Italeri 1/48 F-18F Super Hornet






one aircraft: VFA-122


Peter Fey





I’m going to start off this review by apologizing to all of you Tomcat fans out there.  The Super Hornet has already started replacing the Tomcat Naval Aviation.  To date three squadrons have made the change from Tomcats to Super Hornets.  VFA-14 “The Top Hatters” are flying the single seat version while VFA-41, “The Black Aces” are flying the two seat version, both off the USS NIMITZ.  While VFA-102 “The Diamondbacks” are flying the ‘F’ on the USS STENNIS. 

With that said, on to the specifics about the US Navy’s newest plane.  The F/A-18 Super Hornet is a pretty remarkable upgrade of the FA-18 C/D.  For starters, its BIG—it rivals the F-14 Tomcat for size.  It also has a longer range than the regular Hornet, better avionics, better aerodynamics which mean better handling, and it has an increased ordnance capability.

An interesting side note is that Boeing has made a proposal to the Navy in which a variant of the Super Hornet will replace the aging EA-6B Prowler.  By mating new ICAP III Prowler technology and jammers to the proven Super Hornet platform, it is hoped that the resultant EA-18 will replace the Prowler by 2009.



Upon opening the box, one is presented with a single bag, which includes four different sprues.  The clear parts are protected from scratches by their own bag and are included in the single bag.  There are over 100 parts and countless options. Those options include an open or closed canopy, open or closed speed brake, and raised or lowered boarding ladder. Unlike some of the manufacturers who shall go unnamed, you also get a great deal of air to ground munitions including two GBU-10s, two AGM-88 HARMs and two AGM-84 HARPOONs.  Also included are two AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9 Sidewinders.  The quality of the sprue is what one would expect of Italeri, with nicely engraved panel lines that are entirely free of flash and sink marks.  Unfortunately, the cockpit is sub par.  Decals are provided for the consoles and instruments, and the seats are virtually blank.  Two control sticks are provided, though the back seat should not have one.  Instead, the RIO controls everything through two joysticks located on the side consoles.  I know Black Box has done a cockpit for the ‘E’ variant, and hopefully they’ll come out with one for the ‘F’.  No figures are provided.  The landing gear is nicely done, however the tires are toy like in appearance.

The six pages of instructions are typical of Italeri kits, giving good construction and color information. All the color data is for Testors Model Master paints. The kit only comes with one set of markings.  These are from VFA-122, the Super Hornet FRS at NAS Lemoore CA.  The decals are sharply printed and in register. They appear to be quite useable and thin as well.  Again hopefully an aftermarket company will come out with markings for either VFA-41 or VFA-102, the only squadrons flying the ‘F’ variant at this time.


The Super Hornet is the future of Naval Aviation, so Italeri has come up with a model of an important aircraft.  This model will make a great addition to any collection.  Personally, I plan to make mine an EA-18.  A few extra jamming pods from old Monogram EA-6B kits, along with new receivers for the wings, and I’ll have the proposed replacement for the EA-6B Prowler!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet.

VFA-41 F-18F. US Navy Photo.

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