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A-6 Superpack v1.5 Teaser

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After losing power for most of the week, I finally got back into the game and finished up the low visibility schemes for the A-6. I will be revamping the data structure (i.e. locations of decals) for the A-6 Superpack to make it more friendly to people who use the manual install, which means that I will only use the main decal folder for files that directly replace 3W default decals. Quite honestly, the superpack has grown and evolved so much since version 1.0 that maintaining the existing folder structure was becoming unwieldy. The new folder structure will be designed with modularity and expansion in mind, particularly for integration with the upcoming EA-6B add on.

The biggest visual update with the superpack is the complete revamp of the low visibility skins. Rather than going with a standard grey and making minor adjustments to logo placement, the new LV schemes use combinations of the five Federal Standard (FS) colors, including 2 and 3 color combinations. Likewise, separate color schemes are available for USN and USMC aircraft, with fundamental differences in colors and placement. Finally, wherever possible I have changed the standard blur-lines with actual words in small fonts, and I have added similar details to the wings and fuselage wherever necessary.

But you're reading this for the pictures, so I'll get right to it.

Here's a screenshot of two A-6Es in very early low visibility paint schemes. These were really more of a hybrid LV scheme, with full color markings and white underneath and ghost grey with light markings on top. (Slightly) later variants of the ghost grey scheme used a low visibility roundel under the wing. Both versions can be seen here.

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The version with the white nose also has the full color roundel on the underside of the wing. Also notice that you can now see the insides of the wings when they are folded.

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The scheme as seen from the underside:

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Finally, you'll notice the two amber lights in back of the inner pylons. These were added to the A-6E so that LSOs could differentiate between the Intruder and Prowler on approach to the boat at night (prowlers have red and green lights instead of amber).

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The USMC schemes were already represented with the Gunship Grey patterns. I have added two weathered patterns and updated the existing Gunship Grey pattern to use FS colors. Likewise, I updated the USN Gunship Grey patterns to FS colors as well. No screenies, though.

Now we can move on to the established LV patterns as we know them today. I have done both 2 color and 3 color patterns with various degrees of weathering, as well as separate USN and USMC patterns.

Here is the standard low visibility paint scheme for USN aircraft, with light ghost grey on the underside, dark ghost grey on the upper surfaces, and medium grey covering the forward edge of the wings, wingroots, and dorsal area.

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Here's the corresponding USMC pattern, which in this case uses a darker, bluer grey as the darkest of the 3 colors, and doesn't cover the entire dorsal area with the darkest color, but rather covers the canopy area, wing root, and rudder.

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Here's another look at the Marine bird from VMA-533:

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and again, for comparison, the Navy bird from VA-75:

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Here's a more heavily weathered Marine bird:

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and a heavily weathered 2-color pattern from VA-85:

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Some of the details I mentioned earlier. You can see markings for jacking points, tie-downs, and the exhaust for the ram air scoop on the TRAM birds

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and the details on the SWIP birds. You can tell a SWIP bird apart from your standard TRAM when the wings are folded. The white cylinder is part of the wing-folding mechanism for the SWIP's composite wings.

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Last but not least, since the superpack includes custom skins and decals for VA-42, VA-52, VA-75, and VMA-533 (other than what was shown above), I did new LV skins specific to those custom aircraft. They take on a much more weathered look as befits the decals.

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You can see these pics, as well as some of the new prowlers, on my Photobucket site.

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1.51 is now out, along with a micro-patch. Just go to the link above. I know that CA is down for maintenance at the time of this writing, but it should be up shortly.

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