F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-312 Checkerboards 2022 Ferris Camouflage)
A new 1/144th scale aircraft kit from Platz, however, the molded parts are from F-toys with markings for 2 aircraft and one of them is for a 2022 Ferris paint scheme.
In the Box
This is a two (2) airplane kit boxing. The parts are molded from another company, F-toys, and is noted on the website. Each jet is collected in its individual bag. Parts are molded in light gray with 3 sprues, an upper and lower fuselage-wing halves, and a bag with clear parts for the canopy and nose radome. The panel lines are recessed and considered wide and soft for 1/144th scale. There is flash on several parts so sanding will be necessary to remove the excess plastic.
On the underbelly of the fuselage there is a large rectangular slot with nothing in the instructions to fill this area. One can only assume it is a connecting point for a stand to be inserted and allow the plane to be displayed in flight. But no stand is provided.
Upon further inspection of the main landing gear (MLG) covers, there is a molded in larger vein for the insert tab of the doors. Based on past builds I have done; this is meant to be a “snap-tite” part for a friction-based attachment. Glue will still be needed for a permanent bond. There are other MLG doors for a wheels-up configuration to have the jet in an in-flight pose.
The instructions and decal placement guide are on one sheet (front & back). There are 3 illustrated assembly steps and the decal placement guide is on the backside of the sheet.
Decals are printed by Cartograf. They look great and very high-quality for this scale.
After inspection of the parts, I decided to do a “naked” build by to see how well it all fits together. Cutting parts off the sprue and clean up was routine and there was no problems.
During assembly some gap and fit issues arose. When installing the top and bottom fuselage parts, there is a big gap on the aft side of the wings. For the LHS vertical stabilizer, there are large gaps at the base. Engine intakes did not line up with the downstream trunking on both sides. Also, it was near impossible to remove the intakes to make any corrections since it was a snap-tite design that “clicked” the parts into the fuselage.
The aft MLG wheels are molded off-center on a bigger circle and will require careful sanding to “round out” the tires properly.
The biggest mismatch is the clear nose radome. It is oversized and off center from the fuselage insert connecting point. Very careful sanding will be needed to center the part as well as make it “skinnier” to obtain a flush join with the forward fuselage.
Sanding will be needed to make the canopy fit since it was a bit on the long side and shallow on the forward end.
There are always issues with any kit you build. This one is no exception. If you have an interest in the F/A-18 Hornet and have the experience and patience to tackle the issues noted, then this kit is recommended. The decals are the star of this kit with high quality printing from Cartograf with a very interesting Ferris paint scheme. Also, if you can find/build a stand to match the insert hole on the bottom of the fuselage, then this will make a good display among your collection of small-scale jets. I want to thank the IPMS Review Corp and Platz for providing this kit.
Recommended to those who have an interest in F/A-18 Hornets and have no issues working in 1/144th scale.
A bery nice review. I found some similar elements and some different elements with my 40th Anniversary RAAF version. What i thought i could add to this is the purpose of the slot in the belly. It does work great for placing it on one of those Tamiya 1/48 scale stands but itks real purpose is for the belly tank. the RAAF kits come with a full slew of tanks and ordnance. The belly tank is made to fit in the slot :-)