Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

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.

Multi-Aircraft Series #2, SBD-2, F3F-2, P-40, SB2U-2

Published: January 31st, 2015     
Multi-Aircraft Series #2, SBD-2, F3F-2, P-40, SB2U-2
Reviewed by: Jeff Leiby, IPMS# 30249
Scale: 1/72
Company: Yellow-Wings Decals

I had a love-hate relationship with this set of decals. This is my first experience using decals from Yellow-Wings, and also from the new Microscale printing process.  The colors are excellent and in perfect register, the film around the edges is minimal, they are exceptionally thin and they cover aircraft from my favorite era.  However, the thinness lead to issues with the long and thin decals.  Additionally, the smallest decals required a perfectly smooth service to be moved about easily, an important issue on a small model like a 1/72 F3F-2.  I ended up purchasing a second set of decals to fix several issues; severely torn decals and a set of wing chevrons that were not sufficiently opaque.

The Decals

This 1/72 multi-aircraft decal set is the second from Yellow-Wings Decals. You get four complete sets of decals on one sheet of decal paper for the following aircraft:

404 Squadron Beaufighters: Black Friday plus

Published: January 29th, 2015     
404 Squadron Beaufighters: Black Friday plus
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aviaeology

For any who have missed it, Aviaeology is a company out of Canada producing decals specific to many Canadian themed subjects. This set of for 404 Squadron Beaufighters and comes in all scales but this the 1/72nd version. 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 twelve different aircraft in a variety of schemes. Here’s a quick list:

Venturas in Canada 1

Published: January 29th, 2015     
Venturas in Canada 1
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aviaeology

Venturas in Canada pt.1 provides complete markings for ten individual Venturas of various marks, and most of the markings necessary for an eleventh subject (Ventura B.II AJ430 as a ski test aircraft) are also included. This decal set depicts training aircraft, test machines, and some early US Navy ‘visitors’ to Canada.  The 8-page instruction booklet included in the set explains subject selection was focused on variety as well as available reference photographs.

The instructions describe decal application, placement instructions, provide illustrations with painting instructions for all subject aircraft, plus a number of black and white reference photographs.  Information in this set's documentation includes the early-production B.II / B.IIA cockpit canopy variation, detail items on ski test aircraft, ASV radar anti-submarine warfare test aircraft, and information on rare US NAvy PV-3 interim ASW aircraft.

The following aircraft are covered:

A-4N Wings of Wittmund

Published: January 29th, 2015     
A-4N Wings of Wittmund
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: