With most aircraft of WWII and the Korean War, nose art was common, though, if you are like me, you have been disappointed at times with the kit decals and their depiction of the nose art.
So along comes IPMS member Michael Kloppenburg, a graphic designer by trade, and his brand of decals! Bombshell Decals has done a small but steady stream of some fantastic decal work with nose art that looks almost as good as the real deal.
Bombshell’s latest releases cover six A-26 Invader aircraft spread over three separate releases. I have always liked the look of the A-26 Invader with its sleek blend of bomber and attack aircraft. Needless to say, I was instantly drawn to these new decals from Bombshell. The two aircraft covered in this set are
- Douglas B-26 Invader A-26B-15-DT, 43-22342 “Sylvia” 13th BS, Korea
- Douglas B-26 Invader A-26C-35-DT, 44-35361 “Little Sheba” 13th BS, Korea
Instructions are in a full color, folded, 8-1/2”x 11” format. The inside shows full side profiles with some detail callouts where needed for clarification. The flip side of the page is split between the cover artwork and the rear page of the instructions, giving a little insight into the coloring, as well as a upper and lower view of the basic aircraft. Overall, there is plenty of information to place the decals correctly on the model.
Since they’re printed by Cartograf, expect nothing but quality of printing on these. Everything is super sharp and in perfect register. Enough stencil data and national insignia are included to complete both aircraft featured on the sheet. The real treat on these decals, though, is the nose art itself. The printing is done so well that the artwork looks airbrushed on! There is subtle shading and gradients present throughout the art which makes these some of the best renditions I have seen. Even when zooming in on the image four or five times, they still look good, and it is only by the fact that they are on a decal sheet that I know they are not hand painted. This is really stunning work, both by Bombshell and the printers, as both have done justice to the original artwork.
If you plan on doing an A-26, these decals are a must-have. In fact, it’s these decals that have inspired me to bump up an A-26 build on my own project stack, as they are inspirational. I hope that Bombshell will continue the series, maybe doing some of the “Chadwick” aircraft, or others with attractive markings. These decals and many more are available direct from Bombshell Decals via their website above.
Many thanks to Bombshell Decals for the review copy and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review them.