The 1:48 scale Hasegawa F/A-18E/F/G series are really good kits, but as we describe in the Modeler’s Section of our recent book on the Super Hornet and Growler (which you can find out more about and order your copy HERE), the cockpit detail is generally a bit indistinct and under-detailed. Especially if photoetched metal or resin details are not your preference, Furball Aero-Design comes to the rescue with this advantageous water slide decal sheet. Further, even if you use aftermarket details, there are also a number of useful features here that can add to your project.
On this decal sheet, F/A-18E/F/G Cockpit Detail Set (#48-075; MSRP = $7.99) contains decals for at least two cockpit sets. The decals provide a really wide range of powered-up displays with a variety of different symbology (stores displays, navigation, targeting, and so on.) Blank, powered-down screens are also provided. There are also not a lot of analogue instrument gauges in the Super Hornet and Growler, but they are nicely represented here. Another nice feature involves decals for the very different instrument panels seen between the initial Block I and Block II ACS F/A-18F cockpits. The big screen and up-front controls for the ACS come in a few versions. Side console decals are provided for two aircraft, and markings are also provided for the buttons on the pilot’s control stick and the WSO’s dual side stick controllers. Also note that the EA-18G cockpits are physically identical to the F/A-18F. The software that runs the displays represent the primary difference, with highly specialized electronic warfare interfaces present in the -G.
The set also includes markings for up to four SJU-17 ejection seats, with decals for the warning placards on the left-side headrest/headbox, ejection handle striping, and the manual override restraint release handle. Missing here, it seems, are only the two small placards on the right-side headrest/headbox. Decals are also provided for the shoulder harnesses and parachute risers along with the lap belts.
Furball Aero-Designs has a sterling reputation for excellent work, and this set does not disappoint. The quality of both the decal design and artwork by Furball, paired with the printing by Cartograf, produces an excellent product. It will be beneficial especially for scale modelers looking to add detail to the Hasegawa Super Hornet or Growler kits but who might not opt for photoetched or resin parts. But even if you do the latter, the various powered up displays can also be quite useful.
Many thanks to Furball Aero-Design for the review sample. You can find them on the web at http://www.furballaero-design.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FurballAeroDesign
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale