1/72 Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet

Gallery Article by Robert Chavez on Apr 27  2009



Kit:  Hasegawa 1:72 F/A-18F Super Hornet

Kit #: E18 

Construction began with the cockpit assembly.  As per the instruction sheet, the colors indicated were already in the Mr. Color lacquer-based series, so I didn’t have any problem picking them up.  Seat belts and harnesses were added by using masking tape pre-painted with Tamiya enamel khaki.  A couple of lead sheets were cut and super glued to the base just in front of the cockpit area.  Ejector pin marks and mold separation marks were present in several locations such as the wheel bay doors, pylons, and missiles; some were filled up with super glue and carefully sanded down.  The fuselage is a complex assembly.  When I checked the wing fit to the fuselage, I ran into problems.  The fit of the parts are tight and not precise. Mr. Surfacer 500 was used liberally in those areas and I needed to sand in several occasions to allow a good attachment.  There is a mould line in the center of the canopy, I sanded it smooth and polished it back to clarity.  Future came as usual to add glare to the canopy.

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I painted my Superbug with FS36320 and FS36375. 

Two decal options are included; my choice for the marking was the VFA-102 “Diamondbacks” U.S. Navy Mar.2002.  

Decaling was next.  I airbrushed Mr. Color Clear Gloss all over the model to protect the decals and let it alone for a day.  Thinned black enamel wash was next, just enough to bring out the panel lines and the rivets.  I weathered my Super Hornet with the darker shades from the gray tone of the pastel chalk to bring out just a little dust and dirt; and then sprayed another coat of Mr. Color Clear Gloss for the final finish. 

For the finishing touches, I blanked-off the jet intakes with protective Foreign Object Damage (FOD) covers, since the kit lacks internal engine details.  They were made from masking tapes pre-painted with red enamel paints.  Missile tips were covered with plastic tubes made from Q-tip stems and painted with yellow, according to the reference pictures.  Remove Before Flight (RBF) tags were also pinned to various sections of the plane.  I know they were a little off-sized but didn’t bother to change it anymore to prevent parts from falling apart.  Charged to experience already anyway….

Robert Chavez

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Photos and text © by Robert Chavez