AOA Decals 32-023 VA-65 Tigers Part 1
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AOA Decals continues to bring us excellent decal sets with this first set on the aircraft of VA-65 'Tigers'. This unit was one of the first to fly the A-6, with its first cruise in the waters near Vietnam in 1966. Its last was to the Persian Gulf in 1991 and the unit disestablished in March of 1993.
This is the first of two sheets to cover the various deployments of VA-65, concentrating on its operations for the first ten years.
The first deployment was on the USS Constellation in 1966 where several of the planes were camouflaged in an experiment that proved to be of little value. One is depicted on this set.
Next is one in standard paint. At the time the unit's markings were pretty standard.
1967 meant a move to the USS Forrestal and another tour in the Tonkin Gulf.
Another Tonkin Gulf cruise was in 1968/69, this time on the USS Kitty Hawk
A move to the A-6E meant a move to the East Coast where the unit spent the rest of its career. The 1974/75 cruise aboard the USS Independence sported probably the most colorful markings that went on the unit's Intruders.
The final option on this sheet is from the next Independence cruise in 1975/76. By this time, the long fuselage marking had been removed, though the tail stripes stayed.
A few notes. Most of the A-6As had the perforated speed brakes while the A-6Es had not yet gotten their TRAM turrets. The only kit for this scale is by Trumpeter and it needs a bit of help to be brought up to specs. AOA has provided a page with drawings to show you how to do this.
The set includes a number of marking and stencil options for one aircraft with a rather comprehensive placement guide for these stencils. AOA offers additional stencil sheets if they are needed.
If you like your Intruders big, you should seriously consider this set.
Thanks to AOA Decals for the review sheet. You can find this sheet at this link.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.