Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Blue Angel Cougars

Published: April 5th, 2015     
Blue Angel Cougars
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/48
Company: Furball Aero-Design

Furball Aero Design is a new decal company. They have teamed with Detail & Scale who I have admired and trusted for many years, to turn out interesting and correct decals and marking schemes for 1/48 modern US aircraft. They also have vinyl mask sets for those kits.

This decal sheet consists of all of the markings you would need to do two Blue Angels aircraft, either two TF-9s or two F9Fs, or one of each.

The Blue Angels flew the Cougar from 1954 to 1957, when it was replaced with the F11F Tiger.

The decals are printed by Cartograf of Italy. I put Cartograf as the industry standard for quality decals. My basis for this is toughness of the decal film and the fact that it only takes about 15 seconds in the water for even the largest decal to come loose from the backing. Even I can get a decent looking set of markings using Cartograf.

The Kittyhawk TF-9 kit comes with markings for the Blue Angels two seater, but I have to recommend the Furball decals. This is because Furball has Bert Kinzey and Detail & Scale, and they got the Blue Angels color, Insignia Yellow correct.

Overall Evaluation:

Folland Gnat T.1 Landing Gear (AX)

Published: April 4th, 2015     
Folland Gnat T.1 Landing Gear (AX)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Scale aircraft Conversions

Thanks again to our steadfast IPMS supporter, Ross at SAC… and to IPMS leadership for providing it to me for review. Metal gear rule!

This set simply replaces the main and nose gear for the new Airfix 1/48 Folland Gnat. This is an excellent little kit, and the kit gear will serve the purpose out of the box, but the simplicity of installing metal gear on the assembled airframe is too good to pass up.

Parts include two main gear struts with extension and drag arms incorporated, and a nose gear. All three parts are one-piece castings, which justifies their use in my mind. Airfix is on a roll, and their kits just slide together with little fuss. The only complaint I personally have is the plastic is a bit soft, so small things like landing gear, pitot tubes, etc., tend to be very “bendy” and flexible. The Gnat may be miniscule, but the landing gear is still vulnerable.

American 109G-6

Published: March 21st, 2015     
American 109G-6
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Delta One Decals

Delta One Decal is a new European Manufacturer of decals. This is a Limited Edition decal sheet that covers 9 captured 109G-6s in American markings. All but one are /Trop version. The other one is a G-6/R3.

The decal sheet has vivid colors, with good color density, it is very shinny –on the sheet- and it perfect register. There is very limited carrier material, so I would expect them to blend in and have a very limited chance for silvering.

The camouflage options go from black with red trims, sand with red wingtips, olive drab, typical mid-war RLM 74/75/76 and even a natural metal finish! Indeed a very unique collection.

There is no indication of which company printed the decals, but they are professionally printed, and they are not of the “continuous carrier film”. Each decal is individual. There are no stencils, but some of the airframes were painted over so it is not relevant. For those that retained the Luftwaffe camouflage, you would need to source the stencils from a different sheet.

At time of writing the website of Delta One Decal is not live, but they have an email address: delta1decal@gmail.com

Intruders from the Beach Decals

Published: March 18th, 2015     
Intruders from the Beach Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: AOA Decals

This is AOA Decals first release and it is a home run right from the start. The decals are titled “Intruders from the Beach” and cover USMC Intruders in the Vietnam War. They are intended for the 1/48 scale Hobbyboss A-6A. There are two large decals sheets provided- the first is color and includes the markings for all the aircraft in this set plus national insignia and a full set of stencils which are reviewed elsewhere on the IPMS/USA Reviews web site. The second sheet is all black and contains all the black markings plus tail codes, squadron markings and BuNo’s. Both sheets are perfectly in register and printed by Cartograph which is a great start.

Also included is a mini CD which has the PDF file with the instructions. I wondered why a mini CD instead of the usual page or two of printed directions and then I popped the CD into the computer.  The reason became obvious- there are 86 pages of instructions. Yes…86 pages. Before jumping ahead, let’s give this the due it deserves.

Intruder Airframe Stencils (High-Viz) A-6A, A-6E, A-6E TRAM, & KA-6D

Published: March 18th, 2015     
Intruder Airframe Stencils (High-Viz) A-6A, A-6E, A-6E TRAM, & KA-6D
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: AOA Decals

AOA Decals is new and a very welcome addition to the realms of decal manufacturers. Their first set of releases are for the Hobbyboss 1/48 A-6A kits. This review is specific to their Intruder Airframe Stencils which are made for High-Viz gray over white schemes. The stencils are applicable to A-6E, A-6E TRAM and KA-6D also. There are enough stencils to do one airframe. A first inspection of the approximately 1/3 size sheet revels perfect alignment and great color. They are printed by Cartograph which is great. The instructions are six pages of superb direction and show the different locations for the A-6E and KA-6D stencils.

The first thing I noticed with this set is how comprehensive it is as far as covering the entire aircraft. By that, I mean that the following is fully covered by the decals in this set:

Cougar Trainers Decals

Published: March 17th, 2015     
Cougar Trainers Decals
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Furball Aero-Design

Furball Aero Design, in association with Detail & Scale, offers an expanding collection of decals for the modeler, and this set is designed to be used on the Kitty Hawk TF-9J Cougar. This review does not include any comments on the Kitty Hawk kit, but focuses solely on the Furball/D&S decals.

My initial response to the decals upon inspecting them was very positive. The decals are the result of much research and it shows. But then, that is a hallmark characteristic of Detail & Scale, which provided the research. The detail in the stenciling and markings is outstanding. I noted that the decals were printed by Cartograf and I have yet to have a problem with a Cartograf decal. Detail & Scale coupled with Cartograf printing?  That’s a win-win.

The decals offer the modeler markings for 11 different aircraft. The decal instructions are in full color, very easy to interpret, and the illustrations show the top, bottom, right profile, and left profile of each aircraft clearly showing decal placement. The decal instruction even provide color call-outs in the form of FS numbers.

PV-1 Ventura Sirens of the Sea

Published: February 23rd, 2015     
PV-1 Ventura Sirens of the Sea
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Bombshell Decals

According to Bombshell

The mission of BombshellDecals.com is to provide top quality decals of iconic nose art for scale modelers. We are a small home-based, U.S. Army veteran owned company, located in The All American city of Fayetteville, North Carolina, just outside Fort Bragg.

The Product

My sample arrived in the standard zip-loc bag we’ve come to expect from the aftermarket decal retailers. The cover sheet artwork features beautiful nude and non-nude nose art aircraft. The decal sheet itself is a masterpiece with seven options and enough decals to do at least two aircraft. Printed by Cartograf and made in Italy the decals are perfect in every regard. The only drawback worth noting is the lack of information specific for each aircraft option. All but one aircraft are painted in the standard tri-color paint scheme, it’s painted overall medium blue.

JASDF F-4EJ Kai 301st SQ 40th Anniversary

Published: February 1st, 2015     
JASDF F-4EJ Kai 301st SQ 40th Anniversary
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/48
Company: DXM Decals

DXM, or Double Excellent Model, is from Taiwan and is offering a growing line of decals for the aircraft modeler. Take a few minutes and check out their website as they offer a wide range of modern aircraft schemes and different markings, including many other JASDF schemes.

Today’s review is on their excellent 1/48 scale JASDF F-4EJ Kai 301st SQ 40th Anniversary decal set.

The decal sheet comes in a sealed plastic sleeve and includes a single large decal sheet and full-color direction flyer.

Markings are included for a single aircraft: 77-8398, F-4EJ Kai Super Phantom II, JASDF 301st Squadron’s 40th Anniversary Scheme.

A bit of internet searching tells me that this airframe was painted in this scheme in October 2013. The 301st Squadron has been flying the F-4EJ Phantom since its inception in 1973 and has been flying the upgraded F-4EJ Kai since 1991.

Talk about color! This is a great sheet packed with color, and the metallic sheen on the gold markings is very convincing and especially well done. The aircraft overall is a dark blue, and these markings should produce a head-turning model when finished.

USN F-14B Tomcat VF-103 Jolly Rogers

Published: February 1st, 2015     
USN F-14B Tomcat VF-103 Jolly Rogers
Reviewed by: Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Scale: 1/48
Company: DXM Decals

DXM, or Double Excellent Model, is relatively new to the world of decals. The company is from Taiwan and is offering a growing line of decals for the aircraft modeler. Take a few minutes and check out their website as they offer a wide range of modern aircraft schemes and different markings, including many JASDF schemes.

Today’s review covers their excellent 1/48 scale F-14B Tomcat sheet for VF-103 Jolly Rogers.

The decal sheet comes in a sealed plastic sleeve and includes a large decal sheet, along with a smaller one for the US star-and-bars roundels, and a second smaller sheet for formation lights. The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf and are of their usual excellent quality. All decals are in excellent register, and there is no extra film to trim.

Markings are included for four aircraft:

Night Stalkers Part 2: GOTHIC SERPENT to Present

Published: February 1st, 2015     
Night Stalkers Part 2: GOTHIC SERPENT to Present
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/35
Company: Werners Wings

Werner’s Wings is an aftermarket company own by the well-known modeler Floyd Werner. A former US Army helicopter pilot, the majority of his products and detail sets relate to rotary wing aircraft, however, he also has some fixed-wing products (Bf 109s!) and instructional DVDs.

This 1/35 scale decal sheet is dedicated to the helicopters of the 160th Special Operations Aircraft Regiment, covering their operations in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The decal sheet includes markings for 20 helicopters including the A/MH-6, MH-60, MH-47, and some special decals for the inside of Chinooks.

The instruction sheet is printed in full color, and each profile has a short description on the location and history of the airframe, if available.

The decal sheet itself is printed in perfect register, the decals look very thin, and they seem to have very good color density. I would expect them to perform flawlessly. This is a professionally printed product, although I don’t know which decal manufacturer printed this sheet; it’s certainly not a home-made product.