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Freedom Hornets

Part 3


Eagle Strike Productions


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: ESP32051 - Freedom Hornets Part 3
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Waterslide decals - Decal sheets plus instructions and notes
Price: USD$8.50 MSRP (USD$7.46 from Squadron.com)
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Perfect register; thin; minimal carrier film; interesting subjects for Academy kit
Disadvantages: Wrong details listed for one aicraft
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Eagle Strike's 1/32 Freedom Hornets Part 3 is available online from Squadron.com




32051 is the final sheet in Eagle Strike's trilogy covering the F/A-18 Hornet in US Navy service.  Part 3 also provides markings for two more CAG aircraft, one from the Atlantic Fleet with the other from the Pacific Fleet. 

F/A-18C, Bureau number 165182 of VFA-34 'Bulls' CAG.  The markings depict it at the time it took part in Operation Desert Fox flying from the USS Enterprise in 1999.   It wears the standard Hornet Tactical Paint Scheme of FS 36320 dark ghost grey over FS 36375 light ghost grey with a tan radome.  The majority of the markings, including the stencil data are in blue and they consist of:

        AC airwing identifiers for the outboard faces of the rudders.

        300 modex for the nose and tops of the flaps.  There are a further set of modex for the fin caps and these are an integral part of the one-piece decal for the fin cap.

        VFA-37 titles for either side the spine.

        CVW-3, NAVY tiles and a Bureau number block for the rear fuselage.  The placement sheet shows the Bureau number as a blue but they are supplied as black.

        Blue leading edges for the outer faces of the vertical stabilizers and a blue fin cap - inner and outer faces.  The fin cap decal carries the 300 modex as a one piece design.

        VA-37's bull insignia for the outer faces of the vertical stabilizers.

        CAG and DCAG names for either side of the fuselage below the windscreen and Plane Captain's name for the nose gear door.

        Two sets of Bulls titles that incorporate the blue trim for the drop tanks.

        A set of Hi-viz National insignia.

The final option is F/A-18C, Bureau number 164048 of CVW-11's VFA-094 'Mighty Shrikes' the only Pacific Fleet option in all three sheets.  Unfortunately, Eagle Strike has used the wrong information on the placement sheet as it lists this aircraft as belonging to VFA-147.  The information is from the 1/48 scale sheet that carries the markings for this aircraft   A simple error really and it does not detract from the decals themselves.  The aircraft is in the standard TPS Hornet scheme of FS 36320 dark ghost grey over FS 36375 light ghost grey with a tan radome.  The supplied markings include: 

  • 400 modex in orange with black shadowing for the nose and tops of the flaps.

  • CAG and DCAG names for the fuselage, beneath the windscreen and the Plane Captain's for name for the nose gear door all in dark grey.

  • VFA-94 titles in orange and black shadowing for the spine.

  • CVW-11s insignia consisting of a black star that has a pair of dice (showing six on one and five on the other to make 11) in orange painted over it.

  • VFA-94's unit insignia consisting of a stylized profile of a bird ( a Shrike) in orange and black for the outer faces of the vertical stabilizers.

  • NH airwing identifiers in orange and black for outboard faces of the rudders.

  • USS Carl Vinson and NAVY titles as well as the Bureau number block in dark grey for the rear fuselage.

  • A pair of Shrike zaps for the drop tanks.

  • A set of hi-viz national insignia.

  • Orange and black trim for the leading edges of the vertical stabilizers (inner and outer faces) and orange fin caps.  The decal for the outer faces of the fin caps incorporate CAG titles in black.

There are two sets of the larger more visible stencil data supplied in the appropriate colour for each option and there are enough markings provided to produce both options from the sheet.  As with the other two Freedom Hornets sheets, the LEX walkways and the slime lights are not provided. 

The decals have been printed by Cartograf.  Admittedly, Cartograf decals are a little more difficult to use than Microscale decals but they do produce equally a good final product if you are patient and use plenty of settling solution.  The sheet is well printed and in perfect register. 

The decals there are two sheets, and placement guide are packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag. 

The recommended kit is the Academy one. 

The placement data is the standard A-4 sized sheet with left hand side profiles and top views of both aircraft.  The rear page carries the same dialogue on the weapons that were carried during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the 'load out' configurations.  This time they have changed the spelling of "Ordinance to Ordenance" ah well, maybe they'll get it right next time. 

Apart from listing details for the wrong aircraft on the placement guide, this is still a good sheet. 


Thanks to AeroMaster / Eagle Strike Products for the review sets

On-line sales are available from the AeroMaster Products / Eagle Strike Productions web site.

Review TextCopyright 2003 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 08 December, 2003
Last updated 10 December, 2003

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