After keeping the WWI community in suspense for many months Wingnut Wings are now making good on their promise of releasing a new batch of high quality kits. Perhaps a bit less anticipated, but also very appreciated, they have made good on another promise, releasing After Market decals for the two Albatros kits that hit the market earlier this year (2010).
The four current releases, sheets no 30011, 30012, 30015 and 30016 also marks the first of what seems to be a new and growing line of products from Wingnut Wings, that will give us a far wider choice of subjects to portray, than what is already given us in the box.
Given the numberings of the current sheets, we can probably expect more releases of this line of products. A guess is that some of these will be for the coming Fokker DVII, that also offers a wide range of colourful profiles.
The sheets are priced at $19 and the current international free shipping policy also applies to these. This may seem a bit high to some when a full kit costs $59. However, I think this reflects the cost of what these sheets cost to produce. In fact I suspect a pretty large chunk of what you pay for the kits, goes into producing the decals in the boxes.
Sheet 30011 Albatros DV of Jasta 18
This sheet is dedicated to some of the red and blue (and one black) Jasta 18 machines and contains five profiles of four known pilots and one unknown.
A - Albatros DV 2171/17 of Oliver Beaulieu-Marconnay (Dark blue/pale blue wings) B - Albatros DV 4594/17 of Paul Strähle (Lozenge on upper surfaces of wings) C - Albatros DV Horseshoe and Clover (Dark blue/pale blue wings)
Two versions of the horseshoe are included as an option, one with a green clover, and one with white. D - Albatros DV Kurt Monnington? (Partial lozenge covering)
This profile has also been credited as belonging to Georg Von Hantelmann, and painted in the Jasta 18 blue with red nose. However WNW has taken part of the latest research and are depicting it as black. E - Albatros DV Kurt Veltjens (Two tone camo)
What you get in the package
My decal sheets came sealed in A4 sized plastic zip locked bags, making it easy to reseal, and keep the decals safe until you use them. A folded A4 sheet printed in full colour serves as a four page booklet that gives you the instructions on application and also the bio of the pilots that flew the planes. The style of these folders are similar to what we have seen in the booklets from the kits. Full colour profiles are done by Ronny Bar and they are complimented by archival footage of the subjetcs.
One neat detail in the instructions are hints as to which optional parts to use from the kit and which engine option to choose.
The decals are of the same quality and style of what we have gotten used to from the kits. Cleanly and crisply printed by Cartograf of Italy, my samples were in perfect register with a glossy sheen and clear opaque colours.
Curiously, and perhaps good for the spares box, small decals such as the prop, weight tables and rigging instructions are also included on these sheets. So are some of the crosses, that in some cases seem to be duplicating whats already in the kit?
Lozenge or no lozenge that is the question?
One thing that is already causing some debate is the fact that some of the profiles depicted are in need of lozenge, (Flugzeugstoff) to be finished. Out of twenty current WNW A/M profiles, ten have fully, or partial lozenge covered, wings. The sheets that have been released don't have any lozenge included in the package, and this is what is causing a stir, as some have come to expect from the package from WNW.
To be fair on WNW, this reviewer does not know of any other company releasing A/M decals as a complete package with lozenge, rib tapes at all, at least not in this scale. High cost is probably a factor, and someone not wanting to do a profile with lozenge, would perhaps not be willing to pay for what they are not going to use anyway? Also every sheet includes profiles that have either standard two tone camo or painted wings, and is therefore not in need of the lozenge to be finished.
The instructions for the Albatros sheets does state that the lozenge decals are available separately. Decals no 30001 (5 colour upper), 30002 (5 colour lower) and 30005 (rib tapes). So if you fancy doing one of the lozenge covered profiles, you either have to wait and see what WNW will bring, or look at what other A/M makers may have to offer.
Someone stated that we as modelers of WWI subjects have never had it so good. Well with these new sheets, together with what is already offered in the boxes, and what other manufacturers are bringing us, we are at least very spoiled for choice.
Highs: Quality decals in opaque colours coped with well researched and attractive subjects in a nice package.Lows: Quality comes at a cost, and if you want to do a lozenged profile it will cost you even more.Verdict: These are well produced quality decals, that gives the modeler the option to do some very colourful subjects, WNW style.
About Mikael Terfors (OEFFAG_153) FROM: VäSTRA GöTALAND, SWEDEN
Learning how to build kits in the 70s, when the weekly allowance went to either an Airfix or Matchbox kit. Me and my brother doing one or two each every week, then blowing them up Graduating to 1:48 Monogram in the 80s, and also turning towards some serious figurepainting. The late 90s was not a ver...