Lockheed X-35 JSF
    [page 1]

Italeri Lockheed X-35 JSF,
1/72 , kit no #1209


NOTE: photos in this modelling report are small, made with the first generation digital JPG camera in 2000

The Italeri kit of the X-35 is the second JSF model from Italeri, next to the X-32 of Boeing. The kit is typically Italeri with good parts and the usual instructions. 

It represents a X-35A, the version with a SVTOL system behind the cockpit and rotatible jetpipe.
The real X-35A flew first as a prototype, now it is being converted to the X-35B.
The X-35C is the Navy version with enlarged wing tips, separate aileron and larger horizontal stabilizer. It also has an arrestor hook.

The model depicted here, as provided by Italeri, is the X-35A.



However, unfortunately the kit has some serious errors:

1- The wing fairing at the cockpit sides should have a little less width, remove 1 mm.
This will also give the wing-fuselage junction the needed small kink at the wing Leading edge at the root. Remove some plastic, fill and sand smooth. 

LE corrections
some suggested corrections outlined in blue



2- The engine edges of the fuselage needs to be straight , so cut and sand. 

The two lower fuselage "belly" bulges on part 11 at the main undercarriage sides should be removed; sand these flat.
lower corrections
note the belly fairings, to be sanded flat



3- Nose undercarriage doors and bay should be straight, not with those "stealth" edges.
Correct all doors, the main undercarriage door needs to run more inboard, so make a new one of card.

Main undercarriage should be moved approx 5 mm more forward, and reduce the length of the main bay. In fact, the bay opening should  extend somewhat more inboard on the flat lower fuselage (not yet seen at the pics...)

The legs should also fit into the fuselage and not into the wing.

two fuselages of two kits: right with cut- out parts to correct it further. Right part not sanded flat yet.....




4- Cockpit area is fine, but the shape of the intake doors (21-24) on top is not correct. You can put them in the closed position, fill, sand and re-scribe.

The bulges (15/16) at the intake should run a little smoother, so use some putty here. Sand first before added the intakes (31/32). 

Glue main parts together, fill and sand smooth.
leading edge
the leading edge and intake area with removed 1 mm width. 

5- The wing underside at the wing fuselage junction needs some card when you removed the bulge. The fuselage side should be rather flat, so use card, putty and sand smooth. 
wing-fus junction with card

Lower fuselage wing junction corrected with cart. Also the belly was sanded "flat".

Note that the main u.c. bay opening above is not yet correct, this is shown below....

extended opening m.u.c bay
The main u.c. bay opening is extended to the flat underside.

6- The tail surfaces are correct for a X-35A.

The vertical tailfins are OK, but they should be fitted 1 mm more outboard. Cut out the outboard edge of the locating holes and glue the fins in place later.
tail area

The tail area: note extended slots for the vertical tailfins to move them more outboard. 

The canopy looks fine in shape but add the detonator chord. 

When you built this kit:
- The cockpit will benefit from adding some more detail.
- The small intake doors on top, on the left side and APU are missing before the wing LE. 
- Add some antenna?s and the nose pitot if desired.
- Add a fairing at side of the lower left main undercarriage door. Not yet seen on the pics...
- You can also add two thin brakes at the lower fuselage at the rear (not provided and not yet seen at the pics here...).

A small set of decals is provided for a X-35A prototype but they are not correct .

If you want to make a US Navy SVTOL X-35C adjust the following:
- make the larger wingtips with separate aileron. Extending the tip will do the job.
- add the lower aileron fairings
- add an arrestor hook and fairing
- fill the door aft of the top intake on the top of the fuselage and add refuelling panel.
- extend the horizontal stabilizers slightly and change the hinge line of the stabilizers aft of the vertical fins.

Next step
The model has now been prepared with putty and than sanded. Most parts have been added.
vertical fin
The tail surfaces added, with white glue used to fill the smaller gaps. The vertical fins are mounted more outboard now.
nose undercarriage
The main intakes are added as is the nose undercarriage. It has newly made doors from card. Also note the closed and filled auxiliary doors aft of the n.u.c. bay.

cockpit area with some added sprue details. Some sanding work to be done still...

lower view
Note the correction at the  wing fuselage junction and single piece door of card. The engine covers are also in position. The wing flap and slat gap are left open. The APU exhaust is added in the forward fuselage and the main wheel struts added, needing only cut-off of their locating pins. 

overall view
A view of the model prior to final clean up and ready then to get its first grey base coat. Pitot tube added from a needle and exhaustpipe (APU?) on the right intake



Go to next [ page 2...] 

- Lockheed Martin website
- Air international , December 2000

The mock-up


The Real thing
The  X-35 STOVL version with rotated exhaust is shown below. Note opended doors next to the jetpipe and the 2x2 opened doors on top of the fuselage just aft of the cockpit.

Photo: Lockheed Martin

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February 3, 2001