Sheet #

Superscale 48-689 for S-3B & ES-3A Vikings




VS-35 & VQ-5

Review By:

Scott Van Aken



For the usual intro and info on the S-3, please see this review

Many of us had thought that Superscale was no longer producing sheets. Well, I guess that many of us were wrong as this and several other new sheets appeared at the local hobby shop. What is quite obvious is that Superscale is no longer the king of aftermarket sheets. That has been taken by Aeromaster with help from several other companies. In fact, the huge number of aftermarket sheets available for all sorts of aircraft is really quite encouraging. There is nothing more pleasing than being able to build a model that is different from others. 

This brings to mind an interesting subject, and that is of decal collecting. Using myself as an example, I know that I have a LOT more decals than I will ever use or have kits to put them on. However, I still seem to amass them at a prodigious rate. Is this the same as kit collecting? Do decals appreciate in price as they become more and more difficult to obtain? What percentage of sheets bought are actually used? How many of us have actually built every subject on one sheet? Just some questions to ponder.

Getting back to the sheet for a moment, I'd first like to point out a glitch. In their infinite wisdom, Superscale has decided that the ES-3A is actually an ES-3B. You'll have to find a replacement letter for that decal as there isn't and never has been an ES-3B. They have also seemed to have decided that you don't need the dates for the left side tail decal for VQ-5, as it is missing. You will also need to find a decent D.704 Buddy Refuelling Pod for your S-3B as well as a way to modify the ESCI/AMT kit to make the later B version.

On to the decals themselves. Despite the glitches, Superscale has chosen a couple of very colorful markings. The VS-35 CAG bird has the usual Black Tail that seems required nowadays. VS-35 was the last S-3 squadron to be activated. Though unit aircraft strength has been steadily dwindling to where there are now only 6 S-3s per unit, they are still heavily utilized aircraft. 

The VQ-5 bird is in the farewell scheme painted in 1999 on the last plane. Curiously, there are only dates for the right side decal, though they are shown on the left in the instructions. There are also not enough engine intake warning markings. Two engines means four markings are needed.  All twelve of the airframes are now languishing in the desert at AMARC in Arizona. All that has to be done to this one is to paint the fin yellow and apply the decal. Both aircraft are painted in overall FS 36375 with FS36327 anti-glare panels. 

Either one will make a nice addition to your collection. It was nice of Superscale to choose these aircraft as I was wondering where to find semi-current low-viz markings for this aircraft. There are enough common markings to do one of the two schemes.

NOTE: Here is a reply from Superscale regarding the missing decals:  

The wrong disks were sent to the printer. We sent the correct disks, but they used the wrong ones anyway. We are printing a correction sheet on our next run. If you send me a self addressed envelope, I will send you some. 
Ted Krasel

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