Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
by Frank Mitchell
Hasegawa's 1/48 scale F/A-18F Super Hornet is available online from Squadron.com
I had been waiting for this kit to hit the market
for some time because I wanted to build one for a good friend of my
daughter (and me), LT. Geoff Hughes, USN.
Geoff is a true overachiever (Annapolis, fluent in
Russian, and now a faculty member at the Navy’s Tactical Aircrew Combat
Training Unit in Florida), and a very nice guy. For the several years
before joining Top Gun, however, he was in VF-102 flying the F/A-18F
We had talked about me doing one for him, but there
really wasn’t a decent 1/48 kit out there. However, it turns out that
VF-102 had worked with Hasegawa while stationed in Japan, so Geoff knew
this kit was on the way. I picked one up when it was introduced at the
Atlanta Nationals in July.
The kit is very good. I am sure that some will find
problems, but I thoroughly enjoyed building the kit and adding detail
according to the pictures and other info supplied by Geoff (Interesting
things, kits. They actually give you all those little pieces and you
don’t have to scratch-build everything. Amazing.).
Basically, the fit is good, and little detail really has to be added on
the exterior beyond the usual attention to the little things. I did
detail the interior; after all, its main audience would be someone who
put a lot of hours in that seat. Of course, by the time you read this,
there will probably be aftermarket stuff available, but the kit captures
the original quite well, at least in my view.
Not surprisingly, I wanted to do Geoff’s “own”
aircraft, so some work was needed. Obviously, those markings weren’t
available, and while the squadron markings in the kit were for VF-102,
they were for the CAG bird and Geoff’s was in lo-viz. I tackled that
problem by copying the sheet on my black and white laser printer, then
playing with the resulting gray copy to get the right color for the
model. Geoff’s name, along with those of the backseater and the Plane
Captain were simply typed into a Word document and reducing it to the
right size. The appropriate pieces were copied onto decal paper on the
Don’t look for heavy weathering/pre-shading/dirty appearance for two
reasons: A) I am not a big fan of that look, and B) None of the ‘102
birds that I have pictures of look that way.
The loadout is the one that was most common for the missions they flew.
The display base is a piece of ¾” plywood cut into a square, and
finished in gloss black. A mirror was added to show off the underside
and a set of Navy wings was added just because I thought they looked
In all, this was a fun build, and I recommend it.
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2005 by Frank Mitchell
Page Created 17 October, 2005
16 October, 2005
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