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Yellow-Wings Decals

Yellow-Wings Decals 1/48 F4F-3 Wildcat Fuselage Bands & Wing Chevrons Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2008 Manufacturer Yellow-Wings Decals
Subject F4F-3 Wildcat Fuselage Bands & Wing Chevrons Scale 1/48
Set Number 48021 Pros Markings for four squadrons
Cons Skill Level Basic
MSRP (USD) $13.95

First Look

Yellow-Wing Decals continues to amaze me with their well-researched line of decals. As those of you who've seen previous offerings, the premise of this decal maker was to present decal subjects for primarily US Navy and US Marine Corps aircraft prior to World War II, back when they all wore yellow wings.

Yellow-Wings Decals Yellow-Wings DecalsYellow-Wings Decals

As Wayne Tevlin, the owner and researcher will tell you, there are plenty of interesting pre-war subjects out there, but as he goes through the archives, he happens across subjects like this one that are hard to pass up. The trademark of Yellow-Wing Decals can be answered by this typical question asked of a new aviation decal sheet release: "Which aircraft are covered in this set?" If the answer is "All of them!" then it is a Yellow-Wings Decals set.

This release covers the pre-war Wildcat and the following squadrons are covered here:

  • VF-41, USS Ranger, Early 1941
  • VF-42, USS Ranger, Early 1941
  • VF-71, USS Wasp, Early 1941
  • VF-72, USS Wasp, Early 1941

This set provides the colored bands for the wings and fuselage that provided visual identification of an aircraft's specific identity. Each squadron (back in the days when squadrons had 18 aircraft plus spares) was broken down into six sections of three aircraft each. The colors on the wing chevrons identified to which section that the aircraft belonged, while the presence of a fuselage band and a solid color cowling indicated a section leader. The color of the tail surfaces indicated to which aircraft carrier the aircraft was assigned. For more information on the color coding and how it works, read our article on the subject here.

This set will still require national, service, and identification markings that are available separately. This set is designed to support the Hobbyboss 1/48 F4F-3 Wildcat kit and will give you the markings to render up to six nice pre-war yellow-wing Wildcats.

Yellow-Wings Decals can be purchased directly from their website at

My sincere thanks to Yellow-Wings Decals for this review sample!