"I think I've cracked the code! After a couple of tries I've hit upon what I think is the perfect solution for replicating the nail heads on the bare plywood fuselage of Albatros fighters. These are laser printed on a continuous clear coat, so the closer you trim them, the less visible decal film you'll have. The paper I use is the same outstanding quality stuff that F-Dcal uses. It's traditional water slide decal paper, and the clear film is very thin and responds perfectly to any kind of decal setting solution (which you really won't even need). The nail heads are spaced from close-up photos of a D.Va. I first thought they might be too stark, but in 1/32 scale they look just about perfect as you can see in the attached photo. Note this is the decal applied to bare plastic with no kind of undercoat, overcoat, or anything. Applied to a glossed surface and with a coat of clear over the top and the clear film will disappear completely.
You get a full sheet of 8.5x11" decal paper of nail heads with consistent spacing (note - all of the D.V stuff I measured had essentially the same spacing). That comes out to something like 400 scale meters (over 1200 scale feet) of nail heads, enough to do several 1/32 models with plenty to spare.
You can order them directly from me for US $10 for a sheet, plus $2 (US addresses) or $5 (overseas) for postage. Paypal only please, to this email address
Be sure to give me your correct mailing address.
How to apply
They are typical in their make-up of waterslide ink based decals. Their worst problem can be fracturing and tearing. But the method that you use to lay them down makes all the difference.
First, do yourself a favor and spray the section you are working from with a clear gloss. Once this begins to dry it bonds the surface and when dry to the touch will keep fracturing and tearing on the edges to a minimum. Do this at least twice. Also, if you apply clear lacquer, plan on using these within 12 hours.
Second, remember always use a "new" blade to cut the sections of the strip. Do not use scissors on this type of decal.
Third, always use hot water to submerge the cut decal section in. Work one piece / section at a time.
Fourth, lay down liberally a decal setting fluid (Microscale blue script on the bottle).
Fifth, Move the decal section in place and after a few minutes roll the brush you applied the setting fluid with - over the decal and smear any excess fluid out over the adjacent areas.
Sixth, add liberal amounts of decal solvent or Sol (Microscale red script on the bottle). I usually hit the decal at least twice or even three times. When the decal wrinkles, it is working. Don't touch the decal at this Point.
When you get good at this you will be able to lay down up-to three decal sections at one time with very pleasing results.
Albatros D.Va German Fighter of WWI by Robert Mikesh, Smithsonian Inst. Press.
When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Unique subject matter. Will add detail not easily done in any other manner.Lows: Decals come on a solid clear carrier and might be better served in strips.Verdict: A worthwhile investment.
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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...