Sheet #

Orion Decals 48000 F-18D Hornet





Review By:

Scott Van Aken


Also available in 1/72

Those of you who follow the newsgroup rec.models.scale (RMS), are familiar with Dave Roof. Dave is a Marine, and though there is no cure for that, he has chosen to develop several enterprises to help modelers who like modern carrier-borne aircraft. This decal sheet is the first of hopefully a long line of sheets on USN/USMC aircraft of post 1970 vintage.

The first thing that strikes you when opening the package, is that there is a veritable tech manual supplied with each sheet. Without going into huge detail, there are four sheets. You can see scans of parts of these sheets below.  One is a dedication to Capt. Bernardo Iorgulescu. Inside this is a listing of a number of F-18 decal sheets as well as other resources to help you in making an accurate F-18D.

Next is a double sized sheet showing the aircraft as well as the colors to be used and some construction notes. While it doesn't say what kit, the only one available in 1/48 is the Hasegawa kit and these notes pertain to that kit. I can only assume that when the 1/72 sheet becomes available, that the notes will change to reflect the kits available in that scale. Anyway, it sure beats the heck out of those vague and generic placement sheets offered by other decal companies!

A general data placement sheet is next. This is printed on both sides and shows all the access panels as well as the various maintenance markings that are shown on the sheet. Yep! all those teeny little decals to the right are for these panels. Get your magnifying lenses out when applying these babies. They are also available on the 1/72 sheet.

The fourth sheet has info that you will not find on many other decal sheets. It shows the correct ejection seat along with a detailed painting chart. A most helpful item. It also includes cockpit colors, notes on the decals for the drop tanks as well as general colors and placement for the included landing gear decals.

OK, so much for all the geedunk that comes with the sheet. What about the sheet itself. Well, you can see that it covers just a single subjects. But cover it well it does. The sheet is produced by Microscale and the detail and clarity of the decals is superlative. There is no registration problems at all. Take a look at the enlargement shown, which is at about twice normal size.  Even the smallest decal can be read! Since they are produced by Microscale, you know the quality is there and that you can use mild setting solutions without fear of damaging the decals.

This is without a doubt, one of the most detailed decal sheets that you will ever find. The research that went into making this sheet is just superb, and provides a benchmark for others  to follow.

Review copy courtesy of Orion Model Accessories 

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