Ebbro's 1/48 Hondajet: A car model company's first entry into airplane models

There aren’t many kits of civilian airplanes, especially newer civilian planes.  The Ebbro Hondajet breaks that tradition by modeling a new business jet that was just approved by the FAA for sale in 2015.  The Hondajet is an award winning design with a one piece composite fuselage and a range of over 1200 miles.  Honda has sold over 300 units so far at 5.25 million dollars a pop!

This kit marks Ebbro’s first departure from the automotive world.  It’s a pricey kit and hard to find as well.  The bottom line is that it is accurate, well detailed, and extremely well engineered and builds into a very attractive model.  And it’s one of the only airplane kits that comes with a chrome parts tree!

The kit has less than 90 parts but still has a fair amount of detail.  It starts with an interior with nice seats all of which have molded in seatbelts.  The controls are there along with a digital instrument panel with decals for the displays that look wonderful when complete.  There is no other detail; no mini-bar, no overhead consoles, but on the plus side you can see a lot of the interior through the windows.

The big ‘trick’ to the kit is the one piece upper forward fuselage.  You get two of them; one in red and one in blue.  You can use the ‘spare’ as a mask when painting the rest of the fuselage.  All the other red or blue areas are decals, and there is a spare set of silver stripes if you’d like to use another color for the paint scheme.  I found that Tamiya TS49 was an exact match for the red decals, and I’d bet you $20 that TS15 would be an exact match for the blue.  I painted my jet exterior with Tamiya spray cans, although I primed the red fuselage first with pink primer.  The clear parts are excellent and installed easily.

I departed from my usual build sequence in many ways, starting by assembling the wings/engine nacelles separately from the fuselage, and not mating the flying surfaces until after the fuselage was painted and decaled.  Due to the gloss paint I was able to do the panel lines then decals with no overcoat or undercoat.  The decals were excellent, and do include all stencil decals, including some not shown on the instruction sheet.

The one niggle I didn’t like were all the molded on static wicks.  I’m proud to say I only broke three of them.  If I built another one I’d cut them off, drill holes, and replace them with thin wire.  The wings and stabilizers mount with interlocking tabs and fit very well.  I saved the landing gear for almost last, and found them to be sturdy and well fitting.  The tires are molded with flat spots but the wheels aren’t keyed.  I did mount two smaller fishing weights in the nose before gluing it to the rest of the fuselage, and it’s definitely not a tail sitter.  The entry door/staircase is a multipiece affair that fit perfectly.

To avoid fingerprints I saved the chrome parts for last.  There are only six parts but they’re very noticeable.  The fit of the chrome parts was decent but not as good as the rest of the kit, but in any event they’re nice and shiny.  Photos of the Hondajet are plentiful and show that Ebbro got this one right on the money.  It was a fun build, and I hope them come out with more non-automotive kits.  I’ll be first in line to buy them!

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