Wednesday, July 12

Build Guide Pt.II - see the boys continue the build of Italeri's 32nd scale F-35A Lightning...

Nicolas & François team up to continue with the great build of the new Italeri F-35A Lightning II in 32nd scale. See how it is going together - take a look to see what you think of the features ( and facets) of this interesting kit in large scale in Pt.II of their build

F-35A Lightning II
From: Italeri Models
1/32nd scale
Kit No# 2506
Model Dim.: 49,0 cm
Box Dim.: 560 x 280 x 115 mm
Markings are provided for six subjects
Photo Etched Parts included



Today: Italeri 32nd scale F-35A Build Guide Pt. II
Time to show you where we are with the construction of the F-35 A by Italeri. We left you with the cockpit ready for some paint in part I, so let’s start by showing how the tub turned out fully painted.
The main colours are grey and black but that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring out the added details. The seat and the area behind it are quite important in this kit because the canopy opens forward. That’s why these parts are painted with a lot of care
The weapons bays of the F-35 A are good from the box, with quite a lot of detail in them. If you take some time to surf the web, you’ll be able to find some reference material of this area, so we decided to add some details with sprue, lead wires and fine cut tape. This will make the area just a little bit more realistic.
Here is one of the weapons bays finished, with an AMRAAM on one of the pylons. The weapons in this kit are pretty decent. Good points for Italeri here!

The F-35 has a lot of internal structure to be built and painted. After the weapons bays, it’s time for the main landing gear bays. Italeri wants you to build the gear into the bays before you put the bays into the lower fuselage part, which is something I don’t really like to do, but I followed Italeri’s lead. I’ll find out later on if it will present any problems, I guess.
Like with the weapons bays, you can add some detail to the landing gear bays with sprue and lead wire.
Italeri put a lot of work in the front wheel landing bay and this part of the kit, we just built out of the box. I didn’t find a lot of good photos of the area, but from the box, it looks really good.
We’re not done with internal structures: next is the engine. You don’t see a lot of this part, so we just built it out of the box. Looks okay too! Looking back, this Italeri kit has none of the tricky parts the previous kits had. Good work!
The air ducts in the kit are split in an intelligent way, so they can be painted and glued with ease. No need for any filler (sigh of relief) and fit is great. Around this time, all internal structure can be test-fitted in the lower fuselage.
The internal structures take quite some time, but it is worth everything you have to put into it. Here are a couple of photos showing what it can be built into:
The fit of all these subassemblies in the lower fuselage is excellent. And before you know it, the F-35 sit on its landing gear. Here’s a test-fit:
In this photo, you can see the work that has been done in the area near the air intake. The plastic sinks a little in this area, so out came the putty.
Here is the test-fitting of the two fuselage halves. The fit is pretty good, which is really reassuring.
Now, before you glue the fuselage together, you have to make sure you don’t forget any parts. I almost forgot to paint the canopy hinges white. So, out came the airbrush! Looks like I’ll need a little putty on the fuselage-nose joint though.
From this point on, things go quite quickly. The fuselage, nose, wings, rudders and tails are glued in just 15 minutes. And here, you meet the only 2 points where the kit needs a little help. First, there is quite a gap between the main wing and the fuselage. Then, there is an opening where the flaps need to come. This opening shows even with the flap test-fitted.

Here you see the gap and the opening:
And with the flap test-fitted:
These problems aren’t hard to solve; the wings need some putty and a little plasticard will take care of the gap.
This close-up shows that the wing-fuselage joint needs some more work…
The undersides need some putty too!
Before you bring out the paint (and tonnes of masking tape) make sure to polish the kit completely. The surface of the kit needs to be smooth; once you start painting it, it needs to be as perfect as possible. Bear in mind that it’ll probably take you a week to mask the entire kit…
Painting this kit is going to be a real challenge. Not only does it need a huge amount of masking, but getting the colour right, isn’t going to be easy either. Compare the colour and metal-looking effect on the F-35 to the well-known scheme of the F-16.
Look at all the masking that is needed on the nose-area… And the fuselage is filled with areas like this. But that’s for the next and final part of this build.
Nicolas & François 

Stay tuned for Pt.III of this group build when the boys get to painting and weathering the outside of the Lightning II

Thanks to Italeri for sending this kit to Nico to build for you all. You can see Italeri’s kits come to life and look at older releases on their website and the Italeri Facebook page...