Generic WW2 RAF Instrument Dial Decals and Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 Instrument Panel Decals (Revised)

Published: March 25th, 2011     
Front of packagings
Front of packagings
Reviewed by: 
John Ratzenberger, IPMS# 40196
Scale: 1/24
Company: Airscale Model Aircraft Enhancements
Price: $7.30
Product / Stock #: AS24 RAF (Generic), AS24 HUA (Hurricane)

Airscale Decals is evidently new, at least within the last year, and their website shows plans for numerous waterslide decals of instrument dials and panels for various 24th and 32nd scale aircraft, Allied and Luftwaffe. I note that placards and data plates are scheduled for future release. I don't do 24th scale, but happened to have a couple Hurricanes around, well, because one can never have enough Hurricanes.

As you can see from the photos, the Hurricane specific sheet gives you a full instrument panel decal while the generic set gives you numerous individual dials in different styles and sizes. Unlike many dial sheets, Airscale has the various dials identified so you can get them right. On the other hand, although a detail check of the gauges looks like the aircraft is at rest, engine off, etc., the artificial horizon shows it to be in a 20-degree right bank. The decals are in register so you won't get lop-sided dials. I do think the white detail is a bit hefty although certainly better than anything I can paint or dry brush. The letters and numbers are readable, under magnification, not just lumpy approximations. Each set comes with a small sheet of clear plastic for glass but also notes one could use clear varnish instead.

The Hurricane instrument panel is only for the Airfix kit. I have a Trumpeter kit buried in the stash but didn't get it out to check if they might be useable on it. One reason I didn't bother is that I'm not particularly fond of this set. Just to set the stage, the Airfix kit gives you an instrument panel, a glass backing with dials sticking out forward and the back of gauges, complete with some wiring/tubing, on the back -- this could all be semi-visible depending on what you do with your model.

The recommended method is to create a back plate of the exact size/shape of the kit instrument panel, then also cut a similar cover from the provided clear sheet -- put the decals on the back plate then glue down the clear plate with white glue. Then thin the kit instrument panel so the dials will sit close to the front -- and here is where they lose me. The kit IP is 3/64-inch thick -- that takes some serious work, especially as you watch the stress marks form near the coaming. It doesn't account for the blind flying panel which sticks out slightly from the rest of the IP, nor for the few other items that are molded into the clear part to fit into their holes plates on the IP -- those will have to be added.

Depending on how you are displaying your Hurricane, the resulting IP may not be properly located and as noted the backs of the gauges are gone. I would recommend that your assembly be about the same thickness as the kit clear part + IP together. If you are showing open panels, and the rear of the panel is important, then I'd shave the dials off the front of the kit clear part and use it as the backing plate.

On the other hand, the generic set would seem to take a lot less work, at least on the Hurricane -- it'll depend on your particular kit IP. If it's one piece, with dials molded in, then you need to either smooth them down or try to use setting solution to lay the decals over them -- I don't see that working well given the kit and decals will have differing degrees of representations.

I used the Hurricane panel as a test decal. I used Micro-Sol/Set. It came off the backing sheet quickly without curling, laid down neatly, moved easily without tearing, and stayed still when I wanted it to. When dry, I put Future on one half and Humbrol Gloss on the other without adverse reaction. I sprayed with my new Tamiya TS-79 Semi-Gloss Clear with no ill effects.

I then used the generic sheet to do the Hurricane panel itself. I did expand the openings a bit. I sanded the dials on the kit clear part down just a bit, to get the raised markings off. I cut the individual dials from the sheet without even trying to trim close -- the decal backing seems close enough. Sure enough, dials slid right off and went into their respective instrument easily, moved without tearing, and then stayed where I put them -- it went very quickly and nicely. I probably could have made a couple better choices of size, or it may just be my eyes. Again I used Micro-Sol/Set, Humbrol Gloss and Tamiya Semi-Gloss.

Summary

Highly recommended - I like them, at least the generic set. The result is better than I could do and for very little work - not having to fight with the decals makes it even better. If I were a 24th scale modeler, I'd get a batch - as it is, I'll probably pick up a few of the 32nd scale RAF generics next time I'm padding an order on Hannants, hopefully the placards and data plates will be released by then. The smaller ones on a sheet might even work for 48th ...

I'd like to thank Airscale for the review sample and IPMS/USA for allowing me the opportunity to do so.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
homepagelink