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Yellow-Wings Decals

Yellow-Wings Decals 1/48 F4F-3 VMF-121 'Headed for Guadalcanal' Wildcats 1941 Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer Yellow-Wings Decals
Subject F4F-3 VMF-121 'Headed for Guadalcanal' Wildcats 1941 Scale 1/48
Set Number 48061 Pros Markings for all of the USMC pre-war VMF-121 Wildcats
Cons Skill Level Basic
MSRP (USD) $12.95

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 early days of Marine Fighter Squadron 121. VMF-121 was activated on 24 June 1941, equipped with the F4F-3 Wildcat. In their pre-war training period, as depicted in this decal set, the aircraft were painted overall light gray with white identificaltion markings and tricolor national cockades.

VMF-121 would become famous in the early days of World War II as charter members of the Cactus Air Force (the nickname of forces operating under the austere conditions at Henderson Field at Guadalcanal). VMF-121 inflicted heavy casualties upon the Japanese as they tried to take Guadalcanal. Medal of Honor recipient Major Joe Foss was the executive officer and later commander of VMF-121, and his squadron was credited with 72 kills with 26 of those kills made by Foss himself. The harsh conditions that these aviators operated under and still took the fight to the enemy helped to define the grit of today's Marine aviator.

This set is out just in time for the Hobby Boss 1/48 F4F-3 Wildcat kit and will provide a distinctive set of subjects for new kit. These decals are printed by Microscale and are in perfect register. Then again, I've never seen a bad release from Yellow-Wings Decals.

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

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