1/48 Hasegawa F-18D Hornet VMFA(AW)-224 "Bengals"

Gallery Article by Carl Jarosz on Dec 2 2020



I’m in a F-18 Hornet and USMC “kick,” as this is my second consecutive ARC submission building this type aircraft with Marines motif (please see postings for Nov. 4). The exception is that this one is a two-seat F-18D variant, and my subject is an aircraft from a VFMA(AW) unit, meaning it is capable of “all weather” operations, come rain or shine.

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I used a ‘limited edition’ 1/48 Hasegawa kit that had decals for both the “Bengals” and VFMA(AW)-225 “Vikings.” Per the (now) usual, I purchased True Details cockpit seats rather than use the staid Hasegawa seat parts with the kit. I only added Sidewinder missiles to the wing rails as extra flair; I didn’t want to detract from the natural beauty of the markings for this unit with extra ordnance. I used a combination of materials for weathering: pre-shading with Ammo/Mig black wash; True Detailer for wheel bays; pastel chalks for streaking; diluted black and umber enamel paints for heavier staining of the fuselage aft undersides. I applied a layer of dullcoat on the final product, after masking the canopies to preserve their polished finish, of course.

On a final note, while I sense more than eighty percent of the modelers who built this limited edition kit chose to use the markings for the “Vikings,” I purposely chose the “Bengals” as tribute to a contributor to ARC, Creighton Henthorn Jr., who years ago greatly aided me with my modeling skills; my meeting with him at an IPMS convention was invaluable. He provided me with photos of “Bengals” Hornets: VFMA(AW)-224 was stationed at his Marine base at that time. As a professional modeler, he is without peer. Please access the Gallery and behold his exquisite work  Creighton L Henthorn Jr Member gallery page.

Carl Jarosz

Photos and text © by Carl Jarosz