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S-3B "Viking Valhalla"


CAM Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

48-107 Viking Valhalla

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Two decal sheets; two instruction sheets with a cardboard header
Price: USD$12.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Spectacular "Screwbird" subject; walkway and tailhook markings supplied; sharply printed; perfect register; minimum of decal film
Disadvantages: No standard S-3B available straight from the box in 1/48 (but it is a simple conversion task)
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron




Custom Aeronautical Miniatures, or as they more commonly known, CAM Decals, has been around for quite a few years now but have only just started producing decal sheets in any quantity.

This sheet is a beauty for fans of US naval aviation! It provides up to date markings for S-3B CAG aircraft of two of the Pacific Fleet squadrons that took part in Operation Enduring Freedom.

The first aircraft is Bureau number 160569 from VS-29 Dragonfires based on board the USS Carl Vinson. It is finished in the standard S-3 finish of overall light ghost grey with dark ghost grey canopy frame and anti-glare panel. Befitting a CAG bird, it features full colour tail markings and a red tip on the vertical stabilizer.

The second aircraft is VS-33 Screwbirds’ CAG, Bureau number 160155. The aircraft is also finished in the standard S-3 scheme and features the squadron’s screwbird insignia in full colour on the vertical stabilizer and I mean the whole of the stabilizer! I was lucky enough to see this aircraft in the flesh when the USS John C Stennis passed through Perth on its way back home to the US from the Gulf and I have included a couple of shots of the aircraft with this review. It was a very spectacular looking machine!


Reference Photos of VS-33 CAG BuNo 160155


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The decals themselves are printed by Microscale so you know that you will not have any problems them settling down on your model. The designs are sharply printed, in perfect register and have an absolute minimum of decal film surrounding them. Dry fitting the decals (photocopying the sheet ,cutting the designs out then taping them to the model) has shown that they have been scaled correctly.

There are two sheets provided in this set. The larger sheet provides all of the main markings whilst the second sheet provides the prominent walkways for the top of the fuselage. I especially liked the provision of the walkway decals as they make the finishing of the model so much easier – read, you don’t have to mask them off and paint them on! The same comment goes for the tailhook stripes. Another bonus is the fact that each aircraft option is provided with a complete set of stencils, stars and bars and slime lights.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The two instruction sheets show decal placement by the number of the decal printed next to the design, to location on the airframe – a bonus if you are unfamiliar with the S-3.

The decal sheets and instructions are packed in a plastic Ziploc bag with a stiff cardboard header. The provision of the header is a great idea as it ensures that the decal sheets are kept flat and stops them from creasing.



Producing an S-3B in 1/48 Scale


The only 1/48 scale S-3 around is the one originally bought out 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.

Don’t despair if you can’t find one as Italeri has announced it for release under their name later this year. If you are lucky enough to find the AMT ES-3A kit grab it as it provides a Buddy refuelling pod that is seen on just about every S-3 now days whilst the S-3A kit does not have this sprue.

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 at the following URL:


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).

The instruction sheet makes a point of thanking the VS-33 Public Affairs Officer for her help in providing the information to produce this sheet. I echo this appreciation.





If you get the idea that I am impressed with this sheet, its packaging presentation and content then you are right. Cam Decals have done an excellent job with this one!

Highly Recommended.

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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