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Skyraiders Part 2


Cutting Edge Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

72096; 48096

Scale: 1/72 and 1/48 scale
Contents and Media: Double-sided full colour A-4 instructions plus notes sheet; 1 x full-size decal sheet.
Price: USD$8.99 each from Meteor Productions
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Interesting subjects; perfect register; good saturation; complete markings; excellent instructions including notes on each aircraft and marking requirements.
Disadvantages: No stars and bars for USN option.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




This is one of Cutting Edge’s earlier efforts.  Issued in 1/72 scale as CED72096 and in 1/48 scale as CED48096, this sheet covers four different A-1H Skyraiders, two belonging to the USN with the other two bearing USAF markings. 

First up is A-1H “Midnight Cowboy” of the 1st Special Operations Squadron (SOS), 56th Special Operations Wing (SOW).  The markings provided for this aircraft allow you to model it as it appeared at Nakhon Phanom (or as it was more commonly referred to as -“Naked Fanny”) - Royal Thai Air Force Base between October 1969 and April 1970.  The aircraft is painted in the standard South East Asia (SEA) camouflage of greens FS34102 and FS34079, tan FS 302219, and grey FS 36622.  The individual markings provided include: 

·        The wing marking codes and serials for the tail – supplied in two parts;  a slightly larger tan coloured one and a black one to place on top of the tan one.  I would guess that Cutting edge have gone this route to prevent any register problems. 

·        The “Midnight Cowboy” script – one of each side of the cowl.  There are four scripts in all.  Two of them are in the same tan as the surrounds for the tail codes and two are in white/grey.  I guess the script has a white/grey shadow to it and you have to apply it first to replicate the one-to-one example. 

·        The remainder of the decals for this aircraft includes the stars and bars, pilot’s name for the canopy rail, limited stencil data (ejection seat warning triangle and yellow “rescue” arrow, “257”s for the front of the undercarriage doors,. the crew chief’s name which is also on the undercarriage door – this appears to have been standard practice for this squadron. 

Next up is another 1st SOS aircraft A-1H “Blood, Sweat and Tears”.   Basic markings and colour scheme are the same as “Midnight Cowboy” except that she wore temporary black undersides for some missions and sported a replacement cowling ring that was painted grey.  There are other minor differences to stencil data borne by this aircraft and these are also supplied along with the appropriate serials and pilot/crew chief names. 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The first USN machine is Bureau Number 137612 belonging to VA-115 “Arabs” as the squadron was then called – it now bears the title “Eagles” and EFR, but that is another story! – whilst they were aboard the USS Hancock in 1967.  The aircraft is painted in the standard USN gull grey and white finish with a green fincap.  Apart from the standard markings, less the stars and bars, the decals include: 

·        A green fincap with the squadron’s white camel.  You have the option of applying the complete fincap as a decal, which includes the squadron camel marking or painting the fincap and applying a separate white camel. 

·        40 black feet, yep you read right!  There are 40 black feet that you apply footprint wise in a track-wise from one wingtip, over the fuselage and out to the other wingtip.  Just why the aircraft was marked this way is not clear and the instruction sheet requests that, if you do know, you to tell the guys at Cutting Edge. 

The last aircraft is the famous A-1H Bureau number 137534 – modex 409 of VA-176 Thunderbolts whilst aboard the USS Intrepid in 1966. 

The markings borne by the aircraft of VA-176 are controversial, to say that the least.  Debate rages from just which of their aircraft actually shot down the Mig on 9 October 1966 to what colour the lightning bolt on the tail was – red or orange? 

As with the VA-115 machine, the standard USN markings are supplied, again without the stars and bars.  Other markings include: 

  • VA-146’s orange tailed bee for the fin/rear fuselage, red “Battle” Es, bomb markings, pilot’s name, and the famous Mig kill silhouette.

Where this sheet shines is the instruction sheet.  A double sided page is included that gives details on each of the aircraft.  It advises which seats were in the aircraft (the Yankee Extraction System seat or the plain old aluminium bucket) as well as informing you on the different markings quirks with each aircraft.  It is with the VA-176 aircraft that the sheet is invaluable as it gives Cutting Edge’s reasons for providing the markings in the size/colour and format that they have – you have me convinced fellas!  The sheet provides an extensive bibliography as well as a matrix showing readily available modelling paint matches to FS 595.  An excellent on-line reference for the USAF aircraft is the Official A-1 Skyraider Site at http://skyraider.org/  where not only will you find pictures of 1st SOS aircraft, but you can also listen to the intel debrief on the VA-146 Mig shootdown incident and watch video footage of Skyraiders in action. 

In 1/72 scale, the sheet has been designed to fit the Hasegawa kit, whilst in 1/48 scale Cutting Edge recommends either the Tamiya or Monogram kits.   

The only disadvantage that I can see with this sheet is that it does not supply the stars and bars for the USN options.  Other than that it is thoroughly recommended with the correct VA-146 markings alone being worth the entry price.

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 © 2002 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 08 October, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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