With their prolific output of kits and etched aftermarket accessories, it's easy to overlook the fact that Eduard also have a small, but varied, range of decals in their catalogue - some marketed under their own name, some under the Aviprint banner. The release of a brand new set of Aviprint markings to accompany Hasegawa's recent 1/48 scale Ki-45 Toryu provides a perfect excuse to not only review the latest decals, but look back at a couple of the earlier releases.
Ki-45 Torya - Nick
Sheet #48016 - $12.95
Starting with the latest sheet first, this set provides 4 attractive new schemes for Hasegawa's kit:
1. Ki-45 Kai Ko - 13th Sentai, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, 1943
2. Ki-45 Kai Ko - 13th Sentai, Taisho airfield, Japan, 1943
3. Ki-45 Kai Ko - 53th Sentai, Matsudo airfield, Japan, 1944
4. Ki-45 Kai Ko - 4th Sentai, Ozuki airfield, Japan, 1944
Schemes 1, 3 & 4 are camouflaged with green blotches over a Grey-Green base and the last two aircraft also have mainland defence bands. The sheet is accompanied by a full-colour painting guide providing Gunze Sangyo paint matches.
The decals themselves look excellent quality, being thin and glossy and printed in excellent register. The carrier film is kept so close to the edge of the Hinomarus as to be virtually non-existent and, where it does extend beyond the other numerals etc., it is crystal clear.
Overall, this a simple, but very well produced set which complements Hasegawa's kit perfectly.
Sheet #48003 - $12.55
Turning the clock back three years to stay with the Japanese theme, this Aviprint sheet provides decals for 4 aircraft of 3 different types, all linked by the common theme of the title:
1. Ki-45 Kai Tei - 3rd Chutai, 5th Sentai, Kiyoso airfield, Japan, March 1945, flown by Capt. Fujitaro Ito.
2. Ki-100 Ko Goshikisen - 3rd Chutai, 59th Sentai, Ashiya airfield, Japan, May 1945, flown by 1st Lt. Naoyuki Ogata.
3. Ki-44 II Hei Shoki - 3rd Chutai, 70th Sentai, Kashiwa airfield, Japan, June 1945, flown by 2nd Lt. Makoto Agawa.
4. Ki-44 II Hei Shoki - 47th Sentai Shinten Siku Tai, Narimasu airfield, Japan, late 1944, flown by M.Sgt. Isamu Sakamotu.
Once again the decals are accompanied by a set of full colour instructions, this time with quite detailed bi-lingual English/Czech descriptions of each aircraft and its pilot. Colour matches are provided for Gunze Sangyo paints and F.S. equivalents.
The decals are thin and glossy, with minimal crystal clear carrier film and the registration is excellent again. The set provides an interesting variety of striking schemes from the overall Dark Green Ki-45, through to the n/m Ki-44s.
French Aces, French Campaign
Sheet #48001- $8.06
Going right back to Eduard's very first decal release, providing decals for 5 aircraft from the Battle of France:
1. M.S. 406 C.1, s/n 289 - 3rd Flight GC II/2, Chatres, May - June 1940, flown by Czech pilots Lt. J. Hybner and Sgt. K. Seda.
2. M.S. 406 C.1 s/n 901 - 1st Flight GC I/145, Lyon Bron, May - May 1940, flown by Polish pilot Lt. Cz. Glowczynski.
3. Curtiss H 75A s/n 61 - 1st Flight GC I/5, May - June 1940, flown by Czech pilot Cpt. A. Vasatko
4. Curtiss H 75A s/n 217 - 1st Flight GC I/5, May - June 1940, flown by Lt. Marin La Meslee
5. Curtiss H 75A s/n 217 - the same a/c as option #4, based at Rabat, Spring 1941.
This set is printed by Propagteam for Eduard and is very different from the other releases reviewed here. The instructions are B&W shaded diagrams and the decals are extremely thin and semi-matt finished. The registration is very good and the colours look excellent. The roundels are slightly disconcerting at first sight, because the red ink used is slightly translucent and the smaller white backing disk is evident. If this shows on the sheet, it's a fair bet it will also show on the model, so it will be a wise precaution to apply the roundels and rudder stripes over white background (either masked and painted, or cut from white decal).
While codes and numerals are provided for all 5 schemes, sufficient national insignia are only provided for 2 - one M.S. 406 and one Curtiss H 75A. The M.S. 406 is obviously back in the news with A.Z. Model's recent kits and the Hawks provide a good excuse to dig Hobbycraft's kit out of the stash.
Decal sets might not always be the first thing you associate with Eduard but, with a combination of their own-brand sheets and Aviprint sets providing a varied selection of high quality aftermarket markings, it's a section of their website that shouldn't be overlooked. Recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Here's a look at some of Eduard's often overlooked range of aircraft decals.
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...