Ray Ban Gold Article

bullet Ray Ban Gold Aerobatic Team
bullet Pitts S2B
bullet Photos and Text by Barney Dunlevy
One of my favourite teams on the airshow circuit was the Canadian Ray Ban Golds, flying the Pitts S2B. The team was started under the original Carling Red Caps, then Canadian Reds, and with Ray Ban picking up the tab as a sponsor, the aircraft were given a very distinctive paint scheme.
Then along came Pete Groves, who got me hooked on doing his Airshowmodels.com kits and it was a natural to do the Ray Ban’s Pitts S2B…seeing as George Kirbyson’s aircraft is parked behind mine in a hangar at Langley, BC. George had been in No.2 aircraft when the team worked as a four-plane, then became No.1 with the change to a 3 plane formation. If you were at Abbotsford and saw the Ray Ban Team fly formation with Canadian Pacific Airlines Boeing 747, you would never forget the low passes down runway 18-36.
I photographed George’s aircraft and sent the images to Greg Thompson, Horizonsnz.com, a master at doing decal layout for models. Greg did his thing with the decals and the file was then sent to Pete Groves for approval before going on to Fantasy Print Shop in the UK. The first run of decals looked extremely good but a problem occurred when attempting to apply them on the model…there was no carrier film between the gold lines resulting in a real mess. Using Microscale Liquid Decal Film over the decal sheet solved that problem and Pete had the necessary changes made to the decals to make it easier to apply the markings. The two sheets allow you to build any one (or all) of the Ray Ban Team, having the civil idents, position numbers and pilots names on the sheet.
The undersides of the upper and lower wing and the horizontal tail are gold with the aircraft ident being applied over the gold decal after it has dried. I might add here that Greg’s layout resulted in a perfect fit for all decals. There was no silvering under the clear carrier and with a sprayed clear gloss coat of Polly Scale over the model after it was finished virtually made the carrier disappear.
The upper wing markings consist of six separate pieces and with all of these markings, I found that a bit of Mother Nature’s setting solution works best…saliva on a finger…before applying the decal. After the decals were applied, I used Solvaset to get them to draw into the surface of the model. This was very necessary on the fuselage around the cowling and the stripe along the top fairing.
With the change made to the decal sheet, I have no problem recommending this product to anyone. The results make for a spectacular model. Oh by the way, the gold spinner was painted using Sheffield Pale Gold paint found in the crafts shops and hardware stores in Canada.


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Last modified: 10/05/12