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In-Box Review
Super Bug Shockers.
Super Bug Shockers EA-18G.
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by: Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]

This sheet covers the E/A-18G Shockers or Growlers from 4 units. VAQ-132 Scorpions have 2 jets included, a colourful and low vis jet. Also included are a jets from VX-9, VX-31 and the E/A-18G RAG from VAQ-129. Designed for the Hasegawa kit, but the kit requires the use of aftermarket upgrades to turn it into a Growler/Shocker.


2 x decal sheets. The largest sheet, A5, has the majority of the colourful markings, while the smaller sheet has a lot of low vis markings and stencils.
3 x A4 colour guides.
2 x black and white stencil guides.

Markings included with this release are:
E/A-18G 166894, VAQ-132 Scorpions, March 2010. Red Scorpion tail on the tail.
E/A-18G 166858, VAQ 129 Vikings, Feb 2009. Red tail with crossed yellow thunderbolt and sword. Includes 'the Growler' head on the nose.
E/A-18G 166642, VX-31 Dust Devils CAG, Feb 2009. Low vis markings including 'the Growler' head on the nose.
E/A-18G 166895, VAQ-132 Scorpions, March 2010.
E/A-18G 166856, VX-9, Sept 2008. White tail with a vampire bat motif. Includes 'the Growler' head on the nose.

All aircraft are painted dark ghost grey [FS36320] on the upper surfaces and light ghost grey [FS36375] on the under surfaces.

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is a carrier based electronic warfare aircraft, a specialised version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet. The EA-18G replaced the Northop Grumman EA-6B Prowler in service with the United States Navy. The Growler's electronic warfare capability is primarily provided by Northop Grumman. The EA-18G began production in 2007 and entered operational service in late 2009.
The two colourful Growlers, 166894 and 166858 are very distinctive especially 166894 and should create a bit of interest with your fellow modellers. I am a bit confused with 166894, on the coloured instruction sheet it bears the number 540, yet it's markings are distinctly that of a CAG bird. If you look carefully at the cover image of this aircraft it bares the number 500, which indeed makes it a CAG. On the decal sheet the only number for this aircraft is 540. A bit confusing. The white tailed 166856 is from VX-9. VX-9 is the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron. As some of you will have noticed the date precedes the Growlers service entry, VX-9 put the E/A-18G through it's paces before it entered service. If colour is not your thing then Afterburner include two low vis aircraft for your delectation. 166642 of the Dust Devils is another evaluation aircraft.
There are enough stencils to do two aircraft, which is great news if you feel indecisive about which markings to go for. There are also stencils for the fuel tanks, the ALQ-99 pod and ejection seat. There are also decals representing the white squares for the inside of the exhaust cone. I really like the attention to detail such as the tiny diagram of the aircraft, perhaps some maintenance diagram that's found just by the front gear doors. Afterburner also provide information on where to find the after market upgrades needed to complete the build.

Quality of the print by Cartograf is stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film. All the written stencils are sharp and legible, even the tiniest ones. Decals are sized to the Hasegawa 1/48 kit.


A considerable amount of work has gone into the research to produce this outstanding product. Another release that the folk at Afterburner Decals should be proud off. Despite the slightly odd situation with 166894 this release is a must for any modeller keen on naval aircraft or the F/A-18 and looking for something very different for their shelf flight line. If you are looking to do a E/A-18G conversion then you must consider these decals from Afterburner. Highly recommended.

Highs: Some wonderfull tail markings.Quality of the printing.
Lows: Slightly odd situation with 166894 is it a CAG or not?
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 48-061.
  Suggested Retail: $15.00.
  PUBLISHED: Dec 14, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Afterburner Decals!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Tim Hatton (litespeed)

Aircraft are my primary interest from WWll to present day.

Copyright 2021 text by Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Sorry for the confusion about the numbers...just before we went to print, they jet had some additional markings placed (the 3 lightning bolts w/ sword inside the tail) and the numbers were changed to reflect VAQ-132s spot in COMVAQWINGPAC's deployment rotation....the original numbers (500) were assigned while attached to a CVW....COMVAQWINGPAC deployments aren't on CVNs, so they side numbers are not 00s on the CAG jets. The non-deployed markings are what's on the 2-Bobs sheet, with the double nuts. We altered the profile art in the instructions accordingly, but neglected the smaller original one on the cover. Another small item, when we printed, it didn't have the 540 on the upper flaps, but we provided it just in case they put it on there later...which this shot shows they did. http://www.flickr.com/photos/davebudd/4817092385/ -Scott
DEC 17, 2010 - 10:50 AM
Hi Scott, thanks for the explanation. That is a superb photo of the Scorpions aircraft you have given the link too, one of the best F/A-18 photos I have ever seen. Nice one Scott. All the best. tim
DEC 17, 2010 - 11:08 AM
The navy is BAAAD about that, LOL! They are FOREVER changing the markings up, week to week it seems...more than once we've printed a sheet, only to have their CAG get a new scheme before its released...VFA-31 JUST did that to us, but we have their new CAG on the upcoming BIG E Coast super bug CAG sheet. We caught VFA-37s swap to the blue scheme 3 days before print...I ended up on the phone with their PAO...ON THE SHIP, and he was nice enough to step out into the hangar bay and grab the shots we needed. Technology is wonderful! I'm not exactly sure when the first Gs will be assigned to CVWs, but they sure do have some great schemes! VAQ-138s new CAG jet is a stellar, and 141s is probably the nicest scheme I've ever seen on a hornet or any kind.
DEC 17, 2010 - 11:34 AM

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