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phantom

Acadamy, Hasegawa and Fujimi CF-18 comparison build

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GoBlue96   

Wow, what a great thread. As a guy who is pondering what to purchase for an upcoming F/A-18A or C build I have learned a *lot* here.

I hope when you are done this gets pinned up somehere because the thread is a little hard to find here in the GB forum.

Thanks for all of the effort!

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Awesome build there, love these comparisons, especially since I know how good the Academy 1:72 Hornet in the mail is going to be!

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phantom   

I have no idea how to get this pinned. I'll ask Steve I guess. Thanks for the kind feedbacks.

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Nice stuff! :thumbsup: Absolutely love this thread. Even if it means I now have a dozen or so Hasegawa Hornets to be replaced by their Academy brethren. :woot.gif:

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phantom   

build32.jpg

All 3 with BASIC paint on, NO detailing and no improvements. Or repairs which will be coming later to the Hasegawa (additions) and the Fujimi (repairs).

Next I will compare the models to what I consider the closest to a real Hornet that I can fit on my model table. The 1/48 Hasegawa CF-18.

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phantom   

First Hasegawa.

build33.jpg

Really does not look to bad. Has the advantage of the lowest cost. The spine does not look bad at all but I think I see some difference to the speedbrake in the two scales.

Fuel tanks look right.

About the only thing it needs is the pitot tubes which I think I will add at the end. Still it was not the best fitting Hasegawa 1/72 CF-18 I have built. The nose took alot of sanding and therefore lost a great deal of detail.

build34.jpg

Overall not that bad of a kit really. Just outdated to the other two.

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phantom   

Now, the new kid on the block. Academy.

build35.jpg

This sucker is "SWEET" The spine looks really nice compared to 1/48. The panel lines are the closest to the 1/48 as well. Also a big advantage is the Academy can be built as a modernized CF-18AM. I still however need to remove the bumps over the nose formation light. I will of course be keeping the bird slicers.

Also, a big one, the weapons looks REALLY nice. I might add some at the end of the build. The other two kits weapons are lacking. Especially the really thick and short Hasegawa ones. The Academy even comes with a nice decal sheet with weapon markings. Hopefully Academy has improved the decals the give us since I built their 1/32 scale Hornet.

Fuel tanks look closest to the 1/48 of the 3 options. Nice that I have another pair left over to put on a future kit along with the HIGHLY superior ejection seat that even comes with the correct decals. Something Hasegawa and Fujimi do not have.

Never built a perfect model yet and the Academy is no exception. The nose might be a little thin. Looks thin to me, but I am not a rivit counter and not about to measure and convert the numbers.

The wheels. No idea what they were doing with the main wheels. Look nothing like the ones used on the CF-18. But the treads are nice and look closer to scale then the slightly large looking Hasegawa wheels.

build36.jpg

Looking forward to finishing this one up.

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phantom   

And bringing up the rear. The Fujimi.

build37.jpg

Nice stuff. Panel lines are better then Hasegawa but do not compare to Academy. The hell hole in the back of the cockpit can be easily detailed where the others would require much surgery.

Wheels look good, tires are bulged. REALLY bulged. To the point of the plane captain would be getting a slap upside the head from the mait. NCO for under inflating them.

Comes with a panel to make a US gun cover or the spotlight for the Canadian search light. NO other kit comes with this.

Biggest disadvantage. The hefty price. This model goes for $45 or more in a area store. I have seen them for $60. That is stupid expensive.

The spine looks really thick aft of the cockpit and "funny" by the tail. The wing fold bulges seem really over pronounced. This kit needed some putty over the wing joins, the only putty required of the 3.

And the sidewinder rails are a joke. Kate Moss thin. Going to HAVE to add Sidewinders later.

Fuel tanks are just wrong. No idea what Fujimi measured to get these.

build38.jpg

Can't see me buying any more Fujimi Hornets.

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Nate   

Question about the order you build - am I correct in seeing that you do the cockpit, then completely assemble the bird (including the landing gear) and then final paint with the gear on? Is this unique to hornets, or is this how you usually do it?

Since you're the Speed Racer of modelers I thought I'd ask if this was one way to speed things up, i.e. no worries about mounting tiny parts and no touchups or smudges from gluing prepainted parts.

Nice work, and thanks!

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Wooow....that academy is really a top notch kit from what i can see so far!!!

great progress!!!!

Cheers

:rofl:

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phantom   

Thanks guys, Nate. There WILL be touch ups. But yep. I build MOST of my models this way. Landing gear and doors and surrounding surface I always prepaint. Then detail at the end.

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Fantastic thread! :thumbsup: Nothing like comparing the kits this way.

Would you have a side view of the Academy Hornet? The Hornet on Academy website looked a bit strange in profile. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it did look odd to me.

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Nate   

Thanks for the info Phantom - so do you prepaint the gear bays and mask them during painting or do you paint then mask the paint and do the gear bays?

Thanks!

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phantom   

I don't do a lot of masking, except the canopy of course. I just use a very small airbrush nozzel on my Badger 150.

Really, I just hold a playing card over the area I don't want painted and paint the areas I want to paint.

Nothing more hi-tech then that.

I often (not always) have to do minor touch ups and often fix really minor overspray with weathering, if that will work. I don't know how else to explain it, just 30 years of practice I guess.

But painting for me is a two handed operation, sometimes using a coat hanger to hold the model up for me.

As for the side views, once I do the detail painting I will try to get some side views in for you.

Edited by phantom

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I love this comparison! Really is going to help me with the Acad. Hornet! Thanks for posting this. Any hope we can get it moved to the Jets forum when this GB is over? It would be a shame to lose it to the "past GBs" forum.

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phantom   

And the end begins.

Now keep in mind. All kits built with the same load of NOTHING plus two tanks. But each kit has its own advantages and disadvantages here.

For example, pilot figure: Hasegawa ONLY.

Pods, all but Fujimi and Academy are much better then Hasegawa but NONE were used here.

All are built OOB except for the Canmilair or Leading Edge decals.

Air to Ground, ONLY Academy comes with them, and they appear VERY nice.

OK. Hasegawa first:

build41.jpg

Looks not unlike a CF-18 Hornet eh?

build42.jpg

Landing gear is prob the best. Seems chunky yet compared to the 1/48 perhaps the closest to real life. Certainly the wheels appear the best.

build43.jpg

The weapons are VERY old school and lack detail, they are way to thick and the Sidewinders appear to be something from the 60's as opposed to the 80's when this kit was released.

build44.jpg

The cockpit is the WORST of the three. No detail and what there is .....well it just does not look right compared to the other two options as shown on page one.

The panel lines are VERY vague. Rather light but in 1/72 scale would you really see many as on the real plane from any distance? The spotlight is provided with a decal. BUT only in the basic kit and Canadian specific boxes. THe US Navy and Marine boxes do not come with them. The spotlight on this model actually came from (I think) a VERY old Italeri sheet.

build45.jpg

Now end game:

It looks like a Hornet. It is the MOST cost effective and easiest to find. Not at all a bad model given everything into consideration. But it is for sure showing its age compared to the other offerings.

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phantom   

ALSO keep in mind.......NONE of these planes has been weathered to what I normally would do. Just to keep the final appearence fair. Might just leave them as they are anyway. I have a Labrador that needs attention.

Academy. The new wonder kit. Very nice and it is INDEED leaps and bonds in technology above the Hasegawa.

build46.jpg

First serious advantage as we found on page one is the cockpit. It looks like a Hornet cockpit. Decals are provided for the three small video screen. Normally I would just paint them, especially in this scale, but they are very nice and gave the desired effect. They look good.

The ejection seat is easily the best of the bunch. By far. Even comes with stencil declas, and most of all.....An extra seat in the C kit. The extra seat will go into a future Hasegawa build in my stash. Same deal for the fuel tanks. 2 extra when they build was complete. I'll save them for the Fujimi in the stash.

build47.jpg

THe landing gear. Very solid but might be too thin. And the wheels are just wrong for a CF-188 But the gear bays are leaps and bounds over the other two. Sadly I did no detail in there, but a bit of wash will make a huge impact really bringing this model high on top of the others.

build48.jpg

The model just appears the closest to the real thing.

build49.jpg

Weapons come with this model which are WAY better, the engine exhaust have depth, but the intakes do not. But as I mentioned earlier, they still are not bad. Not as good as the Fujimis, but WAY better the the completely absent Hasegawa ones..

build50.jpg

Another biggie, the bird slicers . This is the only kit that comes with them and in 1/72 scale that is a tough one to make yourself and get to look right. If you want to make a earlier plane then just sand them off. The GPS is on the spine and Academy gives more then enough antennas (sp) to do either this new upgrade or a earlier style.

This model wins the Hornet comp hands down. It has its issues, (minor) and the other kits both Hasegawa and Fujimi have items that are better, but OVERALL this is the Hornet kit to get.

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phantom   

And the last one, the Fujimi.

The BIG problem with this kit is the price. It is stupid expensive. You can buy two and sometimes three...of the other kits. In fact the real number is 4 of the Hasegawa as I got some on sale a few years back.

build51.jpg

It is over engineered and not recommended at all for someone with out a lot of model making experience. BUT it also looks like a hornet when finished.

build52.jpg

Many people describe the nose as seriously off. Well, its off compared to the others but its not THAT bad. And, it is the only one that comes with the option of being built with the radome open showing off the radar.

Its also the only one that comes with a very small bit of photo etch, for the HUD and the rear lower position lights.

THe only advantage I found for the inclusion of etch for the position lights.....It saved me from having to fill the crack that would have been there otherwise.

build53.jpg

Wing tanks. OK, they blow dead bears. Really off. But now I have spare Academy tanks for next time.

Also the ejection seat, while better then the Hasegawa its nothing compared to the Academy. Perhaps the ejection seat is why Hasegawa came with a pilot. Sick him in there and you don't see the seat.

The front tires are bizzARE, no detail and undersized. The main wheels are nice but the tires which have that well recieved bulging is overdone.

build54.jpg

Now, the Fujimi does win in a couple areas. The intakes Fujimi has NO competition as the others do not come with intakes.

The Fujimi has much better pitot tubes then Academy, or perhaps they are just bigger. Hasegawa has none at all.

build55.jpg

The Fujimi while certainly buildable with some winning points has serious issues and is priced stupid.

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