AOA Decals 32-010: Combat Scooters (1)
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AOA Decals moves to another type that saw a lot of service in Vietnam, the A-4 Skyhawk. This is the first sheet and is designed for the Trumpeter kit. Does it mean it won't work on the Hasegawa version? I do not know, but it may well require some fiddling about to get things like the rudder markings to fit properly. I know that I plan to use this on my Hasegawa Scooter.
All of these planes are A-4Es and are in the standard light gull grey over white scheme in use during that time. There are ten markings options covering three different squadrons. The set comes with a complete set of stencils with all sorts of variations to be sure you get the most accurate model. In addition, the instructions provide guidance on correcting the Trumpeter kit. None of the requirements is major and all but bare beginners should be able to make the corrections.
The first unit is VMA-223 based at Chu Lai during 1966-69. Six of the markings options cover this unit. Three of them have the later avionics hump added to the aircraft later in life. You get one option from 1966, one from 1967 and four from 1969. During all this time, the markings did change with the later markings being the most colorful.
Next we have VA-94 during its cruises from 1968-1970. Again, these are all A-4Es and the later aircraft have the avionics hump. There are four options for this unit, the 1968 not having the avionics hump and the most plain markings. The 1969 and first of the 1970 options are both the same plane and both CAG birds, though there are differences. The final option is from 1970 and is a standard line bird. All options are from the USS Bon Homme Richard.
The last marking option is for VA-106 during its 1968/69 cruise on the USS Intrepid. This A-4E has the avionics hump and is a plane that was lost early in the cruise.
Instructions are superb and provide information on each of the markings options. The decals themselves are superbly printed by Cartograf so you know you are getting the best. For a good look at all the options, I recommend visiting the AOA web site.
If you have this big kit and were looking for some great markings options, well here you are. I am sure these will eventually be released in 1/48 and 1/72 scale for those who model in those scales.
Thanks to AOA Decals for the review sheet. You can find this sheet 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.