AOA Decals

1/48 A-4C & A-4E Battle Scooters decal sheet

Product # 48-008 for Hasegawa kits

Product  Article by Steve Bamford on Mar 23 2017



USN/USMC A-4C & A-4E Skyhawks in the Vietnam War

This extensive decal sheet from AOA Decals is Part 1 and focuses on four A-4 Skyhawk squadrons in the Vietnam War. Typical for most of AOA's coverage of Vietnam USN/USMC aircraft, this sheet also provides the modeler with the choice of time periods for a specific squadron; and in the case of the A-4, also a choice of aircraft with and without the later avionics hump if appropriate. An exception are VA-106, with only their second/final Vietnam cruise included (their first was the ill-fated USS Forrestal 1967 cruise); and VA-216, who only operated the A-4C during their three combat cruises (their first and last are covered here).

The later style VA-144 detailed roadrunner insignia is provided as both an outlined and non-outlined version. The actual aircraft marking had a very fine outlining on all components of the roadrunner, but due to limitation in minimum printing thickness this outlining may not look best in decal form for the scale, so both options are provided based on personal preference. 

The VMA-223 fuselage bulldog Vietnam insignia is nearly always shown in illustrations (and in decals) with significant black outlining and details, maybe due to basing the appearance on "nicer" more detailed modern VMA-223 examples and/or squadron patch detail. However, the original Vietnam-era period bulldog marking was much more basic than this. The bulldog decal insignia provided on this sheet was based on the actual Vietnam marking applied on the A-4, and as such, is significantly closer in appearance to the original. 


Click on images below to see larger images

13 Marking Options Included:

  • VMA-223 Bulldogs - seven options: one A-4C and six A-4E from Chu Lai, South Vietnam, spanning betwen 1966-69

  • VA-106 Gladiators - one A-4E option from USS Intrepid 1968-69

  • VA-144 Roadrunners - three options: one A-4C from USS Constellation 1964-65, one A-4E from USS Kitty Hawk 1967-68, and one A-4E from USS Bon Homme Richard 1969

  • VA-216 Black Diamonds - two options: one A-4C from USS Hancock 1964-65 and one A-4C from USS Coral Sea 1968-69

As usual with AOA releases, an extensive airframe stencil sheet is also included. Stencils are provided for one A-4; however, the stencil sheet is also available to purchase separately (see 48-004).

Decals also included for VA-106, VA-144, and VA-216 fuel tanks (VMA-223 typically only had plain fuel tanks without any squadron markings/identifiers).

The Vietnam War Era was a time of colorful markings and this sheet gives you a wonderful selection of those colorful markings from the USN and USMC. 

You can buy this decal sheet directly from AOA Decals.

Steve Bamford

Photos and text by Steve Bamford