- Price: around £17.99 GBP (Dec2012)
Review by Geoff Coughlin
Our thanks to Revell for supplying our review sample. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit www.revell.eu or email email@example.com
A little bit of inspiration here…
A little bit of background…
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are twin-engine carrier-based 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 gun and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried with 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 since 2006, and 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.
The Revell Kit…
This isn’t a new-tool F/A-18F Super Hornet but that doesn’t matter! What you get is a well-tooled model that’s very current in terms of approach and breakdown. Revell has teamed up with Daco decals to create an impressive new decal sheet featuring one brightly marked “Jolly Rogers” CAG bird and one low-vis from “Red Rippers”. Read on to find out more about what’s actually included…
Box and contents…
Revell persist with rather flimsy boxes that are doubtless cheap to produce yet somehow manage to protect the contents although prove less useful during construction. Having said that, the artwork is usually impressive enough and that’s the case here – an image of an F/A-18F Super Hornet resplendent in classic “Jolly Rogers” markings engaging targets – great stuff.
So what’s inside…?
The grey sprues are packaged well and no damage is apparent. Taking the main components first, they are well tooled, recessed panel line detail and having a quality feel, if a little brittle – much like Hasegawa kits seem to have. No distortion was apparent and a dry fit of the complex, yet typical F/A-18F kit breakdown of fuselage-to-nose section join looks like it’s going to offer a reasonable fit although some re-scribing will be almost inevitable given all the detailed panel lines around the joins.
The cockpit looks busy enough with reasonable seats for the scale and decals provided on the decal sheet for the main instrument panels. The moulded raised detail is pretty good and you may be tempted to paint the panels and go that route looking at what’s available, but remember, this is only 1:72 scale.
You can see the manufacturer’s photos of their completed model in the Gallery Grids included with my review and I for one think this model looks every bit an F/A-18F Super Hornet.
Weapons and stores…
You can see for yourself that Revell has included plenty of stores options (AIM-9X, AIM-120s and Mk.83 GP bombs), and it’s good to see that these haven’t been deleted because you can build plenty of other subjects by combining this kit with an aftermarket decal sheet. All the stores are well tooled and the complete range on offer can easily be seen in the accompanying images.
It’s good to see 3 under-fuselage drop tanks and I remember when I built the Hornets for the Osprey Modelling guide on the F/A-18 Hornet I love the look of the type with the tanks fitted.
The wheels bays and main gear units are central features of any F/A-18 Hornet kit and so, it’s good to see that they are well detailed here.
The clear parts look clear and the canopy rear portion is provided in two parts, so you can pose the canopy open or closed. The parts are clear and no defects apparent.
Instructions and decals…
The Revell instructions follow their usual exploded stages format. Location of parts is clear but colour paint coding is for Revell paints only. However, the FS colour references are provided and this will help you to match your own choice of paints. The build sequence is pretty standard and logical but many modellers will part company with the stated order to suit their experience.
The decals look to be good quality – certainly good subject choice, you won’t be able to miss your F/A-18F “Jolly Rogers” model on a display table! Stencil detail is also provided and is almost always well worth adding, even in 1:72 scale to add additional interest to your completed model, but I suspect you’ll have your own views on this. All the colours are in register and colour density looks impressive and carrier film limited, so I wouldn’t expect any problems with application; especially given the Daco pedigree.
This is a great subject should sell well and be popular with modellers, especially with those that have an interest in all things modern and US. The inclusion of great colour schemes on Revell’s decal sheet is great and of course the model itself looks to be well engineered at first glance and from the dry/test-fit. Moulding is good and the panel detail perfectly reasonable for current 1:72 scale kits.
Recommended for all scale modellers.
SMN Quick Summary Rating out of 5
|STAR RATING (out of five)
|Quality of moulding