Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

A-4M Decals Reference

by David W. Aungst

 

Model Picture

 


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron

 

Background

 

What good is a conversion set without some decals to finish the model? Timed to be released with the A-4M conversion set, Cutting Edge has three new decal releases.

I have been consulting with Meteor Productions on A-4M markings for almost as long as the A-4M conversion sets. I was very pleased to be able to include a couple of my "wish list" schemes into the mix of aircraft that Cutting Edge is producing.

 

 

A-4M Scooters, Part 1 (CED48193)

Decal Sheet CED48193

 

This sheet includes three Skyhawk aircraft -- one A-4M, one A-4KU, and one TA-4KU.

  • The first aircraft on this sheet is from VMA-131 "Diamondbacks". This was the last US Marine combat Skyhawk, retired in August of 1994. It is a middle-production A-4M with the ARBS camera fitted into the nose. The paint scheme was designed and applied by a couple friends of mine, Ed Miranda and Gary Campbell. They wanted to commemorate the retirement of the Skyhawk by taking the aircraft back to the days of high-vis markings. The result of their labor was nothing short of spectacular. I have included below a few pictures of the actual aircraft for your enjoyment.

    Picture Picture Picture Picture
    Picture Picture Picture Picture
  • The second aircraft is an A-4KU Skyhawk of the Royal Kuwaiti Air Force. Flown during Operation Desert Storm, these aircraft had the text "FREE KUWAIT" painted on their sides. I have never heard conclusively if this was a statement of who owned the aircraft or a statement of their mission.
     
  • The third aircraft is a TA-4KU Skyhawk. While Hasegawa does not currently make a TA-4KU nor does Cutting Edge currently make a conversion, the decals would work just fine on the Monogram OA-4M kit.

    Note that while similar to an OA-4M Skyhawk, there are some unique differences between the TA-4KU and the OA-4M. The TA-4KU has bulged intakes like the A-4M, the OA-4M does not. In fact, the TA-4KU is the only new-build two-seat Skyhawk to get the bulged intakes. Also, the TA-4KU has no antennae around the nose tip or engine exhaust, where the OA-4M has the same antennae that the A-4M does.

 

 

A-4M Scooters, Part 2 (CED48194)

 

Decal Sheet CED48194This sheet includes two aircraft. Both are A-4M Skyhawks.

  • The first aircraft on this sheet is from VMA-214 "Black Sheep". It is an early-production A-4M, still using the original A-4F-style nose tip and engine exhaust antennae. Note that the nose tip was newly replaced and does not match the color of the rest of the nose.
     
  • The second aircraft is from VMA-311 "Tomcats". It is a middle-production A-4M, prior to when the ARBS camera was fitted in the nose. The following pictures are from the Ed Miranda archive and show good details on this aircraft.

    Picture

    Picture

    Picture

    Picture

 

 

A-4M Scooters, Part 3 (CED48195)

Decal Sheet CED48195

 

This sheet includes two aircraft. Both are A-4M Skyhawks. Picture

  • The first aircraft on this sheet is from VMAT-102. It is an early-production A-4M, still using the original A-4F-style nose tip and engine exhaust antennae. This picture shows the details of the aircraft.
Picture
  • The second aircraft is from VMA-331 "Killer Bees". They are also known as the "Bumblebees", but don't let any of the unit personnel hear you call them that. This is a late-production "Super Mike" A-4M with all the latest modifications and antennae fitted. In fact, it is the third to last Skyhawk ever built. This picture shows the details of the aircraft.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

These decals live up to the standards already set by Cutting Edge in the past. The print quality is good, the subject matter is interesting, and each aircraft is rather colorful. Paired with the A-4M conversion I previously reviewed, you will be able to create models that will stand out on your display shelves.

These are exciting times for me. I have waited a long time for A-4Ms to be possible without going to the trouble I had when I built the A-4M conversion that was in FSM some years back. Armed with these decals, I have one A-4M Skyhawk mostly finished, already, and I plan on building a couple more.


Text, & Images Copyright 2002 by David W. Aungst
Page Created 22 July, 2002
Last Updated 19 April, 2004

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reference Library