The new website for Airscale (Model Aircraft Enhancements), out of the UK, describe the company as providing ‘High resolution cockpit detailing for aircraft modellers’. This is my first exposure to this company’s impressive products, which range from 1/48th through 1/24th scales and include highly detailed cockpit decals placards, and etched brass. The decals are offered as individual images as well as full panels, and products are offered for WWI, WWII and post-war, for RAF, USAF, USN and Luftwaffe, and for prop aircraft and jets. Their website is well designed, easy to navigate, and they take PayPal. ‘Comprehensive’ is the word that comes to mind, and I will be returning to their site often.
From what I can tell, the specific subject of this review (AS24TIFF) is (or was) an offering specially created for the release of the Airfix Typhoon in August of 2014, and is actually no longer offered on their website. Fortunately, you can find most of the content, and much more, by ordering the generic ‘1/24th Scale RAF WWII’ decal and placard sets.
Examining photos of the only existing Typhoon in the world, I noticed that some of the dials on the main instrument panel contained more color than the dials in the Airscale offering, mostly the ones with yellow markings on a black background. The decals provided by Airfix, however, contained these colors. As a consequence, I used decals from both sources, using the color ones when available.
Per a discussion with Airscale, this is because the real dials had iridium on the pointers and some details to be easily seen at night and while these were white when the aircraft was built, in the reference airframe cockpit section in Duxford these have yellowed with age and created the impression they should be yellow. As most models will depict the aircraft in 'period' I made a deliberate decision to recreate the instruments as they would have looked then, not what they look like now - Airfix unfortunately didn't, they reproduced what they saw. Airscale was careful to confirm this discolouration with both industry and a radiologist.
The package under review comes in a sealed plastic envelope that contains a sheet of individual decals and placards, as well as full panels for the 1/24th Scale Airfix Typhoon 1b. Included in the envelope is thin plastic sheet that will provide enough glazing to support the full instrument panels if you decide to go that way.
The four page instruction card is printed in full color and contains very detailed images showing exactly where each decal and placard goes, as well as a short description of what each instrument is.
The quality of the decals and placards is excellent. Airscale took great pains to insure perfect register and each image has the very tiniest amount of carrier film surrounding it. These are good. They also really want to hang on to the backing paper, so let them soak thoroughly – they will come off.
Application was easy, once I figured out what was going to work and what wasn’t. (I applied the decals individually – I did not use the full panels.)