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Part One



Sky Models Decals



S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number: 48-047
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: One 8.5" x 6" decal sheet; small supplementary sheet (2.25" x 1.75") and instructions.
Price: USD$8.95 from Pacific Coast Models
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Large selection (16 aircraft) and great value; wide variety of markings; thinly printed; glossy finish; react well to setting and softening solutions; halftone nose art markings supplied on small separate sheet
Disadvantages: Serious accuracy problems with many of the decal options, instructions and colours; comprehensive references will be required to check accuracy.
Recommendation: Recommendation only for modellers willing to accept or correct inaccurate markings.

Reviewed by Paul Gillan
additional accuracy comments by Alan Griffith




If you are going to do create a P-40 decal sheet why not go nuts and offer the modeller no less that 16 aircraft on one sheet. That’s exactly what the guys at Sky Models have done. Cartograf printed the sheet and it is beautifully done.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Let's start with the early P-40s. There are 7 options for Hawk 81-A2 airframes based in China and Burma in 1941 and 1942. All are shark mouthed and feature some type of art work, usually the leaping tiger of the American Volunteer Group. Aircraft numbers and various other nose art is also provided. I’ve now got to buy the Hobbycraft kit to put these markings on.

Three marking options are provided for China based P-40E airframes. All are shark mouthed. One is for Col R. Scott CO 23rd FG China 1942 and has a top hatted leaping tiger motif and five Japanese kill markings. The second is for Col. Rector of the 23rd FG and features the leaping tiger motif and ‘104’ numbers for the fuselage side. The third markings are for a P-40E-1 flown by Lt Clinger and features a cowboy urinating on the rising sun. Brett Green did these markings on his AMtech P-40. Look in the Features index.

Three marking options are provided for P-40K airframes. The first is a 25th FS K-5 flown by Lt. White. This aircraft has a black band on the tail with a stylized ‘B’ in a white circle, white ‘209” and a shark's mouth peculiar to the 25th. ‘Dem Bums’ is the second ‘K’ featured. This aircraft has the markings, including the serial painted out and the normal shark mouth. The aircraft also has four kill markings and the pilot’s name. The final ‘K’ is the mount of Col B. Holloway, CO 23rd FG China 1943 and simply has a white number 1 for the fuselage side, sharks mouth and ten kill markings.

A single set of markings for a P-40M of the 25th FS has standard USAAF stars and bars, the 25th weird shark mouth, a blotchy green tail and “Miss Julie” nose art.

Finally, three P-40N airframes. The first is for a 25th FS aircraft flown by Lt Burgett. This aircraft has the 25th shark mouth, a bumble bee in a white circle for the tail and ‘Sing Pao’ nose art. Secondly, a P-40N of the 89th FS based in India in 1944 has a white skull on the nose, ‘Lulu Bell in yellow script for below the skull and the aircraft numbers for the tail. Finally, an 89th FS ‘N’ based in Assam, India in 1944 with a white skull and ‘Miss Frances II’ nose art. Also provided is a white ‘55’ that overpaints the aircraft serial.

Stars and bars, stars and Chinese Nationalist markings are supplied.

Alan Griffith has added his comments on accuracy issues below:

The side views on the Sky Decals provide incorrect info piled on top of incorrect info. To the best of my knowledge, having looked at hundreds of pictures, NO Dark Earth over Dark Green P-40Es had Neutral Gray undersides. This was not what the Curtiss orders called for, and just wasn't done. These two-toned aircraft were built for foreign contracts, using foreign paint specs and equivalents. NG was not one of those underside equivalents. The color was light gray (overwhelmingly) or occasionally light blue (very similar to that used on the desert scheme F's. It may have been the same paint.). Also the color used with Dark Green is Dark Earth, not whatever Brown it says.

Ed Rector's P-40E-1 was not a two-tone aircraft, nor was it ever so painted to my knowledge. In March or so of 1942, the AVG received six aircraft taken out of USAAF stocks in Egypt, all painted in OD over NG and having no sn on the tails. According to Tex Hill, Squadron Leader, 2nd Pursuit Group, AVG, these were the first replacement aircraft the AVG had received. I do not believe they were EVER repainted in the two-tone scheme as time, paint stocks, and the day-to-day needs of war just didn't allow for it. It is important to remember that these were USAAF ac, NOT ac out of British or Dutch contracts that were nationalized at the beginning of the war. Thus the OD over NG vs Dark Earth and Dark Green over LIght Gray.

Second, a number of the profiles show P-40N canopies on early, short-fuselaged, P-40K filleted-tail aircraft, no matter what it says they are to be. Sloppy.

Third, I can see two major color mistakes in markings without even straining my eyes. For one, the boy's raincoat on Holding My Own is yellow. I've seen the original. It is in Tex Hill's garage. For another, I believe that Ed Rector's ac, as did all the first E's in the 3rd, had an OD mouth interior, not black. This is certainly the case on the aircraft that Tex Hill flew on the Salween River Gorge Raid (all were 3rd Squadron ac being flown by former Navy personnel from the 2nd Squadron because they had dive-bombing experience and training - source, Tex Hill personal interview). Actually, if you look closely enough at the pictures of these ac, you can see that they are OD and not black.

Thanks to Pacific Coast Models for the review sample.

Sky Models Decals are available from Pacific Coast Models Website

Review Copyright © 2002 by Paul Gillan
This Page Created on 04 January, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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