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1/48 Academy F-111F

by Kaan Gök

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This is Academy's 1/48 F-111F kit. It was bought a long time ago, and it was waiting its turn on the to-build pile until I decided to build it a couple of months ago. I used Verlinden's update kit to make it look a little better, and decided to drop the flaps. I think that the F-111 looks certainly better and impressive with its flaps dropped. Those red areas certainly add to the look of the 111.

The cockpit is totally replaced with Verlinden's cockpit. This one is better than other Verlinden cockpits I have used, near to Black Box quality. Verlinden set certainly adds value to Academy kit, but it has its shortcomings, too. The shape of the GBU-10's look a little off to me, and the Pave Tack pod is incorrect. Also on normal park the weapons bay doors should be open with the Pave Tack pod installed, but on airshows etc. the doors will be closed. So it is not totally incorrect and certainly acceptable for me. I didn't bother to correct the shape issue of the pod, but I corrected the IR seeker and laser designator screens by painting them with clear yellow-orange and blue over silver.

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I decided to scratchbuild the dropped flaps, partly because the Scaledown set is a little expensive with shipping for me, and partly because of the reason that it can be bought only using PayPal and PayPal is not available in Turkey. After days (or should I say weeks?) of sanding, cutting, puttying, adjusting, I realized that the Scaledown flaps set is very cheap for its value, and scratchbuilding them was not a good choice. I could have been finish another kit in the time I allocated for the flaps and slats.

The forward fuselage to aft fuselage fit was not good, either. It required a good amount of filler and rescribing, but it's not comparable to the flap job. Other areas of the kit just fit well and can be built without problems.

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Static dischargers are manufactured from fishing lines again. Decals are from Xtradecal. The white "BFGoodrich" stenciling on the main tires were a good touch.

I also added the sensor and antenna thingies under the nose using sheet styrene.

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The landing lights on the nose gear were missing on Academy kit, I constructed them by cutting tips of bombs from spares box and filling them with Humbrol's gloss clear (glosscote). It forms a very nice and crystal clear dome when cured, no need for MV lenses. To have a good dome, I reapplied them into the tip 7-8 times.

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Painting was done freehand with Gunze Mr Color paints (thinned with Gunze Mr leveling thinner) and a Mr Badger 200 single action airbrush. This was the best combination I have used for freehand camo job, and I will certainly continue to use it. (Thanks Mr Drewe Manton)

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Weapons are from Hasegawa weapon sets, because I was not pleased with Verlinden's bomb shapes.

Kaan

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Photos and text © by Kaan Gök

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