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(2022 F-18 Group Build) 1/72 Hasegawa Baby Hornets

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As my 1/72 Vipers project come to an end, I'm slowly starting my "main" project of Hornet Group Build - Three 1/72 scale Hasegawa Hornets.

As with my Viper project, there is going to be one Adversary (of course!), one from the 1991 Gulf war, and one that is a little bit both.





So the first one will be the VMFA(aw)-121 from ODS - using old Hasegawa sheet. Hopefully I'll be able to use these decals, if not I'll have to scan them and print a new one, as the decals are yellowed. This is a scheme I've never built, so I'm kind of excited for it.






The second Hornet is going to be a single seater from VFC-12 - the boxart jet. I had this one built a couple of years ago (along with the third one, actually), but it got destroyed.

There was an idea to build both jets for this GB, but the third one is simply easier for me to build. I know I know, I'm lazy.




And the third one - the VFA-127 red 01. This is kind of fun, since most of the adversary/agressor jets, if they carry any national markings other than US, carry red stars. This one has a flag of Iraq. Funny, I don't recall any MiG-29's in Iraq AF markings, that wore similar scheme 😉 So as You can see, its a bit of adversary, a bit of ODS 😉

I am kind of tempted to do this jet later in its career - wearing spanish markings. Or a similarilly painted one, as this one, the C.15-74 crashed in 2009.

It would be even easier, as I wouldn't have to match that many colour demarcation lines to the decals. And suddenly, two gray tanks and some gray pylons would "liven up" the scheme...




The only thing is, the last one is a bit started - hopefully this is no too much to count in the GB. But if so, I'll complete it anyways along the other two.




For a while, that's going to be it from me. There is one more project that I'd like to tackle for this GB, perhaps one more, but I'll refrain from starting too many threads, untill I complete something 😉


Thanks for stopping by!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/3/2022 at 9:40 AM, HOLMES said:

Ooh  I am following  this one.

Awesome  choice for a build.



Thank You very much! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for myself 😉


With all the Viper GB builds out of the way, I've spent last few days doing the boring, the tedious and the unfun. Preparing the stuff to assemble.


The first task is always to cut up the wings. No 1/72 scale Hornet kit that I know of comes with flaps down option. Much less a wingfold. Apparently us lowly small scale folk have no need for this. Well I do. This time however I will not be folding wings, but a flap down is indeed planned for all three jets. If You ever saw me building a Hornet, or have seen one of my Bugs, I do this quite a lot. The idea is to use as much of the kit parts as possible. This time, I'll be trying something a little bit different for the airfoils between the wing part and the trailing edge flap.




It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to come up with one set of cuts, leaving me with a lovelly set of pieces for further work. Normally I'd be cutting out the TEF flaps in two, with the main flap part and then the airfoil part. This is very tricky on the outer flaps, as the part needs to be split in half horizontally. So to ease my work I figured I could try my old method of using plastic card for the airfoil. I don't like this method since it gets tricky to attach the part that is so thin, but I'll try it. I made a new template for the airfoils out of thin plastic card. Hopefull this will ensure they actually fit. This is both boring and tedious, especially since I dwelged into the 1/48 scale Hornet world, where most of the modern kits don't require any of this.




Another tedious part is doing the rescribing. I hate it. Oh I hate it. Did I mention I hate it? Hasegawa panel lines are too shallow for me. They don't hold wash too good, so I give each line one or two good passes with the Olfa P Cutter. Works for most lines, except for the round ones.


Here is an upper half with panelling done. And with some cut up wings. Also, with the speed brake already installed. Another tedious part of the build in there.




I feel the best fit of the speedbrake is when I remove the entire bay. This helps with maneuvering the part from the underside. On top of that I might be changing the exhaust parts for the ones from Academy Hornets, as they are nicer than Hasegawas. This requires removing some parts of the speedbrake bay. Now is the best moment to do so. Some tabs can be usefull too. But on my last couple of builds I've not used tabs and spreaders.




Another part best done right now, is to assemble the lower fuselage inserts. Besides, if I'm going to add some intakes, I pretty much have to add the sides first.




As a distraction from all of this *yawn* entertaining *yawn* stuff I cut all the parts from their sprues. This way, instead of three boxes I can fit all the parts in one. I don't know why, but throwing away a box I don't need feels quite good. Like I was really going through my stash. Of course now I'm going to have to watch out not to loose a part or two...




Thanks for stopping by! I hope the next time I'll have some real progress to report.



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  • 7 months later...

Ok, I kind of got into some other projects for a while. But I'm back with my baby Hornets.


I left them at this dryfitted stage. Two halves, with some sidewall detail added. I only completed two airframes so far, and I'm sticking to it for a while. I spent ages fixing the seams on the intakes. I think the third one might just get some intake covers. I've never added them to the Legacy Hornets.






Both the A's will require the stiffening plates on the tails. I usually don't bother with the top plate, as I simply can't cut out something resembling these butterfly plates.




Since I was at it I figured I might cut out the plates that go by the fuselage slime light. I'd never do it just to hide bad seam. And I bet McAir didn't as well. Nope.

Did I ever mentioned I can't cut out two similar looking elements from plastic card? No? So here it is.



Intakes on two jets are in place. From the inside they look nicer. I assure You. No one can see anything past the first 10 mm or so. Perfect.




So this is kind of SOP when it comes to fitting the fuselage halves. The fit is usually so-so and differs much between the models.




Sometime clamp location differs too. But this stage I like the most. The ugliest job is almost done. All that is left is to handle the humongous steps at the back of the fuselage, cleanup the front fuselage seam, add the nose and You're like halfway to the finish line. Luckylly I'm already well after handling both jonits on these two.



I haven't done so much modelling in ages as I did in these couple of weeks. It was really nice to be back at it. I might finish these two before deadline even! Nice!



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Wow quite the project you’ve been working on.

It’s great to see your scratch building efforts being utilized so very well.


I’m looking forward to seeing more of your progress.


Keep building,



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  • 3 weeks later...

Only minor progress to report. Small step for a build, but a huge one for my feel of Hornetness. Now they look like proper F/A-18's.





And I finally got my head in the game with the VFC-12 jet. I'm sorting out the intakes, so there is a lot of sanding, adding putty, sanding, checking for gaps, adding putty. All super fun stuff.




I'm beggining to hate myself for trying to build three differently camouflaged birds. The blues and browns are some of my most hated colours to mix. It's going to be so much fun.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress! Prograaaainnssss! Braaaainsssssss 🧟‍♂️


I figure its about time to try and make a run for the deadline. For the entire february I'm going all in with these babies.


First, the VFA-127 (or a c.15, I've not yet figured it out...). Almost ready for paint. All the joints are more or less handled, intakes are ready (yuck!) everything I had to add extra is on (even the reinforcement stripes on the fuselage slime lights, even though they are backwards 🤦‍♂️). I gotta do the mid flap airfoils still.

I gotta tell You, for an apparently my favourite kit of my favourite airplane the Hasegawa Baby Hornets have a lot of steps I absolutelly dread. Nose, Intake, side inserts, cutting flaps, attaching flaps, vertical tails, horizontal tails. Man, that's probably an entire airframe of dislike.


I added the windscreen from destroyed Academy Hornet.




The second is the family model, very close behind. I'm still trying to decide if the jet needs reinforcement panels on the base of the tail.




Most work was done on the VFC-12 jet. Obviously, since it was the one with the least work done 😉

I managed to smooth out the intakes. My current method relies on large amounts of putty on the inner side of the intakes. Luckilly, Humbrol putty cures quite fast.

After that was done I glued in the engine faces and closed up the fuselage. Thanks to liberal use of tabs (something I've not done in a long while) and some carefull puttying I managed to get very good fit.




See, it's quite nice. Only a little filler will be needed.



Honeslty. It can also be that I've cut out a bit too much of the tails. But Hasegawa Hornet's aft fuselage is usually a puttyfest. Come to think of that, the F-16 from Hasegawa is much better in terms of quality, but I usually build it almost the way Hasegawa meant it.




One thing I keep getting is a mismatched nose. I don't get it. Every release seems to be a bit worse. I used to be able to fit it almost without using putty. This ones fit is stellar compared to the other two.



And after some work, my VFC-12 jet is awaiting sanding, and after that a rescribe of lost panels. I should really switch to Vipers.




Naaah. Just kidding.  Hornets all the way, despite all the difficulties. I hope I'll be able to close and mask the cockpits by the next weekend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I might miss the deadline a bit. The time is short, the score is tight.


All the additional stuff was added, the airfoils by the flaps added, filled and smoothed out. Canopies masked. Ready.





Woosh! Nice. I don't know why, but I keep extending the time of painting. This is relativelly easy scheme, but it took me 3,5 hours to paint. Mostly it had to do with the sand colour that required several light coats to look right (like 12 or something.). Oh. And apparently I s...d up. The gray area to the rear was right behind the rudders. And the gray area on the wings was extending only just to the end of wing slime lights. Should be an easy fix. Oh wait. 12 layers. I forgot. I guess there is no point in correcting it then. right?



The blue one came out a bit better. No humiliating mistakes here I hope.



They do look nice together. I always thought these two schemes were the same.



Funny thing. I did these two back to back a while ago... So I really should've known better. Right? I remember I was quite happy with the mixed colours on boths. This time however I feel I got the colours better.





I'm not forgetting about the D. Infinitelly easier paintjob. All it took was a bit white to both H307 and H308.



There is still a slight chance I might finish the three of them. Slight, but still a chance. 

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So far, so good.


I repainted the brown adversary. It took me an entire hour to do so, including sanding and masking. I only repainted the topside though. I spotted some additional differences in my rendition of this scheme, but I'm leaving the main paintjob as it is.




Next part are the decals.

So I eventually made uf my mind regarding the scheme, and the brown jet got the VFA-127 livery. It's easier, and with the deadline just a few days from now, I'll cut some corners. My decals were quite old, and they were quite thick. Wouldn't conform to curves too good. I fought with silvering but I suppose there will be some showing after the final matt coat. I've had huge problems with the black decals as they tore during aplication. I've lost the left fake intake decal and I'll have to mask and paint them.




Hasegawa decals were quite good. Except they were not of the right colour. The national insignia should be much lighter. The unit name should be slightly lighter colour. I guess the Hasegawa decal sheet just wasn't for the jet that took part in ODS, right?

Don't know what's the story with the brown sheen.




And the VFC-12. I love the way it looks, but damn... decals fought me all the way. The black lines tore up in 3 to four pieces. The left side decals tore up too. Only the AF lettering and the VFC-12 logo on the left side I managed to apply in one piece. On the other hand, the AF lettering on the right side broke in four pieces. It's not really a big problem, but just annoying. I didn't expect that from Hasegawa decals.




I'm getting closer. Right now I have to paint the radome tan boot on the nose, then apply the gloss, weathering and then final coat.

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  • 2 weeks later...


So there I was just sitting on my hands last tuesday thinking I will not make it. Then it struck me. Oh, right, the GB ends on 1st of April, not 1st of March.


I was quite close with finishing them on 27th FEB, got them all nice and flat coated. But frankly, the finishing touches turned out to be more than 4 hours per model. That is four workhours per plane after a flat coat. Just attaching small stuff, painting the gear door edges red, assembly and paint up of armament and stuff like that.  Ah, well.


So, I managed to fix the too dark roundels and lettering on the Delta. All it took was a bit of base colour mist. Looks way better, if a bit uneven.



Despite being in a hurry, I took some time to glosscoat all my models that got the paint, so I could weather them eventually. Glosscoating such a bunch takes surprisingly large amout of time. And gloss clear.

I have to say, while not 100% perfect, I'm quite proud of the camo I managed to pull of on the desert Hornet. The demarcation lines line up pretty good with decals.




The only problem I had with weapons was with the LAU-10's. The larger ones were from Fujimi Skyhawk, and the smaller ones are from Hasegawa weapons set. While I like the look of the larger ones, they seem to be way out of scale, with the Hasegawa ones being a bit too small. The rockets itself look more accurate on the Fujimi pod. But since I was in a hurry, I figured I'll just clean up the Hasegawa pods.




It took some sweet time, but I managed to finish the models, and I didn't even cut that many corners while doing so! All the models are a nice addition to my Hornet family.




On the adversary birds I used kit Sidewinders. The ACMI pods were made from the other AIM-9 that was slightly modified, a bit of tamiya tape for the bands and a little bit of thin plastic rod. They are probably extremely inaccurate, but they do feel different.

Now that I look at them, it seems the desert bogey's ladder is skewed. Gotta fix it.




I hope that on this weekend I'll manage to take some better pics and put them in the gallery.

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Since I'm done with the build, I figured I'd post some pixels that pass as a photos in my opinion 😉


The VFA-127 jet.


I added an Aires ejection seat I had from one of my earlier builds that I sadly lost in an accident along with rather large number of other models, most of which were Hornets. The Sidewinder and ACMI pods are from the kit. Well, actually the ACMI pod is the other Sidewinder, just cut down and with some Tamiya masking tape detail. I gotta say it doesn't look half bad.




This is the best shot to show the Academy windscreen. I gotta say, the clear parts are the weakest part of this kit. The other weak part is the fit.




Hi-Decal decals behaved surprisingly well. It's an old set, so there was some fear. But I don't see much silvering. Double coloured decals are now my favourite ones.

I kind of wished I used a bit darker sand colour. It might be too late now to change.




Second, the VFC-12. Again with the Aires ejection seat. I'm really glad I rescribed all the lines. I can see myself building a lot more adversary aircraft.




And both adversaries together.





And the "D". Pavla seats this time, and additional Academy Hornet Sidewinders. I used the aft IP cover from Academy Hornet



Don't tell anyone, but I painted the middle bar of the canopy not in the place where Hasegawa meant. They would have You paint it paralell to the front one, which is kind of incorrect.

One thing I keep having to deal with is once I spray matt coat, this is the most matt I can get. When I used Model Master paints the finish was dead flat - You could build an airport on it. With both Tamiya and Gunze I keep getting slight sheen.



Oh, I know, the wing formation lights are missing. They went AWOL during the weathering stage. They never keep stuck in place.



Kind of shame about the 'MARINES' decal. In person its the same, it really doesn't show.AMWts8DEOgaiev5dSG5L0-IsnfvFhGAl_lelBX8BAMWts8CygdzFh164ulYfOCau3OuB-bIEPWOYxOes


Here's one with different lighting setup. I tried to capture the look of the dulled down decals. AMWts8CPUxWB3cEj6omTHtlNarXEyeBnAdZLSkzI






Thaks for stopping by! Untill next time!

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