F/A-18F Advanced Super Hornet in 1/72 Scale Hasegawa Kit 02223 OOB Review and Build
My Review and Build of Hasegawa Kit #02223
Advanced F/A-18F Super Hornet US Navy Strike Aircraft
US Navy, Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet
NOTE: You can see all of the high resolution photos on The Flickr Album Dedicated to this model build...or click on each picture itself for a slightly higher resolution picture.
The proposed US Navy Advanced F/A-18F Super Hornet
After producing an outstanding upgrade to the original F-18 Hornet aircraft (from the 1980s) and calling it the F/A-188E/F Super Hornet (E bing the singel seat air superiority fighter and F being the dual seat stike fighter, which came on line in the 1990s and into the 200s, the US Navy now has the opportunity to receive another upgrade to this outstanding ircraft.
The Advanced Super Hornet first flew in 2013 and is being proposed to the navy as both a new build and or an upgrade to any and all Super Hornet aircraft available...this inluded the EA-18G Grwler electronic warfae aircraft that has been produced on the same airframe and replaced the EA-6B Electronic warfare aircraft on US Navy aircraft carriers.
Boeing has done some marvelous work here. The Advanced super hornet has new engines which boost output from 22,000 pounds to 26,400 pounds per engine. They added Conformal fuel tanks which increased the aircraft's combat range by 260 nautical miles while adding 3,500 pounds (1,600 kg) of fuel per fill-up. They added a large, stealth weapons pod under the aircraft that can carry up to six AMRAAM missiles, or numerous combination of weaponry in a stealthy pod. They addded AESA Radar, and they added more stealthy coatings and design that allow the aircraft to operate in a near stealth mode.
All of this will increase and prolong the relevance of these 4th generation aircrat in a 5th generation world dominated by the F-22 and the F-35. In fact, it will allow the Super Hronet, which is already a very effective and dangerous aircraft, to challenege any potetnial argresor nation's own 5th generation aircraft with near stealth and with very pwerful US sensors and weapons.
The Advanced Super Hornet can either be nuilt new, or, as stated, most of the enhancements can be added to any of the over 500 Super Hornets already produced, or to the over 100 EA-18G GRoler electronic aircraft as well.
This is a very useful oportunity for the US Navy and for any other users (ie. Australia) in terms of keeping their Super Hronet fleets relevant and on the cutting edge.
Here are the characteristivs:
Crew: 2 (pilot and weapon systems officer)
Length: 60 ft 1¼ in (18.31 m)
Wingspan: 44 ft 8½ in (13.62 m)
Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
Wing area: 500 ft² (46.5 m²)
Empty weight: 32,081 lb (14,552 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 66,000 lb
Internal fuel capacity: F/A-18F: 17,000 lb
External fuel capacity: 5 × 480 gal tanks, totaling 16,380 lb (7,381 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × New General Electric turbofans
Dry thrust: 16,400 lbf (62.3 kN) each
Thrust with afterburner: 26,400 lbf (97.9 kN) each
Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph, 1,915 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
Range: 1,650 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s
Combat radius: 640 nmi for interdiction mission
Ferry range: 2,320 nmi (2,070 mi, 3,330 km)
Service ceiling: 50,000+ ft (15,000+ m)
Rate of climb: 44,882 ft/min (228 m/s)
Wing loading: 94.0 lb/ft² (459 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight: 0.93 (1.1 with loaded weight & 50% internal fuel)
Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A2 Vulcan nose-mounted rotary cannon, 412 rounds
Hardpoints (non Stealth): 11 total: 2× wingtips, 6× under-wing, and 3× under-fuselage with a capacity of 17,750 lb (8,050 kg) external fuel and ordnance Stealth Pod: Up to six AMRAAm missiles, or a combination of AMRAAM and various guided munitions
Missiles: Air-to-air missiles:
4× AIM-9 Sidewinder or 4× AIM-120 AMRAAM, and
2× AIM-7 Sparrow or 2× AIM-120 AMRAAM
AGM-84H/K Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Range (SLAM-ER)
AGM-88 HARM Anti-radiation missile (ARM)
AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW)
AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)
Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)
JDAM precision-guided munition (PGMs)
Paveway series of laser-guided bombs
Mk 80 series of unguided iron bombs
CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition
CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon
Mk 20 Rockeye II
SUU-42A/A Flares/Infrared decoys dispenser pod and chaff pod or
Electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod or
AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR Targeting pods or
up to 3× 330 U.S. gallon (1,200 L) Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for ferry flight or extended range/loitering time or
1× 330 U.S. gal (1,200 L) tank and 4× 480 U.S. gal (1,800 L) tanks for aerial refueling system (ARS).
The Kit - What's in the Boox: March 12, 2017
There are numerous F/A-18F Super Hornet kits available in 1/72 scale. I have purcahsed and built the Revell Super Hornet F/A-18F, and a HAsegawa EA-18G growler.
This Hasegawa kit is the one and only 1/72 (of any other scale) kit f the Afvnced Super Hronet I am aware of on the market.
HAsegawa is an excellent model maker, and has been for many years. They prodced excellent detail with their kits.
This is basically and F/A-18F kit with additional arts added to produce the F/A-18F Advanced super Hornet, sort of like the Navy would do if they brought iun an F/A-18F to make the change.
Altoghter, there are over 130 parts to the kit, including three resin parts for the conformal fuel kits and the stealth weapns pod.
There is an excellent set of decals represneting Boeing's naval markings in the marketing aircraft, which are very similar to normal F/A-18F markings
The instructions are decent. They provide step by step instructions for the building of the aircraft and the various options. I have seen more intuitive instructions sets. These seem a bit hectic and crowded. Nonetheless, they will suffice just fine and do appear straight forward.
A decent decal and color scheme are included on the last sheets of the instructions for both aircraft, and these, though not in color, or very well done.
The Build - Main fueselage and Air Frame Assembly
- March 13, 2017
So, I first cut the attachment points and sprue attachments off of the various parts, leaving only a signle attachemnt for each on the sprue to which it was attached. This helps avoid exccessive touch up painting later. I then painted the various in the various Model Master colors i intend for this aircraft. I used Light Ghost Gray for the lower aircraft and Dark Ghost Gray for the upperr. Flat Black for the darker cockpit surfaces and Weathered Black for the tires and vertical stabilizors. Wheel wells and landing gear are flat white for this model. Once all of this painting was done, it was time to put together the fuselage and main air frame.
Here's how that went:
The Build - Cockpit and Wing supports - March 14, 2017
I put together the cockpit, using the decals in this instance for the instrumentation, and then added the various wing fairing supports.
It is always nice to get the cockpit on these aircraft done. With the stick provided and the fairly decent ejection seats they provide, and then with the instrumentation, you can get a very decent and realistic look.
The Build - Landing gear and engine nozzels - March 15, 2017
I built the landing gear, and then added them to the aircraft, along with the wheels. Once they dried, I added the various details for support structure for the landing gear. I then added the engine nozzles to the rear of the aircraft.
Here's the pictures from that ortion of the build:
The Build - Fuel tanks, Weapons Pod, and adding the decals - March 16, 2017
In this session I built and added the fuel tanks and weapons pod. I am building specifically a long range, stealthy strike version that would give this aircraf abou a 1,000 nm combat radius with some loiter time, using the fuel from the tanks on the outward bound trip and ejecting them when approaching enemy detection range. Then using the internal fuel with the additional conformal tanks for the interdiction and loiter if necessarly, and a mixed strike mode of two AMRAAM missiles for self defense and 2-4 guided munitions inside the od.
That's what this Advanced Super Hornet configuration would provide for.
I then added the fuel tanks and the weapons pods, and then added the decals for the model.
Here's how all of that went:
The Build - Comlpeting the model - March 18, 2017
At this point the model was complete and all that was left was for touch up painting and then adding two coats of clear dull coat.
Here's how she looks
...and some close ups:
...and finally, here are all three of the SUper Hornet aircraft types together, less the single seat Super Hornet, F/A-18E.
So, the F/A-18F. the EA-18G, and the Advanced Super Hornet, up front:
Very nice indeed.
SCHEDULE for Future Activities
- MArch 18, 2017
- By April 1, 2017,WW II Cruiser for the DoolittleHornet Raid on Tokyo
- By June 31, 2017, USS nterprise, CV-6 for the Doolittle raid on Tokyo