EA-6B Prowlers, USN VAQ-135 and VAQ-137

Published: October 8th, 2011     
Decal set MS481256
Decal set MS481256
Reviewed by: Rob Benson - IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/48
Price: $12.00
Product / Stock #: MS481256
Product provided by: Squadron

The decal set consists of one 4.75 x 7.5 inch sheet accompanying by a color glossy 8.5 x 11 inch instruction and placement page in a ziplock plastic bag. I always appreciate the resealable bags, for storing unused decals afterwards and protection from coffee. The decals themselves were printed by Cartograf. Markings for two aircraft are provided, BuNo 162224 of VAQ-135, and BuNo 163527, VAQ-137. Very well-done and unique unit art is included for each aircraft, as well as numerous decals for some ECM pods and drop tanks. The formation light panels appear to be a reasonably accurate color. Unfortunately, there are only formation lights for one aircraft. Consider this if you actually are going to build both aircraft off this sheet. General and detail 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. None of the decals from this sheet will be applied over or close to a matching paint so color matching shouldn't be critical. The decals are arranged on the carrier sheet 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. A possible oversight that I could imagine doing is missing the small black square "patch" on the black and white checkerboard stripe on the tail of BuNo 163527! There is also a pair of green lens- shaped decals associated with the unit art on BuNo 162224, but I couldn't find any location info on the instruction sheet. [later edit: Norris Graser, who researched and designed this sheet, pointed out that the "eyes" do indeed appear on the instruction sheet and are just above the modex. Whoops! My bad and thank you Norris for pointing that out!] So keep an eye out for this marking on your references.

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

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