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In-Box Review
65th Aggressor
65th Aggressor Squadron, F-15C/D Eagle with bonus 1/32 Markings
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by: Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]

Tired of building grey Eagles? Then Afterburner Decals has the thing to reinvigorate your enthusiasm. Afterburner Decals has released an impressive looking decal package for the 65th Aggressor Squadron flying F-15C’s and D’s. This release is 1/48 scale although there are bonus 1/32 markings. The Blue and Desert Flanker schemes are covered as well as the short lived Digital Splinter Scheme.


The 65th aggressor Squadron [65AGRS] was assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics group, 57th Wing, stationed at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The 65 AGRS flies the F-15C/D Eagle and they are painted in camouflage schemes identical to those observed on Russian manufactured Su-27 Flanker Fighters. The 65 AGRS provides combat air forces with the opportunity to train against a realistic, fully integrated threat array during large and small scale exercises such as Red Flag-Nevada and Red Flag-Alaska, Maple Flag, Green Flag and other dissimilar air combat training deployments. The official USAF Aggressor program was born in 1972 as a response to the poor aerial combat performance of US Air force aircrews in Vietnam. The Aggressor charter remains to this day to improve the combat performance through realistic and challenging training and education. They accomplish this as the USAF’s professional adversaries, taking part in exercises, supporting USAF weapons school syllabus, and priority test missions as well as going on the road visiting various ACC units throughout the USAF.


Included in the resealable plastic bag is:
-1 x A4 sized decal sheet.
-1 x A5 sized decal sheet.
-1 x small erratum decal sheet.
-5 x A4 double sided page colour guidance notes.
-1 x A4 stencil guide.
This release includes marking for 22 aircraft and is designed for the Hasegawa or Academy 1/48 kits and the Tamiya 1/32 kit. In keeping with Eastern Block aircraft, all Aggressor aircraft are assigned a Bort number that is painted just aft of the air intakes. All bort numbers are painted blue with a white outline.

Blue Flanker Schemes
All aircraft have the wrap around camouflage scheme of FS 35450 and FS 35109. The radomes are FS 36176.
- F-15C serial number 78-0515 “15”
The same aircraft on two different dates 2010 and 2012 and two different pilots and different ground crew. 1/32 decals are included for this aircraft.
-F-15C 80-0010 “10”
The same aircraft this time from four different dates: 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. 1/32 decals are included for this aircraft.
-F-15C 78-0470 “70”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 78-0489 “89”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 78-0504 “04”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 78-0518 “18”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 78-0532 “32”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 80-0018 “18”
The same aircraft on two different dates: 2007 and 2009 and two different pilots and different ground crew.
-F-15C 80-0054 “54”
Flown during 2012.
F-15D 80-0058 “58”
Flown during 2008.

Desert Flanker Schemes
All aircraft have the wrap around camouflage scheme of FS 30140 and FS 30279. The radomes are FS 36176.
-F-15C 80-0028 “28”
Flown during 2009.
-F-15C 78-0480 “80”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 78-0503 “03”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 82-0028 “28”
Same aircraft on three separate dates: 2006, 2007 or 2008. Two different pilots, Maj Phil Stodick flew this aircraft on the last two dates. Markings are also available in 1/32 scale.
-F-15D 78-0567 “67”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15D 79-0012 “12”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15D 85-0129 “29”
Same aircraft on two separate dates: 2007 and 2009.
-F-15C 78-0511 “11”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 78-0517 “17”
Flown during 2012.
-F-15C 78-0538 “38”
Same aircraft on two separate dates: 2009 and 2012.
-F-15C 80-0024 “24”
Same aircraft on three separate dates: 2006, 2007 and 2009.
-F-15C 85-0131 “31”
Same aircraft on three separate dates: 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Digital Splinter Scheme
In 2011, the 65th unveiled the new digital splinter paint scheme. Six aircraft were pencilled in to receive this interesting scheme, but only one managed to escape the paint shop before the 65th was deactivated. The three colour schemes comprised of: FS 35109, FS 36628 and FS 36251. The radome is FS 36176. If you don’t fancy cutting your own masks for this attractive scheme then Steel Beach Masks will be very useful.

-F-15C 78-0509 “09”
Flown during 2012. The markings are available in 1/32 scale.

Instructions: there are full colour views of the portside or starboard sides of each aircraft to aid the placement of markings. There are upper and lower plan views for each of the three schemes allowing you to accurately reproduce the wrap around camouflage. The colour views also provide guidance for the placement of stencils. There are enough stencils to complete two aircraft 1/48 and one 1/32 models. The stencil guide has superb four view drawings done in black line that are very clear. There are scrap views of the undercarriage and the ejection seat as well.
Another invaluable piece of reference provided by Afterburner is the weapon guide for Aggressor F-15C/D during Red Flag exercises.
Decals: the quality of the print by Cartograf is simply stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film and excellent colour depth. All the written stencils are sharp and legible, even the tiniest of stencils. There are enough stencils and wing walk ways for two aircraft in 1/48 and one 1/32 aircraft, but there is nothing to stop the modeller from using the kits stencils to be able to utilise even more of the above markings. Included on the decals sheet are wing walk ways, ‘no steps’ signs, slime lights, and much, much more.
Application: Decals respond very well to Microsol, you will see the decals crinkle slightly, but don’t be tempted to brush out the creases. I found that the decals conform very well too low relief detail. Afterburner has reduced the amount of carrier film to a minimum so do not attempt to cut too close to the decal in order to reduce the amount of carrier film. It’s not necessary. In fact it is well worth your while taking a close look at some of the markings to determine the extent of the carrier film. You will notice that the carrier film will follow the shape of the letters or stencils very closely rather than surrounding them with excessive carrier film. This does have an effect when moving decals from the sheet to the model and you need to move them with a little caution. As there is little carrier film the decals look almost painted on after a coat or two of Kleer.

What a great all round package this release is from Afterburner Decals. Not only are the decals of such a high quality, but the background information, guidance notes and illustrations are first rate. Your F-15C/D’s in these Aggressor markings will certainly have your modelling friends green with envy. It’s always a pleasure to see the new releases from Afterburner.
Highs: Too many to mention.
Lows: Nothing so far.
Verdict: Highly recommended if you want to finish your 1/48 or 1/32 F-15C/D with something very different.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 48-081
  Suggested Retail: $20.00
  PUBLISHED: Jun 30, 2012
  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.


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