Red Roo Decals


RRD4863 1/48 RAAF Ansons - 71 SQN and 1 Air Observer's School, mid WWII (Digitial silk decals)


Review by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/48

Price:

$20.00 AUD from Red Roo

Contents and Media:

1 x sheet of decals and the instruction sheet

Advantages:

Good colour

Disadvantages:

Slightly feathered edge on roundels

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

During WWII the Anson was well used int eh RAAF with over 1000 airframs to use for training, communications flights, and Maritime Surveillance. Despite it being acknowledged as having insufficient range and payload to conduct Maritime Surveillance in Australia there was no real options for the RAAF so they used what they had and formed three new Maritime Squadrons to conduct the task. Equipped with Ansons, 66, 67 and 71 Squadrons were created to fly anti submarine and surveillance patrols.

71 Squadron was formed in January 1943 at RAAF Lowood from aircraft and personnel from No 8 Service Flying Training School which ended up being spread acorss Queensland and New South Wales in different Flights. While several sightings of submarines were made they did not sink any and the Squadron was disbanded in August 1944.

The Decals

This set of decals is an unusual one for Red Roo as they are digitally silk screen printed on a continuous film of decal sheet. This new process is used for short runs of decals unlike traditional production methods which cost a great deal and require a large number of prints to make worth while. They look unusual to me as they are not as cleanly printed when you look closely nor appear to be as solid in colour as the normal decals from Red Roo. I highly doubt it would make any difference on a model due to you needing to look very closely at the markings to see it as well as being under varnishes and weathering.

The colours of the decals is quite nice and look good in comparison to the reference images provided.

 

The decals cover the following aircraft:

I do like the variety of the schemes with the different decals and the trial scheme for the first aircraft.

The instructions

The instructions are in the familiar format of the first two pages having a short description of the unit and aircraft covered by the decal sheet as well as the colour key showing the various colours in use on the sheet. The next three pages cover the profiles of the aircraft then you are given a number of reference images of the actual aircraft and an Anson that is being rebuilt at the South Australian Aviation Museum in Adelaide.

Recommendation

I highly recommend the set as they cover an area that will only have a small interest in the modelling community due to the aircraft type (it isn't an 109/190 or Mustang). They are only slightly bought down by the feathering on the edges of the roundels but this is very minor and due to the process and technology rather than poor printing or workmanship. The variety and colours bring the set up to highly recommended.

If we are lucky we may see an article on the Digital Silk Decals process that will explain this new system.