Following the success of their original sets of WW2 cockpit instruments and placards (reviewed HERE
), Airscale have extended the range to include Luftwaffe placards in three popular aircraft modelling scales. Available in 1:48, 1:32 and 1:24 the sheets provide a wide selection of miniature versions of the dataplates and warning signs that adorned the instrument panels, sidewalls and other equipment in any German aircraft of the era.
The sets are priced as follows:
AS48 SCH - £5.25
AS32 SCH - £6.75
AS24 SCH - £8.75
The decals are beautifully printed in perfect register by Fantasy Printshop, and the real beauty compared with earlier products of this type is that the items are produced as individual decals with minimal carrier film, thus saving a lot of tedious cutting and trimming. The resolution is superb, allowing the tiny text to be just about legible in the larger scales.
The decals fall into the following main categories:
Well written generic instructions accompany each sheet, but with so many items included it's clearly beyond their scope to explain in any depth where each individual decal should be used. To get the most out of the sheets you will need a good set of references for the cockpit of the particular aircraft you're modelling. Two excellent general starting points are:
German Aircraft Interiors Vol. 1 1935-1945 – Kenneth A. Merrick, Monogram Aviation Publications
German Aircraft Cockpits 1911-1970 – Peter W. Cohausz, Schiffer Publishing
Examples of each main type of placard are shown in colour in the instructions, but these only give a taste of what's actually on the sheets, which also include selector panels and what look like voltage or signal strength meters. One odd point I noticed (which is perhaps down to the limitations reproducing the smallest items in 1:48) is that the 1:24 and 1:32 sheets offer the widest selection.
I would have to say I think the decals themselves are pretty much faultless, offering a quite unique opportunity for serious modellers to finish a Luftwaffe "office" correctly. My only small gripe is that the items could be arranged better on the sheets, as it's not always clear exactly what's what. Grouping them together to match the above categories would have been useful.
Airscale's new Luftwaffe placards are superb and a real boon to anyone wanting to model a German WW2-era cockpit realistically. I think that once they really catch on any cockpit will look "empty" without them, just as model seatbelts are now almost taken for granted. Unreservedly recommended.
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