Often forgotten about Naval Aviation in Vietnam is the diminutive A-4 Skyhawk. Despite its small size, this nimble little aircraft could carry an amazing amount of bombs. Flown by the Marines and the Navy, this aircraft carried out some of the most dangerous missions in Vietnam.
AOA Decals continues to release Vietnam era subjects and I for one love their choice of subjects. This set is designed for the Hasegawa kits of the A-4C and A-4E.
The instructions are packaged in a 9 x 12 inch Ziploc bag and are printed in full color on four double-sided pages. The instructions are little works of art displaying the side profile for 13 aircraft. The initial page gives you information to make the Hasegawa kit more accurate. Each aircraft is described in detail to let you figure out what to include from the kit and decals. There is a page for each type of Skyhawk airframe with data and stencils.
The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf so you know they are some of the best in the world. They are thin, in register and with good color saturation. There are three decal sheets included in the set. The first one is all the black lettering and markings that is 10 ¾ x 6. The second one is 7 x 6 1/4 and contains all the colorful markings. These all look great. This particular sheet had a small flaw with the bulldog so AOA Decals issued a correction sheet to address this one small error. The correction sheet is included with all decals currently being sold. If you bought the decal sheet before this correction sheet was available, AOA will provide the replacement decals. This is the level of excellence that AOA insists on. The third sheet is the stencils, sheet number 48-004. This sheet can be purchased separately so you can build more than one of the aircraft.
The decals are designed to represent the Skyhawk throughout the Vietnam War. When a unit flew the A-4C and the A-4E both versions are included. The decals cover VA-216 the “Black Diamonds”, VMA-223 the “Bulldogs”, VA-144 the “Roadrunners”, and VA-106 the “Gladiators”. The markings range from 1964- 1969 both carrier and in country aircraft.
All 13 aircraft are full color with Light Gull Grey (FS36440) over White (FS17925). Each aircraft is studied in detail with the markings, the wing walk areas, and the RATO mounts. Drop tank info is included as well. Developed with the help of the A-4 Skyhawk Association and a host of other pilots and crew members, these decals and instructions catch all the nuances of the little attack plane.
Thirteen aircraft thoroughly researched, perfect printing by Cartograf, and interesting marking options for the aircraft throughout the war makes this sheet and the other two A-4 Skyhawk sheets an essential sheet for your Hasegawa kit.
Thanks to AOA Decals and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain your copy by contacting them at AOAdecals.com. Make sure you let them know that IPMS/USA sent you.