Note: this is an EXE installer that creates shared texture folders and adds paths to your autoexec.cfg.
A-4E: US Marine Corps Attack Squadron 214 (VMA-214) "Black Sheep" for DCS World with the A-4E Community Mod installed.
This skin pack has two classic liveries (one from 1967 and one circa 1977) and one low visibility grey livery from 1989.
The most recognizable squadron in the United States Marine Corps, Marine Attack Squadron 214 (VMA-214) was commissioned in 1942 as with the nickname "Swashbucklers." The Swashbucklers participated in the Solomon Islands campaign, after which they were unceremoniously disbanded. In 1943, many of the original members of the Swashbucklers were reunited under the command of Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, and after deliberation renamed the squadron "The Black Sheep" in reference to their status as what was essentially pilots without a formal squadron, few working aircraft, and no assigned maintainers. It is in this timeframe flying the F4U Corsair that VMF-214 attained its legendary status as the most revered of Marine Corps squadrons, being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism and later fame in the "Black Sheep Squadron" television show.
VMF-214 continued to fly the Corsair (and later the F9F Panther), becoming the first Marine squadron to fight in the Korean War and continued to fly combat in many of the war's major engagements.
In 1958, the Black Sheep were redesignated fr om fighter to attack and became VMA-214. They also transitioned to the FJ-4 Fury, which they flew until 1962 when they replaced the FJ-4 with the A-4 Skyhawk.
VMA-214 flew combat in the Vietnam War from 1965-1967, after which time the squadron was relocated to MCAS El Toro, California. Here, VMA-214 continued to fly the A-4 until 1989, wh ere the Black Sheep became the first Marine Corps squadron to fly the Night Attack variant of the AV-8B Harrier II. VMA-214 continues to fly the Harrier out of MCAS Yuma, Arizona, with plans to transition to the F-35B in 2021.
For Compact Installations - A Note About Autoexec.cfg:
Rather than copying texture files to their respective livery folders, I prefer to use a series of common texture folders along with unique filenames. This allows a single instance of many of my common textures, and keeps the hard drive footprint to a minimum (especially nice if you run a SSD for your system drive).
The installer will add a series of folders to the DCS Texture path; if you do not have these folders created, then it is no problem. The autoexec.cfg included will automatically point to the Texture folder in your Saved Games\DCS folder, and regardless of whether you run the Open Alpha, Open Beta, or Release version of DCS, the path will always point to your Saved Games\DCS\Texture folder. Again, this saves space on your hard drive.
If you use your own Autoexec.cfg, then when prompted to overwrite you can click "no". This will create a file called autoexec.new, and you can manually make the updates as you like. Just don't modify the top line with the file date; this is used by the installer for version control. However, feel free to include it in your existing autoexec.cfg, so you don't get prompted to overwrite until there's another update to the autoexec.cfg.
If you inadvertently overwrite your autoexec.cfg, it is actually backed up as autoexec.old. Just open it and copy the appropriate information to the new file.
For Traditional Installations or JSGME Compatible Extractions:
If you don't wish to use the shared texture folder and custom autoexec.cfg, you have a couple of other options available. Selecting the Traditional Install copies all textures to each livery folder, then copies each livery to each version of DCS detected (up to three versions, including release, open alpha and open beta). As a result, the listed hard disk space requirement assumes all three DCS versions are installled. Each skin is independent and portable.
If you wish to install to a location other than your Saved Games folder, you must select the Single JSGME Extraction, or else the installation will fail for not detecting existing Saved Games\DCS folders. Selecting this option will create a JSGME compatible install that can be dropped directly into your JSGME _MODS folder for installation. Each skin is independent and portable.
For either of these installation options, if there is an issue with textures not displaying, then it is likely a problem with the installer. Please let me know what textures are missing so that I can troubleshoot the issue.
1.00 Initial Release
1.20 Updated for A-4E-C 2.0
Improved fuel tanks
Improved 1989 skin
Special thanks to Gospadin (RIP), Gyrovague, Plusnine, Kryb/Archimaede, Merker, Jones, Farlander, and Dr. Manius for the outstanding A-4E Community mod.
If you have any squadron requests, please PM me. If possible, provide top and profile views of the aircraft, preferably line art (much easier to extract color), and for CAG/CO birds, a close up of the tail fin is greatly appreciated.
You are free to use any of these skins in other projects as long as proper credit is provided in the readme file.