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Thadeus

A couple of 1/72 Hornets

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Well, before we'll go, I have some explaining to do.

I've been building models since I was 7 years old - that was quite some time ago ;)/>/> My love for hornets was started with 1/144 Revell F/A-18D and it still goes on. To my Fathers horror I've started to accumulate assembled Hornets, which started to dominate my shelves. Most of them were hastly assembled Italeri 1/72 kits, brush painted with Model Master Enamels untill I've discovered Hasegawa Hornets. Up untill 2011 I've assembled about 20 Hornets. Right about that time I've changed my modelling approach, took more time assembling those kits, learned how to operate an airbrush properly ;)/>/> Most of those Hornets are gone now, and I've started to assemble my Hornets collection anew. For quite some time now I've wanted to start a thread with all my Hornets, and here I am now.

Well... Here we go! :woot.gif:/>/>

Edited by Thadeus

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#1 - Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 D, VMFA(aw)-225 CE01, Hobby Boss decals.

This one is my oldest Hornet kit. Ok, there are some that are older than this one, but they were either damaged during the years and therefore repaired, or simply I chose to remake them. This one started as an experiment - I wanted to fold the wings and this kit seemed perfect for the task at hand. I took decals from an Hobby Boss F/A-18D kit, weapons from Hasegawa weapons kit and pilots were assembled using parts from different figures. I've experimented with preshading using a very thin marker. I still like this model, even though I've cheated a little bit lowering the flaps - I've used plasticine to fill the space between the flap and wing. At that time I did not paint the fiberglass radome tip or colour bands on the weapons. Sheesh - I just stopped painting missiles white ;)

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Oooops, one of the bulged antennae aft of the canopy has fallen off ;) Back then I was still painting canopies using brush and I was scared to paint the middle bar. What's masking tape? ;)

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Damn... looks awesome! From the distance. With one eye closed. And other eye poked out hanging from the tree. ;)

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Remember that plasticine I wrote about? ;)

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I did not use any putty at the time, guess it shows.

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#2 Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 A, VFA-15 AJ301, Heller decals.

At some point this was supposed to be my best model kit... Right now it's destined to be rebuilt. Oh... I did not use ANY clear coats back then. I've used decals from Heller kit which was horrible, decals were much much better, though I did not apply the black decals that should have been on the vertical stabs. Now I have much much much much better decals from CAM :) This one marks my very first flap down Hornet.

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Do You wanna guess what I've used to fill the void between the flaps and wing? ;)

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Yup! It's plasticine! :D

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#3 Academy 1/72 F/A-18 C+, VMFA-251 AB200, MAW Decals.

Last Hornet built in 2011. Not my first Academy Hornet. Ever since they came out I simply fell in love with them. Those wings, that nose... Those damned main gear legs!!!! AAAARGH! Fully loaded, with fuel tanks and all it doesn't show that much. Again, preshaded with thin marker. I've rearmed it a few months ago, since it was originally armed with GBU-39's... Ok, ok... Mk-82's with blobs of... plasticine at the front :D I really hope this is the last time I've used it so creatively.

I really loved working with MAW decals. Sure would like to buy one more sheet so I could rebuild this one with folded wings. Someday perhaps :)

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Those are kit decals in the cockpit - they were pretty nice.

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This model was involved in minor accident in which I lost several of my Hornets. Luckily, this one suffered only minor damage, but You can see the repair under the vertical stab.

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As of then I still did not use putty ;) Although I seem to have used a lot of DUST :D

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#4 Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 F VFA-102 NF100, Hasegawa VFA-102 History Combo Decals.

I really liked this one, built in 2012. It was my first in-flight displa, I've used Italeri stand. Again, not really my first Hasegawa Super Hornet (more like 5th). I might have used some putty on this one ;) Ok, a lot of putty, just not on the wing/fuselage joint. Pilots came from Hasegawa F-16CJ (WSO) and Revell F-16 (Pilot). Unfortunatly, this one suffered a minor accident. The model fell from a table, and I've stepped on it breaking the canopy. Some parts also... detached ;) I'm over it now, but I guess I'll have to rebuild it at some point in future. I really like this scheme.

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Here You can see part of the damage and my attempt at fixing it.

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I still did not mask my canopies back then.

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#5 Hasegawa F/A-18 C, VFA-195 NF400 from around 2007, Hasegawa Chippy Ho history decals.

This one was built in 2012 in paralel with the VFA-102 Super Hornet. Again in-flight, again using Italeri stand. For the green I've used MM Acrylic Angel Green. Pilot came from Revell F-16. I really like this scheme. Guess I'll have to make one more, this time using Academy decals.

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Sorry for all the dust.

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I should take pics of my models while they are still not covered in tons of dust.

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Canopy didn't fit well unfortunatly.

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#6 Academy F/A-18 A+, VMFA-232 NH200 from 2007, MAW Decals.

Right about this time I've started to run out of shelf space. Luckily, my faovurite aircraft has foldable wingtips - surely while designing this jet someone thought about me ;) I've bought Wolfpack resin wingfold for this one and I just fell in love (again). It was drop fit with excellent detail. I've had minor problems with the parts being bent but I've managed to even them out. I was a little afraid to keep them in hot water for too long, so I guess I still could correct it a bit. Weapons came from the kit and from Skunkmodels NATO Weapons set.

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Weathering was done with pencil dust. I've replaced the kit seat with the one from Hasegawa Legacy Hornet since it looked more like the SJU-5's fitted to A's and B's

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#7 Academy F/A-18 D, VMFA(aw)-332 EA00, kit decals.

My very first Academy D. I have to say I really like this kit. Hasegawa F/A-18D has slightly inaccurate canopy IMHO. It was the first time I've cut full flaps from an Academy Hornet.

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This time there was no plasticine involved in my downed flaps. I've used some plasticard though - not really the best approach but at the time I was too scared of chopping the flaps in two.

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If You want a D in 1/72 scale this is the one to get. Awesome kit, seriously.

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Weathering was done with pencil dust. My method of choice back then. Still it's one of the simplier and effective methods.

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#8 Revell 1/72 F/A-18 E, VFA-115 NF300, Hasegawa VFA-115 History decals.

This is my second Revell Super Hornet. First one was scrapped some time ago since I did not like it. Kit is quite nice, however I have a feeling that it sits too low on the MLG. I've assembled them at slightly different angle, and it looks much better now. Still don't like the fat spine nor the very thin nose. I'm not really bothered by the inaccurate area between the engines or too shallow intake truking - at least it's there! I really dig these markings.

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Whoooaa look at all that dust! I thought I did better job at cleaning them before pics.

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#9 Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 E, VFA-143 AG100, from around 2006, TwoBobs Decals.

Another one from 2012. This time with Wolfpack Resin Wingfold. I remember having big plans back then. My every Super Hornet was to have this wingfold. Well, eventually I've found cheaper and almost as good alternative ;) Wolfpack resin is againt drop fit, with excellent detail and I guess its worth its price. I'm planning quite a few Hornets and it would be a tad too expensive for me. TwoBobs decals were awesome. Very thin and I've had no problem with them. Bear in mind that I didn't use any clear coats - either gloss before decals or any other to seal them. Would love to build this jet again. I have Superscale decals for AG101 and I think they'd look awesome together.

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unfortunatly, my reference pictures show this airframe with bard stack ECS vents. That's been bothering me for some time now, so I guess I'll really have to reconsider rebuilding this model. VFA-14 Lo-Vis perhaps?

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#10 Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 F, VFA-2 NE100, Kit decals.

I really admire people who have the guts to chop up very expensive kits in order to upgrade them, those who have scratchbuilding skills to add even the tiniest detail to their build. I happen to know one modeller just like that personally so I also admire that he does want to add those time consuming and nerve wrecking details. I for one am very lazy and just cant be bothered to add almost any detail to my builds. However... as my shelf space started to run out I've had to come up with some way of fitting even more models. I mean I could go with Wolfpack resin wingfold, but try buing 10, or 20, or 30 of them... It gets quite expensive. Think of all the Hornets You could buy instead ;) So I broke out my PE saws from CMK, Trumpeter scriber and some patience (plus some band aids - just in case). Well - here is my very first Hornet with wings folded :) I guess I should have put more heart in it but as I've said - I'm lazy :( And I was very eager to complete my next project.

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These dual amraam launchers were made using kit supplied Harm launchers made to look like LAU-115's and spare launchers from some other Hasegawa Super Hornets.

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This is a very eye catching scheme. Guess I'll have to redo this one too.

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#11 Hasegawa F/A-18 F, VFA-103 AG204, from around 2006, VF Decals.

One of my favourite builds so far. I wanted a dirty Super Hornet, and for some time this was it for me. Again, Wolfpack resin wingfold came to the rescue for as-easy-as-it-gets wingfold. Also, I've used excellent Wolfpack SJU-17 NACES.

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Back then there was no kit of Super Hornet with ACS cockpit. For the bard stacks You could have the Revell Super Hornet. So out of sheet of plastic I've build very crude representations of Bard Stack ECS exhaust. Later I've found out that I shouldn't have bothered - This jet did not have them at that time! :bandhead2: It did have the ACS ready aft IP. Using plastic sheet I've modified kit coaming to look similar to ACS. From this far it really looks ok to me ;)

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I really like these markings, one of the nicest that VFA-103 ever wore.

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ACS-ish close up. Hell! I even painted the middle canopy bar black!

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Excellent Wolfpack seats.

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Not so excellent Bard Stack ECS exhaust ;)

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#12 Hasegawa F/A-18 A, VFA-127 Red 01, 1993, HDL decals.

Completed in January 2013 along with 6 others. I got slightly spooked by my previous attempt at wingfold, so these were build only with flaps down. Right about this time I've started to use floor wax coats to gloss the model a bit. This way they would not gather that much dust. Decals were quite old, but I've had no problems with them. Other than not really thinking about their placement during painting...

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Seriously... I dusted them off before taking those pics :bandhead2:

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Lucky #13, Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 A, VFC-12 Black 07, 1999, Hasegawa Agressor decals.

I always liked these blue agressor markings, and now I have one! :yahoo: As with all 6 of them, I've used plasticard to hide the drooped flaps. Not really the best of ideas ;)

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I've thinned down the ladder as much as I could - it looks much better now!

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Couple of pics with my brown agressor.

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#14 Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 A, 3rd Sqn RAAF A21-8, 1987, HDL decals.

I've wanted non-US Hornet for some time before I've built this one. I like these markings, they look awesome, guess I'll have to build another Aussie Hornet in near future. LAU-115's were once again modified from Hasegawa Super Hornets Harm launchers (You know, the ones Hasegawa would like You to hang Amraams from ;) ).

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No Lex fences on this one :)

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That Cobra head on the nose looks really awesome :)

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#15 Academy F/A-18 D, VMFA(aw)-121 VK01, 2004, MAW Decals.

Not much story behind this one. Just liked that green knight on the tail.

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I really should have done these drooped flaps better. Oh well that's what You get for building 6 models in paralel - You get the unique chance of making that very same mistake 6 times over ;)

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#16 Hasegawa F/A-18 C, #410 25th KAF Sqn. 1993 HDL decals.

I did this one out of boredom but man... I really like this scheme now. Guess I should build one more some time. Perhaps a little weathered.

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#17 Hasegawa F/A-18 B, VFC-12 #15, 2004, TwoBobs decals.

Another agressor for me. This was the first time I've sanded aft IP coaming to shape. IMHO it shows and makes some difference in cockpit apperance.

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#18 Italeri Super Hornet Prototype F1 on board USS Carl Vinson, ca. 1997, Kit decals

I was really hoping this one would turn out at least nice. I modified aft IP coaming to look more realistic, replaced kit seats with ones from Hasegawa Super Hornet and added pilot figure. All would be awesome if it wasn't for those damned decals. The looked much darker on the decal sheet but after applying they just *poof* dissapeared :bandhead2: Ah... well...

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It takes a lot of imagination to see those writings on a model.

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We have a saying in Poland "...and it was supposed to be so beutifull..."

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#19 Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18 F, VFA-111 NE113, 2012.

This one is actually my very first Hasegawa Super Hornet. I bought it and built it as a VFA-2 Lo-Vis bird some time in January 2007. As with most of my kits back then it was a quick build and without any putty or something similar. Back then I did't even dream of folding wings on my Bugs. Well... I changed my mind. After some carefull disassemblement, stripping paint I've decided to fold the wings on this one too. It's really simple when done early in the build. But man, try to do this on a completed model! I've finished it in march 2013. There are a couple of things I'm not really happy about, but generally I'm fine with this one. Just wish Sundowners would really get to fly Super Hornets :)

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I've hand painted that sunburst... guess I shouldn't have ;)

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I really like this touch up effect. Right about this time I've switched from Model Master Acrylic Ghost Grays to Pactra Ghost Grays. They are slightly lighter in shade and look more realistic in 1/72.

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#20 Hasegawa F/A-18 E, VFA-22 NK100, 2006, TwoBobs decals

Again, not much story behind this one. I really dig these markings, would love them in Lo-Vis!

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#21 Hasegawa EA-18 G, VAQ-132 NL540, 2011, kit decals.

This was one of the most awesome things that could happen! Hasegawa released updated molds for the Super Hornet!!!! With nice ACS aft pit and bard stack ECS exhaust and that antenna on the NLG doors. They even gave You the correct decals for the ACS instrument panel. But this last one comes only with Growlers... Why?! Oh well, at least they're cheap. With the advent of this kit and more EA-18's in the fleet I guess I'll have even more options for my beloved Bugs.

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#22 Hasegawa F/A-18 F, VFA-2 NE106, around 2005 - 2006, Hasegawa decals.

Built in May 2013 along with two previous ones. Ever since I've remade my first Super Hornet I wanted to build myself one more Lo-Vis VFA-2 SuperBug. Well - here it is! I've started to develop a taste for low visibility schemes. You can tell it's one of my favourites, because it has AGM-65 under the wings ;)/>

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Edited by Thadeus

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#23 Hasegawa F/A-18 F, VFA-211 AB104, 2007, Authentic Decals.

Again, one of my favourites. I really like these markings, and hope to make some more jets from VFA-211. Im really happy with all those touch ups. Oh... this one was built in parallel with previous 3 :) I really can't build just one model at a time. Noticed that LMav? ;)

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I wish I would have done wash...

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#24 Hasegawa F/A-18 D, VFA-106 AD400, 1991, Superscale decals.

I've modeled this jet numerous times, since decals were included in Italeri F/A-18 Wild Weasel boxing. Somehow it felt appropriate to do it one more (hopefully last) time - so here it is! Built in June 2013.

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Seats came from Academy Hornets. I have a lot of them (both).

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It was only after taking this photo I've realised... I did not paint the LEX Fences!!! How?!!!!! :bandhead2:/>

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Edited by Thadeus

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