Putting this Hornet together has mostly been a pleasure. The fit overall is great, as is the surface detail. The instructions were lacking in a few areas – namely around the installation of the flaps and where some holes need to be drilled or filled. I have the Hasegawa 1/48 F/A-18E and the build is almost identical, however the instructions are regarding the flap installation are much more thorough.
The trickiest part of the build is the installation of the intakes, however with lots of careful dry-fitting they go together okay.
So I’m priming this in black (Tamiya Nato Black) and then going to do a few marble layers. I prefer this to preshading and its a technique that appears to be gaining some popularity.
The intakes were painted before installation, as were the wheel wells.
The marble coat was built up in a random pattern with the airbrush. I find this somewhat tedious to do, but still nowhere near as tedious as preshading panel lines. The same method was applied to the darker top coat:
Next step is to apply some thin top coats to help tone down the marble effect. Its worth noting that although Growlers are generally pretty clean – especially when compared to other Navy birds, I wanted to dirty this one up a bit more than usual.
And finally, a bit of colour, then a clear coat in preparation for decals.