CAM 48-107: S-3B Vikings

Units: VS-29 & 33




Chris Ishmael

Operation Enduring Freedom A/C

             Close to 30 years have gone by since the S-3’s maiden operation cruise, & its still an important aircraft of the carrier air wing it serves.

             This is one of several S-3 sheets that CAM produces.  The set contains a full color cover sheet, 2 sheets with b&w line drawings, & 2 decal sheets.  This set is pretty complete, as both aircraft can be done from this set.  Two sets of national insignia, formation lights, walkways, jet intake stripes, & smaller stenciling are included (not shown).  Both aircraft are finished in the overall light ghost gray (FS36375) scheme, but there are differences that need to be noted by the modeler during the painting & decals stages.  One nice touch provided on the decal sheet comes in the form of white modex decals for both a/c, designed to be put on the red area of the extended flaps, should the modeler decide to drop the flaps.

             The first unit is the CAG bird from VS-29 “Dragonfires”.  This a/c uses the gull gray walkway decals & the dark gray intake warning stripes that do not have any lettering on them. Several of the common marking decals are black on this a/c, with the rest being gray.  The dragon’s head & flame marking on the tail is one large decal.   The canopy & anti-glare panel are both dark ghost gray (FS36320) on this aircraft, but the instructions do not mention in words to paint the fin cap of the vertical tail dark ghost also.  This aircraft has the commonly applied anti-erosion tape on the leading edges of the wings, horizontal stabs, engine & external stores pylons.  I asked a former S-3 airframer friend of mine about this yellowish tape, & he informed me that it’s actually a clear tape that yellows due to exposure to the elements & a salt-water environment.  The instructions do not show or mention any tape applied to the vertical tail.   

             Next up is another CAG bird, this time from VS-33, the “World Famous & Internationally Traveled Screwbirds”.  This a/c has the dark gray walkway and intake stripe decals with the words “JET INTAKE” on them.  All the common markings & stenciling are dark gray.  The red screwbird on the tail is a large, one-piece decal.  The text of the painting instructions call for an insignia red fin cap, but is not illustrated on the color sheet or the instruction diagram.  The instructions call for the canopy framing & anti-glare panel to be semi-gloss black, but the color sheet has them being a dark gray.  This aircraft also has the anti erosion tape applied.  The instructions call for a moderate weathered finish.

             Another good offering from CAM, & a recommended sheet.      

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