1/72 Academy F-18C Hornet

Gallery Article by Carl Jarosz on Sept 27 2019



F-18C Hornet: VMFA-232 Red Devils

US Marine Hornet outfits seem to get short shrift in many modeling venues; invariably Hornet models depict US Navy groups. As a long time admirer of the Marine "Red Devils" air unit. I finally paid a bit of tribute to them with this build.

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As I mentioned a number of ARC submissions ago, I'm sold on the Academy 1/72 kit of this aircraft. I ask the reader to refer to an earlier submission, for the "Golden Dragons," to appreciate why I prefer using Academy's molded kit. Besides the outstanding recessed panel lines on the molded parts, the Academy offering allows one to pitch the rudder by using a razor saw to separate this detail from the vertical stabilizer, followed by minimal filing to clean up the cut edges. Also the horizontal stabilators are separate parts (unlike the older Hasegawa kit, with these molded to the upper tail section part), so adding any desired pitch is super easy.

The only weakness that comes to mind with the kit is with the interior, particularly the cockpit seat. I remedied that using a purchased Quickboost seat. It doesn't cost that much, and it's much more detailed than what comes with the kit. Elsewhere, I ask the reader to refer the earlier submission to better prepare oneself for the only major fit area of concern: the front fuselage half with the rear wing and aft section.

I used Ammo/Mig black enamel wash for the recessed panel lines, and followed this up with airbrushing with my enamel paints. For the wheel wells, I used Black Detailer. I found this water based ink is very easy to clean to one's linking, leaving only as much effect as one desires in such deep detailed areas.

I went heavy on exhaust and fuel dump stains on the rear underside, employing a black colored fine mist of the airbrush; then - without cleaning the cup - adding brown color. The kit decals fit very well; I sealed them in place with Testor's decal set. I used dullcoat spray over the entire model at the end, of course masking canopy parts first so as to not be affected, or one could leave off the two canopy parts for the last assembly act.

Carl Jarosz

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Photos and text by Carl Jarosz