Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Authentic Decals War Gifts: Presentation Spits
Unlike many in the modeling world, I tend to be pretty laid back about the items I purchase. It is unlikely I'll overreact anytime soon and call a kit a piece of crap, a travesty, an abomination, or a disaster because it is 1 mm short. (Heck, when I'm done sanding my kits, I'm sure I take off a millimeter or two.) But sometimes even I get disappointed by a product.
I had no idea who Authentic Decals was when I first saw this sheet illustrated. I knew they were from somewhere in the former Soviet Union and had 411 Squadron's Spitfire II "Venture I" as an option. I ordered the sheet and sadly what I received was a product more fitting of 1973. Sure, there is a nice colour instruction sheet...with the odd choice of light blue standing in for sky undersides...but it was the decals that were a slight shock. Generally, if there is a yellow ring on the roundel it is out of register. The fin flashes are unusable, most of the nose art is slightly primitive looking, and the rank pennants are quite dreadful. The straight black stencil lines are not straight. Oops. The good news is most of the serials and codes appear usable. Sure there are 14 neat Spitfire options on the sheet (only enough roundels and fin flashed to finish an early and late scheme), but what good is that if most of the decals are indifferent?
I'm sure this sheet would have been raved about in the 1970s...but it is 2012 and modelers expect better. I have no idea how well these decals will actually work, but the printing and artwork quality suggests giving them a miss.