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Detail & Scale Series


F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
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Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
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F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale

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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


AoA Decals VMFA-334 Falcons: Lovebug 5
F-4J Phantom in the Vietnam War & Japan
1:32 Scale


The F-4J Phantom II in U. S. Marine Corps service shouldered many heavy burdens of the air war in Vietnam.  This recent 1:32 release sheet by AoA Decals depicts the life and times of just one F-4J, BuNo 155565 /WU-5 assigned to Marine fighter/attack squadron VMFA-334 “Falcons.”  The squadron’s radio callsign was Lovebug, and hence, this was Lovebug 5.  The decals depict Lovebug 5 as it appeared in the SEA theater of operations at Da Nang (1968-69), Chu Lai, (1969) and finally at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan (1969).

Although aftermarket decals have been produced of the Phantoms from VMFA-334 Falcons, this sheet features properly shaped falcon insignias on the fuselage as well as correctly sized, large sized MODEX numbers. 

The decals come on two sheets – one with the aircraft/squadron-specific markings and the other featuring national insignia, intake warnings, rescue markings, and a few sundry maintenance stencils.  They were printed by Microscale, and they demonstrate outstanding print quality, sharpness, vibrant colors, and highly restrained printing of carrier film.  In a word, these Lovebug 5 markings are exquisite decals.  Sized for the Tamiya kit, decals don’t get better than this. 

The only thing missing here are airframe stencils, and this jet was extensively stenciled.  AoA Decals states in their instructions that airframe stencils were a bit beyond the scope of this one sheet (quite understandable) and besides, great 1:32 F-4J stencils can be sourced effortlessly – straight from the Tamiya kit’s decal sheet.  Or, even better, you might also want to check out AoA’s March 2019 release:  # 32-031 F-4B/J high-viz stencils.  These are the painted (open stencil) variety of data markings seen into the early 1970s on USN/USMC F-4Bs and F-4Js.  Just double check you references to make sure these are appropriate for Lovebug 5 (and I am virtually certain they are). 

This is a great offering – historic, poignant, and is of the highest quality, from the decals themselves to the carefully researched markings (including the assistance of Lovebug 5’s plane captain David Vining and Falcons squadron member Michael Maki). 

Many thanks to AoA Decals for the review sample.  You can find them on the web at http://www.aoadecals.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AOAdecals.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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