Academy has re-issued their 1/72nd F/A-18C this time as a “Special Edition with limited availability” featuring a striking decal set –printed by Cartograf- to show the aircraft “300” from VFA-82 “Marauders” known as “Aflac” for obvious reasons.
When opening the box you find 4 grey sprues, one for the main fuselage parts, another for the wings and tail area, plus a duplicate sprue which comprises mainly the underwing stores. There is also a single clear sprue, for the canopy that can be posed either closed or open.
The sprues are molded very cleanly and there is no flash anywhere to be found. The recessed panel lines are sharp and thin. There is also delicate rivet detail in the different access panels.
The instructions are very clear and easy to follow; with a total of 16 steps (some have a few substeps). Color callouts are shown through the overall construction for all subassemblies and minor parts.
Perhaps the main reason for this particular boxing of the F/A-18C is the very unique markings, the CAG “Aflac” F/A-18. Cartrograph delivers what is expected from them: thin decals, perfect register and while I have not used the decals, I expect them to have good color density.
You will have to paint the model light grey overall, with blue fins. All the other colors and markings (including walkways) are provided as decals, so you will have a decal-fest in your hands.
This model is a relatively simple model to assemble and with only two colors, an easy one to paint. Decals are printed by what is certainly one of the best decal printers: Cartograf. In other words, you are in for a treat. Perhaps the only challenge would be to place the large duck decals with the correct alignment, but event that is a relatively simple task.
I would recommend this kit to any modeler except the most novice, due to a few large decals.
I would like to thank IPMS/USA and Model Rectifier Corp for the review sample.