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Hi there!

 

After completing my previous multibuild, a somewhat easy uncomplicated build, I wanted to build something more complicated. A double build of 1/48 F-16's came to my mind. I bought the kits, some extras and I was about to go to town and unwrap the boxes.

But I had a terryfing thought. I haven't built a Hasegawa 1/72 Super Hornet in almost 10 years! My gosh! One of my favourite kits of all time, probably the best 1/72 Hornet (legacy or super) allround. And the last one I built was that one:

 

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built for the lovelly Hornet's nest GB here on ARC.

 

Since then a lot of things had happened both modellingwise and to me personally. Most importantly for this thread, Academy came out with a more modern kit of Super Hornet. And I've never built one before. Since I joined ARC for that group build in 2014, I figured I'm waaaay overdue for a Hasegawa Superbug. And I should include an Academy one and make it a double build. Will I still feel Hasegawa is the best Hornet kit in 1/72 by the end of the build?

 

 

Sooo, let's roll.

First, the boxings. I'd love to compare the basic boxings of both kits, but I have only one Hase Super Hornet at hand (and like 12 in deep storage I can't get to right now), but this one will do finelly. It's a special edition boxing, so it has the additional parts for the ACS rear cockpit, and the main fuselage has the newer ECS Bard Stack. AFAIK, Hasegawa basic boxing (the one with VFA-2 decals) doesn't have these, and it's a model of an early Super Hornet.

Academy has all the parts necesary for the late jet, including the longer wing slime light fences. No cut out petals on the exhaust though.

 

Both of these boxings can be built as the boxart jets, more or less accuratly. Nice.

 

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Parts are sealed in a typical manner for both brands - Hasegawa in a single bag, Academy in multiple bags. I don't like the multi colour part feature, but it's what I got.

 

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One thing I have no idea right now is what decals I'm going to use. Well. I am going to need some aftermarket decals for the Academy kit, that is for sure. I might go for the kit decals from Hasegawa. Some other options include the PE fret for the Hasegawa kit and a pair of ejection seats from Quickboost - don't know if I'll use them though.

 

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Kits...

 

For starters, both kits are cut up similarilly, with the top/bottom + nose parts. Hasegawa requires some more assembly. A few things of note, both kits are very similar in length, Academy features more panel lines and a quick look at some references say it has the upper hand here accuracywise. Spine is longer on Academy, as it should be. As for the spine outline, I'm still not convinced. For me, Hasegawa was always a tiny bit too flat. Academy feels too round on the other hand. I don't know yet.

 

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A lot of differences in panel lines quality. Both wings feel very similar in size though, but the angle of the leafing edge looks to be significantly different.

 

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Academy lines are much thinner than Hasegawa, and on the wings, much more accurate. Obviously, no flap down or wingtips up option.

 

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Pylons, some differences here as well. But since these parts are mostly hidden I don't feel there is a lot to talk about here. Oh. Academy gives You six main pylons, two with fuel tanks and four without.

 

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Bottom of the fuselage and wheel wells show the differences in approach. I feel Academy felt to make the best 1/72 scale Super Hornet possible, and make it snap tite. I have no idea how they managed to make it work, but it looks like they tried very hard, and might have achieved both of these goals.

 

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Again, note the detail differences in Academy vs Hasegawa parts. There is a difference in thickness too.

 

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Both kits feature nicelly detailed landing gear, again, with more details in the Academy box.

 

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Now comes the part I can't really understand. The Academy cockpit is simply gorgeous. A lot of fine details, nice ejection seats.

And all that is covered by unopenable canopy. Wow.

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In the other corner - Hasegawa. You get very basic, but nicelly molded cockpit "stuff". In this boxing You get both styles of the aft instrument panel cover. Only decals for the instrument panels, and You don't get the accurate ones for the aft IP. I didn't understand that in 2014, and I'm pleased to report I still don't. The parts are there. The jet has the ACS cockpit. Decals for the ACS cockpit exist (in Growler kits). I always liked the Hasegawa ejection seats. Oh, and You can pose the canopy open.

 

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Again, the cockpit tubs show the difference in approach. Academy cockpit is lovelly even with these blobs for WSO sticks.

 

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I like how You get stickers for this boxing of Academy F/A-18. Love the details on the fin.

 

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Now, there isn't really much trouble in cutting up the Academy canopy and windscreen. It's doable with minimal fuss. What I find hard (for now at least) is coping with that cockpit turtledeck. The detail is lovelly - again much better than nothing, or Hasegawa's. But the closed up actuator and the quality of detail here make me question any attempt at opening the canopy. Some carefull planning is ahead of me, that is for sure.

 

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Decals. Well, both sheets look nice, that is for sure. Hasegawa special editions often have additional markings for the ejection seat and some landing gear stencils. My Academy boxing doesn't have any. Although having built their F-4J Showtime 100 boxing and using kit decals I can't really say I'm going to use these ones on anything.

 

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All in all, both kits seem nice. I've built dozens of Hasegawa Super Hornets and none of the Academy ones. This will be interesting to compare.

Both kits will have folded wings, as space on my display shelf is at a premium. I'm not planning on going aftermarket here.

Both kits I'd love to have with canopy up. It'd be nice to have a ladder, but in 1/72 You rarelly get that.

 

First cuts are done, some stupid decisions were already made and I'm pondering how to get out of a pickle or two. It's going to be so much fun.

 

One thing I can say for Academy kit, this really is a snap tite kit. An expensive, lovelly, hi tech modern snap tite kit. I've had a blast chasing my kidst with it. Shame there is no ready option for the closed gear door. Also, the stickers feel a bit too matte. The print is excellent though.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank You.

 

I'm having a little bit of hard time keeping my focus here. I believe I was spoiled by building 1/48 Hornets.

 

First thing to do is to cut the wings up. I have a way to do it with Hasegawa Super Hornets.

 

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Academy is a little bit different, more in line with the Revell Super Hornet kits. Both 1/72 and 1/48. In some instances, the cuts are easier here than on a Hasegawa SH. Especially cutting out the small middle airfoil separate from the trailing edge flap.

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Since I was at it I cut out the elevators from their support. Imagine my surprise when I found out that merely cutting of the rectangle tab isn't enough. The "pivot" is not round.

 

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One thing I had to do was also to add a thin plastic to the wing part. I believe I used 0.2mm.

 

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This does ensure a very nice fit on the upper fuselage.

 

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Now, onto the thing that I both expected and feared the most. My intakes. First I had to assemble the parts of the intakes. Now, I also needed to cut out a large chunk of plastic wall in the lower fuselage. I didn't take any picture of that. I needed to add a bit of filler to the upper joint, as the fit isnt the best there, and to the inner wall. Hasegawa made engraved representation of vents there. I don't like that, and if I was to use anything there I'll go with decals.

 

 

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Now, on legacy Hornets I'd just use an appropriate tube of plastic card. Here however I couldn't figure out how to transition from round tube to square. I tried several options and I finally settled to do this the hard way. At first i wanted to leave the lower lip absent and just smooth out that area with putty. Something just wasn't right and I figured I'll have a lot of problems smoothing it out and then painting it.

 

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So I took some random pieces of plastic and attempted to sort of encase the lower part of the front intake. The work here was very clumsy though. What I did on starboard intake was, after all my glueing has cured, I cut the front of the intake and started to fill all the inner imperfections. Next time I'll probably try not to glue the rear of the intake to the fuselage side. This will save me to have to cut the entire part in two. I'll just cut off the main intake part. Or try again to just insert a huge tube made of thinner more bendable plastic that will go from intake lip to the engine fan covers.

 

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The end result isn't half bad for a first try. The intake tubes are long and no one will probably ever look at them. But now I have a more or less repeatable way of doing 1/72 scale Super Hornet intakes. As You can see, both intakes came out almost the same lenght.

 

 

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And You'll have some hard time looking down that intake to tell that anything is there.

 

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OTOH, Academy gives You this OOB. Neat. Much too short, but whatever it's way better than anything Hasegawa gives. It's going to be a bit of a pain to mask the colour demarcation there. I know there are these shrouds in the intake that are white that are supposed to keep the compressor blades from lighting up on a radar like a christmass tree, but this way all of the intake would be white. This way there is a bit of different colour deep down there.

 

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Next up - cockpits!

 

Hasegawa gives You an option to make the canopy in open position. Academy, despite the lovelly detail - doesn't. Not wanting to let it deter me, and apparently not thinking too much, I took a razor saw and two cuts later here is the aft turtledeck of Academy SH. I had to fill the void with plasticard, but apart from that it was a hassle free job.

 

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So... since I had an Eduard PE set for Hasegawa Hornet, I figured I'll use it on this build. Not too accurate, but I'll live with it. I'd have the same configuration for the Hasegawa kit with the kit decals anyway. Only thing I had to do was to paint the screens black. Don't worry I removed all the glue excess after I took that picture. It was still kind of fresh.

The colour I used here was Ammo fs36375. Probably the lightest light ghost gray. And it still was much darker than the paint Eduard used.

 

Academy got the regular FS36320 that I use instead of Dark gull gray.

 

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Sooo. After almost 8 hours in the making, I'm almost ready to close the fuselage Academy build. Doing it without all the cutting and filling would shave me some 2-3 hours probably. In comparison, I managed to build a Hobby Boss MiG-15UTI from start to finish in a little more than 6 hours. So this will probably come out as a close to 20 hours build in the end. 

 

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Now... Hasegawa took me to get here a whooping 15 minutes short of 16 hours. Most of that time was probably on the intakes. Testing out all the combinations, filling, sanding, filling, and then sanding again. I might have forgotten a bit about filling. Or sanding. I actually got a bit fed up with all of this and started to look for a quick build to get my mind of sanding and filling. I keep thinking about a MiG-21 multibuild... And I still have a 1/48 scale F/A-18D to finish...

 

 

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All in all most of the hard stuff is already done. Some tricky masking that I hate still remains to be done though.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I often wondered why Academy molds their kits in several colors of plastic. Well, one thing is so they will be very britle once dropped.

Seriously though, these black plastic parts are very fragile. I was doing some handling probably to check the seams, and my hand slipped a bit. I caught the model but I broke the aft IP. WOW.  It wasn't hard to glue back but I was quite surprised.

 

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So, back to building? I had to use quite a few clamps to get the Hasegawa SH lined up. Way more work than I remembered.

 

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eventually though, I managed to fill and sand usual places. The worst ones are always at the bottom of LERX and at the rear fuselage joint. Honestly, this might be my best fitting Hasegawa Super Hornet.

 

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Same thing goes for the Academy kit. The nose didn't want to cooperate too much. And with super fine detail there any sanding pretty much obliterates the fine detail.

 

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But right now, I have a few places to sand, a couple of little details to finish, such as the flap actuators for the Hasegawa model and I'm off to the paint barn.

So this means I have to finally decide on a scheme...

 

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I'm kind of leaning towards two colour birds from VFA-32 and VFA-41. This way the scheme atractiveness will not influence the overall rating of the kit. But OTOH, the adversary Super Hornet seems pretty cool. And I have some very nice pics of the BuNo's depicted by Hasegawa. And I could still do a Lo-Vis VFA-41 jet.

 

But frankly, I don't feel like airbrushing latelly. I still have one 1/48 scale Hornet to paint...

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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Looking Decent. : ) Btw the IP or whatever part could separate easily if it is not glued properly. I blame the Tamiya extra thin or whatever else extra thin liquid cement for that. It just offers a superb capillary action, but that's it. The bond lacks thickness, and thickness means more ''material'' that melts the plastic, that is the key to a better weld. The good old Revell (or the yellow/white one, I forgot the name) tube is unmatched, at least in my opinion. The extra thin glue sounds (to me) like cheating in a game. I tried it... I glued the two halves of a Starfighter intakes... I accidently dropped in on a wooden floor after a couple of days of drying... both parts just separated perfectly along the seam/glue line. There was a foamy bubble texture along the line. So if you used extra thin cement, too - I suppose that's the reason. 

 

PS: *the Humbrol glue

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On 5/8/2024 at 10:19 PM, my favs are F`s said:

Looking Decent. : ) Btw the IP or whatever part could separate easily if it is not glued properly. I blame the Tamiya extra thin or whatever else extra thin liquid cement for that. It just offers a superb capillary action, but that's it. The bond lacks thickness, and thickness means more ''material'' that melts the plastic, that is the key to a better weld. The good old Revell (or the yellow/white one, I forgot the name) tube is unmatched, at least in my opinion. The extra thin glue sounds (to me) like cheating in a game. I tried it... I glued the two halves of a Starfighter intakes... I accidently dropped in on a wooden floor after a couple of days of drying... both parts just separated perfectly along the seam/glue line. There was a foamy bubble texture along the line. So if you used extra thin cement, too - I suppose that's the reason. 

 

PS: *the Humbrol glue

 

I did use Tamiya Extra Thin for most parts on this model. And it's kind of acceptable that the IP cover broke. The IP braking in half where the part was molded as one was a different issue. I was quite surprised. You know, for the IP cover I just used a little bit of glue, perhaps more for the IP to cockpit tub joint. But the brake line was like halfway through the part.

 

I find Tamiya Extra Thin a pretty ok glue. I just need to apply a lot of it and squeeze the parts a bit.

I also use Revell Contacta professional with needle and for the most parts, that is my glue of choice.

A lot of people recomended Tamiya ET glue and I'm testing it. I did test out some different, less smelly version and found it much inferior to the basic type.

But I did use a bit of the thick Revell glue.

 

I did have similar issues with Revell glue from time to time where I'd knock part out or was able to pry the glued pieces apart. TET has the funny thing that I can add a little more glue and the entire joint can come apart from it. I never tried to mix both glues to check if I can do the same with TET to a Contacta glued part.

 

Another thing I'm testing, and it seems quite nice, is the Ammo Ultra glue. Basicly feels like wood glue, perhaps a bit stronger. Might be good for very thin plastic sheets (0,1mm) that get melted with too much of regular glue. But nowadays I use it for the PE parts.

 

I find that every glue needs a little bit different approach. Only one thing in common they have is I can ruin a model with improper use of glue 😉 Well, perhaps not the Ultra glue one.

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