AOA Decals 32-011: Combat Scooters (2)
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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 second 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-4E/Fs and are in the standard light gull grey over white scheme in use during that time. There are nine 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. Note that I have darkened the one sheet below to allow the white to be more visible.
The first unit is VMA-311 based at Chu Lai during 1966-70. Four of the options are for this unit, The first is from 1966 and has an all red rudder with WL tail code. The other three have red/yellow rudders and WP tail codes. Two of these are from 1968 and are smooth top Scooters. These differ in a number ways in their markings. The third has the avionics hump and is from 1970. None of these planes have any tank markings.
Next is from VA-144 and two planes are featured. One from the 1967/68 cruise aboard the USS Kitty Hawk with smooth back A-4Es and an NH tail code. The other is from the 1969 deployment aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. This one has the avionics pack and NF tail codes. Both options have large orange lightning bolts on the fuselage and outside of the wing tanks.
The third unit on the sheet is VA-155 with three options. The first has an NL tail code from the 1964/65 deployment aboard the USS Coral Sea. This plane has a number of mission marks on the nose. NExt is the first of two A-4Fs when aboard the USS Ranger during 1968/69. Both have NE tail codes and the green rudder trim. The first option has a unit badge on the fuselage while the second has a large green chevron, which is sure to make this marking option a favorite.
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.