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F/A-18C

Afterburner Decals 1/48 F/A-18C VFA-37 'Ragin Bulls' OIF 2003-2008 Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2008 Manufacturer Afterburner Decals
Subject F/A-18C VFA-37 'Ragin Bulls' OIF 2003-2008 Scale 1/48
Set Number 48035 Pros Nine distinctive color schemes for the F/A-18C
Cons   Skill Level Novice
MSRP (USD) Out of Production    

First Look

Afterburner Decals has turned out some impressive decal releases covering contemporary US subjects and this one is no exception. This new set covers the Super Hornets of the Black Knights of VFA-154.

F/A-18C F/A-18C F/A-18C

This super set of markings provides an interesting snapshot across time of the F/A-18C Hornets flown by the VFA-37 Ragin' Bulls. Starting with the aircraft as they appeared in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, this set captures these colorful aircraft through the colors of the 2008 Commander of the Air Wing (CAG).

While the CAG aircraft are usually very colorful, the squadron commander (CO) and executive officer (XO) will also offer some interesting variations from the normal markings worn by the line aircraft.

This decal set represents the look of the VFA-37 Hornets as they appeared in 2003 (OIF), 2006, 2007, and the new CAG colors for 2008. The aircraft covered in this set are:

  • F/A-18C, 165181, AC/300, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, CAG Aircraft, OIF, 2003
  • F/A-18C, 165177, AC/301, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, CO Aircraft, OIF, 2003
  • F/A-18C, 165183, AC/302, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, XO Aircraft, OIF, 2003
  • F/A-18C, 165181, AC/300, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, CAG Aircraft, 2006
  • F/A-18C, 165177, AC/301, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, CO Aircraft, 2006
  • F/A-18C, 165177, AC/300, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, CAG Aircraft, 2007
  • F/A-18C, 165196, AC/303, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, Line Aircraft, 2007
  • F/A-18C, 165203, AC/307, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, Line Aircraft, 2007
  • F/A-18C, 165176, AC/300, VFA-37, CVW-3, USS Harry S Truman, CAG Aircraft, 2008

This two-sheet decal set provides you with the sufficient markings for one colorful 'boss bird' and one line aircraft, though there are maintenance stencils only for one aircraft. If you look over the decal sheets, you can see that this set is complete with the names of the flight crews and maintainers. Someone has done their homework!

If you're looking for a nice subject for your next Hornet project, this is the right set to get you there. If you already have an A-7E in VA-37 colors (or plan to build one), you'll want this set to put their Hornet along side.

My sincere thanks to Afterburner Decals for this review sample!

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