1/48 f-18d atars; bosnia
When I first saw a picture of this airframe in a magazine (shown in the pictures provided), I wanted to build it. Black Box released an ATARS conversion shortly after and I snapped it up. As we all experience, the kit and conversion languished for a bit. I found other ATARS markings but they never seemed to do it for me, so the kit sat even longer. Kinetic released an F-18D ATARS kit, and lo and behold, the markings I had waited for someone to produce for years were finally in existence! I was able to snag the markings from another modeller who was not planning to use them in their build of the Kinetic kit.
I enjoyed detailing the canopy, and thermoforming the clear plastic for the clear window in the ATARS nose. Some shrinkage in the Black Box nose made it hard to blend in, but it got done. I used the white metal fold parts that came with the Hasegawa 1/48 special edition “folding wing” issue F-18 kits. Black Box F-18D ATARS cockpit, and the special gear bay doors that come with the BB set. The gear doors were not well represented in the resin parts, as the actual doors have a layer bolted to the exterior of the standard doors to help aerodynamically fair in the shape of the bulged camera area to the fuselage. Kinetic may do a better job of representing those. This airframe was one of the first ATARS used in combat operations. AMRAAMS came from the Kinetic Sea Harrier kit. Dual launcher came from a resin set by SOL. I do not think 3 AMRAAMS were ever used on F-18D combat ops after this! While not in the reference photo, I added a Mk.82 on the centerline, as that loading was seen in pictures of standard F-18D’s during the conflict.
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.