Sheet #

Superscale 72-529 for AD-6 Skyraider




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Review By:

Scott Van Aken




Toward the end of WWII, the Navy department was looking for an aircraft that would be able to carry a prodigious amount of ordnance. Anything from torpedoes, to mines, to various kinds of bombs or rockets. To meet that  requirement, Douglas developed what would eventually become the AD-1 Skyraider, the BT2D. To be able to carry all that ordnance meant that you needed a fairly large aircraft with a powerful engine, so the 2500 horsepower Wright 3350-42 was chosen. Since jets were barely able to keep themselves in the air, much less carry a lot of bombs, a piston powered aircraft was the only choice.  It also had to be small enough to fit on board the present aircraft carriers.

Designed as an attack aircraft and not as a fighter, it wasn't really necessary that it be fast. Nor particularly aerodynamic. On 18 March 1945, the first of a long line of Skyraiders took to the air. And the rest, as they say, is history. There began a long association with the US Navy that did not end until the late 1960s. It was also used by the USAF, the British, the French and a number of other air forces around the world. The Skyraider was an adaptable platform and eventually became an early warning and electronic surveillance aircraft as well as an attack bomber. Even today, there are a number of Skyraiders still flying as warbirds.

Superscale's sheet covers three of the later versions, the AD-6. Fortunately, there are a number of kits available for this version in 1/72 scale. Fujimi, Tsukuda, Airfix and Hasegawa all make Skyraiders with the Hasegawa versions being the newest and probably the best.

The sheet itself has enough common markings for all three of the subjects on the sheet. All three are painted in gull grey over white and represent units in service between 1957 and 1962 when the designation was changed from AD-6 to A-1H.  706 AD-6s were built, making it one of the most common variants.

The first subject on the sheet is a CAG bird from VA-165 from the USS Oriskany in 1962. This plane is adorned with green chevrons in addition to the multi-colored tail markings.

The green nose flashes and tail band mark this VA-145 AD-6 from the USS Hornet in 1957. A rather colorful scheme that should liven up any collection. 

The final scheme is from VA-42 on the USS Bennington, also circa 1957. The motif on this plane is more subdued than the others and consists of orange bands on the nose and tail.

As a newer Superscale sheet, the instruction sheet includes a section that shows were all the data decals are placed.

Review copy courtesy of me and my now empty wallet!

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