1/48 F-22 Raptor

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.

13 thoughts on “1/48 F-22 Raptor

  1. Tidy workplace! I like…

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  2. anthony dagostino April 19, 2019 — 8:37 am

    One question….what is your address? After looking at the “dash” of this bird, realizing the details are on a tiny barely the width of a pencil resin kit, I have decided to give up on modeling altogether and just ship my meager supplies to you, as you undoubtedly could do more with what little I have than I could ever do in ten lifetimes!

    Absolutely stunning detail. I still have a million questions for you, but since my original plan to build duel AH-6J’s hit a roadblock, I am idle yet again. I need to order two new helicopters because I messed up the first batch. Anyway, the F-22 is coming along great. Just wish the US had not cut the fleet by half before these began operationally service. This is a far better fighter than the F-35, which is still good, but way too expensive for something that has no adversaries in the skies right now. It also will not be able to fill the role vacated by the A-10, they just can’t get out of their own way when it comes time to appropriate funds. Even the SPECOPS community is buying prop plans to do true danger close ground support, since they can fly lower,slower and longer than any jet aircraft can. Having jets doing ground support for 15 minutes is not nearly as important as having a prop plane fly for hours over a team on the ground. When will those knuckle heads at the Pentagon ever listen and learn?

    My bet, never.

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  3. anthony dagostino April 19, 2019 — 9:05 am

    One other question for now. When you say 32awg, is that the entire wire with jacket still attached? Or did you strip the jacket and split out the wire from multi strand copper? The reason I ask, I have been planning to use CAT5E patch cables to do my wiring on my kits. The patch cords are stranded cables, so each color wire (8) have their own jacket, once strippers you get a bundle of very tiny copper conductors in a tight bundle. If done right, they should make great wiring bundles. What I can’t figure out is how to color them. Do you just paint the bare metal wire?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

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    1. I bought 32 awg wire with the jacket. It came with 6 spools of various colors. I strip the jacket off and use the bare wire for the hydraulic lines and leave jacket on for cables. For bare wires you can paint then or color them with permanent markers. Just a quick note, do not spray clear coat over wires colored with permanent markers. The ink will run and any paint you put over the runs, the permanent ink will bleed thru.

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      1. anthony dagostino April 19, 2019 — 10:32 am

        Definitely good to know, thanks for the tip! While I wait for new kits to come, I am going to play with the wires I already have, see what kind of shapes and what thickness looks good. I hope my stranded cable works as I think it will. I just remembered that ordinary phone wire has four conductors usually in solid colors, red, green, yellow and black. That is much easier than trying to paint/color via magic marker.

        Cheers,

        Anthony

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  4. anthony dagostino April 28, 2019 — 3:50 am

    Isn’t it just like them to sell a kit with zero weapons included? At the price this kit commands, you would think one more sprue would not put them into bankruptcy! Grrrrrrrrr…..annoying.

    She is looking great, very curious to see how you handle the RAM panels, my F-35 has RAM panels that would make an Olympic ski jumper nervous!

    Anthony

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  5. anthony dagostino May 4, 2019 — 2:35 pm

    Looking at the RAM panel lines, which you have successfully tamed, leaves me with some questions. Did you have to add details after they were taken down to scale, or were they flat and featureless before sanding was done?

    The reason I ask is mainly my F-35 line I plan to build. The kits are KH, and their RAM lines are huge! When I first saw how thick they were, I almost laughed. While doing a lot of picture hunting and even videos, I came across footage from an airshow. While the camera was some distance from the F-35, it was able to pick up some details that I have never seen before, most importantly, raised RAM panel lines! It now makes me question all the pictures that seem to show a smooth surface, as possibly lighting tricks or sensor adaptation of what it sees.

    Can’t say the same for the F-22, but being the older of the two, with similar lines, I would bet that they too are raised more than we might realize. I am sure that you scale is fine, but wonder if the KH is as far off as initially though?

    Anthony

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    1. RAM panels are raised slightly. But the kits (Both F-22 and F-35) are a way too raised. I did not have to add any details. I just sanded them down so they were less pronounced. It is hard to see in the photos but after it gets weathered and sealed the details will show up better in photos.

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      1. anthony dagostino May 5, 2019 — 3:50 am

        Good to know, hopefully my F-35 family will be easy to tame with some diligence and some masking to prevent other details from being affected via my sloppy style of sanding, while still learning when, and how to do it for the right results

        Thanks, Anthony

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  6. anthony dagostino May 19, 2019 — 6:57 am

    I have to admit, the first photos of the bay doors, I thought it was a mistake as it was missing a lot of details that the kit parts had, mainly the frames on the door. Then as you moved along, adding the styrene strips (did that come with the PE?) and further details were added, I got it. Very very nice looking doors, but there is one challenge I see in your future. How are you going to create the distinctive red edge that lines the bay doors?

    Don’t worry about not having time on the bench, it’s well worth the wait!

    Anthony

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    1. Only Navy aircraft line the edges of bomb bays and landing gear doors. USAF does not have the red edge.

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      1. anthony dagostino May 20, 2019 — 12:48 am

        I did not know that, thanks!

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  7. anthony dagostino June 7, 2019 — 5:26 am

    Forgot to add, congratulations on your son’s graduation! My “big eye” (so focused on a specific, you forget the bigger picture around you, or lack of situational awareness) The weapons and bays look great, hate to see this one coming to an end, it’s very gorgeous.

    Did you ever find a recipe for the sheen seen on the real thing, no doubt part of the stealth? I hope you keep the cockpit open, the amazing detail must not be hidden away.

    Anthony

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