Vagabond Decals 48-001: VAW-125 Tiger Tail Hawkeyes
Units: See review


$25.00 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Note: Sheet is 1/48 for the Kinetic kit

Once more, a new decal company has appeared and this time, these folks are starting out in a big way. Vagabond Decals has chosen a sheet for the new Kinetic E-2C Hawkeye for their initial offering. This one has three aircraft of various modifications from VAW-125 'Tiger Tails'. All of the aircraft are in overall 16440 gloss light gull grey so painting is a breeze. Now I have to assume that the Kinetic kit has most of the mods that have been added to these planes over the years. I've not seen the kit so cannot make a judgment in that regard.

The sheet itself is superbly printed by Microscale and provides not only the markings for three planes, but a full set of stencils, insignia and upper fuselage/wing walk panels for one aircraft.

Starting at the top of the instruction sheet, is the CAG bird from September 2009. From the cover image, this one seems to have all the 'Hawkeye 2000' upgrades, including the new props with the bulbous spinners and the new antenna suite on on the lower center fuselage section. However, when one looks at the photo on the back and the drawing inside the instructions, that antenna suite is not visible.  On this plane, the tail is painted black and that includes all the vertical tails and the horizontal tail. Just for your viewing pleasure, below are two photos of aircraft 602 (164352) also from September 2009 that your editor photographed at a local air show. As you can see, the prop hubs are even more bulbous than shown in the drawings. This plane also does not have the additional antenna suite on the underside.

The second option is for aircraft 602 back in October of 2006. The drawing shows this one with all the upgrades.

Finally, a June 2005 aircraft that was at the Paris Air Show. This one is also complete with all the airframe upgrades, but does not have the new props. Again, it is a CAG bird, but only has the vertical tails in black and there is no air wing code.

Instructions are quite well done and provide all the colors and markings information that you will needed to complete the aircraft.

Overall, an outstanding first sheet and I look forward to not only seeing more but also seeing some of these reduced to 1/72 for the excellent Hasegawa kit.

Late Note: The folks at Vagabond sent me this clarification on the various mods done to the subject on the sheet as I am rather E-2C ignorant. "A couple of points of clarification, if I may: the 2009 CAG bird is a group II Hawkeye, but with the np2000 props. The "602" bird is a Hawkeye 2000 from 2007, with np2000 props. The 2005 bird was photographed at Paris, is a Hawkeye 2000, but has the old props." If I understand this properly, that means that the photos I included are of a group II Hawkeye with the np2000 props as well.

May 2010

Review sheet courtesy of You can also find this at .

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