Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18F Super Hornet

Although I stick these days almost exclusively to World War Two subjects, I do have a small collection of later jet aircraft, and they can make a nice change of pace now and again. This time the occasion was the new Top Gun movie featuring Super Hornets. Without getting too much into any kind of critique of the film, suffice it to say that I enjoyed it — and I loved the jets. I had shopped for and ordered a Super Hornet within a couple of weeks of seeing the movie, and here it is, the result of about two weeks’ work during my winter break from school.

The Hasegawa kit I picked out depicts a machine from 2003 — 20 years ago already! I’m pretty much an out-of-the-box model builder, so what you see is what you get. The one thing that was more important to me than usual (because to be honest I usually don’t care that much about making things exactly accurate) was to get the colors right. I love how these jets look in their ghost gray paint. Once upon a time I had the Light and Dark Ghost Grays in Model Master bottles, but that has gone away now… Instead, I saw that Tamiya makes spray cans of these colors, so I went to my local hobby shop to see if they had it on hand, which they actually did! (I do miss the old ways of brick-and-mortar retail…) I would have preferred something airbrushable because it can be hard for me to apply the spray from a can without rushing and glooping it on, but I was satisfied that these would be just the right tones and determined to make it work.

As it turned out, I did make a few mistakes that I had to go back and fix–like handling it too soon after applying a flat overcoat, which took the undercoats of paint right off on my fingers, which meant I had to re-mask for the spray cans–all of which definitely extended the man hours and tried my patience. But I’m quite pleased with the result.

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