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Viking Valhalla


CAM Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

48-063 - Viking Valhalla

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Two decal sheets; instruction sheet with a colour cardboard header
Price: USD$10.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Colourful; complete set of stencils supplied - readable under magnifying glass; decals sharply printed and in perfect register
Disadvantages: Some mods required to depict the "B" model; couple of minor glitches (see fixes in text)
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron




This is another S-3 from Custom Aeronautical Miniatures (Cam Decals).  This time it is one of their earlier sheets.  It covers ES-3A Bureau number 159404, when it was the CAG bird of VQ-5 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in 1999.  I say was because VQ-5 is now disbanded and their aircraft re-allocated. 

The aircraft was finished in the standard scheme for S-3s, overall FS 36375, Light Ghost Grey.  Unlike other S-3s it lacks the light yellow/tan applied to the leading edges of the wings, horizontal stabilizers, engine, and weapons pylons.  

The bottom of the rudder, tips of the horizontal stabilizers, electronics canoe, wing tip pod antennae and the surround to the canopy were all painted in semi gloss black. 

On this basic canvas were added the colourful markings that a CAG bird is expected to wear.  Cam Decals have thoughtfully provided each of them as decals.   

  • CAG flash of red, orange, yellow, green and blue over the black of the rudder.

  • Purple fin cap and leading edge to the vertical stabilizer.

  • Yellow lightning bolt edged in the same purple as the fin cap for the sides of the vertical stabilizer. 

 Other decals include: 

§         Yellow-eyed black bats and black NK airwing identifiers to be applied over the top of the lightning bolt. 

§         White CAG14 for the top of the rudder. 

§         Black 727 modex for the fuselage sides (most S-3s don’t seem to wear modex numbers on the tops of their flaps). 

§         Black 27s for the top of the rudder 

§         Black USS Abraham, and NAVY titles 

§         Black VQ-5 CVW -14 DET-14 titles (note that these are different on either side of the fuselage). 

§         Black VQ-5 titles for the drop tanks. 

§         Black bureau numbers 

§         Black “back seater” and Plane Captain names 

§         White crew names to show against the black of the anti-glare panel 

§         A further black bat for the nose. 

Stencil data is fairly comprehensive (read – all the most visible data is there - apart from  the dashed “no-step” markings for the top of the wings) and should satisfy all but the most ardent fans of 100% accuracy.  The data includes some fairly anaemic slime lights as well as the grey walkway for the top of the fuselage and black stripes for the arrestor hook.  National insignia is in black for the fuselage sides and grey for the wings (top left and bottom right). 

Decal placement and painting is guided by an A-4 sized sheet that shows a black and white left hand side profile as well as a plan view of the upper surfaces. 

Although not noted on the sheet it looks as if the decals themselves have been printed by Microscale.  They are sharp and there is minimal carrier film to each design. The stencil data is so sharp, that it can be read under magnification.   A quick “dry fit” shows that the designs are of the right size.  The rudder decal is a tad too wide but only by the tiniest amount.  This is good as it allows you to position the decal so that the leading edge is on the hinge line and then wrap the trailing edge around the rudder, so that you cover it completely.  The same applies to the purple fin cap decal.  



The decals, placement guide as well as the stiff cardboard header are packed in the ubiquitous clear plastic zip-loc bag.  The header card is the standard one that Cam Decals use for their S-3 sheets.  The front is in colour and shows a banking S-3 as well as the insignias of each of the squadrons that flew the S-3.  The rear of the header gives a set of detailed instructions on the best way to apply the decals – worth a read for both newcomers to the hobby and the “olds and bolds” in need of a refresher. 

The sheet has been made for the AMT ES-3A kit.  Be aware however that you need to effect a few modifications to the kit so that it accurately portrays the one-to-one scale version.  A quick search using Google as the search engine reveals a host of sites with photographs a plenty to guide you. 

Once again, an excellent sheet from Cam Decals and it is recommended.  As stated previously, it is one of there earlier S-3 sheets.  The later ones provide the dashed “no steps” for the wings on a separate, smaller sheet.  Let’s hope that Cam Decals see fit to add it to this sheet at a later date. 

Finally, the placement guide states that the aircraft was “heavily weathered overall”.  I was fortunate enough to photograph it on 4 November 1998. Unfortunately though, the tail was folded down so it was not possible to get a good photograph of it.   



I have included two shots taken that day to illustrate the term “heavily weathered”.  Note too that it is yet to receive the attention of the man with the can of black paint and it has different names stencilled on it.


Thanks to Brookhurst Hobbies for the review sample.

CAM Decals are available online from their website at http://www.camdecals.com and from Brookhurst Hobbies

CAM Decals 59 page 2002 color catalog of decals and resin parts is also
now available through the CAM Decals website

Review Copyright © 2003 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 23 January, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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