing lights later so that the final pant coat doesn’t affect the clear parts.
More work on the Raptor. This update is a little early as my oldest son is graduating from college this weekend. As for the build, lots of tedious work. The landing gear is now detailed and installed. There are 22 parts for each of the main landing gear. I was able to get the base coat of all the paint on the tails and upper fuselage. I am still experimenting with the top coat to give it the metallic sheen. I am now working on the weapons bay doors. All of the doors are completely photo etch and around 64 parts each. This is going to take some time but so far it is looking great.
This week’s update on the F-22 is a small one. Between my oldest son’s graduation from college and life getting in the way I was not able to spend a lot of time on the bench. However I was able to complete the main weapons bay doors. The small doors had 14 parts and the larger doors had 50 parts each. The braces are 1mm X 1mm styrene stock and the hinge shaft is 28awg wire. Next I will be assembling the photo etch replacement missile bay doors and then priming all the doors for paint.
Minor update on the Raptor. Had a minor health issue that kept me away from the bench for a couple of weeks. Over the last couple of days I was able to finish building the main weapons bay doors and prime them. I then assembled and primed the missile bay doors. Working on finishing the landing gear doors then onto the weapons to fill the bays.
Minor update part 2 on the Raptor. The Weapons bay doors have been installed. It was a little tricky getting them lined up and installed but they settled in nicely. I then built, detailed, panted and installed the missiles. I only installed two of the AIM-120’s in the main weapons bay as the second set from Eduard had a problem. The set had three sets of forward fins and only one set of rear fins. I sent them back to exchange them for a correct set. Meanwhile I just installed the two AIM-120’s in the center and the AIM-9X into the missile bays. Decals installed, some weathering done and final coat using 8 parts matte and 2 parts of Vallejo metallic clear were sprayed to emulate the scheme. While it is drying I then started to detail the canopy. The kit comes with both tinted and clear canopies. I opted to use the tinted version. Hoping to complete this build by the weekend.
The Raptor is now finished and on the display shelf. This was a nice build. The photo etch parts were tedious but worked very well. The “stealth” coat does not show up very well when photographing the model. The kit itself fit together very well. The decals were great. They slid in place very well and conformed to the surface. The only caution is once the landing gear is installed, you need to use care as it seems a little flimsy. I did not break any of them but they appear to flex easily. Thanks for following along with this build.