Cutting Edge 72-095 for A-1 Skyraiders
Cdr. Gary Witters Memorial Sheet

Units: See Review




Steve Mesner

Reviewer’s note: This sheet is available in both 1/48 (CED48095) and 1/72. The 1/72 sheet is reviewed here. The instructions for both sheets are identical.

Who was Commander Gary M. Witters? He was a Skyraider pilot in the Korean War, 1953. He was also the uncle of Dave Klaus, head honcho of Meteor Productions/Cutting Edge Decals. This decal sheet was obviously a labor of love. In addition to the usual excellent documentation we’ve come to expect from Cutting Edge, the decals include a second full-color instruction sheet featuring a brief biography of Commander Witters, with several period photographs.

Two of Witters’ mounts are featured on the sheet, both AD-4Ns. The instructions recommend the Tamiya or Monogram Skyraiders in 1/48 scale, and the Hasegawa (ex-Tsukoda) Skyraider in 1/72. Meteor Productions produces resin AD-4N conversion kits for the Tamiya A-1H (AD-6) in 1/48 scale; another alternative would be to start with the old ESCI/AMT kit AD-4W kit, remove the armor plating from the fuselage, and scratchbuild the little air scoop on the fuselage spine yourself. There is no AD-4 kit or conversion set available in 1/72 to my knowledge; you will be on your own converting a Hasegawa A-1H, but it should be an easily accomplished conversion for the experienced modeler.

Cutting Edge sheet CED72095 provides decals for five aircraft:

1. AD-4N BuNo 126905 of VF-194, USS Boxer, 1953, in overall Glossy Sea Blue with yellow trim. First of two Witters aircraft on the sheet, this Skyraider carries “cutie” nose art for “Miss Mary Jane.”

2. AD-4N BuNo 126921 of VF-194, USS Boxer, 1953, in overall Glossy Sea Blue with yellow trim. The second Witters aircraft on the sheet also carries “cutie” nose art for “Little Miss Rita,” who is modestly draping herself in a Confederate battle flag. The sheet has all markings to do either aircraft, but only enough of the common markings to do one or the other.

3. AD-6, BuNo 137569, VA-85, USS Forrestal, 1961, in the Gull Gray and White scheme. Green trim for the fin, wing, and stabilizer tips is included.

4. A-1H, BuNo 142016, VA-115, USS Kitty Hawk, South China Sea 1966. This Navy Skyraider carries the unusual two-tone green (34079 and 34102) topside camouflage that the Navy experimented with briefly during the Vietnam War. Starboard side and topside camo scheme diagrams are provided, as are two of the reduced-size national insignia.

5. AD-6, BuNo 135225, Marine Reserve Squadron AES-12, MCAS Quantico, 1959. This Skyraider carries an unusual and extremely colorful scheme of White and Insignia Orange.

The sheet contains complete decals for options 1 or 2, 4, and 3 or 5 above. There is only one set of national insignia, walkways, etc., to cover options 3 and 5, but most modelers will be able to find suitably sized substitutes in their spares box. Propeller tip and stencil decals are provide for two complete Skyraider props.

The 1/72 decal sheet has apparently just been “shrunk down” from the 1/48 sheet, and is fairly small in size. Nine dollars might seem a high price for a decal of this size, but keep in mind that you are paying for research, documentation, artwork, and printing, not necessarily for the physical size of the paper they are printed on. With most of the decals provided to do at least three models (and a fourth with a little help from your spares box), the sheet does represent a good value.

Review decals provided by Meteor Productions, Inc. Contact them at

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has well over 150,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Decal Review Index