Owl Decals 1/48 US Marine Night Fighters

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

Owl Decals continue to release some fascinating night fighter decal sheets, with this latest tackling those little heard of Marine night fighters of World War Two. Four different aircraft are presented on this sheet, including an Avenger, a Hellcat, a Corsair, and a Ventura.

Starting with the Avenger, this is a TBM-3D of VT(N)-90 off of the USS Enterprise in March of 1945. This aircraft has the AN/ASP-3 and ASV radar equipment and had the rear-facing armament removed. The camouflage is interesting, being most likely originally in sea blue, intermediate blue, and white. However, as this is a night fighter, the white undersurfaces were painted over with black, or possibly sea blue. A small white 63 is on the cowl and on the extreme rear fuselage, with the earlier Arrow 63 markings on the tail painted out. No other markings are carried other than national insignia in the usual places.

The Hellcat is an F6F-3N, White 10, of VMF(N)-534 based out of Guam in August of 1944. This plane is finished in the standard sea blue, intermediate blue, and white camouflage, with a large White 10 under the windscreen. The wing radar pod has its front cap oversprayed in intermediate blue. The squadron unit badge was carried on both sides of the cowling.

Moving on to the Corsair, this is an F4U-2, flown at times by 1st Lt. Charls Canif, 1st Lt. Bruce Reuter, and Captain Howard Bollman of VMF(N)-532 flying out of Saipan during the summer of 1944. On April 14, 1944, Captain Bollman shot down a Betty bomber with this aircraft. Coded Black 212, this aircraft carries the name "Midnite Cocktail" on the port side nose, with an emblem on the nose. It is camouflaged in sea blue, intermediate blue, and white.

Finally, the Ventura is a PV-1 of VMF(N)-531 out of Banika Island in September 1943. This aircraft is camouflaged in sea blue, intermediate blue, and white, and it carries the name "Coral Princess" along with artwork of a outstretched nude woman. The crew of this aircraft scored at least one victory, reflected by one Japanese flag on the nose.

These are some interesting aircraft presented here, and should make for a great addition to a WW2 USN model collection.

Roll Models

Sandle Hobbies

Profile Art EN Banyai-Riepl Illustrations