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Swiss, Spanish, Finnish and Malaysian Hornets

1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 Scales

 

F-4Dable Models of Malaysia
 

 

Summary

Catalogue Number:

F-4D 72-001; 48-001; 32-001A; 32-001B

Scale:

1/72; 1/48 and 1/32 scale

Contents and Media:

Waterslide decals plus instructions and notes

Price:

Not known at this time

Review Type:

FirstLook

Advantages:

Where most will build a USN or USMC Hornet, these sheets will take the adventurous off the beaten path.

Disadvantages:

Require some aftermarket conversions for some of subjects

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Ken Bowes


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

In 2003, F-4Dable Models of Malaysia launched their first decal sheet, a 1/48 sheet covering the F/A-18D in Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) service. At a time when there were very few ways to model the equipment operated by modern South-East Asian air forces, this sheet was a veritable breath of fresh air. It was professionally produced, printed by Cartograph of Italy and above all accurate, as befits the passion and pride Malaysians have in their Air Force. Later F-4Dable produced a very nice resin AAR probe as fitted to the TUDM MiG-29N, allowing it be displayed extended or retracted. Now two years (and after much anticipation) later, Jason Cheah and the guys from F-4D are back in a big way.

Export Bugs is a new set of decals in the three major scales covering the F/A-18 in service with the Spainish Ejercito del Aire, the Finnish Suomen Ilmavoimat, the Swiss Flugwaffe and only in 1/32, the TUDM. After a slow start on the export market, the 1990s was a veritable boom for the Hornet, with a number of sales successes replacing MiG-21s, Drakens and Mirages in air forces from the Mediterranean to the Artic Circle. As befits the subject and available kits the F-4D Models package is very slick and professional and does not leave the modeler wanting for anything. In 1/72 and 1/48 you get all the markings for the three European operators including a complete set of maintenance stenciling for each service, a must given the use of native languages preventing the use of kit supplied alternatives. In 1/32 F-4Dable have chosen to split the sheet into A for Swiss and Finnish and B for Spanish and Malaysian Hornets, a wise move as modelers are unlikely to build a lot of 1/32 replicas.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Instructions wise, each country gets a double-sided A4 sheet with colour profiles for each option on one side and stencil placement on the other. This sheet is printed on robust glossy paper. On the Swiss sheet options for three F/A-18Cs and one F/A-18D are provided from Fliegerstaffels 11, 17 and 18. In addition to those given, extra numerals allow the modeler to choose any airframe from these three units, this being a common theme for all four countries the F-4Dable Models sheets cover. The Finnish sheet is probably the smallest, given the limited markings applied, but again details are given for two F/A-18Cs and one F/A-18D of HavLLv 11, 21 and 31 along with enough markings for any airframe.

The Spanish sheet covers one EF-18B, two EF-18As and one ex USN F/A-18A of Alas 12, 15 and 46. Whilst no profile is given, markings are also included for ex-USN F/A-18s of Ala 21 (which included former adversary aircraft in their lineup, making for a very different Hornet). Spanish EF-18s saw combat in NATO Operations Deny Flight over Bosnia and Allied Force over Yugoslavia and Kosovo. As a result a mix of commonly seen mission markers is provided for aircraft from this later operation for something a little different. For those thinking outside the box, the black maintenance stenciling offers possibilities for other F/A-18s, including A21-20 of 77SQN RAAF when it operated in an overall gunship gray trial scheme. The final option offered by F-4Dable only comes in their second 1/32 sheet (32-001B). This is for the eight F/A-18D Hornets operated by 18 SKN at TUDM Butterworth near Penang in Malaysia. This limited offering is no surprise given that they have covered the TUDM Hornets on their earlier release. Once again any airframe can be modeled either as delivered with incorrect roundels or in later service when these were corrected.

Each sheet comes in an A-5 size resealable (Ziploc) package and vary in size according to scale. Colour notes provide matches from major manufacturers and are also FS matched as befits a US manufactured aircraft. The instructions also provide a guide relating to such features as antenna configuration, fin type (A/C models), gun vent mesh, pylons, countermeasures dispensers and commonly observed weapons configurations to ensure an accurate model is produced. The one feature not available in any current kit is the twin countermeasures dispensers of later build C and D models the only source for which are I believe Black Box upgrades for the Hasegawa and Academy Hornet kits in 1/48 and 1/32.

The F-4Dable Models sheets are printed by Cartograph of Italy, renowned for their high quality and ease of use. They appear quite thin and have minimal carrier film. The complex designs of the squadron markings and roundels for example are in perfect register. I have not yet applied these markings to a model, but they appear not to pose any challenges. F-4Dable Models have produced an interesting product, one that will be very welcome for those interested in modeling the aircraft of smaller air forces or who a willing to break away from the USN subjects more commonly available from established US decal manufacturers.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to F-4Dable Models  for the review sample.


IF4Dable Models decals may be ordered direct from F4Dablemodels at http://www.f-4DableModels.com or from hobby retailers online and worldwide
 


Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 23 May, 2005
Last updated 23 May, 2005

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