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United States Navy
SBD-2 Douglas Dauntless

1/48 scale


Yellow Wings Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

48-012 Pre WWII 1940-41 United States Navy SBD-2 Douglas Dauntless

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: One decal sheet and comprehensive instructions.
Price: USD$9.46 available online from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Outstanding history, reference and instructions; markings for up to 36 aircraft (partial); colour matches to Testor, Gunze and Tamiya model paint ranges; high quality printing of decals by Microscale; kit subject is actually available!
Disadvantages: National markings and squadron insignia must be sourced elsewhere
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Yellow Wings 1/48 scale US Navy SBD-2 decals are available online from Squadron




Sheet 48-012 is the third and final sheet in the current round of releases from Yellow-Wings Decals. 

This release follows the now familiar approach adopted by the people at Yellow-Wings Decals in that it gives you a whole lot but not quite enough! 

What does this mean?  Well, whilst the sheet gives you markings to model 12 Section Leader aircraft as well as 24 other machines of VB-2 and VS-2 it doesn't provide the entire markings to complete a single machine.  To do this, you will need to find the national insignia as well as squadron markings from other sources.  If you don't already have national insignia, Yellow-Wings sheets 48-005 and/or 48-018 will supply them and the information provided on the bottom of both placement guides advise you that you can get the wing chevrons and fuselage bands (if you opt not to paint them yourself) as well as the squadron insignia and prop tips from sheet 48-013 which is yet to be released.

What this sheet does supply however, is as follows: 

  • The fuselage 'number-letter-number' ie. 2 B 1, 2 S 1.

  • Six sets of U.S. NAVY titles (there are actually 13 of these, so you get a single one spare).

  • 33 SBD-2.Aircraft designators (16 sets plus a spare)

  • Individual Bureau numbers for 48 different machines.  This always impresses me as Yellow-Wings here as they could have just as easily supplied generic SBD-2 designators and individual numbers in a 0 though 9 format which would see you applying four very small individual decals to make up a Bureau number.

  • Wing numbers.

  • A whole smattering of 'Battle Es' in both white with black shadowing and plain black in different sizes.

The markings for the Section Leader's machines are complete in that you get the number-letter-number as a one-piece decal as well as wing numbers.  The markings for the wingmen's machines though are ten individual letter Ss and ten individual letter Bs, with their individual numbers provided on three strands of numbers - fourteen 1s, six 2s, four 3s, four 4s, four 5s, four 6s, a four 7s, four 8s, and four 9s so you will have to cut them out individually, and apply them piecemeal.  The wing numbers receive the same treatment. 

The support material that Yellow-Wings Decals supply is what makes their products excel.  48-012 is no exception as there are four A-4 sized sheets (printed on both sides) accompanying the decals. . These sheets contain:

  • Two placement guides one for the VS-1 option and a further one for the VB-2 option.  The front of these sheets shows a left hand side profile line drawing of a generic machine, as well as a split top/bottom top view and a front-on view on the front of the page.  The back of them provides what Yellow-Wings tell you is an exact reproduction of the painting and markings blueprint for the SBD-2 taken from Douglas Aircraft Company documentation to paint each aircraft by Bureau number and colours for each squadron i.e. what colour the fuselage bands, cowling fronts and wing chevrons were.

  • A further A-4 sized sheet (printed on both sides) provides information on the disposition and delivery of all of the 87 SBD-2s of contract number 65969 (I only counted 57), as well as colour reference chart that provides matches of the colours used on the one-to-one scale examples to Testors Model Master, Tamiya and Gunze-Sangyo model paint ranges.  There is also a formula provided on how to mix Testor's model paint to make a more accurate orange-yellow.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The decals themselves have been printed by Microscale who is for my money, the best decal manufacturer in the world, bar none.  The supporting information as well as the decal sheets (there are two sheets, a full-size one as well as a smaller one) and a stiff cardboard header come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag. 

The recommended kit is the superb Accurate Miniatures one. 

A great package from the people at Yellow-Wings Decals.  It provides excellent quality decals as well as complete historical background and information on the colours and markings worn by the SBD-2s used by the VS-2 and VB-2. 


Thanks to Yellow Wings Decals for the review samples.

Review Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 14 March, 2005
Last updated 14 March, 2005

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