I’ve found it interesting to examine the motivations that drive me to build particular models. Often it will be a book, detailing the life of a pilot, or a particular battle, or perhaps a historical account of an aircraft. Other times it can be the release of a new kit, and the publicity surrounding it makes a compelling argument to build it.
Yet sometimes it can be much simpler.
In the case of this Revell F/A-18E Super Hornet, it was simply some cool video footage set to a song I really like. (Before clicking that link, I highly recommend turning the volume up as freaking loud as you can. 🙂 )
Such was the case with this kit. I thought that video was so cool- and especially the part with the Metallica music- that I decided to take a look and see what 1/48 scale F-18E/F kits were available.
And I am really glad I did.
Perusal of a few build reports and kit previews indicated it would not be a bad kit at all. And discovering I could get the kit for $14 at Hobby Lobby- with a 40% off coupon- clinched the deal.
Yeah. A nice 1/48 jet kit for $14. Rock on dude….
The kit is awesome, to say the least. The surface detailing is excellent. The detail cast in to the landing gear bays is insane. It looks as good as some resin replacements I’ve seen for other kits. The ejection seat is one of the best I’ve seen for an injection molded seat. It even has belts cast into it. The instrument panel is decent. It features good raised detail, and has decal options for both “on” and “off” CRTs. Side console detail is the cockpit’s weakest point, I think. It’s a bit flat. I think a good decal or two would have helped.
I did make one modification to the seat. While it looks excellent on three sides, the back is just a flat section with a really wide gap. I procured a piece from an Academy F-16 I had on hand, and cut it to fit just above the rear “lip” of the cockpit. It’s not a great solution, but it basically avoids having a giant gap showing on the back of the seat once mounted in the fuselage.
I’m still working on the gear bays, but as the photos show, they are really well done. With some careful painting and a good wash, they should be a highlight of the completed model.
The kit markings look good enough, but I decided to go with a fairly colorful scheme from VF-105, similar to the one shown in the gallery below. The only major difference will be the aircraft number- 400 instead of 403, and the number will be green.
Test fitting shows the fuselage should go together very well. There is quite a bit of ejector pin flash that must be accounted for, but once removed, parts slot together nicely. Some sections border on Tamiya precision, while even the worst area is well within most modeler’s acceptable limits.
All for $14.
I’m really enjoying this build. I must be- I put aside Airfix’s new 1/48 P-40B to do this one.
And the great news is Revell has also released the 1/48 F/A-18F. It’s essentially the same kit, with additional parts to account for the second seat.
I’m seeing one of those in my future, too. In the markings of a certain jet in a certain video. 🙂