Lockheed S-3 Viking in 1/72...

...a Diecast Model by Hobby Master

As a modeller, is there enough time to actually build examples of all the models you would like to?  How often do you buy one you want to build only for it to spend much, if not all of its' life as another element hidden away in your 'stash'?  The answer for so many of us is that we have a loft, or cupboards, stacked with boxes of unbuilt kits.  So, the potential answer might be to join in the interests of a different group of collectors, and consider the ready built market of diecast models.  Here in the UK many are familiar with the steady growth and popularity of the Corgi range of diecast models.  There are others however and this is one of them, made by Hobby Master, who are producing some super models.


The Lockheed S-3 Viking entered service with the US Navy in 1974, and was retired from frontline service on US carriers in 2009.  A twin-engine turbofan jet it was originally for anti-submarine duties, though these were later expanded to include surface surveillance and electronic warfare.  With an ability for in-flight refuelling it was a long-range multi-mission capable aircraft for carrier based operations.

The model in question here represents one of a number of different colour schemes that are available in the Hobby Master range, in this case a 1/72 Lockheed S-3A Viking BuNo 159769, VS-31 "Topcats" USS Independence, US Navy HA4903

Early in WWII Scouting Squadron 31 was formed and decommissioned in 1945. In 1948 it was re-established as VC-31 but in 1949 became the Atlantic Fleet's first VS Squadron when it was tasked to perform carrier-based anti-submarine warfare duties. With the new task came a new name, VS-31 (Anti-Submarine Squadron 31) 'Topcats'. In 1973 VS-31 moved their S-2 Trackers to Florida and in 1974 became the first VS deployed on USS Independence.  In 1977 VS-31 would once again sail on USS Independence but now equipped with the S-3A Viking.

The model comes in a smart blue box, the top of which folds open to reveal a clear plastic panel so you can see the model itself without having to take it out of the box, ideal for shop displays of course.  The basic airframe is ready built and with super quality satin paint finish.  Additional parts are packed in a separate bag which allow you to choose between the undercarriage down or with closed undercarriage doors so you can fit it with the stand that is also included in the box.  The pilot and co-pilot figures are also in the bag, so you need to pop off the canopy (which is nice and easy to do), drop the two figures into their seats, and then replace the canopy.  Also included are the pylons and fuel tanks to fit into the two hardpoint stations outboard of the engines.  It is a lovely model and the quality of diecast models is so good in comparison to what I remember of diecasts when I was young.  If you have not checked out these Hobby Master diecasts I would happily suggest they are well worth checking out.


Crew :4 / 1 x Pilot, 1 x Co-Pilot, 1 x TACCO, 1 x Sensor Operator (TFO)

Number of Aircraft :91 new built, converted aircraft 43 A-5A and the first 6 A-5B = 140


Engines :2 x General Electric TF34-GE-2 turbofans producing 9,275 lb (41.26 kN) of thrust per engine

Fuel Capacity (JP-5) :Internal – 1,933 US gal (7,320 L)

External – 2 x 300 US gal (1,136 L) tanks

Maximum speed :@ Sea Level - 493 mph (795 km/h)

@ 20,000 ft (6,100 m) - 514 mph (828 km/h)

Cruise :405 mph (650 km/h)

Range :2,050 miles (3,300 km)

Ferry :3,875 miles (6,237 km)

Service Ceiling :40,900 ft (12,465 m)

Rate of Climb :5,120 ft/min (26 m/sec)

Dimensions :

Length :53 ft 4 in (16.26 m)

Wingspan :Unfolded – 68 ft 8 in (20.93 m)

Folded – 29 ft 6 in (9.00 m)

Height – 22 ft 9 in (6.93 m)

Weights :

Empty:26,581 lb (12,057 kg)

Loaded:38,193 lb (17,324 kg)

Maximum Take-off:52,539 lb (23,831 kg)

Armament:4 x internal and 2 external Hardpoints capable of carrying an assortment of ordnance weighing a maximum of 4,900 lb (2,220 kg)

Assortment of Ordnance

10 x 500 lb (227 kg) Mark 82 bombs

2 x 1,000 lb 454 kg) Mark 83 bombs

2 x 2,000 lb (908 kg) Mark 84 bombs

6 x CBU-100 cluster bombs

2 x Mark 50 torpedoes

4 x Mark 46 torpedoes

6 x mines or depth charges

2 x B57 nuclear bombs

2 x AGM-65E/F Maverick missiles

2 x AGM-84 Harpoon missiles

1 x AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER missile

The 2 under-wing hardpoints can hold unguided missile pods or the 300 US gal fuel tanks.

Avionics:AN/APS-116 sea search radar, maximum range 173 miles (278 km)

S-3B upgraded to AN/APS-137 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR)

OR-89 FLIR camera with 3 X zoom

AN/ARS-2 sonobuoy receiver with 13 blade antennae on the airframe for precise buoy location

Up to 60 sonobuoys (59 tactical, 1 Search and Rescue (SAR)

AN/ASQ-81 magnetic anomaly detector (MAD)

AN/ASN-92 INS with Doppler radar navigation and TACAN