Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'McDonnell Douglas'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Community Calendar
  • Group Builds
  • Model Show Calendar


  • Forum Functionality & Forum Software Help and Support
    • FAQs
    • Help & Support for Forum Issues
    • New Members
  • Aircraft Modelling
    • Military Aircraft Modelling Discussion by Era
    • Civil Aircraft Modelling Discussion by Era
    • Work in Progress - Aircraft
    • Ready for Inspection - Aircraft
    • Aircraft Related Subjects
  • AFV Modelling (armour, military vehicles & artillery)
    • Armour Discussion by Era
    • Work in Progress - Armour
    • Ready for Inspection - Armour
    • Armour Related Subjects
    • large Scale AFVs (1:16 and above)
  • Maritime Modelling (Ships and subs)
    • Maritime Discussion by era
    • Work in Progress - Maritime
    • Ready for Inspection - Maritime
  • Vehicle Modelling (non-military)
    • Vehicle Discussion
    • Work In Progress - Vehicles
    • Ready For Inspection - Vehicles
  • Science Fiction & RealSpace
    • Science Fiction Discussion
    • RealSpace Discussion
    • Work In Progress - SF & RealSpace
    • Ready for Inspection - SF & RealSpace
  • Figure Modeling
    • Figure Discussion
    • Figure Work In Progress
    • Figure Ready for Inspection
  • Dioramas, Vignettes & Scenery
    • Diorama Chat
    • Work In Progress - Dioramas
    • Ready For Inspection - Dioramas
  • Reviews, News & Walkarounds
    • Reviews
    • Current News
    • Build Articles
    • Tips & Tricks
    • Walkarounds
  • Modeling using 3D Printing
    • 3D Printing Basics
    • 3D Printing Chat
    • 3D Makerspace
  • Modelling
    • Group Builds
    • The Rumourmonger
    • Manufacturer News
    • Other Modelling Genres
    • Britmodeller Yearbooks
    • Tools & Tips
  • General Discussion
    • Chat
    • Shows
    • Photography
    • Members' Wishlists
  • Shops, manufacturers & vendors
    • Aerocraft Models
    • Air-craft.net
    • Amarket Modl
    • A.M.U.R. Reaver
    • Atlantic Models
    • Beacon Models
    • BlackMike Models
    • Bring-It!
    • Copper State Models
    • Freightdog Models
    • Hannants
    • fantasy Printshop
    • Fonthill Media
    • HMH Publications
    • Hobby Paint'n'Stuff
    • Hypersonic Models
    • Iliad Design
    • Hobby Colours & Accessories
    • KLP Publishing
    • L'Arsenal 2.0
    • Kingkit
    • MikroMir
    • Model Designs
    • Modellingtools.co.uk
    • Maketar Paint Masks
    • Marmaduke Press Decals
    • Parkes682Decals
    • Paulus Victor Decals
    • Red Roo Models
    • RES/KIT
    • Sovereign Hobbies
    • Special Hobby
    • Test Valley Models
    • Tiger Hobbies
    • Ultimate Modelling Products
    • Videoaviation Italy
    • Wingleader Publications
  • Archive
    • 2007 Group Builds
    • 2008 Group Builds
    • 2009 Group Builds
    • 2010 Group Builds
    • 2011 Group Builds
    • 2012 Group Builds
    • 2013 Group Builds

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start





Website URL







Found 16 results

  1. Building the British Phantoms Volume 1 Modeller’s Monograph KLP Publishing The Phantom bears a familial resemblance to the F3H Demon due to the origin of the type, which was intended to be a Super Demon with a modular nose for different mission profiles, but in typical military procurement style the world over, the specification was changed completely at the last minute, and resulted in a two-seat, two-engined beast that could carry a substantial war load, a large, effective radar in the bulbous nose, and the workload spread between two crew members to prevent confusion of an overwhelmed pilot in the heat of battle. The type was adopted by the US Navy as the F-4A, and as the F-4C by the Air Force, with a confusing (to me) allocation of letters throughout its career, with more confusion (again for me) when it came to the British airframes, and don’t even mention the engines and other equipment. During the late 50s, replacements were needed for the ageing aircraft then in service with the RAF and FAA, replacing the Canberra, the Hunter, and in the FAA’s inventory the Sea Vixen, and following the forced amalgamation of most of the British aero-industry companies into two unwieldy creations by the British Government, the situation was far from ideal. The Royal Navy took the decision first to go with an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution rather than wait for the supersonic Harrier that was in developmental purgatory, justifying in the cancellation of the type by the incoming Labour government, who also took out the potentially world-beating TSR-2 with the same axe, amongst other promising projects. The RAF wasn’t entirely convinced, but took the Phantom on the basis that it would be configured to better meet their needs than the base airframe. The newly-formed BAC took the F-4Js that had already been built with some British equipment integrated as part of the contract, replacing the GE J79 engines with home-produced Spey engines that required some serious modifications to the airframe, obliging them to re-design the entire aft portion of the fuselage to accommodate them. These modified portions and components were then shipped for final assembly in the US, and were so different that they were given the new designation F-4K and sent back across the Atlantic again where they received their FG.1 designation. The RAF and FAA wanted 400 between them, a number that was curtailed to 140 by cost factors, and two additional carriers that were commissioned to fly them from were also cancelled, with the view that the FAA would wind-down their fixed-wing aviation in due course, while further cost over-runs eventually resulted in only 50 airframes that were shared unevenly between FAA and RAF. There’s a lot more going on with the British Phantoms at this point, but as Volume 1 of the book deals with the FG.1, we’ll leave it there. The Book This is the latest issue from Australian KLP Publishing that is written by Geoff Coughlin and covers the British Phantoms as they first arrived and throughout their service before the remainder were converted to FGR.2 standard to simplify maintenance of the newer FGR.2 fleet. The book is available in digital format only, and that’s going to save an awful lot of paper and physical storage space amongst its readers around the world. Purchase is completed from their website, and will be delivered once payment is received, and it should arrive as a .PDF file, which is the de facto standard for digital documents these days, having originally been developed by Adobe back in the early days of the internet. You can find out a little more about purchasing their digital books here if you’re new to this. There’s no physical binding to prattle on about, but there are 366 pages that would be in it if there were, and it takes up about 113,000kb or 111mb of your mechanical Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid-State Disk (SSD) storage space, so not too taxing on your available disk space, as you can store around 9 such books in 1GB. The pages are laid out as follows: Introduction - Page 7 About Geoff Coughlin - Page 11 Evolution Of the British Phantom Page - 13 FG.1 Key Features Page - 35 The Model Builds Page - 97 Scale Model Gallery Page - 255 Colour Profiles Page - 269 FG.1 XT864 Walkaround Page - 282 Special Markings: Something Different? - Page 345 Resource Centre Page - 361 Once the book gets up and running on page 13, there is a wealth of information about the development of the concept, then the type and the totally frustrating procurement process that saw a buy of 400 dwindle down to a meagre 50 through the various shenanigans and delays that seems to accompany virtually every single military contract the world over. The text is accompanied by a deluge of photos, some of which are more personal than most of the photos you’ve seen before, and includes a Bond Girl that happened across the deck of the Ark Royal at some point in her service with Phantoms embarked. There is also a lot of detail on the service of the FG.1, again with more photos throughout, and tables of tell-tale differences between the airframes, their equipment and antenna fits, which also includes the more numerous FGR.2 that was eventually procured, based on the F-4M and a very different aircraft. As is usual with this range of books, the photos are accompanied by informative captions that point out unusual or individual details of an airframe, discussing colour variations, how the weather and use affected various surfaces, and the colours of those pesky radomes that seem to be some sort of chameleon. If you want to get the sensor fit correct for your choice of airframe, look no further as there is much discussion of these small but important detail that will add realism and accuracy to any model if depicted accurately. The next section details the builds of six Phantom kits in 1:72 and 1:48, as follows: FG.1 Phantom XT864 ‘BJ’ No. 111 Squadron Armament Practice Camp – RAF Akrotiri 1988, Airfix 1:72 by Craig Boon FG.1 Phantom XT597, Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) Airfix 1:72 by Geoff Coughlin; FG.1 Phantom XV582 ‘B’ No.111 Squadron, Hasegawa 1:48 by Biff Vivian FG.1 Phantom XT864 007 ‘R’, 892 NAS Royal Navy, Fujimi 1:72 by Adam Waistell-Brown FG.1 Phantom XT859 006 ‘R’ 892 NAS Royal Navy, Revell / Hasegawa, 1:48 by Andrew Terrell FG.1 Phantom XV574 ‘B’, No. 43 Squadron Royal Air Force, Airfix 1:72 by Mal Sleight Each build first recounts a little of the history of the airframe it is based upon, then summarises the build, with a group of photos of the finished model for your entertainment. Some of the builds are more detailed and include in-progress photos, as well as the various aftermarket parts, paints and so forth that were used to create the model. There is perhaps a little bit of product placement here and there, but it doesn’t jump in your face, so isn’t a problem. After the modelling is over, which ends with a gallery, there are pages of profiles by Simon Hill from prototype onwards, each one with a caption giving additional information on the subject matter, and they include an American F-4B that was zapped with the Omega motif from their FAA counterparts. The next section is devoted to a walk around of XT864 that can be found on display at the Ulster Aviation Society, consisting of dozens of photos broken down into aeras of the airframe, and getting into the guts of the machine, where the age of the aircraft shows in the amount of dust accumulated in areas that aren’t often seen. The penultimate section concentrates on the unusual markings that the FG.1 wore throughout its careers, and includes plenty of text to accompany the photos. The final part is a hybrid bibliography that also includes links to Facebook Groups, online magazines and model companies, some of which you will no doubt recognise. With the publication being digital, the links are as live as the URLs they lead to, but if any of them change or disappear in the future, they will give you the dreaded 404 error. Conclusion The Phantom is close to many British aviation enthusiast and/or modeller’s heart, as it served for a long period with the RAF and FAA when many of us folks of a certain age were young and enthusiastic about such things. The detail of the book is impressive, giving the modeller a massive helping hand if building an FG.1, and in Volume 2 the FGR.2 and the later third Volume covering the F-4J(UK) variant. All of this will take up zero space on your bookshelf, and can be viewed on PC or Laptop, Mac or Macbook, tablet or phone wherever you do your modelling. At time of writing, there's a special offer of purchasing Volume 1 and 2 together, with a substantial discount on the price. Volume 2 is even larger than this one! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. F-15E Strike Eagle (03841) 1:72 Carrera Revell The F-15 was designed as an Air Superiority fighter by McDonnell Douglas in the late 1960s as the eventual winner of the F-X programme, entering service at the end of 1974. Since then, it has undergone many changes, upgrades, and adaptation to additional roles, and gained an envious reputation for ruggedness and survivability, as well as dishing out missiles and bombs by the thousand in service with the US Air Force and other foreign operators. The B and D models are the two-seat variants that were designated as trainers and built between 1972 and 1985, graduating from B to D in 1979. A full set of pilot controls is duplicated in the rear seat for the instructor, but the ECM package is not installed, which means that the aircraft can still be used in action, and has indeed been used by the Israelis who fielded Bs during the Lebanon war. The following E and SE (Silent Eagle) made two seats the standard with the rear-seater taking on the role of weapons officer, the latter utilising fifth generation technologies to leverage the success of the basic airframe into the modern battlefield at a reduced cost over a genuine fifth generation fighter like the F-22 or F-35. The E is known as the Strike Eagle, and has been upgraded to use conformal fuel tanks as well as an advanced avionics suite for defence and attack purposes, which allows it to fly over enemy territory without other aircraft types covering it. It’s darker camouflage sets it apart from the standard Eagles, and many of them have been tasked with missions over enemy territory since introduction in the late 80s, with additional capability upgrades to its avionics and radar, and a long out-of-service date due to the more rugged airframe of the E. The Kit This is a brand-new modern tooling from Revell, which will please a great many 1:72 modellers with a fondness for this extremely capable US fast jet. It arrives in a shallow end-opening box, and inside are five sprues of light grey styrene, two small clear sprues, a decal sheet trapped inside the instruction booklet, which uses spot colour throughout, and has colour profiles to the rear for its special decal sheet, which has been designed for Revell by DACO Products, a well-respected researcher, publisher and modeller. The detail is thoroughly modern, and it looks to be well-engineered to minimise pitfalls during building. Construction begins with the ejection seats, which are each made of a cushion with headbox, two side panels, and a rear frame, with detail painting called out in Revell’s usual letters-in-flags style, which cross-refers to a table near the front of the booklet. The two cockpit tubs are linked together on top of the nose gear bay, and each side console has a decal for the instruments for extra detail. The seats and control column are slipped in between the consoles, and each crew member has an instrument panel with more decals situated in front of them, adding a coaming over the top, plus a HUD glass for the front seat, and an extra detail part for the rear. The rear cockpit is completed by adding a central control column, plus two short sticks, one on each console, after which the completed assembly is trapped between the two nose halves, drilling small holes in the sides for probes that are fitted later. The nose is then put to the side while other assemblies are made up. The F-15 is driven by a pair of powerful Pratt & Whitney F-100 engines that are fed a prodigious quantity of air through the intakes that are found either side of the cockpit, through long ducting that slows the air down and leads it into the crushing compressor blades at the front of the engines. The left and right trunks are moulded as top and bottom, linked together by a pair of cross-braces that hold them at the correct angle, and assist with the joining of the upper and lower halves by providing a greater mating surface, as well as pegs on which to mount the wings. At the rear of the intake trunking is the front face of the engine, which might just be visible in the right light. Once the glue is cured, the lower wing halves are glued under the cross-braces, then they too are put to one side for a while so that you can build up the underside of the fuselage, which also has the elevons moulded into it, and needs some small holes drilling in it before it goes any further. It’s worth noting at this stage that there are some shallow sink-marks toward the trailing edges of the wings where the thickness of the trailing edge moulded into the underside has shrunk, so it’s best to smear a little filler over those before you progress further. The intake trunking fixes into the upper fuselage/wing part, and should be left to set up before you close the fuselage by adding the newly minted underside. Two small conical fairings are then glued to the sides of the fuselage in front of the wings, and the semi-conformal tanks are laid against the open sides of the fuselage to close them over. The variable intakes are each made from two parts, one with an internal E-shaped panel that fits flat against the inside of the top of the intake, and these are slotted over the trunk extensions once the spine behind the cockpit has been fitted into the “neck” of the Eagle. The nose/cockpit assembly is then slid in between the intakes and the nose cone added, although no mention of nose weight is made, but you may want to add some. The exhausts begin with a deep trunk that has a representation of the rear of the engine at the very end, and five segments are inserted into the lip at the rear to create the exhaust petals, adding ten actuator rods into the outside of the finished assembly for extra detail. There are two of them of course, and they slide into the empty fairings between the tails, adding a pair of vertical stabiliser fins in the slots to the sides, which are handed to ensure you put the correct one on each side. Under the tail is a small arrestor hook, and the extensions that hold the elevons have tiny pointed tips added to complete them. The main gear legs are straight struts with perpendicular axles and a short retraction jack to the side, adding the two-part wheel to the axle before inserting it into the shallow bay and installing the single bay door that remains open on landing, hanging down. The nose gear strut is based on an A-frame at the top, with a long retraction jack added to the front and a gear bay door out to the rear, plus the small wheel slotted onto the axle. The last assembly relating to the airframe is the canopy, which consists of the fixed windscreen, plus the large opener, which in the modern style has been made with a three-part mould to depict the blown shape of modern canopies, so you will either need to squint so you can’t see the faint seamline, or sand it away and polish it back to clarity, as you see fit. Two inserts fit inside the lower frame, and it can be installed closed, or opened by adding a jack that sprouts from behind the pilot, and props against a socket in the curved support on the midpoint of the lower frame of the canopy. The two small probes mentioned earlier are actually the last parts of the airframe. No modern fighter can go very far without additional fuel tanks, and this kit includes three. One for the centreline, two for under the wings, each made from two parts. Two sensor pods (AN/AAQ-13 & AN/AAQ-14) and six mounts for munitions on the fuselage sides are made up, plus a shallow triple-rack for just under both sides of the fuselage. Six ‘dumb’ and four guided munitions are included, the former two parts each, the latter two main parts plus perpendicular fins that are made to hang from some of the pylons, and four Sidewinders can be hung from rails added to the sides of the wing-mounted fuel tanks. You are given locations for all the weapons, although whether they would all be carried at once in a real-world situation is down to you to research if you are planning on depicting an accurate load-out. Markings There is only one decal option on the sheet, but it’s a special scheme, and it has been designed by DACO Products, and specifically tailored for this model. From the box you can build the following aircraft: 4 Fighter Wing, 75th Anniversary, Seymour Johnson, 2017-18 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A new tool F-15E in 1:72 is bound to get some excitement going, and this fancy scheme will doubtless appeal too, with its stylised eagle motif on the side of the nose and wings on the…err, wings. I like the Strike Eagles with their dark grey schemes, so it gets my vote. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  3. F-15C/D/J/N Eagle Wheels (648744 for GWH) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set contains three resin wheels and a sheet of kabuki-tape masks. The main wheels and the nose wheel are cut from their casting blocks at the bottom, where the slight weighting can be seen. Each wheel is a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, and as mentioned are supplied with pre-cut masks from the Kabuki-tape sheet (not pictured) inside the package to make the job even easier. The detail is exceptional as we’ve come to expect from Eduard’s wheels, especially around the brake housings, and it has to be seen to be believed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. F/A-18F Super Hornet Update Sets (for Meng LS-013) 1:48 Eduard Meng’s second Super Hornet of at least three is the two-seat -F, and it’s another great kit. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Upgrade Set (491253) Two frets are included, one nickel-plated and pre-painted, the other bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels with layered MFD panels, sidewalls and side consoles with added levers for both cockpits are in full colour, with a partial floor skin and rudder pedals for the front; sidewall skins; HUD with acetate film glazing; rear deck details; windscreen hoop insert and canopy interior details that include hooks and rear-view mirrors for the interior. Externally, there are hinge parts for many of the gear bay doors plus a complete laminated replacement of the largest nose bay door; a highly detailed crew access ladder with scale-thickness doors; hosing for the main and nose gear legs; a box for inside the nose gear bay; a full set of skins for the pylon contact-points, which should come in handy, as other than fuel and practice rounds modern jets often fly with empty pylons. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1254) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the two sets of crew belts, you also get a set of the pull-handles between the pilot's knees that gets him out of there in case of an emergency, the anti-flail leg straps, and a number of stencil placards for the sides of the headboxes and seats. Masks (EX840) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX841) Supplied on two sheets of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet (LS-012) 1:48 Meng via Creative Models Ltd The original Hornet design lost the Lightweight Fighter battle with what became the F-16, but after some re-designing and tweaking, it won the contract for the US Navy’s do-it-all fighter to replace the Tomcats, Corsairs et al, becoming the multi-role F/A-18 Hornet. When more capabilities were required, a further re-design that was more of a total do-over but retained the same general shape and designation, only about a third larger for reasons best left unsaid, but probably budget related, and a way to get around possible restrictions or pitfalls barring a new type. This much larger aircraft became the Super Hornet, with the two-seater designated F/A-18F, and the single-seat variant E, both of which began production in the late 90s, entering service just before the new millennium. With the withdrawal of the F-14 Tomcat in 2006 they became the primary carrier-borne fighter of the US Navy and Marines, serving alongside the original Hornet for a while, but all of the “legacy” Hornets have now left US service, although they remain on the books of some foreign operators. You can easily tell them apart without a size reference by checking the intakes. Oval = Hornet, Rectangular = Super Hornet. The enlargement of the wing area, lengthening on the fuselage and installation of more powerful GE engines changed the characteristics of the airframe markedly, giving it more speed, weapons capability and range, with even more tankage hung from the wings, and buddy-pods allowing same-type refuelling operations without having a vulnerable dedicated tanker on station. There have been various upgrades over the years, and the Super Hornet has a wide range of munitions to choose from, making it a capable all-round war-fighter that is still nowhere near the end of its service life, although trials with pilotless carrier-based aircraft are underway. In addition to the E and F variants, the G, or Growler is a heavily modified two-seater with a huge quantity of Electronic Warfare equipment carried both internally and externally on pylons. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Meng, who have a habit of popping out an aircraft model every now and again, alongside their more regular armour range, which is similarly well-regarded. We have come to expect great things from Meng, as they have impressive skills and a penchant for high levels of detail in their kits. It arrives in one of their standard satin-sheened deep boxes with a painting of the aircraft on the front, and a host of goodies inside. Opening the box reveals eighteen sprues of various sizes in grey styrene plus two fuselage halves in the same plastic, five sprues in clear plus the canopy (all wrapped in protective self-cling plastic), three sets of small poly-caps, a Ziploc bag of ten flat-headed pins, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) metal, two sheets of decals, a sheet of pre-cut paper masks, the instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear, four sheets of card with information about the F/A-18 in four languages, and a similarly multi-lingual competition flyer to win cash prizes, apparently. Everything is separately bagged with mildly annoying staples closing them up, and once you strip these off you see the high quality of the parts within. Detail is right up there with the best, and has finely engraved detail, with raised detail where appropriate and slide-moulding used to improve details further without creating more parts that make some people shout “over-engineered!” because… well, I guess more parts are harder? Construction begins reassuringly conventionally with the cockpit, with the single-seat tub having a cover fitted over the rear, the sidewalls installed next to the detailed side consoles, a large control column part, chunky throttle, and a well-appointed instrument panel, which has a number of individual decals supplied for both it and the side consoles, the numbers for which are called out in a scrap diagram. The rudder pedals are moulded into the floor and could do with some more detail if you aren’t inserting the supplied pilot figure, which you can see in the detail photos. The nose gear bay is made up from the roof, shallow sides, front bulkhead and some thick trunking/hoses snaking through the bay. Those two subassemblies are mated then trapped between the forward lower fuselage halves, with the top half moulded-into the rest of the upper fuselage, to be brought together later. In the meantime, the upper fuselage is prepared by fitting the wing lowers with a choice of folded or straight wing-hinge supports, and another choice of ECS ram air exhaust types, the multi-tubular type having some impressive moulding. The F-18 runs two GE F414 turbofans, with long intakes to keep the rapidly rotating fans away from the prying eyes of enemy radar beams. The trunking is made from two halves, and has a few ejector pin marks inside, but cleaning those up before joining the halves should make the task easier. The rear is covered by a representation of the engine front, then the completed trunks are attached to the appropriate main gear bays, which are made from three parts, and have more highly impressive detail moulded-in, as shown above. The two subassemblies are inserted into the lower fuselage from within, and splitter plates are attached to the sides of the fuselage on two slots, with some fine detail moulded-in. The rectangular sides of the intake trunking and lower fuselage sides fit around the assembly, then a pair of pivots are slotted into the rear fuselage with poly-caps allowing them to pivot without suffering from modeller’s droop. The lower nose clips into the lower fuselage, then the upper fuselage is lowered over it, mating snugly even without glue from a quick test fit I made. She’s looking like an aircraft now, but the cockpit is unfinished and she’s got no nose. I won’t ask how she smells though. The coaming is first, and has the HUD sides added and a circular projector lens in the bottom. The two clear panels are inserted between the supports one over the other, with a scrap diagram showing the correct position, then it can be glued in place and the windscreen fixed over the top. At the rear of the cockpit the cover over the avionics bay is attached, followed by the nose cone and insert with the muzzle cover for the M61A2 Vulcan cannon at the top, joined to the fuselage with a stepped ridge helping to improve fit. The Hornet’s wings are moulded into the fuselage, but the slats and flaps are separate paired parts, the slats capable of being modelled deployed, or by cutting off the nubs in the leading edge, retracted. The flaps can also be depicted cleaned-up with one set of straight actuator fairings, or fully deployed by using a separate cranked set, with the gap between the sections filled by the upper surface inserts. If you chose the unfolded wing joint earlier, it’s simply a matter of applying the top and bottom sections to the link, adding the spacer, then fitting the appropriate flap actuator fairings for the flaps, and the slats in extended or retracted positions, again by removing the nubs on the leading edge. The folded wingtips are made up with retracted flaps and slats plus straight fairings before they are inserted into the L-shaped fold with a different set of spacers. The two vertical fins have a T-shaped pivot point inserted under a small separate section of the rudder, then the completed rudder is trapped between the two halves of the fin without glue so it can pivot later. A nav light is inserted into the outer side, and the other fin is a near mirror image. The fins fit into slots in the rear fuselage, and the elevators push into the poly-caps hidden within the fuselage sides later on. The twin exhausts start with a cylinder with the rear of the engine moulded-in, a PE afterburner ring, then a two-part length of trunking with a corrugated interior. A choice of exhaust petal types finishes off the rear, one set having straight petals, the other with cranked rear sections, and after painting they’re inserted into the two apertures in the rear of the fuselage. The rugged nose gear of the F-18 has to be sturdy to withstand repeated carrier launches and landings, and you have a choice of setting the catapult bar in the up position for parked, or down for an aircraft ready to launch. A landing light and a number of stencil placards are applied to the leg after painting it white, and the twin wheels fit either side of the transverse axle. Additional parts are fitted in and around the nose gear bay when inserting the gear leg, then gear bay doors are fixed around the bay, causing much perspiration when you have to add the red edges to each one. The main gear legs also have a number of placards added after painting, and the wheels are made up from two parts each. These too have additional parts added during fitting into the bays, closely followed by the red-rimmed bay doors and their actuators. Just in case you wanted to catch an arrestor wire, the hook nestles between the two exhaust fairings on a long lug. The instructions have you making up the munitions for a break before completing the model, but we’ll cover that later. The ejection seat is made up from a series of very well detailed parts, and although it doesn’t have seatbelts for an absent pilot, there are stencils for the headbox sides and rear. It is installed in the cockpit, optionally along with one of the pilot figures that come on the sprues, which have separate arms, a wrap-around flotation vest and separate helmeted head with O2 hose, and as there are two additional arms (x2) you could experiment with some alternative poses to add a little variety to your model. The canopy clear part is crystal clear with an external seam over the top that you can either leave there (it’s pretty fine), or sand flush and polish back to clarity. There is a frame insert to fit within the canopy, and a choice of two canopy openers, depending on whether you wish to pose the canopy open or closed. A blade antenna in the centre of spine finishes off the top of your model. Under the port Leading Edge Root Extension (LERX), the integral crew ladder is stored (on the real thing), and it can be posed open by adding the ladder with its two supports and the open door to the bay, or if you want to pose it closed, put the long narrow part that represents one edge of the ladder. Back to the weapons. This is where the pins and tiny poly-caps come into play, allowing you to switch and change your load-out whenever you want on some of the pylons. Most of the pylon types have the pins trapped between them, four of type-A, two of type-B, and one of type-C. Type-B also has an adapter rail fitted instead of pins, which is also made from two parts, and these fit on the outer wing stations, while the four identical pylons fit on the two inner stations per wing, and the solo Type-C attaches to the centreline. A pair of wingtip rails are made up with spacer plates, then you can choose which of the supplied weapon types to hang from them. Two GBU-24s are built from halves, with the perpendicular fins separate, a clear-domed seeker head and a locating plate on the topside. Inside are two cups that hold poly-caps within, and these are glued into position lined up with the pre-moulded holes in the sides of the bomb and its mounting plate. The same process applies to the GBU-16s, except all the fins in the front and rear are separate, and there is a clear “droopy” seeker-head, with the poly-caps inserted into chambers in the bomb halves. The AIM-9Xs have clear seeker-heads and exhausts, plus adapter rails, while the three AIM-120Cs are each moulded complete, with a slim adapter rail. The two AIM-9Ms have a clear seeker, and eight separate fins, then the AN/ASQ-228 targeting pod is made from two halves, a two-part rotating sensor mounting, and tubular rear fairing, which is mounted on a concave pylon that fits to the port of the underside fuselage. Scrap diagrams show the correct location of the missiles on their rails, as well as the targeting pod, while another larger diagram shows which options can be placed on which pylons. It’s always best to look at some real-world photos for examples for demonstrable and practical load-outs. Markings There are four decal options on the sheet, and you also get a set of canopy masks that are pre-cut from paper, using frame-hugging masks on the compound curves, so that the gaps can be covered by tape offcuts or liquid mask. There are also masks for the landing light and targeting pod lens, plus a set of toroidal masks for the wheels to allow you to cut a sharp demarcation with little effort. From the box you can build one of the following: Capt. James McCall, CO of CAW 8, VFA-31 “Felix the Cat”, USS George H W Bush, 2017 LtCdr. Carlisle Lustenberger, VFA-31 “Felix the Cat”, USS George H W Bush, 2009 LtCdr R J Prescott, VFA-87 “Golden Warriors”, USS George H W Bush, 2017 Pilot Unknown, US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, 2019 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The main sheet includes all the markings for the airframe, while the smaller sheet contains the stencils for the pylons and the weapons, of which there are many on a modern jet. The colours are called out in Meng/AK codes, as well as Gunze’s recent water-based Acrysion paints, which don’t seem to be prominently available in the UK. Conclusion Of course, there are lots of F-18 kits in this scale, but those don’t make any money for Meng, and they have brought their own particular set of skills to the party. They have produced a highly detailed model, with some excellent moulding and markings to create a model that is excellent out of the box, without the necessity of aftermarket. Extemely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Israeli version of the Strike Eagle but with different avionics. Pics thanks to dov
  7. Announced (sort of) on their FB page. https://www.facebook.com/Hong-Kong-Models-Co-Ltd-1375731456009809/timeline/ Cheers, Andrew
  8. McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle, This aircraft took part in Operation Odyssey Dawn Libya 2011, Pics by David H.
  9. North wing Model Craft (NMC - http://nmc.amuse-net.biz/index_e.html) is to release a all new 1/48th BAe/McDonnell Douglas TAV.8B Harrier II & Harrier T.Mk.10/T.Mk.12 resin conversion set. V.P.
  10. Photos are mine from the aircraft on display out side the American Hanger at Duxford.
  11. F/A-18A 162826, formally VFA-195, VX-5 & VX-9. Latterly with the US Navy Blue Angles as Blue 3. Pics taken at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum, Texas. Pics thanks to Nigel Heath.
  12. This has been standing in this condition since i bought it. I can't decide what livery it should wear. Hasegawa has made some of the best kits i've built, including this and the 737 series(with the exception of the -500). Their DC-10 ain't bad either, but sadly one of the wings on mine got warped for reasons unknown. Anyway, back to this. I honestly don't know what livery to put on it. I've looked at Delta, Blue1 Star Alliance, JAL, American, etc. but i can't make up my mind. I have also been looking at UNI Air, but to my knowledge there are no decals for that one. Atleast not in this scale. So if anyone has any tips on any good looking, not to bland liveries, don't hesitate to post them.
  • Create New...