Aviaeology has just released exciting and colorful decals depicting Beaufighter TF.X’s operated by 404 Squadron RCAF in Coastal Command. All three popular scales are provided.
Due to sheet size, the 1/32nd scale markings are limited to a single aircraft, s/n LZ451. However, the markings of this aircraft did evolve over time.
It is this evolution that Aviaeology captures in great detail. Markings for this aircraft cover three distinct time lines:
Beaufighter TF.X LZ451, June, 1944 at Davidstow Moor coded 2OM
Beaufighter TF.X LZ451, July-Sept, 1944 at Stubby coded EEOM
Beaufighter TF.X LZ451, Oct 1944, at Banff coded EEOM
In 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, in addition to the above, a further bonus scheme is provided:
Beaufighter TF.X NE355, July 1944 at Strubby coded EEOH
The comprehensive instruction sheet is, in a word, superlative. It is four pages in length and includes extensive notes about the aircraft. Specific details abound discussing Coastal Command colors and the application of A.E.A.F (invasion stripes) to 404 Squadron Beaufighters. A full page of text provided as “Modeling Notes” will assist the modeler in a very accurate depiction of the aircraft. Side and upper view profiles leave no question as to the proper location of each decal. To further assist the modeler, four thumbnail photographs are also provided. These include three photos of LZ451 and one of NE355. Modelers should note that early instruction sheets have a small typing error in the upper profile view. The highlighted box in the lower left corner of the page stating “Redundant on both subject aircraft” doesn’t apply and should be ignored. This has been corrected with newer instructions.
Modelers should note that when the decal package is shipped, the enclosed instructions are printed in black and white. Color instructions are subsequently sent via e-mail in a hi-res, pdf format when you receive an e-mail confirming shipment.
The single sheet of decals are printed in a new, all-digital system, known as Digital Silk. The advantage to this system is the incredible clarity to which the decals are printed. They are in perfect register and opacity. Unlike traditional silkscreen printed decals, multi-layering of decals to achieve good registration of a single marking is not necessary. It is this feature that lends itself well to the multi-colored codes used by 404 Squadron. However, the process does require that the markings be applied to decal paper with single carrier film. Careful trimming will be required when removing the markings from the paper. At the time of this review I have not had the opportunity to work with the decals so I will refrain from commenting on the ease of application. So far, the reports I have received have highlighted no issues and carrier film disappeared with traditional decaling techniques.
These new decals are available directly from Aviaeology at their website or E-bay Store. I am sure these Beaufighter markings will prove to be very popular. Initial reports indicate that the decals are selling well and I recommend them without hesitation. The comprehensive information alone supplied with the package is well worth the value.
Review Sample Compliments of Aviaeology