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F/A-18D

MAW-Decals 1/48 F/A-18D VMFA(AW)-332 Moonlighters Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2007 Manufacturer MAW-Decals
Subject F/A-18D VMFA(AW)-332 Moonlighters Scale 1/48
Set Number 48-MAW007 Pros Markings for three different aircraft
Cons Some markings require three layers of decals Skill Level Novice
MSRP (USD) Out of Production    

First Look

MAW-Decals has released a new set of decals, this one covering the squadron commander's mount from three different periods of time. The squadron is VMFA(AW)-332 (US Marine Corps Fighter/Attack (All Weather) squadron number 332). Technically, this set covers two aircraft as one of the aircraft is portrayed at two different periods of time.

F/A-18D F/A-18D F/A-18D

The aircraft covered in this set are:

  • F/A-18D, 164959, VMFA(AW)-332, EA/00, Tanzar AB Hungary, 1999, Operation Allied Force (OAF)
  • F/A-18D, 164705, VMFA(AW)-332, EA/00, MCAS Beaufort, SC, April 2004
  • F/A-18D, 164705, VMFA(AW)-332, EA/00, 2005, Operation Iraqi Freedon (OIF)

As a sidebar to this subject, the Moonlighters achieved 100,000 mishap-free flight hours in 2005 and have been an integral part of every major action since they transitioned into the F/A-18D in the early 1990s. The squadron as recently ceased flight operations as they prepare for decomissioning.

The decal printing is clear, but this is one of the first offerings from this manufacturer that requires the placement of three decals, one over the top of the other, to achieve colorful artwork that used to be printed (in the old days) as one decal. This isn't the fault of MAW-Decals but is the result of the limited abilities of some decal printers to keep multiple layers of color printing in register these days.

Nevertheless, these markings will provide some very distinctive options for your Hasegawa 1/48 F/A-18D and will look very Sierra Hotel on the contest table. This set is definitely recommended!

For more information about this set and the other releases from MAW-Decals, visit their website at http://www.mawdecals.com.

My sincere thanks to MAW-Decals for this review sample!

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