Furball Aero-Design 48-025: Iron Tadpoles (A-6A/B)
Here is another welcome reissue from Furball Aero-Design. This set is for Vietnam War A-6A/B Intruders. The set is sized for the Hobby Boss kit, though if you really wanted to, I imagine these would fit the Fujimi kit, though I've heard the Fujimi A-6A is a bit undersize.
There are markings for fifteen aircraft on this one and enough common markings and wing walk decals for two. The decals themselves are superbly printed by Cartograf so you know you are getting the best. There is a full load out diagram and data placement guide provided in quite large format (handy for those who often have to squint at these sorts of things).
All of the planes are in light gull grey over white. The LGG will be matte while the white is gloss. Some of these have the perforated air brakes on the fuselage and some others do not. I'm not sure if these were left functional in the early use of the plane, but they were found to be less than useful and were soon disabled.
So let us look at what has been provided.
First we have two options from VA-35. The first is in their early markings from the 1966 enterprise cruise. This plane has a black radome and lots of mission marks. The second is from the 1969 Coral Sea cruise and has a tan radome and the later markings with which we are most familiar.
THe next unit is VA-52 with a tan radome. This is from the Coral Sea's 1968 cruise. VA-52 kept pretty much the same markings for the entire life of the A-6.
VA-75 has two similar options that differ mostly in the color of the surround to the tail code and airraft number. Both options are from the USS Independence in 1965.
We move to VA-85 for two schemes. The first is from their 1965 cruise aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. The next marking option is when they moved to the Atlantic fleet and were with the USS America in 1968.
VA-95 has one option with the USS Coral Sea in 1973 near the end of the war. Note that the radome and dive brake are painted over on this one.
One option for VA-115 which was aboard the USS Midway in 1971. This scheme is without the black background to the tail markings the unit had a year or so later.
Two schemes are provided for VA-145. First with the green band on the fin is from the 1969 USS Enterprise cruise. Tan radome on this one and the next option which is from the USS Ranger cruise of 1972, by which time the tail marking had changed.
VA-165 gets a single option from its USS Constellation cruise of 1972. This one, like the later VA-145 option are newer planes so have a solid plate in place of the perforated fuselage dive brakes.
VA-196, which has never had really colorful markings, has two options for us. Both from the USS Enterprise cruise of 1972. The second plane is an A-6B and while I'm sure there are differences between this and the A-6A, I cannot tell them.
Finally, we add a Marine unit to the mix with one option with VMA(AW)-224 which was aboard the USS Coral Sea in 1972.
A great set of markings that should keep any Intruder fan happy for many builds.
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