AOA Decals 48-001: Intruders from the Beach
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This is the first sheet from AOA Decals and I have to say it is very impressive in its scope and depth of research. There are two sheets with one being pretty much all the black bits and a very large sheet while the other one contains all the color parts.
This set contains markings for three USMC Intruder squadrons that were based in Vietnam. There are 7 options for aircraft from VMA(AW)-225 Vikings based at DaNang from 1969-71. A note that there is an error in the ready-made rudder markings so the builder will need to paint the rudder and apply the separate marking.
Next we have 19 options from VMA(AW)-242 Batmen. These folks were also based at DaNang from 1966-1970 and went through a markings change during that time period.
The third squadron and one with the most options is VMA(AW)-533 Hawks. These folks were based a Chu Lai from 1967-69 and at Nam Phong from 1972-73. Again, the unit went through a change in markings over time. There are 19 options for the Chu Lai time and 19 options for the Nam Phong timeframe.
There are common markings and stencils for one aircraft, but you can either use kit markings or AOA's Intruder stencil sheet for additional aircraft.
With 64 markings options, covering the three units, it would be prohibitively expensive to offer a paper set of placements, so as is being done more and more often, the guides are electronic. In this case, a mini-cd that contains all 64 aircraft on their own page. In addition, there is information on modifying the Hobby Boss A-6A, which is based on the A-6E so needs some backdating. None of the work is difficult and is mostly filling panel lines. Also included is a full load-out diagram, which is different for each of the units. Miscellaneous markings for the MERS and TERS and fuel tanks are also included. A full stencil placement guide is on the cd. This is in .pdf format so you need to download the free Adobe reader if you do not have it already. Most of us will simply print out the pages we need for the plane we will be modeling.
In order to see exactly what markings are offered, I recommend visiting the link below. It will also allow you to order your copy. The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf and so are among the best in the industry. These will soon be available in 1/32.
Thanks to AOA Decals for the review sheet. You can find this sheet and images of all the options at this link.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.