Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

VMFA-323 Death Rattlers/ USMC F4-B Phantoms in the Vietnam War

Published: August 10th, 2020     
VMFA-323 Death Rattlers/ USMC F4-B Phantoms in the Vietnam War
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra - IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/32
Company: AOA Decals

Commissioned in 1943, this particular squadron got its nickname from some pilots who killed a rattlesnake at their first deployment at Cherry Point and then hung the skin in the ready room.  VMFA-323 was first deployed to Da Nang Air Base in 1965, losing the only Phantom ever to a surface-to-air missile shortly thereafter.  The squadron remained in Viet Nam until 1969, flying from both Da Nang and Chu Lai during that time.

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

VMFA-232 Red Devils/ USMC F4-J Phantoms in the Vietnam War

Published: August 10th, 2020     
VMFA-232 Red Devils/ USMC F4-J Phantoms in the Vietnam War
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra - IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/32
Company: AOA Decals

Tracing its lineage back to 1925, VMFA-232 Phantoms began sorties over Vietnam from Da Nang Air Base in late 1967.  Flying close air support for the Marines on the ground, the Red Devils flew nearly 6,000 sorties and delivered some 6,00 tons of ordinance during their time in the 'Nam, being one of the few units capable of delivering 2,000 lb. bombs at the time.  They redeployed during Operation Linebacker and lost three Phantoms during that time (one to enemy air action), becoming the last Marine Phantom unit to leave Vietnam in 1973.  They finally surrendered their final remaining Phantom in 1988.

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

VMFA-212 Lancers/ USMC F4-J Phantom in the Vietnam War

Published: August 10th, 2020     
VMFA-212 Lancers/ USMC F4-J Phantom in the Vietnam War
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra - IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/32
Company: AOA Decals

VMFA-212 Lancers was the first Marine jet squadron to be deployed aboard an aircraft carrier in combat, serving on the USS Oriskany in May of 1965.  They conducted more than 12,000 combat sorties and dumped nearly 10,000 tons of ordinance during that time, chalking up an admirable safety record until their return to Hawaii in December of the same year.

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

Phantom Airframe Data (Stencil Type) F-4B & F-4J Panels and Markings

Published: August 10th, 2020     
Phantom Airframe Data (Stencil Type) F-4B & F-4J Panels and Markings
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra - IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/32
Company: AOA Decals

AOA Decals is making a name for themselves with some of the very best decals found on the market.  Whisper-thin, spot-on register, easy to apply, and with excellent opacity, they really make for an extremely pleasant modeling experience.

I was offered a chance to check some of these out and started with their stencil set for Vietnam-era Marine or Navy Phantoms.  This set comes on one full sheet with a separate sheet for the national markings features, literally hundreds of individual stencils covering the entire airframe including weapons pylons.  Registration is perfect and the film is extraordinarily thin.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they lay down with no obvious silvering.   Frankly, I couldn't find a thing to complain about, except perhaps for the time it's going to take to apply them all.

Metal Landing Gear for Kitty Hawk Mirage 2000

Published: August 9th, 2020     
Metal Landing Gear for Kitty Hawk Mirage 2000
Reviewed by: Jarrod Booth - IPMS# 44739
Scale: 1/32

Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) is a Texas based company that makes white metal landing gear for a vast number of model aircraft in all scales.

The idea behind the use of metal over the kit supplied plastic landing gear is strength. Over time plastic can give way under the weight of heavy aircraft models.

The metal parts are contained in a clear plastic tray with an attractive color backing showing product details.

This set includes the nose and main undercarriage legs, main gear retraction struts, nose leg torque links and inner main gear door retraction struts and bulkhead. They are a direct copy of the plastic kit parts, except for the main gear. The kit plastic main undercarriage legs are in two parts, while the SAC gear comes as one part. This makes the leg stronger and eliminates dealing with a glue seam.

All the SAC parts need some clean up, but, most of the mold seams found on the plastic parts have already been removed. I was able to get each item ready for assembly and painting in a matter of a few minutes. As the white metal was quite soft, I had to carefully straighten some items.

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