FA-18G Growler

1/6 Scale F-18G Model

This is a 1/6 scale model of an F-18G that was used to compile radar return data for programming fire-control and recognition software. The client wished to have the model displayed with prototypical markings after its use as a radar target. The client-supplied base model was a custom-made R/C fiberglass model that was chosen for the accuracy of its shape, and was provided without underwing stores. 

The work outline included fabrication of accurately scaled and removeable underwing stores and pylons, three structurally-sound attachment points for hanging the finished model and prototypical paint and markings. Underwing stores are 3 AN/ALQ-99 jamming pods, 2 external fuel tanks, 2 AGM-88 HARM missiles, and 2 AN/ALQ-218 wing-tip pods. The stores and pylons were fabricated from urethane foam, acrylic tube and sheet, styrene sheet, and laminated wood die-stock. CAD models were created of the jamming pods and used with CAM (computer-aided-machining) to 3D CNC machine the pod bodies, while the missile and wing-tip pod fins were laser-cut from styrene sheet. To insure a positive radar return at any angle, the model and underwing stores were first painted with silver-bearing lacquer. The shades of gray are custom-mixed automotive acrylic lacquers, matched to FS-595 color chips, with automotive touch-up paint used for the remainder. Markings are a combination of client-supplied dry-transfers and custom-made water slide decals printed with a laser printer.