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F3H Demon in
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F2H Banshee in
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SBD Dauntless in
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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale**********

F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale
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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


AoA Decals #72-001
Intruders from the Beach:
USMC A-6A Intruders in the Vietnam War
1:72 Scale



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The Grumman A-6 Intruder was the U.S. Navy’s primary carrier-based strike aircraft until 1997, flying for 37 years.  The Intruder’s heyday spanned the Vietnam conflict to the first Gulf War.  The United States Marine Corps also extensively employed the Intruder as it participated in many historic events over its service lifetime.  The A-6 is a favorite subject among scale modelers of modern U.S. naval aviation, and there are many A-6s out there in 1:72 scale.  Here, AoA Decals blows the lid off of the concept of an aftermarket decal sheet for Vietnam-era USMC A-6As.

AoA Decals’ first release in 1:72 scale is a literal decal superset.  It is based on their 1:32 scale offering (32-001), but with even more options and possibilities.  72-001 was produced with the Fujimi 1:72 A-6A Intruder in mind, but most decals are not kit-specific and can also be used on the Revell, Hasegawa, Italeri, and upcoming Hobby Boss/Trumpeter kits.  While there’s only one decal sheet in the envelope, what you get on this sheet is pretty amazing:

These 45 Intruders represent every A-6A that flew with VMA(AW)-225, -242, and -533. These various decal options can represent the same airplane during different tours and at different points in each tour, so in all there’s a whopping 64 different markings options here.  The attendant depth of careful research by AoA Decals is unique in the scale model business.

The decals were printed by Cartograf, and they are the best in the business, with their outstanding print quality, sharpness, vibrant colors, and highly restrained printing of carrier film.  The airframe stencils are likewise excellent and cover everything – and I mean every stencil on the gull grey over white Intruder scheme from the GRU-5 and-7 ejection seats to wingfold cylinder access panel stencils, MER/TERs, crew helmets, and drop tanks.  I know the A-6 fairly well, and the stencils are just about as true to life as scale decals can achieve.  I also love the cover art for 72-001: an original in-flight photo out the windscreen of one of the Intruders on the decal sheet, probably taken by the bombardier/navigator from the A-6 in trail.  It’s not retouched and makes me think it’s off of a 35mm slide – the look conveys that the image came out of the archives, and it brings their viewer back to this era quite effectively. It’s smart graphic design.

Some 80 pages of exhaustive instructions for airframe markings, technical notes, loadout variations, and historical notes are provided, but they are located on a CD-ROM as a PDF file.  Understandably, this approach is smart and cost effective to deliver instructions this long. The instructions cover introductory notes, how to modify the Fujimi kit to an A-6A, info on A-6A configurations, marking notes, typical ordnance loadout charts for the three squadrons, stencil placement, and a markings guide for all the aforementioned Intruders.

AoA Decals’ first release in 1:72 scale is exceptionally impressive.  These are top-rate decals and should be an absolute joy to work with in representing a Vietnam era 1:72 scale USMC A-6A Intruder.

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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