1/72 Hasegawa F/A-18F 

Super Hornet

by Lu Changji

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This is an excellent F/A-18F Super Hornet kit and I really enjoy building it.  I bought it for about S$40.00 and began to model it 3 months ago.  I also bought a Hasegawa weapon pack to reinforce the weapon options and robbed two pilot figures from a 1/72Hasegawa F/A-18C kit that I am going to build after my Oílevel exam. I did not buy any photo-etch items or any resin parts as those are very difficult to get.  I put down the trailing-edge flaps and one notch of leading-edge flaps.  The rudder was untouched, the canopy is closed and the wing is not folded.  Overall,t he kit is an easy one, but the cockpit lacks some details and the 20mm M61A1Vulcan cannonís firing hole seems to be aiming higher than the actual cannon hole.

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Firstly, I painted and assembled the cockpit.  The cockpit lacks many details and again, the instrument panel was given a decal.  I believe dry-brushing would be better than a decal.  The ejection seats are also not up to expectation.  The ejection seats do not have seat belts and are quite plain looking.  So, this forced me to rob 2 pilot figures from my recently bought 1/72 Hasegawa F/A-18C kit to reinforce the cockpit and liven the model up.  But I made a mistake by painting the pilot figures with Navy Blue instead of Khaki Green!  When I realized the mistake, it was already too late!  I have already cemented the cockpit to the aircraft body! So I had to leave it there.

Secondly, I cut down the trailing-edge flaps and leading-edge flaps and put them in a downed position.  The trailing-edge flaps were fully downed in a 45 degree position and the leading-edge flaps were downed by only one notch, 10 degree position.  The flap holders under the wings are quite complex and I had to cut and attach them one by one; it took me a few weeks to finish the flap system.

Thirdly, I attached the main wings and the rudders to the aircraft body.  There are some seams, but to me, this error is still acceptable.  I also assembled the polycaps and attached the mechanism into the aircraft body in order to make the elevators movable.

Fourthly, I assembled the landing gear and the arrestor hook.  The gear bays lack details, but I was hurrying for time, so I did not create any details in the gear bays.

Fifthly, I made the finish-up by assembling the radio transmitters and frequency receivers etc.

Lastly, I painted the aircraft and put on the decals.  The whole aircraft was again, hand-painted even though I have owned an airbrush. The weapons are:

station 1 - AIM-9x

station 2 - Mk-83

station 3 - 2 Mk-82 Snakeye

station 4 - Mk-84

station 5 - AIM-120

station 6 - 480 gallons External Fuel Tank

station 7 - FLIR

station 8 - Mk-84

station 9 - 2 Mk-82 Fuse Extender

station 10 - Mk-83

station 11 - AIM-9x

This model kit is really excellent and now I am looking forward to building more Hasegawa kits.  Now, my wish list includes a 1/72 F4U-1d Corsair, a 1/72 F-16 Fighting Falcon, a1/72 Panavia Tornado, a 1/72 F/A-18C Hornet and a 1/700 USS Hornet.  So I am looking forward to the future, but for now, I need to pause my modeling as I need to prepare for my Oílevel.  Once I finish a model kit next time, I will share it with you on ARC!  I am an F/A-18 fan and I welcome anybody to give me any tips or information of modeling the F/A-18 or providing me with any feedback about this F/A-18F that I built.

For reference to my previous article, a 1/72 Academy F6F-3 Hellcat from USS Princetonís VF-27, you are welcome to click the link below.

http://www.arcair.com/Gal7/6901-7000/gal6999-Hellcat-Lu/00.shtm

Aftermath: now the aircraft is again not with me.  This F/A-18F is again a birthday present to one of my classmates, Felicia. (the girl wearing pink in the last picture) I hope this F/A-18F will not end up like the F6F and get its arrestor hook broken!

Lu Changji

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Photos and text © by Lu Changji