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Nightfighter Experts

Owl Decals, 1/48 and 1/72 scales

S u m m a r y :

Description and Catalogue Number:

Owl Decal Nightfighter Experts
OWD48014
OWD72014

Scale:

1/48 & 1/72

Contents & Media:

Water-slide decals, with placement and colour scheme guide in booklet form.

Price:

Available on-line from these sources:

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Very attractive package with excellent quality production.

Disadvantages:

The subjects bear little to no relationship to the title of “Night-Fighter Experts”, some either having no victories or only daytime kills.

Conclusions:

Recommended for their quality, but not as a basis for a cohesive collection of expert night fighter pilot’s aircraft, as few if any are night-fighter “expert’s” aircraft.

Reviewed by Mark Davies


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FirstLook

 

Background

Owl Decals is probably best known to modellers for their range of decals and detail accessories, with a particular emphasis on Luftwaffe night-fighter subjects. The decal sets reviewed here appears at first to be in keeping with the night-fighter emphasis, but covering subjects from three nations’ air forces.


 

The Decals

The decals come in a large zip-lock plastic bag with very attractive and clearly printed A4 eight-page booklet. This is printed on stiff glossy paper, and provides for decal placement and colour scheme guides. Instructions are in English and Czech, and colour call-outs use RLM codes for the Luftwaffe subjects and service colour names for the RAF and USAAF choices. The back page has some photos of a Ju 88G-6 and instructions on decal application.

 

  • Owl Decals Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Owl Decals Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Owl Decals Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Owl Decals Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Owl Decals Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Owl Decals Review by Mark Davies: Image
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The attractiveness and quality of this booklet’s production suggests that Owl recognise that they have serve a collector’s as well as builder’s market. The title "Nightfighter Experts" implies that the package provides for a collection of leading night fighter aces from the various air arms represented, and so forms the basis for a cohesive collection. This however is a bit misleading in my view as I shall shortly explain. The aircraft covered are:

  • Bell P-39 Q Airacobra (Capt. Felix O. Scott)

  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 D-1 (Oblt. Johannes Steinhoff)

  • Junkers Ju 88 G-6 (Oblt. Herbert Koch)

  • Hawker Hurricane N.F. Mk. IIc (S/L. James A. F. Maclachlan)

  • De Havilland D.H. 98 Mosquito FB Mk. VI (S/L Russell „Rus“ Bannock)

The P-39 pilot scored one night victory, the P-61 crashed with apparently no mention of any victories, the Bf 109 pilot had 173 victories but none at night, and it’s unclear if the Mosquito’s nine victims were despatched by day or night, although possibly some of the 19 V-1 flying bombs were. The Ju 88 pilot had 23 and the Hurricane pilot five night victories. Without getting too tied up over details I think that it would have to be agreed that this grouping hardly constitutes one of night fighter experts!

I should qualify my remarks by saying that they are based on the narratives provided by Owl Decals in their instructions, not my own research. So I may be being unfair if I misinterpreting the information given, although I don’t think so.

The decal’s production quality appears to be excellent, and the images above should give the reader a good indication of what’s included in the package. Both the 1/72 and 1/48 share the same booklet, only the size decals sheets varying as would be expected.

 

 

C o n c l u s i o n

 

These appear to be top quality decals with a superbly finished instruction booklet. The subjects are attractive and cover a nice variety of aircraft and air arms.

I feel however that the title is misleading in that the aircraft selected are not by any stretch of the imagination those flown by night fighter experts. I think that this package to some extent is style over substance, and aimed at decal collectors who like nice portrayals of attractive schemes. This said, some nice schemes are provided. Given Owl’s speciality in night-fighter subjects I think they could have researched and presented better choices of night-fighter experts’ aircraft to fit the package theme, or they should have used a different title.

I can recommend these decals for their quality, but not as a basis for a collection of expert night-fighter pilot’s aircraft.

Thanks to Owl Decals for the review samples.


Review Text Copyright 2011 by Mark Davies
Page Created 19 June, 2011
Last updated 19 June, 2011

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