- Published on Tuesday, 08 May 2012 00:00 James Hatch
Fabric & Faded Lozenge Decal Sheet
See inventory for catalogue numbers and prices
Available directly from HGW
The prominence of WW1 modelling over this last 3 or 4 years is certainly something that can't be ignored, and we have the likes of Wingnut Wings and Roden to thank for making this genre more mainstream than it has been in previous years. Wingnut Wings also produce their own set of 'aftermarket' lozenge decal sheet too, as well as coloured rib tapes, and now we are seeing other companies cater to modellers of Great War aviation.
One such company is HGW, and with regard to WW1 modelling, these guys are probably the most prolific when it comes to decal, detail and etch sets for this type of model. HGW have sent us some etch sets and decal sheets, and it's the latter we'll be taking a look at first.
532030, 1:32 4-Colour Lozenge, Faded, Transparent
HGW decals come in either a 'transparent' or 'base white' format. What this means is that if your decals are 'transparent', they are printed directly to the carrier film, with no base coat. While the decals themselves appear to be solid, the underlying colour of the model will have an effect on how the decals appear when applied. This allows the modeller to pre-shade and tint the model before decal application, and this appearance will carry through to the finished model, through the decal. 'Base White' decals are printed onto a white ink base, meaning that the underlying model colour will have no influence on the applied decal. It's that simple!
All of these decal sets are packaged into a re-sealable clear envelope, with a thick cardboard stiffener. The header etc are also printed onto the decal sheet.
The 1:32 Faded Lozenge decals are quite literally the regular lozenge, but the colours are slightly washed out to replicate the fading of the inks due to UV exposure. All four ink colours look to be faded to the same extent, in comparison with WNW lozenge decal.
Strangely enough, with the 1:32 set, there are 3 strips of upper lozenge, and 3 of lower. If you intend to use these as designed, i.e. on a biplane wing, then you will need FOUR of each, so I would think you'll need to purchase two sets of this for correct use.
The decal sheet is printed as 'one', meaning there are no decal edges. Instead you cut the section of decal you need for your model, directly from the sheet. The colour differences in upper and lower are obvious, but they are marked as 'upper' and 'lower' on the sheet, for clarity. DO NOT touch the adhesive strip sealing the packaging on the decal sheet surface. This will damage the decal irreparably. A note on the packet does warn you of this.
Printing is excellent and in perfect register. I can't vouch for the thickness of the decal due to the single printing method, but having used HGW previously, they were reasonably thin and worked with Mr Mark Setter/Softer.
548022, 1:48 5-Colour Lozenge, Faded, Transparent
As per the 4-colour 1:32 set, this sheet is printed as 'one', meaning you cut out the section of decal you need and apply to your model. Again, the base for these decals are transparent, so giving your model the correct hue, tint and shadow is vitally important before you apply these decals.
This set depicts the standard 5 colour lozenge used during WW1, and uniformly faded across the range of colours, to replicate UV weathering.
As per the 1:32 set, both upper and lower strips are labelled as such. The difference with this set is that you get FOUR of each strip, which is the basic requirement for completing a biplane model, so you need only buy this one set to complete your project.
Printing quality is superb, and everything is in perfect register. The lozenge does also have a subtle fabric effect to it also. Please check your references to ensure that your particular aircraft used 5 colour lozenge. HGW produce both 4 and 5 colours sheets in both 1:32 and 1:48 scales, so fear not!
532032, 1:32 Fabric, Base White
Now this is an unusual product! Printed as 'base white', meaning that you don't need to prepare the model with tints and colours, this sheet contains a total of twenty panels of natural fabric effect decal. The decals are printed as a 'whole', meaning you need to cut the individual panels from sheet. The edges of each panel do appear to have a slightly shadowed tint to them, unless that's an optical illusion.
The colour of the natural linen-style fabric looks to be authentic, and the fabric weave is beautifully represented on the panels. Registration is difficult to tell due to the decal style, but the weave does look extremely realistic, so I would have to say that the printing is indeed in register.
These would be ideal for a British RFC aircraft, so perhaps it's time to treat yourself to a 1:32 Wingnut Wings Sopwith Pup?
So what do we think?
These are part of an expanding range of different fabric and fabric-print materials offered by HGW, and as this is our first opportunity in taking a look at them, I have to say 'Blimey! These are good'! The only disappointment I can see is the probable lack of material in the 1:32 lozenge pack, so please bear this in mind when you place an order. I'd always like extra to work with, just in case, so having that extra should mean you simply have enough decal in the first instance. You will need to practice with your tints and shadows with the lozenge set in order to get the correct appearance with the transparent base film.
Our sincere thanks to HGW for the review samples used here. To purchase directly, click the links in the review article index.
Discuss this set on our very own forum at www.sparforums.com. Register today for your account, and join our community.