In the short time since they first appeared, Airscale's cockpit decals have become accepted as almost essential items in the array of accessories available to superdetailers.
So far all of Airscale's releases have focussed on WW2 and earlier, so this new set marks something of a departure as it moves into the post war period and the era of classic jets, introducing such exotic instruments as the Mach indicator and exhaust temperature gauge.
The set is available in 1:48 and 1:32 and the sheets include decals for no less than 44 styles of instrument. In 1:48 they are printed in pairs in two sets - that's 176 individual items in total. In 1:32 you get two single sets – 88 items. Each decal is numbered and can be cross-referenced against the list (shown at right) so you know precisely what it represents and can apply it with a high degree of confidence that even the most ardent rivet counter (or should that be gauge spotter?) won't call you to task on it.
The decals are beautifully printed by Fantasy Printshop with pin-sharp registration, so the details on even the smallest items are readily discernible. The decals are intended for use in one of two ways:
1. Mounted on a backing sheet behind an instrument panel with holes punched in it for the bezels. In this instance a thin sheet of film is provided as glazing, and the decals need merely be slid into position to line up with the holes.
2. Applied onto the surface of a kit's moulded instrument panel. Each decal is an individual item with minimal carrier film, but some modellers may still prefer to remove the dials from the sheet with a punch and die to ensure there's no overlap at all. Alternatively, the instructions mention using decal solution to help the decals snuggle down into the moulded bezels. However, based on comments from Fantasy Printshop, some decal solutions can harm their decals so they should only be used with caution, so I'd suggest testing on a spare item such as the logo on the sheet.
Airscale's cockpit decals are almost indispensible for anyone scratchbuilding an instrument panel, and also hugely useful when tackling a standard kit cockpit, where instruments are often not provided at all or are over simplified or poorly printed. Recommended without hesitation.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Beautifully printed with pin-sharp details.Lows:Verdict: Airscale's instrument decals are a great way to bring any model instrument panel life, whether it's a kit item or scratchbuilt.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...