Monday, December 30

We try out the Decals of the new Red Series from Kagero - Mustangs over Europe Part I

The P-51D “Mustang’s Over Europe Pt.I is Kagero’s latest in their “Red Series” of decal sets – these are basically pretty posh decal sheets with a colour brochure and decals printed by Cartograf – we have reviewed the previous P-51D Pacific Mustangs and the He-111 decals in this series – they were pretty good – will these ones match up? Let’s see the book and apply the decals to see.

Kagero Publishing
1/72 + 1/48th + 1/32nd scales. – (1/48th reviewed here)
Nos. 303 & 309 Squadrons
Maciej Góralczyk, Janusz Światłoń

…It seems the P-51 Mustang is a popular aircraft after all! – No great surprise? Well not to us – as this is the second P-51 decal set in the “Red Series” (there HAS been a He-111 in the series as well)….Revelations of this magnitude aside this is the first in the series of P-51 Mustang’s over Europe.

Covering Nos. 303 & 309 squadrons of the  Polish wings in the RAF these kites are all mustangs but two are camouflaged and one is in aircraft alluminum. One even has some sassy nose art in the guise of “Jean?” which will prove attractive to pilots. This book comes with a set of decals – in fact 1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/32nd scale are available so pretty much all Mustang lovers will be catered for  - except the 1/144 guys – sorry boys!
This thin book could almost be called a booklet (does anyone know the difference?) it has twelve pages in A4 landscape. Printed in colour it is mostly taken up with the profiles of both sides of three aircraft -

- Mustang III FZ111, coded WC-V, usually flown by F/L Mieczysław Gorzula; No. 309 (Polish) Squadron, No. 133 (Polish) Wing, based at RAF Andrews Field, UK, May 1945,

- Mustang IV KH663, coded PD-L, usually flown by W/O Leszek Bisanz; No. 303 (Polish) Squadron, 3rd Polish Fighter Wing, based at RAF Hethel, UK, 1946,

- Mustang IVA KM112, coded PD-D, assigned to S/L Witold Łokuciewski; No. 303 (Polish) Squadron, 3rd Polish Fighter Wing, based at RAF Hethel, UK, 1946.
These three aircraft were all flown by Polish pilots in Polish squadrons. This isn’t hardly the P-51’s most people will be thinking about in the “Over Europe” series of Mustangs – but it makes sense to the Polish Publishers and it is nice to have some RAF/Polish schemes for some diversity really. There are LOTS of  US aircraft already out there already. Each of these aircraft have a little key on the pages showing the actual aircraft colours and the artwork on the nose or aircraft blown up several times to a visible size.

Both undersides and the top of the aircraft are shown – as should well be the case with decals – and there are references given on the page as well. There is a brief written history of all three of these aircraft in the back of the book as well which adds to the connection.
These colour profiles are accompanied by five period photographs showing these aircraft in service with the people who were with them every day. There are little nuances of the aircraft markings picked out by the author - this is great to have and it gives you a lot of confidence in the research process by the authors.
But the poshest decal booklet in history isn’t anything without the decals to go with it is it? There is the 210x140 mm decal sheet which is printed by Cartograf from Italy – it gives you the individual aircraft and the national markings for all three of these kites – the decals are clearly printed down to the smallest writings and they are in register with the whites not opaque at all – below Is the 48th scale sheet with a 1 penny coin placed in the middle for scale.
What good is looking at a decal sheet without trying them out – we have already tried the other two “Red Series” decals so we thought we would apply these to our trusty test sheet of wood that we have painted Olive green and silver for just this purpose. Note that it is a little bumpy which you can see in this texture of the photo.

The decals settled in very well with the help of some of Danny Daco’s decal setting fluid. The bumps of the wood were sucked down on pretty well – we only had a little lip of carrier film showing on the darker coloured bit of board. This would probably disappear under another coat of setting fluid. It was nigh invisible under the siver colour.

These are actually held to the light so you can see every lump and bump of the wooden surface and any carrier film detail - not bad at all
So there you have it – some different markings for your Mustang with a lot of good reference to go with them – in all three major aircraft scales, these decals settle down very well and stay together when handled with even little care (I applied these decals rather quickly) This is a great little set and we are looking forward to the next lot of Mustangs – or any others in this “Red” series from Kagero.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Kagero for sending this decal package for us to review – they are available from the
Kagero site but they are now available from their distributors Casemate Publishing and MMD Squadron as well as other retailers in various countries.