USS Oriskany was an unusual ship. An Essex class carrier that was built during World War Two but not completed until the Korean War. With her new island, the Mighty O looked far fresher and more modern than the earlier units of the class with their WWII island and twin 5-Inch/38 mounts. Of the many reissues of the Revell modernized Essex class, the reissue that was released as the Oriskany always fetches far higher prices at auction than the reissues as Lexington, Essex and Wasp. The Oriskany is the same kit as the others, with different Revell decals and maybe a little different aircraft selection, but it is much more expensive than its twins. For some reason Oriskany seems to be more glamorous than her sisters. The decals shown here are in 1:700 scale. Unless you have the old Jim Shirley Oriskany kit, you may not be interested in 1:700 scale decals for the Mighty O, but wait, another Oriskany kit is probably not that far removed.
Starfighter Decals set 700-13 is one of those wonderful sets that includes not only full decals for the carrier, but also decals for the air wing. In this case it is the Oriskany as she appeared from 1966 to 1968 off of Vietnam, and carried Air Wing 16. There are two sheets of decals. The largest sheet has the carrier decals, some squadron markings and national insignia for the aircraft. The much smaller sheet has the markings for the final three squadrons. For the Oriskany you of course get the large white number 34 for the deck and smaller white with black shadow numbers for the island. The island also has a beautiful yellow and black warning billboard. Elevators get the red and yellow warning line treatment along their perimeters. This set does not have the primary boarder lines for the angled deck or forward deck. A series of lines are provided for the much smaller features like the foul line for the angled deck, warning/taxi line for the axial deck and hangar deck warning stripes for the outline of the hangar deck doors. Thin white lines are provided for the catapult inboard foul lines. Warning stripe outlines are provided for the jet blast deflectors, as well as large, medium and small ordnance elevators. There are optional stern nameplates, a single large name for Oriskany without stern gun tubs and two smaller names for the stern of Oriskany with gun tubs. There are even markings for the ship's boats. For aircraft national markings, there are 186 large insignia and 135 small insignia. There are also 55 plain "NAVY" decals for aircraft but more of these are included with squadron detail with some of the squadron decals. The sheet concludes with markings for six squadrons. The hardest to see are the all white decals for olive drab UH-2 Seasprite helicopters of HU-1 Fleet Angles, det G. The E-1B Willey Fudds of VAW-11 det G get their RR tail markings and other black decal details. There are four different sets of numbers for the KA-3B Whales of VAH-4 Fourunners, det G. There are also four different sets of markings for the RF-8G reconnaissance Crusaders of VFP-63 Eyes of the Fleet, det G.
The markings of the four squadrons, actually G detachments, mentioned above are in black with three squadrons and white with one. Now, we get to those multi-color squadrons of fighters and attack aircraft. There are thirteen sets of markings for the F-8E Crusader gun fighters of VF-162 Hunters. These Crusaders have beautifully colored tails of blue with white stars and yellow bars. The last squadron appearing on the large sheet is VF-163 Saints. The tails of their A-4E Skyhawks are marked with blue flashes and there are also twelve different sets of markings for this squadron. The small second sheet presents the markings of the last three squadrons. The most intricate tail markings go to F-8E Crusaders of VF-111 Sundowners with a setting sun motif. The A-4E Skyhawks of VA-164 Ghost Riders have red flashes of the same design as the blue flashes found on the VF-163 birds. Lastly, let us not forget those propeller marvels, the A-1H Skyraiders of VA-152 Friendlies. These beauties have yellow chevrons with black outlines for their tails and black spade insignias under each side of their cockpits. All squadrons on the small sheet have twelve individual aircraft markings per squadron. If you count the combined number of unique aircraft markings found in this set, you'll come up with 78. You'll have a hard time finding the space to spot this air armada on your Oriskany deck.
As always, Starfighter Decals provides great value for the money. Set 700-13 is designed for a 1:700 scale Essex class USS Oriskany in her 1966 to 1968 tour. The set includes 78 unique sets of markings from the nine squadrons of Air Wing 16 carried by the Mighty O during this period.