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Hasegawa 1/48 F/A 18C

Hasegawa F-18C 'Chippy Ho'

Let me just take a break to vent my disappointment. A few months ago I built a Revell 1/48 F-18-E Super Hornet I’ve got from the craft store for +/- $12.00 after their 40% coupon. I build mostly OOB. I wanted to add another F-18 to my collection. This time I wanted to display my F-18 with all flaps dropped so I went with the Hasegawa F 18-C. The surface detail is there but it is very faint. I don’t know if after 2 coats of paint, 1 of clear gloss for decaling and another for the wash, the panel lines will still be visible.

Unlike Revell’s, it comes with 4 drop tanks with fit issues that will require putty, sanding and and rescribing details. I dressed my Revell with Legend Resin tanks, so this one I’ll either put some elbow grease or go with Legends again.

Revell’s cockpit detail beats the heck out of Hasegawa considering that the Hasegawa comes with a small fret of PE details. I just got from Sprue Bros the Quickboost ejection seat because the stock one on the Hasegawa leaves a lot to be desired compared to Revell’s. The clear canopy on the Hasegawa has no attempt on details whereas Revell’s does have nice rivets. No weapons of any kind and the nose to fuselage fit is as bad as their F 14A Tomcat which ended up in a corner of my closet.

No, I’m not pretending a perfect fit, I know there is no such thing a s the perfect kit or manufacturer. But this thing is no $50 better than Revell’s offering. This kit was a prelude to my next Hasegawa F-18E which almost hits the $100 mark. Subscribe to this post if you are interested in seeing the final outcome of this model kit.

UPDATE: August 20th, 2011

Well, here is the finished Hasegawa F/A 18C. It took me around 30 hours to convert that bunch of sprues into a nice model. After my initial rant about the model, my feelings about it are still mixed. They will always be the price per kit quality ratio. As I mentioned before, the Revell 1/48th F18 E, is not that far from a perfect kit but it has some very nice goodies for a model kit of that price ($18 USA) vs $60 for the Hasegawa and almost $90 for the Hasegawa F/A 18E.

There are obvious parts suggesting that this F 18 can be built as a two seater in other kit versions starting by the cockpit tub. The panel lines indeed were very shallow and inconsistent which doesn’t seem like a big deal. But you might end up ”out of room” should you decided to give the panel lines a wash or other weathering effects in your techniques arsenal.

The fuel tanks although detailed, they were warped in key areas making a simple job of joining to halves with minimum sanding, another sanding and rescrible chore. Instead and because I already had enough work to deal with, I decided to order a set of 3 resin tanks from Legends Productions. For the record, I used the tank set LF4039. Would I build another Hasegawa F/A 18? Yes I would. But I would leave this kind of project for the winter season when my model building time is more passive.

Being in Minnesota and not having a paint booth, I have to make the most out of my model building time. I have pulled out no less than 6 times my 1/350 USS NIMITZ from Trumpeter only to put it back. It is too big to paint indoors, and too humid to paint outside. When good weather was available, I was too involved on projects like the F 18C.

Enjoy the pictures, the model was 100% post shaded with Tamiya Smoke free hand with an AZTEK A470 Airbrush with a Tan Nozzle. Washed with mineral spirit and lamp black artist oil. AIM-9 Sidewinders came from my spare box and waiting to add some GBU-12. Don’t let my experience deter you from getting this kit. It simply requires more time that I had initially in mind. If you want to build this model, make sure you have more time available and add some after market parts to dress this aircraft up.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

  • Richard

    Dear George,
    My son is a navy pilot and has just been assigned to VT 94 the mighty schreiks. I have not built models since I was a little boy but did put together the hasegawa f 18 c. I learned alot but not want to try again. I will do better paint job and learned about metal glue. I was look at the Academy 1/32 model priced at about $110. Has 900 parts but it would be a winter project. Do you know anything about this line of models. Thanks for your advice

    • George

      Hello Richard. My experience with Academy is very limited in 1/32 scale models. I have done a few 1/72 models but my scale of choice is 1/48th. I did worked with the Academy 1/48 Mig-21 Fishbed and it wasn’t that bad. Some research showed me that at least in 1/48th scale, Academy has lots of mixed feelings among modelers. AFAIK, the Academy F/18C in 1/32 scale has raving reviews. Looking forward to see some pictures of your finished model to feature them here if you’d like ;o)