Aero Imageworks


A054801 1/48 P-51K 'Nuts to Nippon'


by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/48

Price:

$39.95 AUD from Aero Imageworks

Contents and Media:

1 x small sheet of decals and a four page A5 guidebook

Advantages:

 

Disadvantages:

Poorly printed and the accuracy in some areas is questionable

Recommendation:

Not Recommended

 

The decals

The decals come packed in a re-sealable Ziploc bag which contains the sheet of decals and the four page ‘Guidebook’. They cover two aircraft:

  • P-51K-10-NT (44-12547) Mustang, A68-520 LB*N ‘Nuts to Nippon!’, 84 SQN RAAF, Ross River, Townsville QLD, July – August 1945; and

  • P-51K-10-NT (44-12488) Mustang, A68-555 MP*S, 86 SQN RAAF, Bohle River, Townsville QLD, August 1945.

The overall quality of the decals is not that impressive as they appear to be unsealed and as such receive damage whilst being in the bag resulting in the markings having white ‘flecks’ showing through in a number of areas. I also found the following problems with the printing quality of the sheet:

  • The decals in general are ‘pixilated’ and the majority of the decals appear jagged along the edges, in particular along the right hand edge.

  • The small nose number ‘520’ for the aircraft A68-520 is inconsistently printed as one side of the number is thicker than the other as well as having very jagged edges. This is very visible and detracts from the set.

  • There are visible white lines through the white areas of the markings from the printing process.

Note - This image shows the main points brought out above. I would show the roundels as well but they are made to look worse through the scanning process unlike the image above. The pixellation is not a result of the scanning process nor is the distortion of the '520, these are as printed on the decals sheet.

 

Accuracy

The following notes on accuracy are made using the book Southern Cross Mustangs (SCM) by David Muir as a primary source.

  • The Aeroproducts propeller markings supplied are white background with pinkish red writing and propeller blades. According to a colour image in SCM the badge is cream background, red edging and writing with a black propeller. Refer SCM p118.

  • ‘Nuts to Nippon!’ Artwork has an exclamation mark at the end of the statement. In SCM (Image P154 and profile p 218) there is no indication of it. This is not conclusive evidence as in the image the right hand edge of the artwork is obscured and not visible so it could be correct. Apart from this the artwork itself appears to be good and the colours appear to be a reasonable approximation considering the B&W image used as reference.

  • The small nose number code supplied for A68-520 is incorrect IAW image on SCM P154. The image shows the numbers to read ‘20’ not ‘520’.

The 'Guidebook'

The set comes with a four page A5 ‘guidebook’ that has the following information:

  • A brief history of the Mustang and its use by Australia.

  • Three view profiles of each aircraft covering both left and right hand views with a top view and a scrap view of the lower wing. This includes painting guide, notes on antenna placement and stores carried by the aircraft.

  • Propeller detail covering the aeroproducts propeller as used on these aircraft.

  • A brief history of the nose art used on A68-520 and its origins.

  • A small note on the use of the canvas storage bag in the cockpit used by the RAAF.

  • Details of the equipment used by the pilots at the time.

Recommendation

This is the first time I have seen this manufactures decal sets despite hearing about them a great deal on the AMI discussion forum. Unfortunately though I can’t recommend this set as it is poorly printed and I believe that the accuracy of some of the markings is lacking. For the asking price of $39.95 I also expect a great deal more than what is supplied considering comparable sets from other manufacturers are half the price and better quality. I have received a number of comments by people who have used the Aero Imageworks decals and the quality seems to vary. Some of the sets are reported to be very nice but others are as poor as this set.