EA-6B Prowlers, USMC VMAQ-3 and VMAQ-1

Published: October 8th, 2011     
Decal set MS481255
Decal set MS481255
Reviewed by: Rob Benson - IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/48
Price: $12.00
Product / Stock #: MS481255
Product provided by: Squadron

Thanks to Gary Newman of Squadron/Signal and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review this decal sheet.

The decal set consists of one 4.75 x 7.5 inch sheet accompanying a color glossy 8.5 x 11 inch instruction and placement page in a zip lock plastic bag. I always appreciate the re-sealable bags, for storing unused decals afterwards and protection from coffee. The decals themselves were printed by Cartograf. Markings for two aircraft are provided, BuNo 163030 of VMAQ-3, and BuNo 161242, VMAQ-1. Very well-done and unique unit art is included for each aircraft, as well as numerous decals for the ECM pods and drop tanks. The formation light panels appear to be a reasonably accurate color. Side views of both are included, and there are two general top and detail views. FS colors are provided for the color schemes, and the decal inks appear to match the FS color chips fairly well. Only a couple of the decals from this sheet will be applied over or close to a matching paint and the contrast is hardly noticeable. The decals are arranged on the carrier such that each aircraft is on one half of the sheet, making it quite nice to preserve an unused part for a later project. Recommended kits are the Revell and Kinetic offerings.

The decals appear to be thin and I did not see any that are out of register. The lighter inks should have good opacity. I estimated this by holding them up to a very bright light to see how much light came through. The lighter inks showed the same opacity as the darker ones. The only possible problem that I could see in applying the markings is with regard to a cautionary note on the instructions for BuNo 163030. The blue-yellow checkerboard stripe on the tail has a different order on the port and starboard sides. The checkerboard decals appear to be exactly the same, so there is no obvious port or starboard decal. This can likely be easily fixed while decaling, if you know about it and can tweak the positioning a bit at the time.

Both of these should make great-looking models! Again, thanks to Gary Newman of Squadron/Signal and John of IPMS for allowing me to review this decal sheet. Have fun!

  • Color accuracy compared to FS chip
    Color accuracy compared to FS chip
  • Color accuracy compared to FS chip
    Color accuracy compared to FS chip

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