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F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013'

Hasegawa 1/48 F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2013 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013' Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07348 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details, excellent decals Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $89.95

First Look

F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013'
F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013'
F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013'
F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013'
F/A-18E Super Hornet 'VFA-27 Royal Maces 2013'

The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the US Navy's latest fleet fighter. Scaled up in size from the early F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet, the Super Hornet has more power, range and payload than its predecessors. The aircraft replaced the F-14 Tomcat as the fleet air defense aircraft and also replaced many older Hornets as well. The aircraft is a true multi-role aircraft, able to conduct precision strikes on enemy targets while providing its own self-protection.

Hasegawa's first generation of Hornet kits still are the best kits of those subjects in 1/48 scale so expectations were high when they first announced the Super Hornet in this scale. They didn't disappoint as these are very nicely detailed kits which can be posed in a variety of conditions thanks to the engineering and options designed in the kit.

Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on eight parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. As with the previous releases, this kit has the following features and options:

  • Nicely detailed cockpits
  • Positionable canopy
  • Positionable boarding ladder
  • Optional pilot figure
  • Full intake trunks down to the GE engine compressor faces
  • Choice of open or closed exhaust nozzles
  • Positionable outer wing panels
  • Positionable leading edge flaps
  • Positionable trailing edge flaps
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Movable stabilators
  • Positionable rudders
  • Positionable landing gear
  • 3 x external fuel tanks
  • 1 x ASQ-228 ATFLIR

Markings are provided for one aircraft:

  • F/A-18E, 168363, VFA-27, NF/200, USS George Washington, 2013, CAG's aircraft

This is the nicest decal sheet I've seen from Hasegawa to date. It only covers one subject which is a very colorful Air Wing 5 CAG aircraft (see the box art) but what is really is impressive is that you can apply the markings with the black backgrounds or you can paint your own black backgrounds and use the duplicate markings provided without the black backgrounds. Very nice indeed!

The only down side to this kit is that you'll have to go to the aftermarket, your spares box, or to one of Hasegawa's weapons set to arm this aircraft as no weapons are included in this release.

To me, this remains the best Super Hornet kit in 1/48 scale and offers the modeler with a variety of options for display of the finished model. The decals in this particular kit have raised the bar and my expectations about how complex subjects are handled not only by Hasegawa in the future, but also other kit and decal manufacturers!

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!