Space Shuttle Tile Decals
Warbird Decals is known for its aircraft decal line, and now it is making new strides into real space subjects.
Upon opening the ziplock bag, you find two letter-size decal sheets which includes lower surfaces and upper surface/rudder tiles, and one single page with a 4-view drawing of the Space Shuttle with a decal map. The decal sheets provide extra decals, but the instructions do not tell you what for (more on this later).
I built the Tamiya Space Shuttle a few years back. You can find a review of the kit at http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/space-shuttle-atlantis. It is a nice kit, but certainly has room for improvement, mainly due to the lack of tile detail in the lower surfaces.
These decals are very glossy and conformed to the surface perfectly, without needing to use any decal solution. They were easy to move around for good alignment, too.
The bottom part of the shuttle was decaled using four very large decals (about 5 by 3 inches each). They don’t completely match themselves and they leave some gaps between them. To cover the gaps, Tamiya provides extra tile decals that can be used to cover the gap (even when the instructions don’t tell you to do that). After applying the extra decals to “bridge the gap”, it is hard to tell where the gap was, unless you look very closely and know where what to look for.
The top wing decals and rudder decals had no gap at all and they covered the relevant areas without a glitch.
Please note that I’ve applied the decals to an already painted and finished model. That meant that some of the underlying paint and kit decals were over-decaled with the Wardbird decals and some translucence is unavoidable. However, if you were to apply the decals as part of your original construction, you will be applying the decals over a white background and you will have no translucence problems.
Recommended to any space builder who wants to improve the look of his Tamiya Space Shuttle. Experience handling large decals is useful.
I would like to thank Wardbird Decals and IPMS/USA for the review sample.