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  1. ... and the bartender says, "is this some kind of a joke?". I guess at least once everyone has it. You start something, and then suddenly, there comes another idea to start anew or just something different. Well, it's been awhile since I built a Hornet, and just as soon as I started my F-16 project, I got an idea to compare two best (IMHO) 1/72 Hornets head to head, or nose to nose - Academy and Hasegawa. Both F/A-18C's from VFA-82 from 1991 and 2005. The idea was, that for the price of Academy F/A-18 I can get a Hasegawa F/A-18 with Aires cockpit and add to it Rob Taurus windscreen. But apparently, I really like to punish myself. So a real Showdown should include a Fujimi Hornet. I don't like it, but then again, I've not built this model in ages. So I got one. Don't have a third VFA-82 option though. That would normally be it. I mean, three best 1/72 scale Hornets. Fujimi the most expensive, Academy the newest, and Hasegawa, cheapest. But recently, my eldest wanted me to buld him a model. So I took a surplus Italeri Hornet, assembled it hastly as a dual seater, and off he went to play with it. I've long had a problem with Hasegawa dual seat windscreen and canopy. What struck me was how nice that Italeri Hornet looked. Nose a bit too skinny, but a very nice canopy outline, quite similar to the real deal. So I figured, why not build another Italeri Hornet. It's been ages since I actually built one, save from the one for my son. Even then I didn't realy put my heart in it. So I could build an Italeri Hornet too. So I got one. Don't have a fourth VFA-82 option. So I'm building Academy, Hasegawa, Fujimi and Italeri Hornets. Readilly available, at least in my neck of the woods, is also the Hobby Boss Hornet. I could build it too, as I remember it was quite simple, yet nice fitting model. Besides, I wanted to check that double seater canopy. It might actually fit onto the Hasegawa Hornet, so I could vacuform it and get nicer canopies. So I got one. You know, I've not a fifth VFA-82 option ;). In the end, for comparison sake, I will build all of them as single seaters. Academy and Hasegawa I've both singles and duals. But I want to build the AFLAC scheme. And I might build the other VFA-82 option. Fujimi eventually I got as a single seater, as the dual I wanted was not available. Italeri is the only one that can be built as either. And Hobby Boss I got as the last one I purchased as a single seater, which was the cheaper option for me. So here they are: All of the kits have their pros and cons. Frankly, retail price for Hasegawa is the lowest, around 40 pln - about 10$, while both Hobby Boss and Italeri bit my wallet about the same - 52pln (13$) and 57pln (15$) respectively. Fujimi was the most expensive costing 88pln (22$), and Academy went for 80pln (20$). Shipping cost not included. Obviously, Academy is the most modern release, from 2008 - same as Hobby Boss. Still, I don't know the exact number of parts, but I'd hazard a guess it has the most of them. Nice detail, crisp panel lines, not too deep. The fact it has a flaw - MLG shape is off, doesn't detract from the overall quality. Still, I've one suspicion regarding the front section, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Right now, the Academy kit is the most likelly candidate for the "best Kit" prize. Every boxing has good quality decals. You get 4 fuel tanks, 2 sidewinders, 2 sparrows and 4 gbu-12's, all of them pretty nice details. Very nice transparencies. I like the shape of the windscreen. Probably the best in 1/72 scale. Check out the details: Fujimi: 1995 molds, probably the second in number of parts.
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