by Tommy H. Thomason

Monday, June 11, 2018

Modeling the Jolly Rogers' History

There are many themes on which to focus your modeling efforts. One of my favorites is an air group on a specific deployment, such as the first one of Enterprise (CVN-65) in 1962. Befitting the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, some of the aircraft types CVG-6 were also deploying for the first time. Others were tried and true.

Of course, there are difficulties - there is no 1/72 kit of the A3J-1 for example and some of the colorful markings will have to be created somehow.

Another theme is to build all the airplanes flown over time by a specific squadron, or at least squadrons using the same nickname. This has become easy-peasy from a markings standpoint for an iconic one like the Navy's Jolly Rogers thanks to a Russian decal producer, CtA, which stands for Cut then Add.

The "Bones" adorned so many different types that they have to be covered in two parts.

I've noticed an error on one that I looked at closely, the FJ-3, The band on the nose should be white, which was the trim color for the second squadron when the airplanes were painted blue, not orange-yellow, the trim color when the airplanes were painted gray/white (see for a complication).

However, this decal is easy to replace by painting the nose white and masking off the marking when applying the overall blue.

 Unfortunately, they relied on an online profile in this particular instance, which led them astray. In other instances, their scholarship is obviously good and even shared. For example, see

CtA's product line is eclectic at the moment, with decal options for aircraft from different countries. And even the movies:
See their website here:

An RA-5C build with Welcome to the Jungle decals is HERE.

CtA accepts PayPal and ships promptly from Moscow. The decals I got in Connecticut were in a package that could have been left by my mailman on the beach at low tide for a week without getting wet. If we support them with direct purchases, they are more likely to be profitable and encouraged to expand their range and even take requests.


  1. Yes, it could be great to have carrier diorama with piston-engined Skyraider and nuclear-armed supersonic Vigilante standing side by side. Or just WW2 designed Skyraider from nuclear-powered supercarrier.
    As of FJ-3, situation was complicated not by colour profile but this: Here, as well as on your photo of E215, it seems that fuselage band have thin lighter outline. Is it an illusion, some effect on film or white outline of darker (yellow) band? At first decision was to give white band and thinner yellow one separately, but there were no enough free space on the sheet. So it ended as a white-outlined yellow band only for it had been considered that to paint solid white band is much easier than an outlined one.
    As of eclectic product line, CtA for now decided to specialize on carrier-borne aircraft, of all countries and periods. As of requests - well, who knows, may be one day they would show us an Enterprise timeline. ;) At least I've already opted for one particular Ent's bird.
    And yes, thanks for appreciation of CtA's work - sometimes there is a little bit of mine in it too.

  2. The A3J-1 (A-5A) was easy! Followed Paul Boyer's instructions in FSM and I still have it. Not sure how well I'd do nowadays. The markings were a challenge and not just to the scalpel but OK in the end.
    CTA do some interesting stuff - I have their "Welcome to the Jungle sheet" - not convinced by their colour recommendations always or by the blue in their insignia but worth having. Never seen that film (whatever it is) so don't know about the Gnat scheme - never mind it came free. They often have deals on postage on facebook and also available on ebay.