Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18C Hornet w/Guided Missiles
Hornets first entered service with the US Navy in early 1981 when VFA-125, the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) for the Pacific Fleet, took delivery of F/A-18As. The upgraded F/A-18C version of the Hornet went into production in late 1985. Its outward appearance was little changed from earlier versions, consisting of additional fairings on the vertical tails, fuselage spine aft of the cockpit, and the sides of the forward fuselage. In addition night attack capable aircraft (those from bureau number 163985 on) have gold-tinted canopies as on their two-seat brothers, the F/A-18D. Additional improvements to the avionics and mission software are "under the skin" and only of incidental interest in a purely modeling sense.
Some time ago Hasegawa released yet another version of their 1/72 scale F/A-18C. It's identical to previous releases (which means that an F/A-18A could also be built from this kit) save for the addition of one sprue and the decals from their Weapons Set IV. I'm not at all sure if a Hornet would ever actually be loaded out with one Harpoon and one HARM but those are the only items that Hasegawa indicates are to be used from the weapons sprue included in the box.
While the Hasegawa kit is generally acknowledged to be the best available in 1/72 scale this version seems to be overpriced for what one gets. My other issues of this basic kit show a price of 1200 Yen while this one is marked at 1800. Weapons Set IV is 400 Yen - one would appear to get more for less money by purchasing the Hornet and Weapons Set separately unless the price difference in your country is favorable for this specific release. For a full review of the basic Hasegawa F/A-18 kit check out Chris Bucholtz's article on my home page. Thanks toSquadron Mail Order