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A-4 Skyhawks


Cutting Edge Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

CED48161 - A-4 Skyhawks

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Double-sided full colour letter-sized instructions plus notes sheet; 1 x full-size decal sheet.
Price: USD$9.99
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Spectacular markings; national markings split to fit over kit features; wing walkways and tailhook markings supplied as decals; good instructions; reference sources, FS colour equivalents and model paints quoted.
Disadvantages: Limited stencil data supplied; no anti-glare decal.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




This is the last in the trilogy of new A-4 sheets from Cutting Edge. Like the other two sheets, this one also has markings for two aircraft.

The first one, Bureau No 155010, is in the familiar markings of VA-55 War Horses whilst it was aboard the USS Hancock (CVA-19) during one of the four cruises it underwent on Yankee Station in 1968. In the standard finish of Light Gull Grey over white it bears the bright markings befitting its status as a CAG aircraft. As well as the squadron’s standard green “check mark” on the fin and the green checkerboard on the fin tip it also has the spaces between the external stiffeners on the rudder filled in with colours. This latter feature has always stopped me from trying to replicate these markings. It is bad enough trying to paint a straight colour, let alone a checkerboard! Cutting Edge have come to the rescue and provided these as separate decals with an absolute minimum of film surrounding the design. No problem! Carefully apply the decal in place and touch it with some settling solution and you are there. The one downside to the markings provided is that there is no name supplied for the green rectangle that he War Horses painted beneath the cockpit. Sure, the aircraft probably flew without a name but this omission detracts from the overall effect.

The other Skyhawk is a USMC machine, A-4E, Bureau No 151197, belonging to VMFA-332. USMC A-4 markings are not exactly thick on the ground and this sheet goes towards addressing this shortage. It also bears the same basic Light Gull Grey and white finish. If the polka dot markings look familiar then you are right, they used to adorn the cowls of squadron’s F4-U-4 Corsairs during the Korean conflict. On the A-4 these markings have been somewhat simplified and evolved into a simple red stripe on the fin with red polka dots between the rudder’s ribs. The polka dots and stripes are produced as a single decal but if it were me applying them, I would separate the stripe from the polka dots and apply them one by one – tedious but safe! The other squadron markings consist of a straw hat and a cane and these are applied to the fuselage sides. A small nitpick here. The white band on the hat lacks polka dots as does the cane. Seeing that the complexity of the War Horses insignia has been faithfully reproduced the addition of the polka dots should have been easy.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

One set of basic stencils is provided as are one set of stars and bars. The fuselage stars and bars have been neatly produced as two separate decals to make their application around the airbrakes a simple task – thank you Cutting Edge. The wing walks are also provided, but again, there is no anti-glare panel. Intake warning triangles are also provided in three distinctly different types, only one of which is appropriate to both aircraft. Another good idea on Cutting Edge’s behalf is the supply of the white/yellow rectangles that fit over the edge of the canopy and fuselage in two styles – a one piece one for a closed canopy and a two piece one for an open canopy.

All together a good little package. If you want a little inspiration to build a War Horse’s aircraft have a look at the box art of the Hasegawa 1/72 scale kit. By using this sheet and adding a few other decals it is possible.


Thanks to Cutting Edge Modelworks for the review samples..

Cutting Edge Modelworks products, including Cutting Edge Decals, can be viewed at
Meteor Productions website

Review Copyright © 2001 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 12 September, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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