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Say Hello to my Little Friend!

AH-1Z Viper from HMLA-367 Scarface

The Project

I built this model for a very dear Marine Aviator friend that flew this very same Viper while assigned to HMLA-367. It was actually commissioned by a mutual close friend, a Naval Aviator, that was his instructor during primary flight training with the VT-3.

The Model

This is the DreamModel kit in 1/72 scale. It is a lovely kit, with very fine details and very complete, including some PE parts.

The model can be finely built straight from the box, but as usual I decided to add some more upscale stuff, like Eduard Hellfires and Sidewinders, and a Master cannon. I also opted to open the canopy, which comes in one solid piece (although it's very transparent if you want to skip that hassle), while also replaced the rocket pods by pods I stole from a Special Hobby Cobra.

I started the building process with the cockpit. The cockpit and seats are well designed and are accurate from a layout standpoint. The kit has some decals for the instruments but I used some EFIS screens I grabbed from an Apache set. I also added harnesses and other bits, like cables and hoses.

I continued with the pods and missiles so just to get that out of the way early. I didn't like how the exhaust seams looked from the interior, so decided to hack that by making covers for the exhausts and intakes with Tamiya Epoxy Putty.

The painting process started as usual with some black basing with Mr. Surfacer 1500 and some pre-shading. The model is painted with MRP 105 (US Navy Gray Blue FS 35237) for the darker upper section, and and MRP 038 (Light Ghost Grey FS 36375) for the lighter, lower section.

I coated the model with Alclad Aqua Gloss and made some panel accent with Flory’s Dark Dirt, to then re-coat it and apply decals. The decals are a merge of custom-made decals I ordered from Bedlam Creations, and decals I took from the kit and other aftermarket sets. Bear in mind that the kit's decals, while nice, are very shiny!

Once all this was done, I sealed everything with Aqua Gloss with in two coats procuring the last one to achieve a satin finish so I could apply oils. To seal everything after that and achieve the final finish, I applied a flat coat with Microscale Flat.

After that, it was just a matter of putting everything together and make the display base. For the base I recreated the ramp from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii, which is where HMLA-367 was stationed at the time. To somehow recreate the photo I used as a reference, I added tie lines and Remove Before Flight tags. The tie line sleeves are made with lead tape, while the lines are EZ-Line Fine. The RBF tags are from Eduard.

The following are the final pictures with the model fully completed.

I hope you enjoyed this short article for this build. As always, thank you for reading and happy modeling!


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