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1:32 Lozenge decal sets for Fokker D.VII


Jim H
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1:32 Lozenge decal sets for Fokker D.VII


Old Propeller (Wood & Wire)
Catalogue #: see article for # and price
Available from Nordland Models

 

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It's true to say that Great War aviation modeling has taken off in a way that perhaps none of us would have expected, and that Wingnut Wings are primarily the driving force behind its popularity. Yes, there is Roden, and they have released some darn fine kits, but they were really recommended for modellers with some experience, whereas WNW kits have made the genre more mainstream due to their excellent engineering and tolerance.

 

In the wake of this wave of popularity, we have welcomed many aftermarket companies into our little niche, namely Gaspatch Models, HGW, Aviattic and Old Propeller, to name but a few. It is the Old Propeller cookie-cut Fokker D.VII lozenge decals, designed for the Wingnut Wings kit, that we look at today. The sets we have been sent are:

  • D32020W, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (Alb) (pink tapes), £12.63
  • D32021W, 4 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (Alb), including interior lozenge, £1035
  • D32022W, 5 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (OAW) (blue tapes), £12.63
  • D32023W, 5 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (OAW), including interior lozenge, £10.35
  • D32024W, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (OAW) (blue tapes), £12.63
  • D32025W, 4 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (OAW), including interior lozenge, £10.35
  • D32042W, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (OAW) (lozenge tapes), £12.63
  • D32043W, 4 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (OAW), including interior lozenge, £10.35
  • D32039W, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge for Fokker D.VII (UDET), £12.63

All of these sets are 'base white', which essentially means that the decal sections are printed onto a large white inked background, presumably applied with silk screen printing due to the fact that most modern printing systems cannot produce white as a colour. The white layer itself, whilst discernible as a thickness, is still very thin, and pretty much in line with standard kit decal sheets we see today, from the likes of Cartograf etc. These base-white on these sheets, however, is printed in the Czech Republic by Propagteam, and the actual Fokker decal is laser-printed on top of this base colour.

 

D32020, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (Alb) (pink tapes)

 

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D32021, 4 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (Alb), including interior lozenge

 

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Each set comes in a re-sealable clear wallet, with a product hanger at the top. Inside the packet, a stiff card insert helps to protect the decals from any bending, whilst there is also a rear, colour printed sheet which explains how to use the decals.

This explanation isn't simply a case of teaching a modeller the blindingly obvious, but also acts as a guide as to which order to assemble the decal panels to your model, and also in preparing the decals themselves before use. The latter statement points at a stage in decaling that I've never before encountered, and this is in actually airbrushing the decals sheet before you remove the panels from it. I'm a little unsure as to why this process is needed, but clear gloss Gunze varnish, diluted with solvent in a 1:1 ratio is suggested. I'm thinking that this will help stabilize the laser inking over the top of the screen printed base, as no mention of doing this is apparent on the translucent decal sheets that we'll be reviewing shortly.

 

D32022, 5 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (OAW) (blue tapes)

 

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D32023, 5 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (OAW), including interior lozenge

 

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The appearance of the decals themselves is quite stylized, with an amazing looking fabric texture, including a degree of both fading and a depth (shadow) which can be seen at the wing rib tape juncture. When I say the decals are stylized, what I refer to is the actual texture itself, which may or may not be a little heavier than would be apparent at 1:32 scale, but again, this certainly doesn't detract from their amazingly attractive appearance. The fading of the fabric also adds an element to the decals that would normally only be achieved by adding a fading filter to standard lozenge sheets. Add to that the fabric texture, and you have a model which will already have that look you wanted to build, simply from decals.

 

D32024, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (OAW) (blue tapes)

 

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D32025, 4 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (OAW), including interior lozenge

 

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These sheets, as mentioned, contain sections which much be cut around before you can apply them. This is because the carrier film is one continuous layer. The 'base-white' decals are discernible from the transparent sets by the fact that the sections are printed on that large white background, so obvious from the pale blue paper you can see at the perimeter. The paper used is classed as 'high quality English'. Whilst I have never personally used a set of these yet, I know someone who has, and he had no problem in applying them to his Albatros D.V. As he used the Old Propeller 'bolt sheets', covering the wing in panels, he had to apply a little shading to the wing rib tape to fabric junction, whereas these sets already create that image of depth for you without having to go to that trouble. For Albatros fans, I do believe that cookie-cut sets will be available for this, and other WNW kits in the near future.

 

D32042, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge, Fokker D.VII (OAW) (lozenge tapes)

 

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D32043, 4 colour fuselage lozenge for Fokker D.VII (OAW), including interior lozenge

 

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Whilst not being as historically clued-up as I would like with regard to lozenge, these sets, as you can see, are described as OAW, or Alb, for example. Whilst this refers to the aircraft production facility, I'm unsure as to what the difference was in lozenge use between the different factories. Either way, you're sure to find exactly the set you need, whether it be 4 or 5 colour lozenge, and with the different pre-printed rib tape colour ensembles. What I do need to mention is that decals can be purchased with a transparent base, allowing the modeller to create his/her own shading and weathering.

 

D32039, 4 colour upper and lower wing lozenge for Fokker D.VII (UDET)

 

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As is standard, your model must be painted in a light colour, preferably pale grey or white, and also gloss coated. Ensure your finish is as flaw-free as you can get it.

 

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You will notice that one set of these decals is a bit of an oddity. This is because it is a wing set only, designed for Ernst Udet's Fokker D.VII. The fuselage of this machine was painted red, so only the wing itself need be represented in lozenge form. This set also correctly describes the lower wing as Fokker-built origin, whilst the upper is OAW-built. I can't see any difference in the lozenge pattern on between these sets, nonetheless.

 

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The wing decal sets are printed onto a large, main A4 sheet with a smaller insert containing the upper wing upper and lower centre section decals. The fuselage sets are printed onto a single A4 sheet.

 

Conclusion
Old Propeller have taken the image of what most of us what expect to see with a fabric surface, and beautifully prepared something which looks both stylish and very convincing. The colours are slightly muted of course, as they have designed to look faded. Compare these with the Wingnut Wings decals, and the latter look highly radioactive in comparison. There's no doubt these are a massive improvement over what the kit itself offers, but of course, you will need to trim each decal from the sheet. As these are base white, you could possibly leave a fine edge to the trimmed parts, and slightly overlap the decals so as not to risk gaps in the finish. Just ensure that you don't leave any prominent ridges, but I don't think this would be possible with these releases. With the transparent versions, you would need to trim accurately, or you would be left with a dark line at the overlap.

 

Highly recommended

 

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Our sincere thanks to Old Propeller for the review samples. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

James H

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The texture does look quite good on the photos as does the shading of the ribtapes and the seams between the different panels. I would really like to know, however which manufacturer has the more accurate colours; WnW or Old Propellor? For some people that may sound too anal but I do like to keep the colours as near to the originals as possible. Otherwise my models would be in danger of becoming rather too artistic; like the extensive chipping one often sees on AFV's. Great to see, but not really realistic as the chips portrayed often do look more like the paint finish of a Caterpillar that's been used hard in road construction for years...

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