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US Navy Prowlers & Intruders

 

 

Aeromaster Decals

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: AMD48-535, 48-536 and 48-537.
Scale: 1/48 scale.
Contents and Media: AMD48-535 - 1 full size decal sheet 203mm x137mm; 1 small supplementary decal sheet 135mm x 45mm; 1 letter-sized colour placement guide (double-sided).
AMD48-536 - 1 full size decal sheet 203mm x137mm; 1 medium supplementary decal sheet 135mm x 97mm; 1 letter-sized colour placement guide (double-sided).
AMD48-537 - double decal sheet set; 2 full size decal sheet 203mm x137mm;  1 letter-sized colour placement guide (double-sided).
Price: Listed prices on the AMD web site are;
AMD48-535 USD$9.00
AMD48-536 USD$10.00 and
AMD48-537 (double decal sheet set) USD$12.00. 
Review Type: First Look.
Advantages: Interesting subjects; perfect registration; minimal carrier film; tail markings for Black-tailed aircraft are separate (modeller simply needs to paint tail Black); attractive instructions; all profiles in colour; low-vis Grey schemes nicely rendered; optional decals provided where applicable; basic stencil markings included.
Disadvantages:  
Recommendation: Highly Recommended.


Reviewed by John Kerr


Aeromaster's 1/48 scale Prowler Decals are available online from Squadron.com

 

More Grumman Cats From AeroMaster

 

AeroMaster's first set of new 1/48 scale releases since their merger with Eagle Strike Productions (late 2001) included several sets for modern US Navy subjects; F-14 Tomcats, EA-6B Prowlers and E-6E Intruders.

In this review, I examine those sets which cover the Prowlers (6 aircraft spread over two sets) and Intruders (3 aircraft on one set):

  • 48-535  "Navy Prowlers Pt. II"

  • 48-536  "Navy Prowlers Pt. III"

  • 48-537 "Colorful A-6 Intruders".
     

 

48-535 "Navy Prowlers Pt. II"

 

The "Suggested Kit: Revell/Monogram or Airfix EA-6B" comment on the bottom of the instruction sheet title page prompts me to think these kits are getting "a bit long in the tooth" and a new Prowler kit in 1/48 scale would be appreciated by many modellers -  are you listening Tamiya or Hasegawa?  

Set 48-535 covers three EA-6Bs all finished in the standard US Navy Tactical Paint Scheme (TPS) low-visibility scheme of Medium Grey FS 35237, Dark Ghost Grey FS 36320 and Light Ghost gret FS 36375.

 

Aircraft 1 : EA-6B BuNo. 161884 "Black 621" of VAQ-132 "Scorpions", USS Enterprise
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.  "Black 621" is depicted during Operation Southern Watch, Carrier Air Wing 17 on board the USS Enterprise, Persian Gulf (date of deployment not provided).  Unit marking of a large scorpion tail is depicted in Black on the tailfin.  Aircraft markings, codes, national insignia (small style) and stencil are Black.  This aircraft also operated in slightly different low-vis Grey markings so alternate insignia, intake warnings, exhaust warnings are provided..


 

Aircraft 2 : EA-6B BuNo. 161359 "Black 500" of VAQ-141 "Shadowhawks", USS Theodore Roosevelt
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.    "Black 500" is depicted during Operation Allied Force flying from USS Theodore Roosevelt (date of deployment not provided).  Unit marking of a large stylised Black Bird, complete with Red eye, takes up most of the tailfin - a very striking and aggressive marking indeed !  Aircraft codes and numbers are in Black while the remaining insignia (small style) and stencil are in typical low-vis Greys.  


 

Aircraft 3 : EA-6B BuNo. 162225 "Black 630" of VAQ-153 "Wizards
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.  "Black 630" is from Operation Allied Force, 1999 (date and deployment details nor provided).  Unit marking of a Yellow trident is superimposed over Red (upper) and Black (lower) painted rudder.  Aircraft numbers, codes and national insignia (small style) are Black witht he remaining stencils are low-vis Greys.  

 Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

 

 

48-536 "Navy Prowlers Pt. III"

 

Set 48-536 covers three more EA-6Bs all finished in the standard US Navy Tactical Paint Scheme (TPS) low-visibility scheme of Medium Grey FS 35237, Dark Ghost Grey FS 36320 and Light Ghost Grey FS 36375.

 

aircraft 1 : EA-6B BuNo. 163527 "Black 500" of VAQ-135 "Black Ravens", USS Carl Vinson
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.  "Raven 500" is depicted during deployment in Operation Desert Fox, Fall 1998.  Crew names are unknown and the provided names belong to "sister-ship Raven 501".  Unit marking on the tail is a stylised Raven which straddles a band comprising  Jade Green, Blue and Jade Green stripes which widen as they go up the tailfin.   Unit marking of a stylised Raven is on the tail.  Rudder is painted Black.  National insignia (small style) and stencil data are in standard low-vis greys.


 

aircraft 2 : EA-6B BuNo. 161115 "White 620" of VAQ-1 "Rooks", USS George Washington
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.    "White 620" is depicted aboard USS George Washington during WESTPAC deployment, Summer 1988.  Unit markings consist of a Black bird on the rudder, which is painted White, and a thin horizontal strip of small Black and White checks on the tailfin.  National insignia (small style) are full colour.  In keeping with the late 1980s (when USN schemes were transitioning between semi low-vis and full low-vis schemes and markings) the aircraft markings, codes and stencil data are a real  mixture of Black and White.  Wing walks and on this aircraft are Black - these are provided as decals.


 

aircraft 3 : EA-6B BuNo. 158816 "Black 500" of VAQ-135 "Black Ravens", USS Carl Vinson
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.  "Black 500" is the CAG flagship of Carrier Airwing Eleven in November 2000 and is a different aircraft to the similar marked "Black 500" aircraft #1 on this set.  Unit marking on the tail is the same stylised Raven as worn on aircraft #1, in this case the bird straddles two Blue stripes which widen as they go up the tailfin.   Rudder is also painted Black.  National insignia (small style) and stencil data are in standard low-vis greys.

 Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

 

 

48-537 "Colorful A-6 Intruders"

 

Similar to the EA-6B Prowler, the "Suggested Kit: Revell/Monogram A-6E Intruder" comment on the instruction sheet title makes me think a new-tool A-6E 1/48 Intruder kit is also overdue.  This double decal sheet set covers three very colourful A-6E Intruders from the swan-song days of the Intruders in the mid to late 1990s.  All three carry the aircraft number "500" and are finished in the standard US Navy Tactical Paint Scheme (TPS) low-visibility scheme of Medium Grey FS 35237, Dark Ghost Grey FS 36320 and Light Ghost Grey FS 36375.:

 

aircraft 1 : A-6E BuNo 164382 "Blue 500" (Composite Wing) VA-75 "Sunday Punchers" USS Enterprise
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.  "Blue 500" from VA-74 "Sunday Punchers" aboard USS Enterprise, Oceana NAS (VA-74 was decommissioned in February 1997).  All of the major markings; including unit markings, national insignia (small style) and warning stencils are in colour - which makes for a colourful bird !  But wait, if you think this aircraft is colourful then take a look at the remaining 2 aircraft on the set. 


 

aircraft 2 : A-6E BuNo 155704 "Black 500" (Composite Wing) VA-115 "Eagles" Astugi NAF, Japan, 1995
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.  "Black 500" from VA-115 "Eagles" is depicted as at Astugi US Naval Air Facility (NAF)  in Japan during 1995.  Overall tail is Black with Yellow fin cap.  The "NF CVW5" Yellow codes on the rudder are depicted in an oriental style which is very appropriate for a unit operating out of Japan.  Wing walks and on this aircraft are Black.  To add even more colour - the national insignia (small style) is in full colour and the "Navy" logo is graded (from top to bottom) in Blue/White/Red. 

There is an intriguing note about this aircraft on the instruction sheet - "This aircraft was shot down by JMSDF's Flak at REMPAC cruise by accident!"  Accidentally shot down by the Japanese - I bet the incident report would make interesting bedtime reading! 


 

aircraft 3 : A-6E BuNo 159579 "Black 500" (Composite Wing) VA-196 "Main Battery"
Overall finish is standard FS 35237/36320/36375 TPS.  "Black 500" is the CAG from VA-196 "Main Battery" is depicted during February 1997 (I presume based at Astugi NAF, although it is not stated on the instructions).  In my opinion, this is the most colourful of the three A-6Es on this set.  The tail is painted Black with the unit marking of a stylised Samuri's head rendered in Red, Yellow and White.  The CAG colours are on the rudder in what I would best describe as a strip of upside down hearts.  All of the major markings; including unit markings, national insignia (small style) and warning stencils are Black. 

 Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

 

 

Conclusion

 

The EA-6B Prowler and A-6E Intruder are the "poor relation" in 1/48 scale kit form in comparison to the more high-profile F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Hornets.  However these three sets, two for Prowlers and one for Intruders, give us plenty of colourful markings which might just motivate fellow modellers to dig out a Prowler and/or Intruder kit from the bottom of their (model kit) stash.

The printing is very crisp and in perfect register with the lighter coloured markings for the unit markings extremely well done.  

Each set has three-view coloured profiles and brief notes on the instruction sheet (each set has the now standard letter-size double-sided page).  

All three sets are highly recommended and can be purchased on-line at the Eagle Strike / AeroMaster web-site. 

Highly Recommended.

Review sets kindly supplied by Eagle Strike / AeroMaster.


Text Copyright 2002 by John Kerr
Page Created 27 February 2002
Last updated 22 July 2003

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