This was the "go code" for the raid to arrest two of Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's lieutenants as part of OPERATION GOTHIC SERPENT on 3 OCT 1993. This operation was immortalised in the movie Black Hawk Down. The aircraft that took part in the raid were from Task Force 160; part of the 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment), Night Stalkers. TF 160 deployed to Somalia in August '93 as part of the larger TF Ranger under the auspice of OPERATION GOTHIC SERPENT with the goal of capturing Mohamed Farrah Aidid and restoring order to Somalia.
Werner's Wings brings us another great decal set for 1/35 Special Ops helicopters. It includes every Task Force 160 aircraft that was deployed to Somalia as part of OPERATION GOTHIC SERPENT, including the replacement aircraft and maintenance spares. 30 aircraft are included on the sheets. The set is extremely accurate and is based off new information that came to light recently. It incorporates that information into the sheet along with input from unit members that were there.
The set is packaged in a thick, clear plastic bag that protects them well. The instructions and aircraft profiles are printed on three double-sided, glossy 8 1/2" x 11" sheets that are easy to read and laid out well. The decals are printed on two sheets by Microscale which include markings for 19 MH-60A/L Black Hawks, 5 AH-6J Littlebirds gunships, 5 MH-6J MELB Littlebirds, and one spare Littlebird that could be configured as either a MELB or gunship. The full markings include individual tail numbers, call signs, and many other distinctive markings that were worn by the aircraft. The Black Hawks encompass Super 61 - Super 68 that were used as insertion aircraft for the raid, and other aircraft that were in Somalia. Each Black Hawk includes the large window chalk numbers (61-68), the names and graphics that were added to their engine cowls, and special markings that were seen on some of the aircraft. Included are markings for Super 61 and Super 64, the two aircraft shot down during the raid. Also included, is a full set of stencils for one MH-60L and one AH/MH-6J, including some interior stenciling, and rocket pod stencils for the AH-6J. The instructions include profiles for each aircraft that show decal placement and special features of each aircraft. There is also a full page of notes about the aircraft and their configurations.
Lastly, the set is wrapped up with a page that acknowledges those who helped in making them. In the vein of full transparency, I did assist in the development of the decals. I provided much of the initial research and helped proof the designs, along with Tim Hudson. Mason Doupnik, along with his padawan, Ramon Lomeli, did the marvelous artwork on the decals and the instruction sheet.
The set is being produced as a limited edition with a total of 250 sheets being printed. Get them while you can.
It is designed to be used with the Kitty Hawk AH/MH-6J and new MH-60L, however it could easily be used on the older Dragon Littlebird and Academy Black Hawk kits as well.
Highs: Finely printed decals and easily to read instructions. Lows: None noted.Verdict: Another great set of Spec Ops helicopter decals from Werner's Wings.
About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 35+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 30 or so.