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Fighters Over China

Empire City Decals, 1/72 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Empire City Decals, ECD7209, Fighters Over China.
Scale: 1/72 (also available in 1/48 scale)
Contents and Media: 1 sheet of decals (190mm X 140mm), 1 double sided A4 sized instruction sheet all in a zip-lock bag.
Price: USD$14.00 in either scale from Empire City Decals website
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Decals are now screen printed by AviPrint with markings for nine (9) aircraft from four (4) nations flown by three (3) of the combatants.
Disadvantages: With one exception, no plan views of any of the aircraft.
Recommendation: These decals from Empire City Decals are much improved over their original offerings and are aimed at those who prefer subject that are a bit out of the ordinary.

Reviewed by
Glen Porter

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com




The Sino/Japanese conflict is probably one of the most overlooked part of history as far as plastic modelling is concerned. The fact that it went on for longer than both the First and Second World Wars and yet the only part we hear about regularly is the American Volunteer Group.

Empire City Decals and others have gone some way to rectify this situation with this decal sheet of 'Fighters over China'.

In 2007, I reviewed some of their first offerings and although I thought it was a good effort for their beginnings, I also offered some constructive criticisms. I'm very happy to report that many of those criticisms have been answered, the most important of which, the decals are now screen-printed professionally by AviPrint from the Czech Republic instead of being done on an ALPS printer.

As you would expect from AviPrint, who do most of MPM's decals, the register is spot-on, colours look good and there is a minimum of carrier film around the markings. Although I haven't used them myself, I've heard no bad comments about them so presume them to be as good as any about.

Another point I made in the original review, was the size of the aircraft profiles which were very small. These are much larger and therefore clearer but they still don't give you plan or underside views, with one exception, even though all aircraft have national markings on their wings.

There are nine aircraft featured on the sheet beginning with an early Gloster Gladiator in overall dark green with white 2909 on the fuselage sides, Chinese National markings in four places on the wings and a blue and white striped rudder. Next is a Henschel Hs 123A-1 in dark green uppers and light grey below marked as white 1506 on the fin, Chinese National markings in six places and also having the blue and white striped rudder. This is followed by a Nakajima Ki-27 in overall Grey-Green with Japanese National markings in four positions on the wings, a red lightning flash on the tail, broad white diagonal on the fuselage and a black and clear face below the rear canopy.

We then have two Polikarpov I-153s, red 29 with field-applied dark green in a disruptive pattern over light grey and small red stars on the fuselage, tail and upper and lower wings. No mention is made of any green on the wings. Red 11, the other I-153, has field-applied dark green squiggle over light grey and the number on the rudder but only the rear one third of the aircraft is shown so there is no indication of how much of it has the squiggle or how many and what size the stars might be.

Three Polikarpov I-16s are next, all in dark green uppers and light grey below. Red 5, placed on the rudder, has a white tipped fin/rudder and four red stars on the wings only. White 2, also on the rudder, has a red tipped fin/rudder, a thin white horizontal stripe half way up the fin and red stars in six places. The third I-16 has a red 5 on the fin and a white 7 on the rudder and the rear third of the rudder is in yellow. This aircraft also has six red stars. The rear one third is all that is shown of these last two I-16s

Last of all, is a Kawasaki Ki-1011 in overall Grey-Green with Japanese National markings in four places, blue 6 on the rudder with blue horizontal stripes above and below, a blue diagonal on the fuselage and a blue stylized bird in front. This is the only profile that has a plan view of the upper wing showing two blue diagonals merging towards the front rather like a pre-war US naval aircraft.

I believe it's necessary for a decal manufacturer to show the position on the aircraft of all the markings provided and, where possible, the overall colour scheme. It's also helpful if they can provide colour recommendations.





Despite the criticism, these decals from Empire City are a big improvement over earlier efforts but I think they just need to go that little bit further. They're already coming up with interesting subject and well produced decal sheets but just need to provide a little more information in their instructions.

Thanks to Empire City Decals for the review samples

Empire City Decals are available online from their website

Review Copyright 2008 by Glen Porter
Page Created 12 August, 2008
Last updated 12 August, 2009

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