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HobbyDecal 1/32 F-15E Strike Eagle Stencils Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2005 Manufacturer HobbyDecal
Subject F-15E Strike Eagle Stencils Scale 1/32
Set Number ST32052V1 Pros Very nice dry-transfers
Cons Skill Level Basic
MSRP (USD) $16.13

First Look

This is my first glimpse at this line from HobbyDecal and let tell you, these are impressive! These are not decals, these are dry transfers. This set provides a HUGE array of maintenance stencils for the 1/32 Tamiya (or Revell) F-15E Strike Eagle. To my tired eyes, the printing quality looks good, but when I scanned these at high resolution, I found that the printing is very sharp. I can read the smallest stencil!

HobbyDecal HobbyDecal

The compete set of stencils are provided on two sheets, one large that also has the national markings, slime lights, and air refueling recepticle outline. The second sheet has the remaining array of jack points, lift points and warning markings.

So why would you want to use these dry transfers instead of decals that are usually half the price? Two reasons - time and precision. When you use waterslide decals, you can only apply so many at a time before you run the risk of damaging or moving some while applying more. All you can do is stop after so many, wait for the 30-60 minutes for them to dry, then press on. With dry transfers, once they're rubbed into place, they're done. You can keep going as long as your attention span holds out.

As for precision, waterslide decals sometimes have a tendency to float if you haven't completely dried out the surrounding fluids. You might find a marking or two that have migrated into a new position or attitude before drying. Worse yet, the more decals you apply, the greater the chances for silvering - a decal that didn't properly adhere to the surface of the model. Against the backdrop of the dark color worn by the Mud Hen, any silvered decal would telegraph its presence to the casual observer. With dry transfers, there is never an issue with moving markings nor silvering. As with most computer programs you see these days, what you see is what you get.

If you want to go to the trouble of adding all of those maintenance stencils without the risks associated with conventional decals, these nice dry transfers are your ticket to success. Highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Design & Marketing International for this review sample!