Jump to content

(2022 F-18 Group Build) 1/48 Kinetic F/A-18D

Recommended Posts

On to the big build #2!

I love the legacy Hornets. Even more than the Supers. And the Deltas are my all time favourites. Add to that, a USMC bird which is always welcomed, throw in a bit of Bengal love, and then add tiger stripes and I'm all excited!

So for this trip, it's all Kinetic 1/48th F/A-18D ATARS boxing for me. Now ain't that a nice boxart?




Lovelly sprues...




And an absolute highlight of this kit - the decals! All the options are fine, the lo-vis VMFA(aw)-224 jet is cool, but I want the striped version.




Perhaps it's just because when I did my 1/32 Bug, I really wanted the OIF jet, and getting pictures of THAT scheme turned out to be most challenging. The ATARS jet (actually, the very same airframe the 164886) was photographed to death compared to the 2005 version. The dead giveway between the schemes are usually the national insignia, the crew names and warning stencil around the canopy. Half of "my" scheme had to be thought out by myself. Never a good idea.

It's kind of funny how most of the time I'm about to build a dual seater Hornet, the -224 is on the short list. Hell, I'd love to build an entire squadron in 1/72. I even drew the decals, as I was making them for my 1/32 scale jet.




So this one is going to be slightly different - with guaranteed well researched decal sheet, and a nice kit. Coincidently it will also top off my dual build of Hobby Boss and Hasegawa legacy Hornets I've going on. Now ain't that nice? Unfortunatly I don't expect making this one in time for the deadline, especially with two additional builds dragging along (and there are also three 1/72 scale Hornets I've not forgot about!)


So, first cuts? Where does one start a Hornet kit? Well, obviously it's the fuel tanks! But that is not really interesting, as they usually require significant amount of either sanding or filling and sanding. Pylons are a quick build. Considering the -224 was deployed to Iwakuni in 2009, the jet usually flew with Litening pod and two fuel tanks. At least that's what the pics I've found say. I'd love to depict it with some inert ordnance. That'd be something slightly different.

But that's still a song of the future - now I have to get one thing out of the way. The cockpit. A very fine piece, with some additional inserts full of lovelly detail. Shame the aft pit is only for trainers. Both the side consoles and the Instrument panel and it's cover. What to do... what to do?




Oh, I know! I'll get myself a nice Quinta decals set! Now... WOW... the details are just so nice... Umm... but I kind of figured this one to be closed canopy build... So it will all go to waste. Why else would I mount the airbrake in the up position? Why would I even consider it? Oh... I get it! I don't have a Hornet with airbrake up! That must be it!




There is unfortunatly one of my "good" ideas growing in there. Luckilly i bought four of the AC/BD boxings of the Kinetic kit...


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2022 at 8:12 PM, Wolfgun33 said:

Can't wait to see the build. That kit is on my list to get.


It's a nice kit! I've built one early boxings, and it was quite allright. Some work was required on the nose, a bit on the back and some on the intakes. So pretty much standard places for a 1/48 Hornet.


So where was I? Oh, right, gripes with the kit!

I have to say I really like the kit seats, they look reasonably accurate for a SJU-17 seat. Well, except for the parachute pack. That one could be put on a SJU-5/6 seat and no one would notice.




Once assembled it looks rather nice compared to SJU-17 from Hasegawa Super Hornets.




So I sand all the parachute cover flap details.




And add some thin plastic rod detail.




That is really a 5 minute job at the most. And easilly repetitive. Only easier thing would be to replace the kit seats with resin items. A good idea on its own.


A real shame and a missed oportunity is the aft cockpit though. And this is my only real gripe. Had Kinetic gave me two versions of rear IP, IP cover and two sidesticks, I'd be almost extatic. Especially since kit detail is quite ok for my standard.


Quinta set adds all You really need - the IP, IP cover and two sidesticks for WSO. Plus there is an awesome 3d decal sheet.




But I've decided for a closed canopy with pilots on and speedbrake up. So It would be a shame to loose all that detail under a closed canopy. Now I can't cast in resin, and I don't have scratchbuilding skills. I could either try to develop one or the other... In a few seconds, off came a part of the aft IP cover. I love my stupid ideas... I don't know about You, but the aft IP details seem better than the front.



Quinta part isn't really much higher, see?



And apparently, I'm not too bad with cutting stuff up with a razor saw... All I need is to swap the middle mfd with ufc. In hindsight I should've just cut it in three pieces. But I was figuring out stuff as I went on.




And that's because I ended up with a little twisted IP. It's really like 0.1 mm but it really shows...





Buuuuut, once put inside, it looks really cool. I know I know. I'm full of myself... Everything is dryfitted at this stage.



And with a coat of fs36320. All that is left is to paint some details black, add some black details. I kind of forgot I'm going to need some MFD 'on' decals. I hope I have something in the spares... Yup. It'd be easier with the Quinta set.




Stay tuned for the next episode "Intake Intoxication". Take care!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

From my last build I remember, the intakes being a minor pain. I have no recollection, how I did them however. I can see two ways to tackle this area - one is to glue the front part to the fuselage (along with splitter plates and all) and after that add the intake tubes, or make a single part - intake lip and tube. I chose the latter. It's quite easy to insert the full part from the front opening. So, future Me, You got that approach covered!


What I remember was some shaping work on the outside of the intakes with my work being interrupted by cracks on the joints. This time I added some plastic, so the fuselage will have a little more glue surface, and so it will spread out the fuselage part around the intake. See, the upper part of the fuselage insert directly touches the upper intake part. So If I add just about right amount of plastic to the underside, the joint will be stronger. I hope I'm making at least some sense. I chose two layers of 0.22 mm plastic. I also sanded the tops of the fuselage openings.



All this additional work resulted in something like this. Here the part is still dryfitted.




I tried removing the two bolts of plastic that go into the opening on the triangle part under the splitter plate. As You can see there is a step at the joint I hoped to remove. Well, this doesn't really work though. These bolts do help however with assembly of the intake part in place.




Right intake didn't really want to settle right, and needed both the putty and 0.2mm plastic. Although, really it was minor work.



And here, final result. Putty drying still.



The nose however did fight me a little bit. I keep dryfitting the top fuselage to lower fuselage. Last time It caused me to break part of the nose top, and I eventually assembled the entire nose together and added it at a later stage. This time I'm trying to preserve the original installation guide. The fit here is pretty ok. I did have to bend the upper part of the nose a little bit to match the curvature of the fuselage, along with the lower part. My main concern being a good join on the lower fuselage part. On the upper I can go berserk with putty. I still got some minor misalignment. In the hindsight I should've attached the refueling door before adding the upper fuselage. But I only thought of that now. Well done me!

Oh, mind the step on the windscreen. It's still with the seam line not removed, which I removed by now so it's a bit more pronounced. This is the Kinetic Gold boxing, but really, the fit here looks as if it wasn't refined from my first build. That one was the original C release. I'll try some light sanding from the bottom, but if all else fails I can always go berserk with putty.




The previous effort wasn't really bad imho. It's the one on the bottom.




Right now I'm finishing the cockpit, some additional work is being done on the seams, and all. So the next update will probably be a major pre-paint one. Gotta say I'm having a lot of fun here!




Link to post
Share on other sites

So... Not a huge leap forward, but a step forward indeed.


I was hoping I'd have most of the joints tidied up right now, but today I was just in no mood for modelling.

The IP's under paint look pretty nice. I like the raised detail on the aft IP better than on the front IP. But still, it's quite ok. Kind of shame the aft IP still looks a bit skewed.

All it needs are some display decals. Since I'm putting the crew in.




The tub looks ok too.





So, surprisingly, the decal sheet doesn't really cover the display 'on' option. Not a biggie, as the Kinetic F/A-18 A+/B boxing (the one with RCAF markings) has a lot of them.




So I chose three, and applied them. Quite unusual for me. Neat.




With cockpit tub in place I closed the fuselage. Aft IP and IP cover are just dryfitted, and so are the seats.




There seems to still be a minor step on the windscreen. It still isn't glued. But I have to keep it on, as I don't want to damage the hud frame.

I also begun testing the crew, here are two spare guys I had. Dryfitted without the seat cushions. They fit pretty good.





But with cushions in, they don't fit all that well. Perhaps for a carrier landing diorama?  But I'm not doing that.



For my new Marine Aviators I had two body options. Both from Hasegawa Hornets (and Super Hornets) I chose the ones on the right.




And here they are with some paint slapped on. I really don't know a thing about figure painting. They require a wash and a flat coat still. Probably should've thought about that before I painted the visors. They don't need their feet really.



And with some dryfit shots to check the alignment.




Nice! After some washes and a flat coat I'll glue them to the seats. I'll have to finish the seats themselves too...




And this brings me here. See, the decal sheet is really cool, and quite large. The thing that caught my eye, there are no decals for the instrument panels. This is acceptable though. Same with displays. What is kind of shame, there are no seat placards. I really like them as decals, as in 1/48 they are quite obvious, and sometimes readable.

There are also no placards for the gear legs. Again, this is something I'd rather have on stock decal sheet. I get it, there are some things that can be left out. I don't have that many spare seat and gear placards. The thing is there are no slime lights. It'd be kind of nice to have these, say in place of the chaff decals. I'll have to check my spares. Shame, since these are some pretty nice decals.




Thanks for stopping by!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

I wish I had seen this before buying it the other day. I was looking forward to doing an ATARS bird only to find a poor rear cockpit, especially since it’s under the Kinetic Gold line. As pointed out above, the lack of formation lights and other basic decals which are now normal in kits of this cost had me initially thinking I was missing a data sheet, which is disappointing.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2023 at 4:33 AM, Spike72 said:

I wish I had seen this before buying it the other day. I was looking forward to doing an ATARS bird only to find a poor rear cockpit, especially since it’s under the Kinetic Gold line. As pointed out above, the lack of formation lights and other basic decals which are now normal in kits of this cost had me initially thinking I was missing a data sheet, which is disappointing.  


You're absoluttely right. The sheet seems excellent in all other regards. The scheme is very eye catching too.

And while all the gear and seat stencilling is only sometimes given by model manufacturers, the lack of formation light is a pain. Luckilly, despite having only a small collection of 1/48 kits, I have some spare slime light.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...