Making military airplanes is certainly one of the most popular modeling genres. For some of us it is a matter of making models of planes from a specific conflict, for others from a theater of war, time frame or a specific pilot, mostly with an “ace” title. Other modelers believe that there is something “catchy” in military camouflage scheme of different colours and patterns. Finally, there are people who build models because of their intriguing and eye-catching markings. For that last group of modelers ModelWorld has prepared a really special masking set.
The Polish 1st Tactical Squadron is equipped with MiG-29 Fulcrums. This unit continues tradition of the 7th Fighter Squadron “Tadeusz Kościuszko” formed by Merian Cooper with other American volunteer pilots in 1918, fighting against Bolsheviks in the Polish Air Force. In the mid '20s the squadron was re-numbered and became 111th Fighter Squadron. After September 1939 and the defeat of Poland its tradition was continued by the famous 303rd Squadron. After the war the tradition followed on with the 1st Fighter Regiment “City of Warsaw”, which on 1st January 2001 became the 1st Tactical Squadron. All these squadrons from the 1920 to the present day have used a very eye-catching emblem that comprises a combination of the American “stars and bars” with the two symbols of Polish peasants who fought for freedom against Russia during Kościuszko Uprising in 1794: a traditional hat with two crossed scythes. A year ago this emblem was painted on the back of Mig-29UB no.15 in a very enlarged form, and shown for the first time in public during Góraszka Aviation Picnic on 6th June 2009. From this day many modelers in Poland started to wonder how on earth paint this emblem on a model. Then ModelWorld gave us a helping hand.
The set contains three sheets of masks, one of them as a white foil, two of transparent foil and also a small instruction sheet. Although it is not mentioned anywhere the set was designed to be used with the well known Academy kit. Because the original emblem is not simple in shape and consists of five different colours, so painting with the masks set is not entirely straightforward either. The painting process is described step by step in the attached instruction. Unfortunately this description is only in Polish language which may cause some difficulties for foreign modelers. Another problem which I noticed is the lack of suggestions for the colours which should be used while painting. Although we can cope with white, there are still the correct red, blue, grey and brown to find. I have already sent my comments to the manufacturer. Thank God there is not much to translate or add to the description so I hope to see at least the English version of the text in the later editions of the set. Anyway, below the text of this review you can find my transcription:
■ It is advised to stick the transparent masks to something, eg. a hand, before applying to the model surface to weak down the clamminess a bit.
■ Mask no.1 splice symmetrically at the fuselage spine and trim the upper edge with horizontal panel line engraved on the model.
■ Using masks no. 2, 3, 4, 5 and the masking tape mask the area around mask no.1. Remove mask no.1 and paint the uncovered surface of the future emblem with the white paint.
■ Do not remove any mask yet. Apply masks no. 6,7,8 and 9 before painting red. Cover any gap between the masks with a masking tape.
■ Remove the masks from step 4 and using parts from no. 10 to 24 cover the area before painting blue and brown. Once again cover remaining gap with the masking tape.
■ Remove the masks from the last step and pain the details using remaining masks.
The masks are cut from quite thin self adhesive paper. The adhesion is not very strong in my opinion, but if the producer tells us to weaken it a bit, maybe during tests he found out that some paints may lift.
To sum up I have to say that this is a very interesting set for all Polish wings enthusiasts, providing a very eye-catching emblem for Fulcrum models. Although placing the masks is a bit tricky and requires a lot of patience, the painted results will surely be worth it.
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Highs: An interesting emblem for a popular model, good self-adhesive paper used.Lows: Instruction only in Polish, no suggestion of paints or colours which should be used, not mentioned in the instruction how to paint the detailsVerdict: Positive, it is good that somebody has released the masks for this Fulcrum with one of the most interesting painting schemes in the Polish Air Force.