Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Mitsubishi A5M Decals - Part 1 and Part 3

Published: April 22nd, 2018     
Mitsubishi A5M Decals - Part 1 and Part 3
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Scale: 1/48
Company: Lifelike Decals

Last year we modelers were pleasantly surprised (at least I was) to get not one, but two companies offering new-mold 1/48 scale A5M Claudes (in multiple variants no less). With the models from Fine Molds and Wingsy Kits both receiving admirable reviews, it is great to see that Lifelike Decals has issued 3 decal sheets that work with either kit. This is a review of 2 of the three, #48-053 (Part 1) and #48-055 (Part 3).

Links to Specific Decals

Once again, Lifelike has come up with an extremely high-quality product. Each package has full-color placement guides, and multiple sheets of decals (2 in Part 1, and 3 in Part 3). All are printed by Microscale and are to their typically high standard. Glossy finish, minimal carrier, and thin. Between these two sheets, the modeler has no less than 25 schemes to choose from! And Part 2 offers another 13 schemes!

These breakdown as follows:

Schlacht Bf-109Es

Published: March 20th, 2018     
Schlacht Bf-109Es
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Illiad Design

Illiad Design has recently released an aftermarket decal set covering Schlacht Bf-109Es. The Schlacht units were ground-attack units. I believe their mission was what is now known as "close air support".

This decal sheet covers a total of 6 aircrafts and you are provided with enough markings as to be able to model all of them and covering all main fronts during 1941/42: Russia, North Africa and the English Channel. Well done Illiad Design!

The airframes cover a transitional period on the standard camouflages during 1941/42. This means some of them are 71/02 over 65 while others are 74/75 over 76. Yellow noses and fuselage bands and rudders add a spot of color to the camouflages. To top it one of the camouflages is in a North Africa scheme of 79 over 76, with a replacement wing in 71/02 over 65. Amazing choices!

The decal sheet provides you with squadron emblems (if applicable), fuselage code/letter, Schlacht triangle, unit emblems and swastikas. You will need to provide your own stencils, but those can be easily sourced from the original decal sheet of your model.

Beechcraft 18s Decals

Published: March 13th, 2018     
Beechcraft 18s Decals
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1/48
Company: Iliad Design

Iliad Design is an Ottawa, Canada based firm that offers decals and color chart references for scale modelers.

The subjects of this set are post-WWII era Beechcraft Model 18s in military markings. Markings are included for three aircraft as follows:

  • SNB-2H Hospital Aircraft based at NAS Jacksonville
  • UC-45J based at NAS Atsugi, mid-1960s
  • AT-7C of an unknown unit, buzz #TB-482, 1946

The sheet is printed in perfect register with very little carrier film border. Colors are bold, and the ink is solidly dense, reducing or eliminating opaque tendencies of the lighter colors. The letter-sized instruction sheet calls out paint colors and particulars for each aircraft. Also noted are the nacelle and leading edge modifications necessary to model the Atsugi bird, and references the Belcher Bits resin parts to complete it.

I have used Iliad Designs sets on past builds and find that their decals are easy to use following the typical application procedures. They settle down beautifully into/on surface details and respond well to Micro Scale decal fluids when needed for coaxing onto difficult areas.

F-16C Baby Got Fullback Aggressors

Published: January 21st, 2018     
F-16C Baby Got Fullback Aggressors
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Two Bobs

The Air Force's 64th Aggressor Squadron uses specially painted F-16s in fulfilling its role of simulating opposing air forces. Over the years its F-5s and F-16s have worn a wide variety of paint schemes mimicking those used by potential opponents. Last year, the Squadron painted several of its F-16s in the "Shark" and "Splinter" schemes recently observed on Russian Su-34s and the Sukhoi T-50. Two Bobs has now issued decal sheets in 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72 scales to allow modelers to depict both schemes.

Sheet 72-104 provides markings for two aircraft in the "Splinter" scheme and one in the "Shark" scheme. Two of the aircraft (one in each scheme) are Block 32 jets while the third is a block 25 jet. As I had an old Hasegawa model of an early block F-16, I decided to use it for this project. I am not an F-16 expert, so it is possible that the kit actually represents a different block number, so I apologize in advance if I did get it wrong!

F-16C/D BLK 52 Thunderbirds

Published: January 8th, 2018     
F-16C/D BLK 52 Thunderbirds
Reviewed by: Robert Head, IPMS# 48922
Scale: 1/48
Company: Two Bobs

About the Company

Two Bobs is a limited run/ Custom Decal company based out of Fort Worth, Texas and is owned and operated by Mr. Bob Sanchez. Mr. Sanchez is a former enlisted Air Force engineer and has been very active in the modeling community almost all of his life. Two-Bob decals usually sell out very well and once their limited run subjects sell out they are not available for reprint. Get them while they are available or be prepared to pay the eBay supply vs Demand Price.

What's on the Sheet?

The first aftermarket sheet ever released for the F-16C/D Thunderbirds! The USAF is celebrating its 70th Anniversary in 2017 and these markings are current for this year's airshow season.

One full set of Thunderbird markings are included with unique aircrew and maintenance markings for each individual jet. A bonus to the 2017 markings are the names that were carried during Buzz Aldrin's flight at the Homestead Airshow.