by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The latest release from the drawing board of Felipe C. Miranda of FCM Decals is for the 1/48 Kinetics kit of the recently released S-2 Tracker. The kit currently offers only one set of markings. So this release from FCM, including markings for two Venezuelan and one Brazilian aircraft will increase your options if you want alternative markings for your Tracker.
Contents are safely wrapped in a semi resealable transparent plastic envelope. This release includes:
-1 x A5 decal sheet.
-3 x A4 colour guides.
-1 x A4 stencil guide.
This set offers three sets of markings for:
P-16E [S-2E], 1º/ 1º Grupo de Av. Embarcuda, Base Aérea de Santa Cruz, Brasil, 1993.
S-2E 149878 AS-01 Escuadron Aeronaval Antisubmarino, Marina Venezoelana, 1976.
S-2E 149280 AS-01 Escuadron Aeronaval Antisubmarino, Marina Venezoelana, 1982.
Decals: the quality of the print is quite superb, printed by Microscale. The Venezuelan roundels are very striking in their colour, no low visibility stuff here. There are two different styles of markings for the Venezuelan aircraft, some are roundels and the others are roundels with a bar, similar in style to US markings. The seven stars on the small Venezuelan flag are faithfully reproduced, which is indicative of the quality of the quality of the print. The Brazilian insignia have separate blue centres. All the decals are numbered which makes them a lot easier to find on the decal sheet.
The nose art just below the cockpit window of the Brazilian aircraft is very nicely done. Also the badge for 149878 just aft of the cockpit is beautifully reproduced. The stencils are simply stunning in their quality. Even the tiniest ones are legible. There are even stencils for the inside of the doors for the bomb bay and the main undercarriage. The stencils are mostly written in Spanish. I must admit I really like the small flashes of blue on the nose gear door, the propeller bosses on the Venezuelan aircraft. The white rudder with the two diagonal blue stripes is also very eye catching.
Instruction: there are three A4 sheets of colour profiles and plan views. There are three port side views of each aircraft and two starboard views between the nose and the wing trailing edge of the Brazilian and a Venezuelan aircraft. Presumably the other Venezuelan is exactly the same apart from the code letters. There is also upper and lower plan views of each aircraft. I was surprised to see how long the wingspan of the Tracker appears to have. There is a dedicated to the placing of stencils. There are port and starboard profile views of both users of the Tracker. There is a little variation in the ways the stencils have been applied between the two forces. There are also side profiles of the inner and outer port engine.
Well if you are not impressed by the single set of markings supplied in the Kinetic kit, then you must consider these gems. Or maybe just hang on a bit and have a look at FCM decals for the Tracker part II, which should be out shortly. This set will certainly add a great deal of colour to this anti submarine warrior. Nice one FCM.