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Beware the Bones: 1/48th Revell F/A-18F Super Hornet

First released in 2006, shortly after their "E" version, Revell's F/A-18F Super Hornet provides a good low-cost model for those willing to trade off the flaps & slats down option. The kit has some nice features and will build into a good looking aircraft without too much effort.



Notable Kit Features:

  • Reasonably detailed cockpit tub, ejection seat and instrument panel with a separate throttle

  • Intakes trunks are designed with an engine face at the rear

  • Inner /outer wing panels are molded separately (so you could add a scratch-built wing fold)

  • Interior tubular assembly connects the horizontal tail together so they can be positioned

  • Gear doors are molded with well sides (or good size tabs) for secure placement

  • Landing gear and wheel wells are nicely detailed

  • Boarding ladder provided

  • The two-piece canopy inner frame is provided and can be displayed open or closed

  • Relatively inexpensive


Build Inspiration:

I came upon a set of VFA-103 decals for a F/A-18F and figured I never did get around to building the VF-84 Phantom, so here was my chance to build a "Beware the Bones" aircraft. The Revell kit provided an inexpensive option to do so, when I found one at a local hobby show for $10 (can't go wrong at that price). When Revell later released this kit with VFA-102 Diamondbacks markings so I was tempted to get another ;)


Heads-Up Report:

  • Seatbelts are molded into the seat cushions

  • Cockpit is an early-block Super Hornet (If Bureau Number is 166449 or higher you will need the ACS rear cockpit)

  • Take your time fitting the multi-piece nose pieces together for a better fit

  • The odd sink mark may show up that will require filling

  • Make sure you get the horizontal stabilizer joiner in the correct way up & don't glue the moving parts

  • Slats & Flaps are molded in the up position (so plan your build with the engines on. - I still need to get my crew on-board :)

  • I believe technically, the right wing pylons should have the CAD breech covers for the bomb rack moved from the right side to the left side of the pylon

  • The smaller outboard wing pylons do not hang perpendicular to the ground, but lean outboard 3.5 degrees


Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • This kit was built straight Out-of-the-Box


End Result:


White wheel wells and inner gear doors were first to be painted and then masked off with Blue-tack. The exterior paint scheme for this aircraft was kept pretty clean as I was building a CAG high-visibility aircraft and the Navy tends to keep these looking pretty good. Minimal weathering was added to the standard paint scheme of Dk. Ghost Gray (36320) over Lt. Ghost Gray (36375), during the paint spray. The yellow tail tips were painted on and masked off. The anti-glare panel, as well as vertical tails were then painted near-black. After allowing 24 ours or more to dry, the gloss coat was added using Future. After another curing process of at least 24 hours, the decals were added followed by a panel line wash to accent the details. The final matt coat was done with Model Master Flat.



The After-Build Report:


The Revell Super Hornet is an excellent value for the price. The overall level of detail is good and the required effort to deal with some minor issues is reasonable IMHO. If you don't mind the neutral control surfaces, you can build a few of these kits in different markings for the cost of one of the Hasegawa or Meng kits (which are great kits - but much more expensive). Most of these comments would apply to Revell's 1/48th F/A-18E kit as well



Completed build #196 - October 2016 using the 1/48th scale Revell #85-5520 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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