- Published on Saturday, 04 February 2012 00:01 Nick Mayhew
1/32 & 1/48 Decals: Captured Eagles vol.1
Vintage Eagle Publishing
€16.90 / €14.90 from Vintage Eagle Publishing
Vintage Eagle Publishing was founded in Switzerland earlier this year by Roger S. Gaemperle with the intention of providing photo books and accompanying decals with an emphasis on previously unpublished photos and high quality research. I had the pleasure of reviewing Vintage Eagle's first book here, which concentrates on Luftwaffe aircraft captured by the Allies as they advanced into Germany and other previously occupied countries. The book is accompanied by decals for some of the aircraft featured in the book, which is the subject of this review. They come in both 1/48 and 1/32 scales, and are available with the book as a combination, or sold separately.
There are four aircraft covered – the subjects are the same in both scales – and all are from the Vintage Eagle book mentioned above, where you can see photos and more information on each subject. The decals are actually a mixture of traditional waterslide decals and dry transfers. The decals are used for the Balkenkeuz, Hakenkreuz, Geschwader insignia and aircraft numbers, whilst the dry transfers are for the various stencils and Werknummer.
The decals are accompanied by a 12 page booklet (approx 21x15cm) providing aircraft details, and marking and stencilling placement, camouflage patterns and colours. Each aircraft has a one side colour profile by the well known aviation artist Simon Schatz, and full colour upper and lower elevations showing camouflage patterns, complete with RLM colour call outs. In addition, there are line drawings of each aircraft type showing stencil placement.
The quality of the decals is excellent, as one has come to expect from those printed by Cartograf of Italy. The transfers are printed by HobbyDecal of South Korea, and look to be of a similarly high standard. For those unfamiliar with either waterslide decals (unlikely) or dry transfers (more probably), there are detailed step by step instructions on how to achieve the best results.
The aircraft covered are as follows:
- Heinkel He162 A-2 WNr.120067 "White 4" I./ JG1, Leck
- Messerschmitt Bf109 G-10 WNr.15163 "Yellow 7" III./ JG27, Salzburg
- Focke Wulf Fw190 A-8 WNr.961093 "Red 3" II./ JG301
- Focke Wulf Fw190 A-8 WNr.739375 "Yellow 7" III./ JG2
The attention to detail is apparent once one starts to study the instruction booklet more closely. For instance, depending upon whether you are building the He162 as originally captured at Leck, or when it was subsequently transported to Kassel, the placement of the WNr. changes. Similarly, although the Bf109's WNr. is conjecture (not visible on original photo), it begins 151xxx as that was its possible production batch (you can mix and match and put whatever numbers you want by the way).
Two of the kits, the He162 and the Fw190 A-8 are widely available in both 1/32 and 1/48 scale. Note though that the Bf109 G-10 is an Erla aircraft and will require a very hard to find conversion in the larger scale.
So What Do We Think?
All in all these are very high quality decal sets, as good as any others out there in fact (I am thinking specifically Jerry Crandall's EagleCals). The attention to detail and use of primary source reference material makes for some interesting subjects covered very accurately, whilst the quality of the decals, transfers and instruction booklet really is tip top.
With thanks to Vintage Eagle for the review sample.
Vintage Eagle Publishing books and decals can be purchased directly here.