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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


Furball Aero-Design Iron Tadpoles: A-6A/B Intruders of the Vietnam War -- 1:48 Scale


The Grumman A-6 Intruder was the primary long-range strike aircraft of the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps from 1963 to 1997.  Following its distinguished service in the Vietnam war, the A-6 saw combat in the 1986 airstrikes on Libya in Operations PRAIRIE FIRE and EL DORADO CANYON.  In 1991, the Intruder was a deep-strike workhorse during Operation DESERT STORM.

Here, Furball Aero-Design has re-released one of their long out-of-print and long in demand Iron Tadpoles sheet in 1:48 scale.  This set contains markings for 14 A-6As and one A-6B aircraft as they appeared during the Vietnam conflict:

As is always the case, these decals are typical Furball – they are top-notch.  They are sized and optimized for the Hobby Boss kit which is widely regarded as the best 1:48 scale Intruder out there.  However, many of these markings can be adapted without any difficulty and used on any 1:48 Intruder (e.g., Revell, Kinetic). 

The quality of both the decal design/artwork by Furball and the printing by Cartograf is equally superlative.  Decals simply doesn't get any better than this.  The set also includes a very detailed loadout guide for external stores.  There are airframe stencils enough to cover two aircraft.

The choices in schemes are visually quite interesting and unique.  These are of course high-viz gull gray-over white markings with lots of color from their radomes to their rudders.  There are a lot of iconic schemes in here, from the Black Panthers to the Sunday Punchers, Boomers, Swordsman, Green Lizards, Main Battery, and the USMC’s Fighting Bengals.  There are multiple schemes with mission markings as well.  Of note, the sheet covers one of the 13 A-6s modified to carry the centerline PAVE Knife targeting pod – a first generation ancestor to later generations of LANTIRN, Sniper, and other precision weapon targeting systems.  There’s also an A-6B aircraft that was an IRON HAND jet.  This SAM-killing Intruder featured a number of airframe modifications that will require some conversion work.  You can figure it out and read more about the A-6B here: http://rickmorganbooks.com/a-6b-standard-arm.html      

It’s great to see this set reprinted from Furball Aero-Design.  It will allow scale modelers to represent some very historic A-6 Intruders.  The high standard of research also shines through on the accuracy of these decals.

Many thanks to Furball Aero-Design for the review sample.  You can find them on the web at http://www.furballaero-design.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FurballAeroDesign

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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