1/18 BBI F/A-18C Hornet

Golden Dragons

by Eric Lowe



I know this beauty isn't a model, but I just had to stick her up here for all to see.  My finding her was no coincidence and it all started something like this: A several years ago, I was wandering through Toys 'R' Us and I came across two of the most beautiful things I had ever seen: a 1/18 Bf-109 and P-51 Mustang.  It was early December, so I quickly snatched up the P-51 and put the Bf-109 on my Christmas list (which my loving mother, I mean Santa Clause, brought me).  As time went on, 21st Century Toys released other 1/18 toys such as the P-38, Corsair, Stuka and P-47, not all, but many finding their way into my collection.

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About a year ago, 21st Century Toys got a little competition in the 1/18 aircraft department from a new company called Blue Box Inc (BBI) Toys.  Again, I was at Toys 'R' Us (does anyone see a pattern here?) and I came across a 1/18 Black Hawk.  Before I knew it, it was in my trunk, followed by a 1/18 Apache a few months later.  Do keep in mind that all of these ARE, in fact, toys and need substantial work, but they are really, really cool straight out of the box.

Anyway, during a long, boring day at work, I found myself looking for any new 1/18 releases by either company.  Lo and behold, I came across http://www.badcataviation.com/index.html, THE premiere dealer in both BBI and 21st Century Toys.  After flipping through a few pages, I saw a preorder sale for a, believe it or not, 1/18 Hornet.  NO WAY!  I mulled over it for about 24 hours (just because this one was rather expensive at $85+S&H), but I caved in, surprise, surprise.

(Below - Yes, this is the 1/18 BBI Hornet next to the 1/32 Academy!)

Roughly six weeks later, I was warmly greeted by an absolutely huge box and the wait was over.  Upon opening the box, I was not disappointed.  At a whopping 37" long, this puppy was screaming to have the dozen-or-so pieces assembled.  My eyes glistened with joy. 

Well, after the initial awe wore off, I began to notice that the Hornet was lacking in a few areas (BUT STILL AWESOME!!!).  Heck, nothing I can't fix!  Well, at this point, I've only managed to scratch build the five antennae.  Next comes some cockpit detailing (which seats the pilot and removable ejection seat nicely), the landing gear, and the exhaust nozzles.  The four (500lb???) bombs are rather lame too, but I'm not too worried about them right now (I'm actually still trying to find a permanent resting place for her!).  Perhaps a pair of Harpoons will eventually grace her outer pylongs?  Anyway, this thing is big, bad and has almost limitless detailing potential.  If you have the opportunity (sorry, they're currently sold out) I would definitely pick one up as a good starting point for the flagship of your modeling collection. 


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Photos and text by Eric Lowe