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Douglas TBD-1 Devastator & Generic US Markings

Yellow Wings Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:


Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: One decal sheet and comprehensive instructions.
Price: Each USD$7.97 available online from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Outstanding history, reference and instructions; colour matches to Testor model paint range; high quality printing of decals by Microscale
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Yellow Wings decals are available online from Squadron




For those unfamiliar with this company, it is based in Linden, New Jersey; in the United States and it specializes in producing decal sheets for the colourful pre-World War II era aircraft of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Army Air Corps. 

They have previously released two other sheets (48-001 and 48-002) and these sheets have been reviewed here on Hyperscale. 

The people at Yellow Wings had been quiet for a while but they have now returned to the fray and released a further four sheets.  Whilst the first three of these new sheets continues in the same vein of "general markings", the fourth one is more in line with the more familiar format of providing complete markings for a subject on a single sheet.



48-003 is dedicated to the Douglas TBD-1 Devastator.  It provides:

  • Wing chevrons and fuselage bands in each of the six different colours used to identify the sections within squadron.
  • Squadron badges for each of the squadrons that flew the TBD-1 (two of each provided)
  • Three sets of red, yellow and blue propeller tip bands.
  • Three sets of propeller logos.
  • A pair of wing walks.

Where this sheet shines is with the supporting information it supplies.  One sheet provides information on the band colours worn by an aircraft that identifies the carrier it flew from and the section it belonged to.  As well as this, it provides matches of the specific colour to the Testors Model Master range and an explanation of how to read the 'number–letter–number' fuselage code and what they signify.   

The three-page placement guide is A-4 in size and very comprehensive.  It supplies information on colours used for the general finish of the TBD-1 as well as concise step-by-step instructions on how to apply the chevrons, bands, propeller tip markings and logos to ensure that you get it right. 



48-004 is a "general" sheet that is not dedicated to any particular aircraft.  It supplies scale one inch black and white pinstripes to represent the black and white paint that was used to either separate or outline painted areas on an aircraft of similar colours.  Examples of their use are around the cowling bands, wing chevrons and fuselage bands. 

This sheet is also supported by reference material that provides a quote from the Bureau of Aeronautics (the United States Navy's governing body of the day) on the use of these stripes. 

Even if you are not a fan of this era of aviation, this sheet will be of use to you for a myriad of other uses such as the bands.  One that comes readily to mind are the bands around air-to-air missiles. 




48-005 is another "general" sheet.  It provides seven different sizes of prewar national insignia for the following aircraft: 

F2A-1/2 Buffalo

F4F-3/3A Wildcat

F3F-1/2/3 Grumman Bi-planes

SBD-1/2 Dauntless

SB2U-1/2 Vindicator

TBD-1 Devastator


PBY-5 Catalina 


 The accompanying instruction sheet provides a brief history of the evolution of the national insignia as well as a quote from the relevant Bureau of Aeronautics instructions on size and location. 



The final sheet provides markings for two Douglas TBD-1 Devastators.  The individual aircraft are: 

Bureau Number 0343 in the markings of VT-6 aboard the USS Enterprise in 1938.  Supplied markings include:

  • VT-6 Squadron badges
  • 6-T-13 Fuselage codes
  • Green fuselage and wing chevrons
  • US Navy titles
  • Bureau number block

Bureau number 0136 in the markings of VT-5 from the USS Yorktown in 1938.  The makings include: 

  • VT-5 Squadron badges
  • 5-T-10 Fuselage codes
  • Black fuselage and wing chevrons
  • US Navy titles
  • Bureau number block.

Other decals on the sheet include two sets of three LSO stripes in red, white and black.  Two sets of propeller tip stripes.  Two sets of propeller logos.  Three pair of White with black outline "Battle Es" in three different sizes, a further pair of red "battle Es" is also provided.  I'd be guessing here but I'd say that these last items would be a "generic" set that Yellow Wings will include on all of their future Devastator sheets. 

As always with Yellow Wings, the sheet is supported with comprehensive support and reference material. 

The decals have been printed by Microscale.  All of the supporting reference, as well as the decal sheet themselves and a stiff cardboard header that contains even more information on the "yellow wing era" of markings; come packed in clear plastic ziploc bags. 

More good stuff from Yellow-Wings Decals.  Hopefully we will see even more from them in the future to decorate all the Tamiya Buffalos we have stashed in our favorite hiding place as well as the forthcoming Vindicator from Accurate Miniatures. 


Thanks to Yellow Wings Decals for the review samples.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Review Copyright © 2004 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 02 July, 2004
Last updated 01 July, 2004

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