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Venturas in Canada Part 1

34 OTU, test machines, & the early visitors

Aviaeology, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number and Description:

Aviaeology Item No. AOD72030 – Venturas In Canada Part 1

Scale:

1/72 (also available in 1/48)

Contents and Media:

Two sheets of waterslide decals, an eight page monochrome colours & markings guide, a copy of which is e-mailed to purchasers as a colour PDF with extremely high resolution graphics, and a page of decal application instructions.

Price:

Available online from:

Click for currency conversion

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

The colours and markings guide is a great resource with thoroughly researched information and superbly rendered drawings, which combined with quality decals makes for a great value package.

Disadvantages:

None noted

Conclusion:

Aviaeology are in a class of their own when it comes to the wealth of information provided by their colours and markings guides. Added to this are superb quality drawings that can be enlarged almost limitlessly without any loss of fidelity. Superbly well printed decals complete the package.

I highly recommend this set of decals, and encourage readers to check out other three sets in this Venturas in Canada series

Reviewed by Mark Davies


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

F i r s t L o o k

 

The decal set reviewed here is the first in a series of four covering Lockheed Venturas in Canada. The sets are offered as separate 1/72 or 1/48 scale editions. I took a first look, out of sequence, at Part 3 here on HyperScale earlier this year. This sheet includes both RCAF and USN subjects, as the “visitor” part of the sheet’s title covers aircraft operating from the USN’s Naval Air Station Argentia, which was located in the Dominion of Newfoundland (later to become Canada’s tenth province, Newfoundland & Labrador).

At first glance the review sample could be mistaken for a fairly run of the mill decal set. The decals come in the usual plastic zip-lock bag with some rather ordinary-looking monochrome instructions. However, once the instructions are opened it soon becomes apparent that Aviaeology’s products are far from ordinary.

Aviaeology’s decals have the most thorough and informative colours and markings guides that I can recall (and I get to see a lot of decals). Moreover, their customers get to download the highly detailed guide as full colour PDF, where the illustrations can be enlarged by several thousand percent whilst maintaining full clarity. More on this later, but first I shall background the brand as this goes some way to explaining the thorough research involved.

 

 

The Aviaeology the house-brand of SkyGrid Studio, who undertake research and create illustrations, model decal sets, full-sized markings replicas, and publications for a diverse community of aviation history enthusiasts. Their worldwide clientele includes scale model builders, R/C model builders, vintage aircraft restorers, museums, specialty publishers, model / hobby manufacturers, and historians (both “armchair” and professional.) Whereas SkyGrid Studio provides these services for clients on a contract basis, the Aviaeology imprint is their exclusive in-house product range. Currently this encompasses a growing line of books, model decals, and profile prints.



The Colours & Markings Guide

I cannot help but mention some aspects related to the colours & markings guide. You get the simple monochrome copy I mentioned earlier with the decal pack. But a far superior colour copy is sent via e-mail to purchasers as a printable colour PDF. The documentation includes decal placement and painting instructions for all subject aircraft variations, reference photographs, extracts from period service manuals, and so on.

 

  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Aviaeology 1/72 Venturas in Canada 1 Decal Review by Mark Davies: Image
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The eight-page guide is almost worth the package price without the decals, so replete is it with interesting and useful information. In fact, the review sample’s guide and those of several sets can be purchased as a document only without the decals. The guide does not confine itself to aspects of individual aircraft histories as you might expect, but gives much more information concerning Venturas in general. Just a few examples are provided below:

  • Almost “mini-articles” covering early production PV-1 and Ventura B.II factory applied finishes. This includes diagrams showing exactly where RAF roundels were positioned over US national insignia, as well as information on temporary ferry-flight markings.

  • Identification of aircraft exhibiting spot refinishing not done in accordance with official instructions.

  • Small detail in photos such as aircraft without their main-wheel hub-caps fitted.

  • A detail sketch, scale plans, and information of radar antennae.

  • Photos, drawing, scale plans, and information on ski-equipped Venturas.

  • Scale drawings of canopy with viewing blisters.

  • Mention of a fuselage side-window that is in the wrong place on the Revell  1/48 kit and missing from the 1/72 Academy/Minicraft kit.

  • A page of modelling notes with an entry for each subject.

  • Detailed notes explaining photo interpretation and assumptions used in determining the finishes as presented.


 

The Decals

So finally on to the markings - The decals enable any one of eleven different aircraft to be modelled. There are enough national insignia for three complete models. Obviously, the remainder of the sheet’s codes and serial numbers can be used if you have spare national insignia decals from elsewhere.

 

 

The subjects covered are:

  • Ventura B.II, AE929 O1 “Vivian”, 34 OTU, Aug-Dec 1943.

  • Ventura B.II, EX-Y, 34 OTU, Aug-Nov 1941.

  • Ventura B.IIA, FD640 B2 “The Blissful Jinx”, 34 OTU, Jan 1944.

  • Ventura B.IIA, FD675 S2 “Fancy Juggler”, 34 OTU, 1943-44.

  • Ventura GR.V, FN974 K2 “What Did I Do!”, 34 OTU 1943-44.

  • PV-3 Ventura, USN VP-82, Argentia NAS, late 1943 (27 Ventura B.II’s produced for the RAF were requisitioned for USN use and designated as PV-3’s).

  • PV-1 Ventura, B6, USN VP-82/VB-125, Argentia NAS, early 1943.

  • Ventura B.II Ski-test Aircraft, AE860, TDE, Rockcliffe, early 1943.

  • Ventura B.II ASW-test Aircraft, AJ164, early-mid 1943.

  • Ventura B.II ASW-test Aircraft, AJ247, early-mid 1943.

  • Ventura B.II Ski-test Aircraft, AJ430, TDE, Rockcliffe, early 1943.

The decals are printed on two sheets and appear superb in terms of registration and opacity. A separate page provides comprehensive notes and guidance on applying the decals, advice to use milder brands of decal softener if you choose to use such products, and other general information to get best results.


 

Distribution Channels

Aviaeology decals are available through three sources; these being the e-shop at Aviaeology’s website, Aviaeology’s ebay store, and retail stockists. The e-shop is undergoing an extensive overhaul at the time of writing, so the ebay store is more up to date regarding stockholdings etc; particularly in the case of recent releases.

Purchasing from either of Aviaeology’s own outlets automatically updates their customer database and emails a copy of the colours & markings guide to the buyer. Purchases from a third party stockist include a chit in the decal bag advising the buyer to email Aviaeology to be added to their database and receive their emailed guide.   

 

 

C o n c l u s i o n

 

Aviaeology are in a class of their own when it comes to the wealth of information provided by their colours and markings guides. Added to this are superb quality drawings that can be enlarged almost limitlessly without any loss of fidelity.  Superbly well printed decals complete the package.

I highly recommend this set of decals, and encourage readers to check out other three sets in this Venturas in Canada series.

Thanks to Aviaeology for this sample


 

Review Text and Images Copyright 2015 by Mark Davies
This Page Created on 17 June, 2015
Last updated 17 June, 2015

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