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Battlin' Wildcats


CAM Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

48-110 Battlin’ Wildcats (Grumman F4F-3A Wildcat)

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 1 decal sheet, one instruction sheet and one stiff cardboard colour header.
Price: USD$9.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Different and colourful schemes for Wildcats including yellow wing and wargame marking options; brave choice of -3A variant; good instructions
Disadvantages: No F4F-3A available straight from the box in 1/48 scale
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron




This sheet represents a change of era for CAM Decals. Previously, they have concentrated on manufacturing decal sheets for more contemporary aircraft.

This sheet provides markings for three pre-war F-4F-3 Wildcats, two in the much-loved “yellow wing” markings and one in the immediate pre-war toned down scheme.

The first aircraft is Bureau No 1876 from VF-72 when based on the USS Wasp in February 1941. It is painted in overall aluminium with orange-yellow upper wings and gloss black vertical and horizontal stabilizers and lower cowling. The modeller has to paint the diagonal wing bands in gloss black and edge them with the supplied white stripes. Ouch! There is a disaster waiting to happen. I would have preferred to have seen it the other way round – paint the stripe on in white and then apply a thicker black decal down the centre.

The second aircraft is a USMC one, Bureau No 3923, from VMF-111 and it is painted in overall light grey with Wargames red crosses painted on both sides of the fuselage and the tops and bottoms of the wings. The fuselage red crosses have been manufactured to make allowances for the curved sides of the fuselage – a nice touch.

The final aircraft is Bureau No 1650 from VF- 41 whilst it was aboard the USS Ranger in 1941 and it is painted in same scheme as the first aircraft with the exceptions that the tail surfaces are in Willow Green and the entire cowling front is white with a thin black band. The fuselage also sports a white band edged in black. This time the modeller paints the wing and fuselage bands in white and adds the thin black edging with the supplied black decal! Hmmm?

The decals are printed by Microscale so you know that they are going to work for you. The printing is excellent and is so good that you can actually read the tiny Bureau Nos (decal Number 14 on the VMFA-111 option) under strong magnification!

The instruction sheet is the ubiquitous A-4 sized sheet with detailed drawings for each subject to show the camouflage scheme and decal placement as well as painting notes that identify the colours by FS numbers, not the ANA colours. This last point is note worthy as it allows the novice USN modeller to simply select the right colour by matching the FS numbers and not having to scratch around to convert the correct ANA numbers to FS numbers. The instruction sheet states that the recommended kit is the Revell F4F-4 converted to F4F-3 standard. Perhaps they mean the old Monogram one.

Packaging is in the tried and true Zip-loc bag with a stiff cardboard header, simple and effective.

Overall, this is an excellent effort. It is also a courageous move by a large company as no kit of the -3 exists off the shelf. You can convert the Tamiya -4 but the conversion is not really for the feint hearted. If you really want to do it there are various resin conversions available and you can read about them on Scott Van Aken’s Modelling Madness website:


The decolourisation on the image of the decal sheet is not the fault of the manufacturer. Unfortunately, it was a victim of a spot of water splashed on it whilst I was wet-sanding a model at my desk!


Thanks to CAM Decals for the review sample.

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

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

Review Copyright © 2002 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 10 September, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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