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Export Bugs

Swiss, Spanish and Finnish F-18 Hornets

1/48 scale


F4Dable Models



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

F4DableModels Sheet 48-001 Export Bugs - Swiss, Spanish and Finnish F-18 Hornets

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: See text below
Price: USD$17.00 from http://www.twobobs.net
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Very comprehensive sheet; individual stencl markings for each nationality; decals in register and with minimal carrier film; good instructions;
Recommendation: Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Mike Reeves

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron




F4DableModels is a new company on the block and judging from their first decal releases, they are here to stay. They have provided modelers of the world some subjects that have been lacking over the past several years…..Export Hornets!

This sheet,number 48-001 is the first of their 1/48 sheets to date and it covers Finnish, Spanish and Swiss Air Force Machines. The instructions are in color, except for the comprehensive stencil placement diagrams. The guys at F4dable also give some good building notes on the Hasegawa 1/48 kits even breaking it down to what modifications you need to make on each kit number. The reason that they only provide notes on the Hasegawa kits is that those were the kits used for sizing up the decals and artwork. They do mention that the decals can be used on other kits with slight modifications.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The instructions comprise of three separate sheets with each Air Force being represented on their own sheet. The stencil placement guide is on the back of each sheet as well. Care must be taken with the stencils as each Air Force has their own. The decals themselves are in two separate sheets. One sheet comprises of National Insignia, squadron markings and numbers while the second sheet contains three separate stencil sections (one for each country). There are enough decals on the sheet (s) to do one complete jet from each of the three represented Air Forces. The following is what you get for markings:

Finnish Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimat)

1. F-18C HN-457, “Kreivi von Rosen” - The last F-18C built

2. F-18C HN-441, Tampere 2003

3. F-18D HN-461

Take note that the Finnish Hornets are built in Finland and have equipment added to suit their own needs. Some notes on these Hornets are that they use Martin Baker SF.14 seats which are similar to NACES seats but have the seat belt s compatable with the Bae hawk MK.51 aircraft. They also sport the spotlight on the port forward fuselage as well as a few other minor changes that are called out for in the instructions. The colors on the innish Hornets are FS36320 upper surfaces and FS36375 lower surfaces.

Swiss Air Force (Schweizerische Flugwaffe)

1. F-18C J-5011, Fliegerstaffel 11, Dubendorf

2. F-18C J-5017, Fliegerstaffel 17, Payerne

3. F-18C J-5018, Fliegerstaffel 18, Payerne

4. F-18D J-5238, Payerne

These are fairly straightforward F-18C/Ds with the exception of a few modifications needed by the Swiss Air Force. The outboard wing stations were developed and built in Switzerland allowing them to carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. The paint on the Swiss jets is also FS36320 Upper Surfaces with FS36375 Lower Surfaces.

Spanish Air Force (Ejercito de’l Aire)

1. EF-18B CE.15-08, Torrejon AB

2. EF-18A, C.15-59, Ala 12, Torrejon AB, Operation Allied Force (this one has mission markings)

3. EF-18A, C.15-14, Ala 15, Zaragoza AB

4. F/A-18A, C.15-84, Escuadron 462, Gando AB (former USN F/A-18A)

The Spanish Hornets are IMHO the most colorful of the ones on this sheet. The Spanish Hornets do not have the NLG catapault launch stirrup installed. All of the 24 ex USN Hornets (24 of them) that the Spanish Air Force operates fly with Escuadron 462 at Gando AB.

Overall this is one of the most comprehensive sheets on the Hornet I have ever seen. The markings are spot on and the decals have very little carrier film. I have never used a sheet that was printed by cartograph so I decided to test a stencil on one of my spare, painted, kits. I found the decals to work best with warm water. The decal snuggled down nicely and reacted well to Solvaset.

This is a very welcome addition to any Hornet enthusiast's collection. It is about time that some of the export operators of the Bug get acknowledged by decal manufacturers. 

Highly  Recommended.

Thanks to Bob Sanchez at TwoBobs for the review sample

IF4Dable Models decals may be ordered direct from Two Bobs at http://www.TwoBobs.net or, direct from F4Dablemodels at http://www.f-4DableModels.com

Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Mike Reeves
This Page Created on 03 April, 2005
Last updated 02 April, 2005

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