Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Pre-War Hurricanes

Published: September 27th, 2014     
Pre-War Hurricanes
Reviewed by: Roger A Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Iliad Design

In 2003, Iliad Design’s first decal offering was a 1/48 scale set for pre-War Hurricanes. Flash ahead 11 years and Iliad has added a 1:72 scale version of that set to their ever-growing line of decals.  But this set is more than a scaled down version of the four subjects found on the original 1:48 scale set.  Iliad’s 1/72 scale set provides markings for seven Hurricanes in RAF service during 1938 and 1939. 

Six of the seven aircraft featured in this set sport upper surface camouflage of Dark Green and Dark Earth (in both A & B schemes, which are clearly illustrated) with a variety of underside colors that were employed during the pre-war period.  But, the scheme for the seventh aircraft offers a striking contrast.

The seven subjects included are:

L-39 "Capali" and "Capeti II"

Published: September 25th, 2014     
L-39 "Capali" and "Capeti II"
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: HAD Models

The L-39 Albatross is an advanced trainer/light attack double-seat jet aircraft of Czech design that has seen service with over two dozen air forces and several of them are currently being used in the civilian market. Avant Garde Models (AMK) has recently released the first injection model of this significant aircraft trainer in 48th scale.

“Capali” and “Capeti” are special markings used by Hungarian L-39 at the 2004 Kecskemet Airshow. The names of the airplanes correspond to the Canadian TV show “Sharky and George”, however the airplanes camouflages do not match the colorful characters of the TV Show.

Capali sports a disruptive camouflage of green and sand over light blue, with a striking Hungarian flag in the tail, while Capeti is an overall aircraft grey. Both aircraft seem to have their camouflage “peeling off” and showing a shark nose, with teeth and eyes around the nose.

You can find further details at:

AMD/BA/Dornier Alpha Jet

Published: September 25th, 2014     
AMD/BA/Dornier Alpha Jet
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 48044
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

The Dornier Alpha Jet is an advanced trainer/light attack/helicopter hunter/double seat jet aircraft that has seen service with 10 air forces, and several of them are currently being used in the civilian market.

Caracal models has released an impressive decal sheet for 15 airframes for 8 different countries. These are the airframes you get (listed from Caracal Website)

Stars and Bars (Modern USAF High Viz Insignia)

Published: September 16th, 2014     
Stars and Bars (Modern USAF High Viz Insignia)
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/48
Company: Furball Aero-Design

Often you get a great aftermarket decal sheet for 3 or 4 aircraft, but they don’t include enough insignia for all of them. The solution: Enter a insignia decal sheet, like the one recently released by Furball Design

This set contains 95 correctly proportion modern (post 1947) US National Insignia (the one with the blue border and red stripe).

You get (14) 10" insignia, (25) 15" Insignia, (14) 20" insignia, (10) 25" insignia, (8) 30" insignia, (8) 35" insignia, (8) 40" insignia, (8) 45" insignia, which should cover from small drones, to larger bombers in the last 7 decades of  USAF service.

I want to point out the decal design is correctly proportioned, as the star points do not reach the edge of the circle, but stop at a distance equivalent to width of the blue border.

The decals are independently printed and they are very glossy in the sheet. I would expect them to adhere really well to a glossy surface (Future coat or similar) in your model.

Recommended to airplane modelers of all skill levels.

I would like to thank Furball Aero Designs and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Curtiss P-6E “Hawk” Decals (Part 2)

Published: September 14th, 2014     
Curtiss P-6E “Hawk” Decals (Part 2)
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/48
Company: Yellow-Wings Decals

Yellow Wings Decals has added two new sets to their line for 1/48 scale Curtis P-6E Hawks.  Set number 48-085, or Part 2, provides colorful markings for two Langley Field based USAAC aircraft of the 8th Pursuit Group:

  • P-6E #15 of the 33rd Pursuit Squadron  
  • P-6E #61 of the 36th Pursuit Squadron 

The instructions show that in 1933, 8th Pursuit Group P-6Es sported Gloss Olive Drab #22 painted fuselages with Orange-Yellow #4 wings and tail surfaces and by 1936 fuselages were finished in Blue #23 with Orange-Yellow #4 wings and tail surfaces.  Markings are provided for all national insignia, rudder stripes, aircraft numbers, fuselage bands and squadron markings as shown in the photo below of the decal sheet.  An instruction sheet is included that also provides information about all paints that were used with Tamiya color matches.

F-16C/D Vipers – The Next Generation

Published: September 14th, 2014     
F-16C/D Vipers – The Next Generation
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Caracal Models

I love small air forces and I love the F-16 (and not just because they are based at Hill AFB just up the street) so a decal sheet that combines both is always high on my list.

This new sheet by Caracal delivers.  5 of the 6 schemes are small air forces with the other scheme a Minnesota Air National Guard version in a new camo.  The decals are printed by Cartograf who have a solid reputation and feature the following markings:

MiG-3 Decals (Pt. 3)

Published: September 12th, 2014     
MiG-3 Decals (Pt. 3)
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/48
Company: HAD Models

HAD Models is a Hungarian company that manufactures decals and distributes aftermarket detail parts.  A visit to their website shows that their decal sets fill some voids and provide model builders with a variety of well-documented markings (particularly Hungarian, Russian and German a/c).  HAD Models’ decals are on a par with major brands:  They are printed on thin decal film in vivid opaque colors.  The graphics are crisp and accurately registered.  Many (but not all) sets include stencil data.

Set 48131 is devoted to Soviet MiG-3s that defended the homeland in 1941 and 1942.  The set provides national insignia and specific markings for seven aircraft:

Elegant Eagles, Part 1

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Elegant Eagles, Part 1
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/48
Company: Speed Hunter Graphics

This is the third set of 1/48 decals from Speed Hunter Graphics which came out of the Reid Air Publishing Group. The decals look very nice, clear and in register. They are printed by Cartograf of Italy and work very well, I’ll tell you why in a bit. This offering covers six F-15C MSIP II Eagles with a nice mix of Mig killers, commanders' aircraft, and even an aggressor bird. You couldn’t ask for a more varied mix. I couldn’t find whose kit these decals were sized for on the instruction sheet but on the web site it was recommended for the Hasegawa F-15C. As fate would have it, I only had the Academy kit which seemed to work quite well. I also noticed that the site had selections for 1/32 and 1/72 size sheets. I do hope that they branch into the other scales because these decals are really worth it.

The options included in this set are:

US Navy Blue Angels C-130

Published: August 31st, 2014     
US Navy Blue Angels C-130
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/48
Company: Caracal Models

ATTENTION!!! Those of you with that huge box of plastic labeled “1/48 Testors or Italeri C-130 E/H in your stash, languishing in the dust because you’re bored with monotone gray, SEA or European One camouflage schemes.  Here is your chance to buy a couple of extra bottles of liquid cement and get after it!  This decal sheet offers up beautifully rendered markings for “Fat Albert” the USMC C-130T that provides support logistics transport, in addition to it’s own amazing solo performance featuring rocket assisted take-offs for the US Navy’s “Blue Angels” aircraft demonstration team. 

In the plastic sleeve on a typical 5-1/2” X 8-3/4” decal sheet you will find two large Blue Angels shield markings for the giant vertical stabilizer, along with the yellow staff names, “Marines” markings and stencils.  The “Blue Angels” script is provided in two different lettering styles, depending upon which season you wish to depict the aircraft from.  The huge red/white/blue stars and bars markings are provided on a separate, smaller sheet. 

F-5F/N Defenders of the Conch Republic

Published: August 29th, 2014     
F-5F/N Defenders of the Conch Republic
Reviewed by: Steve Zajac, IPMS# 34937
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics

US Navy squadron VFC-111, stationed at Key West, Florida, is the only F-5 Adversary Squadron on the East Coast. In the 2012–13 timeframe, a new tail scheme was approved for all of the squadron aircraft. Twobobs last provided a decal sheet for VFC-111 in 2007 (48-143). At that time, the only kit in