The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a modern version of the first ever attack helicopter, the AH-1 Cobra. It is also called Zulu Cobra in reference to its variant letter. Since its introduction in the mid-1960s the original Cobra has been constantly improved and upgraded. The AH-1Z Viper is a direct derivative of the AH-1W SuperCobra. It is one of the most powerful, capable and advanced helicopter, flying today. The Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter that was developed for the United States Marine Corps. The AH-1Z features a four-blade, bearingless, composite main rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target sighting system. The AH-1Z made its first flight in 2000 and was declared combat-ready in September 2010. It has seen combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is on watch with US Marines around the world.
The latest decal set from Werner's Wings allows you to build a wide selection of examples of the USMC’s latest attack helicopter, the AH-1Z Viper Cobra. The decals are very nicely done and look to be the same high quality as Werner’s Wings other helicopter decals. Each decal is crisply printed with only a small bit of carrier film outside the colored markings. The set was designed by Mason Doupnik and comes in 1/48 scale. They are intended for the new Kitty Hawk Models AH-1Z kit.
The set includes markings for eight different aircraft plus stencil markings for two complete aircraft. You can mark two complete aircraft using just this decal set. The eight sets of markings include three for west coast stationed HMLA (Helicopter Marine Light Attack) squadrons from HLMA-369, HMLA-169, and HMLA-267. It also includes five markings for units deployed as part of a MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) when they fall under other composite squadrons, VMM (Medium Marine Tiltrotor – V22s), and HMM (Medium Marine Helicopter – UH-1Y) squadrons. These include VMM163, HMM-268, HMM-364, VMM-161, and VMM-166. The colors are the correct, low-vis gray seen on current airframes. There are also a few markings in white for specific aircraft. Each option has a unique squadron emblem which are printed very nicely and will add a bit of flair to your helo. These include a dragon, iron cross, spades, snakes, eye balls, a fox, and a winged horse. Two of the options (HMM-364, and HMM-268) also include ship names on them as well. Each aircraft profile is clearly shown in full color to make decal placement easy. Also, each profile has a few sentences that provides a bit of history and any specific painting guidance or marking references for the aircraft.
The back page gives a short description of Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadrons, which AH-1Zs are assigned to. It also talks a bit about the BuNos (Bureau Numbers – side registration numbers) used on the helos. Lastly, it lists and thanks contributors to the project.
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Highs: Finely printed with only a small amount carrier film past the decal area.Lows: None noted.Verdict: This set looks great overall and I’m sure it will be just as nice as the prior Werner’s Wings decals. I highly recommend them. Another great set 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 40+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 35 or so.