F-117 NIght Hawk Skunk Works

Published on
October 8, 2023
Review Author(s)
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Company: Platz - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Platz - Website: Visit Site

The F-117 was the world's 1st stealth fighter, and operated by the USAF from 1983 to 2008. The aircraft had a unique appearance, combining complex planar shapes and its surface was coated with radar-absorbent material. Powered by 2 F404-GE-F102 turbofan engines, its exhaust ports were positioned above the fuselage, and featured slots designed to dissipate heated air and eliminate radiant heat. The "Skunk Works", known for developing various experimental aircraft, was responsible for the design and engineering, creating excellent stealth capabilities. The aircraft's combat debut came in the 1989 Panama invasion. Later in the 1991 Gulf War, the aircraft achieved great success by leveraging its stealth capabilities in a night attack on Baghdad military facility.

The kit, a reboxing of the Dragon/DML kit, comes with 2 complete aircraft with multiple ordnance possibilities, and excellent decals by Cartograf. The aircraft include USAF 410th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, California 1990 emblazoned with a huge black and white skunk on the bottom of the fuselage, and USAF 49th OG 8th Fighter Squadron, "Black Sheep", Holloman AFB, New Mexico, 2003.

I chose to build the Skunk Works version with the large skunk decal on the underside. Note: this version will be built wheels up with all landing gear and weapons bays closed due to the size of the skunk decal. Assembly was simple and straight forward. I started by washing the sprues in water with a drop of dish detergent, and when dry, sprayed Tamiya gray primer on all of the trees. After gluing in the landing gear and ordnance doors, the fuselage pieces were spay painted with Rustoleum flat black, while the cockpit (with figure) was brush painted with gray side walls and floor, and the figure olive drab using Testors Acryl paints. I added a round pin head to the figure which is molded headless. The fuselage was assembled with no issues, tail wings added, and received a final spray of flat black. Tamiya gloss clear was then sprayed on both sides of the fuselage for decalling. The Cartograf decals go on without a hitch, I used Micro Set by Mircoscale for all of the decals. The canopy takes some time and patience to mask and paint. I ended up using a black felt tip pen for some areas, followed by brush painting with black acrylic paint by Vallejo. Finally I built a stand for the completed model, using some wire and a piece of pine wood sprayed flat black. I posed my F-117 in a vertical climb, so as to show off the large skunk.

This is my first 1/144th scale model aircraft, and it was a fun kit to build. I recommend this and all of the other 144th scale Platz kits to all modelers. The finished product is very unique with the Skunk Works insignia! Thank you Platz Hobby and IPMS for the sample and opportunity to review this kit.


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