F-15E Cockpit Set | Progress update (Part #1)

Been a while since I've blogged here in the hangar.  I've been hard at work crafting the new MH F-15E Cockpit Set due out very soon.  This new set is designed for the Hasegawa kit #E39.  

So I wanted to share my progress with you all and talk about what it takes to create the cockpit components and details.  As well as tips on tools used to create various details.

©Steve Bamford via: ARC F-15E Walkaround

Pilot and WSO stations

When fellow ARC (Aircraft Resource Center) forum member "White Wolf" mentioned to me that the Hasegawa F-15E series kits could be improved in "many areas", I couldn't agree more.  Although the kit is good and in many respects to many, good enough.  But I gave it a hard look to see what I could possibly do to improve it.  I immediately noticed the pilot and WSO instrument shrouds, CRT screens are an obvious and most recognizable detail aspect of the Strike Eagle.  The kit parts are..adequate, but could benefit from deeper detail and adding more detail items.  

CRT Screens

So I went right to work replacing the CRT screens. After making the three main CRT's for the pilots front panel and WSO back-seat consoles, I needed to make a fourth tiny projector screen for the HUD.  I'll show you how I made them in the following photos.

To create them, I start with a 0.10 sheet styrene stock and use a square template tool to establish the proper screen size. (below)

Next, I transfer the square shape onto the styrene and cut it out with a fresh #11 blade. (below)

To establish the framing around the screen, I trim close to the cut-out shape with a razor tool.  

I finished by checking the screen against the main display and also where it is to be attached.  I use Tamiya thin cement to attach to the top of the main panel as the HUD projector.  I used the same technique for the WSO instrument panel and further detailed with  tiny bits of styrene rod, strip, sheet and extremely thin strands of stretched sprue.  

Check back with Part #2 of the update where I move on to the cockpit tub where I'll add missing detail, sculpt contours and further scratch-build using one of my favorite mediums..Aves Apoxie Clay.  See you guys soon! 

References:

Hasegawa Tri-tool Stencil available from: HobbyLink Japan

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