have aquired the 1/32 Revell F/A-18F. This is my very brief encounter with it :
First impression : very nice kit. High grade of finish. A LOT of parts. A BIG instructions booklet. Nice decals.
Kit instructions tell you to remove flash. Which flash ? What flash? Who's flash ? This is a brand new mould. I see no flash. Whatever...
I did not remove any big parts to do a test fit, so I have no opinion on the real fit of those.
An eyecatcher : You get DOUBLE parts for the Leading and Trailing edge flaps. More precise : you get each time 2 halves for :
2 x LE Outer Flaps extended or retracted. 2x LE Inner Flaps : extended or retracted. 2x TE Outer Flaps extended or retracted. 2x TE Inner Flaps : extended or retracted.
Must say that the flaps halves are quite "soft". I never saw styrene THAT pliable.
Also worth of mentioning: you get a special rectangular profile that connects the 2 short square axes on which you have to install the horizontal stabilizers.
Nice piece of art. Although the purpose of it is quite OK to me , it looks a little " vulnerable".
What I want to say : the Mechanism is a nice piece of engineering, but you should not forget WHY it is built for.
This kit part has only 1 pupose. In the specific time frame of the kit assembly , when you install the frame , it stays there : see instructions page 14 , step3A
The ONLY moment when it will serve is visible on page 58 in step 146 (!!!) . You have to attach the horizontal stabilizers to the square pins.
I hear some people say : So , Is that a problem ?? No. Not now. Maybe later.
My point is : do you have ANY idea how big a horizontal stabilizer of an F/A-18F is in 1/32 ? Now ,If you take a look how "small " the square profiles are from the support ( +/- 2mm square side ) , I guess you 'll understand what I mean.
Step 146 tells you to mount the horizontal stabilos on the square pins. That is a whole bunch of plastic stabilo for a tiny plastic pin. will this lead to a pin failure ???
I have to be honest tough : the way the pin support is enclosed by the turbine outlet tube halves ( page 15 , step 5) will also contribute to the strength of the assembly. I admit.
But it can NOT change the dimensions of the square profile where you have to put the stabilo's on. Never.
Is there a remedy ? Maybe. I 'll carefully trace the center of the square and then I drill a hole trough the entire square pin length,the hole being 0,1 mm bigger than the metal pin I'm going to insert and glue in that hole with superglue. Then cut the steel pin at length : finished.
Tiny square plastic profile from the outside, strong steel pin on the inside. Stabilo proof , I would say.
Beside looking at the stabilo supports I also checked the inventory of the sprues, with the instructions. All sprues mentioned in the instructions were present in the box.
There are even MORE plastic sprues in the box than the instructions mention: Sprue M ( not present in the instructions ) delivers the parts for the Aft cockpit instrument panel in PRE -ACS version = flat above. The aft cockpit POST ACS ( Lot26) instrument panel is present on sprue L , which is mentioned in the instructions inventory.It should be installed in the cockpit on page 28 via step 28a.
Also discovered : a little bit confusing but not less visible : there are 2 (two) sprues named B. One with the " bard stacks and Stabilizer Support parts and another with the crew boarding ladder and NLG strut parts.
Now , are all these remarks a black stain on the new REVELL F/A -18F ? Not in a 1000 years. Let's stay serious.
This is not a build review , that's why I call it a "brief encounter ". It's the short overview of my impressions when opening a new kit. Not more . Not less.
I'm sure not much later , some very handy modellers will give you a detailed build review from this kit.
But in the mean time ,
Have a nice day !