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F/A-18A/B/C/D
Blue Angels 2017

Kinetic, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Item No. Kinetic Model Kits Item No. K48073 - F/A-18A/B/C/D Blue Angels 2017
Contents and Media: 273 grey injection moulded parts; 18 clear parts; 22 photo-etched metal parts; markings for all seven aircraft from the 2017 Blue Angels team.
Scale 1/48
Price: USD$39.99 plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Modeller may build any of the seven Blue Angels aircraft from two distinct periods in 2017; high level of detail; excellent surface textures; high quality decals; great value.
Disadvantages: No weapons included in ths boxing.
Recommendation:

This is a great kit of the Blue Angels Hornet, but also provides all the parts required to build a line F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet (minus weapons) and still represents smoking hot value at just USD$39.99. 

Reviewed by Brett Green


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Introduction

 

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation). Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations and, since 1986, by the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

The F/A-18 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,034 knots, 1,190 mph or 1,915 km/h at 40,000 ft or 12,200 m). It can carry a wide variety of bombs and missiles, including air-to-air and air-to-ground, supplemented by the 20-mm M61 Vulcan cannon. It is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines, which give the aircraft a high thrust-to-weight ratio. The F/A-18 has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, primarily attributed to its leading edge extensions. The fighter's primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), air interdiction, close air support, and aerial reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.

The Hornet first saw combat action during the 1986 United States bombing of Libya and subsequently participated in the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq War.

The F/A-18A is the single-seat variant and the F/A-18B is the two-seat variant. The space for the two-seat cockpit is provided by a relocation of avionics equipment and a 6% reduction in internal fuel; two-seat Hornets are otherwise fully combat-capable. The B-model is used primarily for training.

In 1992, the original Hughes AN/APG-65 radar was replaced with the Hughes (now Raytheon) AN/APG-73, a faster and more capable radar. A-model Hornets that have been upgraded to the AN/APG-73 are designated F/A-18A+.*


 

The Blue Angels

The Blue Angels is the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron, with aviators from the Navy and Marines. The Blue Angels team was formed in 1946, making it the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the French Patrouille de France formed in 1931.

The Blue Angels' six demonstration pilots currently fly the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, typically in more than 70 shows at 34 locations throughout the United States each year, where they still employ many of the same practices and techniques used in their aerial displays in their inaugural 1946 season.

 

 

An estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each full year. The Blue Angels also visit more than 50,000 people in a standard show season (March through November) in schools and hospitals.

Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators.

As of November 2011, the Blue Angels received $37 million annually, out of the annual DoD budget.

* Historical summary courtesy of Wikipedia

 

 

FirstLook

 

Kinetic released their 1/48 scale F/A-18C Hornet to justified acclaim in May 2016. Mick Evans conducted a detailed review of this initial release.

This debut Hornet was joined by an F/A-18A+, a Canadian CF-188 or an upgraded F/A-18B two-seater in January 2017.

Kinetic's newest variation primarily delivers a 1/48 scale Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet. All seven aircraft from two periods in 2017 may be built, which means that in addition to the F/A-18C single seaters, you have the opportunity to build a Blue Angels F/A-18B and F/A-18D too.

The model may also be built as a standard single or dual seater F/A-18A/B/C/D. The main difference between this kit and its immediate predecessor is the addition of new Blue Angels decals and the omission of weapons.

The kit comprises 273 grey injection moulded parts; 18 clear parts; 22 photo-etched metal parts; plus markings for all seven aircraft from the 2017 Blue Angels team

Surface detail is excellent, with a combination of very fine crisp panel lines and rows of rivets. Raised details are also present as appropriate.

The fuselage is a horizontal split construction with the upper fuselage containing the upper wing surfaces to which is added the lower wings and optional nose sections.

 

 

Intakes are full length and two closed burner cans are included. Several sources have confirmed that this is the apprporiate configuration for a parked F/A-18.

Cockpit detail is good straight from the box, both for the single seat and two seater versions.

The wheel well detail moulded to the main parts looks terrific.

 

 

The newer parts from last year's kit are in the box too, including fins with separate rudders, port side nose with slime lights and detail parts.

 

 

The original fin and nose parts are still in the box.

 

 

Control surfaces including leading edge flaps and upper fuselage speed brake are all provided separately and may be posed to taste.

The kit's photo-etched fret includes detail parts for chaff dispensers, gunsight mount, canopy handles / mirrors and more.

 

 

The clear parts are spread over three sprues and include both the single seat and two-seater canopies.

 

 

The clear parts are nice and thin and free from distortion. There is, however, a raised centreline seam on the canopy and windscreen parts that will have to be scraped and sanded off.

 

 

Drop tanks are included but weapons are not.


 

Markings

The single decal sheet provides markings for all seven Hornets of the 2017 Blue Angels team.

 

 

Decals are designed by Crossdelta and printed by Cartograf.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is a great kit of the Blue Angels Hornet, but also provides all the parts required to build an F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet line jet (minus weapons) and still represents smoking hot value at just USD$39.99. 

Thanks to Lucky Model for the samples


Review Text and Images Copyright © 2018 by Brett Green
Page Created 23 January, 2018
Last updated 24 January, 2018

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