USN Super Carrier Decals
I would like to thank Loren Perry for this review sample and the decal photo.
Until recently, ship modelers have had limited options for aftermarket decals. With the release of so many new ship kits, the demand for additional decal options has grown. While most manufacturers have focused on the etched-brass market, Gold Medal Models - one of the decal torch bearers as well as a PE manufacturer - has answered the call and released a decal sheet that covers the US Navy super carriers from CV(A)-59 on up. Not only will this sheet work with the new Trumpeter 1/700 NIMITZ Class, but also the classic Revell CVAN-65 ENTERPRISE, the venerable Monogram KITTYHAWK Class CV(A)s, the Italeri CV and CVN models and the Fujimi CV kits as well.
This is a versatile sheet that fills in the previous gaps in available markings. Printed by Scalemaster, my sheet is sharp, in register with the carrier film kept to a minimum. Most important, the whites are bright and not yellow; in fact all colors look true. Each decal is clearly marked with its purpose and ship. Like GMM's PE sets, this sheet is packed with details, and will clearly last through a couple of models. Here is what you get:
- Numbers for the forward flight deck, between catapults 1 and 2, either solid white or outlined in white.
- Island numbers from 59 to 77. CV 59 - 64, CVN-65, CVs 66 and 67 and early NIMITZ Class (68-73) class ships are provided as shadowed numbers. Also available are the modern plain white numbers for the entire NIMITZ class. Check your references for the period modeled.
- Ship names for the stern.
- Aircraft elevator warning stripes.
- Flight foul line stripes.
- Electrical power hatch stripes.
- Train Warning Circles for weapon systems.
- Draft Markings.
- Warning placards (i.e. "Beware of Jet Blast, Propellers and Rotors").
- Efficiency awards.
- Enlisted Aviation Pins for the island (many ship specific).
- Ship unique artwork.
The instruction sheet for this sheet is first rate. It provides detailed locating information specific to each ship represented, both for the flight deck and the island of the CVNs. You will need to check you references for the conventionally powered super carriers. Even for the CVN's you will want to check your references to best capture the detail of the period being modeled; remember artwork could vary by deployment and change significantly coming out of lengthy refits (to wit USS ENTERPRISE 1988 versus 1996)
This is a welcomed sheet from GMM that provides a lot of detail previously unavailable. Aside from the landing area markings, which are ship specific and best masked and painted, this sheet covers the rest; it will go a long way to adding prototypical color and artwork especially on the island. GMM also makes a sheet 700-1D, which is a nice complementary set that provides additional miscellaneous flight deck lines if desired.
There is also a 1/350th version of this sheet available as well. If you plan to build modern US Navy CV/CVN than you need this sheet and you can't beat the price.