Decal 48
Instructions
Instructions
Instructions
Instructions

Decals printed by Fantasy Printshop unless marked 'ALPS'

1/72 - CHF 15.-
1/48 - CHF 20.-

suggested kits: Hasegawa, Academy

 

Instructions as PDF

MC48008 / MC72008
Decals in 1/72 differ slightly in the layout from the diplayed 1/48 version - view
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Decal 32
Decal 32A
paint mask
paint mask
paint mask
paint mask
Instructions
Falcon fin
MC32008A
Instructions
Instructions
Instructions

Decals printed by Fantasy Printshop unless marked 'ALPS'

1/32 - CHF 20.-

suggested kit: Academy

Version A includes addhesiv paint masks

Instructions a sPDF

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Decal 32
Decal 32B
Instructions
Instructions
Instructions
Instructions
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This F/A-18C & D decal sheet in 1/72 & 1/48 scale (MC72008 / MC48008) carries all markings to create all F-18 in the SAF inventory exept the 2005 / 2007 Tiger scheme of Squadron 11 (J-5011).
Mask Test
Test built by T. Bacher (IPMS St. Gallen) to prove the masking concept
MC32008A - Decals & Masks for J-5017 & J-5018

Decals printed by Fantasy Printshop unless marked 'ALPS'

1/32 - CHF 20.-

suggested kit: Academy

Instructions as PDF

J-5001

Test aircraft J-5001 of RUAG Aerospace - note the markings below the cockpit
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photo via Geri Friedlos

All other F/A-18C & Ds carried the very plain standard US scheme of dark compass grey over compass grey. J-5011, J-5017 & J-5018 had the respective Squadron emblems painted on both sides of the fuselage below the cockpit. In 2005, some color was added to the fins J-5011, representing a stylized Tiger. Alongside this came a set of fuel tanks that carried the logo of the 11th fighter squadron in black and yellow. Two years later, this was replaced by real Tiger art by Stephan Beutler for the 2007 Tiger Meet in Norway. Unfortunately, both schemes cannot be done with this decal sheet since they have been covered before.

In November 2009, fighter squadrons 17 & 18 followed suit with some striking schemes for like numbered Hornets as designed by graphic artist Hansjörg Oberholzer. He kindly provided a copy of the file that was used to cut the masks for the original paint job on the real aircraft. As per the original, 18's decals are slightly oversized on the 8th on the leading and corresponding trailing edge. This allows you to apply the decal and adjust it to the correct position, aligning the right edge of the One with the night formation light. Once the decal is in the required position, the surplus decal can be simply trimmed off with a sharp scalpel blade.

In 1/32 scale, instead of large decals, a set of pre-cut masking film is provided. These sets have been adjusted to the Academy F-18 kit. The masking film is low tack and if one has the feeling that this is not sticking well enough, we would advise you to warm up the film with a hairdryer prior to applying the masks. This will activate the glue. We would, however, urge you to remove the masking as soon as the paint is dry. Also, we would advise you to spray with low pressure and light paint flow at a 90 degree angle onto the surface to avoid lifting off the masking film. For J-5018, spray the base color first, then do the 18 next. Between the steps it is imperative that the paint hardens out! Last apply the titles 'Panther'. A circle is cut above the title in the correct size to be covered with the Swiss insignia. This gives the decal a lighter base than the black base coat and will prevent the decal looking too dark since the white is not totally opaque. For J-5017, we suggest that you airbrush the whole Falcon and title evenly over the lighter base coat. Once you are happy with the result, (the antennas and bulges on top of the fins will be a challenge), you can then spray the gradient of the falcon with the base color.

J-5002
J-5003
J-5003
J-5007
J-5012
J-5017
J-5018
J-5024
J-5017
J-5012
J-5017
J-5017
J-5018
J-5018
Ice Hornet's

The purchase of 34 aircraft to replace the ageing Mirage III interceptor fleet was a painful process. It took roughly 12 years to search for a suitable type and pass the procurement act in parliament. The political disputes ended in 1993 when Swiss voters ratified parliament's decision to close the deal with what was then the McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Company. The deal included compensation deals, main assembly in Switzerland, the supply of AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, a simulator and a training program. The 26 single seat and 8 two seat Hornets differ from others of the same type by having main fuselage bulkheads made from titanium, enabling them to reach a service life of some 5000 flight hours within 30 years of use. Three Squadrons, 11 (Tiger), 17 (Hawk) and 18 (Panther) started training on the type in 1996, partial operational readiness was achieved in 1998. Nine years after the fall of the Berlin wall, a modern innovative fighter replacement, which had been sought for decades, had finally arrived with the Swiss Air Force. All Swiss Hornets are dedicated entirely to the air defense rôle and today operate tactically from Payerne, Sion and Meiringen airfields respectively.

In order to improve the performance in the role of an interceptor, RUAG in Emmen developed and constructed special low drag pylons to carry air-to-air missiles under the wings. The American SUU-63A/A pylons were considered to be very versatile, but they created induced drag during high speed flight. Switzerland's parallel Hornet procurement with Finland was foreseen as a way of saving money, but hard figures are impossible to confirm if this achieved the desired effect. The internal ALQ-165 airborne self protection jammer was procured simultaneously. In 1996, extensive flight testing took place in Patuxent River and China Lake in the USA involving J-5001 and the F/A-18D J-5231 (which unfortunately crashed two years later in Switzerland). These two were the only Swiss aircraft that actually came from the US production line. The relatively young and small Swiss Hornet fleet has already undergone two upgrade programs centered around the uplink and downlink of radar information, (Link 16) and the use of the "off bore sight" AIM-9X Slidewinder. Recently a number of state of the art FLIR pods have been ordered in the US. These are due to be used in air-to-air mode only.

J-5018
J-5001
This decal sheet covers all F/A-18C & D in the Swiss Air Force inventory, including the two latest striking designs by Hanjörg Oberholzer who kindly provided copies of the original design files. Hansjörg Oberholzer also designed the livery for the 'Patrouille Suisse' and the famous Mirage IIIRS pair 'Black & White'. I am thankful for his gracious support. The only exception to the above is that you cannot build J-5011 in the original 2005 Tiger livery or the color scheme that was applied for the 2007 Tiger Meet in Norway.

These decals have been screen printed by Fantasy Printshop in the UK. I thank Ray Howard for his kind advice as well as Silvain Hautier of Syhart Decals for his great encouragement. Furthermore, I acknowledge Jason Cheah of F-4Dable Models who created the first complete decals sheet on the Swiss Air Force F/A-18s. Credit for support goes also to Geri Friedlos and Erich Riester who provided photo material for this project.

Some notes of interest:

J-5001was built by the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Cooperation in St. Louis, MO and belongs to RUAG Aerospace. It serves as test bed for the various upgrade programs, flight performance, weapons integration and technical modifications. This is certainly the most interesting FA-18 in the Swiss inventory due to the constant change of markings purposely applied for testing. The integration of the high visibility camera equipment on the various stations adds a real challenge for the modeller. Lately, names of test pilots and 'kill marks' that represent live firings of various weapons (some that are not in the Swiss inventory) have been applied below the cockpit frame.

J-5026 follows the Swiss tradition with regards to the last assembled aircraft being baptized with a cartoon character. Other examples are 'Mata Hari' (Mirage IIIRS), Geronimo (Mirage IIIS) or Robin Hood (Hawker Hunter Mk58). J-5026 has an alien in a small flying saucer painted on the left hand fuselage. The alien was reading a newspaper with the title "Terrestians are good people …but their females always want you", This may have been good news for the little alien, but the words only lasted for a brief period and had to be removed to give the Air Force a better image. Having said that, one can use this title on an early Swiss F/A-18 without the modifications, or simply cut the title off. The visible modifications are the active IFF antennas in front of the cockpit (bird slicer antennas).

J-5001
J-5001
J-5001
J-5001
J-5001
J-5001
Pylon Cameras
Rear Cameras
J-5026
J-5026
J-5006
J-5008
J-5010
J-5010
J-5014
J-5023
J-5024
J-5232
Lantrin pod
J-5234
J-5234
J-5234
J-5234
J-5235
J-5026
J-5026
Addio
Sources as indicated:
Swiss Air Force, AviaPress.ch, Aviapic.ch
credit also goes to Geri Friedlos and Peter Lewis
MC32008B
MC32008B ALPS
MC32008A ALPS
MC32008A paint masks
MC32008B Screen & ALPS printed decals