Hobby Boss F/A-18D “Shit Hot Sharpshooters”

Build Information

  • Manufacturer – Hobby Boss
  • Scale – 1:48
  • Vehicle – McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornet
  • Markings – VMFAT-101 Sharpshooters
  • Paint – Gunze Mr. Color, Mr. Paint
  • Aftermarket – Afterburner Decals, Wolfpack ejection seats

Quick Review

The Hobby Boss F/A-18D has been around for a while now, it came out in 2007, but still competes with the older Hasegawa kit (1991).  And anyone that has build the old Hasegawa kit knows its flaws, myself included.  I built their D variant last year.

The HB kit, for the most part, is a copy of the Hasegawa with some upgrades.  The detail is a bit better in the new kit though the sprues are rougher and have some flash scattered throughout.  The fit, though, is where the the HB kit pulls away.  It’s still not perfect, but it fits.  And it fits well enough that I didn’t have to spend days filling and sanding.  The intake area was my main concern after building the older kit.

As good as the fit of the intake area is, the cockpit doesn’t locate well in the fuselage.  The only place it attaches securely is at the front while the rest of the cockpit sorta flops around inside.  The cockpit itself is decent.  It’s definitely an improvement from the Hasegawa and the rear cockpit is more accurate for a D model.  The kit seats are as generic as they can possibly get and were improved with the Wolfpack resin seats.

A few things did bother me with this kit.  Hobby Boss doesn’t give the option to drop the flaps and slats, even though they are molded separately.  All it would have taken were a set of actuators molded in the correct position.  I had to cut the tiny actuators and glue them at equal angles to pose them dropped.  The rudders were also molded in place, but they’re not as big of a deal for me.  The kit does not give the option to close the boarding ladder, though it would not have been too difficult to make the provided piece work.

Painting went along without a hitch.  I primed in my go-to Mr. Surfacer 1500 Black and followed with marble coats of Mr. Color Light Ghost Gray on the undersides and Dark Ghost Gray on the top.  Thin layers of the final colors finished up the painting.  On top of that, the Afterburner decals went down beautifully.  Even the massive decals on the vertical stabilizers went down perfectly.

Weathering was done with Ammo products and oils.

Pros: good fit, good surface detail, easy assembly

Cons: non-positionable moving surfaces, missing minor pieces, rough plastic finish

This kit, even with its flaws, beats the old Hasegawa kit.  It would be perfect though if we could take parts from both kits and combine them.  I recommend it if you’re looking for a legacy Hornet, at least until Kinetic gets the rest of their late model lineup out.

Photos

More photos with better resolution at SmugMug

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2 thoughts on “Hobby Boss F/A-18D “Shit Hot Sharpshooters”

  1. Really LOVE the paint on this bird. I see you went with black basing on this one. So, of the two techniques (using salt or black basing), which do you prefer. I’m just returning to the hobby from a 10 year drought and can’t wait to try Mr. Paint and black basing. People were doing this technique when I left the hobby, but I never got a chance to try it.

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    • They both have their place and really just depend on what I’m going for. I think black basing is the best way to get the varied look of the gray on Navy/Marine Corps jets, but salt weathering can be used in conjunction with that to get different looks. So it really all depends what look I’m going for on my build.

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