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Viking Valhalla
S-3B Viking


CAM Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

48-089 - 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; 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




Here are more S-3 Vikings from Custom Aeronautical Miniatures, or CAM Decals, as they are more commonly known. This is an older release and the first S-3B sheet that they issued.

is release provides complete markings for two aircraft, one from the Pacific Fleet and the other from the Atlantic Fleet.

First is Bureau number 160127 of VS-41 “Shamrocks” based at NAS North Island in 1999. I’m guessing here but I’d say that this is their CAG bird as it is wearing the Modex of 741. 7 being the first numeral of the modex normally worn by S-3 squadrons and the 41 being the 41 of VS-41. This is not new as VF-103’s CAG bird wears the Modex 103.

  • Finish is the typical S-3 colour scheme of overall FS 36375 light ghost grey with the canopy frame and anti-glare in FS 36320 dark ghost grey with the leading edges of the wings, horizontal stabilizers, weapons and engine pylons in light tan.

  • The only colour on the aircraft is green (apart from the red/yellow exhaust of the harpoon missile that the helmeted figure on the fin is tossing) and this is sparingly applied to the fin cap and the top of the rudder as well as the squadron insignia and NJ airwing identifier. The latter markings are supplied as decals but you will have to paint the fin cap/top of the rudder yourself. No FS number is given for the green so you will have to mix it to match the green of the decals.

  • Other markings supplied as decals include the 741 modex in black for the nose with an abbreviated 41 for the top of the rudder. A further set of white 741 modex is supplied to go on the tops of the wings. If you wish to use these however you will have to modify the kit as they are in the closed position on the kit and as such would be hidden – nice touch CAM.

  • Apart from a complete set of pale yellow position lights the remainder of the markings are in grey. They include a spanner for either side of the fuselage (indicating that VS-41 won the Clifton award) NAVY scripts and VS-41 titles for the rear fuselage, “last four” of the Bureau number for the fin, national insignia, Bureau number block, stripes for the Y frame arrestor hook..

  • Stencil data is reasonably comprehensive and includes ejector seat warning triangles, arrestor hook warnings, intake warnings, rescue arrows, APU exhaust warning, and servicing information.

  • The walkways for the top of the fuselage are also provided as decals. Great stuff as far as I’m concerned as it saves the tedious masking operation needed to paint them!

The Atlantic Fleet aircraft is Bureau number 159744 of VS-24 “Scouts”. The markings depict her as she appeared aboard the USS John F. Kennedy as a part of CVW-8 in 1997. Whilst it wears the same basic colour scheme (sans the tan leading edges) it is a little more colourful than the VS-41 aircraft. Befitting her role as VS-24’s CAG she wears an insignia red rudder and fin cap with a white shadowed black lightning bolt. . The use of red on an S-3 is unusual as red is normally worn by the F-14 squadron of the airwing. You will have to paint the rudder yourself but the lightning bolt is supplied as a decal.

The red theme is well used throughout and it appears as shadows to the black 700 modex, VS-24 titles, NAVY titles, AJ Airwing identifiers, “last four” of the Bureau number, Plane Captain’s name, and abbreviated 00 modexes. It has also been used to edge the black of the anti glare in the form of a lightning bolt and rescue arrows. Other markings include:

  • Decals include a set of crew names in white for the canopy rails and a set of 700s also in white for the wing flaps.

  • National insignia is in black as is the APU exhaust warning.

  • Two small full colour Squadron insignia for the fuselage behind the canopy.

  • Stencil data is the same as the VS-41 aircraft except the walkways are in a darker grey (you get two complete sets of walkways with this sheet).

A bright Viking to say the least!

The decals have been printed by Microscale and are state of the art. The red edging to the Plane Captain’s name is absolutely perfect as is the thin red border to the squadron insignia.

The placement guide is the standard double-sided A-4 sized sheet showing left hand side profiles on the front and half plan views on the reverse. The decals are numbered on the sheet and the placement guide keys these numbers to the location on the airframe – great if you are building your first S-3 kit. As with all CAM sheets there is a stiff cardboard header. The header also shows the same side profiles as the placement sheet but this time they are in full colour. The two decal sheets, placement guide and header card are packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.

In summary, this is another great sheet from CAM Decals. You can build both aircraft on the sheet. Everything is there, you don’t need to buy any further decals or rob from other sheets in your stash at all.

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Producing an S-3B in 1/48 Scale

The only 1/48 scale S-3 around is the one originally released years ago by Esci. It was a great kit then and it still stands up well today. It has subsequently been re-issued by AMT in two guises, as an S-3A and as an ES-3A. Italeri has also just released under their name.

Once you have the kit in your hot little hands, you are still faced with converting it to an S-3B. Happily this is an easy conversion and complete instructions on how to do it can be found on Scot Van Aken’s Modelling Madness website


(Also see LCDR Bill Suggs' excellent reference article right here on HyperScale - editor's note)

A great place to find the chaff/flare dispensers is in the all of the Hasegawa 1/48 scale A-4 kits. There are two in each A-4 kit (part No A5).


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 10 March, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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