This set provides decals for four Curtiss Goshawk section leader’s aircraft, and includes a few surprises in the way of markings that are pretty rare for the Goshawk.
The aircraft covered include:
- BFC2 from Enterprise’s 4th Section (6-B-10, black cowl & fuselage band) of VB-6, c1938.
- F11C-2 from Saratoga’s 6th Section (1-F-16, yellow cowl & fuselage band) of VF-1B, c1933.
- BFC2 from Saratoga’s 1st Section (2-B-1, red cowl and fuselage band) of VB-2, c1937.
- BFC2 from Saratoga’s 5th Section (3-B-13, green cowl & fuselage band) of VB-3, c1937.
The first surprise was the inclusion of markings for Enterprise based BFC-2s. I was unaware that the Big E ever carried Goshawks, but Wayne Tevlin of Yellow Wings has located information that indicates she carried ten of them for several months in 1938, and the sheet provides markings for one of these rare, blue tailed aircraft. The instruction diagram for the Enterprise aircraft show fuselage codes for aircraft #10 (6-B-10), but a typo indicates #13 for the top of the upper wing. This should be #10, as is the decal provided.
The next surprise is the inclusion of markings for two white tailed Goshawks. The year 1937 was a transitional year for the Navy, with many squadron codes and colors changing. Many references show Saratoga BFC-2s of VB-2 with red tails (prior to July, 1937). After July, the squadron designation was changed to match Sara’s hull number and so became VB-3. Each Navy carrier was assigned an official tail color for all the ship’s assigned aircraft, and Sara’s became white. This sheet includes the codes for the white tailed VB-3 (3-B-13), and also includes transitional markings for white tailed Goshawks of VB-2B. Should the modeler want to depict an earlier, red tailed Goshawk, he need only use the white tail marking designation (BFC-2) from the Enterprise set.
The decals are printed by Microscale, and as we’ve come to expect, are crystal clear, in perfect register and have minimal carrier film. Included are decals for four complete aircraft, including stars, wing and fuselage stripes, walkways, prop tip markings, serial numbers and squadron emblems. Also included here is the third surprise in the form of letter “C” markings, indicators of the less well known Communications Award (similar to the more frequently seen Efficiency “E” Award). No stencils are included. This set is recommended for either the Classic Airframes or Lindberg kit. Those of us who have been holding on to the ancient Lindberg Goshawk now have a fresh set of decal options for this venerable kit, without having to cobble together something out of the decal spares box. And if that weren’t enough, the instructions also point us to a great resin update set from Modelshack that will really help bring the Lindberg Goshawk up to modern standards.
I really appreciate that Yellow Wings is attempting to breathe new life into these older, classic kits, and have used their extensive files to create a wide variety of interesting aircraft markings. My thanks go to Wayne Tevlin and Yellow-Wings for providing IPMS with the review sample.