1/48 Hasegawa F-18D

by Victor Kam



This is my 1/48 Hasegawa F-18D, fully upgraded to Lot 19, simply a late “D” model.  This kit is built with additional aftermarket items from Eduard, Black Box F-18D cockpit and ORION Model Accessories decal.  The kit itself fits well in general, only some minor fit problems.

            Some of the modifications I did on this kit as per instruction from Orion decal, was to add the swept-back antenna blades on the top and lower spine in place of those supplied by the kit.  This was done with styrene sheet cut to shape.  The circular GPS antenna was also added by rounding a sprue on a dremel tool.   The two white antenna bumps on the top spine had to be repositioned 1.5mm from their original location holes towards the center.  The original location will set the bumps too wide apart, almost ‘falling’ off the spine. 

The antenna bump on the nose landing gear door (starboard side) which came in the kit has to be removed and instead placed on another door.  The new bump is near the front tip of the center line fuel tank.

            Next, the five IFF antennas in front of the windshield were added.  Each antenna was cut to length from styrene sheet and superglued to the fuselage prior to painting.  

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  The twin chaff dispensers under the intakes are scratch-built from various styrene rods and sheets and shaped with putty.  The bulge for the dispensers continue to extend backwards on the rear wheel gear doors.  

The grilled vents near the burner cans were replaced by mesh grill.  This was achieved by simply thinning the plastic from the inside of the kit with a dremel too, and then placing the mesh grill on the inside.  This is not one thing you want to do when you are impatient! 

            I made sure that the intakes were blocked off since one can see into the empty fuselage with the absence of  proper intake trunks.  I also made sure that the intake lip-fuselage-wing area all look like one piece.  Lots of delicate work around this area as the kit parts are not perfect fit, at least not on my kit.  Sanding in tight and narrow area like this requires the sand paper to be folded on the sides of the plastic ruler in order to work my way around.  

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 The clear parts were dipped in Future Wax after removing the mold line down the center of the clear part. The seam around the windshield and fuselage is also filled.  

The model was finished with Humbrol paints.   The grays are gloss in nature and decaling was done with little problem.  I chose the “Vikings” decal from Orion as it brings the overall gray model to life.   After the decals were done, I had a coat of Future Wax to give the aircraft an even sheen before shooting the final flat coat (Gunze). 

            Pictures were taken in the afternoon, outside my house…… Hope you like my Hornet. 


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Photos and text © by Victor Kam