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  1. I’m guessing this is the Italeri kit with new decals based on the price but will be happy to be proven wrong. https://www.hlj.com/1-48-scale-f-a-18f-super-hornet-us-navy-special-paint-tam38104
  2. Hi everyone, this was the Queen of the Queens... of my personal collection of Queens of shelf, having bought and started it in 2003 😱 Between the starting and finish date there are not only 20 years, but 7 (yes, seven) movings. Now I'm in my current house since November 2021 and I'm slowly trying to build a nice workspace and resuming modeling. Kit is almost straight OOB. I've only improved the seats and cockpit with some scratch built details, and tried to reproduce the wing folding mechanism. Painting has been done with Gunze Aqueous and this was the first time that I tried to use oils for weathering and I'm quite impressed as I see a lot of potential! That's all, let's now post some pics...
  3. EA-18G Growler (85814) 1:48 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd The EA-18G is a development of the F/A-18F two seat Super Hornet that originally went into service in 1999, and with series manufacture beginning in 2007 of this type, it replaced the EA-6B in the carrier based electronic warfare role. It is a more capable platform due in part to the march of technology, and the fact that it is based on a more modern airframe, allowing it to keep pace with other Allied assets during any mission. The airframe has been adapted to better fit the role, especially the wings that have been revised to provide a smoother ride for the electronic modules, that was achieved by adding wing fences and other tweaks. It still shares over 90% of parts with a standard Super Hornet, so the commonality of parts is of great help toward keeping these key aircraft in service. The aircraft has nine weapons stations that are usually filled with electronics pods specific to its role, although it can also carry more weapons by necessity, but its wingtip stations that would normally carry Sidewinders are instead fitted with detection pods. It can carry two AIM-120 AMRAAM and/or AGM-88 HARM missiles for self-defence on multi-modal conformal fuselage stations, which are its only means of defence due to the removal of its cannon to house additional electronics. As with many complex aviation projects it has had its problems, including technical as well as political issues, such as the desire to slow down production to string out the contract for various reasons. The US will field under 100 airframes by the time the contract is completed, and Australia’s dozen airframes may well make the total closer to that number. Of course, the type is under constant development in order to improve its operation and to resolve any of the inevitable gremlins that occur, with new equipment likely to be fielded and slung under the Growler over the coming years. The Kit This is a concurrent reboxing of Hobby Boss’s F/A-18 new Super Hornet from 2021 with additional parts to depict the adaptations made to the base airframe to create the Growler. It arrives in a large top-opening box with an internal divider, and inside are sixteen sprues and two fuselage halves in grey styrene, two in clear, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE), two decal sheets, two glossy colour printed sheets with decal and painting instruction, and the instruction booklet in Hobby Boss’s usual landscape greyscale style. Detail is excellent throughout, with some exceptionally well-moulded gear and equipment bays around the model, and the inclusion of a small sheet of PE to add belts to the cockpit that is behind crystal clear glazing, so will be seen whether you leave the lid down or not. Construction begins with the two seats, which have been slide-moulded to reduce the part count while keeping the detail high. They are both fitted with a set of PE crew belts, and have stencil decals applied to the headbox, which also has a separate drogue-chute on the top, and a back plane fitted before they are dropped into the tub. HOTAS controls are supplied for each of the crew, and additional instruments are applied to the faceted side consoles, with controllers added along with decals. The instrument panels also have decals for their MFD covered faces, and the rear IP has a coaming between it and the front cockpit. The sidewalls are fitted in between the two sections, hiding away the blank interior of the fuselage once installed. As with many modern jets, the nose gear bay is directly below the pilots, and that bay is made from individual sides plus a few small additional detail parts. The bay is attached to the bottom of the cockpit tub using a short I-beam to support the rear, after which the completed assembly is surrounded by the skin of the nose section, which also has a pair of equipment bays moulded-in with impressive detail. Moving quickly on, the upper fuselage is prepared by drilling out a number of holes in its surface, plus those of the lower wing halves that are added early in the build. An A-shaped apron under the Leading Edge Root Extensions (LERX) is also installed along with doors for the built-in crew ladder under the port side, then the nose is attached to the fuselage from below after which it is faired in. With the model righted, the rear ‘turtle-deck’ and insert in front of the coaming are installed, the HUD is made up from two PE parts, two clear parts and a sled that it sits on once fitted to the coaming. The windscreen can be glued in place now, although there is a very fine seam from manufacture that should ideally be sanded away and polished back to clarity. Both parts of the canopy are slightly ‘blown’, so are made using three mould sections, with the resulting seam down the middle on the outside only. The seams on this kit are relatively fine thanks to the reduction in tolerances over the years, and you could create a perfectly acceptable model without bothering to remove them if you don’t feel confident. The circular hole in the nose is filled with a four-part radome, which can be left visible by hingeing the nose cone open in the next step. This is achieved by changing the insert in the rear of the cone for one with the hinge projecting from the side, with a common insert in the top of the cone. There is plenty of space for nose weight in this area for either option, although with the nose closed over, the centre of mass will be that much further forward, so less weight will go further. Hobby Boss have a habit of creating kits with parts that will never be seen again, and this one is no exception, having a pair of engines on the sprues, when only some of the detail will be seen unless you cut away some panels. Each tubular assembly is made up from two sub-assemblies, one made from three sections, the other from two. With the glue dried, they are both wrapped in two-part rings and have further detail parts applied to the sides, and representations of the afterburner and engine faces at appropriate ends. The lower fuselage ‘torso’ is then made up from three larger sections that have the intake trunks made by adding additional surfaces and tiny PE vanes on the inner side walls. The completed engines and their exhausts are fixed into the rear of this assembly, then are joined by the square intake trunks that transition to round by the time they meet the front of the motors. It is then attached to the underside of the fuselage and the moulded-in bays are painted white. They are further detailed by a number of ribs, and small section of the fuselage side is installed next to the exhaust trunking, ready to support the elevons later on. The Super Hornet was (re)designed from the (2nd life) outset as a carrier aircraft, so has a chunky set of landing gear that are captured here in plastic, with the rugged nose gear first to be made from a single part to which the clear landing light and other detail parts are added, then the twin two-part wheels are fixed to the axles, plus a bay door glued to the trailing retraction jack. Using different parts you can pose the launch bar up or down, depending on what you have in mind. The main gear legs are made from halves that trap an L-shaped insert and have layers of jacks fitted over the main struts, with a single wheel on a stub-axle at the end. All bays have additional actuators for the doors added in preparation for a plethora of well-detailed parts, one of which has a PE insert, and others have stencil decals applied after painting. At the same stage, the two equipment bays on the sides of the nose are given doors and stays, with no option shown for posing them closed. The wings are simplistic stubs at this stage, which is remedied now by adding the full-width flaps, each with their actuators, which can be posed deployed or ‘clean’ at your whim. The leading-edge slats and flap spoilers are then added, after which the outer folding section of the wings are made up in a similar fashion, with either a straight or angled joint if you plan on posing your model with wings folded for below-decks. The three pylons per wing are all made from two halves, and are affixed to the wings with another on the centreline that slots into holes in the underside of the fuselage. At the rear you can pose the arrestor hook in either down or stowed positions, and there are also two exhaust petal types for open or closed pipes. On the topside, the wing joints are covered by panels, and fences are installed on the inner wings, plus a few antennae around the nose area. The twin tail fins have separate rudders that differ if the wings are folded, and has a pair of clear lights added to each one, with the elevons just a pair of single thin aerofoils with a peg to join them to the aft of the fuselage. If you recall the optional boarding ladder door fitted at the beginning of the build, the reason it is optional becomes clear right at the end, when you build up the ladder, with separate steps and a brace that rests against the fuselage. It’s not abundantly clear how the area looks when exposed, but there are plenty of photos available online if you’re unsure. The weapons sprues are largely unused other than the gas bags, equipment pods and of course the two types of missile that the Growler carries for self-defence, namely the AGM-88 and AIM-120 with adapter rails. Check your references for the typical load-outs for real-world mission profiles, or use the chart on the rear page of the instructions, although it refers to “fuol tanks”, but then we’re none of us perfect. Markings I’ve been critical of HB’s dearth of information and options for their kits in the past, and was pleased to see two changes with this kit. Firstly, there are a whopping SIX options, and secondly, each option is provided with at the very least an airframe code, and many are also given a date and ship the aircraft was embarked upon at the time. From the box you can build one of the following: VAQ-129 #169136 VAQ-135 #166941 NAS Whidbey Island, 2011 VAQ-135 #166940 NAS Whidbey Island, 2011 VAQ-130 #168268 ‘Zappers’ USS Harry S Truman, 2016 VAQ-141 #166928 ‘Shadowhawks’ USS George H W Bush, 2010 VAQ-132 #166894 ‘Scorpions’, 2010 One sheet of A4 shows the location of the stencils for all decal options, while the individual aircraft are on the other larger A3 sheet, covering both sides and having stencil locations and colours for the weapons/equipment at the bottom of the back page. As usual with HB printing, they’re made anonymously in China, but are of sufficient quality for most, although the red bars on the national insignia seem a little off-centre to me. Conclusion Hobby Boss have created a well-detailed and attractive series of models of the F/A-18 Super Hornet that should sell well for them. The Growler is an interesting off-shoot of the type, and they’re often colourfully painted, as you can see above. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. This is the Revell F/A-18F, with VF Decals markings for Victory 204, a VFA-103 line bird from 2006. As a Block 26 Super Hornet, this airframe should have the Advanced Cockpit System but I decided to leave the kit cockpit as it is. I added Quickboost seats (intended for the Hasegawa kit, so the seat pans need to be filed down a little to make them narrower to fit the Revell cockpit), Attack Squadron GBU-38s, a Hasegawa GBU-12, ResKit wheels, Czech Master control surfaces (intended for the Academy kit - there aren't any available as aftermarket for the Revell), and Brengun engine nozzles. The thermal protection finish on the GBUs is made using Vallejo textured paint, which I know is overscale for 1/72 but a smooth finish wouldn’t look good either. The CMK control surfaces worked fairly well on the Revell kit and were a reasonably effective way of displacing the control surfaces, although I’m guessing the wing on the Academy kit isn’t as deep as Revell’s. The QB seats, Brengun exhausts and ResKit wheels are definite improvements on the kit items. There are probably more accurate Super Hornet kits out there but the Revell is what I had in the stash and I wanted to experiment with a weathered TPS finish, for which I used Vallejo paints, a Paynes Grey oil wash and some Burnt Umber. The canopy was left unfixed at this stage to allow for a couple of cockpit shots.
  5. F/A-18F & EA-18G Blocks 25+ (QD48243 for Meng) 1:48 Quinta Studios When Quinta’s innovative products first came to our attention, they caused quite a stir, as well they should. The replacement Instrument Panels and internal details are mind-boggling to look at, because we’re used to seeing simplified styrene instrument panels, or Photo-Etch Brass panels with either two layers of etch, or laminated parts that can be tricky to glue together, even though they are pre-painted for your ease. But decals? These aren’t your run-of-the-mill decals though, they’re 3D printed in many layers and colours on a flat carrier film, having as much in the way of elevation as is needed to complete a realistic panel printed in the correct colours, complete with shiny dial faces and metallic-effect hardware, and often including cushions and seat belts in the set. Each set arrives in a Ziploc bag with a folded instruction booklet protecting the decals, which are also separately bagged, so they should reach you in good condition. The pictorial instructions are printed on glossy paper, and are shown in full colour as befits the awesomeness of the sets, showing exactly where each part should go on the actual model, so there’s no confusion due to the “pictures speak a thousand words” maxim. Additional hints and instructions are also included, marking out parts needing bases, kit parts that are used or replaced and other useful tips. The technical instructions in the text-based, giving additional tips to the new user about maximising adhesion and preventing lift at the edges by wicking in super glue. Although you are advised to use Super Glue (CA) to attach the decals to the surface permanently, preparation is much the same as your standard decal, but you will need to remove any raised detail that would be underneath the location depicted in the instructions, and some new parts will need small backing panels or bases on which to apply the decal. A slim piece of sheet styrene would perform that task, and painting the edges a matching colour should minimise its appearance or turn it completely invisible. This set is patterned for the Meng kits of the type later than block 26, which you’ll need to look into yourself, as I’m clueless on that matter. The set comprises four sheets of decals, containing two beautifully detailed instrument panels with glossy MFD screens, side consoles with plenty of relief, sidewall inserts with cushioned black panels and document bags that have organic-looking creases printed-in, plus two full sets of seatbelts and an actuator loop between the pilot’s knees to get him out of there in an emergency. Conclusion The detail on the parts is incredible, even down to the infinitesimal switches, relief of the consoles, deep gloss in the MFDs and overall impressive crispness of the set. Any cockpit with a Quinta set installed really needs a crystal-clear or opened canopy to show off the details, which the Meng kits are able to provide straight from the box. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. F/A-18F Super Hornet (03847) 1:32 Revell The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the second generation F/A-18 following on the the F/A-18C. The F/A-18E was developed from the original Hornet and while it may look alike its very much a new aircraft which is 25% bigger. The US Navy managed to keep the F/A-18 designation partly to make the US Congress believe it would be a low risk development from the original aircraft (not the first time in US Aviation this has happened). The new aircraft was ordered in 1992 with a first flight in 1995. The aircraft introduced a new era in electronics including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, bigger displays and a helmet mounted sighting system. To date the Super Hornet has replaced the legacy Hornet in all US Navy operations apart from the USN Aerobatic Team The Blue Angels, and even they will have transitioned by 2021. As well as the E model there is the two seat F model, and the latest development the G or "Growler" Electronic Warfare Aircraft. The Kit This is a new tool kit from Revell for 2019, following on from the F/A-18E to which it shares many parts. It arrives in a rather large box which is packed with mainly rather large sprues. The bigger ones being 60 cms across! The first job on the build is to construct the full length intake and exhaust trunking. Fan fronts and exhaust ends are placed in the trunking and its all buttoned up. The underside of this trunking forms the topside of the main wheels wells and they are built up onto the trunking. The lower main fuselage and lower parts of the intakes are then attached, followed by the fuselage sides (which also contain the top of the intakes). The exhaust nozzles can then be placed on the back of the fuselage, a choice between open and closed nozzles is provided. The lower parts of the main wings (left & right) are then attached to the main fuselage. Once these are on the large single part top wing/body part can be attached but only after first putting in the inserts for the topside airbrakes. We can now move onto the cockpit (normally where we start!) The bottom of the cockpit section forms the roof of the front wheel well and the sides for the well are attached first followed by the front bulkhead. The front cockpit & rear tubs can then be placed on the top. To this is added the instrument panels, and the control columns. The rear seat display boxes are also added at this time. The two ejection seats are then built up and added, The seats are a mulitpart affair, however the belts are moulded in, and in this scale the seat would really benefit PE belts. Once the seats are in the front instrument coaming can also be fitted and the cockpit placed into the forward fuselage halves. The nose cone can be fitted and then the forward fuselage joined to the main body. A main top spine part behind the cockpit is then added. The vertical tails with their separate rudders are then made up and added to the main fuselage with a scrap diagram showing the correct angles for these. Once on the arrestor hook parts can be fitted under the main body. We now move to the undercarriage which is quite complex for the Hornet. The front unit and its wheels are built up and fitted to the front bay, the doors and their retraction struts are then fitted. Both sets of main gear get the same treatment. The main gear doors are supplied as one part and must be cut up into their components for the gear down. The outer wings can either be down or folded up as they would be parked. For these the correct hinge assembly needs to be selected. The outer wings can then be built up and added. The main wings are then finished off. While the centre sections are already there the leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps are fitted. The exhaust nozzles are then fitted to the back. Up at the front the glazing is added. For the main canopy the clear parts fit into a normal plastic frame, An integral boarding ladder is provided if wanted in the lowered position. To finish of the tail planes are added along with a few aerials. Revell provide us with a whole host of things to hang under the wings. As well as the pylons a centre line tank, and wing fuel tanks are in the box. Wing tip missile rails are included as well as AIM-9M and AIM-9X missiles for them. AIM-120C missiles are also provided. In term of things which go bang when dropped 2 x GBU-12, 2 x GBU-31-3B, and 2 x GBU-38s are provided. An AN-ASQ-228 ATFLIR sensor pod is also included. Decals The decal sheet from cartograf (so no issues there) provides markings for two aircraft. F/A-18F Bu No.166873 - "Black Knights" VFA-154 - USS Nimitz 2013 F/A-18F A44-201 No.1 Sqn Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF Williamtown 2020 Conclusion This should make up to a good looking if rather large model, highly recommended for those who like to go big! Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  7. EA-18G Growler (LS-014) 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. It retains some weapons for self-defence such as the AGM-88 or AIM-120C, although the stations on the wingtips are filled by a pair of ALQ-218 jamming pods carried over from the EA-6B Prowler that the Growler replaced. The Kit This is brand-new kit from Meng that has been retooled from their recent two-seat F/A-18F, but with new parts to portray the electronic warfare pods and weapons suitable for the Growler’s role. We have come to expect great things from Meng, as they have impressive technical 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 fourteen sprues of various sizes in grey styrene plus two fuselage halves in the same plastic, a small sprue in clear, plus the canopy (all wrapped in protective self-cling plastic), three styles of small poly-caps, a Ziplok bag containing ten flat-headed pins, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) metal, two sheets of decals, a clear plastic sheet with pre-cut kabuki tape masks, the instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear, three sheets of card with information about the EA-18G in four languages, and a similarly multi-lingual competition flyer to win cash prizes, apparently. Everything is separately bagged with mildly annoying staples closing some of them up, and once you have found your way past these you see the high quality of the parts within. Detail is right up there with the best, and has finely engraved panel lines, with raised detail where appropriate and slide-moulding used to improve quality further without creating more parts that make some people panic unduly. Construction begins with the cockpit, with the twin-seat tub having the sidewalls installed next to the detailed side consoles, a large control column part in the front and a smaller one in the rear, chunky HOTAS-style throttles, and a pair of well-appointed instrument panels, which have a number of individual decals supplied for both it and the side consoles, the numbers for which are called out in scrap diagrams. The rudder pedals are moulded into the floor and could do with some more detail if you intend to shine a light in there, and you can see them in the shadows of the detail photos above. The nose gear bay is made up from a 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 new 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 ECS ram air exhaust inserts of the multi-tubular type that have 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 radars. 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 bay boxes, 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 rotate 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. 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. The coaming between the pilots is also inserted, and a shortened turtle-deck behind the rear seat is made up from two detailed parts, 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 upper 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 that has 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 Super Hornet has to be sturdy to withstand repeated carrier launches followed by spirited arrestor-hook 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 and pods 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 absent pilots, there are stencils for the headbox sides and rear. They are installed in the cockpit, optionally along with the individually posed pilot figures that come on the sprues, who have separate arms, a wrap-around flotation vest and separate helmeted head with O2 hose. The long canopy part is crystal clear with an external seam over the top that you can either leave there (it’s really 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 pair of blade antennae 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 over the shallow recess to represent one edge of the ladder. Back to the weapons and pods. This is where the rest of 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, and these fit on the outer wing stations, while the four identical pylons fit on the two inner stations per wing, and the solitary Type-C attaches to the centreline. The wingtip rails are filled with identical ALQ-218 jamming pods, which are made up from six parts each, and are handed for each wingtip. For self-defence there are two AIM-120Cs are each moulded complete, with a slim adapter rail, and another pair of AGM-88s with chunkier rail adapter and separate perpendicular fins for extra detail. Scrap diagrams show the correct location of the missiles on their rails, pods and he two external fuel tanks, which also have polycaps inside them. The AIM-120Cs have anti-sway braces to locate them on their semi-conformal mounts above the main gear bay apertures. It’s always best to look at some real-world photos for examples for demonstrable and practical load-outs, but it’s entirely up to you. Markings There are three decal options on the sheets, and you also get a set of canopy masks that are pre-cut from kabuki tape. From the box you can build one of the following: VAQ-132 ‘Scorpions’ Electronic Attack Sqn., Operation Odyssey Dawn, 2011 VAQ-132 ‘Scorpions’ Electronic Attack Sqn., Misawa Air Base, 2014 VAQ-139 ‘Cougars’ Electronic Attack Sqn., USS Carl Vinson, 2014 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. The masks on the clear sheet have been pre-weeded so you only get the masks, without all the surrounding tape. There are masks for all the wheels and the landing light, and frame-hugging masks for the canopy and windscreen. You are advised to fill in the highly curved centres of the canopy and screen with liquid mask or small sections of tape cut to length with some angles cut where necessary. Conclusion Meng have brought their own particular set of skills to the party with both the E and F variants, and now an EA-18G Growler, which I’ve been waiting for the most. They have produced a highly detailed model of this two-seat electronic warfare variant, with some excellent moulding and markings to create a model that is excellent out of the box, without the necessity of aftermarket. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. After the F/A-18E (link), Meng is to release a 1/48th Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet - ref. LS-013 Sources: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4175061422607150&id=195290177250981 http://www.moxingfans.com/new/news/2021/0707/9354.html https://www.luckymodel.com/scale.aspx?item_no=MG-LS-013 V.P.
  9. After the Tomcat build piqued interest in US Naval aviation I have decided to jump into this STGB... I have this just arrived: Decals look ok, but I have bought some aftermarket Furball ... couple of PJ pilots with JHMCS helmets masks also with it - but are Hase so may or may not work... https://www.furballaero-design.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=48-067 Am thinking about a resin Buddy Refuel tank for something different.... Its actually shown fitted on the box art... I am also running out space on the garage rafters so contemplating an Ikea display cabinet and the new challenge of building wheels down....
  10. Afternoon folks Had a curiosity. Having watched the new Top Gun I went ahead and put in an order for a 1/48 F/A-18F from Meng. Now this two-seater variant comes with Maverick's well known instructor markings (black spine and fins with the blue stripes) much like the single seat kit, though it would be inaccurate to paint up this variant in those markings. My curiosity is, is anybody aware of any upcoming aftermarket decals for the F models used by the other pilots in the main action? I had a look around and most searches refer you to the instructor markings (which the kit already has). The in movie unit (based on a screenshot) seems to be VF-51, which appears to have been disbanded. I believe it was the unit from the original movie as well. Ultimately no real biggie, but if they were in the pipe, I'd like to get my hands on them. Tiny name decals for the pilot helmets would be a great addition as well, hah. Thanks for your time, guys Gaz
  11. EA-18G Growler Update Sets (for Hobby Boss) 1:48 Eduard Hobby Boss now have an Electronic Warfare F-18 variant in their catalogue, the EA-18G Growler, which we reviewed here. A decent kit that of course you can upgrade with parts that provide more detail than it possible with injection moulded plastic. 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. Cockpit & Exterior Set (491268) Two frets are included, one nickel-plated and pre-painted, the other larger fret in bare brass, plus a small slip of clear acetate that is pre-printed with the HUD glass shapes. A complete set of new layered instrument panels, sidewalls and side consoles with added levers for the front cockpit and the extensive instrument panel for the rear cockpit are in full colour, with additional equipment boxes and rudder pedals also included. The control column has a new face fixed with button details, with a choice of long or short throttle lever to complete the HOTAS pair. The kit supplied deck behind the seats is mis-labelled and should be H10, detailed with a number of stiffeners and other parts, with a new pivot made from 1.2mm rod for the canopy, which also has PE caps glued on each end after it is inserted into the drilled-out hole. The canopy itself has an aft insert that is detailed with PE parts, and once glued-in it has an underside skin that will be visible if the canopy is posed open. In addition, there are latches added to the underside of the side rails, a horse-shoe loop at the front of the canopy frame with etched-in rear-view mirrors, and a trio of separate mirrors for the rear-seater that could be ‘glued-in’ using Klear. More parts are glued to the inner sides of the canopy frame, and another horse-shoe section finishes off the windscreen frame, all of which begs for a set of Tface masks to aid in painting both sides of the clear parts for extra realism. Externally, various panels are added to the fuselage after removing the kit details, a box is replaced by a PE section in the nose bay, fixing new pivots to the bay doors, with the small nose-gear door receiving skin in addition to the pivots, while the larger door is replaced entirely by a four-ply lamination, one of which should be deformed with the tip of a ball-point pen before it is glued in, and this part also has three hinges and two pivots for the retraction gear added into the bargain. The gear legs are wired up with PE looms, then attention turns to the built-in crew ladder, which inhabits the underside of the port LERX when retracted. The engraved aperture is opened up and backed with an inner skin, then the ladder is made up from one side that has the rungs attached, plus the other side and two stays that flip out as the real thing deploys. The final parts are used to detail the pylons, two smaller ones having anti-sway braces and contact patch skins, and four larger pylons that have the same features added, with rail details for the adapters. Lastly, the two AN/ALQ-99 jamming pods are fitted with radiators on both sides from the fret. Zoom! Set (FE1268) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1269) 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 pull-handles between the pilot's knees that gets them out of there in case of an emergency, and anti-flail restraints for their legs so they don’t get left behind. Masks (EX854) 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 (EX855) 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
  12. Here is my build of HobbyBoss's recently released F/A 18F in 1/48 scale. Really can't knock the kit, I haven't build the Meng or Hasagawa kit personally but I reckon it can hold its own against those kits, really no complaints at all went together a treat, used Mr Hobby Aqueous paints. Went for VFA-154 "Black Knights" scheme based on USS Nimitz on and around 2013. Please let me know your thoughts and critique appreciated.
  13. My entry for this GB will be Revell's 1/48 F/A-18F Super Hornet. Will be finishing it as the box art, an aircraft of VFA-102 Diamondbacks. I do like a colourful Hornet. my only other Hornet build was in the 2013 F/A-18 STGB.
  14. F/A-18E Löök+ (644145 for Meng) 1:48 Eduard Meng are part-way through releasing a series of highly detailed F/A-18 Super Hornet kits, beginning with the F/A-18E, which is the modern single-seater. This set includes some essential upgrades in an oblong Brassin box, with the resin and Photo-Etch (PE) parts safely cocooned in separate bags and the instructions wrapped around, providing extra protection. It comprises four sub-sets, as follows: 644129 F/A-18E Löök Instrument Panel 648701 F/A-18E Wheels 648702 F/A-18E Ejection Seat EX787 F/A-18E TFace Masks Löök Pre-Painted Resin Instrument Panel (644129) This set contains a combination of pre-printed resin and PE parts to quickly and efficiently detail up your cockpit. There is a printed resin instrument panel for the pilot, and a PE set of four-point belts, complete with details for the ejection seat, which is partially duplicated by the Ejection Seat set below. Wheels (648701) 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, stiffened again by the fact that they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set has two main wheels with separate inner hubs that have brake detail moulded-in, plus a pair of smaller nose gear wheels, all of which are drop-in parts once removed from their casting blocks that are on the slightly flattened contact patches, making clean-up rapid and easy. There is also a sheet of yellow kabuki tape (not pictured) with pre-cut masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the hub/tyre demarcations crisply and with easy. Ejection Seat (648702) Three highly detailed resin parts make up the seat, with a separate base cushion and ejection handle added to the main seat part. The 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 a set of crew belts, you also get an alternative pre-painted pull-handle between the pilot's knees that gets him out of there in case of an emergency, as well as some small parts and stencils for the seat headbox and sides, even down to the leg-restraints that pull tight on ejection, protecting the pilot’s legs from flail injuries. Masks Tface (EX787) Supplied on a large sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with all the masks for the exterior of the canopy, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the canopy so that you can paint the interior surface and give your model that extra bit of realism. You also get a spare set of wheel masks, and masks for some of the small windows on the external sensors. Conclusion This is a very compact set that supplies much that many modellers would wish to improve on the basic kit, although there is a little overlap with a few of the parts, but that also gives you some wiggle-room in case you make a mistake. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. In 2021 - Hobby Boss is to release a family of 1/48th Super Hornet. - ref. 85812 - Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet - released - http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=product&a=show&id=1607&l=en - ref. 85813 - Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet - released - http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=product&a=show&id=1625&l=en - ref. 85814 - Boeing EA-18G Growler - released Source: http://www.moxingfans.com/m/view.php?aid=7201&pageno=1 V.P.
  16. This is Eduard ' superb 1:48 F18 Super Hornet 'SuperBug' special edition. It's straight out of the box, with MRP paints. This particular scheme saw heavy use during 2017 on USS George Bush
  17. Maverick's F/A-18E Super Hornet (03864) 1:48 Revell The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the second generation F/A-18 following on the the F/A-18C. The F/A-18E was developed from the original Hornet and while it may look alike its very much a new aircraft which is 25% bigger. The US Navy managed to keep the F/A-18 designation partly to make the US Congress believe it would be a low risk development from the original aircraft (not the first time in US Aviation this has happened). The new aircraft was ordered in 1992 with a first flight in 1995. The aircraft introduced a new era in electronics including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, bigger displays and a helmet mounted sighting system. To date the Super Hornet has replaced the legacy Hornet in all US Navy operations apart from the USN Aerobatic Team The Blue Angels, and even they will have transitioned by 2021. As well as the E model there is the two seat F model, and the latest development the G or "Growler" Electronic Warfare Aircraft. Now the US Navy have made the second part of their drama/documentary "Top Gun", called "Top Gun Maverick". Here we get to see how our favourite US Navy fighter Pilot is doing. Fans will be glad to know he is still in the Navy and not reduced to flying plane loads of rubber dog out of Hong Kong. Though with his record we are not shocked to see he has not climbed very far up the USN promotion ladder. He now has to train young pilots which remind him of himself for a new dangerous mission *yada yada yada". Que all the same stuff from Part I of the documentary with some equally good, if not better? flight scenes. Though unfortunately this time the rather excellent Grumman Tomcat (we miss you!) has been replaced by the new Boing Super Borenet. It seems to have now replaced everything in the USN The reviewer makes no apology for his fondness of the Mighty Tomcat, and derision at its replacement *(this may not necessarily reflect the views of Birtmodeller.com and its owner) The Kit This is was Revell's attempt to break into the F/A-18E market back in 2005. The kit is good, but perhaps could have been better but came in well under the price of its nearest competitor making it a sensible option for a lot of modellers, and to be honest with some decent work it builds up to a good looking model. Now in a tie in with Paramount Pictures its back with Mav doing his "piloting stuff". Construction starts in the cockpit with the four part ejection seat. This fits into the cockpit tub along with the control column and instrument panel. The side consoles are provided as decals, and all the instruments displays are individual decals. For the top fuselage half the spine is fitted along with a pair of inserts. We then move to the lower half, the complete cockpit tub is added then the intakes are assembled and fitted. These are full length with engine faces. An insert goes in at the rear to mount the tailplanes and then the main fuselage can be closed up. The nose section can then be assembled and added to the main fuselage. Now at the real the vertical stabilisers and tailplanes can be added on. The exhausts and arrestor hook can then also go on the rear. The front gear is assembled and along with the doors are put onto the front of the aircraft. This is followed by the main landing gear and it's doors. Under the wings the flap actuators and pylons go on. Revell provide a range of things which go bang or whoosh to hang under the wings along with a centre ling fuel tank. To finish off the canopy can be positioned open or closed, if open then a boarding ladder can be made up and fitted. Markings The decal sheet from cartograf (so no issues there) provides the one option to do the Aircraft from the film, so no surprises there. Conclusion This should make up to a good looking model if you really have to have one from the film, Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  18. Got a present from the postman this morning......a lovely big box: For those that have built this before.....any tips or things to watch out for?
  19. I just found some photo's at Pinterest from this very interesting diorama: Touchdown // F/A - 18 F Super Hornet // Scale 1:32 Does anyone happen to be familiar with this diorama or know more about the building process? https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/193936327679216455/ Thanks.
  20. Academy is to release in 2016 a new tool 1/72nd Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet "VF-103" kit - ref.12535 Source: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234994031-academy-catalogue-2016-online/ V.P.
  21. Hi all, Here's my latest build, finished a few weeks ago but with what's been going on around the UK, I've only just got my laptop out to put this on the forum, apologies for that. My build is the Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18F kit with a few additions, Quick Boost seats, Aires cans and a compilation of kit and aftermarket decals (Galaxy Model decals). I wanted to build a slant on this workhorse and after looking around in some of my reference, I found a few pictures of the CAG bird with tanks and a refuel pod, seemed a natural progression from my 1/32 conversion of the A-6 to a KA-6. I had to rob another kit for the extra tanks and the refuel pod was 3d printed. The Sidewinders are from Bren Gun, everything else was from the kit. A straight forward build apart from a little scary moment whilst building the upper and lower airframe parts. I wish Aires did a pit for this, no sidewall details does stand out and oh I wish we could buy seamless intakes. Anyway, pictures are better than words, so here she is... 1/32 Tamiya F-14A next..
  22. This is my 1/72 Academy MCP F/A-18F Super Hornet done up as a line jet from VFA-122 Flying Eagles. This is a much delayed surprise Xmas gift for my brother, an aerospace journalist in London, who in 2012 was lucky enough to be taken up for 30 mins in the back at the Farnborough airshow. A blog about it can be found here - n.b. his pilot was actually from VFA-106 Gladiators. The Academy kit was simple to assemble, v well detailed and largely pain free apart from the forward fuselage join just below the windshield and the rear fuselage of which the top half is too wide - I should have put a spacer across to ensure a better fit. The kit was painted with Italeri Ghost Greys, MiG & Vallejo varnish and weathered with enamel panel line washes. I probably overdid it on the paint and varnishing... if you look closely obliterating some of the nice detail around the maintenance hatches. Decals were a mix of those from the kit, Eurodecals USN stencils and home made decals for the squadron codes and tail design. The kit decals were quite thick but I definitely learnt something new in preparing my own decals. This will go on a Coastal Kits base. To start with, here is the lucky blighter in the cockpit: The best side - decals worked the best on this side. With some photographic evidence. Thanks for looking! Neil
  23. F/A-18 Super Hornet (04994) 1:32 Revell The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the second generation F/A-18 following on the the F/A-18C. The F/A-18E was developed from the original Hornet and while it may look alike its very much a new aircraft which is 25% bigger. The US Navy managed to keep the F/A-18 designation partly to make the US Congress believe it would be a low risk development from the original aircraft (not the first time in US Aviation this has happened). The new aircraft was ordered in 1992 with a first flight in 1995. The aircraft introduced a new era in electronics including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, bigger displays and a helmet mounted sighting system. To date the Super Hornet has replaced the legacy Hornet in all US Navy operations apart from the USN Aerobatic Team The Blue Angels, and even they will have transitioned by 2021. As well as the E model there is the two seat F model, and the latest development the G or "Growler" Electronic Warfare Aircraft. The Kit This is a new tool kit from Revell for 2019. It arrives in a rather large box which is packed with mainly rather large sprues. The bigger ones being 60 cms across! The first job on the build is to construct the full length intake and exhaust trunking. Fan fronts and exhaust ends are placed in the trunking and its all buttoned up. The underside of this trunking forms the topside of the main wheels wells and they are built up onto the trunking. The lower main fuselage and lower parts of the intakes are then attached, followed by the fuselage sides (which also contain the top of the intakes). The exhaust nozzles can then be placed on the back of the fuselage, a choice between open and closed nozzles is provided. The lower parts of the main wings (left & right) are then attached to the main fuselage. Once these are on the large single part top wing/body part can be attached but only after first putting in the inserts for the topside airbrakes. We can now move onto the cockpit (normally where we start!) The bottom of the cockpit section forms the roof of the front wheel well and the sides for the well are attached first followed by the front bulkhead. The cockpit tub can then be placed on the top. To this is added the instrument panel and the control column. The ejection seat is then built up and added, The seat is a mulitpart affair, however the belts are moulded in, and in this scale the seat would really benefit PE belts. Once the seat is in the instrument coaming can also be fitted and the cockpit placed into the forward fuselage halves. The nose cone can be fitted and then the forward fuselage joined to the main body. A main top spine part behind the cockpit is then added. The vertical tails with their separate rudders are then made up and added to the main fuselage with a scrap diagram showing the correct angles for these. Once on the arrestor hook parts can be fitted under the main body. We now move to the undercarriage which is quite complex for the Hornet. The front unit and its wheels are built up and fitted to the front bay, the doors and their retraction struts are then fitted. Both sets of main gear get the same treatment. The main gear doors are supplied as one part and must be cut up into their components for the gear down. The outer wings can either be down or folded up as they would be parked. For these the correct hinge assembly needs to be selected. The outer wings can then be built up and added. The main wings are then finished off. While the centre sections are already there the leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps are fitted. The exhaust nozzles are then fitted to the back. Up at the front the glazing is added. For the main canopy the clear parts fit into a normal plastic frame, An integral boarding ladder is provided if wanted in the lowered position. To finish of the tail planes are added along with a few aerials. Revell provide us with a whole host of things to hang under the wings. As well as the pylons a centre line tank, and wing fuel tanks are in the box. Wing tip missile rails are included as well as AIM-9M and AIM-9X missiles for them. AIM-120C missiles are also provided. In term of things which go bang when dropped 2 x GBU-12, 2 x GBU-31-3B, and 2 x GBU-38s are provided. An AN-ASQ-228 ATFLIR sensor pod is also included. Decals The decal sheet from cartograf (so no issues there) provides markings for two aircraft. F/A-18E Bu No.166957 - "Vampires 111" Test & Evaluation Sqn VX-9, NAWS China Lake. F/A-18E Bu No.166651 - "Gunslingers 401" strike Fighter Sqn VFA-105. USS Harry s Truman 2010 Conclusion This should make up to a good looking if rather large model, highly recommended for those who like to go big! Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  24. Hi all. This is the 72nd scale F/A-18F built from the Hasegawa kit. It's dressed as A44-210 serving with 1 squadron with the Royal Australian Air Force while flying operational sorties in the Middle East. The extras are Quick boost seats, Attack Squadron ordnance and Ronin Decals. The tail art is for the 100th anniversary of 1 squadron, 1916-2016. Lovely model to build except the woefully shallow intakes and for the eagle eyed of you, the wing tip formation lights have been altered to represent a RAAF block jet. Hope you like it!
  25. Hi all, a new one onto the workbench...a RAAFie this time. Since Steve Evans from Ronin decals released these decals earlier in the year, I've been eager to build this kit. I did however have one small problem, I didn't have the kit I needed in the stash. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I managed to score the kit with the right bits and pieces in it from a store here in the middle of Brisbane. So the plan is to turn this... into this…though just a smaller version in 72nd scale. The original kit of the 1/72 Hasegawa F/A-18F family has been around for a while now with releases seeming to come out of Japan at a steady rate of either the latest CAG jet or aircraft that adorn colourful artwork. This release which was released in early 2016 fortunately has all that's needed for a RAAF jet. The only real draw back is the lack of ordnance supplied. You need to supply your own and in my case I'll be loading it with two GBU-38 and two GBU-54 ype bombs, both 500lb class bombs. The correct bard stacks are also moulded in place which is correct for our Rhinos. I recently found some excellent photos of this jet on the Defence Media site while it was deployed on combat operations overseas which is where I got the one above. It's an interesting load out in the fact that it's asymmetric. The tanks are loaded in the 'goofy gas' configuration which allows a greater field of view for the designator pod on the left shoulder station. The port wing carries two GBU-38 bombs on the inner two pylons and a single GBU-54 on the outer. Turning to the starboard side we can see the drop tank and then a single GBU-54 on the middle pylon with an empty outer pylon. Both wing tips are carrying AIM-9X Sidewinders and the right shoulder station carries a lone AIM-120 AMRAAM. As mentioned the ATFLIR is being carried on the port shoulder station. With regards to the kit, it does have the correct ACS coaming that the later Lot jets have, however the rear instrument decal IP represents the earlier style of rear cockpit. I'm not too fussed on this as the model will have the canopy closed. I have ordered a set of Quickboost resin seats to add some visual interest to the closed cockpit as the kit seats are quite simple one piece items. I’ve also got the GBU’s covered with some Attack Squadron products. Construction is fairly straight forward however there are a few spots that need some attention. The kit intakes are extremely short and have an obvious seam in the roof of the intake. There's not much to do about the short intakes unless some major plastic surgery is undertaken. The seam however can be easily dealt with. It had a touch of Tamiya grey putty mixed with some Tamiya lacquer thinner to make it into slurry, kind of like the texture of soft butter. This has been applied and I've started to smooth it in as you can see in the photo. I'll sand it back and apply some primer to see how it looks. The cockpit tub has been installed on the lower forward fuselage half and has had paint applied along with a gloss coat ready for the decals. The same thing goes for the front and rear IP. The engine exhausts are a simple affair and in hindsight I wish I'd gone for some aftermarket items. I might get away with sleeving they outlet with some tube with the right OD, we'll see. The basic representation of the flame holder has been painted Burnt Iron from the Mr Color Metallics range. The great thing about this stuff is that it can be polished. You can see the results in the picture of the differences between a polished and non-polished paint. I hit the polished parts (on both sides) with a micro q-tip and it looks the part. Sealing this stuff is a bit of a grey area for me at the moment as any form of lacquer or hot thinner in the gloss will cause the grey to change shade, not exactly something I'm interested in achieving. If you have any info on how you go about sealing these paints I'd be interested to hear. An upper and lower half capture the polycaps for the elevators which in turn also holds the flame holder. This part is installed in the rear of the fuselage. I’ve added a splash of the same Burnt Iron in the bare plastic after i took these photos. The upper and lower half of the fuselage are one piece items. I’ve applied some Gunze FS36231 on those. [PIC] The fuselage join is pretty good. The dark grey paint is the Burnt Iron after it hit it with some Humbrol poly. I’ve used this on the fuselage seams as I’ve heard it’s a bit more forgiving with regards to ghost seams than Tamiya Extra Thin. The fit of the LERX is very good too. The first pic shows the fit of the parts held in place by gravity. The second two images shows it buttoned up with glue applied. And this is where I’m at with the build; I’ve also assembled the two drop tanks. More to come soon. Mick
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