View Full Version : 1/72 F-18s

Gun Grape
26 Dec 16,, 19:53
Had these around for a few weeks and decided I should get something built (or at least started) before the year runs out.

All Hasegawa kits. I have 2 F-18Es, A F-18F and a F-18C.

the F is in the VFA-41 Black Aces CAG boxing

One of the Es and the C in the VFA-27 Royal Maces History boxing.

The last one is the old F-18E boxing with VFA-14 Top Hat USS Nimitz 2009 (?) CAG or VFA 115 Eagles CAG.

Pictures to follow

Gun Grape
26 Dec 16,, 20:24
First Build. Old E with Eduard PE


Gun Grape
26 Dec 16,, 20:29
Did a little. Glued wings, drop tanks together.

Then started on the cockpit

The Eduard PE really dresses up the otherwise plain back deck. And their instrument panels are way better then the decals that Hasegawa provides.


27 Dec 16,, 04:09
First Build. Old E with Eduard PE

I see it came with the correct squadron decals :-)

Gun Grape
01 Jan 17,, 01:10
Bit more work today

Finished the cockpit and put the fuselage together.

After the fact, I will say that PE in 1/72 scale isn't worth buying. After a couple hours folding and putting the cockpit PE together, I realize that you won't see any of it. And they caused fit problems.

The back deck piece and the bangseat pieces were worth using. Since I have a set for the 18F I'll use them but the rest of the planes will be OOB.


Big seam. Had been warned about it reading other builds. So I didn't put the intakes on. Much easier to fix that way


Gun Grape
01 Jan 17,, 01:18
I see it came with the correct squadron decals :-)

Hate to break it to you. I'm not using them. Have some different squadron decals that I like better.

The only plane I'm using the kit decals on is the F-18F VF-41 CAG markings.


01 Jan 17,, 02:35
Hate to break it to you. I'm not using them. Have some different squadron decals that I like better.

I swear to god...

We just can't have nice things!

Gun Grape
01 Jan 17,, 03:12
I swear to god...

We just can't have nice things!

I like this one better. What do you think?


01 Jan 17,, 05:47
I like it!

Gun Grape
31 Mar 17,, 17:46
What happened?

Right after this, we had the holidays, 2 birthdays, 1 funeral, The wife and I's anniversary (26th).

Then the water got cold enough for the winter fish (Whiting and Trout) to start biting. I only do models on the weekend. And if the choice is between putting together a model or fishing. Fishing wins every time.

I have not forgot about these. They are just in a holding pattern.

Builder 2010
25 Jun 17,, 23:31
Notice how clean that plane was. I don't like them when they're over-weathered. It's funny... I only do modeling during the week. It's my retirement "job". That's the deal wife and I've worked out.

Gun Grape
25 Sep 17,, 02:40
Fish are not biting, its to hot. Got my son graduated from High School, and all that entails. Got him off to AF boot camp, went to see his Boot Camp Graduation a week before the hurricane. Had a close call with Irma

Finally a little bit of model building time. Oh yea, now that the son is gone and there is a spare/unused room, I talked the wife into letting me put a work table in there instead of trying to build from my computer desk.

Got the F-18F done. Mostly, still need to microsand the dust off the gloss coat. Then give her a satin finish.

Hasegawa 1/72 F-18f in Black Aces CAG boxing

It has been too humid to use the airbrush so painted with a harry stick using model master paints.

Finished as the 2010 CAG bird off the USS Nimitz. Slick with 2 CATM-9s on the wingtips

A few quick pics. I'll post more/better ones when I get them all finished.


25 Sep 17,, 03:55
I like this one better. What do you think?

How did I miss this?? YES USE THIS ONE!

Albany Rifles
25 Sep 17,, 15:03
Well done, Gunny!

Builder 2010
29 Sep 17,, 15:31
Good job! Are you putting on some matte finish?

Gun Grape
02 Oct 17,, 01:23
Good job! Are you putting on some matte finish?

Yes, or maybe a satin one. But the humidity here is so high lately that air brushing is on hold.

Will probably wait until I get all the birds done. Then have a big varnish party.

If anyone is interested in doing a 1:72 F-18c. Don't by the old box (or the Royal maces combo) The old school Hasegawa kit sucks.

Ejector pin marks all over visible places, Ill fitting parts. For a 30 year old kit, its what you would expect. I hear the Academy kit is far better.

Gun Grape
22 Nov 17,, 22:12
Finished, except for satin coat, F-18C. Built as A F-18A+

My first Jarhead bird. OOB except MAU Decals. VMFA-232 when assigned to the Nimitz airwing in 2007

VMFA 232, The Red Devils, are the oldest active Marine Corps Fighter Squadron. Established on 1 Sept 1925


Builder 2010
23 Nov 17,, 00:03
Good job! It will look great with the matte finish. I always have trouble with those big tail decals.

Gun Grape
25 Nov 17,, 01:15
Good job! It will look great with the matte finish. I always have trouble with those big tail decals.


MAU decals broke the tail down to 4 decals. The diamond, The Tail code, slime light and CAG are all separate decals. The hardest one to put down was the walkways. They were kit Hasegawa decals. Thick and with a mind of their own.

Builder 2010
25 Nov 17,, 18:35
What kind of decal solution are you using? I've used Walther's Solvaset and the Micro-sol products. Solvaset is sometimes a bit too aggressive.

Gun Grape
26 Nov 17,, 00:12
Usually MicroSol/Set. On really thick decals or places there are a lot of detail/contours, I use Tamiya Mark fit, Strong. Never had any problem with it eating decals but every once in a while it will react with the Acrylic paint/future. But nothing a little touch-up paint doesn't solve.

When my bottle of MicroSol runs out I'll probable replace it with regular strength Mark Fit.

I've had many instances where SolvaSet did bad things to the decal. Quit using that.

On decals that have a rep for silvering, I'll lay them on a thin coat of wet Future.

Builder 2010
26 Nov 17,, 01:02
Does the Future dry with the decals over top? I'll have to try that sometime. I'm also using the Micro-sol decal film on the really bad actors that are going to fall apart. Even then I sometimes can't save them. It's almost better to scan them and print them on new decal film.

Gun Grape
26 Nov 17,, 22:09
The few times I've used it, had no problem with the Future drying.

I agree about jst printing off nw decals. I've ried the MicroSol decal film and spraying them with a layer of clear acrylic. Neither worked great.

back 30+ years ago, it was said that MicroSol/Set was nothing but a vinegar solution. And I was using a home brew of Vinegar/water and a drop of soap. Worked good. But, decals are alot thinner now.
So I'm afraid to do that again.

Same with using Solvaset. Back then I would cut it 50/50 with water. And would still have bad things happen sometimes. It would eat Microscale decals every time. Back when they were the only aftermarket decal company

Gun Grape
24 Dec 17,, 20:33
I really like these CAG birds. So much that I got a 18D And 2 more Fs. My problem now is that not many companies do 1/72 scale decals anymore. Everyone seems to have shifted to 1/48.

In the works is are CAG birds for:

F-18D VMF (AW)-225 Vikings with a FAC loadout

F-18F VFA-102 60th Anniversary markings

F-18F VFA-2 Bounty Hunters if I can find some replacement decals. Its a old Hasegawa kit with Ivory instead of white. (if not I may do the FVA-102 50th markings)

F-18E VFA-137 Kestrels in digital camo

F-18E VFA-143 Puking Dogs.

That should keep me pretty busy on the bench this coming year. Maybe I should have named this thread "Hornets Nest"

Gun Grape
24 Dec 17,, 20:40
Couldn't manage/deleate pics so I deleated the post. here we go again

I was planning on finishing the VFA-14 bird this weekend. But the aftermarket decals went crazy. It wasn't the Fightertown set that I posted a pic of. They only do them in 1/48. I bought the 2 Bobs set.

Was using a combo of kit decals and 2Bo for the general data. Then 3 of the 2Bobs folded over as soon as I put them in water. No big deal a little patience got 2 of them sorted out, and I used the kit decal for the last. Then the CAG bird specific decals were next . The Red slash decal that goes down the spline broke into 3 parts. Aggravating, but I pieced it together. When I put the tail decal in water, it pretty much disintegrated. No fixing that. So its back to the paint shop. I'll finish her as a 2009 CAG Bird using kit decals. Wasn't happy with the Bob decals anyway. The red stripe in the US insignia was a separate decal. The white background on the NAVY and 200 was separate. Slime lights were multipart . Writing was illegible Not a game changer, substituted kit decals. But not what I expected.

So we go from this

To this


Builder 2010
25 Dec 17,, 00:47
Notice how pristine those planes are. Fellas that want to weather the heck out of modern fighters are missing the boat. I can understand it when doing a battle weary Corsair that was stationed on some tiny island in the Pacific, but modern fighters working off of our carriers generally look pretty darn good and those pictures show. Even accenting the panel lines is usually exaggerated.

Nice work Gun!

Gun Grape
25 Dec 17,, 02:13
Got the fuselage painted and a coat of Future on her this evening. Decals on Tuesday,Bit hanging and should be finished Wed.

She will be in the Wet 5 configuration.

Agree about the weathering. Birds are kept clean. Mostly because its hard to detect leaks on a dirty plane. But mention that on some forums and they immediately post pics of DS birds flying over oilfields. Or the Navy float where the carrier lost part of its desalinization plant and only had water for essentials.

Same with panel lines. Step 50ft away from a real bird. You wont see any panel lines, unless there is a fluid leak/stain. Won't see them at 1/48 or 1/72 distance

But the armor builders are just as guilty. Heavy mud around the running gear is how you burn our wheel bearings and throw tracks. Dirt in the fighting compartment is kept to a minimum because the vehicle is also our house. Where we eat and sleep.

I am enjoying building 1/72, because there isn't a lot of detail you can add. I think that's what got me on the Fletcher build. AMS, took the fun out of the hobby.

Gun Grape
30 Dec 17,, 05:22
In before the end of the year. Mostly, I did notice that I need to repaint the canopy gray before she is completely done. Due to a new paint job after the original decals STB.

But here it is, w/o canopy

Hasegawa F-18E, Kit decals
CAG Bird configured in the 5 Wet load out

In late 2002 while the USS Nimitz was steaming to the PG, The USS Lincoln asked for 2 F-18Es from VFA-14 and 2 F-18Fs from VFA-41 to fly forward to support their operations.

The E's were used as tanker support for the Lincoln Airwing of 18C's, the Fs were used as FACs

Vallejo Model Air paints

Quickboost Bang seat (really Nice)

Wolfpack Buddy Store

Touchup paint and satin coat soon. Love the way a picture picks stuff up that you don't see with the Mk-1 eyeball






Gun Grape
30 Dec 17,, 05:32
Next Hornet on the list is a D with Orion Decals.

If I can get some Mavericks, I Plan on a FAC load out


Albany Rifles
02 Jan 18,, 15:22
Looking great Gunny

Gun Grape
06 Jan 18,, 02:25
Thanks AR.

Gun Grape
06 Jan 18,, 02:37
Earlier I mentioned how bad the Hasegawa 18C is. Well the D isn't any better. In their defense, these are old issue models, that have been reboxed. Both share the same sprues, with a added one thrown in to make the D (2 seat) model. A late 70s kit, that was updated with engraved panel lines in the mid 80s. Now molds are showing their age with flash, warpage and shrinkage.

On to the kit


With these decals

To show how old the parts are, the sprues were labeled F-18a/TF-18A. Made before the training version got the "B" designation.
The part number is molded into the part. If its large enough. Typical, 1970s stuff



Even with that thought, Hasegawa always has been known for really good molded in detail. Look at the wheel well and gun vents. There are recent releases from other companies that are no where near this good


Gun Grape
13 Jan 18,, 03:06
Fuselage parts were warped and had a bit of shrinkage. Took a few hours of Hot water bath then bend the part a bit, More hot water then bend.....

Got most of the warp out. Then came glue a bit. Hold till it dried, Then bend to get more lined up, glue, hold. repeat

One side came out pretty good. A bit of filler and it will be fine


The other side was the one that had shrunk. Had to cut a shim from card stock to fill the gap.


The intakes were oversized. Got the front half sanded down. Still need to sand the backs

Cockpit pretty shabby. Bang seats not installed yet. The D model doesn't have a stick in back so don't follow the instructions and put one there. Instrument panel is wrong. But she will have the canopy closed and wont be seen.


Gun Grape
13 Jan 18,, 03:23
Package from Sprue Brothers came today.

Plan to do a asymmetrical CAS loadout According to one of my F-18 books one of the loadouts that the Vikings used was Maverick and gas tank on port wing, sniper pod on fuselage hardpoint
And 2 500lb LGBs and 1 500lb JDAM on the starboard wing.

So I ordered these sets.


Builder 2010
13 Jan 18,, 20:39
You do good work! And you have a terrific understanding of the subject and that's a big help.

Gun Grape
14 Jan 18,, 04:29
Paint time

Coat of Vallejo Black Primer on the bird.

I haven't jumped on the "Black Basing" bandwagon. I just got a bottle of Ammo by MIG one shot white primer. Played with it on a test model. Still trying to figure it out. But I also got a Ammo by mig paint set and am trying to figure them out also. They don't spray like every other acrylic paint. And the company is proud of that! If I wasn't so stubborn, I would have thrown them away.

My normal primer is Vallejo Lt Ghost Grey. But its hard to see where you put the primer down when the plastic is also grey. 2d model using the black. I like it. Its gotten to where all I'm using is Vallejo Model Air.



Also started on the underwing stores. We have just about got to where everything is grey.on the Navy/Marine side. But I did old 500lb bombs (green, no heat resistant coating) with new paveway kits to add a little color. And all Marine Corps Sniper pods are Gunship Grey


Builder 2010
14 Jan 18,, 17:21
I know... some guys swear by the black undercoating, and then bury it in layers of top coats and weathering. I know that gloss black is supposed to be used under the metallizer coats is necessary to give them depth. I haven't done it yet, but am willing to try. Your work is very good and I know you'll make it work.

Gun Grape
15 Jan 18,, 22:58
Shot a coat of paint on the bird and worked on the ord.



I do like the black primer. But, it does hide stuff like scratches, mold lines gaps. Don't catch those till you put the first coat of paint on. Then you end up sanding and respraying after fixing the problems.

Gun Grape
20 Jan 18,, 04:11
Decals started. Decided to get the big ones out of the way first. The Orion decals are working good. No problem with the major decals but some of the stenciling/data decals came apart. I'll have to use the kit decals for that




Gun Grape
21 Jan 18,, 04:49
Finished, well maybe some touchup. The kit is crap. Missing lots of bumps and other things that make it a "D" model. Wolfpack use to make a update set for it. But if you want a 2 seat Marine bird, this model is the only game in town

Hasegawa 1/72 F-18D
Hasegawa Weapon sets 4 (Maverick) 6 (500lb Paveways) and 9 (500lb JDAM and Sniper Pod)
Vallejo Model Air paints (Black Primer, Lt Ghost Grey and Dark Ghost Grey, Insignia White)
Testors Model Master Acrylic Flat
Orion Decals






Gun Grape
21 Jan 18,, 04:56
I've built a C, D, E, and F.

That leaves only one variant left.

Birthdays coming up. And Sprue Brothers had a 20% sale on Hasegawa kits last week. This is one of the things I got myself.


Gun Grape
05 Feb 18,, 04:27
On to the "G". Had planned to take a Hornet break and do a F-14 or the new boxing F-4 from Academy. But the wife thought this looked "Cute" and wants me to do it next. Happy wife, Happy Life. So here goes

After 2 crappy models I'm back to the better fitting E/F Hasegwa. The G boxing is updated from the basic E/F boxing in that it has the updated cooling stacks between the tails. They have done the same with all their recent release CAG birds but still sell the original boxing with old exhaust. Remember that if you want to build a early OEF bird or anything before 2012ish.

First the sprue shots. All marked F-18E/F/G. Standard E/F sprues except for one.




And here is the "G" specific sprue. Hasegawa finally had to include some underwing stores. Its what makes a G.

Gun Grape
05 Feb 18,, 04:32
Some "G" specific things. All annotated in the instructions. Lots of holes to drill out for the various sensors. Some panel lines to get rid of. And a gun to close up



And something not mentioned in the instructions, The gun vents need to be filled in. The Growler doesn't have a gun and it doesn't have vents.


Been fighting a cold/flu for the last week. So drilling out holes and filling vents is all I got done this weekend.

Gun Grape
05 Feb 18,, 04:48
In the end it should look something like this

VAQ-132 The Scorpions


Builder 2010
05 Feb 18,, 14:49
As per your usual quality, it's going to be a nice build. I forgot that the "Growler" has a different designation. Lots of stuff hanging under it. Hope you feel better. Apparently, you and a few million others are getting that flu.

Gun Grape
18 Feb 18,, 02:00
A little bit of work done. Cockpit done except for the quickboost bang seats. and the nose mated to the fuselage

Compare this picture to the one of the "D". Just a small gap at the upper corner. Everything else lines up, No sanding or filler needed. Will hit that spot with a little Mr Surfacer and it will be good to go


This is where the fit problem is. Where it isn't going to be seen. But once again a little Mr Surfacer 1200 will fill the void nicely

The instructions say to fill the holes. But actually you should sand the hump down where the gun is. This is whats taken so long. I backfilled the area with some styrene and superglue. Let it cure for a week before I took the sand paper to it. As you can see Hasegawa cockpits in 1/72 are decals. I'm fine with that, especially since the canopy will be closed and you wont see anything anyway.

The gap in front. Plan to use my saw to make it even and insert a piece of styrene . I've done the putty and sand routine. But this is easier and you sand off less detail. The one good thing building the "D" taught me


Same on the bottom. Saw and fill. A few seams I need to work on in the intakes

I was starting to get a little disheartened while doing the C and D. Old kits that fought me all the way. This G is so much better. This I enjoy. And thats what a hobby is all about

Builder 2010
18 Feb 18,, 04:23
Nice to see that I'm not the only guy building around here. Opening the seam and filling with Styrene is a good idea, especially with that very fine razor saw that looks like a razor blade with teeth. Keep up the good work. Now you need to build a 1/72 late issue carrier to carry all of those F-18s.

Gun Grape
18 Feb 18,, 05:12
Yea, I needed a week off to get the juices flowing again.

Gun Grape
18 Feb 18,, 05:17
Instead of Mr Surfacer, I decided to go a bit old school to get rid of some panel lines that had to go. The lines were not very deep and even Mr Surfacer 1200 is a bit thick to go in them.

So break out the Tamiya Putty and thin it with a bit of liquid cement.

The implements of destruction


The panels that have to go. While I was at it, I decided to try to fill the small gap at the rear



Tomorrow I'll sand it down and see how it comes out.

(edit) I applied the slurry with a toothpick. There is no way you would get that crap out of a paint brush

Gun Grape
18 Feb 18,, 05:30
Used my resin saw and some evergreen sheets to fill the gaps.

The CMK saw


The kerf of the saw is not exactly the same as the thickness of the sheets. And in places the gap between the mating surfaces was wider than the saw.

But thats a easy fix. Take out a sanding stick and bevel the edge of your styrene sheet. Then wedge the sheet in the gap. And don't forget to glue it on both sides



Took about 15min. From start to finish. Much faster than using putty and sanding. Less chance for error, like getting a flat spot in whats suppose to be a round center section, or sanding off part of the IFF box.

Once again I'll wait to tomorrow to trim the excess.

Gun Grape
18 Feb 18,, 05:41
And just in case you think I don't do bonehead mistakes.

Got the Wolfpack resin folding wing set to use. Started removing the pour plug and ws looking at the kit wing part as guidance.

Went downhill from there.

The wing is a 2 part assembly. I realized my mistake after I cut the first one.


How they both should look

Yea, this isn't going to work.

My wonderful wife ( the 23d of this month we will have been married 27yrs) took a look at what I did. Then picked up the piece of paper that comes in the Wolfpack set
and went "Oh look, It has instructions"

Gun Grape
26 Feb 18,, 04:05
No model building this weekend.

Friday was our 27th wedding anniversary. And tonight was the Walking Dead Premere

Gun Grape
27 Apr 18,, 16:51
Been a while since an update

Got all the gaps filled and a coat of paint.. Here is where the last Hornet is at.




Just a satin coat away, hang the stuff on the wings and she will be done.

Maybe this weekend (if the fish are not biting)

Gun Grape
28 Apr 18,, 19:21
Final Pics. Finished her up this morning. Seas were 2-4 with a 20kt North wind. So no fishing.






Gun Grape
28 Apr 18,, 19:56
That's one example of all the Hornet types flying in the fleet now.

Think its time to take a break.

Some family pictures to end the thread



Gun Grape
28 Apr 18,, 20:00
F-18C VMFA 232 The Red Devils


F-18D VMF(AW) 225 The Vikings


F-18E VFA-14 TopHatters


F-18F VFA-41 Black Aces


F-18G VAQ-132 Scorpions


29 Apr 18,, 03:28
Very nice!

Gun Grape
30 Apr 18,, 02:33
Thanks, they were a lot of fun to build. (Most of them)