Ebbro Hondajet 1/48
This past March I was browsing around a LHS in Hong Kong and this kit leaped off the shelf at me. The Hondajet is Ebbro’s first venture producing a plastic airplane kit and first time I had seen it. Until that moment, I had never heard of a Hondajet. Packaged in a bright red box and selling for less than half of what it does in the U.S., this cool looking sleek jet snagged me and my wallet instantly.
Ebbro’s 1/48 scale Hondajet caught me by surprise because I have only known this Japanese company for their diecast vehicles and excellent plastic model 1/24 cars and 1/20 race cars. So how did they do with their first airplane?
The over all fit is great. The blue, red and white decals are well done and opaque although there are some glaring English stencil misspellings. The leading edge chrome plating is very well done but overly bright and shiny compared to online Hondajet photos. Maybe Ebbro is used to the smooth contours of formula 1 cars as the fine detail on this Hondajet is a rather simplistic for my taste with soft recessed lines that fill with paint and require re-scribing. The interior misses the mark completely as it’s just not accurate, but resembles the basic look. The anemic engraved seatbelts look totally pathetic but once you install the fuselage crown, you can’t see anything anyway, so what the heck?
Here’s where Ebbro does something completely innovative: the fuselage top half is molded as a separate piece and you get two. One red, one blue. Your choice of which color Hondajet you want. The idea is you can remove it to see the cockpit and passenger interior. You can also choose whether to paint it or not. The decals match the plastic colors perfectly. However, the more you remove the top for show and tell, the more you risk fraying the decal silver stripe edges and knocking the windows loose. I chose to glue it shut. Be sure to add a little nose weight before you do this to prevent any tail sitting.
The one piece, cockpit four window assembly is very thick and the fit is lousy. I separated them all, sanded their edges as best I could and installed each one at a time. Fuselage windowpanes need help too. The only other mini hang up is the nose wheel cover, which is a bit too thick. Just sand down the inside hinges so it doesn’t hit the gear and you’ll be good to go. The entry doorsteps look nothing like the real thing but a little scratch work can do wonders. I recommend removing all the thin static dischargers on the trailing edges as they will break off during construction and it’s easy to make your own at the end of the build. Otherwise the basic assembly was headache free.
I decided to paint the whole thing and airbrushed the Hondajet using decanted Tamiya TS rattle cans Pure Red and Pure White prior to decaling and touch up. I then sealed it all with Tamiya clear and polished it. If I were to do this kit again (I just so happen to have a spare in my stash!), I would again glue the top and bottom fuselage parts together but this time fill the seam and sand smooth to capture the shapely contour of the real thing.
Ebbro’s Hondajet is a fun kit and similar to building a car model. The end result is a very unique and sexy business jet. Because Ebbro missed some details and the overall molding is rather soft in appearance, I give this kit a B+ which is not bad for a first outing. Kudos to Bob Downie and his Hondajet review that appeared in the September 2018 issue of FineScale Modeler that made this build a lot easier.
This Hondajet is a real looker, don’t you think?
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.