Here is another decades old kit from Monogram. Released back in 1983 this was Monogram's first military production version of the F/A-18 (the previous release being the pre-production airframe). Old school with raised panel lines it can still be used to get you an inexpensive Hornet.
(Note: Not to be confused with the old 1/48th Revell kit which is poor at best.)
Notable Kit Features:
Good raised cockpit detail (A Monogram signature feature)
Decent accuracy of shape
Raised panel lines
Detailed landing gear
Selection of ordinance and designator pods provided
I always liked the U.S. Marines Black Knights emblem so sooner or later a build was going to feature this squadron. As part of Operation El Dorado Canyon F/A-18s from VMFA-314 launched from the aircraft carrier Coral Sea (as well as other squadrons from USS America). Armed with HARM missiles (the first combat use of this weapon) struck radar / anti-aircraft sites as well as military barracks in and around Benghazi in eastern Libya. With the release of Microscale's 48-313 decals, featuring these F/A-18 aircraft, I had my build project.
Raised panel lines (raised rivets appear overdone)
Less than perfect overall fit
Nose fit issue - which fixing will remove detail as much sanding is necessary
Upper lower wing fit issues (break out the files and sanding sticks again)
Wing pylon shape issue (minor and easy to correct ...or ignore)
Intake fit issues (more sanding necessary here to smooth things out)
Slime light raised panels on the inside of the tail (Not present on F/A-18?)
So-so canopy (too thick for one)
Flaps and slats molded in the retracted position
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Microscale No. 48-313 "F-18A Libyan Raiders USN/USMC" (featuring VFA-131, VFA-132, VMFA-314, VMFA-323 aircraft)
Added seatbelts made from painted masking tape
The paint scheme for this Hornet consisted of the standard USN FS 36375 / 36495 / 35237 with the nose tip in radome tan. I was pretty happy with the results at the time, although there are areas I wish had turned out better (that would be left for the goal of the next build). I was glad to have a VMFA-314 aircraft, with the Black Knights emblem down the spine, and another combat veteran to display on the shelf.
The After-Build Report: Despite my criticisms, this Monogram model still has a place in the 1/48th scale Hornet community. I always consider value for money and certainly there are better F-18 kits, however if you want to build an inexpensive Hornet or lots of Hornets, you can get a good end result with some extra work here. All gained at a fraction of the price of its competitors. (I have more recently built both the 1/48th Hasegawa and the Kinetic kits and appreciate the quality and features such as dropped slats & flaps contained in both these superior kits... which weren't around back when I bought this one.)
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 suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers