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1:32 Fokker D.VII Decals


James H

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1:32 Fokker D.VII Parts 1 &2
Lifelike Decals
Catalogue #’s: 32-016 & 32-017 respectively
Available from Lifelike Decals for 1,600Y each

 

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Lifelike Decals produce some very nice schemes on their sheets, and their Japanese printed decals are certainly more or less on a par with some of the better decal sets that we see from Europe. Up until now, my experience of their decals for World War 1 aviation, has been limited to 1:48 scale. When I received my latest package from Lifelike Decals last night and opened it up, I was more than a little surprised to see that they have now expanded into 1:32 Great War aviation. Am I pleased? With a small stash of Wingnut Wings Fokker D.VII’s in my stash, you bet I am!

 

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So, not one release, but two consecutive releases. We certainly have some colourful profiles here, so let’s take a closer look.

The new Lifelike Decals sets are each packaged into a zip-lock wallet, with two folded, colour printed sheets within; one of them forming the front product sheet, each containing a smaller profile of the FOUR schemes that each set contains.

 

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Within the wallet, the main cover sheet contains the upper and lower plans of each machine, with clear notation as to where each decal is placed. Decal placement also includes those from the kit, and where this is the case, a different coloured number system is employed. The colours used relate to specific Wingnut Wings releases, whether they are the OAW, Fok, Alb or D.VII F kits. Notes are also included as to the use of lozenge fabric, and the producer has also supplied their reference material listing too.

 

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The second sheet contains larger profiles of each machine, again with clear decal placement illustration, and also a concise description of each machine offered, including some both interesting and fascinating facts about the pilot and scheme illustrated. One thing which immediately strikes me is the omission of any paint reference codes, which is quite odd for bright schemes such as these. As some paint colours will need to mirror some decal colours, you will need to play with paint mixing. This isn’t the case for all schemes, but is for some.

Both sets contain THREE decal sheets of various sizes. Generally, you will need to use these in combination with some kit markings, but where those won’t suffice, due to national marking variation, these replacement markings are included here.

 

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The majority of these schemes are very colourful, containing various bands, stripes, trims and wrapped-around blocks of colour. Where this occurs, we have mostly been supplied with these sections in decal format. One machine, for example, has a green and white striped tailplane. You paint the white, and overlay the green decal stripes on top of this. Where blocks of colour aren’t supplied is where it should be painted anyway, such as the black block colour on the Jasta 30 machine. You will also need to use, for some machines, some of the lozenge decal supplied with the kit. Essentially, the way Lifelike Decals has worked here is no dissimilar to how WNW have produced the regular kit decals. Same rules.

 

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The decals are printed in Italy, by Cartograf, and in Japan, by Microscale. Although Japanese decals have a reputation for being thicker than their European equivalents, these seem to be admirably thin, and contain only the bare minimum of carrier film. Printing is in perfect register, with good solid colour and pin sharp edges. I have used Microscale decals previously, and found them to bed quite well into the surface detail. I also found them to work exceptionally well with Mr Mark Setter too, but please try a spare decal before you attempt anything here, as of course, specifications can, and indeed do change. Cartograf decals are as you imagine they will be; thin, in perfect register, and with excellent colour solidity.

 

The schemes supplied here are:

 

Part 1

  • Fokker D.VII (early Fokker-built), unknown pilot, Jasta 16b, St. Marguerite airfield, June/July 1918
  • Fokker D.VII F, 4253/18, Jasta 4, Oblt. Ernst Udet, Montigny Ferme & Metz airfields, August to September 1918
  • Fokker D.VII (Alb), s/n unknown, Jasta 23b, Lt. Josef Muller, Epinoy airfield, July/August 1918
  • Fokker D.VII (Alb), s/n unknown, Jasta 18, Lt. Hans Muller, Montigny airfield, Summer 1918

 

Part 2

  • Fokker D.VII (Fok) 258/18, Jasta 10, Lt. Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Friedrichs, either Cappy, Etreux or Pusieux Ferme aerodromes, May to June 1918
  • Fokker D.VII (Alb), s/n unknown, Jasta 30, pilot unknown, Phalempin airfield, Summer 1918
  • Fokker D.VII (OAW), s/n unknown, Jasta 54s, Lt. Walter Vogt, Summer 1918
  • Fokker D.VII (Alb), s/n unknown, Jasta 5, Lt. Friedrich Vollbracht, Villers-sire-Nicole airfield, October 1918

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Conclusion
I think Lifelike Decals made a faux pas with the inclusion of the Udet scheme. This is already supplied with the new Fokker D.VII F kit, and the kit decals also supply the ‘Du Doch Nicht!!’ tailplane decals, whereas this set doesn’t. I would have liked to have seen Lifelike tackle that candy-striped machine specifically, whereas WNW didn’t. The other schemes though as superb in both variety, oddball factor and sheer beauty. Each one begs to be built, so I expect yet more orders to WNW for more D.VII kits.

 

The only real criticism I have is the lack of paint code reference, meaning you will have to mix paint to suit some decals, or simply paint the various markings, forget those decals, and just use the motifs instead. I know WW1 colours are contentious, but colour matching is another science. WNW did this with the inclusion of the Rudolf Stark scheme, supplying us with paint refs and mix quantities.

Still, these are great sets, and I aim to do at least two of these in the next twelve months.

 

Highly recommended

 

Our sincere thanks to Lifelike Decals for providing the review samples used here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

James H

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