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1:32 Hannover CL.II Decals


Jim H
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1:32 Hannover CL.II


Pheon Decals
Catalogue # 32042
Available from Pheon Decals for £15.00

 

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This is the second set of decals from Pheon that we have been lucky enough to receive for review. We recently published an article for the Sopwith Snipe RAF Post-War set, and were impressed by the subject choice, decal quality and overall package, including reference material. Apart from this new Hannover CL.II set, I don't recall seeing any other aftermarket decal set specifically for this kit, so this was one I was always going to look forward to seeing.

 

Pheon's decal sets are quite substantial in the reference and colour profile material included, and this is no exception. Packaged into a large zip-lock wallet, this set contains decals for no less than TWELVE schemes, and again, Pheon have chosen to be as diverse as it possible with regard to the ones they have chosen.

 

The front cover of the package is illustrated by a regular, colour A4 sheet, showing all the schemes in miniature profile. It's when you open the wallet and see that Pheon have included FOUR sheets of glossy profile, sectional and wing plan detail, that you really get a feel for the particular subjects. The aircraft chosen include a number of Bavarian Schlasta units, as well as regular Schusta and Schlasta units, plus a single machine from a post-Armistice Polish Air Service unit.

 

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When you consider the process that needs to be used to determine colour identity, you'll understand that in a few cases, it isn't simple to say that a specific emblem or serial was painted in a particular colour. Generally, the science employed behind deducing the colour from black and white orthographic images can be pretty accurate. Where it isn't, then of course that can cause accuracy issues with knowing the colour of some machine details. Two such schemes are included here, and where the uncertainty lies, Pheon have included extra decals in the colours most likely to be of that specific conversion.

 

The first machine, a Hannover CL.II from an unknown unit, carries a personal emblem of a man throwing an object. Pheon have deduced that this contains either yellow or grey shading. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide. Unless there is as yet unknown evidence of such detail lying in diaries or service notes, or indeed you can time travel, then these small details are left up to your own personal taste. The same applies to the aircraft number for the third choice, and the actual paint scheme colours on the Polish machine. Whilst some may baulk at building a subject where an element of accuracy is not quite determined, for me, this is manna from heaven, allowing me to use something more to my own taste. The Polish machine is certainly a point in case.

 

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Pheon's instruction manual/reference guide is every bit as good as the one we reviewed with the Snipe decal release. This is an A5, 10 page booklet which opens with an explanation of the units (Schlastas and Schustas) to which these machines were assigned, and the differences between them with regards to operational duty. Along with this, the evolution of the CL types is described. CL, of which 'L' in 'Cl' stands for leicht, or 'light', in direct translation. A table of both Halberstadt and Hannover types, and their chronology of servive life is also given.

 

Following on from this is a potted history of the Hannover CL.II itself, being produced by a company which was more known for manufacturing railway rolling stock. Hannover used their skills to licence build aircraft from other companies, but realized it was a more profitable venture to design and build their own types, and with the appointment of a senior designer from DFW, they finally achieved this. A few lines on development are given, as well as a more comprehensive description about the rather poor Argus As.III engine which was used. The engine itself limited the Hannover to the duties to which it was primarily designed, and in fact, served rather well until the front line began to retract for the Germans.

 

As well as a general section on applying decals, and some notes on colour, each machine is listed in turn, with a few notes relating to scheme marking and paint application for areas such as the forward nose cowl. Sources are also given, should you wish to research further.

 

The machines depicted in this release are:

  1. Hannover CL.II, 13080/17, unit unknown
  2. Hannover CL.II, serial unknown, Schlasta 12, March 1918
  3. Hannover CL.II, 9338/17, Schlasta 24b, Sgt. Zitzelsberger & Vzfw. Müller, Erchin, March 1918
  4. Hannover CL.II, 9390/17, Schusta 30b, Inchy, March 1918
  5. Hannover CL.II, 13282/17, Schlasta 31b, Vzfw. Peez & Gefr. Lang, May 1918
  6. Hannover CL.II, 132?2/17, Schlasta 16, Linselles, May 1918
  7. Hannover CL.II, 9387/17, Schusta 19, Tourmignies, December 1917
  8. Hannover CL.II, serial unknown, Schusta 27b, Bertry, December 1917
  9. Hannover CL.II, 9301/17, Schusta 12, Flg. Karl Romann & Vzfw. Georg Winkler, Wyngehene, January 1918
  10. Hannover CL.II, 13181/17, Fl.Abt (A) 226, Vzfw. Willy Engler & Ltn. Alfred Kuerman
  11. Hannover CL.II, 13253/17, Schlasta 34, Dury, May 1918
  12. Hannover CL.II, Polish Air Service, May 1919

A single, large A4 decal sheet contains everything you'll need to complete any one of the schemes supplied, and because there us a reliance, to a larger degree, in using the kit balkenkreuz (with a couple of exceptions), then you could use this sheet to build virtually all of these machines, if you're lucky enough to have a few Hannovers in stash.

 

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The decals are printed by Fantasy Printshop, and are both superbly thin and in perfect register. Carrier film is minimal, and colour is both solid and authentic, with no overly vivid colour. Decals aren't numbered per location, but those required for a specific machine are grouped together to make them easy to find.

 

Conclusion

The problem with this set, as with the Snipe, is that I really want to build more than one kit! The whole package itself can't be criticized. Pheon tend to give more to their customers with regard to information and presentation, than most decal manufacturers supply, and if you want decals which are properly researched, then Rowan and Sabine's releases are pretty hard to beat. As with a number of options with the Wingnut Wings kit, you'll need to provide your own solution for the fuselage lozenge pattern. That might limit your choice a little depending on your skill-set. However, we can't blame Pheon for the German choice of paint-job!

 

Very highly recommended

 

James H

 

Thanks to Pheon Decals for the review sample used here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

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