Hasegawa 1:48 F/A-18C Hornet BuNo. 163782/DB-12, VMFA-235

The Kit

Only a few slight modifications were done with this kit. Hasegawa got the nose gear door with the ECM receiver wrong so the antenna was removed from the door piece and attached to the door meant for the F/A-18A. The weakest point about Hasegawa kits are the seats so the kit seat was replaced with a Black Box resin seat. Since I wanted to represent the jet as if it was powered and about to taxi for takeoff, I used the Aires open exhaust nozzle set. It may be too widely open for what I was trying to represent, but it looked better than the closed nozzles the kit provides. For ordnance, I decided to use: two AIM-9M Sidewinders and one AIM-7M Sparrow from Hasegawa Weapons Set C, five Mk83 bombs from the Hasegawa Weapons Set A, two of the kit fuel tanks, and the kit FLIR pod. I choose to build a Marine Corps F/A-18C and decided upon a VMFA-235 jet represented by Flying Leathernecks 48003 "Lords and Angels" decal sheet. However on closer examination I found inaccuracies with the decals. For example, the "DB" tail code is the wrong font and the angle of the italic text such as "VMFA-235" is wrong. Custom decals were used to replace some of the inaccurate decals; some problems I did not bother fixing. Checking reference pictures of other VMFA-235 aircraft that deployed, I found the "MARINES" marking on the fuselage to be light gray, not the darker colour given on the decal sheet. Granted I do not have a picture showing that area on aircraft "12", I made an assumption and used light gray text there as well.