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Lakenheath Varks F-111F

Afterburner Decals, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

Afterburner Decals Item No. AD 48-054 - Lakenheath Varks F-111F

Scale:

1/48

Contents and Media:

Waterslide decals plus instructions and notes

Price:

US$20.00 Available from Afterburner Decals

Review Type:

FirstLook

Advantages:

Comprehensive and printed to a high standard by Cartograf of Italy. Comprehensive instructions.

Disadvantages:

None noted.

Conclusion:

An important gap in the combat history of the USAF finally filled in time for a new kit of the subject aircraft to do this excellent product justice.


Reviewed by Ken Bowes


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

Now a mixed wing of F-15C and E model Eagles, the 48th Fighter Wing previously operated the General Dynamics F-111F from RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. Surprisingly for a USAF unit with quite an extensive recent combat history including Operations El Dorado Canyon and Desert Shield/Storm, the F-111Fs of the Lakenheath Wing have received only limited attention until now. Afterburner Decals has produced an amazing sheet covering no less than 14 jets, with most coming from the Desert Storm period and immediately after and as such suitably adorned with bomb logs, nose art and mission markings. The notable exception is F-111F 70-2386 of the 493rd TFS from the year 1984, with the name of one Captain Jim Rotramel, a HyperScale regular, emblazoned on the right hand nosewheel door.

 

  • Lakenheath Varks Decal Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Lakenheath Varks Decal Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Lakenheath Varks Decal Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Lakenheath Varks Decal Review by Ken Bowes: Image
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Another notable jet included on the sheet is 70-2391 which delivered the enormous GBU-28 Paveway III 5000lb bomb on 27th Feb 1991 after an abbreviated development cycle to produce a weapon capable of destroying the deepest and hardest targets in Iraq at that time. As is to be expected, all subjects are in what is best known as the South East Asia scheme with black undersides which is documented on 2 pages of the instruction sheet in full colour. Aside from the detail instructions for each subject, there are also two pages covering stencil placement including for the RAM panels applied inside the intakes of the aircraft which I think are depicted for the first time in decal form. Enough sets of stencils are provided for two complete airframes, but anyone with access to the excellent Aussie Decals sheets for RAAF F-111Cs could produce more subjects from these if desired.

As is common with many Afterburner sheets there is a lot of well researched supporting information included in the instructions, including a complete list of all airframes deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and the ordnance expended. Also included are typical loadout diagrams to help the modeler put together an accurate replica. This period in the F-111s career is very important as at that time it was one of the few USAF or US Navy aircraft capable of employing laser guided bombs and as a result the 48th Fighter Wing was responsible for the dropping of over 80% of the LGBs expended in Desert Storm, including an incredible 2542 GBU-12s. A legacy from this campaign was the rapid integration of a PGM capability in both USAF and US Navy strike aircraft allowing virtually all types to employ PGMs by the time of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

 

 

As is now expected from Afterburner the instructions are printed in full colour on no less than 14 glossy A4 pages. The decals themselves, printed by Cartograf, cover one sheet slighty less than A4 in size as well as two smaller sheets which include monochrome designs such as mission logs and serials.

 

 

Whilst no doubt this sheet will find a home on many Academy F-111Fs, with the forthcoming Hobbyboss kit promising extended slats and flaps, a full weapons bay and Pavetack pod and other major refinements not previously available from the Monogram/Aurora and Academy kits, this kit will certainly be the one which rewards the modeler who wants a high quality detailed replica using these excellent Afterburner decals.

Thanks to Afterburner Decals for the sample


Review Copyright 2009 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 28 October, 2009
Last updated 28 October, 2009

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