Intruders from the Beach

Published: September 2nd, 2015     
Product Image
Product packaging
Reviewed by: 
Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: AOA Decals
Price: $21.00
Product / Stock #: 32001

Modelers everywhere clamored for years when Trumpeter announced the release of a 1/32 A-6 Intruder. When it did arrive, the kit was very nice and has been virtually ignored by decal manufacturers everywhere...until now. AOA Decals has released the first of its sets designed for the Trumpeter 1/32 A-6A Intruder. AOA indicates that the reason the company formed was to fill the large void in decal coverage of Marine Corps Intruder accomplishments during the Vietnam War.

There are a couple things that hit you when you first open the package. First, the number of options is staggering - 23 marking options of 14 different aircraft. These include:

  • 3 options (2 aircraft) for VMA(AW)-225 Vikings at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, from 1969-71
  • 7 options (5 aircraft) for VMA(AW)-242 Batmen at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, from 1966-70
  • 5 options (3 aircraft) for VMA(AW)-533 Hawks at Chu Lai Air Base, South Vietnam, from 1967-69
  • 8 options (4 aircraft) for VMA(AW)-533 Hawks at Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong (aka "The Rose Garden"), Thailand, from 1972-73

There are three large decals sheets included. One in all black with units, names and the numbers. The second is full color and includes the stencils (this sheet is also sold separately) and lastly, the full color sheet containing the tail markings, helmet markings and the MER numbers. All the sheets are gorgeous and printed by Cartograf.

The second thing you notice; there are no instructions. But there is a mini-CD. Once you pop the CD and read it, the reason for the lack of written instructions becomes clear. The instructions included are a PDF file and are 47 pages long to cover the 23 sets of markings. The instructions start with two pages of corrections that the modeler may want to make to accurately represent an A-6A (most of which are applicable to the A-6E TRAM which was issued later). This is followed by pages of color and marking notes, ordnance load outs, stencil placement and detailed three view drawings of all aircraft. This includes helmet markings, notes on specific planes with things such as unpainted parts, wear and color variations. The depth of research and care is incredible. There is no way this could have been printed

So for $21.00, you get 23 options and a total set of markings for one plane. You could source a few national markings, add AOA Decals set 32002 and do as many as you like. The research is, without a doubt, the best I have ever seen and I love that fact the entire instructions are on PDF instead of a shortened paper version. Kudos AOA! These are most highly recommended and will improve an already good kit.

My thanks to AOA Decals for the review sample.

  • Units, names, and numbers
    Units, names, and numbers
  • Full color, including stencils
    Full color, including stencils
  • Tail markings, helmet markings and the MER numbers
    Tail markings, helmet markings and the MER numbers
  • Instruction mini-CD
    Instruction mini-CD

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