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Lozenge Decal Sets – Faded and Factory Fresh


James H

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Lozenge Decal Sets – Faded and Factory Fresh


Aviattic
See article for code and price
Available directly from Aviattic

 

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Is it really 4 months since we looked at the inaugural releases from Aviattic? Proprietors Richard Andrews and Harry Green have been beavering away behind the scenes for a number of years, travelling the world to look at and analyse fragments of orginal WW1 German lozenge fabric. This has been a costly feat and a labour of love which resulted in the first decal set releases that we reviewed HERE. I already know there are countless other sets which will be added to this initial portfolio, and today we are lucky enough to look at some of the next sets, with some in both larger and smaller scale too.

The first thing I have to bring to your attention is that the previous sets we looked at are now designated as 'Brown Varnish', due to the filtered effect that was applied to them during the artwork process. These new sets we look at today include sheets described as 'Factory Fresh' and 'Faded'.

The sets we have to look at are:

  • Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cs
  • Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Faded (Lozenge Tapes) cs
  • Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cp
  • Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Faded (Lozenge Tapes) cp
  • Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cs
  • Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Faded(Lozenge Tapes) cs
  • Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cp
  • Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Faded(Lozenge Tapes) cp
  • 32/4U Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full width 54"
  • 32/4L Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full width 54"
  • 32/5U Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"
  • 24/4U Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"
  • 24/4L Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"
  • 72/4U&L+Int.Rev (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"
  • 72/4U&L+Int.Rev (Faded) Full Width 54"

These new sets have been re-adjusted and re-created in line with what modellers have been asking for, hence the initial series of sheets being re-classified as a result of further research on lozenge colour reproduction. In order to make things easier for the modeller to understand, these new cookie-cut and bolt sheet releases are simply 'factory fresh' and 'faded'. Now, that's easy to understand! There are so many variations in colour finish, and if you include the different colours of lozenge rib tapes, the sheer number of sheets that would need to be made available is staggering.

Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cs

 

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Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Faded (Lozenge Tapes) cs

 

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Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cp

 

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Fokker D.VII, 32/5U&L Faded (Lozenge Tapes) cp

 

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Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cs

 

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These first new releases under the 'Factory Fresh' and 'Faded' banners, carry lozenge rib tapes, with other colours to follow in the near future. The lozenge tape variety has been incredibly popular, hence the reason why the first releases in these styles are of this type. Keep an eye out on the Aviattic website and FaceBook pages for announcements on this range being expanded further.

Notice also the 'cp' and 'cs' designations on the inventory? Aviattic have tried to make their range of decal sets as easy to understand as possible with the 4U (4 colour upper), and 5L (5 colour lower) etc to guide you as to the number of colours on the lozenge panels, and to whether the decals are upper or lower styles. Going back to the 'cp' and 'cs' though, these tend to be more of interest to the purist, and relate to where on the wing sections that the first strip of lozenge fabric was laid down.

  • CP = Centre Panel
  • CS = Centre Seam

Ok, let's explain. CP means that the first fabric panel was positioned centrally over the mid section of the upper wing. From there the remaining panels were folded and stitched, with the joints lying about 52" apart (after the fabric was folded and sewn). CS means that the first TWO panels were stitched together with the seam lying directly down the centerline of the upper wing, in line with the pilot. There you go. Now you can choose which you think might apply to you. In actuality, this is still an old train of thought that Aviattic caters to for those who think this detail actually matters. For the rest of us, perhaps not...

The D.VII cookie-cut sheets look very similar in layout to the ones we first looked at, but look more closely, and you'll see a subtle change. In these new releases, the wing panels have been broken down into smaller sections. There is a technique involved in applying Aviattic decals which means that you need to nigh on float the sections from the decal paper before you apply. This is due to the elastic properties of the decal film. If you try to force the decal from the sheet, it will stretch and deform. Breaking the wings down into smaller panels means that you no longer have to run across a long decal in order to expel any water or setting solution. Of course, this means less likelihood of any stretching.

Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Faded(Lozenge Tapes) cs

 

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Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Faded (Lozenge Tapes) cp

 

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Fokker D.VII 32/4U&L Factory Fresh (Lozenge Tapes) cp

 

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32/4U Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full width 54"

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32/4L Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full width 54"

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It is also worth pointing out that with any wing panels that you need to really work from the trailing edge of the wing, aligning along the scalloped edge, and concluding at the centerline of the leading edge. If you need to trim in this area, then this is very easy, and more so than at the trailing edge.

 

As I've said, all of the cookie-cut sheets here have lozenge tapes, and the difference in tonal values of the individual colours, between the factory-fresh and faded sheets is both significant and incredibly authentic looking.

If you want an idea about just how realistic the fabric is, I can tell you Aviattic are so pleased at the result of their design work that not only does it look correct to the naked eye, but at Scale Model World 2013, they were letting potential customers even look at the textures under a magnifying glass, to show the delicate weave was maintained and not just broken down into a pixilated nightmare. I hope the images I show here help to illustrate the complexity and authenticity of that aspect of these sheets.

Wingtips are usually something of a problem when it comes to forming the decal around them, but as this decal film is pliable, it really is very easy. It also works well with Mr Mark Setter. Just in case you do dither and get into difficulty, spare wingtip decals are printed for you. These guys think of everything.

 

Ailerons are also included on these cookie-cut sets. Please have it noted that even the cookie-cut sets will need the parts trimming around, unlike a normal decal sheet.The D.VII sets do not contain the tail plane or fuselage lozenge panels. You will need to use the Bolt sheets for this, and use the WNW decals, carefully cut around, in order to create the shapes. This is very easy, and here is an example that I'm currently working on, just to prove that our reviewers aren't all talk, as was once insinuated by a two-bit modeling news site once.

32/5U Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"

 

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24/4U Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"

 

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24/4L Bolt Sheet (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"

 

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72/4U&L+Int.Rev (Factory Fresh) Full Width 54"

 

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72/4U&L+Int.Rev (Faded) Full Width 54"

 

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Please remember that if you wish to use the bolt sheets to decal your wings, and then apply your own rib tapes, you will need to trim around 1mm from the width off each side of the strip. This is to countenance the fold and stitch area aspect of how this material was used in real life.

 

The cookie-cut sheets also include small swatches of the various lozenge colours, so if anything needs patching, you have the material to do it with. These sheets are also printed with a translucency to them. You MUST prepare the surface beforehand in a gloss white/light grey colour, remembering that any mark on the surface will show through to the final finish. This has some interesting possibilities though. You could now add the castor oil stain to the fuselage and wings BEFORE decaling. This will have the advantage of it looking very organic and natural once the lozenge is applied.

 

Exactly because the decals are translucent is a work of caution too. Ensure that your decal panels butt up to each other and don't overlap. The result will be a dark edge.

 

The bolt sheets exhibit the same beautifully rendered textures of their cookie-cut cousins, with each A4 sheet containing 4.5 strips in landscape format. For adorning your fuselage in these colourful plumes, you can get an entire length in one piece due to how the fabric was unrolled from tip to tail. For wings, however, you will need to run the strip from trailing edge to leading edge, as already explained.

For the first time, we also see these bolt sheets printed in 1:24 and 1:72 scales! The larger 1:24 are designed to cater to the guys who like to scratch-build their WW1 models. You'd be hard pressed to find many injection plastic WW1 models in this scale, but should you do so, then this is for you. For 1:72 scale though, there are numerous kits, so I imagine that this sheet will be popular for those modellers. Due to the small nature of the lozenge, both upper and lower are printed on one sheet, as are the internal reverse patterns. Both 1:24 and 1:72 sets are available in both Factory Fresh and Faded types.

 

Conclusion
Aviattic promised that they were going to roll out an increasing number of sets in various formats over the next months, and 4 months on from their first releases, we are starting to see these sheets, including the faded sheets. I expect these to be particularly popular. The range will increase steadily again over the next months, and we should start to see cookie-cut sets for the Hannover too. These are exciting times for Great War aviation modellers!

 

Highly recommended

 

James H

 

Our sincere thanks to Aviattic for the review samples seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

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