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CF-18 Hornet

by John Chung


CF-18 Hornet


Hasegawa's 1/72 scale CF-188A is available online from Squadron.com




This model depicts the CF-18 commemorative aircraft flown during the year 2000 by the Canadian Armed Forces.

The aircraft is No. #188796 and was at the time assigned to the 410 Cougar squadron based in Cold Lake, Alberta. Aircraft 188796 was painted repainted in the operational scheme by November 2000. It was again used as a commemorative aircraft during the year 2001.

The aircraft is now once again painted in the standard operational scheme.


CF-18s are virtually identical to the F/A-18A/Bs except for a few minor changes requested by the Canadian Government. The CF-18 fleet is currently undergoing upgrades by Boeing Canada, bringing them to the level of C/D models. The CF-18 will be in Canadian service until at least the year 2015.





This is Hasegawa’s 1/72 F/A-18C kit. It was heavily modified with aftermarket items as well as scratch built. Just about every part on the model has been modified in some extent.

The cockpit has been enhanced with Eduard’s 1/72 F-18C photo etch and Verlinden’s 1/72 F/A-18 update set. These include the panel, side console, HUD and sidewalls. Slight modifications have been incorporated into all of the parts mentioned above as well as their corresponding kit locations. Scratch built items includes the throttle and stick, oxygen hose on the right console and a slight thinner hose on the left. Leg walls are also built as none are provided.


The whole of avionics bay was scratch built along with many of the aft decking details. The latter was also detailed with Eduard’s photo etch fret. The ejection seat is a True Details SJU-17 seat with a parachute pack attached on the top in place of the metal panel. Personally I believe the 1/72 SJU-5/6 seat resembles little of the real article, which instead is very much like the TD SJU-17. The canopy has scratch built white cylinders, while the canopy frame complete with mirrors and handles comes from Eduard’s PE fret.

The nose wheel well is composed of Eduard photo etch fret and scratch built items for plumbing. The main gear well is removed and completely rebuilt with sheet and rod styrene. The main gear struts are replaced with Fujimi’s examples in place of Hasegawa’s effort, though the Hasegawa’s wheels are retained. Both the nose and main gear legs are further detailed with wired and photo etch details.


All flight control surfaces on the model were removed and repositioned. As well, hinges for the main wing’s trailing edge flaps were removed and rebuilt using sheet and rod styrene. Wingtip launch rails were detailed using photo etch parts and the plastic reshaped to better represent the real item.

The prominent spotlight on board the CF-18 was fabricated by removing the tip of a spare wing tank, which on the inside a concaved surface was made with filler. Bare Metal Foil was then applied to create the mirror surface. Clear cover was fabricated from clear sprue. The boarding ladder was scratch built aside from the piece on the left, which was taken from Verlinden F/A-18 update set.

Other modifications include drilling and detailing the arresting hook, replacing the LEX fence with photo etch examples, replacing all navigation nights with items fabricated from clear sprue, replacing the nose probes, and opening up the ground refuelling port. Parts such as flight control surfaces were also thinned at the edges. Shape defects with the nose and LEX were also addressed. Note that the C-shaped missile braces on the side launchers, adjacent to the wheel wells are omitted as the real aircraft had these removed during its demo period.



Painting and Markings


The model was finished with Gunze Acrylics using a Badger 150 airbrush.

The yellow is custom mixed at random ratio with the spare decal as a reference.

The decals are from the Leading Edge 1/72 sheet #72.22. It is extremely well printed and the decals settled down with no problem, reacting well to Gunze decal set. However, they do not provide additional decals to cover the dropped trailing edge flying surfaces. Spare decals were used to address the problem.

Weathering was achieved via a light pastel wash.



The intake covers are fabricated with white glue and tissue paper. The intake cover decals are custom made by Mike Grant Decals.





I am pleased with the result of this built.

However, I regret to inform the modeling community of the lack of any decent 1/72 F-18 kit. The fidelity of the Hasegawa kit is limited at best. Fujimi, though superior in some aspects, is lacking in others.

It is perhaps misleading to view a model with such drastic modifications. However, when these modifications have to be done in order to portray a reasonable replica, it becomes a matter of necessity after several attempts. I will probably construct another CF-18 in this scale, though I probably won’t be satisfied without a fair amount of modifications to the kit.


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by John Chung
Page Created 14 June, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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