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A-4M/A-4KU Skyhawks

Part One



Cutting Edge Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

CED48193 - A-4M/A-4KU Skyhawks Part One

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 from Meteor Productions website
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Three interesting subject options; national markings split to fit over kit features; painted rudder trim, wing walkways and tailhook markings supplied as decals; good instructions; reference sources, FS colour equivalents and model paints quoted.
Disadvantages: Purchase of additional resin conversion parts required if these options to be used on Hasegawa kit.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




This is a new decal release containing some late model Skyhawks from Cutting Edge. CED48193 provides markings for a single USMC machine as well as two Kuwait Air Force aircraft.

The USMC option is “Viper”, an A-4M, Bureau number 160024. The aircraft is depicted when it carried the retirement scheme markings of VMA-131 Diamondbacks in August of 1994. This Scooter is finished in gull grey and white but is bought alive with the black and yellow markings of the Diamondbacks.

You must paint the rudder black but the yellow trim that was on the rudder’s reinforcement ribs is provided as a decal – a good move by Cutting Edge as masking and painting these little ribs is a very time consuming task and as well as an exercise in patience.

The Airwing identifier “QG”, Diamondbacks and MARINES titles, “last four” of the Bureau number, double zero, and names of the CO and Marine Air Group commander are all black, edged with yellow.

There are two sets of black, with yellow diamonds “sashes”, one set for the fuselage sides and a smaller set for the 400-gallon tank that was carried on the centreline station. USMC emblems are also provided for the tank (This tank is not provided in the Hasegawa kit but is available separately from Cutting Edge as CEC48403).

There are two large badges provided. One for each side of the fuselage with the left one being the squadron badge whilst the other is the squadron’s 50th Anniversary badge.

Six stars and bars are provided. Two of them are in two parts so that you can apply them to open airbrakes. I guess the extra two are “spares”. A pair of black wingwalks, a black striped tailhook decal, intake warnings, and rescue arrows round out the markings for this option. Curiously, there are no ejection seat triangles. The decal placement guide does not show them either so I’d guess that they weren’t on the one-to-one scale example. Be aware that you need to convert the Hasegawa A-4E/F to –M standards using the Cutting Edge Conversion, CEC48401 A-4M Airframe Conversion, if you want to replicate this aircraft.

The next option is for an A-4KU from 9 Squadron, Free Kuwait Air Force whilst based at Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia between August 1990 and March 1991. Looking very much like it is assigned to a USN aggressor squadron, the aircraft is finished in a two-tone brown desert scheme with light grey undersides. Markings are minimal so as not to compromise the camouflage with the only colour being provided by the Saudi flag on the fin, the red of the intake warnings and ejection seat triangles as well as the yellow of the rescue arrows. If you want to add this –KU to your Skyhawk shelf then you need to modify the Hasegawa A-4E/F kit using the Cutting Edge resin conversion (CEC483333 – A-4KU Airframe Conversion)

The last option is also a Kuwait Air Force machine, a TA-4KU again, from 9 Squadron. The airframe is also finished in the same colours as the previous machine. The instruction sheet states that the TA-4KU is very similar to the USMC OA-4M so you need to track one of the Monogram OA-4M kits (currently out of production) if you want to use these markings. The instruction sheet also advises you that this aircraft was manufactured with the bulged “Super Fox” intakes and that they are available from Cutting Edge as a resin conversion (CEC48316).

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Decal placement is guided by Cutting Edge’s standard full-colour double-sided A-4 sized sheet. A further sheet provides very comprehensive notes for each option as well as a FS 595 colour cross-reference for each of the colours needed to paint your kit.

Cutting Edge is certainly courageous in their choice of subjects. Each of the options on this sheet require the purchase of further resin conversion sets which will certainly limit its appeal to the average modeller.


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 15 October, 2002
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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