One small fly in the ointment with Zvezda's great new Lavochkin La-5FN concerns the decals. While they are printed in perfect register, they are let down a little by a slightly yellow carrier film. Avalon have released a great set of decals to accompany the both Zvezda kit and its impressive Vector resin counterpart, with 5 new colour schemes for the La-5FN - plus a further 3 for the earlier La-5F, so the sheet is also the ideal partner for Vector's resin kit of that version too.
This is the first set of Avalon decals I've ever come across, and to say I'm impressed would be an understatement. The printing is, quite simply, perfect - the items are very thin and glossy, yet appear to have excellent colour density. The registration is absolutely spot-on and the carrier film is crystal-clear.
The colour schemes featured are:
1. La-5FN "White 70", flown by pilot Semencev.
2. La-5FN "White 15", "Za Vaska i Zhoru", flown by pilot Licholetov.
3. La-5FN "Yellow 8", flown by pilot Rakov, whith yellow-outlined starts and a white fuselage lightning bolt.
4. La-5FN "White 93", flown by Snr.Lt.Vladimir Orekhov, 32nd GIAP, Leningrad, USSR, July 1944
5. La-5FN "White 52", "Mongolskyi arat", 2nd GIAP, donated by workers from Mongolia.
6. La-5F "White 12", "Veselye Rebjata - Ot dzaz orkestra L Utesova", flown by pilot Masterkov, 5th GvIAP, 11th GvIAD, 2nd GvShAK, 1st Ukrainian Front, bought with funds collected by the L Utesova jazz band.
7. La-5F "White 11", "Mongolskyi arat", 2nd GIAP, donated by workers from Mongolia.
8. La-5F "White 20", flown by pilot Chaustov, 21st IAP.
Each scheme is illustrated with a black and white 3-view painting guide with VVS paint names. Backing up the schemes is a small placement guide for the stencils included on the sheet.
This is an excellent set of decals - beautifully printed and very good value for money. Highly recommended for anyone building the Zvezda or Vector kits.
Avalon's La-5F & FN decals are available from Modelimex - specialists in Eastern European short run kits and accessories.