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Italeri's 1/48 scale RAAF "What If"
F/A-22 Raptor

by Nathan Bradford

 

F/A-22 Raptor
3 SQN, RAAF Williamtown, 2015 "What If"



Italeri's 1/48 scale F-22 Raptor is available online from Squadron.com

 

Construction

 

This is Italeri's F-22. As everyone knows who frequents this site should know, this kit is a right pig to build. This is my second Italeri Raptor - you would think that I would have learnt the first time!

I built this over the course of 18 months. The kit was built using the Eduard Brass etched set which gives the cockpit a big lift, even though you can't really see much of it through the closed canopy!

I started by gluing the forward and aft upper fuselage together. This is not a good joint and causes a large dip in the middle of the jets back. Super glue in large amounts corrected this problem. After the glue had dried I re scribed & corrected the panel lines. After this I closed the weapons bays, gun door, APU doors, landing gear doors, and secondary intakes by gluing the kit parts in place. They do not fit very well at all! A lot of super glue & putty was applied and more re-scribing was done. This was by far the most painful part of building the kit. I then cut out the vents and replaced them with the brass parts from the Eduard set.

 

 

The intake parts were fitted and I glued in some plastic card to close in intakes to prevent the see through. The exhaust parts were glued in place and the exhaust parts from the Brass parts were fitted. The exhaust was painted with Testor's Titanium Metalizer and the upper and lower fuselage were brought together.

The cockpit had the Brass components fitted for the side panels and instruments with acetate behind them. The pilot was robbed from a Hasegawa F-4 kit and his helmet was modified to current style. I cut off his arms and re-positioned them by cutting at his elbows and shoulders. I then drilled into the middle of the separated parts and inserted wire into them. This allowed me to move the arms into the positions holding the side stick and throttle. The cut areas were filled with Milliput and reshaped to match the rest of his flying suit. The oxygen hose was also replaced with guitar string. He was glued onto his seat and strapped in with a Tamiya tape harness. I made the buckles from leftover parts of the photo-etched set.

The canopy was painted with Tamiya Clear yellow mixed with a little clear orange. This was then mixed 50/50 with Tamiya gloss clear. I sprayed this carefully over a spare canopy that I had from my previous build. After a few attempts I was happy with the results and painted the good kit canopy. After a week to cure, I dipped the canopy in future to fill any little imperfections. The canopy frame was glued to the upper fuselage and was super glued and sanded until it aligned with the surrounding area.

The cockpit was the added from below the fuselage and glued in place. The lower forward fuselage was then fitted and the gaps filled.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

I masked the exhausts and painted them with a mixture of Testor's Metalizers.

Then the exhausts were masked and the rest of the fuselage was painted with Xtracolour Modern Eagle colours in freehand with some panels masked and painted in Model Master Light Ghost Gray.

The vents were picked out in Flat Black. I had custom decals printed for the kit in RAAF 3 Squadron markings by a company near me. I think they came out well. These were added along with some of the kit decals. The decals were added using Future as a setting solution.

 

 

The whole model was then coated in future and after drying, a black wash was run into the panel lines. I then used pastel chalks to put some exhaust & cordite stains where they were needed to make this Raptor look used.

I used Humbrol Mattcote for the final mate finish.

The finishing touch was the addition of the tinted canopy and HUD glass.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I think that with a bit of work and a lot of elbow grease, this kit comes out pretty well. It looks like a Raptor to me, and it's Aussie which makes it even better :-) .

My Raptor is now with her new owner and has even had a starring role in the Australian Airpower website!

Cheers.
 

 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2006 by Nathan Bradford
Composite (Title) Image by Brett Green
Page Created 17 January, 2006
Last Updated 17 January, 2006

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