1/48 Hasegawa F-18C Hornet “Chippy Ho”
I finally completed my first model since my son was born last February, a few minutes here a few minutes there mostly during his naps! In preparation to do justice to a weathered F-14 I wanted to practice on something else that would get as wonderfully grimy! Enter the legacy Hornet, I've always been drawn to low vis line birds but the big Eagle head of VF-195 Dambuster's CAG bird is very catchy so I settled on that.
The model is built mostly out of the box, I used some lead foil and spare buckles for the seat harness, weapons from various donor kits, Tamiya F-16 AIM 9's and GBU-12 and Academy F-14 JDAM. As the Hasagawa F-18 does not have full intake trunking I decided to place electrical tape FOD covers on the inlets. Electrical tape is available in many colors and very easy to work with. The kit went together with little fuss and a little bit of filling and sanding.
To start the weathering process I pre-shaded with thinned black along panel lines and sprayed the base color. Using Kaan Gok's article on Aircraft Resource Center "Weathering USN Aircraft" (in the Tools and Tips section) I ground black and brown pastels into the base paint all over the airframe. I followed that up with touch up splotches of the Lt Ghost Grey and Dark Ghost Grey and brought it all together with light coats of Lt. Ghost Grey. Following a clear coat of the product formerly known as Future and decals I continued weathering with a sludge wash of pastels and streaking with AK Interactive's Streaking Grime and artists oils. After applying a flat coat I finished weathering using pastels and Tamiya weathering pigments while the flat coat was still a bit tacky.
I'm very pleased with the final product and in person the effect of the weathering process looks accurate! I'll definitely be using the same process on my F-14 project! Questions, Comments and critiques are welcome! Hopefully the photography is acceptable, I am certainly no photographer!