ALLEY CAT DECALS


1/48 EE/BAC Canberra PR9 decals for PR9 serial XH135


Review by David Harvey


Review Type
First Look
Scale:
1/48 - also available in 1/72
Price:
Approx $20.00 AUD from Alley Cat Decals
Contents and Media:
1 x A5 decal sheet with 6 colour profiles of aircraft XH135
Advantages:
Well printed and covers various schemes for the same aircraft
Disadvantages:
Slight discrepancy with the profiles
Recommendation:
Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

This is another set found whilst doing a search for the many Canberra's in the stash. Whilst this aircraft is covered by Airfix in the PR9 Canberra kit I have found that the latest decals that come with the kits are on par with Academy and ICM ie useless. To that end this set steps in and covers the different schemes that aircraft XH135 has been seen in over the years.

The decals

The decals come in the expected ziploc bag with the decal sheet and six colour profiles. The different schemes covered are:

  • EE Canberra PR9, XH135, 39 (1PRU) Squadron, 1980's. Scheme is Dark Green and Dark Grey over Light Aircraft Grey with standard Dark Blue and Red roundels.
  • EE Canberra PR9, XH135, 13 Squadron, 1989. Scheme is Hemp over Light Aircraft Grey with standard Dark Blue and Red roundels.
  • EE Canberra PR9, XH135, 1 PRU, 1989. Scheme of Hemp over Light Aircraft Grey with standard Dark Blue and Red roundels.
  • EE Canberra PR9, XH135, 39 (1 PRU) Squadron, 2002. Scheme is Hemp over Light Aircraft Grey with subdued roundels
  • EE Canberra PR9, XH135, 39 (1 PRU) Squadron, 2006. Scheme is all over ARTF camouflage Grey.
  • EE Canberra PR9, XH135, 39 (1 PRU) Squadron, 2006. Scheme is halfway between removing the ARTF Grey paint back to the Hemp over Light Aircraft Grey scheme with pale roundels.

Whilst it does seem strange that the one aircraft is covered with six schemes on the one sheet all the schemes ARE actually different. Between the different unit markings and the variety of camouflage schemes the variety is there.

The sheet is well printed with solid colours that appear to be a better representation of the actual colours than the Airfix markings. As only the serial numbers, unit markings and a few stencil markings are provided you must either use kit markings for the remainder or source alternates for them all. Alley Cat does give suggestions for alternate serial numbers and stencil markings and where to get them from.

Note: Size and resolution changed for decals sheet. Image shown for review purposes only.

The instructions

The instruction leaflet covers each aircraft giving the colours and decal locations as expected as well as recommendations for the kits to use and the paints that can be used. You are provided four view profiles of each aircraft which are sufficiently large enough to work out the location of the markings supplied when used in conjunction with the kit instructions. The only aircraft the would require further references, other than the location of the different aerials, is the last scheme that is in transition as it requires the modeller to interpret and model the removal of one scheme and the colours left behind.

The only downfall I can see with these instructions is the location of one of the antenna's. Whilst this is a minor point, the longer antenna under the cockpit (towel rack looking thing) disappears in the profile for the ARTF grey scheme but reappears in the transition scheme dated not long afterward despite them having removed it and it not being replaced in real life. Most people I believe would use the instructions as reference and in this case would add the antenna when it is not required. Once again, a minor point but still relevant.

Recommendation

I highly recommend these decals as they appear to be very well printed and defiantly a good price for what you get.

Review set courtesy of my wallet from A2ZModels in the UK.

 

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