Written by 3:28 pm On the Bench

WIP : Academy 1/72 F/A-18E Super Hornet ‘Top Gun’ Pt.2 – Construction

So far the snapfitting has been good and Academy is commended for minimizing seamlines. There are however some prominent ones that need addressing. The first is the bottom of the LERX.

There is also a seamline where the upper and lower halves of the nose join.

In the film, whether the inner wing pylons were mounted changed from scene to scene. I decided to have them attached but this required detailing the bottom of the pylons. I based the details very roughly on a photo I found.

The same was done for the wingtip pylons as missiles were never attached on them throughout the movie.

They look OK under a coat of paint.

The pylons were test fitted and it’s very nice to have them simply snapfit into place.

The seamline on the nose cut through various panel lines and these had to be scribed back.

I believe the wingtip rails are really meant to be built with the missiles attached as the part of the pylon that hangs free from the wing bends slightly inward. This happens on both of them. I added a small spacer to try to push the pylon straight.

It’s an improvement although not perfect.

The kit is billed as a ‘simple build’ so the two-part canopy came as one piece and there’s no canopy open option. I don’t mind this though as I always keep canopies closed and this way ensures a perfect fit.

Like all modern aircraft, there’s always a lot of parts under the aircraft that requires dealing with. The chunky tabs on the gear doors are much appreciated although obviously unrealistic.

For the fuselage, due to the size of the pin and tubing method of snapfitting, the fit wasn’t perfect for the rear end of the upper and lower parts. And unfortunately, the seamline was very close to the formation light panel lines so it took some very careful work to get rid of the seamline. Next time I think I’ll cut off the connectors and just cement both halves together instead.

Thankfully the starboard side required minimal work.

The HUD also snaps into place solidly. Nice.

The canopy fits nicely without need for cement.

I then attached the antenna that attaches via tabs and slots which removes the need for careful alignment.

I also added the antennas under the nose.

WIth those done, it’s time to sling paint.

Build Log
Pt.1 – Construction | Pt.2 – Construction | Pt.3 – Painting & Finishing

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