Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

California License Plate 1963-2012 Decals

Published: November 11th, 2013     
California License Plate 1963-2012 Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/24
Company: Warbird Decals

Warbird Decals is known just for that, its airplane and warbird decals. This release is a new venture and is for 1/24 scale cars. It features California license plates from between 1963 and 2012, and comes with the background on the color and style changes. This set contains 112 license plates covering the different styles. Eight of these are pre-lettered, but the remaining 104 are blank. Below this are the letters you use to customize the plates to your liking.

To customize a plate, pick the appropriate letters and color and cut them out. Warbird has provided a line indicating where the lettering should be located. Drop the letters on the plate (and there are great instructions on how to accomplish this) and let dry. The decal can then be applied with your own customized license plate!

The printing and alignment are superb. This set is highly recommended to all automotive modelers looking for some California Dreaming!

My thanks to Warbird Models and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this set.

S2F-1 Tracker Decals

Published: November 8th, 2013     
S2F-1 Tracker Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

Caracal Models started to release decals in 2011 and has released some of the neatest and best markings to come out in the last couple years. Kinetic’s S2 Tracker is a neat kit and everyone I have seen build is exactly the same color – gull gray over white. While that's an attractive scheme, Caracal Models dug deep and gave modelers another option.

The Trackers on these sheets have decals for two S2F-1’s with the large radar above the cockpit but in overall gloss sea blue. There are two separate markings:

  • BuNo 133320, VS-21 from the USS Princeton in 1956
  • BuNo 133258, VS-20 from the USS Princeton in 1956

Both planes are overall blue with black anti-glare panel and deicer boots. The radome is also tan. The decals come in a single sheet and are colorful, well printed, and awesome.

F-4B Phantom II VF-84 “Jolly Rogers” Decals

Published: October 25th, 2013     
F-4B Phantom II VF-84 “Jolly Rogers” Decals
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
Scale: 1/48
Company: SuperScale International

Right on the heels of Academy’s release of their long-awaited 1/48th scale F-4B, Super Scale comes out with a great sheet depicting the ever-popular Jolly Rogers markings.  Sadly, there is only one set of markings on the sheet and there are no stencils.  The aircraft depicted is BuNo 151506, which was the CAG’s aircraft while on the USS Independence in 1965.  Though having nothing to do with the decal sheet, this aircraft was later lost on January 10, 1968, due to an aircraft accident while assigned to the USS Ranger.

The decals are typical Super Scale Decals that we have been using for so many years.  They are extremely thin, have nearly no excess decal film, and they appear to be in perfect register.  These decals are printed by Cartograf of Italy, so we know they are of high quality.

My thanks to Squadron and IPMS/USA for the review samples.

Space Shuttle Tile Decals

Published: October 9th, 2013     
Space Shuttle Tile Decals
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/100
Company: Warbird Decals

Warbird Decals is known for its aircraft decal line, and now it is making new strides into real space subjects.

Upon opening the ziplock bag, you find two letter-size decal sheets which includes lower surfaces and upper surface/rudder tiles, and one single page with a 4-view drawing of the Space Shuttle with a decal map. The decal sheets provide extra decals, but the instructions do not tell you what for (more on this later).

I built the Tamiya Space Shuttle a few years back. You can find a review of the kit at http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/space-shuttle-atlantis. It is a nice kit, but certainly has room for improvement, mainly due to the lack of tile detail in the lower surfaces.

These decals are very glossy and conformed to the surface perfectly, without needing to use any decal solution. They were easy to move around for good alignment, too.

Air National Guard Mustang Decals

Published: September 9th, 2013     
Air National Guard Mustang Decals
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Iliad Design

1/72 scale builders should be happy to hear that Iliad Design has reduced their 1/48 ANG Mustang decal sheet to 1/72 scale...and added one more option!  ANG Mustangs are interesting subjects that, in my opinion, have not been covered very well by domestic decal companies.  There are five subjects on the sheet provided in this set.  These options provide builders a choice of National Guard Mustangs in a somewhat dulled natural metal finish with Olive Drab anti-glare panels, colorful unit emblems, and prominent code numbers and serials.  The aircraft served in units in five Midwestern and Western states in the four years following WWII.  Some may have gone on to serve in the Korean War.

The five options are:

RCAF FR Spitfires - Canadians in Fighter Command #2 Decals

Published: July 17th, 2013     
RCAF FR Spitfires - Canadians in Fighter Command #2 Decals
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aviaeology

Introduction

SkyGrid Studio / Aviaeology Publishing is located in Canada. The website is easy to navigate and intuitive, and products can be purchased through the website. Prices shown on the website are in Canadian dollars. SkyGrid Studio / Aviaeology accepts Pay Pal and a handful of credit cards. Aviaeology produces excellent decals, but SkyGrid Studio / Aviaeology Publishing does not limit its line of products to decals. Visit the website and you will note that there are some rather attractive book titles shown, as well as some prints.

The samples being reviewed arrived in a very sturdy cardboard container which protected the product nicely. There is more to the product that the customer receives than meets the eye. We will get to the bonus item in a minute, but first, let’s look at what is in the ziplock baggie that one receives.

The Decals

Please reference the image, labeled “aod72009mdisplaycontent” below to view these items.

T-45C Goshawk VT-22 “Golden Eagles” Decals

Published: June 24th, 2013     
T-45C Goshawk VT-22 “Golden Eagles” Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: SuperScale International

On the heels of Kinetic's 1/48th release of the T-45 Goshawk comes Squadron Products Superscale Decal release of a full set of decals for the VT-22 "Golden Eagles." The scheme itself is excellent, with an eagle head flowing into red stripes decorating the back of the aircraft. There is one scheme on the sheet and it has excellent decals for the eagle, unit markings, and all the needed stencils. The decals are printed by Cartograph and are dense in color, thin in size, and perfectly in register. All national insignia and Navy markings are included.

B-17F/G Decals

Published: June 12th, 2013     
B-17F/G Decals
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Kits-World

I was given Minicraft’s B-17G for a review.  Just as I was about to start the project, I was at IPMS Las Vegas “Best of the West” contest, and found a set of 1/144 decals for the B-17G.  The decals included in the kit were perfectly OK, but the subject matter of this sheet made me drag out my wallet and buy it.

The first plane on the sheet is “American Beauty”, 2S*G.  A friend and co-worker of my father was the top turret gunner and flight engineer on this aircraft.  So it has a personal connection to me.

THE DECAL

The decal sheet itself is very good.  When you finish cutting out the decals for one aircraft, you still have a solid sheet, not something that looks like a lace doily.  Good planning on their part, and I appreciate that.

The subject matter of the other three planes is also very interesting – “Little Miss Mischief” of the 91st Bomb Group, “My Devotion” (an F model) of the 351st BG, and  the famous “A Bit o’ Lace” from the 427th BG.

USAAF National Insignia June 1943 – January 1947

Published: June 6th, 2013     
USAAF National Insignia June 1943 – January 1947
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: SuperScale International

Squadron and SuperScale have released a decal sheet, #481266, with USAAF national insignia for the period June 1943 to January 1947. This decal sheet does not include the red border around the circle and bars. As such, I believe the markings are only valid from September 1943 until 1947, not from June 1943 as listed in the decal sheet title.

The sheet includes decals for scale diameters of 25”, 30”, 35”, 36”, 40” and 55”. They are very shiny and printed by Cartograph (i.e. – good quality decals). The decal sheet instruction includes a location map for P-38, P-39, P-40, P-47 and P-51 aircraft.

Decals are thin, yet strong. I was able to float them onto the model and then easily relocate them for final placement until dry. They settled into the recessed panel lines with a minimal application of Micro Set. At the same time, the decals are opaque and have a vibrant color.

In just a few words: they are excellent decals.

Recommended to modelers of all skill levels.

I would like to thank Squadron/SuperScale and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

MRC-Italeri Special Decals 2012-IPMS National Convention

Published: May 21st, 2013     
MRC-Italeri Special Decals 2012-IPMS National Convention
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: Multiple Scales
Company: Model Rectifier Corporation

At the 2012 Orlando IPMS Nationals, Model Rectifier Corporation made a special decal sheet of multi-nationals roundel insignia available for giveaway at their show booth.  I was lucky enough to receive one of those sheets from the IPMS Reviewer Corps.

This sheet contains national markings for USA modern aircraft (color stars & bars), Japan, Australia, Russia, Soviet Union, Germany, China, Italy and Canada, in various sizes and scales from relatively large to tiny. 

I built an old Starfix 1/72 T-38 for my father’s career aircraft collection, and the decals were unusable.  I found some USAF lettering in my spares box, but used the stars and bars from this sheet.  They went down smoothly, and with a touch of Solvaset, nestled down into the re-scribed surface detailing I applied.  They made a mediocre kit look good.  I will keep this sheet on hand to use in similar situations.

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