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In-Box Review
Venturas in Canada 1
Venturas in Canada 1: 34 OTU, test machines and the early visitors.
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by: Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]

Originally published on:


Lockheed's Ventura was an improved Hudson, based upon the Model 18 Lodestar airliner rather than the Model 14 Electra. The Ventura was faster and could carry twice the bomb load of the Hudson, or could be equipped with long-range tanks to better suit it to its coastal patrol role. Never very popular in the traditional day-bomber role, the Ventura found its niche in Coastal Patrol, where it diligently served for long years of essential but unglamourous work.

First Impressions

This is a very thorough decal sheet, which supplies markings to do eleven different aircraft. The sheet is extremely thoroughly researched and accompanied by a thick instruction booklet.

Options offered on the sheet:

  • 1. Ventura B.II AE929 of 34 OTU in Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky and Boulton-Paul domed turret;
  • 2. Ventura B.II AE934 of 34 OTU in Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky and Boulton-Paul domed turret;
  • 3. Ventura B.IIA FD640 of 34 OTU in Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky and Martin flat turret;
  • 4. Ventura B.IIA FD675 of 34 OTU in US Olive Drab over Neutral Grey and Martin flat turret;
  • 5. Ventura GR.V FN974 of 34 OTU in Blue-grey over light grey and Martin flat turret;
  • 6. PV-3 Ventura B.II of VP-82 USN in overall white with turret opening faired over;
  • 7. PV-1 Ventura of VP-82 in Blue-grey over light grey and Martin flat turret;
  • 8. Ventura B.II AE860 ski test aircraft in Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky with turret opening faired over;
  • 9. Ventura B.II AJ164 ASW test aircraft in Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky with turret opening faired over;
  • 10. Ventura B.II AJ247 ASW test aircraft in Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky with turret opening faired over;
  • 11. Ventura B.II AJ430 ski test aircraft in Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky with turret opening faired over.

This decal was produced to fit Revell's excellent Ventura B.II kit in 1/48. Sheet Number AOD 72030 will fit Minicraft's 1/72 kit.

the decal sheet

The sheet is split in two. Each one is crammed with markings. All necessary individual markings, nose art and code letters for all 11 aircraft have been provided. The first sheet contains one set of RCAF roundels and fin flashes in type A1, B and C1 to suit the different subjects on offer, two sets of USN stars in the early 1943 style (without bars) in two different sizes and some of the smaller code letters. The second sheet contains the bulk of the code letters, serial numbers and nose art. All markings are in perfect register, with no blurring or smudging. The fine letters and numbers are crisply printed. The carrier film is quite restrained. It does not extend to the insides of the letters, for example, and only thin lines connect letters which are applied adjacent to each other. They will likely take care to place properly without damage.


The instructions as mentioned above are extremely thorough. Each subject gets half a page, with notes and details crammed around the profile drawings. There is also a page giving general details of the two different paint schemes the majority of the sheet's subjects wore. If this decal set has a downside, it is here. The printing of the photos is a little grainy, and the details and fine print are sometimes difficult to make out for those of us of a certain age. Magnification and close study are highly recommended.

Aviaeology goes to great lengths to avoid inferring marking details. Wherever possible, multiple photos of the given scheme are presented. There is a lot going on in these instructions. They absolutely must be studied very carefully in order not to miss important details. Alternate construction options include bomber nose or radar nose, armament fit, antenna fit, RAF style cockpit blisters or USN style cockpit. The notes on the finishing, especially spot refinishing, are very thorough and often date specific where the markings are known to have been altered over time.

Scrap drawings of the ski and radar installations on the test aircraft are given to aid the modeller in scratch-building these.

Balancing the small print, the instructions are available from Aviaeology as a high-quality PDF file. If you buy the sheet through their website, you will automatically be e-mailed a copy. If you choose to support traditional hobby shops, you must request it through the e-mail address listed on an insert slip in the instructions. It's easy to miss so look carefully.

This decal was kindly provided for review by Aviaeology. All Aviaeology products are available for purchase through their website.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: These decals will be popular with RCAF fans and anyone looking to build an unusual Ventura.
Lows: Important details hide in the small print.
Verdict: This is a refreshing change from USN markings.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: AOD 48030
  Suggested Retail: C$16.79
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 07, 2014

Our Thanks to Aviaeology!
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 ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Jessica, Thanks for your review of the PV-1 decal sheet. The Revell PV-1 has been on my must build list for some time but I just never seem to get around to it. But with this new decal sheet, I'm really getting the urge to actually do this build. Joel
NOV 08, 2014 - 08:14 PM
Has Aviaeology fixed their issue with the thickness of their decals? I had used one of their previous releases on my Mosquito and they were extremely thick and would not sit down properly on the model. Also there was a distinct no realistic pattern on the decal, I assume from their printing process.
NOV 08, 2014 - 09:19 PM
Yes, they've changed from their previous "digital silk" to a more traditional printing method. The sample decals look to be very thin indeed and there's definitely no pattern on these.
NOV 08, 2014 - 10:21 PM
Jessica Thanks, might have to give them a try again. Kevin
NOV 08, 2014 - 10:52 PM

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