Caracal Models CD 48049: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Units: See review


$14.99 which includes US shipping


Scott Van Aken

To say that the F-35 is a 'hot button' aircraft would very much be an understatement. The aircraft is way over budget and getting even more expensive as time goes on. It was plagued with development issues and is still having problems. The proponents would state that this is pretty standard stuff when developing a relatively radical new aircraft. The opponents say it is a total waste of taxpayer money and that the program should be shut down before it gets even more expensive. Several countries that initially showed interest in the type have cut their losses and pulled out of the program. Many say that it is not needed and that upgrades of the current types (AV-8B Harrier II and F-16), would have been a better way to spend shrinking defense dollars. Regardless of one's opinion on the aircraft, it is a reality with planes already entering the inventory. Now we have a decal sheet for it.

There are six options. All of the aircraft are painted in overall FS 36170, a color added to the FS 595 in 2008, so it may be difficult to find this pre-mixed.

First one is an F-35B with VMFAT-501, the training squadron. All of these aircraft are from 2013.

Next is another F-35B, this time from VMFA-121, the first operational USMC squadron.

The third F-35B is from VX-23 at NAS Pax River. This is a test bird and so apparently does not carry a standard serial number.

The fourth option is an RAF F-35B, the third one delivered.

We now move to the F-35A as developed for the USAF. First up is 08-0746 as assigned to the 58th FS at Eglin AFB. Apparently this is the training outfit for USAF pilots.

The final option is F-35A 10-5009 as assigned to the 422 TES at Nellis AFB. This is one of the test units that develops and verifies the operation of the various systems on the aircraft.

The sheet provides a full data suite and decals for some of the special panels on the aircraft. There are sufficient insignia to do two US and the British option. One can glean the data markings from the kit decals if one wishes to do more than one plane from this sheet. Though no kit is specified. I think that only Kitty Hawk currently does one.

The decals are superbly done by Cartograf and Caracal adds an excellent full color markings placement guide. A great sheet one you should seriously consider to build an accurate model.

March 2014

Thanks to for the review sheet. Get yours today from this link or have your local shop order it for you.

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