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In-Box Review
Instrument Gauges
Which way is up?
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


Aircraft instrumentation has grown from the rudimentary compass and clock to clusters of gauges that number in the hundreds within the confines of the typical aircraft cockpit. Itís a long way from the earliest days of flight to the present.


Thankfully for the modeler there are specialty companies that do almost every type of detail part for almost every kit. Resin and multi media are still alive and well in the modeling community. This is especially true for decals.

The small company of APC has given us two small sheets of instrumentation gauge faces for many WWI subjects in two popular scales. Basically they are coloured with black base with white numbers or white base with black numbers. (The exception is for the Allied compass and inclinometer face that has as red & blue divisions for the horizon.) These not only include types from manufacturers in the United Kingdom but Germany as well.

APC APC90001 84 @ Instruments 0,8 - 1,5 mm decals (1:48)
APC APC90002 84 @ Instruments 1,2 - 2,2 mm decals (1:32)

How to apply

They are typical in their make-up of modern 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. For these types a Waldron punch set is just the ticket.

Third, always use hot water to submerge the cut decal in. Work one item at a time.

Fourth, lay down 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 decal solvent or Sol (Microscale red script on the bottle). I usually hit the decal at least twice. When the decal wrinkles, it is working. Don't touch the decal at this Point.


Here is where you the modeler have to educate yourself. Each aircraft has differing layouts if their instrument gauges. Knowing what goes where would be much easier if the face decals were identified by type.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Clear crisp register.
Lows: Decals are not identified by use or type.
Verdict: For the knowlegable modeler these are good quality items and the price is right.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: APC90001 & 2
  Suggested Retail: $1.99
  Related Link: website
  PUBLISHED: Aug 04, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

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 ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. 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.


I have to add that service from WWIshop is very good. When I purchased the gauge sets the large scale set came to me damaged. After contact and a gentle reminder, they sent me 3 intact extras of both sets to apologize. Two thums up!
AUG 06, 2012 - 07:13 AM

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