Academy F/A-18C

Published on
March 12, 2019
Review Author(s)
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Company: Academy Models - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

The Boeing (formerly McDonnel-Douglas) F/A-18C is an improved version of McDonnel-Douglas’ F/A-18A, which in itself was developed from the Northrop YF-17 lightweight fighter prototype.

Academy’s 1/72 F/A-18C is a faithful reproduction of the actual aircraft, although the details in the cockpit and the gear wells is sparse. The fit is generally excellent, with several seams, notably around the intakes (parts B16 and B17). Be careful when assembling the sides of the fuselage (parts B1 and B2), as it is very easy to misalign these parts. One other tricky assembly is the main landing gears, as each main gear leg has a smaller actuating cylinder that needs to be installed at the same time, and the best way to do this is to dry fit both pieces and once the alignment is correct, apply glue.

Decals are nice and thin, and respond well to decal solvent. There is a plethora of small airframe stenciling, in addition to decals for the multi-function displays in the cockpit. There are four aircraft options, two of which are colorful commander’s aircraft and two “plain Jane” squadron line aircraft. Several of the decals are incorrectly marked on the instruction sheet as decals A-F. There are no letter designated decals on the instruction sheet, and the following list has the letter-to-number conversion for the decals:

  • A-71
  • B-72
  • C-79
  • D-69
  • E-63
  • F-106

I chose the colorful Carrier Air Group (CAG)’s aircraft. This aircraft has a large amount of blue on it, and really stands out in a crowd! The blue I used was Testor’s FS15060 “Blue Angel Blue”, as I found it to be the closest match to the actual color.

Overall, this model builds up into a nice F/A-18 replica and will look great on any modeler’s shelf, especially with the CAG markings. My thanks go to Academy for supplying the review kit.


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