I finished airbrushing the blue gray over light gray for all the Yorktown and Essex aircraft this weekend, and started pulling the rubber masking off the cockpits. The new technique of under painting the (clear) aircraft undersides with Interior Green before applying the final coat worked great, as did the cockpit masking. The aircraft look like they have glass canopies, with the interiors predominantly green. The SBDs shown to the left are older, and weren't painted the same way, so their "interiors" just look black..
I am trying to finish a few aircraft for each of the carriers, the May 1942 Lexington, the June 1942 Yorktown and the May 1943 Essex. This afternoon, it was two SBDs for the Lexington, three TBD Devastators for the Yorktown, and three F6Fs for the Essex.
Unfortunately, the shortcomings in the Trumpeter decals (all three carriers are Trumpeter kits) are becoming apparent. The Lexington decals are too small – especially the wing roundels. The Yorktown decals are better sized, but for some reason are royal blue. Nor is that the only error. The decals come with aircraft specific unit markings – but for the Hornet's air group. It's nice to have "8-T" markings for Torpedo 8, but they are of no use for the Yorktown. Only the Essex decals are more or less the right size, and the right shade of blue.
I got on the Internet and discovered that Starfighter has decals for the 1942 Yorktown and Lexington, as well as the 1936 Saratoga that I'm building next, so I ordered those. As they're printed, they will have to be individually cut out, but I'm getting better at this. But that does mean that all these aircraft will shortly get their decals soaked off in favor of aftermarket ones.
I also did some research last night on which combination of aircraft to use for each ship, and that's helping narrow down how many I need for each. I will be modifying the TBDs to make the wings fold, and fortunately it doesn't appear many of the Yorktown's new F4F-4s had their wings folded while on the flight deck at Midway, which will make life easier. But on the Essex everything but the SBDs folded, and that's not a modification I can make to the F6Fs or TBFs, so I will have to rethink what flight deck scene to show.