AOA Decals 32-014: Combat Scooters (4)
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AOA Decals stays with the Vietnam War in this particular sheet, and produces six great options for the Trumpeter A-4E/F kit. All of these are in light gull grey and white, the scheme for naval aircraft at the time. Note that the upper surface grey is matte while the white is gloss. It wasn't until 1972 that the Navy specified gloss for the upper surface.
In this set are markings for six planes from three units.
Starting with the Marines, there are two markings options from Chu Lai in the 1968/69 time period. OThe markings for these planes is quite similar with both being A-4Es. The second has been retrofitted with the avionics hump. Interestingly, these planes had a red spiral on the refueling probe. The E model has a name; "Jefferson Airplane".
There are two VA-22 "Fighting Redcocks" planes from the Bon Homme Richard's 1970 cruise. Both are A-4Fs with one being the CAG bird. The other is the CO's plane. There is little difference between the two, but there are some that are clearly shown.
Finally, we have VA-55 at two widely separated times. First is an A-4E from the USS Ranger cruise early in the war (1964/65). Unusually, this one has a grey rudder. The other is from the USS Hancock's 1972 cruise with the A-4F and is quite a bit more colorful. This plane is the only one on the sheet with the cranked refueling probe. The others are all the older straight version.
The set is superbly printed by Cartograf and note that there is an addendum for the VMA-211 fuselage badge. One set of insignia and data markings is provided, which is basically sheet 32-012 (not shown) and can be purchased separately if you wish to do more than one plane. As usual, no kit is perfect and a section of the instructions shows what can be done to improve the Trumpeter kit. This sheet is not designed for the Hasegawa kit so I'm not sure if it will fit, though don't let that stop you from giving it a go!
Overall a great sheet and a must have for anyone interested in modeling the subject.
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Thanks to AOA Decals for the review sheet. You can find this sheet at this link, where you can also see profiles of each markings option.
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