Polish Decal Team is a new decal company on the market. It is run by Michał Molka, a modeller with a long experience. In 2010 he decided to start his own company.
The very first subject on a production line is widely known, due to the tragic event of 10th April 2010 involving a polish governmental Tupolev Tu-154M Lux belonging to the 36th Special Transport Air Regiment. The Regiment flies with the most important people in the Polish government. Two of its machines were Tupolevs carrying individual numbers of 101 and 102. No.101 crashed in Smoleńsk on 10th April 2010. It is said, especially in media, that it was a “presidential” plane. This is not really true, as in Poland the President does not have an individual or personal plane but uses a machine from the 36th Regiment which, as all other Air Force regiments, should be considered as Governmental. That's off-topic but a felt the need of saying it.
What does the PDT offer? As usual for decals, the set is packed into a plastic zip-bag. Inside we can find a single, large sheet of decals, colour diagram depicting the location of each decal and written instructions for decal use with some useful tips. A strong point of all instruction diagrams and descriptions is its bilingualism: Polish and English. This will surely be appreciated around the world.
The decal sheet seemed surprisingly large to me as for 1:144 scale. After that first impression, everything becomes clear as the Tu-154 is a big airliner - so even in that tiny scale it still stays large. Half of the decal sheet is taken up with the striking red stripes of both planes, the other half are stencils. The colour of these decals is very good and nicely saturated. There are no pixels or other distortions of texture often seen on other decals. Carrier film is one of the finest I have ever seen. The worst point of the reproduced markings is the Polish national emblem under the pilots’ windows. In the original the eagle has a lot of details and few colours, but in this scale it was reproduced as the general white shape on the red shield. The producer has simplified it very much but as far as I know it would be technically impossible to replicate the original emblem in 1:144 scale with all the details keeping them sharp and visible. Simplifying it was the lesser evil.
An important thing to mention is the fact that there are no white fields printed on the decals, all these fields are transparent. After placing on the white base of the painted model everything gets the right finish. Because a few decals are quite large, some experience and confidence handling them will be required. I do not know how the decals stick to the model and adjust to panel lines, I have not used them yet and do not know anybody who did. If the producer keep the quality in this aspect at the same level as in others I do not expect any problem. It is advised in the instruction to use decal agents.
The painting scheme is as easy and straightforward as can be. All the modeller has to do is to paint the model white overall, with the leading edges of the wings, stabilizers and engines nacelles finished in aluminium, and the other details such as engines exhausts and undercarriage with proper colours. All required colours are given in the instruction and refers to the Mr. Color paints.
The sheet contains around 300(!) individual decals to be placed on the model, which is obviously an incredible number. Placing all these tiny stencils will not allow you to sleep at least for few nights for sure. You can easily say to your partner: “I'm going to place the decals on my new Tupolev model so good bye darling, see you next week”.
This set is designed to be used with the Zvezda kit which is currently the best Tu-154 model available on the market.
Krzysztof Barcz has tried these decals and kindly provided the images of his finished model. He offers this advice based on his experience:
"The decals are very delicate and you have to watch out not to tear them, especially the stripes. They are easy to lay on the model - you just need to dip them in water for about 30 seconds to slide them easily off the paper and they adhere to the surface very well. I used just a gentle decal softener - there's no need to use anything strong. There's no silvering visible on the gloss surface and no need to paint the model with a finishing varnish."
There is no doubt that with appearing of Polish Decal Team we got another high quality producer of decals. Highly recommended!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Very good quality of decals, great colors.Extra fin carrier film. Lows: Loss of details due to technical circumstances of some small emblems. Painting colors reffers only to one producer.Verdict: Highly recommended set.
Our Thanks to Polish Decal Team! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.