Loach-Low Level Scouts

Published on
May 24, 2016
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
Dragon or Italeri
Company: AOA Decals - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: AOA Decals - Website: Visit Site
Cover Art

The Loach, tiny, maneuverable and deadly to the enemy. This little helicopter was loved by its pilots, crew and maintainers. The mission was deadly serious and many helicopters never made it to their first maintenance inspection.

This sheet from AOA is a welcome addition for the Dragon/Italeri kit and the anticipated Kitty Hawk Loach. Having only flown in this legendary helicopter once with a Vietnam hero, Hugh Mills, I can say that this sheet is awesome. While Hugh Mills and the Dark Horse aircraft have been done a lot for their colorful sharkmouths it is refreshing to see some new markings. Vietnam aircraft sported some colorful markings and until recently they have gone unnoticed. Thanks to AOA that is no longer the case.

Contained in a ziplock bag is a decal sheet printed on 8.5x11 sheet. This sheet has markings for an amazing 24 aircraft. And what a selection too. The decal sheet itself is printed by Cartograf so you know they are the best in the world. The decals are in perfect register with good color density. They are very thin which is typical for Cartograf. There are stencils for two complete aircraft. The stencils are not just for the outside of the helicopter there are stencils for the cockpit and the aft compartment.

The instructions are a reference in themselves, contained on four color double sided 8.5x11 pages. The cover sheet has a beautiful photo of a Cayuse doing its job over South Vietnam. The backside of has the instructions for the stencils with hints and tips for doing the Loach right. The other nice thing is the recommended change to the lower anti-collision light to make kit part accurate.

The aircraft represented on the sheet are:

  • D Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment (x3)
  • A Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment (x2)
  • D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment
  • F Troop, 4th Cavalry Regiment
  • F Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment
  • C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment (x2)
  • D Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment
  • A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
  • B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
  • C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment (former D Trp, 3rd Sq, 5th Cav)
  • B Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment (x2)
  • C Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
  • B Company, 25th Aviation Battalion
  • B Company, 123rd Aviation Battalion
  • Casper Platoon, 173rd Airborne Brigade
  • 326th Airborne Medical Company, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
  • HQ & HQ Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
  • HQ Company, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division

There are plenty of options for the modeler even a camouflaged Loach and a late war aircraft with upward turned exhaust in all black. For those that like a Medevac theme there is even one of those. Yes even the diminutive Loach could be used for Medevac. For those that want a sharkmouth there is a ‘creature mouthed’ aircraft that I’ll be doing from 1/9 Cav. The hardest thing will be figuring out which aircraft to build. Luckily I have a few Dragon/Italeri OH-6As and anticipate more when Kitty Hawk releases theirs so I don’t need to choose really.

World class research, variety of marking options, interior and exterior stenicls and world class printing this is exactly what I want from a decal sheet. This is another great sheet from AOA who have been jumping from winner to winner.

Highly recommended

Thanks to AOA Decals and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain yours directly from AOA Decals at www.AOAdecals.com. If you are in the US, shipping is free. Check out their complete range of decals. If you are like me, you’ll order a couple of different sheet. Let them know you heard about it from IPMS/USA.


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