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Hawaii Air National Guard (HANG) F-22A

in 1/144 Scale By Valentin “It Hurts” Bueno

Trumpter Hawaii Air National Guard F-22A in 1/144scale

Check Out Club Meeting: March 2010 Meeting

Featured In: March 2010 Newsletter

Kit Data:
Manufacturer: Trumpeter
Product Number: TR01317
Materials: Injection Molded Styrene, Decals
MSRP: $10.95
Available from: All good hobby stores

BLUE

When I first heard that the Hawaii Air National Guard was going to be assigned the new F-22 Raptor the clouds parted, the birds sang and a bright blue sky shone overhead. While shielding my eyes from the blue sky it hit me, why not paint the HANG birds like the Japanese F- 2A’s in their Ocean Blue camouflage scheme? And then put a University of Hawaii H for the tail codes! And then put a Warrior Football design hidden in the blue splotches! I have the kits (Trumpeter 1/144th sale, Revell 1/72 scale, Hobby Boss 1/72 scale) and the clear decal paper, so what’s stopping me? Nothing!

1/144TH SCALE

I decided to use Trumpeter’s 1/144th scale F-22 kit as the test bed for this little fantasy of mine due to several reasons: 1) it was in the house 2) it was one of two New Year’s Models that I had started building a few minutes after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day and 3) it should be a quick build so I can get right to the camouflage and decals.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a quick build. I could only spend at the most 5 minutes at a time working on the model due to work and family constraints. In addition to that, it didn’t fall together like Tamiya kits do. But then it isn’t a Tamiya kit, it’s a Trumpeter kit! The model looked great in the box, but when it came time to assembly, a lot of sanding and fiddling with fit ensued. But that’s OK; I am a modeler, not just an assembler! I built the model with all the bay doors shut despite all the beautiful detail contained within. I didn’t feel like masking all these opening one a 1/144th scale jet!

Trumpter Hawaii Air National Guard F-22A in 1/144scale

It looks like an F-22 torture chamber

Trumpter Hawaii Air National Guard F-22A in 1/144scale

Looks to happy, doesn’t it?

INTERMEDIATE BLUE?

Once everything was assembled, sanded and set, I sprayed the entire model with USAF Light Ghost Gray. This served as the lower color and as a primer to check out any flaws. After fixing the few I found, I re-sprayed the gray, masked off the bottom and sprayed the top with Tamiya’s Intermediate Blue from the spray can.

Now, the model looked way to happy. What I mean is the blue looked very bright when compared to the blue on the sides of Corsairs that I had painted with the Tamiya Intermediate blue from the bottle. Comparing the two, the bottle one is grayer than the rattle can. The color in the rattle can appears closer to PRU Blue. Since I was lazy and this was just an experiment, I pressed on and sprayed the Dark Sea Blue through card stock masks for the blue splotches. A lot of touch up and sanding was required to get this layer of paint to look right. A lot of overspray had to be removed and sanded smooth. It looked better, but still not quite dark enough. Oh well.

SKULLS

I searched the internet looking for an appropriate image to use as a base for the warrior splotch. I used Photoshop to turn photos into outlines and then into Dark Sea Blue splotches. I found this one image of a skull in a Warrior helmet. I thought this was too cool and promptly used it as a base for my warrior art.

I did the same for the UH logo “H”, but don’t tell anyone as I didn’t ask UH for permission. So Shhhhhhh….

I masked off the edges of the wings, tailplanes, vertical fins, intake and the nose radome and hand painted these with RLM 65.

I used Bare Metal brand clear decal paper purchased from Weller’s Hobbycraft in Kailua for the decals. I ran it through my printer and used Microscale’s Liquid Decal to seal the decal. This stuff dries quickly and makes a very tough decal that is also very thin.

Like the impatient bugger I am, I didn’t apply a clear gloss coat to the model instead I polished the flat paint with sanding pads, starting with 2400 grit going all the way to 12000 grit. This worked well for the areas I could press down hard onto, but I didn’t want to snap off the tail fins and only gave these a light sanding. Thus when the warrior loge was applied, it silvered. Badly. Drats. Oh Well.

Trumpter Hawaii Air National Guard F-22A in 1/144scale

After slicing the decal and several applications of Solvaset, the thing settled down for the most part, but it still silvered in a few places. You can see where I sliced the decals. US Insignia, stencils and other decals were sourced from my decal bank. I sprayed the model with Tamiya Clear Flat and sanded the flat paint again for scale sheen to the flat.

SILVER AND GOLD

Trumpter Hawaii Air National Guard F-22A in 1/144scale

Many of the F-22’s have this silvery look to their gray paint scheme. On this model I experimented with application of SNJ Aluminum powder to the last flat clear coat as a way to get the blue scheme silvery.

My attempts didn’t really work. I sanded the flat coat as smooth as I could. Applied the SNJ powder with a cotton bud and wiped away the excess with a moist cotton bud. Some elements of the silver remained, but not enough to look like the photos of the real thing.

I also tried to add the gold tint to the canopy by using brass colored SNJ powder. In order for the powder to stick, I had to add a thin coat of Tamiya Clear hand brushed onto the canopy. The SNJ was applied and again wiped off. Again, very little of the powder remained, but enough to give a sense of gold tint.

PAU PAU PAU

With that, I added the last of the small parts, and painted the landing gear and exhausts using Metalizer Titanium hand brushed on.

I wish I had more time each session to apply decent paint job. It actually looks a little odd without the traditional tailfin bands most HANG fighters have, but it is something different in a very small model.

The model was photographed on a piece of black cardstock as the background. The camera used is a Sony H50 Compact with manual settings, a remote control unit and a tripod. The light was from a single daylight balanced fluorescent light, the Ott Light.

Now if only I had the available shelf space to display the finished model.

Trumpter Hawaii Air National Guard F-22A in 1/144scale

Trumpter Hawaii Air National Guard F-22A in 1/144scale

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