Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

F6F-5 Hellcat Late Armament Covered .50 cal Brownings

Published: June 10th, 2015     
F6F-5 Hellcat Late Armament Covered .50 cal Brownings
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model

Thanks to Piotr at Master-models for providing these metal gun barrels to improve our Hellcats, and thanks to our IPMS leaders for sending these my way!

The Eduard Hellcats have been around for a while now, and are great kits in their own right.  Master details provide late-model covered .50 caliber Browning barrels to replace the kit items; these directly replace the kit plastic parts…

In side-by-side comparison, Master Model’s gun barrels provide improvement on the kit items by providing depth and three-dimensional appearance over the kit parts, and improve the appearance by having finer detail than can be provided with injection molding processes.  These are exactly the same as the version with the cooling jackets having holes drilled in them, without a separate barrel assembly for the guns.  They are just machined tubes, with fine detail… See the middle gun barrel on this wing for an example.   

Simply replace the kit gun barrels with the metal versions; drill appropriate holes for mounting, superglue, paint, and done.  This is as easy as it gets!

Saab AJ/JA-37 Viggen Decals

Published: June 10th, 2015     
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Scale: 1/48
Company: Two Bobs Aviation Graphics

TwoBobs Aviation Graphics have been around for years, and have built a solid reputation for producing some of the finest after-market decal sets in the industry.  Chances are, if you’ve been around aircraft modeling for a while you’ve used some of their products already.  Their recent release of a set of 1/48th Viggen decals was meant to coincide with the recent Tarangus release of a JA-37 Viggen in the same quarter scale. 

The decal set under review comes in a sealed plastic envelope that contains two sheets of individual markings covering the following nine different aircraft:

USAAF Camouflaged P-51D, Part 2

Published: May 27th, 2015     
USAAF Camouflaged P-51D, Part 2
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
Scale: 1/72
Company: LPS Hobby

LPS Hobby has been producing many decal sheets of previously unavailable markings, previously incorrect markings and some unusual markings.  This particular sheet is no exception.  This sheet provides markings for three camouflaged P-51’s which were over-painted with what is believed to be RAF Dark Green and Medium Sea Gray.  The decal sheet is printed by Microscale and is in perfect register.

The first aircraft is P-51D-5-NA, “Tangerine”, piloted by LT Henry A. Pfeiffer, 364FS, 357FG, Leiston, England, Autumn 1944.  The second is P-51D-10-NA, “Master Mike”, piloted by Lt. Col Joseph E. Broadhead, 362 FS, 357 FG, Leiston, England, January 1945.  The last aircraft, and the one I chose is P-51D-15-NA piloted by Major Howard D. “Deacon” Hively, 334 FS, 4FG, Debdon, England, December 1944.

The reason I chose the latter was because the under surfaces were left in natural metal, plus I love the red nose and tail.  It also gave me good reason to get out one of my Tamiya Mustangs and have a go at it.

B-29 Antennas and AN/APQ-13 Radomes

Published: May 23rd, 2015     
B-29 Antennas and AN/APQ-13 Radomes
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Thanks to Brengun for providing this upgrade set for the Academy B-29; and to IPMS USA for sending it to me to review!

This is a very simple set which is designed for the Academy 1/72 B-29, but could also be adapted to the Airfix B-29. 

Consisting of two resin Radomes, and a fret of PE antenas, this will go a long way towards improving the plastic items in the kit. 

First, the Radomes.  The AN/APQ-13 antenna fit were used on some B-29’s early on; the later “bathtub” radome is in the kit, and you need to check your sources before you commit to installing these radomes.  The resin is flawless, with easy to remove Pour stubs.  The only thing you will need to do is hold a sheet of sandpaper over the assembled model fuselage, and sand the appropriate curve into the mating surface of the radomes before installing with epoxy or superglue.  Very easy.

Venturas in Canada 3

Published: May 20th, 2015     
Venturas in Canada 3
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aviaeology

Aviaeology’s Venturas in Canada 3 provides complete decal markings for eight individual late-production Ventura GR.Vs in Royal Canadian Air Force, Western Air Command service in the last two years of WWII.  An 8-page black & white documentation/instruction booklet is supplied in the set describing the subjects in great detail and providing painting and decal application instructions based on photographs of the actual aircraft.  It’s worth noting that several of the Venturas in this set were featured on the silver screen during the filming of the movie Son of Lassie at RCAF Station Patricia Bay in 1944.

C-45 Expeditor Part 1

Published: May 13th, 2015     
C-45 Expeditor Part 1
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

Thanks to Caracal Models for sending these excellent decals for review.  Thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for letting me review them!  I am very appreciative of the chance to contribute back to the scale-modeling community.

MQ-9 Return of the Reaper

Published: April 30th, 2015     
MQ-9 Return of the Reaper
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

Thanks to Caracal Models for sending these excellent decals for review.  Thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for letting me review them!  I am very appreciative of the chance to contribute back to the scale-modeling community.

This review covers a new release of decals for the MQ-9 UAV, including the NASA Ikhana version from the long-since sold out inaugural 1:48 scale sheet produced by Caracal.  My target kit was the Revell MQ-9 and I chose to model the Ikhana markings.  Eight versions representing NASA, USAF, RAF, French and Italian Air Force aircraft between 2013 and 2013 are included with the exception of the Ikhana in 2008.  Stenciling is minimal, as it is on the actual Reaper.  The decals are crisp and well-registered, printed by Cartograf. The decals responded well to Microscale decal solutions and settled snugly into position with no problems. 

I highly recommend these decals!  They gave me an opportunity to build on my UAV collection and show an example of beneficial civilian use of UAV/UAS. 

Yugoslav G-6s

Published: April 12th, 2015     
Yugoslav G-6s
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Delta One Decals

Delta One has been producing some unique decals, especially for the Bf-109. So that means that I had to check them out. This particular sheet covers the Yugoslav Air Force Bf-109s in service from 1945-53.

This sheet comes in a ziplock baggie that contains an eight page booklet with history and line drawings for the subject aircraft. There is a little history on the 109 in Yugoslavia. There is also a brief description of each aircraft including the colors and historical use.

Decals are provided for six aircraft, four G-6 aircraft and two UMe-109, which is a version of the G-12. The profiles have both side views, top view and a partial bottom view. The aircraft are interesting with some unique paint schemes. The actual decals are on 3 x 3 inch sheet. They are printed in perfect register, thin and with good color saturation.

OV-10A Bronco Decals

Published: April 8th, 2015     
OV-10A Bronco Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

A somewhat neglected kit of a very interesting aircraft, Testors 1/48 OV-10 gets an excellent decal set from Caracal Models. For those unfamiliar with the plane, the OV-10 was designed for counter-insurgency (COIN) operations and served the US military with distinction from the Vietnam War to the first Gulf War. It is a tough plane for operating in difficult situations. This set of decals covers the Air Force, Navy, Marines and also the Venezuelan Air Force with marking for 11 planes. They are:

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