Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator Part 3

Published: January 19th, 2014     
Consolidated B-24 Liberator Part 3
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/72
Company: Lifelike Decals

The third 1/72nd B-24 sheet from Lifelike contains more colorful nose art.  If you are a fan of pinups and nose art these sheets are really impressive.

The decals are contained in a 6”x9” ziplock bag along with two A4 full color instructions.  The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf and Microscale.  Between those two decal printers you know you have some of the best printed decals in the world.  But what about the research?  Lifelike is well known for their research.  Even Lifelike can make errors as they acknowledge.  Lifelike basis their findings on the latest information available and when the information is lacking they base their finding on educated guesses.  Some would find this a weakness in the decals but I think it is an asset.  They let you know what is known and what is conjecture. 

North American P-51 Mustang Part 2

Published: January 18th, 2014     
North American P-51 Mustang Part 2
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/72
Company: Lifelike Decals

When I was first assigned this review I started four P-51D kits thinking I’d get a jump on things, but when the decals arrived I discovered they were meant for two P-51Bs and two Ds. So much for planning ahead. 

The decals were on register and looked great in the package.  The four aircraft represented are: 

  • Aircraft #1: Malcolm Hood P-51B “Salem Representative” flown by Lt. Ralph K. Hofer of the 334FS/4th FG.
  • Aircraft #2:  P-51D “Sky Czar” flown by Capt. Fred Munder, Jr. of the 381FS/363rd FG
  • Aircraft #3: Malcolm Hood P-51B “Big Mac Jr.” flown by Capt. John Brown, Jr. of the 382FS/363rd FG.
  • Aircraft #4: P-51D “Nancy Lee” flown by Lt. Richard Baggett of the 402FS/370 FG. 

Although there are markings specific for four aircraft, there are common decals for only one.  To use the other three nose art markings I used the individual kit decals for the stars and bars, prop markings, walkway stripes, etc..

Consolidated B-24 Liberator Decals, Part 1 and 2

Published: January 15th, 2014     
Consolidated B-24 Liberator Decals, Part 1 and 2
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Lifelike Decals

Thanks very much to Lifelike decals for providing IPMS USA these review sets. We appreciate your support and look forward to your future efforts!

I had heard of Lifelike decals, but normally don’t work in 1/72nd scale.  However, when these showed up, I had to throw my name in the hat… and am very pleased I did. 

The first set, 72-029, covers four B-24’s with four different groups in the pacific region.  All have very colorful tail markings, and the nose art is particularly striking. The fact I have not seen these before made them a better value. 

Markings are included for the following:

Speed Hunter Graphics Decals for the F-4C & F-4D

Published: January 3rd, 2014     
Speed Hunter Graphics Decals for the F-4C & F-4D
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Speed Hunter Graphics

Speed Hunter Graphics is a new decal source and is a division of the well-known and respected Reid Air Publications business. IPMS is very pleased to be able to review the Premiere Decal offerings from Speed Hunter in 1/48th scale, that being the markings for the F-4C and F-4D, reviewed here.

There are two sets of decals for the F-4C and F-4D identified by the item numbers 48001 and 48002.

Set # 1, item # 48001 has markings for a number of aircraft including:

  • F-4C 63-7589 191st Fighter Interceptor Group, Selfridge ANGB, Michigan ANG
  • F-4D 66-7554 906th Tactical Fighter Group, Wright-Pat AFB, Dayton OH
  • F-4C 64-0829 482nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead AFB, Homestead, FL.
  • F-4C 63-7676 154th Composite Group, Hickam AFB Hawaii ANG
  • F-4C 64-0776 142nd Fighter Interceptor Group, Oregon ANG, Portland, OR
  • F-4D 66-7550 507th Tactical Fighter Group, Tinker AFB, OKC, OK

Set # 2, item # 48002 has markings for a number of aircraft including:

A-3D-2 of VAH-1 'Smokin Tigers' Decals

Published: December 28th, 2013     
A-3D-2 of VAH-1 'Smokin Tigers' Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Squadron Products

Superscale initial release for Trumpeters 1/48th scale A-3D-2 with a marking set for the VAH-1 "Smokin' Tigers". Looking at the Internet, there are some great pictures of the Skywarrior in these markings especially on a cruise on the Internet.

The decals come in a single sheet. The sheet contains the markings for the kit including some of the major stencils. The sheet has great registration and color and are printed by Cartograph in Italy. The markings are distinctive with a large red flash on the side and great tail markings. Decals are provided for one airframe, build number 138932. The kit has a great color scheme with the gull gray over white being the primary colors. The nose and the leading edge of the tail is black.  The engine parts are metallic titanium and gunmetal. The paint scheme is in full color on a single sheet and has references for those wishing further reading.

Trumpeter keeps hitting the mark with these kit releases and these decal provide a great option to make the color scheme brighter and more eye-catching. Highly recommended.

A-6A Intruder VA-95 'Green Lizards' Decals

Published: December 28th, 2013     
A-6A Intruder VA-95 'Green Lizards' Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Squadron Products

Superscale continues its releases for Trumpeters 1/32nd scale A-6 with a marking set for the VA-95 Green Lizards. VA-95 has been active/inactive many times flying Skyhawks, Skyraiders and the Intruders. The decals here represent the Green Lizards during August 1974 aboard the USS Coral Sea. There are several great web sites dedicated to VA-95 and a quick Google search will find them with lots of photos.

The decals come in two sheets. One contains the markings for the kit including some of the major stencils. A second small sheets contains the national markings. Both sheets have great registration and color and are printed by Cartograph in Italy.  Decals are provided for one airframe, build number 156995. the kit has a great color scheme with the gull gray over white being the primary colors. The intakes are a deep green and the radome is tan. The markings really highlight the tail. The paint scheme is in full color on a single sheet and has references for those wishing further reading.

Trumpeters kit was long awaited and Superscale continues to provide and excellent set of markings to go with that kit. Highly recommended!

A-6A Intruder VA-115 'Arabs' Decals

Published: December 28th, 2013     
A-6A Intruder VA-115 'Arabs' Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Squadron Products

Superscale continues its excellent decal releases with a set for Trumpeter's 1/32nd scale A-6 with this release of markings for the A-6A for the VA-115 Arabs. VA-115 transitioned to A-6's during the 1967-70 time frame and these marking represent the Arabs on board the USS Midway in 1973. Specifically, the markings are for build number 156995. The color scheme for the plane was gull gray over white with the tail in black and green cap, rudder in white and green tips and fins to the fuel tanks. The radome was tan also.

This set includes a single sheet with all the markings needed to represent this build. Stencils will come from the kit. national markings are included and the decals are well printed with great registration. The printing was done by Cartograph and is superb. Instructions are in full color and give paint colors in name and FS numbers which is great. A reference list is also provided showing appropriate books that can be used.

Trumpeters kit was long awaited and welcomed. Superscale has filled a need and provided and excellent set of markings to go with that kit. Highly recommended!

Space Shuttle Tile Decal

Published: December 6th, 2013     
Space Shuttle Tile Decal
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/144
Company: Warbird Decals

For modelers building scale models of the Space Shuttle one of the more difficult challenges has been to replicate the thermal shielding on the spacecraft, whether the tiles or the blankets. In the smaller scales, this can be a real challenge and as a result one of the most sought after after-market sets has been thermal tile decals. Meteor Productions, in their Cutting Edge decal line, was the first company to offer tile decals. These deals proved extremely popular. That company has been gone for nearly 5 years and the decals have become very hard to find, usually commanding high prices.  Enter Warbird Decals, a new company in the real space market. They have introduced a new line of thermal tile decals in the scales of 1/72, 1/100, and 1/144 to meet the ongoing demand.

P-61B Black Widows- 414th, 418th and 422nd NFS

Published: November 18th, 2013     
P-61B Black Widows- 414th, 418th and 422nd NFS
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: SuperScale International

Super Scale International through Squadron Products continues its decal releases for HobbyBoss' excellent 1/32 P-61 with a set for three options for P-61B's. Inside the package, you get a page of full color instructions and a nicely done decal sheet printed by Cartograph.

P-61B Black Widow Decals- 548th NFS, Iwo Jima

Published: November 18th, 2013     
P-61B Black Widow Decals- 548th NFS, Iwo Jima
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: SuperScale International

If you want to dress up HobbyBoss' excellent 1/32 P-61, Superscale decals give you three options for P-61B's based on Iwo Jima from the 548th NFS. Inside the package, you get a page of full color instructions and a nicely done decal sheet printed by Cartograph.

The instruction sheet contains paint and marking schemes for three planes all of which are black with red spinners and cowlings which match the red plane numbers. The planes are:

  • "Lady in the Dark", P-61B-1-NO, S/N 42-39408
  • "Midnight Madness", P-61B-1-NO, S/N 42-39404
  • "Cooper's Snooper", P-61B-2-NO, S/N 42-39454

There are placement guides for the excellent