As the Navy transitions away from the venerable EA-6B’s into the new EA-18G Growlers, the planes have started to get more elaborate markings and kits have become available to replicate the plane. Hasegawa took their excellent F-18F kit and has issued several iterations. Maybe it is just me but most of the aftermarket decal companies have been slow to respond to some of these new releases. Fortunately for us modelers, Furball Aero-Designs is not one of those and has great new releases. This one is for the Hasegawa kit and includes a whopping 12 wonderful growlers and has enough decals to actually build two full planes.
Let’s look at what’s inside the package. The first thing you notice is that all instructions are full color and well printed. Each of the 12 planes has a left and right profile and decal placement along with excellent notes specific to that airframe such as to use larger insignia or not to include specific decals. Each sheet also has specific FS color call outs at the top of the page. Separate drawings are included for stencil location including the ejection seat.
The decals are included on two large, perfectly in register sheets. One is black/white/gray and includes stencils and other markings. The second large sheet is full color and contains the insignia as well as the tail markings and anything else requiring color. The color saturation looks superb. The decals are printed by Cartograf and my experience with them has been remarkable- easy to use and conform.
The planes represented include many variations from Whidbey Island but also planes from current carriers and one from Operation Odyssey Dawn, the US effort against Libya. Here’s the total list:
- VAQ-132, EA-18G 166894, “NL 540”, AVIANO AB, OPERATION ODDESSY DAWN, 2011
- VAQ-132, EA-18G 166935, “NL 541”, MISAWA AB, 2014
- VAQ-135, EA-18G 166941, “NL 521”, NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, 2011
- VAQ-133, EA-18G 168376, “NG 500”, NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, 2015
- VAQ-137, EA-18G 168266, “AB 500”, USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 2014
- VAQ-139, EA-18G 168256, “NA 500”, USS CARL VINSON
- VAQ-209, EA-18G 166895, “AF 500”, NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, 2015
- VAQ-209, EA-18G 166896, “AF 501”, NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, 2015
- VAQ-129/390TH ECS, EA-18G 168893, “NJ 543”, NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, 2015
- VAQ-135, EA-18G 166940, “NL 520”, NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, 2011
- VAQ-140, EA-18G 168375, “AG 500”, USS TRUMAN, 2015
In summary, 12 options of a very cool plane with excellent schemes that are very well researched, very well printed and can really make your model stand out. And enough decals for two planes so even a great value. Highly recommended.
My thanks to Geoff and Furball Aero Design for the opportunity to review these excellent decals. It is great to see decals for current kits that give us options. It is very much appreciated.