Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Ventura’s in Canada 2: RCAF Eastern Air Command Squadrons

Published: January 7th, 2015     
Ventura’s in Canada 2: RCAF Eastern Air Command Squadrons
Reviewed by: David Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aviaeology

For any who have missed it, Aviaeology out of Canada produces decals specific to many Canadian themed subjects. The first thing that hits you when you purchase one of their sets is the detail provided to replicate specific aircraft. The research going into these decals is second to none. This set includes markings for nine different aircraft in a variety of schemes. Here’s a quick list:

USAF / US Coast Guard SA-16A Albatross Decal

Published: December 30th, 2014     
USAF / US Coast Guard SA-16A Albatross Decal
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

Thanks very much to our friends at Caracal decals for providing us this sheet and to the reviewer corps leadership and team who continue to keep me straight on my review efforts!

DECALS! One of the reasons I really enjoy plastic modeling. The decals usually mean “We’re almost done”; the final markings are what I look forward to in the build. (anyone out there willing to confess to really enjoying filling and sanding seams?).

Caracal are a relatively new company; they jumped in early, knew the market, and are delivering in a big way. The vast majority of their sheets sell out fast; if you want them, you need to preorder. On their website you can see what is coming, and plan accordingly.

Air National Guard F-106A/B Part 1

Published: December 23rd, 2014     
Air National Guard F-106A/B Part 1
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

The F-106 served active duty Air Force squadrons from 1959 to 1981. As the aircraft were replaced with the new F-15A, those Darts were relegated to six Air National Guard, Fighter Interceptor Squadrons (FIS).  Those squadrons used the F-106 until their final retirement in 1988. Three of those units are the subjects of this release from Caracal Models. The zip lock bag contains four sheets of decals that include every marking needed to finish your F-106 with the exception of the weapon stencils and instrument panels. For that you’ll need to use the kit decals.

You get decals for a single seat and a two-seat version from each of the following units.

Sea Harrier Landing Gear (Kin)

Published: December 20th, 2014     
Sea Harrier Landing Gear (Kin)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Once again, thanks up front to Ross at SAC for sending us another of your expanding line of metal landing gear, and thanks also to IPMS USA leadership for sending it on.

This is (once again) a basic upgrade to the kit plastic.  The kit landing gear consists of two halves for the forward gear, a one-part aft main gear, and two outriggers with actuators and doors integrated as one item. 

As usual, SAC gear replaced these.  The kit nose gear requires taking care of a seam, after the nose wheel and tire is inserted. The kit wheels should be inserted carefully into the tire, but the plastic could possibly break or deform permanently.  The SAC solution is more elegant. Superglue the upper strut and lower fork together, let it cure, then spray with metal primer. Paint gloss white or gray, BEND the fork out, carefully install the wheel and tire, then carefully close over the wheel hub.  It stays in place and is a lot stronger.

The main strut is simplicity. Again, spray with metal primer, spray gray or white, and superglue the tires in place on the axle.  Then superglue into the aft wheel well.   

Typhoon D-Day 70th Anniversary

Published: December 11th, 2014     
Typhoon D-Day 70th Anniversary
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

Twobobs Aviation Graphics have released a Typhoon D-Day 70th Anniversary decal set for the 1/48 scale Revell Eurofighter Typhoon. This decal set includes three sheets with markings for a single Typhoon (ZK308) in Royal Air Force service. The scheme features special markings honoring the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, including prominent black-and-white invasion stripes.

The instruction sheet is printed in full color and includes callouts for Testors Model Master, Humbrol, Gunze, and Xtracrylics paints, plus the Federal Standard (FS) color numbers.

The sheets are printed by Microscale and seem to be of high quality, with thin and opaque decals. They are very glossy on the sheet and they have very little transparent carrier film around them, thus minimizing the chances for silvering. They are in perfect register. The sheets include full stenciling and the D-Day invasion stripe bands.

I would highly recommend this sheet if you’re looking to build a Typhoon in a very unique scheme. TwoBobs also offers decals for this scheme in 1/72 and 1/32 scales.

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

Brazilian Navy AF-1 (A-4M) Skyhawk "15 Years"

Published: December 10th, 2014     
Brazilian Navy AF-1 (A-4M) Skyhawk "15 Years"
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

Caracal Models has released a decal sheet for the 1/48 Hasegawa A-4M. This decal set includes three sheets with markings for two airframes in Brazilian Navy service. One option is a special scheme to celebrate the Skyhawk’s 15 years of service in the Brazilian Navy. The sheet provides the full markings and enough stencils to build both of the two options:

  • Brazilian Navy, N-1004 (Special Scheme)
  • Brazilian Navy, N-1017

As the AF-1s are former Kuwaiti A-4KUs, the instruction sheet describes how to convert the standard A-4M or A-4KU kits into the AF-1. In most cases, the conversion process is just using alternate parts already provided with the kit.

Having built a few A-4s myself, I’ve always struggled with any decal that has to be applied over the refueling probe. Caracal has created an excellent solution for this problem in the design of this sheet. The sheet indicates where to cut the surrounding decal, which you then place above and below the probe. Finally, the sheet provides you with an extra decal that you wrap around the probe itself to complete the look. Simple and easy!

Typhoon D-Day 70th Anniversary Decals

Published: December 6th, 2014     
Typhoon D-Day 70th Anniversary Decals
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/72 & 1/32
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

“To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of World War II’s D-Day landings, the Royal Air Force (RAF) unveiled a specially-painted Typhoon jet with D-Day invasion stripes at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.  The Typhoon has been adorned with the iconic black and white invasion markings in a tribute to the significant role of the crews of the Hawker Typhoon, its WWII namesake – particularly during D-Day operations.  Technicians painted the jet, tail number ZK308, in April 2014, so that it could be ready to take part in UK-wide air shows this summer.  The aircraft also completed a dual flypast with a similarly adorned Spitfire, part of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.”

Two Bobs has created a superlative decal sheet to commemorate this event in both 1/72nd and 1/32nd scale, all in one package.  The decals come on a five inch by eight inch sheet and a smaller two inch sheet, supplemented by a lovely full-color double-sided instruction sheet showing full placement details.  It also provides a nice color guide for the painting of the aircraft itself.

Beaufighter (Part 1) Airframe Stencil/Data Markings

Published: December 6th, 2014     
Beaufighter (Part 1) Airframe Stencil/Data Markings
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/32
Company: Aviaeology

Please note that Aviaeology has a website that is currently under revision. Aviaeology requests that purchases be made thru their eBay store.

For those who have purchased decals from Aviaeology before, you are already aware of the high quality of their products, and you are also aware of the excellent documentation that Aviaeology provides to its customers.

Mi-24V Hind Decals

Published: December 4th, 2014     
Mi-24V Hind Decals
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr, IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: HAD Models

As a Cobra pilot on the border in Germany during the cold war, the Mi-24 Hind was the boogieman.  It is one big ugly and deadly helicopter.  I’ve always wanted to fly one.

The Hind has sported some very colorful paint schemes, especially since the end of the cold war.  Big and ugly can become somewhat beautiful when you put a nice paint scheme on them they become less ugly, kind of like putting lipstick on a pig. 

The latest offering from the Hungarian company, HungAeroDecals, covers four Mi-24V Hinds in Hungarian service.  The decals are printed on a 2 ½ x 4 7/8 (6.5 x 12.5cm) printed by BOA Agency so you know they are very thin, opaque and react well with setting solutions.  Just make sure that you use plenty of water to slide them on.  The instructions are on a single sheet of A4 paper with full color side view drawings of both sides of the four aircraft.  Other than notes on the countries of the aircraft there is no other information on these aircraft or units.

Werner’s Wings Night Stalkers Part 2 – GOTHIC SERPENT to Present

Published: November 30th, 2014     
Werner’s Wings Night Stalkers Part 2 – GOTHIC SERPENT to Present
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/72, 1/48 1/35
Company: Werners Wings

Werner’s Wings is a Baltimore, MD based firm that offers decals and resin detail parts for scale modelers. Floyd Werner has been around scale modeling for many years, and is one of the hobby’s leading authorities on US Army rotary wing aircraft (not just through modeling, but from years of very personal experience!), and WWII Luftwaffe fighters.  A quick search of the IPMS Review or other modeling-related sites will yield plenty of background on his considerable modeling skills and knowledge.

Floyd’s passion for modeling modern rotary aircraft subjects is evident in this latest decal release of Night Stalkers, Part II - Gothic Serpents to present.  The subjects of these sets continue Werner’s Wings documenting the history of the 160th SOAR.  This set picks up at the Gothic Serpent operation in Somalia, and includes 20 examples from then, up to the current time.    Markings are included for four A/MH-6 “Little Birds”, nine MH-60 Blackhawks and seven MH-47 Chinooks as follows: