Superscale 72-209: S-3A Vikings

Units: See review


Long Out of Production


Scott Van Aken

It is hard for this ex-sailor to believe that he was in the Navy almost as long as the S-3 was a viable carrier-borne ASW platform. Despite all sorts of upgrades, it was decided shortly after I retired that the S-3 would be relegated to 'sea search' (a euphemism for spending long hours peering out the windows) and tanking. Submarines were no longer a threat and the ever-dwindling P-3 Orion community could take care of things from shore bases. Besides, if any subs did get too close the SH-60B SeaHawks could take care of them. OK. At least, they are doing some service with a buddy pod in the tanking mission.

Anyway, back when the S-3 was new, the squadrons on this sheet were also newly formed or newly transitioned from S-2s. All are in light gull grey over white with black cockpit areas and tan radomes. Modelers will be sure to do the white stripe over the top of the fuselage just behind the cockpit as that is the way they came from the factory. For kits you have a choice of Airfix or Hasegawa. It is a tossup as to which to model as both are rather old molds with raised panel lines. Both are S-3As so no need to be concerned with mods when using this sheet.

First up is VS-38, the Red Griffins. No ship name on the side of this one.

Next up is VS-37, the last squadron to fly S-2s in the regular Navy. This one is attached to the USS Constellation and was for many years.

Finally, VS-29, the first fleet squadron with the S-3A. This one offers three different tail markings. One normal, one for the CAG bird and one for the Bicentennial markings from 1976. Ship name is USS Enterprise and the proper serial number and modex are provided for the other two markings.

Other than for the VS-29 Bicentennial plane, no insignia or intake warning markings are given. Those will have to come from the kit or some other source.

Review copy courtesy of my ever growing decal pile!

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