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1/72 Academy F-22 Raptor by Burt Gustafson
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raptor

Burt Gustafson joins our company again with a sharp looking F-22 Raptor dressed in Hawaii's Air National Guard. Burt built it OOB. However the final result is eyecatching!! 

1/72 Academy F-22 Raptor

by Burt Gustafson

raptor

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HISTORY

The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and all of the pilot and maintenance training systems.

his

The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the years prior to formally entering USAF service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Despite a protracted and costly development period, the United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component for the future of US tactical air power, and claims that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter, while Lockheed Martin claims that the Raptor's combination of stealth, speed, agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, makes it the best overall fighter in the world today. Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the "F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built."

The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air combat missions because of delays in the Russian and Chinese fifth generation fighter programs, a US ban on Raptor exports, and the ongoing development of the supposedly cheaper and more versatile F-35 resulted in calls to end F-22 production. In April 2009 the US Department of Defense proposed to cease placing new orders, subject to Congressional approval, for a final procurement tally of 187 Raptors.The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 was signed into law in October 2009 without funding for further F-22 production.

(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)

KIT

box

CONSTRUCTION

This kit goes together easily because the parts fit is excellent, requiring very little filling and sanding. The part fit was so good that I didn’t install the vertical stabilizers until after the rest of the model was built and painted. The vertical stabilizers were masked, painted, and decaled separately. It was so much easier to do it this way. One thing I found quite interesting was that Academy molded the missile bay doors in clear plastic. Note that in building the cockpit and landing gears there are parts that are tiny and are difficult to handle.

The kit provides a number of options: open or closed canopy, open or closed exhaust nozzles, open or closed missile bay doors, and a tail hook the can be posed extended. I chose to go with a closed canopy, closed missile bay doors, and the tail hook retracted.

PAINTING

Painting

There is a lot of talk in the modeling world on how to replicate the Raptor’s metallic sheen. I chose not to worry about the sheen and painted my Raptor using Model Master Enamel paints for the three primary colors: Medium Gray for the overall color, Dark Gray for the camouflage pattern, and Light Ghost Gray for the leading edges of the wings and control surfaces. It looks simple to paint but don’t be fooled. I spent a good amount of time painting my Raptor.  Most of that time was spent masking the leading edges of the wings and control surfaces to replicate the distinctive paint scheme.

Decals

Academy provided markings for four different aircraft. I chose to use the decals for the Hawaii Air National Guard. The decals performed flawlessly, settling with just a touch of Micro Sol—no silvering whatsoever. Additionally, the kit provides 6 decals that represent the multi-function displays on the cockpit front panel—very tiny but nice. Trouble is with a closed canopy you can hardly see them

ADDITIONAL

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CONCLUSSION

This kit was a nice easy build. The parts fit was excellent, the detail is good, and the decals were superb. The overall quality of this kit is excellent. I am pleased with the finished model. Enjoy the photos.

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Text and Photos by Burt Gustafson