by: Tim Hatton [ ]
This release from Afterburner Decals includes markings for eight aircraft, although there are two sets of different markings for the same CAG and the CO's birds. There are markings for an XO's aircraft and the rest are line aircraft.
2 x decal sheets. The one with most of the markings and stencils is A5 and the smaller sheet with wing walk ways and marking is about A6.
3 x A4 colour profiles and plan views.
1 x weapons and stores guide.
1 x stencil guide.
Markings covered in this release are:
Felix 100, F/A-18E 166776, VFA-31CAG, USS Theodore Wilson, 2009.
Felix 100, F/A-18E 166776, VFA-31CAG, USS Theodore Wilson, 2008. Features on the tails Felix in festive mood bearing unwelcomed gifts for someone.
Felix 101, F/A-18E 166777, VFA-31CO, USS Theodore Wilson, 2009.
Felix 101, F/A-18E 166777, VFA-31CO, USS Theodore Wilson, 2007.
Felix 102, F/A-18E 166778, VFA-31 XO, USS Theodore Wilson, 2009.
Felix 103, F/A-18E 166779, VFA-31, USS Theodore Wilson, 2009.
Felix 106, F/A-18E 166782, VFA-31, USS Theodore Wilson, 2009.
Felix 111, F/A-18E 166785, VFA-31, USS Theodore Wilson, 2009.
All aircraft are painted upper surface dark ghost grey [FS36320] and lower surfaces light ghost grey[FS 36375].
The decals and information sheets come in a transparent resealable bag. Each aircraft is illustrated with a colour drawing of the port side. Any variation on the starboard side is noted. There are colour side, upper and lower plan views to aid painting. There are also side, upper and lower plan views to aid the location of stencils common to all aircraft. The weapons and stores guide is also a very useful source of information
Quality of the print by Cartograf is simply stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film. There are five versions of the Felix character, two in colour for the CAG planes and the other three are low viz. On the inside tail of Felix 100, 2009, there are two large 8th Air Wing badges. All the written stencils are sharp and legible. Felix 103 and 111 have mission markings and 103 has markings for a refuelling sortie on the ARS pod. There are enough stencils to complete two of the above aircraft. But there is nothing to stop the modeller from using the kits stencils to be able to utilise even more of the above markings. Formation lights, wing walk ways and there are even decals for the wing pylons and inside the two jet engines exhaust petals are included. All together a very extensive decal sheet. Decals are sized to the Hasegawa 1/48 kit.
The quality of this release keeps up the high standards that Afterburner Decals have set themselves. If this sheet does not have you reaching for your plastic and purchasing a F/A-18E, or searching through your stash for one, I don't know what will. Highly recommended.