1/48 Italeri F/A-18E Super Hornet

by Sebastian Manfre



Here is my recently finished F/A-18E Super Hornet in 1/48 scale from Italeri.  It is built completely OOB except for 2 GBU-16's and a pair of GBU-31 JDAM's from Hasegawa weapons set D.  The decals are from CAM decals and go on very well, I also used some kit decals for the data.  The markings are for VFA-115 Eagles with black tails.  The bombs are a kit in themselves with extensive decals, but they were well worth it.  I also added a maverick to the outer pylon of one wing from a Monogram A-10 kit, and scratch built the rail for it.  I also scratch built the sway braces that hold on the bombs.  The sidewinder and AMRAAM are of kit.

The decals went on very well and conformed well to the kit.  I highly recommend them, but now I have seen that Orion Models will be releasing the same set.   They will probably have more stenciling on them but these worked for me as I am a 17 year old modeler who is just really getting into the hobby and learning the tricks and techniques needed to make beautiful looking kit with no seems.   This is actually the first time I have used putty and sandpaper on a kit.  This is also my first model built with the use my new airbrush, the Aztek A470.


I have also cut and lowered the inside flaps and slats on the wings, deleted the airbrake which does not belong there, and have cut the rudders and deployed them also to make the aircraft appear as it would on the ground.  I have also dropped the tail hook to add an area of interest to the model.


The model was painted with MM acryls with upper surface painted dark ghost gray and lower surface with light ghost gray.  After painting it received a coat of future then decals were applied.  Then it received another coat of future and was ready for weathering.  Although this plane is relatively new and clean, I chose to go slightly heavier then usual with the weathering.  I went over each panel line with a sharpened no.2 pencil and rubbed off the excess with my finger in the direction of the airflow.  It gives a subtle but distinguished look to the panel lines.  I also rubbed in some chalk pastels around the wingfold area and the cannon over the nose to show areas that receive more dust and dirt usually.  This was also done under the fuselage near the rear.  After weathering was complete the model received a final coat of future then the small details were added last. 

The only area that really presented me with a problem was the intakes.  After some extensive dry fitting I finally think I got the parts to match up as good as possible with minimal  gaps, but some filling pretty much got rid of them all.  Maybe 1 or 2 got by that is fine by me, as I wasn’t looking to build a contest winner.  The canopy was added to the kit last and was dipped in future a few times (don't remember how many).

Overall, this was a fun and an enjoyable build.  This is my second Superbug, and this one definitely came out better then the first.  As I have said before the only area of difficulty was the intakes but in the end they worked out just fine.


I hope Italeri comes out with an F model soon in 1/48 scale and then I will also buy the BB cockpit set if one is available, as the kits is very simple with deals for the consoles.


Well there it is my Superbug, hope you all enjoyed it!


Photos and text © by Sebastian Manfre