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Aggressive Scooters

US Navy A-4 Skyhawk Aggressor

 

 

Gekko Graphics

 

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: GG48-003 - Aggressive Scooters
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Two decal sheets (one full-size, one smaller); four sheets of single sided, full color instructions; one folded 8.5 x 11 inch notebook page
Price: AUD$18 each plus $3 postage and handling
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Good variety of schemes; high  quality decals with perfect registration; accurate schemes; attractive colour artwork; good quality notes on individual aircraft and colours; four-views included in instructions
Disadvantages: ALPS printed main black sheet
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by David W. Aungst


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Background

 

Gekko Graphics amazed the modeling community last year with there well designed and thoroughly researched decals for the A-4G/K Skyhawks in New Zealand service. It has been too long coming, but Gekko Graphics has finally released their next decal sheet. Still for the A-4 Skyhawk, the new sheet provides four aircraft from the Naval Fighter Weapons School (NFWS), "Topgun".

 

 

FirstLook

 

The package for these decals arrives as thick as the New Zealand decals were last year. Stuffed inside the zip-lock bag are two decal sheets, a color cover page highlighting all four aircraft provided in the package, four full color half-page camouflage diagrams, and one folded 8.5 x 11 inch notebook page with further descriptions about the aircraft. The instructions, besides looking great in full color, are priceless in that they provide full four-view coverage of each of the four aircraft. This keeps right in line with the high standards of research that Gekko set for their products last year.

 

Decal Sheet Image

 

The decals are broken down into two sheets. The larger sheet provides all the black and white markings and the metallic gold name blocks (the scan above does not show the metallic name blocks correctly, they are true metallic gold). This large sheet is printed on an ALPS printer. The smaller sheet provides all the various color markings for the aircraft. This includes rescue markings and the Topgun unit badges. The smaller sheet is silk-screen printed the same as most other decal manufacturers.

The four aircraft provided on the sheet are each very different from the others, making the sheet very useful and making it so there is something that most everybody will like. The four aircraft on the sheet are really only two real aircraft with one version for one aircraft and three different versions for a second aircraft. They are as follows.

 

Camouflage Diagram

#1: A-4E 152080, 1992. This aircraft is provided in a very interesting green/brown sort-of wraparound tiger stripe pattern.


 

Camouflage Diagram

#2: A-4E 150023. This is a blue/gray mottled scheme. This is the camouflage the aircraft wore when it retired from Topgun in the late 1980s.


 

Camouflage Diagram

#3: A-4E 150023. This is a version of the Heater-Ferris scheme as seen on the F-4S aircraft of VF-301 and VF-302. I have never been able to pin down a date on this scheme. Attributes of the airframe would indicate it occurred in the middle 1980s, just before the blue/gray scheme provided by option #2.

 

Camouflage Diagram

#4: A-4E 150023, October 1980. This is a brown/tan mottled scheme. This is the scheme the aircraft wore in October of 1980, just prior to when this same aircraft wore the MiG scheme. If you compare this camouflage to the MiG scheme, you will note the pattern of the brown and tan is identical between the two schemes. This aircraft was simply masked over and light gray was added to make the silhouette of the MiG 17 using this already present camouflage pattern.


 

For my own purposes, the three versions of 150023 on this decal sheet are very welcome. I have a group project I want to build (someday) that encompasses all seven schemes worn by 150023 in Topgun service. Between TwoBobs and this Gekko sheet, I have five of the seven versions covered.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Richard is killing me with his Skyhawk sheets.

As if I did not already have enough Skyhawks that I wanted to build, he has added another definite project to my growing "Skyhawks to build" list. I actually want to build all four versions on this sheet, but the three 150023 versions were already on my list. Richard only answered my prayers and provided the decals to build them without having to move mountains to com up with the markings.

Highly Recommended

Thanks to Gekko Graphics for the review samples


Gekko Graphics decals are available online from their website


Review Copyright 2003 by David W. Aungst
This Page Created on 23 July, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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