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Have Blue: 1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth

Introduced in 1991, just after the Gulf War combat involvement of this secretive jet, the 1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth was a well timed release for model makers. More focused on a basic build-up, the Monogram kit doesn't have a lot of detail, but what is there is decent.


1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth

Notable Kit Features:

  • Good overall shape

  • Nice photo etch parts for engine screens and vents

  • Yellow tinted canopy

  • Relatively inexpensive


1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth

Build Inspiration:


Born out of project "Have Blue" the F-117 Stealth aircraft project was shrouded in mystery for some time before it finally made its appearance known. When relatively accurate representations of the F-117A Stealth finally started to show up on the scale model market, the unusual shape and "Skunk Works" signature black finish pretty much sold us on including one in our collections.


F-117A Stealth lineup

Heads-Up Report:

  • Cockpit is incorrect (Too shallow and short)

  • Photoetch parts necessary for build (intake screens) so superglue and other tools become necessary (which may require adult supervision).

  • No open weapons bay option (the doors are molded into the bottom and no provision has been made for a bay)

  • Pitot probes are a bit too thick

  • Landing gear represents the older, original gear which has a heavier, more squared lower fork

  • Take your time on the the lower wing to lower fuselage joint to get a tight fit (you will probably still require some filler)

  • Yellow tint on canopy is overdone (IMHO - the tint is barely noticeable in any photos I have seen)

  • Ensure that you have a very good bond on the weapons designator glass when you glue it in place as I managed to dislocate mine post build (pushing it into the body of the aircraft - and this is not easy to repair afterwards!)


1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Built Out-of-the-Box


1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth

Finishing:


The paint scheme for this aircraft is an overall black (so much easier than a three-tone plus camouflage). If you want to do any solid colour finish justice, you will want to get some variation of the tone built in, using one method or another. For black finishes I never use straight black out of the jar. I prefer to scale my black back a bit by lightening it up from a pure-black to a near-black. A bit more variation can add interest or weathering as directed by your subject. In the case of the Stealth aircraft the finishes were highly maintained so easy on the weathering would be the rule.


1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth

The After-Build Report:


The 1/48th Monogram F-117A Stealth is a pretty good kit if you just want a basic, budget friendly model without an open weapons bay. The relatively inexpensive cost gets you a decent model on the shelf without a lot of problems. The Tamiya 1/48 F-117 is still the best in 1/48th scale. The Academy kit is a bit better than the Monogram / Revell offering, so depending on your budget and availability you have some choice. (Yes, I know I am ignoring the Italeri / Testors... I've built a few of their other kits and am consistently underwhelmed :)


Completed build #75 - December 2004 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5834 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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