Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18E Super Hornet 'USS Ronald Reagan CVW-5 Special Box Part 2' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2016||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F/A-18E Super Hornet 'USS Ronald Reagan CVW-5 Special Box Part 2'||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||52143||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build(s), colorful subjects, two complete kits in box||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$94.99|
The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is a scaled up F/A-18A/C Hornet with more power, range and payload than its predecessors. The aircraft replaced the F-14 Tomcat as the fleet air defense aircraft and is also replacing the older Hornets in the multi-role missions as well. The aircraft is a true multi-role aircraft, able to conduct precision strikes on enemy targets while providing its own self-protection.
While not many people have noticed, the Super Hornet entered service with a number of squadrons and has seen combat Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and other hot spots around the globe. The aircraft is rated to carry and launch just about every type of weapon in the US Navy inventory including the new AIM-9X, JDAM, JSOW, AMRAAM, HARM, etc.
Hasegawa is celebrating the aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 5 embarked aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, which is forward-deployed to Japan. There have been several releases to date with a colorful E-2C Hawkeye and a combo kit (SP341) with the F/A-18F and the F/A-18E depicting the CAG aircraft from VFA-102 (Modex 100) and VFA-27 (Modex 200). This release is part two of the Super Hornet Series with a pair of F/A-18E kits depicting VFA-115 (Modex 300) and VFA-195 (Modex 400). The VFA-195 CAG continues the tradition of carrying the 'Chippy Ho!' artwork.
You can see in the first image to the right that the kit does come with two complete kits and each kit also includes a full-sized squadron patch from VFA-115 or VFA-195. Looking at one of the kits, each is molded in light gray styrene and presented on ten parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) and one tree of clear parts.
Here is a historical kit reissue from Hasegawa. This P-51D kit was first released in the 1960s which makes this model over 50 years old! The kit has been regularly reissued by Hasegawa over the years and in this case, offers some new-tooled parts for this version. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented four parts trees plus one tree of clear parts, one set of low-pressure injection-molded parts, and a set of white metal parts. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Basic cockpit with decals for instrument panel and side console details
- Basic ejection seat with no pilot restraints
- Positionable canopy
- Detailed landing gear
- Movable stabilators
- Ailerons/rudders/flaps posed neutral/centered
- Intakes open to main wheel well bulkheads
- Shallow afterburner nozzles (trade-off for movable stabs)
- Squadron patches for VFA-115 and VFA-195 (nice for display bases)
External stores options include:
- 3 x external tanks
- 2 x AIM-120
- 2 x AIM-9X
- 2 x BRU-55 VER
- 1 x ATFLIR targeting pod
Markings are provided for two aircraft:
- F/A-18E, 166859, VFA-115, NF/300, USS Ronald Reagan/NAS Atsugi
- F/A-18E, 166901, VFA-195, NF/400, USS Ronald Reagan/NAS Atsugi
The decals also provide two nice sets of airframe stenciling.
These kits are easy builds and with two complete F/A-18E kits in the box, you do not have to choose between subjects. While the MSRP might take your breath away, if you shop around, I've seen the street price below $75 USD so far. If you're looking for a nice Super Hornet project (or two), this kit gives you two colorful CAGs right out of the box!
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!