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An Italian, a Korean, a Chinese and two Japanese walk into a bar...

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... 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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Fujimi, 1995 molds, probably the second one in number of parts. Definatly the most complex - or over engineered. Only kit to feature actual intake trunks or old style oval fuel tank.

Also only one to feature any sort of photo etch.




I'm suspicious of decal colors, pretty much like with all Japanese mig 1990's, early 2000's kits. Also I find the lower portions of the front fuselage, just fore of the intakes to be too bulbous. Quite suspicious is the shape of the nose and the front windscreen. Hopefully, by the end of this project I'll have some good comparison material.







Detail is very nice, quite sharp.



Hasegawa: 1985 moldings, updated over the years. I actually suspect the molds were updated from the prototype, as it looks very similar in parts breakdown. IMHO, close second kit in terms of accuracy and overal Hornetness. Not bad decals, not bad details. Every rebox seems to be a bit harder to build.




Offers an option for Alpha or Charlie Hornet. Though really You can only build Alpha or early Charlie, with screen type gun vents. What's awesome, Hasegawa included ordnance. Wooo! Love the ladder.




I'm very suspicious of the windscreen part. It seems too short, too wide or something. Also the nose to winscreen transition doesn't look too good to me.




Italeri: 1980's model. Only one to feature raised lines. This is the updated Wild Weasel boxing, with Harms and Harpoons. Interesting choice of armaments. Intake stations take only flir and LST pods. As with recent Italeri reboxes, it has some very nice decals.




Italeri has the deepest mlg bays of all 1/72 Hornet kits. Also only one to feature fully open exhaust nozzles. Nice.




Only Hornet kit that has the option to be built as single or dual seater out of the box. Mind You, cockpit is quite inaccurate.




Raised details look pretty nice. Some panel lines are fictous though. Also the vents on top of the LEX's are weirdly pronounced. Check out the flash. It's the most probable last place contestant.




Hobby Boss: 2008 molds. Very basic. Nicelly packed. Looks like simplified Hasegawa. But with better fit. Minus some parts. Small stuff You shouldn't fret - tailhook is missing. So is the HUD glass or UHF antennae, ok, some are molded on. Only Hornet not to include any ordnance. 3 fuel tanks and 2 BRU-33's and that's it.




Nice transparencies. Should fit like a glove.




Detail is better than Hasegawa. Bit more pronounced.




Them Canadian decals look suspicious.




So that's all in terms of introduction. I doubt I'll build all of them untill October, but I'm set on finishing this project.

I've built every one of this kit at least once, so I pretty much know what I'm in for.


Thanks for stopping by, if You have any comment or advice, let me know!







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I took some measurements. Not all of them. Also, some pictures of basic airframe laid out.


Here's Academy:
















Hobby Boss:




Generally they look more or less the same. Italeri seems to have the shortest spine. HB has some additional round vents on the LEX. Probably to make up for the missing parts 😉

Of interest to me is the location of the cockpit - pretty much the same on every jet. That's gonna come handy later.


Here's some shots of parts. From top: Hasegawa, Academy, Fujimi, Italeri. There's obviously no Hobby Boss.



I seem to remember somebody who wrote about aft engine vents being in wrong position on some of the kits. Well, they look pretty much in the same spot on all models.





Well. It looks more or less in the correct spot.


Image of VFA-192 Hornet from Seaforces.org - see?


Pylons, from top to bottom Academy, Hasegawa, Fujimi, Hobby Boss, Italeri.




That's all for now. Cheers!


Edited by Thadeus
Posted too soon.
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So, regarding them measurements. I've noticed theres something odd about the Academy Hornet. Couldn't really grasp it. Either the nose was too long, or too thin. Something was off. Also, Fujimi Hornet looks very fat in the front section. The radome and nose looks just too thick. On the other hand, Italeri seems very skinny, perhaps a bit too pointy. So I took off to measure it. Since I've not assembled anything yet, I took measurements of suspicious parts all the kits share - radome. I checked the length of the nose from end of radome to begining of the windscreen. While I was at it I measured pylons, fuel tanks, exhausts and wheels diameter. Here's how it came up:

Radome:                                                                          Nose:                total:

Academy:     12,5 mm wide,     24    mm long.            22    mm           46 mm

Fujimi:              13 mm wide,     24,5 mm long.            23,5 mm           48 mm

Hasegawa:      12 mm wide,     23,8 mm long.            22,5 mm          46,3 mm

Italeri:              11,5 mm wide,    25 mm long.              22,5 mm          47,5 mm

Hobby Boss:   11 mm wide,       23 mm long.             21,8  mm          45,8 mm

Quite interesting. So indeed, the Italeri kit could look the skiniest. There's also the angle, the height and thickness of the nose to be taken into consideration. I'll check at a later stage. Fujimi has the widest nose. Hornet nose isn't perfectly round. It's more oval. All kits have pretty close to 1mm more in height than width. Still, the width seems noticable. Again, other factors, not yet measured could come into play.


On the other end, the exhausts are pretty close. Academy and Fujimi are 12 mm in diameter, Hasegawa and Italeri are 11,8 mm while Hobby Boss is 12,5mm.


Pylons, as evident on the picture I posted, are quite different shapes. Without measuring every dimension it can be hard to check where they differ. But their width is pretty close. 41 mm for Academy, Fujimi and Hasegawa, with 40 mm for Italeri and 40,5 for Hobby Boss. Well, I'm not going to use the Italeri pylons. That one is certain.


Also, I find the Academy mid fuselage section to be too thin. Around the place where wings end and vertical stabs are. Hasegawa looks more proper, a bit beefer. So I took some more numbers:

Academy: 29,8 mm, Fujimi 30,8 mm, Hasegawa 30mm, Italeri: 29,8 mm and Hobby Boss 30 mm. So I guess I'm just seeing things. There's no way I'd spot a 0,2 mm difference. I'll check again once that part is complete.


Here are the wheels. I measured them on the outer diameter. Didn't bother checking the Hubs. I always thought Academy botched main wheels. Now I see, there are actually round holes represented.

So in order, main wheel, nose wheel:

Academy: 10,5mm, 8mm / Fujimi 10,5mm, 8 mm/ Hasegawa: 10,5mm, 8,5mm, Italeri: 11mm, 8,5mm/ HB: 10,5, 8,5mm.




There's also a question of cockpits.

Undoubtly, Aires is the best 😉 Quite easy to fit. I chose not to use it in this project to give myself more clarity on what's what. Academy wins hands dow. Best cockpit details, best looking seat. Second would be Fujimi, not a bad seat, albeit with some skids, nice raised details in cockpit. Third place would be a draw for me. Both Hasegawa and Italeri have pros and cons, or do they? Well, Italeri has nice details. But they're made up. Especially on the front panel. Don't get me started on the dual seater IP. The seat is also not bad. Requires some work, but it's ok-ish. Hasegawa has just decals. Umm. and the side consoles are super high. Obviuosly, the Hobby Boss cockpit is, ekhem, basic. Very basic. Decals loook generic. So does the seat.





So that's really all for now. I've invested some time in my builds, but I'm still in a proces, so I'll wait with the update till i'm done a bit more.


Thanks for stopping by!

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  • 3 weeks later...

So the actual work has begun. I begun with Italeri. The poorest of bunch.

Work has begun with rescribing. I hate doing it. Can't do it really well. But I don't like raised panel lines. You can see the next thing I did was to cut the elevators. All the models will be with wings folded, elevators drooped. I'm pondering on opening all the canopies.

Have no idea what to do with the raised vents on the lex.




Some more rescribing. Some more boo boos.




Wingfold is ready! Love the Italeri plastic. It's like cutting butter.




Normally, I'd join the upper and lower aft halves. But I have a twisted plan. As You might know, Fujimi is the only one with actual intakes. But it doesn't mean I can't make my own.




And since Italeri has the weakest exhaust, I'll replace them with some Hasegawa leftovers. Couple of minutes with a knife and voila!




So I took some 0.1mm styrene and just did a small diameter tube. That's all You can see there. Seriously. No point in doing it exept for some weird need to punish myself.




Now that's interesting. You get AIM-7's but no real provisions to put them on a fuselage stations. They only feature adapters for the targeting pods. Since I don't need it I'm doing something about it. Just didn't take a pic. Shame.





Here's my Italeri Hornet as of today. Forgot to take cockpit pictures. Gonna take some close up shots next time.




So that's pretty much all right now. I'm gonna put in some more work next weekend.

Thanks for stopping by! Stay safe and healthy folks!


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I remembered having quite a few Italeri Hornets as a kid. It even came to a point when my dad didn;t want to get me another Hornets, since I had so much. He was more of a collector and built one model of one aircraft. I always had more interest in one aircraft type than other. So yeah. When I built an Italeri Hornet for my boy it was like visiting an old friend. I've not that nostalgic feeling right now. I've never really built this model to my "current" standards so I'm very curious how it will turn out.


Thanks for stopping by!

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Yeah, the Italeri Hornet does bring back some memories.

Did one a few years back with leftover decals and armaments from an Academy CF-18 boxing (the Academy got one of the neat 433sq demo schemes)

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  • 1 month later...

So the Italeri Hornet is pretty much ready for the paint barn. The game plan is to have all the builds to that stage, do a quick comparison of key parts (nose, tails, length) and then go on with the rest of the work.


Here's the cockpit IP. What Italeri gives oob is insanely inacurate. A central display of sorts. So I took some plastic and made sort of mfd's. I've also added a HUD from a destroyed Academy kit.


As I'm clocking every of my build, I'm quite surprised this one took me 18 hours already.



The part that required most work was a join between forward fuselage and aft fuselage. Should've added some vertical spreader. After everything was smoothed out, I finished scribing.

The most work I had to put in rescribing was the non existent gun port. i've had to redo it at least three times.




Here's how it is right now.




As I'm doing the J-5017, as depicted on the Italeri boxart, which is a late lot "C", I've had to make some stuff from scratch, or source it from my spare parts department. So, the bumps behind the canopy are from the kit. The ones on the nose are made from plastic rod. I've also added the iff antennae on the nose and rebuilt the gun nozzle bulge.




I've noticed strips of some sort near the gun gas vents. They are present on a lot of Hornets. I've not yet identified wheter they are on every Hornet, or just certain lots. If You have any idea, please let me know!

Obviously I sanded all the gun gas vents details.




I simply can not take good pictures of the blobs of putty fuselage sparrow launchers. Dual an/ale-47 dispensers are from the Academy kit.








So, that's if for now. The kit will get some paint as soon, as I manage to finish the rest of them. I've actually begun work on the rest of them. The update will come as I reach the pre-paint stage.


Stay safe. Thanks for stopping by!


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Thanks Kurt. It was a plesant work. Even the rescribing wasn't that bad.


So, who's next? Hobby Boss! One of the newest moulds. The kit sort of reminds me of Hasegawa Hornet. With some things taken from Italeri one. Such as the fuselage to tails transition.

It took me 12 hours and 55 minutes to prepare it for paint.


Super basic cockpit. Heck, this has all the details of the Hasegawa (i.e. basicly none) just already assembled.

First order of bussines was to fold the wings. Appropriate cuts were made, and the wings were separated. While Italeri plastic was soft, HB was hard and unpleasant to work with.

Second thing, this kit is designed to be build only one way - canopy closed, gear down, airbrake up. Yup.




So, actually, the intakes on the HB kit were a bit easier to build than Italeri. All I needed was to remove some material on the inside of the lower fuselage.






HB intakes, as they are consist of a short tubing of sorts that ended just fore of the wall I cut. So all I needed to do was to place some 0.1 mm tube to the back of the intakes. They're short, I know, but that's ok for me.




Simultaneously I worked on the upper fuselage part. There was some filler needed for the single seat cover and speedbrake.




Funny thing, HB didn't add any detail to the wheel wells, the weel well covers are pretty bad in detail too. But they did add some ejector pin marks. Nice touch 😉




The kit is actually an F/A-18A / not so much C. It has the fins for the Charlie. I'm going for the VFA-195 1998 CAG scheme, as on the Hasegawa boxart, which didn't have the reinforcement plates on the inside of the tails. I also cut and bent the rudder. I prefer not to separate them entirely, to ease the painting. Sometimes they still brake off.




I've not too many spare fan faces, so I'll have to make due with making them from scratch. I took a 0.1mm plastic, cut a circle, painted it aluminum and called it a day. I guess I should've made the intakes full length, huh?




So the standard for this build is legs down, wings folded, canopy open. HB doesn't provide options for the latter two. I've some experience cutting canopies with razor saws, but they usually had some demarcation line I could just scribe further, This time I had to do it by hand. I took a knife and scored a light line, hoping for the best. Then I took an Olfa scriber and deepened it, after which all that was left was to take the razor saw and...




voila! That's the only canopy that I used, honest! 😉




After some assembly, note the added gps dome, all the control surfaces and such. Apparently this Hornet has slinged back canopy 😉




Undersides. Check out them wheel wells. I filled the gun gas vents under the nose. I've some decals for it.




Yup. Ready for paint barn. As I wrote earlier, HB Hornet is actually "not so much C". There are no ecm bumps appropriate for the Charlie, so I had to source them from my spares. The ones behind the canopy are Hasegawa, the ones on the nose are from scrap plastic. Of note is, I was wrong with HB details. There actually is a tailhook in the kit. Wonderful!




The fit was quite nice. I've filled the 5l and 5r doors. What's bugging me are the first ecm fairings. They are much too large. I'm considering cutting them down and replacing with something from scratch.




Undersides. Pretty, right? Well. HB Hornet has no ordnance. Only three tanks and crude bru-33 ver racks. For a 1998 cruise OSW Hornet I'm going to need a Nitehawk pod. I'm sourcing one with adapter from old Fujimi kit.




See? There's the opening for the tailhook. One detail I've been missing on most of my builds is the strengthening plate next to aft fuselage slime light. copied from Fujimi Hornet PE.




Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and keep making models!

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Hi! So two down, three to go, huh? Here's another one. Fujimi:


After 14 hours and 6 minutes of building it's ready for some paint. Frankly, I felt like half of the time I was just puttying and sanding.

Fujimi is the only one that features full length intakes.




So the first order of bussines was to fill the ejector pin marks and cut down the stubs at the end of each intake half. I will not be putting fan faces before everything is smoothed out.




After sanding smooth I glued the halves, applied generous amount of putty on the inside and smoothed everything out with sandpaper on a coctail stick. After that I glued the intakes in their respective places.





In order to ease my life a bit trying to put the compressor faces in the intakes I glued a piece of plastic, so they will not fall into the intake.




Wings. I really like how Fujimi handled wings. It makes drooping flaps easier with upper and lower half. The worst part usually is having to cut a horizontal line to separate middle flap - an airfoil or something like that. It has to be very thin so sanding from the underside is required.





I don't like however the placement of wing pylons. They look pretty much paralel to eachother, while the outer pylon should be slightly aft.




Adding optional piece such as the gun door insert (Fujimi provides also the one with searchlight) I find it best to just cut out the inside area - this way I can adjust the piece from the inside. Same apllies to the speedbrake.




Apparently I did not take any pictures of completed cockpit. You just have to believe me It's there 😉 The hell hole on Fujimi kit is just a hole. There is no hell there. I guess it's for the best 😉 Seriously, that is my only problem with Fujimi cockpit.I will at a later stage think how to deal with it.




First I had to fill the seams.




This joint is officially the second worst piece of the kit. I've spent at least an hour filling and sanding it.




But at least with some succes. It's smooth now. BTW. Have You noticed how much putty the underside of LEX requires? Sheesh. I guess whenever a company produces a Hornet kit, they have a team meeting saying, "hey, just don't forget the poor fitting lower lex inserts". Well guys, job well done. Not that much of a pain, just curious.


The third worst part of this kit is the front to back fuselage join. I required a lot of adjustment. Frankly, I should've put a vertical spreader there, because despite putting additional tabs the parts kind of sunk. Luckilly I could adjust them a bit from the inside.




The officially worst part of the kit, fit wise, are the intakes.




OOB they look this way. I spent a lot of time to get them eavened out.




This is now. A lot of filling and sanding. I don't know how much time I've spent here, I'd say at least two hours.



Here it is, just like it looked today morning. I've completed all Hornets, shot white paint on the appropriate pieces. Of course I managed to snap off rudder.




Undersides show the holes I made in order to move outer pylons aft. Shame Fujimi made such a bad fit ot he main gear bays.




So I guess this would go much faster had I forgo the puttying and sanding. Another spot that required a lot of putty and tlc was the aft fuselage. But frankly I probably just made some errors with fitting.




I'm curious how will it look under the coat of paint. Right now I'm not impressed however. There are some nice options in this kit ie. radar, but the kit is massively over engineered. There is no need fot the separate front fuselage. The intakes consist of 4 pieces, but the fit of front to back pieces is very bad. This kit was pretty much the most expensive and I know some people hold it in very hight esteem. It surelly still is a contender for the first place in this showdown. Besides, without all the puttying and sanding it could've been one of the best build times. A little more than 14 hours is really good time for my Hornet build. I've managed to pull off a 20 hours builds, but they were much less involved and on a simplier kits. I think even my Italeri Girppen took 22 hours. I suppose there is more than 10 hours of work still to go.


I'm not commenting the shapes and details right now, as I've not yet had them all compared.



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So, contrary to the other builds I've actually built the Hasegawa kit to this standard before. Once 😄 Despite habing built it at least 30 times already.


Here's my last attempt.


So kicking it up a bit I decided to deepen all the panel lines, and make slight adjustments in the cockpit.


First order of bussines are the intakes. I've a template to build them. Took a 0.1mm plastic and cut it out. I also cut out the bulkheads for the cockpit form my template.




Most parts off the sprues. That's pretty much all You need to build a Hasegawa Hornet.




I cut out speed brake well and separated the elevators - the latter I really dislike as it often causes some work filling the seam between the fuselage halves.




After cutting up wings, as per my usual standard, I glued them to the upper fuselage. Hey, look, the lex inserts didn't fit. Surprise 😉 I've added some ribbing to the inside of the cockpit. It serves dual purpose - adds some detail to the cockpit walls and also helps with the fit of the lower parts.




The turtledeck behind the canopy is a pretty weak spot of the kit. I've sanded it from the underside so it sits flush with the rest of the fuselage. This way I minimise required filling and sanding.




Another weakish spot are the tails. The fit isn't best, so I added 0.2 mm strip of plastic to push them out a bit. I had to enlarge the opening in the fuselage too.




Nose job. I find the nose on the Hasegawa Hornet a bit drooped and blunt. So i sharpen it a bit and add a little bit of plastic to make it point a bit up. This helps a lot.






I've not really done much work in the cockpit. The idea is to cut the decals and add them on a bit of the plastic, to achieve a vit of 3d look. Let's see...




Looking good, applying it on the 0.2 mm plastic for the upper mfd's and 0,4mm for the center piece. (UFc?)




Ok, here it is in place.




And in the cockpit. I find it looks much better than just plain decals.




And here's my little obsession. Hornet windscreen. I love how the nose of Academy Hornet looks. The nose to windscreen transition looks especially good. So I try and mimick it on the Hasegawa Hornet with a spare Academy Hornet windscreen. Academy part is a bit longer. By a 1 mm or so.




It's almost the same width.




And looks and fits great on a Hasegawa Hornet. You know there's a vacuform canopy set from Rob Taurus for the Academy kit? 😉 You can also see my completed nose work. It doesn't show that much, untill compared with a OOB unmodded Hornet.





And plain Hasegawa windscreen. Ok, it's not that bad. But I much prefer the look with the Academy piece.




Here's how it looks right now.






I just noticed I've no pics of the intakes. Huh. Shame. I mean they're on the inside of the fuselage, so I kind of can't show how it looks. There is however a lesson to be learnt. I've cut the intakes form 0.1 mm plastic. Also, the fan face was cut from 0.1 mm plastic that I did butt join to the end of the intake. After closing the fuselage they got squished. Had I made fan faces out of thicker plastic and put them inside the intakes, they would not get squished but would inferfere with the fuselage fit, prompting me to adjust the part of the wing that was under the upper fuselage. Lesson learnt. Left intake looks much worse than right.





Some additional notes. Hasegawa kit took me 15 hours and 50 minutes to build. About 40 minutes for rescribing, a little less than 3 hours for the wingfold - cutting, filling, shaping, thinning, adding detail to the wingfold and adding the leading edge flaps and trailing edge airfoil. Intakes took 1,5 hours total, but without the filling and sanding of outer intake piece. This shows how much (or how little actually) is needed for Hasegawa kit to get some ok-ish details. Oh. It took me 12 additional minutes to cut the elevators. 6 minutes for the templates and additional 10 minutes for the nose reshape. So total less than 5 hours of additional work. I did not clock the cockpit work though.


That's all for now. I'll post an update on the Academy Hornet at a later moment, as there's some additional stuff I wanted to show. Wonderkit my teeth ;).


Thanks for stopping by, stay safe and stay healthy.


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So, Academy, huh? I remember when this kit was released. The excitement, joy and everything. A Hornet kit to end all Hornet kits.

After 14 hours and 45 minutes, I'm ready to paint this beast and go forward with the build.


So. The kit is indeed awesome. Great detail, nice panel lines and such. Obvioustly, lacks the wingfold option. So wings were cut.



And profiled. Why I don't just copy this in resin? It takes about 2 hours to do the wingfold. It's simplier than Hasegawa, plastic is softer.




I've never done intakes on Academy Hornet. But figured simple tubing would be ok. So I cut it from 0.1mm plastic. As I wrote earlier - lesson was learnt. So I took a 0.5mm plastic and cut a circle, painted it to represent the turbine face and voila.




I tried to make the joint as strong as  possible. I was going to insert the intakes in a completed fueselage.




So upper and lower halves were completed. Front lower section was going in after the aft lower section. Some wall detaiks on cockpit walls.




So this is how intakes looked prior to installation. I added plastic so the turbine faces would have some help stopping. Wouldn't want my engines falling out of intakes, right 😉




I was really hoping for a better picture, but it shows there are minor gaps around the turbine face. All filled now.




This time i took a shot of cockpit. Not much to see, really.




Main fuselage assembly.




Some minor steps were created.




And now for something that almost made me sell all of my Academy Hornets. For this I have to go way way back. Please take note, I've not measured real aircraft, didn't check any plans, didn't check how the known diameters scale to 1/72. But I compared my pictures, models in three different scales (hasegawa 1/72 and /48, Kinetic 1/48, Academy 1/32).

Long long time ago, in an apartment I still live in, I was trying to become more sentient modeler. Some detailing work and such. So naturally I started with Hornets. During the proces, something was odd about the canopy placement. I was checking pictures and what struck me was that with gear up, the problem was non existent. So I took out a next best thing, a Hasegawa Hornet, and took a couple of comparison shots. Here they are. Both models are placed in pretty much the same spot.






Based on these two shots You can clearly see something's really off about the front section of Academy Hornet. If the NLG is in the right spot, this means cockpit is too far placed.

What they also clearly show, is Academy botched the relation of ejection seat and NLG. On a Hornet it isn't under the pilot, but a bit aft. Hasegawa got it right. It seems that the NLG attaches to the bulkhead behind the pilot.


You can also see the difference in nose appearance and the nose to windscreen transition. Hasegawa nose droops down too much to my eye. Academy nose is a bit too pointed up.


So the second set of pics was taken. This time aligned by the nose wheel.








As You can more or less see, the Academy kit seems to be longer. So this might cause the difference in perception of cockpit placement. But these are some old pics I took, curious what's up.


I'm going to take some more measurments, but right now I can tell You where the problem seems to be placed. Nose wheel well placement. But first...


Radomes are almost identical in length.




Nose wheel wells are almost the same size. Check how similar they are in shape and size. Nice.




And ding ding ding. We have a winner. Too short by about 1mm.




But I'm still not convinced. Cockpit placement is similar. Academy seems to have missed the ball on the alignment of the wheel well. By how much?




Here is the close up. Sorry for my clumsy fingers. That's OOB. See the panel lines - the first vertical one, by the ecm bump, is in line with the front of the wheel well and the begining of the LEX. This is wrong. This panel line should be more aft, by about 1 mm. I'm not going to fix that this time.




But if entire lower nose section would be placed aft... Exactly what I was after. It's just 1 mm. But it makes a lot of difference. Also, with centerline tank attached, the wrong placement of the nlg well is even more obvious.




See what I mean about the tank? On a Hornet the fuel tank almost touches the landing gear cover.




So there's that to deal with.




I chose two spots for the extension. 0.5 mm each, to make sure everything is pretty much where it should be.




There's also one more quirk to this kit. You can check the comparison pictures regarding the main landing gear (Do You see the pattern here?). Academy main landing gear looks nice, but is a bit too squarish. So I adjust the angle of gears.





Small rod, if I remember correctly 8mm in length.




With some details made of masking tape. Huh. I know I know. But it works 😉 You'll see.




So this is my Academy Hornet. I checked all the seams, and I'm ready for painting.






I actually shot some white paint already on the models. Currently I'm going to take some more measurments, perhaps some comparison shots once again.


Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

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  • 2 months later...

Huh, I'm still at it. Most of the decals are already on. Just have to print some more of gun gas vent mesh decals.


Right now, the Italeri Hornet:





And again:




No more pics, as I really want some side by side shots, or something like that.

Some personal significance, I moved in the begining of May, and this was the last pic I took in my old place.


I hope to have some more progress done by the end of the month.



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  • 1 month later...

Huh I almost made it - All I need to do is to add a final clear coat on four Hornets and do the final assembly. Took some time off work so I guess I can make it.

Here's the Italeri with final matt coat on.



Hobby Boss. Some yellow touch ups to do on the vertical stabs.
















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  • 1 month later...

I'm still at it. No reason not to.

Here's my printed vents. I had to make them anew. I did quite a few of them. They're rpinted on Techmod "1/72" scale sheet (the smallest one) I had some issues with printer and could not adjust the size of paper properly. The print came out undistorted, but I lost one row of decals.




It's not bad. I printed it on a regular laser printer, no fancy stuff.




Even the closeups are passable. Hope when applied they will be a bit lighter, as I've noticed them before.


Here's a full family photo. Can You spot which one is which?







Hobby Boss:









And Academy:




Measured from nose to nozzles - all Hornets except the Academy have 23.4mm. Academy is longer being 23.8 mm. I don't count the stabs, as some are attached a bit too far forward. I guess it's the price of eyeballing the location on the Italeri, Hobby Boss and Hasegawa Hornets. Notice how Academy Hornet has it's wings a bit to the aft? I just noticed it myself. Funny huh.


Italeri is almost done. Just some additional details left to be added.


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