The Consolidated PBY flying boats really needs no introduction. During the Second World War, their service was one of legends, taking a leading role in the sinking of the Bismarck as well as rescuing many a downed aircrew. After the war, the PBY continued serving in the air forces of many countries, mainly in the search and rescue role. Many also found their way into civilian hands, with several still flying today as fire bombers.
In 1946, Canadian Pacific purchased four PBY-5As from the government to provide service along the Pacific coast in British Columbia. The two examples on this decal sheet have a bit of interesting history, both serving in the RCAF. CF-CRR flew with 162 Squadron and sunk U-342 in April of 1942. This plane flew with Canadian Pacific until 1960 when it was sold to Northland Airlines. CF-CRV had a short time with Canadian Pacific, as in 1949 she flipped over during a landing in the waters near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, killing two people.
This decal sheet is somewhat basic, but that does not mean that it will be an easy job. These PBYs are very colorful, with blue hulls, red stripes, and white tops. The engine nacelles have red striping as well, with titles on the fuselage and lower wing. That about covers the decals, which is the easy part. The tough part will be with the conversion, as these PBYs were heavily modified. First off, you will need to convert the nose to a boat hull, removing the turret and fairing it in. This will probably be the toughest part of the conversion. Second, the rudder was cut down and reshaped, a common sight on civil PBYs in Canada. The engines need cooling gills added as well. The majority of the work, though, will be with the interior. Underneath those large blisters was a plush setup with couches and bulkheads. Finally, these PBYs featured air stairs in the back of the aircraft. The instructions state that the drawings are a best guess, as no dimensional information is available on these stairs. With all the other work you are going to have to do to the Minicraft kit, you might as well go all the way and drop the air stairs. An added benefit is that you will not have to weight the nose this way.
The decals themselves are Alps-printed and as such are very thin, with excellent register. They are fragile, though, so some care will be needed in applying them.
My thanks to Whiskey Jack for the review sample. For ordering information and other great decals of Canadian subjects, visit their website.