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Spada Decals
WWI Aircraft Markings

1/72, 1/48, 1/32, 1/24 scales



Catalogue Number:

See below for details


available in 1/72, 1/48, 1/32, 1/24

Contents and Media:

Waterslide ALPS or Laser printed decals plus profiles, instructions and notes


available online from Spada Decals

Review Type:



Plethora of subjects, no registration problems, thin yet strong carrier film, extra options for different interpretations.


Requires more care than usual to apply



Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron




Spada Decals is represented by a group of modelers that wanted to finish their subjects in schemes not normally found in commercial kits.  

Using Alps printing technology, they were able to produce a wide variety of decal sheets at a cost that was not prohibitive to the humble modeler. 

Apart from the usual field of aircraft markings, this company has ventured into the realm of creating a wood grain finish. Many manufacturers have tried to do this in the past with mixed results. 

This latest attempt would appear to have the best chance of success. The idea is for the modeler to choose their own base colour, over which the selected wood grain pattern is applied. This opens the door to a myriad of possibilities. Once sealed in the appropriate “clear coat” the finish can be further worked on until the desired effect is achieved.



The sheet offered contains seven examples of wood grain. After experimentation, the preferred pattern can be ordered in any of the popular scales.

Nieuport 17

There are certain subjects that seem to have been neglected by the aftermarket decal industry. The Hobbycraft/Acadamy Nieuport 17 is one of them.

Considering the variety of markings this aircraft was seen in, very little has been available to individualize this fighter. This is no longer the case, as Spada Decals have now produced a plethora of options in 1:32 scale. 

There are at least 17 sheets available with each release usually catering for a single subject. Some however, do cover more than one option and in these cases a common theme is presented. 

Many of the top aces are featured, examples being Lufbery, Dorme, Guiguet, Deullin, and Guynemer.  The prospective purchaser is not limited to a single country of use. As well as the expected Escadrilles, the RFC, Italian and Russian Air Services are also represented. 

Some of the subjects are chosen for their visual impact. Sheet LL-Ni17/13 has Boyau’s striking serpent down its fuselage, while Ni/08 shows examples of the macabre rudder markings found on the Eastern Front. There are others of course, with many motifs appearing in decal form for the first time.  

Typically of World War I aircraft subjects, controversy abounds. Where this relates to markings, the manufacturer provides alternatives. A classic case being René Dorme’s machine from Escadrille N3. Two different versions of his “Pére Dorme 3” script are supplied as well as alternate styles of the red “12” as seen on both fuselage sides and the upper wings. 



Sensibly Spada Decals have passed the ultimate decision on to the modeler. 

The complete set of markings comes on two separate decal sheets. One contains the “full” range of colours needed while the second sheet has the “missing” white area. This separation is natural in the Alps printing method used here. The procedure is a simple process of layering one item on top of the other to get the final result. 

Unfortunately the review samples had the white omitted on all of these supplementary sheets…sigh! 

As you would expect, registration of all colours was perfect. Each design needs to be cut from the one-piece carrier film which is very thin and yet surprisingly strong. A coloured line guides you around the white items which can easily disappear against the backing paper.

Albatros D.III 

Keeping to this large scale, the aesthetically pleasing Albatros D.III also comes in for a facelift. Two sheets have been designed for the Roden product, which is fortunate as the markings in some of their kits have suffered from poor quality control.  

One of the choices is the ever popular mount of Lt. Werner Voss. His heart and wreath adorned machine is illustrated with both early and late wing radiator placements. The instructions make no comment as to the markings/wing combination so extra reference material will be needed here. 



For those that like to represent captured aircraft, Lt. D. R. Wichard’s “Vera” is the option on sheet LL-Alb3/02.


The Sopwith Camel makes an appearance in all three of the most common scales. The most striking aspect of these is that they all carry Belgian markings. 

1:32 scale is represented by the mount of Jan Olieslagers, the first Belgian single-seat fighter to claim a victory. The “Antwerp Devil” finished the war with at least 6 victories and died in 1942 at the age of 58. 



Adj. Leon Cremers is found in 1:48 with the “thistled” Camel of 9me Escadrille de chasse, whilst an unidentified aircraft from 11me Escadrille de chasse in 1:72 scale rounds out the trio.





Many modelers like to individualize their aircraft and these releases from Spada offer the perfect opportunity.

To see exactly what’s available, a full listing can be found at:


Most sheets are single subject items and are picked for their uniqueness in the chosen scale. Where there are differing opinions regarding the marking for a particular machine, the instructions dutifully point this out. The purchaser will then need to decide which of the supplied alternatives they consider correct. 

Application will require more care than usual for water-slide decals. The cutting out of each item and the careful placement of any layers will call for patience. 

Fortunately all this is well within the capabilities of the hard-pressed World War I aircraft modeler. 


Thanks to Spada Decals for the review sample.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Review Copyright © 2007 by Robert Baumgartner
This Page Created on 21 October, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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