Sheet #

Aeromaster SP48-09 "Tokyo Raiders"





Review By:

Scott Van Aken



US Navy camouflage in WWII has never been as inspiring to modelers as that of the Luftwaffe or Japanese forces. This is especially true of the late war overall dark sea blue scheme which many modelers find boring to the max! However, in defense of those colors, at least they are easy to paint and often the air wing markings more than make up for any uninteresting camo schemes.

Aeromaster is well known for producing special sheets, and I for one, look forward to each one that they do. This particular one is entitled 'Tokyo Raiders' and concentrates on aircraft during the last years of the Pacific war. There are eight subjects on the sheet: Two F6F Hellcats, two F4U Corsairs, two TBM Avengers, and two SB2C Helldivers . The bombers are mostly in the three color scheme and the fighters are all in the overall sea blue scheme. There are enough common markings to do one of each of the aircraft types shown on the sheet. There are a total of 2 and 2/3 sheets of decals for these eight aircraft.

So, what is on the sheet? Let's start with the Hellcats:

The top Hellcat to the right is from VF-45 on the USS San Jacinto, a light carrier, from March 1945. It is the most colorful of the two with a white cowl front and white square on the tail and wing.

Next is one from VF-53 on the USS Saratoga in Feb 1945. This one is the lower Hellcat on the image to the right. Since Saratoga was only on the line for 5 days after suffering kamikaze attacks, that makes this aircraft a rather rare bird.

On to the Corsairs: The upper one is from VFB-86 aboard the USS Wasp. It has a rather plain set of markings consisting of a white nose band, white tail band and a white rectangle on the wing.

The lower F4U is from the USS Essex's VFB-83. It has a nice yellow nose band and large, though worn tail marking. No marking is carried on the wing. It is rife with markings anomalies, that are so beloved by modelers.

As for the bombers, the first TBM has a yellow nose ring and tail arrow from VT-84 of the USS Bunker Hill. It is in the standard three color scheme. A non-standard marking is the white ferry number '148' on the nose.

Next Avenger is from VT(N)-90 a night attack unit aboard the USS Enterprise. As a result of it's mission, all the markings are subdued and the undersurface colors darkened with dark blue or black. The Enterprise was the designated and only night attack carrier assigned to the fleet during this time so all of its wing complement were  TBM-3Ds and F6F-5Ns.

Finally on to the 'Beasts'. The upper one in three color camouflage is from VB-3 aboard the USS Yorktown. It has the White angled marking on the tail and is basically the same markings found in the ProModeler kit.

The Helldiver in overall sea blue is from the USS Randolph and is from VB-12. This one is very colorful as these aircraft go with large white bands on the tail and ailerons.

The instructions are superb with copious notes on each type as well as full color views of the aircraft in question. Overall a superb set. 

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet! 

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