Hasegawa 1:48 F/A-18D Hornet BuNo. 164035/VK-04, VMFA(AW)-121

The Story

In December 1989, VMFA(AW)-121 became the first Marine Corps F/A-18D Night Attack Hornet Squadron. In January 1991, VMFA(AW)-121 was deployed with their new aircraft to Shaikh Isa Air Base. During Desert Storm, the squadron performed Fast FAC duties, locating enemy targets, marking their positions with white phosphorus rockets, and directing other aircraft to attack them. Because their mission was to direct other strike aircraft, F/A-18Ds were lightly armed. On one occasion where a F/A-18D descended to strafe enemy positions it was hit by a SAM but still safely returned to Shaikh Isa. The Squadron flew 557 sorties in support of the First and Second Marine Divisions liberating Kuwait; more than any other Navy or Marine Corps tactical jet squadron.

The Kit

Hasegawa Hornets are quite nice and simple; but as with most kits the cockpit can use some improvement. With such a large viewable cockpit area on the F/A-18D, I decided to replace the kit cockpit with the Black Box set. For Weapons load, I used two rocket pods from the Hasegawa Weapons Set B, two AIM-7 Sparrows, and two AIM-9 Sidewinders. The rocket pods were slightly altered by scratch-building some rockets to be protruding out the front of the launchers. Painting was done with Gunze Sangyo acrylics. The decals are a combination of Super Scale 48-439 and Repli-Scale 48-5038.