Hasegawa 1/72 F-18F Super Hornet "Low Visibility"

KIT #: 00799
PRICE: 2000 yen SRP in 2006
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2006 Limited Edition



 The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet and related twin-seat F/A-18F are twin-engine carrier-capable multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system.

Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Full-rate production began in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super Hornet entered service with the United States Navy in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which was retired in 2006; the Super Hornet serves alongside the original Hornet. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its aging F-111 fleet. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010.

In September 2014, Boeing readied plans to close its St. Louis production lines for the Super Hornet and F-15 in 2017.


The F-18F replaced the Tomcat in those VF squadrons that were not disestablised when the F-14 was taken out of fleet service. So far, no other company has produced an equivalent kit of the two seater in this scale aside from perhaps Italeri's pre-production kit. Unlike years past, the cost of producing a model kit is so high that Hasegawa and others waited for the definitive production version before spending the money on tooling.     

To give you some idea on this kit, it has about 98% commonality with their F-18E kit. The main differences being the fuselage with the two seat format and the additional seat, stick and instrument panel required by that variant. There is also a longer canopy which has a seam that you will need to remove.

So you get a standard Hasegawa cockpit with an acceptable pair of seats and decals for the instruments. The cockpit sits atop a lower forward fuselage piece that includes the nose gear well. One does have to open holes in the fuselage and wings for various pylons so keep that in mind when building it. There is also a piece that fits in the back with polycaps so you can simply push the horizontal stabilizers in place after painting everything. The intakes look simple but are a bit of a challenge to get installed properly. It is the curse of F-18 kits.

Wings have upper and lower pieces on each side with the flaps and ailerons molded into the top wing. Landing gear are properly complex and it looks like you can model them closed. Burner cans fit on the back of the fuselage and there is little depth to the exhaust. Unlike some Hasegawa kits, this one comes with not only fuel tanks, but also some weapons, specifically a pair of late model Sidewinders and some AIM-120s. The racks for bombs are also provided but you'll have to sources those from a weapons set. Note that the wing racks are slightly angled outward. Canopy can be modeled open or closed. In all, a very standard Hasegawa kit.

Markings are for three planes. One is the box art plane from CAG 5's VFA-102. This one being a standard line bird as are the other two options. Those are from VFA-2 in 2003 and 2005 which differ mostly in the way the tail markings are displayed. All of these are the usual FS 36320 upper with 36375 underside. In other words, grey jets. A nice touch is that in along with all those stencils are air intake markings, various vents and a set of stripes for the missiles.


While it is not a shake and bake kit, it is one that goes together fairly well if you are a careful builder. I have built another boxing which you can readat this link. If you like the plane or want one in your collection, this would be a good representation of the type.



October 2016

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