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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


Speed Hunter Graphics # 32007
Big Scale Eagles
1:32 Scale


The F-15 Eagle was the mainstay of the USAF’s doctrine of air superiority that emerged in the wake of the Vietnam conflict.  The Eagle represented one of the many factors that contributed to the American victory in the Cold War, and since the early 1980s, the Eagle has accumulated a truly impressive air-to-air combat record with the IAF and USAF currently at 104 victories to 0 losses.  Over the years, the F-15 has evolved through several variants and update programs, and even despite some of these airframes being nearly 40 years old now, it continues to be at the cutting edge of modern air combat and will be flying and fighting in concert with F-22s and F-35s for years to come.   

This decal sheet set by Speed Hunter Graphics provides markings for eight 1:32 scale Eagles: six F-15Cs and two F-15Es as they appeared between 2004 and 2016.  Sized for the stellar Tamiya F-15C and F-15E, they cover the following tail numbers, squadrons, and configurations: 

    • F-15C, 84-0014, 194th FS, 144th FW, California ANG, Nov 2013
    • F-15C, 78-0504, 194th FS, 144th FW, California ANG, January 2016
    • F-15C, 78-0480, 194th FS, 144th FW, California ANG, January 2016
    • F-15C, 78-0494, 65th AGRS, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, May 2013
    • F-15C, 85-0114, 44th FS, 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Japan, June 2013
    • F-15C, 85-0102, 58th FS, 33rd FW, Eglin AFB, October 2004
    • F-15E, 89-0487, 335th FS, 4th FW, Bagram AB, Afghanistan, January 2012
    • F-15E, 86-0188, 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, October 2014

These decals were designed by Speed Hunter Graphics and printed by Cartograf of Italy – you can’t really get any better than this.  Print quality is exemplary and carrier film is precisely applied right at the very edges of each decal.  Complete airframe stencils are provided for one jet.

The markings and configuration notes are quite accurate and insightful.  In the instructions, the markings guide contains detailed technical and historical notes for each airframe, including notes on the airplanes with the MSIP updates, Band 3 ECM blisters, and other unique airframe variations, such as variations in the shades of color on rudders and radomes.

The choices of paint schemes are really impressive.  Over the years, I’ve been able to photograph 65th AGRS F-15Cs wearing the gray, blue, and white Flanker splinter, and it’s probably my favorite F-15 scheme of all time.  Other former 65th AGRS aggressor jets on this sheet were transferred to the California ANG and retained their aggressor Flanker blue and desert camouflage schemes while California ANG markings were applied after they arrived in Fresno.  These are really unique, one-off Eagle paint jobs, to be sure.  The F-15Cs covered from Eglin and Kadena are also historical airplanes, particularly, 85-0102, with the Gulf Spirit, Let’s Roll nose art, and three air-to-air kill markings on the nose.  The F-15Es are likewise notable airframes, with 89-0487 being the first F-15E to reach the 10,000 flight hour milestone, and it’s also the F-15 that, during Operation DESERT STORM, notched up an very unconventional air-to-air kill by dropping GBU-12 laser-guided bomb on an Iraqi helicopter.  The other F-15E is a distinctive flight test jet, with dayglo orange covers over the gun port and gun gas purge vents.  Further still, the decal sheet contains markings for ejection seat stencils and markings, corresponding to the serial number on the tail of each jet.  To me, that kind of attention to detail is just awesome.     

Books such as Jake Melampy’s F-15Eagle/Strike Eagle Exposed (Second Edition) are also an outstanding resources to help the scale modeler navigate these constantly evolving and sometimes complex airframe configurations (stay tuned; a review of this book is forthcoming here at detailandscale.com).         

Many thanks to Jake Melampy for the review sample. You can find Speed Hunter Graphics on the web at http://www.reidairpublishing.com/category-s/1824.htm
and get this decal sheet from that site or at Sprue Brothers (http://spruebrothers.com).

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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