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Dan DeSilva
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1/48 F-18B conversion of Monogram F/A-18

April 6, 2017 · in Uncategorized · · 24 Comments

I completed this over Christmas break 2016, but have not been able to photograph it until now. I used the leftover two seat canopy found in the Italeri F-18 to convert a 1/48 F-18 into a two seater. It is sad that Monogram never worked up an F-18B or D kit. The Monogram kit is excellent for building a number of airframes that interest you at a low cost. Of course, you have to be willing to work with it to get a good result.

I had some spare Black Box resin ejection seats, and used a two seat Hasegawa cockpit- leftover from using a black box cockpit for my Blue Angels F-18B (still in the box and not started yet) as well as Hasegawa tanks, pylons and Hasegawa GBU-12's.I scratch built the wing fences, and strengthening plates on the fins. The intakes were built up with plastic tube and putty. I am planning to develop a set of resin intakes for my other Monogram F-18's to make building them easier.

The decals were a combination of aftermarket and Hasegawa kit decals so that I could have all three tanks with the Top Gun logo. I noticed from photos of the all black NSAWC F-18B that the sparrows carried on the fuselage stations were actually painted satin black. I had two Sparrows from a Monogram F-20 I built a while back as a USN adversary "what if". They were actually generally shaped well, but fairly "soft" in molding.

This makes me want to get my planned black 1/48 USN F-5E done!

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. Simply outstanding job on this, looks GREAT - (so do the photos).

  2. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Nice work on that Hornet Dan , looks good as well as the photography.

    • Thanks very much- I have been lucky with the photography for both this and the AD, have had nothing but problems with my earlier posts here. Not posting the pics, but my taking the pictures- thanks for your comments on the kit too!

  3. Hi Dan,
    The result impresses, good work with this kit 🙂

    Best regards,


  4. That's a very pretty black bird Dan. Nice job.

  5. You've done a fabulous job Dan. F18s would be my favourite modern jet & yours just confirms it, especially in glossy black.

  6. Like it very much!

  7. Excellent conversion!

  8. Dan, great idea and execution, lots cheaper than the alternative, huh? The scheme makes it even betteer!

    • Hi Bernard, thanks for the kind words- I have a few other Monogram and Revell/Monogram bugs ready to go, but I have a few Hasegawa Hornets partly built that need to get finished first!

  9. Great build Dan, and an interesting colour scheme!

    • Thanks Richard, I learned about it when Hasegawa put out a 1/72 kit with these markings- hearkening back to the "Top Gun" movie days and the all black F-5F at Miramar. I ended up getting the 1/48 boxing to do a BlueAngels two seater, but still wanted to do the black top gun bird, Monogram and spare Italeri parts to the rescue!

  10. Cool build... Love the color!

  11. Hello Dan,
    Firstly, Monogram always good. Great job on the conversion and color scheme. Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

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