Leading Edge Decals 72.86: RCAF 401 & 438 Squadrons
Units: See Review




Scott Van Aken


I know that many of you saw the recent 1/48th sheet 48.86 and wished that it was done in 1/72 scale. Well, your wish has come true and we now have it in the smaller scale. Like the previous sheet, it covers two squadrons from the 1950s and all the options are quite colorful.

There are three different aircraft types included and each has at least two different markings options.

First up are a pair of Vampire F.3s. One from 401 Squadron with its AB code and the other from 438 Squadron with its BQ code. Both aircraft options have red on the wing tips and on the horizontal stabilizer. However, each has them painted differently with the 438 Squadron plane also having red rudders. Both aircraft are in aluminum paint.

Next are a pair of F-86s Sabres. Again, a 401 Squadron plane with blue nose and fuselage bands and a ret tail band. The 438 Squadron plane has a red lightning bolt on the fuselage side. Both have unit badges on the nose. Red is used on the horizontal stabilizers and on the wing tips with the 438 squadron plane having a red nose section.

Third type are T-33s. These are painted in a similar way to the Sabres. The 401 Squadron plane has blue nose and fuselage stripes with a red fin stripe. The 438 plane has the red lightning bolt. These have red wing tips and stabilizers. Another 438 plane without the bolt with with markings for the 'City of Montreal Squadron' in both English and French on the nose. These planes and the Sabres are in unpainted metal.

The sheet is superbly printed and includes what appears to be enough data markings and insignia for six options. There are aluminum roundels to put under the Canadian roundels on the wings, which is a big help. Not sure who does kits for the Vampire F.3, but there are others out there who do later versions that can be converted if need be. There are also a ton of Sabre kits so that should not be an issue. You do need to choose one with the small wing fence. Platz has recently done a superb T-33, but you can also find them from Sword, Heller, and Hasegawa, though the Hasegawa version is rather basic. Instructions are superbly done and provide all the needed information you will require to make a superb model.

April 2013

Review sheet courtesy Leading Edge Decals. Thanks for your support. If you cannot find these at your local hobby shop, contact them direct at the link above.

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