Kinetic's 1/48 scale
by Mick Evans
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
Revell's 1/72 Shackleton is available online from Squadron for only $35.99!
Kinetic Models 1/48 scale Kit No. 48031
USD$39.99 plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
After doing the-in box review in May 2016, I launched into building the kit almost immediately.
As I thought the engineering for this kit is superb with my only minor issue being the forward to rear fuselage join. The remainder of the joints being basically on a panel line or hidden under further assemblies.
The cockpit has sufficient detail with nicely embossed instrument panel and side panels provided. A Martin Baker NACES ejection seat is provided with etched parachute harness provide. I chose to replace this with an after-market seat from Aires just to increase the detail. Ejection seats are highly visible when the canopy is open and extremely busy with detail which is hard to capture in plastic.
The cockpit is made up from 27 parts with adequate detail and no real need to use a replacement aftermarket resin set. I used some subtle dry brushing to highlight the panel detail.
The fuselage is a horizontal two one piece halves construction with the upper fuselage half containing the upper wing surfaces to which is added the lower wings and optional nose sections. The intakes are well done having full intake ducting back to the engine compressor face, a big plus. I did have some trouble with locating the intake trunking positively in place but this could have been my own fault with the build. The big plus here is the intakes themselves fit much better than the older Hasegawa and Hobby Boss kits. Full length after-burner cans are also provided with some very nice internal detail.
A separate speed brake is provided but most of the time when a Hornet is on the ground the speed brake is closed so in this case I positioned it closed.
The wheel wells have good detail with all the prevalent plumbing and structure detail that is evident in the wheel well. The nose wheel well detail is also great as is all of the undercarriage legs and doors and the nose wheel well includes some etched metal plumbing to be fitted. The wheels are typical of Kinetic construction having separate hubs that are sandwiched between the tyre halves making them easy to paint without masking. The undercarriage is nicely detailed and is much better than the older Hasegawa kit.
If the folded wing option is to be used then the outer wing panels are provided as complete separate parts to replace the moulded outer wing sections. This is an improvement over the earlier Kinetic Etendard kit where the outer wing sections are supplied separately and do not fit well and they are very fragile when fitted in the extended position. First you need to cut off and discard the moulded on outer wing panels. I found this very easy as the cut line is well defined and has been moulded to be very thin. A sharp knife was all that was needed.
To attach the outer wing panels you need to first glue the very nice wing hinge assemblies to the inner wing joint.
Once fully assemble the outer wing fits into the folded position with a positive lock and needs no jig to hold it in place while the glue sets. Small etched metal parts are proved for the moving cover panels on the hinge. Kinetic provide separate leading edge and trailing edge flaps along with actuator covers for either streamlined or dropped position. I chose the dropped option and once again these fitted very positively and are not fragile in any way.
I chose to use the extended air to air refuel probe and once again the detail is great with no extra cutting or after-market required.
I chose to fit two external fuel tanks along with some of the stores supplied in the kit such as:
2 x AIM 120B AMRAAM Air to Air Missiles
2 x AIM 9L Sidewinder Air to Air Missiles
2 x 2 x GBU-12 Laser guided bombs
1 x FLIR Pod
The stores pylons are another plus as they fit securely and positively and have separate stores anti-sway braces.
The transparencies are great and are crystal clear; most importantly the opened canopy fits positively and does not need to be held in place why the glue sets.
I procrastinated for a while over the finish of this kit as there are some really nice schemes included. In the end I chose to paint it in the colours of 164266 of VFA-25 “Fists of the Fleet” of the United States Navy, aboard the CVW-17 USS Carl Vinson in 2011. The paints used were Xtra Color enamels.
The decals went on superbly and the finished model looks great. I chose not to weather the aircraft or do any pre-shading. While I like the look of pre-shading I am a bit of a traditionalist, we don’t pre-shade the real aircraft s why would I do it to a model, unless I wanted to heavily weather it. I like the just out of the paint shop look which is my personal choice.
Bearing this in mind though, after a few months of service a Hornet looks filthy and drab.
Kinetic has produced a superb kit of the F/A-18C Hornet and a vast improvement over the earlier Hasegawa and Hobby Boss kits with very little that I can.
Now that I have built this kit and seen how it assembles I can say it is a breeze.
If this is the new standard of moulding for Kinetic then the other manufacturers need to look out as this is a superb kit on all counts.
Thanks to Lucky Model for the review sample.
Kit available online from Lucky Model.
Model, Images and Text
2017 by Mick Evans
Page Created 2 February, 2017
2 February, 2017
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