The decals included with Trumpeter's Me 262 are fine, but the colour schemes aren't particularly exciting. EagleCals sheets #95 and #96 are much more interesting, with 3 x schemes on each offering a good variety of camouflage and markings. The decals themselves are custom-printed by Microscale, so the quality pretty much speaks for itself; the decals are thin and glossy with spot-on registration.
The decals on each sheet provide 2 x sets of national markings and 3 x sets of individual insignia. The kit sheet is to be used for the stencils. Each scheme is illustrated with a large colour profile and smaller plan views. These are backed up with detailed notes describing the colours used and any peculiarities in the scheme and how the aircraft was equipped.
What really sets EagleCals releases apart from other aftermarket decals producers is the quality of their research. As a specialist book publisher with an extensive collection of period photos, EagleCals are better placed than most to apply the most extensive research possible to their decal releases. Their previous sheets have been impressive, but this time they go one step further with an addition which just makes you wish all decal sheets were produced this way; they include reference photos... This is an inspired move - there's simply no substitute for studying photos of the actual subjects so you can form your own opinion.
EagleCals Sheet EC #95
1: "Yellow 3", W. Nr. unknown, III./KG(J) 54, May 1945, Mϋnchen-Riem. This aircraft has RLM 83 applied thinly over the upper surfaces with dark puttied panel lines showing through. The vertical tail has the distinctive stencilled camouflage often associated with Kommando Novotny machines while the fuselage has a blue and white chequered Reichs defence band plus the Totenkopf emblem carried over from KG54. There's evidence of overpainted markings with dark patches on the rear fuselage and a stripe under the cockpit which presumably covers a chevron.
2: "Red 13", W. Nr. 110559 III./EJG 2, March/April 1945, Lechfield. The personal mount of Heinz Bär. This machine has previously been depicted with RLM 81/82 upper surfaces but, while Eagle Editions point out that the upper surface colours of Red 13 are unknown, comparisons with colour photos of later aircraft in the same production batch indicate that it may have been camouflaged with RLM 74/75 upper surfaces.
3: "Green 1", W. Nr. unknown, III./JG 7, April 1945. This aircraft carries a very distinctive hard-edged pattern of RLM 81 or 83 stripes over RLM 82. The machine is armed with a pair 21cm rockets mounted under the forward fuselage.
EagleCals Sheet EC #96
1: "Yellow 5", W. Nr. 110007, III./JG 7, 8 May 1945, Celle-Hamburg. This aircraft is camouflaged in RLM 81/82 upper surfaces, with heavy additional mottling in the same colours. The cowlings have unpainted and primed panels while the rear fuselage carries JG 7's classic red/blue Reichs defence band.
2: "Yellow 3", W. Nr. 501221, III./JG 7, April 1945, Kolze. Camouflaged in RLM 81/82 upper surfaces, again with the red/blue Reichs defence band, this time with an addition yellow bar.
"Yellow 5", W. Nr. 501232, KG(J) 6, May 1945. Camouflaged in RLM 81/82 upper surfaces, this aircraft was previously thought to be part of a factory protection flight and has often been illustrated with a green/blue chequered band on the fuselage. New information indicates the machine was assigned to KG(J) 6 and was decorated with a red/black chequer.
All the aircraft are depicted with RLM 76 undersides as per factory standards.
Both sets are beautifully printed and packaged. The inclusion of reference photos is an excellent addition. Thoroughly recommended for anyone building Trumpeter's Me 262.
Eagle Editions Ltd.
P.O. Box 580
Thank you to Eagle Editions for kindly supplying the review samples.
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