This is the second sheet for the Hasegawa A-4 kit from AOA Decals. Like the others this is thoroughly researched with the help of the A-4 Skyhawk Association, notable pilots and mechanics. Who better to make sure that the markings are correct than the ones that were there?
The A-4 was a workhorse for the Navy and the Marines in Vietnam. As such it was operated from carriers and shore airfields. This sheet covers the Skyhawk from 1966 to 1972. Where a unit used both types or had early and later cruises, AOA selects an aircraft from both time frames.
There are thirteen Scooters on the sheet. Seven Marines and six Navy A-4s are on the sheet. VMA-214 from the Blacksheep is the first aircraft. The VMA-311 Tomcats make up the rest of the Marine aircraft. VA-22, the Fighting Redcocks from the USS Ranger circa 67-68, and USS Bon Homme Richard in 1970 are three of the aircraft including the raised spine A-4F. The final unit is VA-55, the Warhorses, from the USS Ranger, Constellation, and Hancock, which covers the entire Vietnam War from 1965-1972. All the aircraft are illustrated in full color on the four double sided 8.5 x 11. Each aircraft description has information that is pertinent to that aircraft. This information includes the drop tanks.
The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf. They are in perfect register with good color saturation. They are thin and have very little carrier film. The first sheet of decals is 8 x 6 ¼ inch full color. The detail in the markings and with the insignia is impressive. The second sheet contains the black codes for all the aircraft on a 8 ½ x 5 ¾ inch. The third sheet is a smaller sheet, 4 ½ x 8 ¼ inch, is actually 48-004 A-4 Stencils. This sheet is nice in that it gives you elongated US emblems to go over the in-flight refueling probe. For those of you that want to do more than one A-4 from the sheet, you can purchase just the stencil sheet.
Thirteen colorful aircraft with colorful markings that are thoroughly researched and cover three different verisons of the Scooter make this sheet, as well as the two other sheets from AOA Decals, worth the money. The world class research and printing are some of the best in the world. What more could you ask for? Absolutely nothing.
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.