Starfighter Decals 72-142: USN Hit and Run raids - Feb-Apr 1942


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Scott Van Aken



This next Starfighter Decals sheet is one that all early Pacific War fans should pick up. This one covers several of the raids against Japanese held islands. There are markings for five different aircraft and several aircraft types have multiple options. The sheet is superbly printed and offers enough common markings for at least one of the options per aircraft type.

Using the aircraft on the cover sheet, I'll start with the Wildcat. These are all F4F-3As and are planes flown by 'Butch' O'Hare, Jimmy Thatch, and Lt. Rawle (who got the first Wildcat kill of the war). The only dedicated kit of this subtype is the one by Admiral, which, if like their FW-190, will be a tricky build. There are conversions for the Hasegawa F4F-4, but they all need some additional fine work to properly portray the -3A.

Next is an SOC-1 that was used to direct gunfire during the attack on Wotje island in Feb 1942. The Hasegawa kit is the one for this option.

Now we have the lone USAAC plane, Jimmy Doolittle's B-25B during the Tokyo Raid. For kits, Starfighter recommends the old Monogram snap kit over the Italeri version. Apparently the Monogram one is more accurate.

Two SBD-2s are next. One with VB-2 that earned the pilot Lt(jg) M.T. Whittier the Navy Cross in March of 1942 (I think the enlisted man in the back got a hearty handshake). This plane is still extant and on display at the Naval Aviation Museum.

The other is a plane from VS-6 during the Wotje raid that has no fuselage insignia. Recommended kit for these is the Hasegawa SBD-3, which is externally identical to the -2.

Finally, a pair of TBD-1 Devastators. One from VT-6 during Feb 1942 and the other from VG-5 during March 1942. The recommended kit is the oldie by Airfix. I would have thought that the Valom kit might be preferred, but perhaps it is difficult to locate. Perhaps Hornby will retool their offering in the near future and provide an easier to find kit.

The decals are superbly printed by Cartograf and Starfighter provides a full color markings and painting guide. I should mention that my instruction sheet has some scan lines on it, so don't think those are yellow stripes!

Thanks to for the review sample.

April 2014

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