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What If...
Focke-Wulf Ta 183

 

Model Picture
Ta-183_Gekko-00

Gekko Graphics

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: GGWI48-002 and 003 - Focke-Wulf Ta 183
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: One full-sized decal sheet; full color instructions
Price: AUD$18 each plus $3 postage and handling  (availability details below)
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Full-color, 4 view drawings; RLM colour callouts; includes silver "paint chips and scratches" decals; wild markings and suggested camouflage; limited only by imagination!
Disadvantages: ALPS printed
Recommendation: Recommended to "What If" Modelers

 

Reviewed by David W. Aungst


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Introduction

 

Richard Chafer from Gekko Graphics is at it again. Earlier this year he marketed a set of "What If..." decals to go with the Revell 1/48th scale Rafale kit. After posting a review on those decals, I got some fan mail questioning the validity of placing purely fictional markings on a real aircraft. "Crazy" and "waste of time" were some of the descriptive terms these fan mailings told me. I do not agree with these sentiments, but I do see their point.

So, how about fictional markings to apply to a fictional aircraft? After all, the Ta 183 was never really completed, and none ever flew as designed by the Germans in World War Two. The captured prototype was reportedly taken to Russia and became a guide for their first jets, including the MiG 15. But the Ta 183, itself, is mostly just one more "paper project" that was on the drawing boards of the German design teams at the close of the second World War.

Indeed, the model box on the AMTech model kit outright proclaims the model to be a "Luft-46" daydream. The box artwork, while very well done, is pure fiction showing Ta 183 aircraft attacking B-35 Flying Wings who themselves are beeing defended by P-80 Shooting Stars. Can you get any more fictional?

Richard, being a fan of science fiction and a champion of "What If..." modeling, saw an opportunity to fill a gap and produce some markings to decorate the AMTech kit as if it had seen the light of day and gone into production in 1946. The results of his work are the decals I am reviewing in this posting.

I had never bought the AMTech Ta 183 kit when it first came out. I read all the reviews when the kit was released. While the reviews reported that the kit was good, just did not find the subject that appealing. When Richard dropped me an e-mail earlier this year with preliminary artwork for decals to apply to the kit, I changed my mind. I set out and bought the kit to be prepared to use Richard's new decals. Now, I think I will need to buy a couple more kits...

 

 

FirstLook

 

There are two separate decal releases for the Ta 183 (with the promise of a third in the future). Both releases provide markings for five models. Each package provides one large decal sheet with the majority of the markings on it. As is the practise with many model companies, the Swastika markings are separated onto a small insert sheet so as to allow the package to be sold without them in countries where this is required.

The decals are printed on an ALPS printer. This printing distinction is important as this means the designs are printed all on one large carrier film. To use the decals, modelers need to cut closely to the designs to minimise the amount of carrier film that is present on the model. By using special non-ALPS ink cartridges, Richard is able to provide some very nice orange and yellow colors in the decals. The image quality is as good as any commercially printed decals on the market.

Each package provides full-color four-view diagrams to assist the modeler in painting their model. I have included images of these diagrams below. The diagrams call out the colors with RLM designations (where appropriate). The print quality of the diagrams is excellent and everything looks really good. Additionally, each package contains a photocopied page of descriptions and technical help for using the decals.


 

GGWI48-002

This sheet provides the following four full-color camouflages. A fifth camouflage option of the decal sheet is provided only as a single left-side view in the photocopied instruction sheet and is a low-vis version of the Japanese scheme.
 

Decal Image


The irregular blue-ish blobs you see distributed about the sheet are silver paint scratch decals that Richard has provided for the modeler to use for weathering on their Ta 183.

 

Camouflage Diagram

The Rhino markings on the nose highlight this scheme. Directions on the photocopied instruction sheet provide tips on the procedure to apply the Rhino head to the model.

 

Camouflage Diagram

Black-Green and off White combine to produce this scheme. The contrast looks good on the aircraft.

 

Camouflage Diagram

What if the German Navy had gotten into the war with an aircraft carrier? Might this have been the result? Looking at this scheme, I can not help myself from seeing a favorite A-4E Skyhawk adversary that I am quite fond of (which uses these same colors).

 

Camouflage Diagram

And, what if the Japanese had been able to acquire some Ta 183 aircraft for there use? Of course, they would have given it their own designation, which Richard labels as a Ki-126 "Bolt".


 

GGWI48-003

This sheet provides the following four full-color camouflages. Like the other sheet, the fifth camouflage option of the decal sheet is provided only as a single left-side view in the photocopied instruction sheet and is another low-vis version of the Japanese scheme.

Decal Image


The irregular blue-ish blobs you see distributed about the sheet are silver paint scratch decals that Richard has provided for the modeler to use for weathering on their Ta 183.

 

Camouflage Diagram

Eyes adorn the nose of this desert painted Ta 183.

 

Camouflage Diagram

This is a late scheme with dark and light greens over a sky color -- nice contrasts.

 

Camouflage Diagram

Richard loves big shark's mouths on aircraft. Surprisingly, this is the only Ta 183 in the whole lot with a mouth. This is the front-runner for me in my decission on which camouflage/markings I will build on my Ta 183 model.

 

Camouflage Diagram

This is another Japanese daydream. I like the lightning bolts on the nose and tail.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Richard has created some more winners as far as I am concerned. Like the Rafale sheet from earlier in the year, my only complaint is that I am having trouble deciding which camouflage(s) to build.

Recommended for any "What If..." lovers out there

 

Thanks to Gekko Graphics for the review samples


Gekko Graphics decals are available online from their website


Review Copyright 2003 by David W. Aungst
This Page Created on 23 July, 2003
Last updated 08 October, 2003

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