USAAC Curtiss P-36/P-36A Decals
A big thank you goes to Yellow-Wings Decals for this review sample and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.
Aircraft design and development was changing rapidly in the 1930s. As the dark clouds of war were beginning to form in Europe, the effort to improve military aircraft quickened. A new era of low wing monoplanes with retractable landing gear and enclosed cockpits was dawning. The British Hurricane was ordered into production in June 1936 and the Messerschmitt 109 made its public debut during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. At the same time American's front line fighter was the open cockpit, fixed gear, wire-braced P-26. It would remain so until 1938 when America finally entered the new era with the Curtiss P-36A Hawk.
The P-36A was one of American's first new generation of combat aircraft. It was a monoplane design with retracting landing gear, an enclosed cockpit, and a powerful power plant. Not only were there noticeable design differences between the P-26 and the P-36, but also the new era aircraft had lost the garish color schemes.
Yellow-Wings Decals has produced a set of decals (48-052) for the P-36A that reflects this change. Suggested use of the decals is on Hobbycraft's P-36A. The decals are custom printed by Microscale and come packaged in a clear zip-lock bag. Included is a single sheet of decals, instructions in written format and instructions in pictorial format.
The decal sheet contains markings for two aircraft. One is the 21st Pursuit Squadron commander's airplane stationed at Elmendorf Field, Alaska. The other is the 77th Pursuit Squadron commander's aircraft stationed at Moffet Field, California. Unlike Yellow-Wing's recent set of decals for the P-26A (48-072) this set is at the other end of the decorating spectrum with just enough markings to identify the aircraft.
Colored squadron command bands around the fuselage are provided as well as the squadron badges for the fuselage sides. Squadron codes are furnished for the tail and upper and lower surfaces of the wing. There are six small aircraft numbers on the sheet for each plane. On the pictorial instructions you will see only two located on the leading edge of the wings. However, in the written instructions you'll find where the other four are placed.
The decal colors are sharp and are in perfect register. The whites in the stars and strips are really white. There is minimal carrier film around the edges of each decal. No stencils are provided, but the instructions suggest using the ones that may have come with the kit.
Yellow-Wings has produced another excellent set of decals. These may not be as flashy as some previous issues, but they are nonetheless just as good. This set of decals earns a high recommendation.
My thanks go to Yellow-Wings and IPMS/USA for the review sample.