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Formation Lights

MAW Decals, 1/48 scale



Catalogue Number:

48-MAW-008 - Formation Lights



Contents and Media:

Waterslide decals plus instructions and notes


USD$11.99 from MAW Decals

Review Type:



Useful accessory for a wide selection of aircraft


None noted


Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron




MAW Decals is based in the United Sates and operated by Creighton Henthorn Jr, a name that is sure to be familiar amongst modellers of U.S. Navy and United States Marine Corps aircraft. 

MAW – Decals website advises that their main focus is to produce high quality model decals for the aircraft of the United States Marine Corps and they certainly do this with an ever growing range. 

One of their newer releases is 48-MAW008, a sheet that holds a range of 1/48 scale formation lights or as they are commonly known, slime lights. 

Formation lights are seen on just about all U.S. military tactical aircraft and as far as I can find out they began to be applied in the late 1960s.   

So just what are they and why are they used?  Well, formation lights are mounted on the fuselage, wing tips and the vertical fins of military aircraft and are used to indicate an aircraft’s position and attitude during close formation flying – something you would want to know if you were flying at night and formatting on another aircraft! 

Click the thumbnails below o view larger images:


Slime lights (they are called that as the yellow/green light they emit is reminiscent of slime seen in horror movies) are based on the physical principle of electroluminescence.  An operating voltage of 115 V/ 400 Hz stimulates a luminescent substance to emit light which has a very small radiation spectrum (read that you can only see them if you are close up so as you don’t give away your position to the enemy) and the intensity of the light transmitted is dimmable by variation of the voltage.  

Enough of the science lesson and on with what comes on the sheet!  As far as I can tell, you get two complete sets of lights for the following aircraft: 

·         F-4 

·         A-6E/EA-6B 

·         F-18D 

·         AV-8B 

·         AH-1W 

·         UH-1N 

·         CH-53

·         CH-46

 No advice is provided as to what kit the decals have been designed for is offered  

The lights for some of the aircraft are provided as three part decals e.g., the A-6/E-A6B but the majority are simple two-part decals with the exception of F-4, CH-53 and CH-46 which are single piece decals.  The two-part decals are pretty much true to life in as much as the black printed decal is overlayed on the yellow/green one to simulate the sectioned parts of the one-to-one-scale ones that I seen. 

The decals themselves have been printed by Microscale.  They are sharp, clear and in perfect register.  Three sheets are provided.  A larger, normal sized one and two smaller ones, one of which appears to be an errata to replace the black outlines to the A-6/EA-6B ones on the main sheet. 

Support material is via two A-4 sized glossy sheets that show colour drawings applicable to each of the aircraft for which decals are supplied for. 

The support material and the three decal sheets come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag. 

A welcome addition to the decal bank as far as I am concerned. 


Thanks to MAW Decals for the review sample.


MAW – Decals have an excellent website at http://www.mawdecals.com/index.html

and it is well worth a visit just to view their reference section if anything

Review Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 31 July, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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