Added to Stash: 2014
Cockpit: Eduard PE Interior
Jet Nozzles: Aires
Practice Bomb Carrier: Flightpath
The intakes were built up on each fuselage side prior to assembling the fuselage halves, rather than after as the instructions would have you. The advantage to this is a a slightly better fit although I found the rear cockpit bulkhead pushed the nose wheels halves out a bit. My solution to this was widening the location channel to ease the fit of the bulkhead..
There is also an atrocious joint where the wing undersides join the fuselage, despite me adding a spreader to widen the fuselage a little.
Making matters worse, is it is very difficult to get any sort of sanding stick in there to clean the joint up, even custom made ones. On all kits, I just put up with it.
Whilst we are on the wings, if you do not want a step between the separate control surfaces and the rear of the wing, the thickness of the wing interior needs to be substantially reduced before you cement the wing halves together. If left as the kit comes the flaps and ailerons are a lot thinner in cross section than the rear of the wing. Supposedly the wing pylons need to be moved 4mm back, but I didn’t bother with this.
Panel line detail on kinetics SHARS are a little inconsistent, so the scriber was run along most of the main panel lines to deepen them. A thin coat of Mr Color Medium Sea Grey was then applied. Over the top of this I marbled on various greys, both lighter and darker than the MSG, before another thin blending coat of lightened MSG was sprayed. A couple of panels were then masked off and painted with MRP MSG to give the look of replaced panels. The fuselage extension was also painted in untainted Medium Sea Grey straight from the jar, as this showed as a different shade even on heavily weathered jets. Then began the time consuming process of masking off and painting all those RWRs, doppler panels, dielectric panels and rubbing strips on the leading edge of the fin. Jets are definitely more work than WW2 aircraft!
The under fuselage pylons and AMRAAMS were decided on to make the jet a little different from other models of the FA2. Several reference photos were consulted to get the placement of the pylons correct as Kinetic do not give you any guidance in the instructions. Despite the photos, I got some feedback when I posted the model on Britmodeller, the AMRAAMs were still tool forward by a couple of mm. I can live with that
The decal sheets in these SHAR kits are nothing short of comprehensive, probably amongst the best you can find in a kit. From the FA2 sheet, you can make just about every FA2 in service, in either hi viz or subdued schemes, as Kinetic provide you all squadron insignia, and all serial numbers by way of separate numbers you then combine to make your desired serial. All stencilling is provided in both pink, red and black depending on which scheme you finish your jet in.
The sheet is printed by cartography, and they performed excellently sinking into all the recessed detail with the aid of Micro set and Micro Sol.
It was then that disaster struck. I foolishly glued the windscreen on with Tamiya extra thin. I must have had the windscreen touching the instrument coaming one one side as the glue wicked straight up the inside of the windscreen. AAAAGGGGHHH! I managed to get the windscreen off, and polished the glue mark out, but the damage had been done as this kind of thing is hard to come back from. The model no longer matched my vision of it in my head and I found I was just wanting to get it off the bench so that I could concentrate on making a better job of the others. Hence, the rather sloppy touch up paint around the reattached windscreen.
This is the problem I always have when building multiple kits in parallel. I won’t be doing it again. My new found apathy for the model only increased when I found the canopy would not sit flush when in the closed position. The simple workaround to this was to just place it in the open position. A couple of the antennas had broken off with my handling of the model, and I didn’t replace them as by this stage I was over the kit. Annoyingly Kinetic want you too drill out all the location points for the antennas, which are moulded with a little tab on the underside, so your hole has then to be cut into a rectangular shaped hole. I daresay, Kinetic have done this rather than provide holes so any antenna fit can be catered for, but really Kinetic, you could have provided flashed over slots to make this job easier. To top the model off, it then rocked ever so slightly once placed on its gear, despite me fitting the main gear last to ensure it would sit on all five wheels. Thats it. It will be going to the back of the cabinet. Im hoping my other two will turn out better as Im using a bit more patience in their construction. Meanwhile, Im not rating the Kinetic kit as an enjoyable build.