Back in the days of suits and ties... happily those days are long gone... I was crammed in a seat on the train coming home from work reading an article in an aviation magazine about Randy Cunningham.  There was a nice in flight shot of his F-4. Not too long after that I was passing by a hobby shop and as I thumbed through the decals, I recognized the markings and decided to build his F-4.  If I remember correctly, the decals are Micro Scale and the kit is Hasegawa.  This was my first real attempt at weathering.  I read something in a magazine about a new technique using, of all things, Future floor wax.  I remembered saying, "Floor wax? On a model?"  I figured how much different could it be from the Micro Coat Gloss I was using so I gave it a shot.
Topgun days... Many of us had 'em.  I wonder what happened to the sales of modern jet fighter kits right after the movie was released.  A little bump maybe?  It got me back in the hobby again, albeit for a short period of time.  Desert Storm also inspired a period of jet building.  These are a few of the models I built "back in the day" that have survived the 20ish years and several moves with the least damage.  There are many more that will probably be relegated to "test bed" duty.
Click photo for larger image
F-14 Tomcat -  I practically stopped at a hobby shop on the way home from the theater.  I actually bought 2 different models that day but have no recollection of whose kits they were.  I also did not know anything about which kit was more accurate, but I did notice that one kit had better detail n the wings and vertical stabs while the other had a nicer looking fuselage.  So I got to work on my first model after a 13 year break in building.  I did my first kit bash and combined the better "looking" parts and made the one aircraft.  No attempt at weathering.... wasn't ready for that yet.
A few more F-14's, unfortunately they did not fare well over the last 20 years, and I built this A7E Corsair II.  I tried my first basic scratched details... a few details added to the cockpit and the stabilizer pins on the under wind pylons.


The A7 below was built after Desert Storm.  I tried to match the paint color from a magazine photo and its not right but I liked the look when it was done anyway.

F-15  First use of an after market resin upgrade.  I had never seen these things before and thought they were incredible.  Nothing like this existed... as far as I can remember, back to the early 70's, which was when I built models last, prior to the "TOPGUN" days.   Some detailing added with belts made from lead foil and some PE buckles and cockpit details like canopy rails and mirrors.  First I had seen PE details too and was as impressed with these as I was with the resin.

Panels lines are highlighted with a drafting pencil sharpened to a very sharp point.  Carefully following the recessed panel lines after the flat coat was tedious but gave an interesting affect.  It is not as stark as panels highlighted with a straight black wash.
F-18  You can't build modern jets and not have an F-18.  Except of a resin seat and some after market decals this is straight out of the box.

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