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Modelers' Guide to Aftermarket Aircraft Decals

Modelers' Guide to Aftermarket Aircraft Decals Book Review

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2018 Title Modelers' Guide to Aftermarket Aircraft Decals
Author Jay Sherlock Publisher Aero Research
ISBN 978-0-9851154-5-6 Published 2018
Format 861 pages, pdf MSRP (USD) $13.95


Here is the first edition of a new aircraft modeler's reference - aftermarket aircraft decals. Having compiled and published the Air Intelligence series back in the 1990s, I am painfully aware of the amount of work that it takes to compile such information. The editor/author states right up front that this is a work in progress as there are decal sheets being released even as this title went into 'print' as well as more information coming through about decal brands and specific releases that might have been overlooked. Nevertheless, this title is 861 pages, so make no mistake, there is a ton of work already in here.

The title looks at decals that were produced for kits starting in 1960 and range in scale from 1/16 to 1/200. The listings are organized by manufacturer, scale, and product number, and each entry provides the title of the release (i.e. Airbus A321 CSA or US Navy Phantoms VF-84 'Jolly Rogers' F-4B/J/N). One or two representative images of a manufacturer's decals are usually included with each manufacturer's listing, when available. Nevertheless, there are 861 pages in here!

So what good is a huge electronic title listing decal titles? If you're trying to remember specific details of a decal sheet a given manufacturer you prefer might have released, you can look up that manufacturer through the table of contents. If you're looking for ideas, you can skim through the listings with ease. But if you're looking for decals for a given subject and scale like the He 111H or JG 54, I pressed CTRL-F (find) in Acrobat and searched. I am able to move from entry-to-entry to see what my options are, many of which I was unaware existed.

What this title does not do is list the individual subjects on each decal sheet (the title would span several thousand pages) nor does it indicate the usability of the decals (quality of the printing, ease of application, painful multi-layer stacking of decals, etc.). If you do find a subject of potential use, you can go online to see if anyone stocks the sheet or if it might be out for resale on places like eBay, or move on to the next entry in this title.

This is a handy reference that will make it easier to find decal options you may have forgotten or didn't know existed.

You can purchase this title or any of their photo CDs directly from their website or via email

My sincere thanks to Aero Research for this review sample!