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New Review: Punchers and Tigers, USN A-6E Intruders in the Cold War & Desert Storm

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Review Author: 
Dave Morrissette
AOA Decals

AOA Decals is known for its well-researched and executed decals covering the Vietnam War and newer eras with an emphasis on USMC and USN subjects. Set 72-010 continues their growth in 1/72nd scale with Punchers and Tigers, which covers two low visibility marking periods of two Navy A-6 Intruder squadrons - VA-65 Tigers and VA-75 Sunday Punchers, with coverage spanning from the 1980s into Operation Desert Storm in 1991. 

Inside the package, there is a beautiful 4x7 inch decal sheet with great detail and printed by Microscale. There are full color profiles covering all six markings with details about each plane such as different lighting configurations, color call outs, and details specific to each airframe. There are also detailed top views on a separate sheet and a sheet covering paint notes, ejection seat decals, and stencil notes. All full color which is nice!

The six marking options included are:

  • VA-65 Tigers, AG-500, 160995, USS Eisenhower, 1981/82
  • VA-65 Tigers, AJ-500, 161675, USS Roosevelt, 1991
  • VA-65 Tigers, AJ-503, 155620, USS Roosevelt, 1991
  • VA-65 Tigers, AJ-511, 159314, USS Roosevelt, 1991
  • VA-75 Sunday Punchers, AC-505, USS Kennedy, NAS Oceana 1989/90 
  • VA-75 Sunday Punchers, AC-504, USS Kennedy, NAS Oceana 1991 

Decals also included for fuel tanks, tailhooks, formation lights, and ejection seats.

One of the real highlights of this set to me is the inclusion of AJ-503. This had been painted in brown/sand colored markings on top as a trial while still retaining its gray standard color bottom. It is a unique scheme and really stands out from the normal Navy line jets and gray, gray and more gray. As a bonus, AG-500 has a nice white radome so while this mostly covers line jets, there are some colorful options.

In summary, well researched information and colorful choices along with decals printed by Microscale and full color instructions, this is highly recommended to dress up the Fujimi kit you might already have in your stash.

My thanks to everyone at AOA Decals for their efforts and the opportunity to review this great set of markings

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