Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Black Ponies and More Broncos

Published: December 5th, 2015     
Black Ponies and More Broncos
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: AOA Decals

This is the third set of 1/72 decals from AOA Decals. The decals are printed by Cartigraf of Italy, look very nice, are clear, in register, and work very well. These decals are spaced very close together so use a really good pair of decal scissors so you don’t accidentally cut the one next to it.

The first test for decals, that I use, is to apply the walkway markings because they are long and straight. If they are really long you can cut them apart and mate them up again but that wasn’t needed here. These went on properly with no problem at all. I was very impressed with the ease and smoothness with which they could be applied. They came off the sheet well and I was able to move them into place once I got them on.

There also needs to be a special note about their instruction sheets. There were eight 8-1/2 x 11 sheets detailing everything you would want to know to build one of these options. The profiles were in color and easy to understand. They even go farther by giving you the weapons load out for VAL-4. You can tell that a lot of work and research went into this. It’s really nice to see a company put this much care into a product.

USN F-14A/B/D Tomcat Grim Reapers VF-101

Published: November 14th, 2015     
USN F-14A/B/D Tomcat Grim Reapers VF-101
Reviewed by: Robert Head, IPMS# 48922
Scale: 1/32
Company: DXM Decals

About the Company

DXM which stands for Double Excellent Models was started by a group of modelers in Taipei, Taiwan. The group started manufacturing decals in 2010 covering a broad range of aircraft including an extensive list of Japanese air command meets.

What’s on the Sheet?

This sheet covers fabled Grim Reapers squadron of VF-101 anniversary previously of VF-52. This is a surprising feat as the Navy usually does not rename squadrons after disestablished units. The Grim Reapers operated primarily the F-14 Tomcat and has recently converted to the F-35C at Eglin AFB Florida. The aircraft covered are as followed:

B-1B Cockpit Framing

Published: November 14th, 2015     
B-1B Cockpit Framing
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1:48
Company: Furball Aero-Design

Furball Aero design is one of the new companies that has been around for a few years, providing decals for many of the subjects we modelers of Modern Aviation subjects really want but rarely seem to get… Go to their site for details.

This decal is a simple but elegant way to deal with canopy framing… On the 1/48 B-1B, this framing is very prevalent. Now, I know many have not or will not build this kit. It’s huge. It has presence. And it’s an accurate rendition of the “Bone”. For the most part. But with work, it looks great when complete. This model is now on display on the overhead desk of my pod in our B-1/B-52 System Program office, and has garnered a lot of attention…

First, don’t do like I did and NOT bother to properly get the clear parts into their recesses without doing the hard job of filling the seams. They are there, and you MUST use building skills. It’s embarrassing to note… I have a second kit that will receive that treatment. And that leads to the pictures…

Camouflage & Decals #3 Finnish Figheters WWII

Published: November 5th, 2015     
Camouflage & Decals #3 Finnish Figheters WWII
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48 & 1/72
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

Mushroom Model Publications started a series of “Camouflage and Decals” in which they provide decals –and a high quality booklet- for selected airframes from different books. In this case, the topic is “Finnish Fighter Colours” and the selected airframes are:

  • Brewster 239, BW-393 "7", kapt. Eino Luukkanen, leader of 1/Lentolaivue 24, 1942;
  • Brewster 239, BW-393 "9", luutn. Hans Wind, leader of 3/Lentolaivue 24, 1943;
  • Fokker D.XXI, FR-140 "11", luutn. Aaro Virkkunen, 2/Lentolaivue 14, 1942;
  • Gloster Gladiator Mk I, 271 "A", fänr. Åke Nettelbladt-Hollsten, Flygflottilj 19, 1940;
  • FIAT G.50, FA-15 "5", kers. Klaus Alakoski, 3/Lentolaivue 26, 1942;
  • Morane Saulnier MS. 406, MS311 "5", kers. Antti Tani, 1/Lentolaivue 28, 1941.

The quality of the accompanying booklet is impressive. Excellent color profiles, sharp and clear black and white pictures showing the airframes from different angles and often with enough of the upper surfaces.