- Added to stash 2022
- Built: 2022
- Seat– Brassin
- Nozzles- SteelBeach
- Pylons: Phase hangar resin.
- Wingtip launchers: Flying Leathernecks
- Decals: Afterburner Pacific Coast CAG Superbugs
I need to stop writing these so long after I have finished the model, as its sometimes hard to remember stuff encountered during the construction!
That aside, I found Meng’s kit to be a painless build, construction wise. There were some pesky seams under the LEX that took a while to remove, and there are some spurious panel lines on the rear fuselage sides that need filling. Overall though I would rate it as a well fitting kit that is quite enjoyable to build.
As with any kit, multiple dry runs and careful preparation of the parts to ensure all mating surfaces are clean will reward you with far less problems than the modeller that does not take these steps.
The gun muzzle and fins can be painted separately and then added during final assembly, so good is their fit.
It easily eclipses Hasegawa’s ageing kit (as it should)
However, should you only have the Hobby Boss kit in your stash, I certainly wouldn’t be rushing out and replacing it with the Meng kit. Comparing notes with my mate, there doesn’t seem to be a lot between the two, perhaps a slightly better fit with the Meng kit-maybe!
Calum’s build here
My plan was to model a clean jet, as this is what most photos of this jet showed, clean as in both condition, and having no stores save a centreline fuel tank fitted. The phase hangar 3d printed pylons were therefore purchased in order to show detailed undersides with all holes slots etc hollowed out unlike the kit pylons that just have no detail on the undersides.
Likewise the resin Flying Leatherneck wingtip launchers. Whilst the kit wingtip launchers actually weren’t bad, if modelled bare, they displayed a nasty centreline seam which would have been difficult to fill.
Initial construction of the model proceeded fairly quickly although progress was held up whilst waiting for the resin to arrive from the United States. Thinking back on the build, no real problems were encountered. As my intention was to fit FOD guards, I left out the intake trunking and compressor fans. The intake FOD Guards are made from Apoxie-Sculp formed over the intake, then left to harden. The afterburner sheet included decals for the FOD guards so it would have been a crime not to use them.
I faffed around endlessly and to no avail trying to come up with home made covers for the nozzles, epoxy putty, glue dampened tissue being two materials that were tried and quickly removed as my efforts looked rubbish. In the end I found Steel Beach resin had done the work for me by releasing a set of covered nozzles for the hasegawa kit. Long OOP, I managed to find a set from a German retailer, even better, they fitted the Meng kit.
Halfway through the build, my wife and I put our house on the market, which resulted in me packing the modelling bench up to project the house in the best way during inspections.
We sold the house, but this then had the effect of me putting a clock on my modelling projects, in an effort to get them done before starting to pack the bench up in November. Experience has shown me that half finished projects that get packed away for house moves never get finished upon unpacking at the new house.
Subsequently. the Super Hornet was finished in a bit of a rush, with not the greatest attention paid to final assembly, or even the weathering really. Just a few token stains appearing on the wings.
The one store it carries, the target seeking pod, has just been tacked on as an afterthought with no decals or weathering. This was a deliberate choice on my part. When the new bench is set up, the ordnance will again be getting the attention it deserves
A mix of gunze and SMS paints were used for the USN greys, they ended up being mixed as I thought the SMS FS36320 was way too light as was their version of FS36375., but thats just my opinion. Some tonal shifts and fading being achieved by post shading on various shades of grey before a final blend coat.
The Afterburner decals performed flawlessly. I chse to paint the yellow trim and squadron codes on the fins using masks cut from scanning the decal sheet into my silhouette cutter. Im slowly getting better at using the software. The yellow border to the black spine was also masked and painted rather than using the decals. Long thin decals and I don’t get on a lot of the time.
The Meng decals, however were a big let down. Only the stencils were used, instead of being legible, they were just formed from random lines and are also the wrong colour being black instead of the contrasting grey. That said, they did perform alright and responded well to micro’s setting solution where used. Most of them were applied to little pools of future as I find this the best method for applying stencils and avoiding silvering.
Yes, I should have just used the afterburner stencils, but wanted to save these for a future Meng F-18F thats in the stash, in fact somehow the stash has ended up with THREE Meng Fs. Im not sure how this happened!
So thats it, my Meng Super Hornet. It was originally started for a FB group build, but it overrun the deadline. Whilst I enjoyed the build, I find modern jets can get a bit draining around the 80% mark, all those pylons, stores, undercarriage componets and aerials make them a fussy build. At least one of those two seaters will get done though, either as a USN jet or a R.A.AF jet
Boeing F-18E Super Hornet. VFA27 Royal Maces. U.S. Navy
USS George Washington 2010.
Please excuse the photography. I was having all sorts of issues getting my speedlights to slave to the camera.
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