Lockheed Martin F-
331 Skvadron, Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftsforsvaret)
Ørland flystasjon, Norway, 2023.
Academy 1/72 with Xtradecal markings
The Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) converted to an all F-
Building the Academy F-
This is my third F-
Parts fit is very good, although the interior of the engine intakes requires a little
thought and care to get a good fit. Like the Italeri kit, I think the chine at the
top of the front fuselage side may be a little overdone, although it does help to
get a good fit between upper and lower parts (I used a smidgeon of filler). Cockpit
and seat are reasonable, with a pilot figure included (including their uniquely shaped
helmet!). Unfortunately, my figure had quite a bit of flash around the helmet sensor
area, but it is still a welcome touch. I chopped the pilots legs off to let them
fit in the limited space between the console and cockpit sides. The kit fuselage
is split top and bottom, with large inserts to provide the weapons bay, undercarriage
wells and intake trunking. I don't normally like kits split this way, but for an
Mainwheel tyres and their centres are provided as separate parts, which helps greatly
with painting. Unfortunately there is no easy way to pose the control surfaces in
different positions, a shortfall that is increasingly pestering me on modern kits.
After all, you seldom see them parked on the ground with all control surfaces inline!
The undercarriage is a little fragile, but went together easily. Academy would have
to you assemble the gear legs before fitting in place, but I went for assembly in-
Link to more NATO aircraft on my Friends and Allies pages
With my Airfix and Fujimi F-
A good selection of armament is provided with the kit, although the AMRAAMS are a
little skinny. The GBU-
The canopy is moulded in clear plastic, which is disappointing since the real thing has a noticeable tint. Fujimi and Italeri are much better here. I decided to attempt some tinting, which wasn't my best idea. My Humbrol gold "Clear Coat" wasn't the right colour and in any event it didn’t seem to want to adhere to the plastic. I then tried some highly thinned black enamel paint, which gave the right effect, but unfortunately the canopy quickly fogged over as it dried. Cue an afternoon polishing it back to clarity with some toothpaste and a cloth, followed by a dip in Klear floor polish (the results of which were satisfactory if not perfect). Unfortunately, for an unknown reason, once the canopy was attached, some of the fogging returned overnight and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it now. I found some difficulty with the canopy fit, with the instrument panel interfering with the forward part of it. I'm not sure why as there are good tabs to make sure it is in place. I suspect that my instrument panel wasn't quite in the right place. I removed the offending panel, trimmed it down and replaced it, but still had some interference, requiring a little Krystal Klear white glue to fill the remaining gaps at the front.
Rather than use the kit provided decals for an USAF aircraft, I decided to go for
a Norwegian aircraft from Xtradecal Sheet X72338 with Viking tail markings. Cue
problem number 3! Unfortunately the colourful Norwegian Air Force 75th anniversary
markings from the top of the tail (decal 40L) are missing from the decal sheet.
I contacted Hannants by e-
Paint is mostly Humbrol 164 enamel, along with a few locally mixed greys for detail.
No two F-
The real thing -
The real thing -