416th TFS, 37th TFW, US Air Force, Saudi Arabia 1991
The fourth Lockheed ‘black bird’ to appear on these pages is Tamiya’s F-117A Nighthawk, otherwise known as the ‘stealth fighter’. As with all Tamiya kits from the past 10 years or so, this is an exceptional model. The upper and lower fuselages are each moulded as a single piece with the wings. The flaps and tails are positionable and there is a well-detailed bomb bay included with the laser-guided bombs unique to the F-117. I built this kit out-of-the-box, but, as if often the case with really nice kits, I got lazy and should have spent more time cleaning up the seam between the two fuselage halves. Fortunately it’s on the underside, so it’s hidden. In addition, the real Nighthawk has no visible panel lines, but I couldn’t be bothered to fill all the lovely engraved detail on the kit. Unfortunately, one of the instrument coaming panels has come loose inside the cockpit. The finish is Humbrol enamel, and the windows were masked with the masks that come in the kit. I used Johnson’s Klear as a base for the decals, and for the first time got hold of some Microsetsetting agent. This didn’t seem to make any difference to the decals and they silvered a bit. This is a surprisingly big model, about the size of a Phantom II.
Year bought: 1999 (Antics, Guildford)
Year built: 2001 (Send Marsh, Surrey, UK)