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Modeling rear canopies on the Viking

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Hey gents,


I thought I would share a tid-bit on the Viking that the majority of modelers tend to misrepresent in the finishing portion of their builds.


The rear canopies on the S-3 Viking are actually CLEAR. They are lined with a paper laminant on the inside surface to block out sunlight. This was due to the type of displays used at the TACCO and SENSO stations. These displays would be completely washed out with any considerable amount of light coming into these crew stations.

Since the canopies do not separate during crew ejection, the paper lining is scribed with circular patterns to prevent hindering the breaking of the canopy during ejection. This allows the canopy to shatter as the crewmembers pass through the canopy.


NOTE: During ground egress, all four canopies can be jettisoned by pulling a 'T' handle between the two front seaters, and one at each rear crew position. Pulling the 'T' handle ignites a burning charge that allows the canopies to be pushed away by the crew. Two more outside 'T' handles are on either side of the forward crew positions for use of external Resue access.


The color of the lining is Light Gull Grey. When the Vikings changed to the TPS scheme, the lining was never changed to TPS along with the rest of the airframe. They remained Light Gull Grey throughout the life of the aircraft.




Above is a restored canopy as it would appear brand new (Naval Aviation Museum - NAS Pensacola). As time went on, the canopies finish would dull. This was due to maintainers never polishing them, and also not applying a slathering layer of canopy polish to the outer surface for what was common practice when a jet would go to "the hanger" for a long period of time. This slathering acted as a buffer to dust accumulation and painting sessions not only on the aircraft itself, but over spray from other aircraft being painted in close proximity.


Technique I find for representing the rear canopies is a slightly darker shade to Light Gull Grey to project depth, then several layers of semi-gloss clear. Paint the rear canopies first, then mask them off to work the rest of the aircraft.


Hope this helps and you found it interesting.


Tracy Mann

AW1(AW) ret.

2,000+ hrs S-3A/B SENSO/Instructor

Edited by Vidar_710
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3 minutes ago, scotthldr said:

Would it not better to paint the inside of the canopy, then shoot a very light matt clear coat on the outside🤷‍♂️


I don't know of any kit that represents those areas as clear.




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This was the last 1/48 scale Viking I built back in the mid-90's for a fellow Checkmate. It was a Christmas gift from her Apache pilot husband - which I built an Apache for him from her the Christmas before.




This is me getting the occasional stick time. Hook is down, so we were over the boat.




I have 3 qtr scale Vikings planned for the near future. One of which is very special to me - The one (Vidar 710) I punched out of in October '89. I think it's past time to do it.



Edited by Vidar_710
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