Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Pre-War Spitfire Decals

Published: November 17th, 2012     
Pre-War Spitfire Decals
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Iliad Design

Iliad Design continues to add interesting decal sets to their line.  They have selected seven unique early Spitfires for their most recent 1/72 set #72009.  Any of the markings will make a 1/72 Mk.I (actually, Mk.1a) stand out among the usual fare.  Included on a single sheet are markings for:

Santa Fe Skyway DC-3 Decals - Part 1

Published: November 2nd, 2012     
Santa Fe Skyway DC-3 Decals - Part 1
Reviewed by: John King, IPMS# 46812
Scale: 1/144
Company: Vintage Flyer Decals

Vintage Flyer is a relatively new decal company producing airline decals from the late 1930s to the late 1960s, according to their website.  This review is for their Santa Fe Skyway DC-3 decals in 1/144th, which is quite interesting as Santa Fe Skyway was not around for long at all!  These decals will be used on a Minicraft DC-3.

The decals come in a standard Ziplock-type bag.  They are Alps printed and come with at least one coat of sealer on them, but adding another coat couldn’t hurt. They are crisply printed on three separate sheets.  One sheet contains solid white decals as the underlying base for most of the colorful decals.  There is another sheet that contains all the black markings.  Finally, the third sheet has the colorful artwork on them, such as the Santa Fe logo.  This will lead to a lengthy decal process, as you should let each decal cure before adding another one on top of it.

Seversky P-35 Decals, 1937-38

Published: October 23rd, 2012     
Seversky P-35 Decals, 1937-38
Reviewed by: Howie Belkin, IPMS# 16
Scale: 1/32
Company: Yellow-Wings Decals

Major Alexander de Seversky, a Russian ace with 13 kills during WWI, defected to the U.S. in 1918, founding the Seversky Aviation Corp. in 1931 on Long Island, NY.  Alexander Kartveli emigrated in 1928, joining Seversky as his Chief Engineer.  The Seversky/Kartveli team would become the Republic Aviation Corp. which would gain fame with the P-47 Thunderbolt whose lineage was directly traced back to the P-35 as both a combat pursuit fighter and a racer, setting speed records and participating in the Bendix and Thompson Trophy races. If your model collection strives to include landmark or significant historical aircraft, then I would state that it is incomplete without a P-35.  Without the powerful P-35 impressing the military and sustaining the Seversky Aviation Corp. through the turbulent 1930s, there never would have been the P-43, P-47, and subsequent series of jets that served lengthy careers destroying our enemies and saving our pilots’ lives.

Multi Aircraft Series Special Decals #1

Published: October 17th, 2012     
Multi Aircraft Series Special Decals #1
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Yellow-Wings Decals

Yellow Wings Decals specializes in the “between the wars” period, 1930-1942, when there was a lot of aircraft development and the American military aircraft were incredibly gaudy.  I’ve heard that the yellow wings on these aircraft were to make them easier to find when they made emergency landings or crashed somewhere off the field.

The Aircraft

This is the first of a series of special decals which will include more than one aircraft type.  This set is for:

  • TBD-1 Devastator. VT-8, USS Enterprise 1940
  • P-36A Hawk, 77th Pursuit, Moffet Field, California, 1939-40
  • SBD-1 Dauntless, US Marines, VMB-2, San Diego 1940
  • F3F-1 Flying Barrel, VF-7, USS Wasp 1940

I picked up this review decal sheet at the IPMS Nationals in Orlando.  When I got the sheet home, I discovered that I only had a Dauntless.  I got the P-36 and Devastator from local friends, and bought the F3F from the LHS, who had to order it for me.  Thanks Suzanne.

Air National Guard Mustang Decals

Published: September 24th, 2012     
Air National Guard Mustang Decals
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Scale: 1/48
Company: Iliad Design

Iliad Design is a Canadian company producing books, color charts, and decals specifically geared to the modeler.  Their latest release is this decal set in 1/48 scale.

Post-war Air National Guard P-51Ds from the following four units are covered:

  • 154 FS, Arkansas National Guard
  • 110 FS, Missouri National Guard
  • 175 FS, South Dakota National Guard
  • 113 FS Indiana National Guard

All the specific markings for each aircraft are provided, but only one set of national insignia is given.  As the post-war Stars’n’Bars are easily obtainable, I am happy to see the space devoted to covering as many unique subjects as possible.

The decal quality is extremely high.  They look as though they might have been produced by MicroScale. Registration was crisp and I didn’t detect any printing issues.  I applied one decal on a testbed model and it reacted nicely to a little Microset.  You probably won’t need a stronger decal solution for these.

MiG-23 Flogger Pitot Tube

Published: September 23rd, 2012     
MiG-23 Flogger Pitot Tube
Reviewed by: Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

Background  This is the third item from this manufacturer that I have reviewed, and I am quite enthusiastic about the product line.  This particular item is meant for all MiG-23 Floggers except the MLD variant.  The MLD pitot tube (item number 48-059) is also available.

The Review Product

The parts are packaged in a small zip lock bag, stapled in a folded, heavy paper stock display hanger.  The parts are also sealed in a small envelope of clear plastic film taped to a heavy card stock stiffener inside the bag. Also included is a small set of instructions.

A small instruction sheet is also included that shows the installation.

Application

I planned to use this pitot tube on the new Trumpeter MiG-23M, Flogger B.  Installation is a simple matter of drilling out the opening in the kit nose part, applying a touch of super glue, inserting the pitot tube, and it’s ready for paint. That simple, but what an improvement over the kit pitot tube!

OPFOR Superpack – Resin and Decals

Published: September 14th, 2012     
OPFOR Superpack – Resin and Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

Creators :

From Bob Sanchez at Twobobs Decals and Mike Reeves at TwoMikes Resin comes an instant classic – the IPMS/USA 2012 Nationals OPFOR Super Pack. Why list the Nationals? This item was only offered at the Nationals and sold there. A few were sent out afterward, but as of now, this item is gone, never to be released as a package again.

Let's open the tube and see what's inside. First, there is a comprehensive 24-page color book detailing the OPFOR program of Adversary and Aggressor aircraft programs, TOPGUN, and the history of the entire program. There are also full-color diagrams and painting instructions for the remainder of the contents.

First up is four resin pods including:

  • AN/ALQ-167
  • AN/ALQ-188
  • ACaP
  • ACMI Pod

These are all perfectly cast in gray resin from TwoMikes and have full-color callouts with FS numbers and complete decals. The history of the pods is also included

Next is a large A4-size decals sheet covering the 10 aircraft involved:

Ju-87B/R Stuka Decals Part II

Published: September 4th, 2012     
Ju-87B/R Stuka Decals Part II
Reviewed by: Mark A Dice, IPMS# 31326
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eagle Editions Ltd.

Eagle Editions has followed their earlier release of Ju-87B/R markings with a very nice set that gives you the option of three German or one Italian aircraft.

All four aircraft are from the 1941 period and finished in RLM 65 under surfaces with the RLM 70/71 upper surface splinter scheme.

F-104G Starfighter Graffiti Decals

Published: September 1st, 2012     
F-104G Starfighter Graffiti Decals
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dutch Decal

I received the Dutch Decal sheet for the F-104G Starfighter ‘Graffiti’ KLu/RNethAF and found that it was a supplemental sheet. It only came with the graffiti and code for # D-8337 and a second aircraft that isn’t covered by as much graffiti, D-8063. The instructions state that this sheet is a supplement to sheet #72069, or you can do like I did and piece the rest out from other decal sheets. All of those extra decal sheets just come in handy sometimes.

The instruction sheet is very good and shows a 4-view drawing of the aircraft with decal placement. I went to the web site to check out sheet # 72069 because this sheet has a second option that has a small graffiti on the tail with a small tail number but no large D # up front. After checking out the other sheet I noticed that they have all the numbers to make any of their aircraft.

Messerschmitt Bf-109 Decals Part 5

Published: August 31st, 2012     
Messerschmitt Bf-109 Decals Part 5
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/72
Company: Lifelike Decals

In keeping with their tradition of supplying unique-looking aircraft, Lifelike has taken on the task of another 109 sheet.  There are so many unique 109s that doing so is easy for them to accomplish.

The instructions are printed on two single-sided A4 sheets in full color; one sheet includes the upper and lower plan views, the other contains the history and the reason Lifelike drew their conclusions from.  That is the one thing I like about Lifelike.  They aren’t afraid to offer an educated guess when some marking are in question.  They let you know what is speculative and how they came to their conclusions.  They leave it up to the modeler to make an informed decision.  Very professional and a non-pompous way to do business.  There is also a separate sheet for the stencils that covers the Emil and Gustav versions.