F-18E Super Hornet

VFA-81 "Sunliners"

Authentic Decals

AD72-37 (1/72)

 

The history of US NAVY Strike Fighter Squadron 81 (VFA-81) "Sunliners" begins back in 1950's, when they flew the Grumman F-9F-8B Coguars, and spans through Douglas A-4 Skyriders, Vought A-7E Corsairs and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornets. In 2008 they transitioned to Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornets, which they fly today. Their first combat experience was during the Operation Desert Storm, and they participated in most of the important US combat engagements since: Operation Deny Flight, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Deliberate Force, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This is the first decal set for "Sunliners" Super Hornets available in any scale, and they are available in 1/48 and 1/72 scale. Decals are printed on a thin carrier film using classic silk screen technique. There is almost no excess carrier film, except on the more complex or very small decals. Decal set contains the decals for five planes, four of which are in the standard low-vis scheme, and one in the hi-vis scheme. All four lo-vis planes are from NAS Oceana in the period from 2008. to 2010., and the hi-vis is a CAG aircraft from 2010. Atlantic cruise on USS Carl Winson (CVN-70). There are enough stencils only for one plane with low-vis scheme, with addition of high-vis decals. Most stencils are clearly printed, except few low-vis markings with white text, and some of the red service plates with the tiniest letters, which are rather unreadable. All markings are well printed, with good colors, perfect alignment and clear edges.

Color schemes are printed on one A4 sheet, with color side views for all five planes on one side, and stenciling scheme with color reference guide on the other. Color references are given for F.S., Humbrol, Model Master, Revell and Gunze Sangyo.

 

Note: Decals are scanned in poor quality for copy protection.

 

There are enough decals for one complete "Sunliners" Super Hornet in this set. Although there are enough markings for building four out of five offered planes, stencils are given for only one complete low-vis or high-vis plane. The most attractive of all is certainly the high-vis CAG bird. Besides problems with print of some white and some tiny letters, decals are very well printed and they will certainly be a nice addition to your Super Hornet (honestly, my Super Hornet acquisition directly resulted from obtaining those decals). The same decal sheet is also available in 1/48, where decals are printed on two sheets. As I didn't see 1/48 scale decals in person, and considering the quality of print, I believe that small prints and white letters which are shown as problematic on 1/72 sheet are much better printed. There is also indication of the same sheet in 1/32 too, but for now it hasn't been released yet.

 

Rating:

+

 

Thanks again to Mr. Oleg Degtyar from Olimp Models Group for decals donated for review and use.

 

Tomislav Martan

 

On the Olimp Models Group website you can find more information on available products from other brands: Olimp Models, Authentic Decals, Golden Age Hobby Kits and Olimp Resin Accessories.