Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

P-38J/L Lightning Decals

Published: July 13th, 2012     
P-38J/L Lightning Decals
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Iliad Design

While the P-38 gained its notoriety over the waters of the Pacific, I have always preferred it in D-Day stripes.  This sheet by Iliad Design caters to both theaters of operations.

There are 3 natural metal finish birds from the Pacific:

  1. P-38J flown by Lt. Ken Ladd, 80th FS, 8th FG
  2. P-38J flown by Lt. J.C. McHenry, 7th FS, 49th FG
  3. P-38L flown by Maj. J.A. Watkins, also of the 7th FS, 49th FG

These are balanced by 4 birds flown over the European continent:

VFA-147 Argonauts F-18E 2012 Cruise Decals

Published: July 12th, 2012     
VFA-147 Argonauts F-18E 2012 Cruise Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

The newest release from Bob Sanchez and Twobobs is a set for the VFA-147 Argonauts aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. The Argonauts are based at NAS Lemoore and transitioned into their current planes, the F-18E Hornet, in 2008.  The set is designed for either the Hasegawa or Revell F-18E single-seat Hornet and represent the planes on their 2012 cruise.

The set comes in the superb Twobobs format with a full color sheet showing the beautiful CAG configuration with black tail and spine, as well as one line plane in grey. Both side, top, and bottom views are provided. There is a list of kits and aftermarket to add for those wanting a little resin and photo etch with their decals. The back also includes all the necessary color callouts for the planes. There are also some shots of the actual planes. Last, but not least, there are two decals sheets covering both the colorful CAG markings and the gray markings. Printing is superb and there are all the needed special markings as well as warnings needed for one plane.

VAQ-130 "Zappin' Growlers" EA-18G Decals

Published: July 12th, 2012     
VAQ-130 "Zappin' Growlers" EA-18G Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

Bob Sanchez and Twobobs continue their excellent new releases with a set for the EA-18 Growler. This set covers Electronic Attack Squadron 130 (VAQ-130), also known as the "Zappers" and based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Currently part of Carrier Air Wing 3, the Zappers deploy aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). VAQ-130 is the oldest electronic warfare squadron in the U.S. Navy.

This set covers two planes, the CAG plane with black tail and spine with a green dragon breathing lightning bolts, and a line plane in all gray with the same markings. This kits listed are for Revell and Hasegawa F-18F with the Steel Beach conversions. I would suggest that the Hasegawa Growler release may be your best choice and it was reviewed here: http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/ea-18g-growler.

Netherland Navy Tracker and Oxford Decals

Published: July 5th, 2012     
Netherland Navy Tracker and Oxford Decals
Reviewed by: Keenan Chittester, IPMS# 37021
Scale: 1/48
Company: Dutch Decal

Dutch Decal has released this decal sheet in 1/48 scale to coincide with their excellent book on the Grumman Tracker used by the Royal Netherlands Navy. The sheet also gives modelers a chance to do something a little different with their Kinetic S-2 kit. There is also an option provided on the sheet for a single Airspeed Oxford, which the Royal Netherlands Navy used in 1947. Special Hobby has recently released a kit of the Oxford in 1/48, so now I suppose I will have to buy one of those.

Early Dutch Insignia and Serials Decals

Published: June 15th, 2012     
Early Dutch Insignia and Serials Decals
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dutch Decal

This 1/72 set from Dutch Decals comprises 2 sheets of silkscreen decals and a folded instruction sheet covering aircraft using the early Dutch insignia.

Each decal sheet measures a little less than 6”x8 1/2”.  The first sheet has letters, numbers (in a unique font) in both black and white, as well as serial numbers, data plates, and some rooster decals for use on both camouflaged and silver-doped aircraft.  The second is entirely covered with the orange ‘meatball’ insignia of the early Dutch Air Force.  Different sized roundels are provided, both with and without a white surround.

Decals for RCAF Sunderlands in Coastal Command

Published: June 11th, 2012     
Decals for RCAF Sunderlands in Coastal Command
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aviaeology

Aviaeology has re-released their Sunderland decals in 1/48 as “Updated and Expanded.” This package contains a single standard size decal sheet with markings for three aircraft and national markings for one.

All three aircraft are Sunderland GR.III models and are as follows:

  1. EK591:  Aircraft 2*U of 422 Squadron RAF Coastal Command, Castle Archdale, Ireland early-mid 1944
  2. DD859:  Aircraft 3*G of 423 Squadron RCAF, RAF Coastal Command, Castle Archdale, Ireland August 1943
  3. ML825: Aircraft AB*D of 423 Squadron RCAF, RAF Coastal Command, Castle Archdale, Ireland September 1944

Included with the decals is a very well done, four-page set of directions which includes the decal placement guide, color callouts, and some historical data for each aircraft included. All three of the aircraft included with this decal sheet are responsible for sinking German U-Boats in WWII.

JASDF 40th Anniversary UH-60J Decals

Published: June 11th, 2012     
JASDF 40th Anniversary UH-60J Decals
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hobby Collective

New to the modeling world is Hobby Collective. This excellent decal sheet covers the 1/72 JASDF UH-60J helicopter in 40th Anniversary markings.

Included in the bag are one decal sheet and a double-sided direction page.

The decal sheet itself is slightly larger than a standard sheet and includes markings for a single helicopter (UH-60J 28-4556) from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force in markings to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the group. The aircraft is very colorful in white over yellow with markings of a dragon on both sides of the fuselage.

The directions are all in Japanese but, with a few minutes of study, the modeler can determine what needs to be done. One side is printed in color and has FS color callouts and decal placements. The back is black and white and includes the decal placements for the stencil data of the aircraft.

Decals for Canadian-Built Mosquitoes

Published: June 11th, 2012     
Decals for Canadian-Built Mosquitoes
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/48
Company: Iliad Design

This excellent decal sheet contains markings for five aircraft – all Canadian-built Mosquitoes!  Included in the package are one standard size decal sheet and a double-sided full color directions page which includes some brief historical data and individual aircraft information.

Aircraft included are:

  • DHC Mosquito B.XX “New Glasgow” KB162
  • Mosquito B.VIII (KB315) “The Spook” US Markings & serial number
  • DHC Mosquito B.XX KB195
  • Mosquito F.B.26 KA406 as the 1,000th Mosquito built by deHavilland Canada
  • Mosquito F.B.26 (FB1) purchased by the Chinese in 1948

The decals are well done, and printed in perfect register.

I highly recommend this decal sheet to anyone looking to build a Mosquito that is a little different than the rest. Iliad Design has done a great job of picking some unique aircraft that will look great on the contest table or in your display case.

Thank you to Iliad Design for the sample and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.

Instrument Dial Decals for Early Soviet Jets

Published: June 6th, 2012     
Instrument Dial Decals for Early Soviet Jets
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/32
Company: Airscale Model Aircraft Enhancements

Airscale Model Aircraft Enhancements’s line of cockpit details now includes a 1/32 scale set of decals that provides an assortment of instrument dials found in early Soviet jets (MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21, Su-7 and early Yaks).  These decals are remarkably detailed and provide a quick solution to adding much to those blank circles that are molded on many kit instrument panels.  The decals can be either placed behind the respective positions molded on clear kit instrument panel, over opaque molded instrument panels or placed inside the instrument openings found on some kits.  Application of a decal setting solution is recommended by the manufacturer.  Sixty-two individual dials are provided (2 each of 31 different ones) in this set for 1/32 scale models.   The instructions packaged with the decals provide a full description of each of the instruments on the sheet.  Also included is a small clear sheet of acetate that a modeler may punch out and place over the decal dial face.  Some builders may find it unnecessary to take this step if they are accustomed to adding a drop of Future over decal instrument faces…but, it’s a nice thought to

A-26 Invaders- Invading Esquire Girls - Part 1

Published: May 26th, 2012     
A-26 Invaders- Invading Esquire Girls - Part 1
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Bombshell Decals

Bombshell Decals came on the decal scene with …well, a bang.  Their latest release is based on the Monogram A-26B Invader.  The glass nose version was used in Korea and was quite colorful with its overall gloss black paint scheme.  The subjects of this sheet are two aircraft which sported Esquire girl nose art. 

The decals are printed by Cartograf, so you know they are in perfect register and will respond well with setting solutions.  In my opinion, Cartograf decals are the best in the world.  The decals are on a single sheet of 5.5” x 8”.  You can see the quality in the decals by looking over the Esquire girls.  They are perfectly rendered and are some of the best looking pin-ups available in decal form.  They have perfect shading and blending to make them exactly like the real thing.  Beautiful work by Bombshell and Cartograf.  This is the new standard for nose art.

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