Phantoms Eagles & Knights-USMC F-4B Phantoms in the Vietnam War
AOA Decals focuses on the Marine Corps and the Vietnam era and for this limited release, the focus is on a 1/32nd scale sheet for a USMC F-4B Phantom from VMFA-115 Silver Eagles and VMFA-314 Black Knights focusing on the 1968-1973 time frame. The set is designed for the Tamiya 1/32nd F-4J using a “B” conversion (not included). I am aware of several B conversions on the market put out by the defunct Meteor Productions, CAM and GT Resin. These are quite extensive conversions but build not great looking final kits.
Inside the packaging, you will find full color profiles for all eight sets of markings. All aircraft were light gull gray over white with white control surfaces. Any exceptions or additions are noted at the individual aircraft profiles. Specific marking details are also located with each profile. Lastly in the package are two large decal sheets with the needed unit and national markings both printed by Microscale. Airframe stencil data is not included in these sheets.
The eight markings included are for:
- VMFA-115 Silver Eagles - six options (covering three airframes)
- Chu Lai (1968/69)
- Da Nang (1970-71) – two markings
- South Vietnam
- MCAS Iwakuni Japan (1971);
- Nam Phong, Thailand (1973).
- VMFA-314 Black Knights - two options
- Chu Lai, South Vietnam (1968/69)- two markings
Let’s look at a specific airframe to see the level of detail AOA has gone to in their research. 152990 is from VMFA-115 Silver Eagles and has two markings for that airframe- one in 1968/1969 and the other 1973. AOA notes the difference in color of walkways (black vs. gray), the paint peeling from the nose cone in the 1968/69 version and the black color under the peeling paint as well as the normal difference in markings and camouflage for all parts of the airframe. If you want to replicate these planes, the data and information is given to you by AOA. Great research with a great presentation.
The decals are from Microscale and will respond well to the system of Microsol/Microset. For those interested in converting the Tamiya Phantom to a “B” version, this set is a must have as they are well researched and well printed. Recommended to all Phantom Phanatics!
My thanks to AOA Decals for their excellent research and for allowing IPMS/USA the opportunity to review the item.