Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

USAF & NASA Starfighters

 

1/48 scale

Victory Productions

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue No. and  Description VPD48005 - USAF and NASA Starfighters
Price USD$24.95 available online from Victory Models website
Contents and Media: 3 x decal sheets (2 x 11 1/8" x 8 1/2"; one partial sheet); Double-sided, full colour letter-sized sheets of side profiles for all options; Double-sided, letter-sized sheets of history and colour notes.
Scale: 1/48
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent presentation of impressive package; huge number of  marking options; bright markings; very helpful and attractive instruction diagrams and notes; decals printed perfectly and with minimal carrier film.
Disadvantages: Incorrect callout for lower wing color; individual serial digits could be tedious.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by David W. Aungst


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

FirstLook

 

I am a "jet junkie". I do not think anyone would argue that point. I think just about every "jet junkie" in existence finds the lines of the F-104 to be pure sex. It was awesome when Hasegawa started releasing their F-104 kits in 1/48th scale. Now if they could only complete the line and do a two-seater ... but I am digressing.

While Hasegawa has released a vast array of decal options in the various Starfighter kits, they have been a little light on US versions. Paul at Victory Productions decided to fill the void. His announcement (what seems like years ago) for a complete decal sheet on only US service versions was very well received. Every time I looked at the artworks on-line, I got excited and wondered how much longer I would have to wait before they were released.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my wait was over.

It has been a while since I have gotten so fired up over just a decal set. You really need to see this decal set in person to get the full effect. It is a stunning, amazing decal set.


The Decals

The following image shows the full contents of the decal package.
 

Package Contents

 

There are three large sheets of decals -- two are full notebook page size of 8.5x11 inches with the third page being only a little smaller. These are accompanied by a glossy, full color side profile sheet printed on both sides, and two additional black and white instruction sheets with text outlining all the little details about the various aircraft on the sheet.

While the instructions highlight 42 different F-104 aircraft, note that enough numbering, lettering, and data markings are present to build practically any standard US F-104 aircraft -- F-104A, QF-104A, F-104B, F-104C, F-104D, and NASA F-104N. It is a very complete decal set.

  479th TFW Aircraft

A big highlight of the sheet for me was the inclusion of the "shooting star" aircraft of the 479th TFW. For years, I thought that only red-trimmed aircraft carried these unique markings. Only recently have I been able to find out that the markings existed on all four squadrons of the 479th, each using its own color. These decals alone were worth the price of admission for me. I will likely build these four aircraft as a set first off the sheet. Including the rainbow decorated wing commander's aircraft provided in the Hasegawa kit decals, these will make a wonderful model collection.  

The images below show all of this fantastic sheet in all of its glory.
 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


 

The "Up" Side

  • Almost everything! This is just a great decal set.
  • There is tons of colorful markings, as well as a few less colorful aircraft.
  • For my sample, the print registration was dead-on. This is especially important as many of the markings are outlined in opposing colors. Being off by even a little would ruin the sheet.
  • The instructions are clear and tell lots of information about each of the highlighted aircraft, including the date when the aircraft looked this way. I wish more decal manufactures would include the date information.

 

The "Down" Side

Believe it or not, even with such a nice decal set, I do have a couple teeny tiny nits to pick.

  • In the painting instructions, the wings are stated to be white. This is half true since the tops of the wings are white. However, the bottoms of the wings (on the schemes that get white wings) are Aircraft Gray. This is the same color that the underside of the nose gets painted. The instructions do get the nose color right, but they miss telling the modeler this little tidbit about the wings.
  • The serial numbering. Very few of the aircraft have the serial numbers already assembled into the proper order. This will make for some careful decal application work to line up the numbering as most of it will be done one ... number ... at ... a ... time. I realize this is done this way because the decal set is intended to cover most any aircraft, not just the highlighted ones in the instructions. It will be tedious, though.

These points are really minor, though. It is still a great decal set.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Even if you only have a passing interest in F-104 Starfighters in US service, you NEED this decal set. I just can't say enough good things about it.

Now, if only I could find a way to make days longer than 24 hours so that I might actually get time to build all these wonderful markings...

Highly Recommended.

Purchased with the reviewer's own funds.


Review Copyright 2004 by David W. Aungst
Page Created 02 December, 2004
Last updated 04 January, 2005

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page