Hasegawa 1/72 F-18E Super Hornet 'Low Visibility'




2000 yen


2 options


Scott Van Aken


2006 Limited Edition


The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is the U.S. Navy's newest strike fighter which has replaced the F-14 Tomcat and with the retirement of most of the F/A-18C/D fleet is now the only tactical air on US carriers. At least until the full introduction of the F-35C.  The program came about because of the accelerated retirement of the Tomcat, which was already filling the the massive void left by the retirement of the A-6E Intruder in the early 1990's.  This would leave the U.S. Navy without an strike aircraft that could perform long-range attacks. 

 Boeing improved upon the original F-18 design, emphasizing greater range, payload and endurance.  In short, they made it bigger and better.  The Super Hornet is listed as having 40% better range than the C/D, and is cheaper to maintain than the F-14.  The design also has "growth space" incorporated into it which will allow for future electronic systems to be added on as they come on-line.  Though production was supposed to halt several times over the last years due to lack of orders, enough have come in from the USN and foreign buyers to keep things open until the middle of 2025.


It is with much delight to modern jet enthusiasts that Hasegawa has released the single seat version of the Super Hornet so quickly after the F-18F kit. While the Italeri kit was nice, it was also a prototype and so did not have all the things changed for the production version. It is a bit unusual for Hasegawa not to have done a prototype kit when the F-18E/F was first brought out as they have a history of doing just that and then modifying the molds to match things up with the production version later on. This was not the case with the Super Hornet. Hasegawa actually waited until it had been in squadron service for some time before releasing these kits. The results are that they have the latest and greatest. Undoubtedly, it will be followed my multiple boxings of the base kit with little more than decal changes. No problem as they will be eagerly purchased by Super Bug fans the world 'round.       

To give you some idea on this kit, it is 98% common with the F-18F that has been previewed before so I'll not trouble you with the showing the sprue layout though I have included the sprue diagram from the instructions. The different bits are the inclusion of the 'E' sprue that has the cover for the back seat section and a canopy attachment point, and the K sprue which has the single seat canopy. That is a total of three different parts out of a total of 117. Since the 'base' kit is the two seater, there are a few holes that need filled and a couple of parts you won't use (like the second instrument panel), but all the rest is exactly the same. The kit supplies AMRAAMs and AIM-9X Sidewinders, but you'll have to dig into a weapons set to fill the center wing pylon. All the pylons are faced outward, though it seems that they are not precisely at the correct angle. Have a read of my F-18F build review for more info in that area.

Hasegawa released this kit shortly after the aircraft entered squadron service and as such is more accurate for an early aircraft. Later aircraft had raised vents in between the fins whereas this kit has this area flat. Two ways to deal with this if you know your plane is a later version. One is to find aftermarket resin bits and the other is to buy the Academy kit, which has these molded in place. 

However, this kit provides markings that are appropriate for the earlier airframes. Both are in the standard TPS for the Hornet with one being the box top plane from VFA-27 'Maces', while the second option is for VFA-14 'Top Hatters'. Instructions are the excellent ones we've come to expect from Hasegawa so there is no need to comment further on those. The sheet is well printed and includes the instrument panel decals that are so common in 1/72 kits. Bands for the missiles are also part of the kit.


These kits have been selling quite well and much of it is due to the nice decal sheet that Hasegawa now provides. I'm sure you will find this one to your liking as well.

February 2019

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