Decals

Reviews of scale model decal sets.

Modern U.S. National Insignia

Published: January 9th, 2013     
Modern U.S. National Insignia
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/35
Company: Archer Fine Transfers

Archer Fine Transfers has and always had the best and largest variety of transfers than any other company. I would venture to say over 90% of us in the scale modeling hobby have used an Archer product in one way or another. Some modelers I have met only use transfers and will use decals only when it is absolutely necessary.

Archer’s transfers are always of the highest quality and detail, and so simple to apply. However, there should be a high degree of concentration when applying them to the model because any movement while burnishing the transfer will ruin it. Whenever possible, I always cut out the particular transfer that I am going to apply from the sheet because it is very possible that another transfer, too close to the one that is being applied, can accidently adhere itself to the model. This is one of the downfalls, but very easy to avoid. Also, with transfers there are no do-overs, so proper placement of these transfers is of utmost importance.

Nakajima Ki-43 Decals Part 1

Published: January 5th, 2013     
Nakajima Ki-43 Decals Part 1
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Scale: 1/48
Company: Lifelike Decals

This is one of two new sheets Lifelike Decals has released covering the Nakajima Ki-43.  A quick check of Lifelike’s website reveals that this latest addition to their line is only available in 1/48 scale at the moment.  The website is definitely worth a visit, as they not only list their products, but from time to time also give updates and corrections to existing decal sets.

The instructions consist of two sheets of paper (approx. 8 1/2” x 11”), each printed on one side and folded together, resulting in a small booklet.  One sheet is printed in full color and provides profiles of the aircraft, while the second features in-depth text describing each subject.  Clearly, a lot of time and effort has gone into the research on this sheet.  13 different reference books (or websites) are listed and cited throughout the individual aircraft descriptions.

F/A-18E VFA-195 Dambuster CAG Chippy Ho 2011 Decals

Published: December 27th, 2012     
F/A-18E VFA-195 Dambuster CAG Chippy Ho 2011 Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: DXM Decals

VFA-195 is one of the naval F-18 squadrons people usually don’t remember until either one of two things happens. First, they are called the “Dambusters” after their successful destruction of the Hwacheon Dam in North Korea. Even more recognizable is their “Chippy Ho” scheme of green and black with the large eagles head. They have been carrying some form of this scheme on the CAG aircraft for about 25 years. The squadron was formed many years ago flying Avengers but worked their way up to F-18’s in the 1980’s and to the newer F-18E/F Super Hornet in the 2010. The Dambusters are based at NAF Atsugi, Japan

F/A-18E VFA-137 Kestrels CAG 2011 Decals

Published: December 27th, 2012     
F/A-18E VFA-137 Kestrels CAG 2011 Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: DXM Decals

Being a Naval Aviation fan, I am always on the lookout for new markings and schemes. One of the more interesting schemes to come out in the last few years is the digital camouflage scheme work by the CAG of VFA-137, “The Kestrels”. I have always liked VFA-137 schemes (maybe it is the groups nickname, the Flying Buttcheeks) and some of their markings have been produced in 1/48th scale by several different manufacturers. The Kestrels are based at NAS Lemoore in California and started flying F-18A’s and have transitioned all the way to the new F-18E’s.

DXM Decals has produced one of the ultimate set of decals for the F-18E in that it replicates the digital camouflage scheme perfectly with decals.  Here’s a link to a picture of the plane itself:  http://www.key.aero/central/images/news/2406.jpg

Santa Fe Skyway DC-3 Decals Part 2

Published: December 27th, 2012     
Santa Fe Skyway DC-3 Decals Part 2
Reviewed by: John King, IPMS# 46812
Scale: 1/144
Company: Vintage Flyer Decals

To follow up with the initial review of the decals, here is the completed model with the Vintage Flyer decals applied.  As was stated in the initial review, most decals consist of either two or three layers.  I did not need to coat the decals with Future or any other sealer as this was already done by Vintage Flyer.  Be sure to cut the decals out close to the design to minimize carrier film.

The first decals down were the white backgrounds.  These went on the model well but did not seem to snuggle into the panel lines, even after applying decal solvents.  Be sure to follow the instructions on which decals go next.  In some cases, like the windows, the black decals go next, but that’s not the case with the registration decals.

B-25J 345th BG Air Apaches Decals

Published: December 27th, 2012     
B-25J 345th BG Air Apaches Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eagle Editions Ltd.

Eagle Editions has released a 1/32 scale sheet for the pending HK Models B-25 “Strafer” which represent the 345th Bomb Group, the Air Apaches. For those who don’t know, the Air Apaches were a Bomb Group based in New Guinea in WWII who flew the B-25J. They flew missions against shipping, ground emplacements, and flak positions using the B-25 bomber not only for its intended purpose but also for strafing almost anything. One thing they also had was very distinctively marked ships. The tails were marked with stylized Indians and the planes marked as bats, parrots, and many other things with great nose art. A modeler’s dream come true.

HK Models’ B-25J Strafer is reviewed here at http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/b-25j-strafer . The kit is now arriving in the US and these decals give the builder three markings for this kit:

B-25H Decals

Published: December 27th, 2012     
B-25H Decals
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eagle Editions Ltd.

Eagle Editions’ newest decal release is three choices for the yet-to-be-released HK Models’ 1/32nd B-25H. This version of the B-25 will have a 75mm canon in the nose along with the remainder of the cheek guns, turret, and all the aft guns. The H version also required a cockpit design due to the shorter nose and length of the canon which made the designers relocate the topside gun turret more toward the nose. This accounted for the visual changes to the exterior. The plane was designed to strafe and hit targets with its forward facing guns and cannon. In practice, the slow fire rate of the cannon compared to the guns meant that the previous strafe versions ended up doing the same or more damage.

HK Models has announced a 1/32nd B-25H due in 2013 with a part number of 01E00. It will have the corrections needed and will be based on their fantastic B-25J series which has the B-25J "Strafer" reaching the US currently. Eagle Editions has issued markings early for these kits of:

Messerschmitt Bf-110E Decals

Published: December 19th, 2012     
Messerschmitt Bf-110E Decals
Reviewed by: Timothy Funnell, IPMS# 48350
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

In my opinion, Eduard makes some of the best decals on the market, and this set for the BF-110 looks superb. In this set of decals, you get color plates for 4 different 110’s – a 7/ZG Z6 Mediterranean 1941/42, a 1/ERG.Zerst. GR. Debln-Irena, Poland December, 1942, a 5./NJG1, Deelen, Holland, spring, 1941, and lastly for W.NR.3866, Hans-Joachim Jabs, Staffel/Kapitan, 3/ZG76, Argos 1941.

Of the decals for these four aircraft, only one of them is for a E variant. Two of them are D-3 versions, and the last is for a D-1 night fighter. This isn’t really a problem since Eduard is releasing a C/D version kit and the E kit # 7083 has an optional fuselage and Dackel Bauch belly tanks included.

Overall, this decal set gets two thumbs up from me. I would like to thank Eduard and Steve Collins at the IPMS Review Corps for a chance to review these decals, and you for reading this article.
 

Sherman Basics: Basic Markings for Sherman Tanks

Published: November 26th, 2012     
Sherman Basics: Basic Markings for Sherman Tanks
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: Archer Fine Transfers

Over the years, I have discovered there are four ways to apply the required markings to my military models: first, and most obviously, the water slide decals that come in almost every commercially available model kit; second, one can, of course, hand paint one’s own markings, provided you have the high degree of skill this requires; third, there are various forms of masks – photo etched versions or various forms of tape masks; and finally, there are dry rub transfers, the subject of this review.

Pre-War Spitfire Decals

Published: November 17th, 2012     
Pre-War Spitfire Decals
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Scale: 1/72
Company: Iliad Design

Iliad Design continues to add interesting decal sets to their line.  They have selected seven unique early Spitfires for their most recent 1/72 set #72009.  Any of the markings will make a 1/72 Mk.I (actually, Mk.1a) stand out among the usual fare.  Included on a single sheet are markings for:

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer