by: Tim Hatton [ ]
Markings included with this release features A-6Es from VA-65, VA-36, VA-35, VA-85 and VA-75. There is as an added bonus there is a KA-6D from VA-75 as well. The experimental disruptive desert camouflage scheme of light and mid brown is included for something a little different. Afterburner has designed the decals for the Revell and the upcoming Hobby Boss kits.
Inside the resealable transparent bag is:
-8 x A4 pages of colour guides including the front cover.
-1 x A4 sheet of decals.
Markings include :
A-6E 161675: VA-65 ‘The Tigers’ CAG, USS Theodore Roosevelt, January 1991.
‘500’ has light compass grey [FS 36375] under surfaces and dark compass grey [FS 36320] upper surfaces. ‘Garfield is painted on the nose wearing a flight helmet and looks a bit threatening with a baseball bat. The rudder features a small Tiger motif on the rudder. Port and starboard profile views are provided.
A-6E 155620: VA-65 ‘The Tigers’, USS Theodore Roosevelt, January, 1991.
‘503’has painted light compass grey [FS 36375] under surfaces and the upper surfaces has a disruptive scheme of USMC sand [FS 33711] and the darker colour is a mix of FS 33711 and FS 30140 mixed 50:50. Decal stencilling, marking and number are a mix of the two upper surface colours. The rudder features a small Tiger motif on the rudder and it’s interesting as half the tiger is painted the lighter brown and the other half is the darker brown of the disruptive colour scheme. Port and starboard profile views are provided.
A-6E 155600: VA-36 ‘The Roadrunners’ CO, USS Theodore Roosevelt, January 1991 and March 1991.
There are two options with this aircraft, the aircraft from January 1991 sports nose art in the form off a semi clad woman reclining on a red heart with the words ‘heart less’ written over the heart. ‘536’ also has 20 mission tallies on the port air intake.
For the March 1991 version, ‘536’ has the art work on the nose replaced by 27 mission tallies.
A-6E 158051: VA-36 ‘The Roadrunners’ CAG, USS Theodore Roosevelt, March 1991.
‘530’ features 7 mission markings on the nose.
A-6E 155716: VA-36 ‘The Roadrunners’, USS Theodore Roosevelt, March 1991.
‘535’ has an impressive 31 mission tallies on the nose.
Note:all of the A-6E’s from VA-36 sport the head of a Roadrunner in red on the tail, with the exception of ‘535’, which has a black coloured Roadrunners head. All aircraft from VA-36 are finished light compass grey [FS 36375] under surfaces and dark compass grey [FS 36320] upper surfaces.
A-6E 154135: VA-35 ‘The Black Panthers’ CAG, USS Saratoga, January 1991.
‘500’ has 22 mission tallies painted just under both sides of the canopy. Port and starboard profile views are provided.
A-6E 152953: VA-35 ‘The Black Panthers’, USS Saratoga, January 1991.
‘505’ 13 mission tallies painted just under both sides of the canopy. Port and starboard profile views are provided.
Note:VA-35 A-6E’s were fitted with the older style perforated air brakes. Both VA-35 aircraft have the Squadron emblem painted on the tail, a black panther within a black circle. Both aircraft from VA-35 are finished light compass grey [FS 36375] under surfaces and dark compass grey [FS 36320] upper surfaces.
A-6E 155678: VA-85 ‘The Black Falcons’ CAG, USS America, April 1991.
‘500’ is sporting an incredible 36 mission tallies painted on the nose.
A-6E 162190: VA-75 ‘Sunday Punchers’ CAG, USS John F Kennedy, March 1991.
‘500’ has 30 mission tallies painted on the nose.
A-6E 162191: VA-75 ‘Sunday Punchers’ CO, USS John F Kennedy, March 1991.
‘501’ has 25 mission tallies painted on the nose.
Note:The aircraft from VA-85 and VA-75 are finished light compass grey [FS 36375] under surfaces and dark compass grey [FS 36320] upper surfaces.
KA-6D 152927: VA-75 ‘Sunday Punchers’, USS John F Kennedy, March 1991.
This tanker has white [FS 17875] under surfaces and light aircraft grey [FS 16440] upper surfaces.
Instructions: there are full colour views of the portside of each aircraft to aid the placement of markings. Selected aircraft as noted above have starboard views as well. There are upper and lower plan views providing the guidance for applying the walkways and modex numbers. The upper plan view of the disruptive desert camouflage of ‘155620 is a very useful inclusion. The colour views also provide guidance for the placement of stencils. There are enough stencils to complete two aircraft.
Decals: the quality of the print by Cartograf is simply stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film and excellent colour depth. All the written stencils are sharp and legible, even the tiniest of stencils. There are enough stencils and wing walk ways for two aircraft, but there is nothing to stop the modeller from using the kits stencils to be able to utilise even more of the above markings. The two colour brown marking and stencils for ‘503’ will mean that you need to stick very closely to the disruptive camouflage pattern on the upper and side surfaces. For example the code [AJ] on the port side of the tail, the ‘A’ is split into two colours as it straddles the colour demarcation. If you don’t have the camouflage pattern correctly applied some of the decals won’t be in the correct position. Follow the camouflage scheme of ‘503’ closely and you should have no problems.
Included in the decals are wing walk ways, ‘no steps’ signs, formation lights, what look like flare and chaff dispensers under the fuselage, and much, much more.
Application: Decals respond very well to Microsol, you will see the decals crinkle slightly, but don’t be tempted to brush out the creases. I found that the decals conform very well too low relief detail. Afterburner has reduced the amount of carrier film to a minimum so do not attempt to cut too close to the decal in order to reduce the amount of carrier film. It’s not necessary. In fact it is well worth your while taking a close look at some of the markings to determine the extent of the carrier film. You will notice that the carrier film will follow the shape of the letters or stencils very closely rather than surrounding them with excessive carrier film. This does have an effect when moving decals from the sheet to the model and you need to move them with a little caution. As there is little carrier film the decals look almost painted on after a coat or two of Kleer.
This is another superb release from the team at Afterburner Decals. This release provides a good range of markings for the A-6E during and just after ‘Desert Storm’. The inclusion of the KA-6D is a real treat. Nice one Afterburner.