Here’s the work done on the MF so far. Essentially the model builds itself. On this dry-fit picture the only glued parts are the halves of the vertical stabilizer and the rudder, which is offset to port.
Glued main office parts together and gave them a splash of color – my own mix, which when dried turned out to be very different from the kit-supplied PE variation…
Here you can see the floor. Everything in this area is basically “click-fit”. Rudder pedals were inserted later on.
As pointed out in the review below, building this kit has been a small hell. Truth be told I started building it twice, but only the second attempt is now finished. This has been the single most frustrating kit I’ve ever worked on – investing so much time and effort yielded an average-looking model – “Good from far, but far from good” as they say.
Closing the weapon bay doors, cutting out their inside frames to add supports for the doors and filling this whole mess flush was the single biggest filling-sanding challenge. I am totally not proud of my first attempt at the vertical stabilizers – ended up in different angles and gaps, with filler constantly cracking on me. Potholes down joining lines due to the plastic melting under regular Humbrol modelling glue. Two nose jobs on my second attempt due to the same reason. Sanding the **** out of the nose and arrestor hook cover. Rescribing multiple zones more than once due to lost panel lines. Landing gear unstable at best. Multiple strip-downs and resprays for various reasons and about 10 meters of Tamiya tape lost in the process.
One of the earlier kits of the mighty Raptor, Italeri’s offering has often been accused of representing the YF-22 which it totally isn’t. In case the Italian company made a scale model of the prototype this kit is NOT it – the fuselage shape shows well in the images below.
Sprue A has most of the smaller details, as well as the armament on it. Nothing spectacular here, but those separate weapon-bay doors are designed with them posed open in mind. And whether you pose the bays closed or not – use all the parts to increase the strength of the model – after all it’s some 23 cm long and you don’t want it twisted.