Spitfires Part 1
If you’re as big a fan of Spitfires as I am, you’re going to REALLY love this product by Fündekals. Labeled “Spitfire Part 1” this product is actually two and a half sheets of decals, packed with markings. Frankly, I’ve never encountered a more useful decal sheet for Spitfires than this one.
Twelve different sets are included in this package (as well as numerous extras) covering everything from Spitfire Mk. 1s from the Battle of Britain to late-war Mk. XVIes. Not only British Spitfires are offered in the mix, but American Eagle Squadron aircraft are included as well. It does NOT, however, include walkways and stenciling, although it does include the gun patches associated with each aircraft.
The details have been meticulously researched, and the 27-page instruction booklet (found online only) includes historical pictures of each aircraft depicted, along with notes and information on how schemes were worked out or analyzed by the Fündekals team. Each aircraft is depicted with 4 views so there’s no question about the camouflage scheme or other details that might be missed otherwise.
Having done a test application, I found the decals to have excellent coverage and snuggled down well with solvent. No problems were encountered in their use.
All this being said, I have to admit some mixed feelings about the approach to the directions, however. No information whatsoever was provided in the package to even suggest where to find the instructions (a simple insert would have been helpful here) and so I was a bit nonplussed when first examining the contents. Once I was informed by a helpful IPMS officer as to where to go, I did locate the instructions fairly easily . . . but wow . . . the SIZE of the PDF download – 67MB and then some! It took my fairly fast machine almost an hour to get the full download.
As a technical writer myself who works heavily in graphics, I produce a fair number of PDF files this elaborate and extensive on a regular basis, and there are many ways such a file can be reduced to a more manageable size. Fündekals might want to look into this option. I admit that supplying such a document in printed form would have jacked the price of this product up exorbitantly, so I can definitely see their logic in providing it this way. Even so, this presents potential difficulties for some of our less computer-savvy compatriots. It also means that you have to either print out selections from the file as guides during the application process or have a computer readily to hand. My garage studio definitely lacks the latter option!
It would be nice if Fündekals offered the option of a print version of this file for a separate fee, but maybe that’s just grousing on my part. They do offer this decal set in all three popular scales and if the others are as good as this one, they’re a bargain at the price. I cannot recommend this decal set enthusiastically enough – it really is by far the finest and most extensive Spitfire sheet I’ve ever had the pleasure to play around with. If the online instructions don’t daunt you, I’d go get a set no matter what your scale preference is. I sincerely doubt you’ll be disappointed.
My thanks to Fündekals for providing the sample set and to IPMS/USA for letting me give them a shot. Wonderful!