In-Box Review
Naval T-Birds
US Navy TV-2/T-33
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by: Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]


Developed from the F-80, Lockheed's T-33 was by far the most successful of the first generation jet trainers, its career spanning from 1948 into the 21st Century. The US Navy was one of its early adopters, designating it the TO-2 in 1949 (the TO-1 was a variant of the F-80 used to give Naval pilots experience flying jets). Later on, the designation was changed to the more familiar TV-2 until the 1962 US Defence Department combined scheme changed it to T-33B.

First Impressions

This decal is one of the more complete sheets I've ever seen for multiple subjects. If chosen carefully, the modeller can make at least 3 of the 5 different options, and a modeller with a reasonably populated decal bank can make all 5 since there is only one set of intake warning stripes and not enough small stencils to do every subject. Two of the schemes are very colourful and will definitely stand out on the display shelf.

decal sheet

One rather smallish sheet is crammed with insignia, modex numbers and serial numbers for all 5 subjects plus one set of intake warning stripes and a handful of stencils. The sheet is well laid out, and the separations between the subjects are clearly delineated. If the sheet had been made slightly larger, the missing stencils could have been included. The printing is very crisp and the colours look solid enough to withstand being applied to the very bright background colours of the drone controller and the orange and white scheme.

instruction sheet

The instructions come on one double sided 8 1/2 X 11 sheet printed in full colour. One side shows 5 port side profiles with scrap views of the starboard side where necessary. The other shows reduced size top profiles of all 5 subjects, plus a bottom profile of the orange and white scheme. Underside markings on the other 4 profiles are shown as semi-transparent overlays. Careful study of the drawings reveals sufficient information to place the decals, but a beginner may be a bit perplexed.

the options

5 different US Navy and US Marines TV-2 aircraft are offered:

  • 1: TV-2 138977 based at Naval Air Station Glenview. The aircraft is in overall natural metal with a day-glo orange band around the rear fuselage. This band must be masked and painted.
  • 2: TV-2 131885 of GMGRU-1 in 1959. The aircraft is painted in the US Navy's drone-controller scheme of engine grey fuselage and orange-yellow wings with day-glo orange bands at half span. The tail group and rear outer faces of the tip tanks are also orange-yellow.
  • 3: TV-2 131777 of Marine Air Squadron 32 in overall natural metal. The fuselage insignia is larger than usual, and carried above the wing roots rather than the rear fuselage.
  • 4: T-33B 137952 of the US Naval Air Training Command NAS Glynco, 1974. This aircraft is in an overall light gull grey scheme with black anti-glare panels and walkways.
  • 5: TV-2 141532 based at MCAS El Toro in 1962. This aircraft wears the then-new training scheme of white and fluorescent red-orange.


This sheet fills a void for the US Navy fan, allowing some of the more colourful Naval T-birds to be built.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Brightly coloured options to do something a little out of the ordinary.
Lows: lacking complete stencils to allow for all 5 options on one sheet.
Verdict: Fans of the US Navy's colourful era will find this sheet to be just what they didn't know they always wanted.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 72012
  PUBLISHED: Aug 23, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Iliad Design!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Is a secret (Jessie_C)

Copyright 2021 text by Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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