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4th But First


F-15Es in Operation Iraqi Freedom


Cutting Edge Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

CED48241 - 4th but First Part 3 F-15Es in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Scale: 1/48 (also available in 1/32 scale as CED32045)
Contents and Media: Double-sided full colour letter-sized instructions plus notes sheet; 1 x full-size decal sheet.
Price: USD$8.99 from Meteor Productions website
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Well researched; topical; interesting individual markings and mission logs; perfect register; well-detailed decal placement guide; information sheet on the aircraft;
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




New from Cutting Edge is a series of three sheets that cover each of the squadrons of the 4th Fighter Wing in The Iraq War. 

This sheet provides markings for four of the F-15E Strike Eagles flown by the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron. 

Each of the machines is in overall FS 36118 gunship grey.   Common markings include:

  • The squadron's green bands on the tops of the fins.

  • SJ (Seymour Johnson) Unit Aircraft Identification Letters.  These are in black with the first option having white 'shadowing'.

  • Aircraft Serial Numbers in black for the vertical stabilizers again, the first option is different as it carries335th FS titles where this marking is normally worn and it bears its serial number in smaller font below this marking.

  • Air Combat Command shields for the outer faces of the vertical stabilizers.

  • 335th Fighter Squadron Shields for the left hand side of the engine intake.

  • 4th Fighter Wing shields for the right hand side of the engine intake.

  • 'Last four' of the serial for the nose gear door.

  • Stylized eagles for the sides of the fuselage below the canopy.  Two extra sets of these are provided as a bonus.

  • Black stencil-style national insignia.

The individual aircraft are: 

89-0487 'Lucky'.   The Crew Chief for this aircraft is Anthony page, who also painted the nose art.  To quote the notes provided on the small sheet that accompanies the placement guide: 

        "The name 'Lucky' was given to the jet by the Crew Chief because the lucky air-to-air kill that it earned for shooting down a helicopter (by dropping a BOMB on it!) just after it had taken off during the first Gulf War.  In fact the Air Force almost failed to grant an air-to-air kill for this incident!  The woman in front of the clover is a caricature of the Crew Chief's wife, and while most lucky clovers have four leaves this one is lucky three-leaf clover.  The missing fourth leaf is a tribute to the fallen jet and aircrew that (was) lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  May God be watching over them and may he hold them close to his heart."

Individual markings for this machine include:

        A black-bordered green 'kill' marking with Mi-21 in white painted on it.

        The nose art and a mission marking log. 

89-0484 'Crazy 8's'.  The Crew Chief for this aircraft is Jamie Farnell and the artist responsible for the nose art is Adam Still.

  • "Julius Caesar once said, "The die is cast" before the Roman's campaign against the barbarians of England and France.  The same quote has been used for OIF, and thus the dice represent this aircraft's involvement in the Operation Iraqi Freedom war.  The two fours of the dice are the first and last numbers of the tail, and added together with the middle eight create two crazy eights."

Individual markings supplied for this aircraft is the nose art.   

90-0230 'Nancy Mary'.  The Crew Chief for this aircraft is Richard Paul III and the artist is Adam Still. 

  • "The name 'Nancy Mary' was derived from the phonetics for "NM" or "Needs Maintenance" It was a joke by the Crew Chief because of the downtime it spent unflyable for the first eight days of the war.   Even though its nature was to break, the hard work of the maintainers allowed it to stay flyable long enough to make a significant contribution to the war effort as depicted by all the bombs (mission markings) painted on its nose.

Individual markings include the nose art and the mission markings. 

89-0476 'Creeping Death'.  Crew Chief and artist is Jordan Dennis. 

  • 'Creeping Death' was named after a popular song by the Crew Chief's favourite band, Metallica".  He felt this appropriate because the F-15E creeps through the skies above the enemy, striking them with precision and accuracy.  The skull represents the enemy's outcome after an encounter with this ordinance-dispensing platform, and the bombs represent the fury bought down upon the enemy"

Individual markings include the nose art and the mission markings. 

There are sufficient markings provided to produce three of the aircraft from the sheet.  The only thing that stops you from producing all of them is the lack of a fourth set of shields.  The shield markings themselves come in two forms, one set is inclusive of the white backgrounds whilst the other two sets have the white backgrounds as a separate decal. 

Stencil data in the form of slime lights, aircraft data blocks, step guides and ejection seat triangles are provided for each aircraft.  Extra mission markings are also provided. 

The decals themselves look like they have been printed by Microscale. 

The recommended kit is Hasegawa. 

The placement guide is A-4 in size and shows left hand side profiles of each option with scrap view close-ups of the nose art and a generic plan view of the upper surfaces. 

As well as the above quoted text, the small notes sheet also has a colour cross reference that matches FS 36118 to all of the popular model paints. 

The placement guide, smaller notes sheet and the decal sheet itself are packed into a clear plastic-zip-loc bag. 

A very nice sheet from Cutting Edge that supplies right up-to-date markings for the 1/48 scale Hasegawa F-15Es that we all have stashed away!


If you are a fan of the larger scale, then you will be happy to know that Cutting Edge have also produced this sheet in 1/32 scale as CED32045.  However, markings are provided for the first three options only and they have dropped the 'Creeping Death' from the sheet due to space restrictions.

Thanks to Cutting Edge Modelworks for the review samples..

Cutting Edge Modelworks products, including Cutting Edge Decals, can be viewed at
Meteor Productions website

Review Copyright 2003 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 02 September, 2003
Last updated 22 December, 2003

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