HMM-264 (REIN) Black Knights, USMC AV-8B NA, AV-8B+, CH-46E & CH-53E on USS Bataan
AOA Decals is a relatively new aviation decal with an impressive variety in 1/32, 1/35, 1/48, 1/72 and 1/144 scale. Their product line primary focus is Vietnam era aircraft. Although a relatively young company, their quality and attention to detail rivals all other decal companies on the market. The decal set comes with one large decal sheet and a four-page, full color instruction sheet.
This decal set covers three (Vertical lift) US Marine aircraft, two helicopters and one jet. All three aircraft are assigned to HMM-264 (REIN) “Black Knights which are elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary unit (MEU) USS Bataan (LHD-5) between the years 2006 to 2007. There are options for seven different aircraft, one AV-8B Night Attack, AV-8B+, Three choices CH-53E and two choices on the CH-46E.
Paint colors are all specified in Federal standard numbers which can easily be translated to most paint manufacturers. Depending on what subjects you select, there are enough decals to make at least one type aircraft per decal set. The decal sheet does not include the standard stencils, however there are very few stencils on these aircraft. The instruction sheet uses reference photos (with detailed descriptions & history) for decal placement which is sufficient to handle placement. If additional marking information is needed, the kit’s instructions can be used but should not be needed. The notes next to the photos are a nice touch giving some history on the markings, and old unit markings showing through the new paint. Rarely are these types of notes expressed on decal sheets. The unique marking that caught my attention was the 911 marking on the nose gear of a CH-53E, a nice touch!
This is a very comprehensive decal sheet and very fine work from AOA and I plan on going to AOA decals first on future builds. AOA will be producing decals for more aircraft in the future and I cannot wait to see what is next. I would like to thank AOA Decals for this review sample.