Owing to the lack of availability of the Italeri T-45, I haven’t been able to do the two I’d really like to do: the Centennial of Naval Aviation pair in retro markings. Draw Decal does both sets, and I’ll probably pick them up once the kit is available again (it is in the 2018/19 catalog). But in the meantime, I picked up the Wolfpack upgraded kit. This was a bit of overkill, since I really only wanted the plastic Italeri bits. But by the time one adds in shipping to an ebay order for the T-45, it ends up being roughly the same price as the Wolfpack version. But I didn’t use the photoetch set that comes with the upgrade.
The Italeri kit itself is pretty straightforward, with few traps for the unwary. I got to the painting stage fairly quickly with this one. Since I was planning to use a markings option from the recent Caracal sheet (72-028) with its flamboyant Redhawks scheme, the painting was probably a bit more complicated than the usual Goshawk. In fact I made things more difficult for myself, not noticing that the outer wing panels were painted Insignia Red until after I had applied the first couple of fuselage decals. Some tense masking – lots of paper towels and minimal masking tape, and none touching any decal – ensued. I was worried that any contact between tape and decal would pull up the marking and send me looking for a second set of decals. Thankfully it all went well enough and I completed the decals and a final topcoat of clear varnish.
As mentioned, this is the Redhawks scheme of VT-21, based at NAS Kingsville TX. All in all, while it looked for a time like there was a disaster brewing, it came out well enough. As soon as T-45s come to market once again, you’ll likely be seeing the CoNA examples.
This is completed aircraft #501 (18 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 5 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in December of 2018.