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Detail & Scale Books

Quick Links to Available Detail & Scale Series Publications.


Detail & Scale Series


F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
**********F2H Banshee in
Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
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F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale

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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Metallic Details F/A-18F Advanced Crew Station (ACS) 1:48 Scale

The F/A-18 Super Hornet has seen a range of incremental software and hardware growth.  One of those changes involved the development of a very different instrument console for in the back seat of the F/A-18F when the Block II production standard emerged in 2007.  As part of the Block II upgrade, the Super Hornet received the APG-79 AESA radar, and in the back seat of the F/A-18F, the Advanced Crew Station (ACS) was also introduced.  The ACS features a centrally located 8”x10” color display with two smaller and more traditional multifunction displays the left and the right sides of the ACS.  To accommodate these changes, the rear instrument panel coaming was also reconfigured.  The inclusion of the ACS on the F/A-18F and later EA-18G allows the back-seater unprecedented situational awareness and provides the autonomy to perform separate missions completely independent from the pilot.

Unfortunately, the mainstay injection-molded F/A-18F kits in 1:48 scale (Revell, Hasegawa) represent Block I back seats only.  Hasegawa’s Growler does represent the ACS reasonably well, at least in plastic.

In this release from emerging photoetch metal and resin part aftermarket manufacturer Metallic Details, the scale modeler gets a two-piece cast resin update set for their F/A-18F or EA-18G containing the ACS.  The casting is mostly impeccable (REALLY sharp) and nearly flawless (see below).  Shape, size, and other configuration details look to be quite accurate when compared to my photos of the ACS as well as the renderings of the ACS in the copy of the F/A-18F NATOPS manual I have.

Surface detail is excellent, and is well beyond the level of detail that can be produced in plastic.  The buttons on the frames of the displays are very fine and nicely done.  While that gives a detail painter like me a lot to work with, the small instrument cluster on the lower right side of the console has great dial definition, but no raised dial detail.        

In my sample, the lower left surface of the large display possessed a bit of a casting defect (two tiny concave dimples; probably trapped air bubbles that imploded).  It will be easy to eliminate with a little filler and maybe 30 seconds of sanding.  Better yet, my favorite technique is to represent a powered-off display by gluing a piece of unexposed photographic film to the surface of a display.  Nothing looks better.

Overall, this set fills a significantly important gap to update your 1:48 scale two-seat Super Hornet to Block II standards.  And while the instructions don’t mention it, this set can absolutely be used to upgrade your kit’s EA-18G back seat equally as well since the Block II F and the G share the same physical cockpit hardware.  The underlying software and sensors, of course, are a whole different ballgame.  

Many thanks to Metallic Details for the review sample.  You can find them online and order their products at http://www.metdetails.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/metdetails/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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