F/A-18 Hornets Part 3: Legacy Hornets Decals

Published on
April 22, 2023
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
SQD 72003
Base Kit
Any 1/72 scale F/A-18 C’s
Company: Squadron - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Squadron - Website: Visit Site

Last summer Squadron Hobbies released three sets of decals for the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet family. Set 72003 provides decals for three legacy F/A-18C’s - two in high-visibility schemes, the CAG (the carrier air wing commander) aircraft from VFA-192 Golden Dragons (2009) and VFA-34 Blue Blasters (2018) and a standard low visibility scheme from VMFA-122 Werewolves (2009).

For the VFA-192 and VMFA-122 jets, the instructions include a full color profile view of the left side of each aircraft, the right side of the nose of each jet and a full color overhead view. The instructions for VFA-192 jet also includes the outboard side of the right vertical tail, while those for the VMFA-122 jet have the insides of the vertical tails with the “DC” markings and both illustrate the markings for the drop tanks. The instructions for the VFA-34 jet include full color profile of the left side of the jet, the inside of the vertical tails and an overhead view. All three include a color key listing the FS numbers for each color shown on the drawings, although I think some of the listed colors are not actually used such as FS 36270 and FS 35237 as it appears that all three aircraft use just FS 36375 and FS 36320 as their primary colors with highlights based on squadron colors.

The decals are very sharply printed with no offsets or misprints. Colors are nice and crisp and for most of the markings, the carrier film is pretty minimal being cut close to the edges of the decals themselves. The set provides the main markings for all three aircraft. It also includes two sets of black walkways and one light grey set along with two sets of dark grey intake warnings and one set in light grey, so check the instructions and your references carefully to make sure you have the right colors for the jet you are modeling. The set also provides three sets of “slime lights” (low light formation lights). There are three different sets of national insignia, one full color, one all in subdued greys and one with two of each, so double check which ones you need. The VFA-192 decals also include markings for three drop tanks and a large US flag for the speed brake. The set includes the aircrew names and plane captain names which are nice and crisp, but not many of the generic stencils seen on Navy/Marine Hornets, so you will need to raid the kit decals or your decal stash for these common markings.

As the decals are printed by Microscale for Squadron, I suspect they will be easy to work with. I recently worked with one of Squadron Decals’ other Hornet decal sets and found that the decals work extremely well with MicroSet and MicroSol. I was very pleased to discover that I had no silvering of the clear decal surrounding the large squadron logos/markings or the smaller ones, except where I had not adequately smoothed out the surface before decaling.

The cover page lists the suggested kits as F/A-18C kits from Hasegawa, Academy, Revell/Monogram and Fujimi, so you should not have a problem finding a kit to use them with.

This is a really nice set of decals from Squadron and brings me back to my early days of modeling as I eagerly awaited the next catalog to see what the new Microscale sheets would be.

Highly recommended.

Thank you to Squadron for the review sample.


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