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ES-3A Shadow

by Scott Nagle


ES-3A Shadow


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The ES-3A Shadow was the short-lived (1991-1999) electronic warfare and reconnaissance variant of the venerable S-3 Viking anti-submarine aircraft. In addition, the aircraft provided airborne refueling capability with an underwing buddy pod.




The AMT/ERTL kit is well-known for its excellent, crisp, recessed panel lines and its excellent fit. It was therefore a pleasure to construct this kit completely out of the box. The only downside is the poorly detailed and incorrect cockpit. Thankfully, the darkly tinted canopy all but hides the cockpit, which can only be seen with direct, bright illumination and does not detract from the overall presentation.


The only potential construction pitfall arises from the misleading and incorrect photographs of the completed model on the box cover. They show the covers that replace the bomb bay doors being positioned so that the vents face downward. All my photographs of the actual aircraft, as well as some of
the line drawings in the kit instructions, show these vents on the sides of the aircraft, not the bottom. In order to accomplish this, a fair amount of filling and sanding is needed between the panels and the fuselage.



Painting and Markings



The markings for this aircraft have been produced by both SuperScale and CAM Decals.

The original SuperScale sheet had some mistakes that SuperScale partially rectified by providing a correction sheet at no charge if you mail them the sheet identification decal. Unfortunately, there are still some small errors and omissions -- most notably the lack of a bat insignia for the nose, "slime" lights, and wing walkway markings.



The 1/48 scale CAM Decals sheet provides all of these markings. I would recommend avoiding the SuperScale sheet and purchasing instead the CAM Decals sheet if you decide to build this bird.



Paint was Model Master enamels with a panel line wash of a mixture of diluted black and brown "The Detailer" acrylics.



Weathering was done with pastel chalk.




  • World Air Power Journal, Vol. 34, Autumn/Fall 1998

  • Lock On No 23: Lockheed S-3B Viking, Verlinden Publications



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2003 by Scott Nagle
Page Created 10 March, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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