Modellers with the requisite kits have a splendid new set of markings for Frances Mistral and early Royal Navy Wessex airframes.
Aftermarket decal specialist Model Art explores yet more of its two most common themes – the Fleet Air Arm and French Air Force – with a fresh 1/72 decal sheet (72/086) offering schemes for the Westland Wessex and SNCASE SE 535 Mistral. The latter was a much-improved version of the de Havilland Vampire FB.5 (which the French had already bought). Six Mistrals can be represented, along with eight Wessex Mk.Is.
Fleet Air Arm modellers with either the FROG/Novo or Matchbox Wessex kits can benefit here, although both require improvement via scratch-built detail. The colour schemes are varied too, although RAF Blue Grey is a trait of all save for one airframe, a commando carrier in overall Light Stone. While another example is in overall RAF Blue Grey, the others have either Golden Yellow or Day-Glo Orange accents. The options are:
• XP112/32/532, 819 Naval Air Squadron, RAF Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, 1967
• XM832/506, 700H NAS Flight, Yeovilton, Somerset, 1960
• XM841/510/PO, 771 NAS, Portland, Dorset, 1973
• XP110/776/PO, 737 NAS, Portland, 1973
• XP104/B/A, 845 NAS, Dartmoor, Devon, 1962
• XP117/273/V, 814 NAS, HMS Victorious, 1966
• XP151/719/VL, Station Flight, Yeovilton, 1973
• XM016/22/322, 819 NAS, RAF Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, 1964
If you’re into building French Air Force subjects, and have the Heller or Azur kits, Model Art’s Mistral liveries are useful indeed. All airframes are in sprayed aluminium lacquer with classic red/white/blue rudder stripes – and one features Day-Glo panels:
• No 129/6-VT, EC 1/6 ‘Oranie’, Tours, France, 1955
• No 58/6-QN, EC 2/6 ‘Normandie-Niemen’, Telergma, Algeria, 1958
• No 188/E, EC 1/7 ‘Provence’, Oran-La-Sénia, 1953
• No 82/8-PB/E, EC 1/8 ‘Maghreb’, Rabat-Salé, 1957
• No 79 FANFAN, CIEES 343/SEAT, Colomb-Béchar, 1963
• No 81/T, École de l’Air, Salon-de Provence, 1957
The decals themselves are beautifully detailed, especially the unit badges, and the register is also superb. Plenty of colour notes and reference recommendations fill the instruction sheet, along with annotated drawings of each machine. The sheet costs £10 and is available direct from Model Art Decal System.