1/48 Hasegawa F/A-18E  

by Tom Searle



For my first article on ARC, I'd like to show you my F/A-18E Super Hornet.  It took me about 3 months, building it when I had the time.  It's probably not the best in the world, as I'm only 14, and haven't been doing this very long.

The Ramble

Here's the part where I ramble on about the Hasegawa offering of the SuperBug.  This one is built completely OOB, construction was fairly smooth, no major hick-ups through out.  Unlike the Revell version I like how you can fold the wings, and put the flaps and slats down.  Proceeding straight to the next step, I primed the whole plane and then airbrushed the base coat base, for which I Revell enamals Mat 72 and Mat 43.  It was at this point I stood back to take in the sights and sounds (not that there are many sounds!) of my F-18, but something wasn't right about it... then it hit me, large gaps running down the sides of the Hornet!  Why?  Well being the idiot I am... I, what normal people call it, just happened to forget about this all important step!  Bugger!  Oh well, too late to change it now as I had already put some of the decals on.

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Lessons Learned (a.k.a thing never ever to do again!)

Have you ever been in the situation where you've accidently put a tiny spot of paint (by 'tiny' I mean 'quite large') on the canopy??  Probably not, as your all pro's, but that beside the point.  Well, I happened to put a spot of paint on the forward canopy whilst painting.  Instead of dropping everything there and then to tend to this prediciment, I mearly thought "No worrries, it's happened before with arcrylics, I'm sure it's the same with enamels, I'll just apply some thinner later", but as it happens, White Spirits doesn't want to be the same as Arcrylic thinners, no way.  It would much prefer to cloud up the front canopy permernantly (alot the way superglue does) and never come off! GRRRR!!! So, the lesson here, don't put white spirits on your crystal clear canopies, unless you want them fogged for all of eternity!

Anyways, life must go on, so on we go.  The decals on the Bug came straight from the box.  It gives you the option for either the CAG bird from VFA-27 or VFA-115.  I spray painted the large areas of semi-gloss black, although decals are provided to cover this.  The funky yellows at the top of the vertical fins were a custom mix of Tamyia arcrylic yellows.  Weathering was done by applying finely ground chalk pastel, and the wiping off the execss with a damo tissue.


The Part at the End

As you can see from the photos, some areas of the airframe need to be touched up a little bit, either in the correct colour, or need to be sprayed with some clear matt.  In all, this kit was quite an enjoyable build.  Even for someone like me at the mere age of 14, it turned out to be an easy build, giving me a decent looking model in the end.


Click on images below to see larger images


Photos and text by Tom Searle