Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Print Scale
Decal Sheet ID 72-131
Decal Sheet Title Cessna O-1 Bird Dog
Types Featured O-1D,TO-1D, L-19A,OE-2/O-1C,O-1E,O-1A

Very few markings are available for the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog so this sheet (72-131) from Print Scale is of great interest. It provides markings for no less than ten different aircraft from the US Air Force, US Army, US Navy and US Marine Corps. The individual aircraft covered are:-

  • L-19A 50-1327 from the 8th Army during December 1952. This aircraft transported President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower on his inspection trip to Korea. Overall Olive Drab FS34087 with yellow "USARMY 01327" on the fin and "U.S.ARMY" in yellow on the upper wing;
  • TO-1D 55-4736 from the US Army. This aircraft was painted in the Arctic scheme of overall Gloss White (FS17925) with Fluorescent Red-Orange (FS28913) outer wings and rear fuselage / fin and rudder. "U.S. ARMY 54736" in black on the fin & rudder and ARMY in black on the fuselage. "U.S.ARMY" in black on the upper wing; 
  • O-1D 0-12027 from the 199th Reconnaissance Airplane Company based at Vinh Long, RVN during the mid-1960s. This aircraft carried "Little Annie Fanny" markings on the starboard door and was painted overall Olive Drab (FS34087) with markings in Black. This aircraft carried "0-12027" on the fin, "UNITED STATES ARMY" on the fuselage and a large red/white sharkmouth, together with a yellow/white triangle on the fin;
  • O-1D 57-2809 from the 19th TASS. This aircraft was one of the first USAF Bird Dogs to be deployed to Vietnam, during July 1963. It was painted overall Air Defence Command Grey (FS16473) with all markings in black and a red/white sharkmouth. This aircraft also carried a large "72809" on the fin, a blue fin tip, yellow bird and wing emblem on the fin. During later service with the 21st TASS during 1968, the aircraft was shot down 20 miles north east of Phan Thiet;
  • OE-2/O-1C 140082 from VMO-6 based at Chu Lai, South Vietnam during the early 1960s. This aircraft was Field Green (FS34097) over Light grey (FS36622) with all markings in black including "WB" on the fin. This aircraft was registered as N101GC during 1977;
  • O-1E 56-2612 painted in the South East Asian scheme of Dark Green (FS34079), Medium Green (FS34102) and Tan (FS30219) upper surfaces with Light Grey (FS36622) lower surfaces. This aircraft also carried International Orange (FS12197) upper wing panels  and all other markings in black (limited to "USAF 62612" on the fin;
  • O-1C 140100 assigned to the USMC System Test Division at NAS Patuxent River during 1965. It was overall Field Green (FS34097) with all markings in white - "0100" and a stylised "S" on the fin, "MARINES" on the fuselage and orange fin and wing tips;
  • O-1D 55-4689 from the Cambodian Air Force, based at Pochentong Air Base circa 1972. It was painted overall Olive Drab (FS34087) with "054689" in white on the fin and Cambodian AF markings on the fuselage and wings;
  • O-1E 51-12382 from the 112th Liaison Squadron, 23rd TW based at Bien Hoa during 1966 and painted South Vietnamese markings, comprising VNAF enblems on the fuselage sides and upper wing, black/yellow chequered band on the rear fuselage, yellow square on the fin containing three red bands and "112382 DT" in white on the fin. Overall Olive Drab (FS34087) with Light Grey (FS36622) upper wings;
  • O-1A SL14981 from the VNAF, painted overall ADC Grey (FS16473) with identical markings to 51-12382. This aircraft "carried FDD SL14981" on the fin in blue and weas used by Major Boung to land on the USS Midway with his wife and family on 30 April 1975.

The decal sheet is well printed and in perfect register.

Instructions comprise 4 sides of A5 with a side view of each aircraft, additional scrap views and a three view showing stencils. However, the instructions do not adequately show some of the schemes (e.g. only a right hand side and upper surface drawing is provided for the SEA aircraft, and the drawing for the Systems Test O-1C does not show how the Orange is laid out. Additionally, very little history is provided for any of the aircraft and in most cases the serial numbers are not provided.

All in all a useful sheet, although some research will be required!

Review and images by Chris St Clair