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Italeri 1/48 F/A-18F Super Hornet


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Hi everyone!

As painting is impossible in my modeling room currently (30 Celsius in the evenings nowadays), I set aside my Phantom project for a while and restarted an older project - Italeri Super Hornet. Many people wrote reviews about this kit's flaws and inaccuracies so I won't go into the details. We know this is not a Hasegawa offering, period.

I decided to spice it up with scratchbuilding some details. Planned things: cockpit and canopy details, gun/radar bay, opened nose cone and extended radar equipment, avionics bays, folded wings wing and dropped flaps.

I started this model years ago (this was one of my first attempts to scratchbuild any details in a kit), so the cockpit and the canopy detail work is already done somehow - but I decided to completely restart the work and destroy those details.

Here are some pics of the startup.

Cutting out avionics bays and gun/radar bay door:

fa18f_1.JPG

Building avionics bays (just the boxes now, the little details come when all the bigger parts fit well):

fa18f_2.JPG

fa18f_3.JPG

fa18f_4.JPG

fa18f_5.JPG

Edited by ZAgocs
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The original nose gear bay is too shallow and the front part is oversized, penetrates into the avionics bays and the gun bay also:

fa18f_6.JPG

Easy to resolve - just build a new nose gear bay... :sunrevolves:/>

fa18f_7.JPG

fa18f_8.JPG

fa18f_9.JPG

fa18f_10.JPG

fa18f_11.JPG

That's all for now. And a question: does anyone have some good pictures of the gun bay's inside? I guess there's no big difference between the Super Hornet and the legacy Hornets there, but some reference needed... Got some pictures from the navy.mil photo archive, but those ones show the gun, not the bay itself. Thanks in advance.

Cheers,

Zoli

Edited by ZAgocs
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Hello Zoli,

will tha cockpit fit in the fuselage?

The electronic bays seem a bit large to me.

Regards,Laz

Hi Laz,

naná hogy befér :sunrevolves:

So, it will fit of course. Before cutting the bays I checked it ten times (at least). Only some small (and otherwise invisible) part of the rear cockpit should be removed - I'll take photos of the process.

About the size: in which dimension are too large? I measured it on photos from navy.mil. Only the depth was guessed, could be a bit too deep.

Cheers,

Zoli

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Hi Laz,

naná hogy befér :sunrevolves:

So, it will fit of course. Before cutting the bays I checked it ten times (at least). Only some small (and otherwise invisible) part of the rear cockpit should be removed - I'll take photos of the process.

About the size: in which dimension are too large? I measured it on photos from navy.mil. Only the depth was guessed, could be a bit too deep.

Cheers,

Zoli

Hello Zoli,

In depth,I mean.I was just afraid that they take to much space from the inner and you will have problems when you build in the cockpit.

Otherwise it is OK,the other dimensions look right.

If you've checked it ten times,it must be OK. :sunrevolves:

Keep on the pictures coming.

Regards,Laz

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Cutting out avionics bays and gun/radar bay door:

fa18f_1.JPG

:blink: Mate! Those oughta have been the neatest cuts I've ever seen in centuries! Whut did ya make those cuts with, a laser beam...?

Me is highly impressed...

naná hogy befér :thumbsup:

:blink: Hoggy Bear...?

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Hi everyone!

Thank you, Gregg, I'll post new pics soon!

Laz, in this model (and also in the real aircraft I guess) the cockpit tub sits on top of the avionics bays - hence the "step", the front box is smaller than the aft one (and I guess the back wall of the avionics bay is the wall of the nose gear well - no gap between them?). The same step can be found on the Italeri cockpit tub, surprisingly close to the point where I cut the bays. So only a very small part of the rear cockpit floor shoud be removed for a perfect fit. But - your question still echoing in my head so I'll fit the cockpit ASAP... :nanner:

Uncle Uncool, this is not laser beam of course. Just a good old razor blade I transformed into a razor saw by "destroying" its edge (hitting the edge with an x-acto blade many times)... Draw the lines onto the surface, scribe the lines with a needle and start sawing. Just some minutes of work and when it is ready, file and sand the edges.

"naná hogy befér" - it is in Hungarian as both Laz and me are from Hungary. It means "of course it'll fit".

Cheers,

Zoli

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Uncle Uncool,

hoggy bear? :rofl:

Zoli,

if the cockpit fits than it is OK.It was just aquestion.

Is there any progress on the Hornet?

Regards,Laz

Hi Laz,

keep the comments/questions coming mate as these are always welcomed! And anyway - you were right, I'll have to cut a little from the tub... :rofl:

No progress unfortunately, I wasn't home in the weekend. This week I just cut out the door for the inflight refueling probe (no photos uploaded yet as it is not yet finished) and made some measurements on pictures of the Vulcan canon - to be able to build something like it into the gun bay. I tried to get as many photos of the gun bay as I could - I don't have too much unfortunately but enough to build a "busy" bay.

This is not "progress" but here are the details I was writing about in the opening post. The scratchbuilt parts will be removed (mostly) as I want to rebuild them.

fa18f_12.JPG

fa18f_13.JPG

Cheers,

Zoli

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Hi Laz,

naná hogy befér :thumbsup:

So, it will fit of course. Before cutting the bays I checked it ten times (at least). Only some small (and otherwise invisible) part of the rear cockpit should be removed - I'll take photos of the process.

About the size: in which dimension are too large? I measured it on photos from navy.mil. Only the depth was guessed, could be a bit too deep.

Cheers,

Zoli

By the looks of things when you finish, those not reading this thread won't know it's Italeri, and as a mentor of mine once said, you measure twice or more and cut only once. (however in modeling ya might make that measure 10 times, and cut only once).

Edited by Angels49
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Hi Zoli,

any update?

This thread has a serious influence on me...I am thinking about starting a new build,F/A-18 A or D in 1/72.

Have some stuff on the stash,a Hasegawa A with collected AIRES goods:avionics bay,gear bays,cockpit and exhaust set and an Academy D which is planned to build OOB.

Regards,Laz

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Hi Zoli,

any update?

This thread has a serious influence on me...I am thinking about starting a new build,F/A-18 A or D in 1/72.

Have some stuff on the stash,a Hasegawa A with collected AIRES goods:avionics bay,gear bays,cockpit and exhaust set and an Academy D which is planned to build OOB.

Regards,Laz

Hi Laz,

unfortunately no update (modeling room was way too hot all week, 30+ Celsius)... :thumbsup: Maybe this evening... - Phantom or Hornet, not decided yet...

My main inspiration was this ARC thread: 1/48 Hasegawa F/A-18C - a fantastic model.

I also built the 1/72 Hasegawa F/A-18C last year. Find the album here: Hornet pictures

This model was a disaster for me, painting, decaling - all went wrong. By the time I bought that it was three times more expensive than the Italeri one - and I still don't understand why. No real intakes just a hole in the fuselage, bad fit around the intakes, oval cross-section sticks instead of the main landing gears, decals were thick and did not adhere well, no weapons, etc... So good luck but prepare for the battle, mate! :)

Cheers,

Zoli

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Hi there,

sorry to hear that.

As far as your Hasegawa model in 1/72 is concerned,it looks quite OK for me.

The price is little bit high,that's true....I suppose we must pay the name on the box in 60%...

I bought my Hornet on ReBaKa for 1500HUF,that's about 7 bucks nowadays.I can live together with problems like shallow intakes,sparse cockpit for this price.

Regards,Laz

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Hi everyone!

Thanks for all your comments!

Periklis, I feel I can't build a complete and decent jet engine so the engine bay will remain closed on this model. Maybe next time...

A quick progress report - building the refueling probe. First cutting the hole on the nose...

fa18f_14.JPG

fa18f_15.JPG

...then building the inside and the probe - unfinished as the actuator is still missing.

fa18f_16.JPG

fa18f_17.JPG

fa18f_18.JPG

Cheers,

Zoli

Edited by ZAgocs
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nice work... I am tempted to open a couple of bays (mainly nose) on the 1/72 Dragonfly I am building and adding the canon and maybe avionics too but having seen this I am tempted to leave it closed up ;-).... its sitting there waiting for me to pluck the nerve - it was a cheap kit anyway so good to butcher. It wont be as accurate as yours for example but will have the "look" of the real thing....

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No way,a Dragonfly in 1/72 is too little for this kind of surgery.

Maybe in 1/48...

It is quite cheap but accurate and the detail of the ordnance is very cool.

Zoli,

what's the story about the Phantom?

The weather is not so hot now,maybe it is time to get started with paint job.

Regards,Laz

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The original nose gear bay is too shallow and the front part is oversized, penetrates into the avionics bays and the gun bay also:

Easy to resolve - just build a new nose gear bay... ;)

fa18f_10.JPG

fa18f_11.JPG

A quick progress report - building the refueling probe. First cutting the hole on the nose...

fa18f_17.JPG

fa18f_18.JPG

DUDE!!!.......You Rock!!!

Let me know when and where your instruction classes are and I'll be there

Absofanificently scratchbuilding at its finest.

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