DXM have kindly sent us another of their excellent decal sets for review. This time it is a comprehensive sheet for 4 1/48 Aggressor F-15DJs.
I’m no expert on the F-15, but there’s obviously plenty of quality twin seat F-15D kits out there and there are only small differences you need to address to make a double seat F-15D into a F-15DJ. The main one I think is the engine exhausts, and there’s an Aries resin replacement that fixes that. If you’re going to fit sidewinders, make sure they are the Japanese-built AAM-3 missile, an improved AIM-9 Sidewinder follow-on with distinctive “barbed” forward fins. The JASDF took delivery of 37 F-20DJs from 1981-97 and they operate from Nyutabaro airbase.
The decals arrive in a self sealing plastic bag, with a tab at the top for hanging the bag on a sales rack in a store. The top folds over the bottom of the bag and has a sticky stripe on it to seal it. I found that the sticky stripe tends to stick to everything, so I put a piece of tape over it and sealed the bag with a second, smaller, piece of tape. Inside the bag is:
- A single A4/Letter sized, double sided, colour set of main decal placement instructions.
- A single A4/Letter sized, double sided, colour set of stencil placement instructions.
- Main decal sheet.
The instruction sheet uses one half of one side for the cover. If you turn over the sheet you will see side colour views of the aircraft with placement markings for what is mostly aircraft stencils, with a few aircraft specific decals also. If you open the sheet you will see top, bottom, port and starboard side views of all 4 of the aircraft with the placement of all aircraft specific decals. From this view you can also see the colour schemes of each of the aircraft. The patterns and colours are different for all 4 aircraft. Colours for the aircraft are given in Mr. Color and Humbrol.
When you turn to the other sheet of the instructions you see a top and bottom view showing where a lot of the stencils are placed one one side of the sheet. Turn the sheet over and there’s a big top view of the aircraft showing where yet more stencils are placed. Again the colours are given in the Mr. Color and Humbrol ranges. This sheet does not show the aggressor marking, just the usual F-15DJ camouflage pattern so you can get those colours down correctly before adding the aggressor colours on top.
The decals themselves are by Cartograph, so the quality of obviously very good. The amount of extra carrier film seems to be almost non existent in places. The decals themselves seem very thin, in register and the colours seem good too. All in all, everything we have come to expect from Cartograph. There are a lot of small stencils on this sheet and they are readable, as seen in an attached image. The sheet contains enough decals to do one aircraft.
Overall DXM have produced some good quality decals of early Phantoms. The quality of the decals themselves is very good.
Paul Tosney – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com