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Drew Tarter
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1/48 AMT S-3A Viking

October 18, 2019 · in Aviation · · 35 · 4.4K

Here's my 1/48 AMT S-3A , which I built several years ago. The kit, which is still available under the Italeri label, appears to have accurate outlines and shapes based on my few references. Overall, the fit is OK, but I had to use filler on the fuselage and wing root seams. Panel lines are recessed, but seem to wide and deep for the scale. I uses thinned paint and pencil to highlight the panel lines, but the effect is too stark. I've since learned to tone down this method of highlighting panel lines. The kit has several options: open or closed boarding steps, FLIR dome, bomb bay, and extended or retracted tail hook, MAD boom, and in-flight refueling probe. Two decent Harpoon missiles are provided to go under the wings, but I substituted two 350-gal drop tanks from my spares box.The kit also provides four ASW torpedoes, but I replaced them with two Mk-44 torpedoes left over from a 1/48 Hasegawa SH-3 Sea King kit. The kit's bomb bay and landing gear bays are devoid of any detail. I busied them some by adding styrene strip and rod to the wells to add at least some minimal detail. The cockpit is very basic, too, with inaccurate decals for the instrument panels. But you can't see anything in there anyway, because it's all hidden by a tinted canopy that's about twice as dark as it is on the actual aircraft. I added several large lead fishing weights to keep model from tail-sitting. I used Model Master enamels to paint the Gull Grey over white cammoflage scheme, and thin decal strips painted zinc chromate yellow to simulate the weather sealing around the windscreen frames. The break-away panels above the sensor operators ejection seats were covered with sections of clear decal sheet, painted grey. The kit provides markings for VS-41, the Viking training squadron, but I wanted to portray a feet squadron jet. So, I substituted markings from an AeroMaster sheet to portray a jet from VS-22, when deployed aboard USS Saratoga in 1976. I have two more of these kits in the stash, one of which is the ES-3A Shadow version, and I hope to do a better job on those - whenever I get around to building another Viking.

Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

35 responses

  1. beautiful work

  2. That’s really sharp. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve had one in the stash for over 25 years and haven’t touched it. Inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

  3. The labor of love taken in this build is very obvious. What outstanding detail you've accomplished. A real eye-catcher indeed. Stunning work, Drew.

  4. Well done "hoover" in the gull grey/white scheme. Like John I have the AMT boxing for about as long as he has and the ES-3A also. The only Viking built to date is the Hasegawa 72nd kit. Quite impressive air frame. It is a good sized plane when finished. Thanks for sharing,

  5. Nicely done Drew, I like it, really nice work for an old kit.

  6. Hey now I was a Shamrock, no need to disparage the rag! Just kidding! I was also in VS-38! Of course when I was in both of those squadrons we flew the B model. Anyway, beautiful model of a fine aircraft, I loved my time in the S-3 community and was sad to see the reire them

  7. I do think the Viking looks best grey over white! I was able to get decals for VS-38 off of the Ranger (my favorite Viking scheme) for mine but for some reason for the rainbow on the tail they substituted black for blue! I like your idea for depicting the covers over the rear seats. I have heard these panels were at one time transparent but I have yet to find photo evidence of this.

  8. Nicely done Drew and an excellent selection of colorful markings.

  9. Great job, nice to see one built! Cruised with VS-22 on board Saratoga '75/'76,while with VF-31. Had to be careful of the hoovers two man eater engines.

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  10. Great looking Viking! I've got the 1/72 Hasegawa kit - probably at least 25 years in the stash - but intend the gull grey scheme like yours as it just looks great that way.

  11. Beautiful. I really miss the colourful era of navy jets

  12. All of your builds shown on your imodeler blogger beautiful.
    Excellent work on this one.

  13. Hello Drew,
    Very impressed with the overall look of the S3A.
    Also the photographic presentation is of high standard.

  14. Second that emotion - just ordered the Italeri kit - your build is truly inspirational!

  15. I was in vs-32 from 73 through 77. Where can I get VS 32 decals for the plane I’m going to build. Thank you

    • SuperScale makes a sheet with VS-32 markings. You may be able to find it on eBay.

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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