Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

244th Sentai Part 1

Published: March 12th, 2017     
244th Sentai Part 1
Reviewed by: Timothy Gidcumb, IPMS# 40925
Scale: 1:48
Company: Lifelike Decals

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ("flying swallow") is a Japanese World War II fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service. The Japanese Army designation was "Army Type 3 Fighter" Allied pilots initially believed Ki-61s were Messerschmitt Bf 109's and later an Italian aircraft, which led to the Allied reporting name of "Tony", assigned by the United States War Department. It was the only mass-produced Japanese fighter of the war to use a liquid-cooled inline V engine. Over 3,000 Ki-61s were produced. Initial prototypes saw action over Yokohama during the Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, and continued to fly combat missions throughout the war.

Recently I was given the opportunity by IPMS USA to review one of Lifelike Decal's offering for the Ki-61 Hein (48-003). This set from LifeLike is a revised and re-released set that was originally released in 2003 and covering aircraft of the Japanese 244th Sentai. The majority of these aircraft are Nakajima Ki-61 Heins. There are eight subjects on this decal sheet, four are for the Tei version which should ring a bell since the recent release of the 1/48 version of this kit from Tamiya.

Battle Scooters (1)-USN/USMC A-4C & A-4E Skyhawks in the Vietnam War

Published: March 3rd, 2017     
Battle Scooters (1)-USN/USMC A-4C & A-4E Skyhawks in the Vietnam War
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr, IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: AOA Decals

Often forgotten about Naval Aviation in Vietnam is the diminutive A-4 Skyhawk. Despite its small size, this nimble little aircraft could carry an amazing amount of bombs. Flown by the Marines and the Navy, this aircraft carried out some of the most dangerous missions in Vietnam.

AOA Decals continues to release Vietnam era subjects and I for one love their choice of subjects. This set is designed for the Hasegawa kits of the A-4C and A-4E.

The instructions are packaged in a 9 x 12 inch Ziploc bag and are printed in full color on four double-sided pages. The instructions are little works of art displaying the side profile for 13 aircraft. The initial page gives you information to make the Hasegawa kit more accurate. Each aircraft is described in detail to let you figure out what to include from the kit and decals. There is a page for each type of Skyhawk airframe with data and stencils.

Bf-109G-6 Balkenkrueze

Published: February 26th, 2017     
Bf-109G-6 Balkenkrueze
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1:48
Company: Eduard

Eduard's Bf-109G series of models is one of my favorite models. As such I tend to build a lot of them. They are a lot of fun to build and look great when completed. The Eduard decals are printed by Eduard, and are very thin and beautifully done. Because of their thinness, they fit into all the panel lines with ease, and the carrier film disappears. The only thing that I've had an issue with the thinness of the decals is that they stick real fast if you don't have enough water under them. This is not a bad thing just an observation. Eduard has released this sheet of decals which contains enough different styles to do at least two aircraft.

The decals come in a typical European self-sealing/re-sealing plastic packaging. The decals are protected by a thick card stock between the decals and the instructions. The instructions are simple as they should be. You don't need a whole lot of instructions for just these crosses.

Battle Scooters (2)-USN/USMC A-4C & A-4E Skyhawks in the Vietnam War

Published: February 26th, 2017     
Battle Scooters (2)-USN/USMC A-4C & A-4E Skyhawks in the Vietnam War
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1:48
Company: AOA Decals

This is the second sheet for the Hasegawa A-4 kit from AOA Decals. Like the others this is thoroughly researched with the help of the A-4 Skyhawk Association, notable pilots and mechanics. Who better to make sure that the markings are correct than the ones that were there?

The A-4 was a workhorse for the Navy and the Marines in Vietnam. As such it was operated from carriers and shore airfields. This sheet covers the Skyhawk from 1966 to 1972. Where a unit used both types or had early and later cruises, AOA selects an aircraft from both time frames.

Battle Scooters (3)-USN/USMC A-4C & A-4E Skyhawks in the Vietnam War

Published: February 26th, 2017     
Battle Scooters (3)-USN/USMC A-4C & A-4E Skyhawks in the Vietnam War
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: AOA Decals

This third sheet by AOA Decals for the A-4 Skyhawk includes markings for twelve Vietnam era aircraft. This sheet is mostly Navy aircraft but there are two Marine aircraft.

The instructions are typical of AOA Decals being stored in a large ziplock bag with four double-sided 8.5x11 pages. Each aircraft is described in detail. The specific updates to the models are included on the first page. This addresses the correct antennas and the things needed to do the model properly. All the aircraft are Light Gull Grey over White but that is the only thing plain about them. They display full color markings from the front to the rear of each aircraft. The last page of the instructions covers the stencil location for both types.