So you have decided to build every short hulled Essex Class carrier that ever sailed. You have all the Trumpeter kits necessary but what about the deck numbers? The Trumpeter Essex only gives you the number 9. Where do you turn for the numbers that you need? Why Gold Medal Models, of course.

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Gold Medal Models now has a new two sheet decal set of 1:350 scale World War Two carrier deck numbers. With these two sheets you receive four each of the numbers 1 through 3 and two each of the numbers 4 through 9, plus 0. With some exceptions (Intrepid CV-11, Kearsarge CV-33, Independence CVL-22), this gives you enough decals to do at least two of the USN carriers and probably three or four. Yes, I did mention the Independence. L'Arsenal has a 1:350 plastic model of the classic USN light carrier on the building slip. Nine were built, all commissioned in 1943 and the CVLs ran with the fast carrier groups. Not only does GMM give you numbers for your carrier strike force, they also supply ship's names. With this set you receive two name plates for Lexington and Saratoga because their name was displayed on both sides of the hull. You receive one name for the stern for Philippine Sea, Intrepid, Hancock, Leyte, Shangri La, Yorktown, Franklin, Bennington, Ranger, Lake Champlain, Enterprise, Ticonderoga, Boxer, Kearsarge, Tarawa, Wasp, Randolph, Bon Homme Richard, Oriskany, Valley Forge, Bunker Hill, Essex, Antietam and Princeton.

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The GMM decals are on extraordinarily thin film in order for them to hug the deck and allow the detail underneath to be seen. They will look like painted numbers, rather than plywood boards on your carrier deck. However, there is a trade-off for this. Because of the thinness, they are very delicate. Loren Perry of GMM recommends that you select an unneeded number and practice with it first to get the feel of using these decals. That way you'll have the hang of it before going on to "The Show".

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The set sells for $9.00, plus $1.50 shipping, directly from Gold Medal Models. Only Loren and Scalemaster know how many sets have been produced. Although, GMM will probably have enough to go around for awhile, you had better get in line now.

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