The Focke-Wulf Ta 152H is a perennial favourite with Luftwaffe modellers. Maybe it's those elegant long wings, or maybe it's the "what might have been" element – whatever, Kurt Tank's final throw of the Fw 190 dice continues to capture the imagination.
And the aircraft is very much back in the modelling spotlight with the recent release of Zoukei-Mura's impressive 1:32 kit (reviewed HERE
), so Eagle Editions have timed it impeccably to produce two new sets of EagleCals (#133 and #134) devoted to the aircraft.
The sheets are available in all three main modelling scales priced as follows:
1:72 - $11.00
1:48 - $15.00
1:32 - $17.50
Eagle Editions have kindly sent us EC#32-134 for review.
The decals are custom printed by Cartograf and are quite superb quality, as we've come to expect from this producer. The thin, glossy items have minimal carrier film and the registration on the sample sheet is basically perfect. Importantly for anyone working in 1:32 the colours look excellent, because whether you're building the new Zoukei-Mura, or the earlier attractive but flawed Pacific Coast Models kit (reviewed HERE
), you'll need replacements to overcome the problems associated with the decals in both kits. With PCM, the RLM 25 wasn't very convincing (even in the small replacement sheet included), while modellers of the Zoukei-Mura kit are faced with a double problem; colours which are both suspect and also printed unrealistically as a series of small dots.
EC#32-134 includes markings for four aircraft from JG 301:
1. "Yellow/Green 3", W.Nr. unknown.
2. "Green 9", W.Nr. 150168
3. "Yellow/Green 4", W.Nr. 150010
4. The a/c repainted a striking Orange-Red for the flight to Rechlin by Obstl. Fritz Aufhammer.
As you can see from the above, both Yellow and Green numerals are included to reflect the move from 11./JG 301 to the Stab flight. Along with the individual aircraft markings, full replacement national insignia are included, and it's interesting to see Eagle Editions have seemingly bowed to the continuing sensitivity in some quarters by supplying the swastikas split into two elements. Option #3 (the only surviving Ta-152, currently in storage at the NASM) is interesting in having painted-over delivery codes. These are supplied as decals and represent my only (very minor) complaint about the sheet; the decals for each side of the fuselage are identical, which would be next to impossible for roughly hand-painted markings. Still, by the time the decals are applied, no-one is likely to notice.
The sheet includes a comprehensive set of stencils (far more complete than what's supplied with the PCM kit) which includes something which I've never seen depicted before – the maker's red stencilling visible on the unpainted natural metal surfaces inside the wheel wells and engine cowlings. An additional bonus for anyone building the Zoukei-Mura is the inclusion of engine numbers and data plates.
EagleCal instructions are always very good, and these are even better than usual. Along with the fine quality artwork and detailed description and colour notes for each subject, there's a separate sheet of colour photos of "Green 4". These reference shots are exclusive to the decals, not even appearing it Eagle Editions' own definitive study of the Ta 152 by Thomas A. Hitchcock (reviewed HERE
Whichever Ta 152 kit you're building, these decals are something of a "must have". My 1:32 PCM version has been suffering something of an inferiority complex following the appearance of its superior new Japanese rival, but seeing these decals has whetted my appetite to tackle it again. The only conundrum is which of the schemes to go for – the Orange-Red machine is so tempting, but it would mean sacrificing all those lovely stencils! Highly recommended.
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