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SoarinSukhoi

Suomen Ilmavoimat (Finnish AF) F/A-18C

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I got this kit in the mail today along with some other goodies from Sprue Brothers. I immediately opened it and started it. I'll be building it as a Suomen Ilmavoimat (Finnish air force) F/A-18C using F-4Dable's 1/72 Export Bugs. Nothing beats working on a model while listening to some Apocalyptica, Amorphis and Korpiklaani. All the changes I've done so far to the kit apply to, as far as I know, all export bugs. I'll post pictures later tonight showing what needs changed to make it an export bug. I'll post pictures tonight of what modifications I'm doing to make it a late model C Finnish bug. These changes may also apply to other Canadian and European export bugs.

Kit box:

IMG_3357.JPG

Edited by SoarinSukhoi

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In terms of changes note there are three distinct groups of export bugs, the early almost stock ones (Canadian and Australian), the later semi-denavalized A/B's and the C/D's. There are as far as I'm aware no commonalities to the modifications across the three groups, only across the latter two. The Finnish bugs are in the last group (in fact the very last C model built was a Finnish bird) although they later acquired one of the Canadian mods (the spotlight), I'm unsure exactly when the Finns started adding the spotlight to some of their aircraft.

Edited by mawz

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In terms of changes note there are three distinct groups of export bugs, the early almost stock ones (Canadian and Australian), the later semi-denavalized A/B's and the C/D's. There are as far as I'm aware no commonalities to the modifications across the three groups, only across the latter two. The Finnish bugs are in the last group (in fact the very last C model built was a Finnish bird) although they later acquired one of the Canadian mods (the spotlight), I'm unsure exactly when the Finns started adding the spotlight to some of their aircraft.

Thanks for the heads up. I know next to nothing about bugs. I've been looking at other European F/A-18Cs and they all seem to have the same changes, but a lot of them I assume are common to any late model C, like the raked antennae, GPS dome, etc. Luckily the Academy kit has the raked antennae, the GPS dome and other late mods. The only major mod I had to do was add the spotlight.

There is a nice Finnish F/A-18C walkaround here: http://personal.eunet.fi/pp/vmhalme/hornet_finnaf/index.html

Lots of pics can be found here: http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?56401-Divine-Finnish-F-A-18C-Hornets-%2856k-be-gone%29

Edited by SoarinSukhoi

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Great Choice.

How are you going to arm your Hornet?

A2A or A2G ?

I've been toying with the idea of doing a Finnish F/A-18C myself.

Good luck with yours.

/Bosse

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Remember, not all European Hornets are C/D's, the Spanish buy was A/B's while the Swiss Hornets are C/D's. The A+/B+ mods added much of the C/D avionics and thus the C/D antennae configuration, the Spanish did those mods to all of their fleet.

Finnish loadouts should be A2A, they are only now updating their Hornets for A2G capability with completion of the project not scheduled until 2018, at this point only a small portion of the fleet is A2G capable. That's why Finnish Hornets are referred to as F-18's rather than F/A-18's as they were purchased with the A2G capability removed for treaty reasons (the Finns were not permitted to have bombers in the treaty which ended the Continuation War, that treaty is no longer in force but was at the time of acquisition of their Hornets).

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I threw the cockpit together and then threw some Model Master acrylics on it. The paint is still drying in the pics and I've touched it up a bit since the pictures. (It's amazing what your camera can see that you can't) You won't be able to see much with the canopy down.

IMG_3358.JPG

IMG_3360.JPG

On the port side, you want to remove the panel indicated on the instructions. I filled mine in with CA and then sanded it smooth. To make the search light I drilled a hole a little bit north of the center of the panel and used the ASQ-173 head lens (part F6) for it and then painted Tamiya chrome silver behind it.

IMG_3363.JPG

On the starboard side you also want to remove the same panel as the port side.

IMG_3364.JPG

On the nose you want to remove the IFF Bird Slicers antennae.

IMG_3365.JPG

The nose is a PITA to assemble. I first cemented parts A24 and A30 to the port side A34. After that was fairly dry I cemented the starboard side part A33. I made a mess of it and it will need lots of cleaning up around the joints.

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Great Choice.

How are you going to arm your Hornet?

A2A or A2G ?

I've been toying with the idea of doing a Finnish F/A-18C myself.

Good luck with yours.

/Bosse

Finnish loadouts should be A2A, they are only now updating their Hornets for A2G capability with completion of the project not scheduled until 2018, at this point only a small portion of the fleet is A2G capable. That's why Finnish Hornets are referred to as F-18's rather than F/A-18's as they were purchased with the A2G capability removed for treaty reasons (the Finns were not permitted to have bombers in the treaty which ended the Continuation War, that treaty is no longer in force but was at the time of acquisition of their Hornets).

As far as I'm aware Finnish bugs only carry AIM-9s, AIM-120s and fuel tanks and like Mawz said they are just now trying update their fleet for A2G.

I'll be building mine with the kit supplied AIM-9s on the wingtips and fuel tanks under the wings. Finnish bugs rarely used the center pylon and thus rarely used the centerline fuel tank. If you want to use the center pylon, make sure it is the raked type.

Remember, not all European Hornets are C/D's, the Spanish buy was A/B's while the Swiss Hornets are C/D's. The A+/B+ mods added much of the C/D avionics and thus the C/D antennae configuration, the Spanish did those mods to all of their fleet.

That explains why they look alike to the untrained eye.

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That explains why they look alike to the untrained eye.

The only visible difference between an A+/B+ and a C/D is in the tail, the C/D have 3 antennas while all A/B's have 2. It's the only reliable spotting difference between the two Legacy Hornet variants.

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This is on hold till after this next Uni. semester and I should have the paint and decals for it by then. Here is what it looks like now, still in need of bodywork on the seams.

IMG_3366.JPG

I do plan on bringing a few models with me to work on.

Edited by SoarinSukhoi

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Looks like you are off to a good start.

What is the point of the spotlight? That seems like a strange option for a jet.

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Looks like you are off to a good start.

What is the point of the spotlight? That seems like a strange option for a jet.

It's a searchlight for night vision.

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It's a searchlight for night vision.

It's a fairly common item for aircraft which operate as interceptors doing border defence, as it allows for visual identification of aircraft at night.

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The spotlight has been in every FinnAF Hornet since they were built - both C's and D's.

We are adding A2G capability to them with a mid-life update, and the ordnance tests are being carried out. GP bombs, JDAM and JSOW are already in the inventory and JASSM purchase is in the process. The reason to leave out the A2G capability in the beginning was not particularly for treaty reasons but more to do with FinnAF doctrine at the time. The doctrine was, admittedly, largely based on the treaty limitations. HN-419 is one plane that you may build with A2G ordnance, since it is one of the test planes for the MLU.

Edit: Here's a couple of photos of the HN-419.

20111108_9688.jpg

20111108_9693.jpg

Here are a couple of pictures of the FinnAF Frankenplane. In 2001, HN-430 and HN-413 were involved in a mid-air collision (no fatalities) during a nighttime training flight. HN-430 was lost while the pilot of HN-413 managed to nurse the damaged plane back to base. A decision was made to convert the plane into a two-seater and, with a forward fuselage purchased from Canada the work began in 2006. The cost was 15 million euros and 100000 work hours were needed to complete the job at Patria Aviation in Finland.

20060522_2337.jpg

20060522_2340.jpg

In 2009 the work was nearly finished, and the plane - now called HN-468 - got this "zap" in its tail on the assembly line.

20090407_3680.jpg

Sadly, HN-468 was lost on a pre-delivery test flight in 2010.

Edited by Vesa Halme

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Wow thanks for the pics and the info! It will come in handy.

Unfortunately MRC, the US distrubutor of Academy, charge a flat rate $11 for replacement parts so I won't be replacing the missing exhaust. I'll have to figure something else out.

Edited by SoarinSukhoi

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