First Look Review
Panavia Tornado GR.4/4a
Panavia Tornado GR.4/4a
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Fantasy Printshop have revisited the first of their Euro Decals sets of markings for the Tornado GR4/4A and re-released it in 1:48.

The new set includes markings for the same five RAF aircraft as before, with the Tornado's huge fin making the perfect canvas for some really spectacular on three of the subjects:

1. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA461, XV(R) Sqn., RAF Lossiemouth, 2015
2. Panavia Tornado GR.4A, s/n ZA405, 12 Sqn., RAF Lossiemouth, November 2015
3. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA542, “021”, 31 Sqn., Gioia del Colle, Italy, 2011
4. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA560, “EQ-B”, 41(R) TES Sqn., RAF Conningsby, 1917
5. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA412, 617 Sqn., RAF Lossiemouth, 2013/14

The set provides complete national and indivual markings for all five aircraft, and one change from the original set is that in 1:48 all the decals can be fitted onto a single sheet.

The decals are thin and glossy, with minimal excess backing film where the designs allow. Items such as the 617 Sqn. logo use the film to keep the various elements grouped correctly.

I was hugely impressed when I reviewed the set when it appeared originally in 1:32 (reviewed HERE), because Fantasy Printshop overlay so many colours with absolute precision instead of printing the designs as multiple layers for modellers to line up by eye.

That same pin sharp registration and sharpness is evident now in 1:48 - which perhaps makes it seem even more remarkable. For instance, the Fox's head for 12 Sqn. (shown in detail in the photos) is once again printed in 7 colours - all perfectly aligned. It really is quite phenomenally good!

Accompanying decals is a neat set of full colour instructions with left and right side profiles, plus top and bottom plan views. Colour matches are included for BS and FS standards, along with Humbrol, Xtracolour, Xtracrylix and Lifecolor model paints.

I thought the original largescale set was fabulous, and its smaller counterpart is equally spectacular. At £13.95 the sheet is excellent value for money - and there's not the same conundrum over which colour scheme to go for, because it's much more feasible for an individual modeller to have the space (and budget) to build all the subjects covered instead of sharing the sheet in a group build.

So, now modellers in 1:48 can join the party and share a real treat that was previously only available in 1:32. And those who prefer 1:72 won't be left out in the cold for long, because a set in that scale is on the way too. Highly recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Superb quality decals for 5 aircraft.
Lows: None noted.
Verdict: The smaller scale makes the sheer number of colour used and the flawless registration seem even more remarkable than in the earlier 1:32 set. Simply fantastic!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: ED-48117
  Suggested Retail: £13.95
  PUBLISHED: May 16, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Fantasy Printshop!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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