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In-Box Review
Italian Bf 109 Aces Pt. 1
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Stormo! Online Magazine is well known for its excellent specialised coverage of Italian WW2 aviation. Vince Tassone who owns and runs the site also produces a growing range of high quality decal sheets featuring subjects from the Regia Aeronautica and ANR.

Previous Stormo! decal sheets have been in 1:48 only, but the latest series marks a move towards including 1:32 as well. "Italian Bf 109 Aces Vol. 1" is the first in a three part series that will feature Regia Aeronautica and ANR aces that flew the Messerschmitt Bf109 F, G and K.

Volume one features 5 x Bf 109Gs:

1: Bf 109G-6/R6/Trop. W.Nr 19421, flown by Tenente Ugo Drago, 363a Sq., 150 ͦ Gruppo, Sciacca, July 1943.
2: Bf 109G-6/R6/Trop. flown by Tenente Antonio Vizzotto, 150 ͦ Gruppo Autonomo, Sciacca, July 1943.
3: Bf 109G-6/R6/Trop. W.Nr 18391, flown by Capitano Mario Bellagambi, 363a Sq., 150 ͦ Gruppo, Sciacca, July 1943.
4: Bf 109G-6/Trop. W.Nr 18096, flown by Sottotenente Giuseppe Ruzzin, 154a Sq., 3 ͦ Gruppo, Comiso, July 1943.
5: Bf 109G-2/Trop. W.Nr 10610, flown by Tenente Giulio Reiner, 73a Sq., IX Gruppo, 4 ͦ Stormo, Ciampino, May-June 1943.

The decals themselves are beautifully printed by Cartograf. The individual items are thin and glossy, and the carrier film is crystal clear. Registration on the 1:48 sheet is absolutely perfect, but there is a tiny offset on the blue of the 150 ͦ Gruppo insignia on the 1:32 sample sheet. This is unfortunate on a sample, but this is almost certainly a one-off given Cartograf's reputation so I haven't reflected it in the score, but at least it proves the guys there are human like the rest of us!

The content of the sheets is basically the same in both scales, but the 1:48 set is able to make use of the extra space to include 4 full sets of nation insignia (as against 2 in 1:32). A nice touch in both scales is that extra numerals are included to allow modellers to depict other aircraft from the units as well as the aces' mounts. A small set of stencil markings is included to augment those in the kit decals.

As regards the colour schemes, they really should interest anyone looking to build a "Bf 109 with a difference". The standard Luftwaffe camouflage is partially over-painted with Italian colours (in very distinctive patterns in some cases) plus, of course, the striking new unit insignia.

Backing up the decals are 4 sides of colour A-4 profiles and plan views, accompanied by detailed captions and colour notes. Vince has prepared the artwork himself, and in a very neat idea shows the topside camouflage pattern with and without the Regia Aeronautica overpainting.

There's a helpful colour guide quoting the original RLM and Italian paint names, the nearest FS equivalent, and a PollyScale Acrylic match. Finally, completing a very comprehensive package, there's a list of suggested kits in both scales, and references for further study.

As a note to decal collectors, a strictly limited edition is available in each scale with different cover artwork for $16.99 .

Conclusion
This is my first chance to see Stormo! decals and I have to admit it just makes me regret what I've been missing out on. They're meticulously researched and beautifully presented. Bill Cross is going to put the 1:32 set to good use, while I'm already eyeing up my 1:48 stash for suitable victims, so you'll see the decals "in action" in due course in on Aeroscale. Highly recommended to both Bf 109 and Regia Aeronautica modellers.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.

SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent research and presentation, with the decals produced by one of the highest regarded custom-printers in the business.
Lows:
Verdict: Whether you're primarily interested in Italian WW2 aces or a Bf 109 builder looking for eyecatching alternative colour schemes, these are great decals. Any of the featured aircraft will stand out in a collection of "standard" '109s.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 48-004 & 32-001
  Suggested Retail: $14.99
  PUBLISHED: Aug 05, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Italy
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.13%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 91.67%

Our Thanks to Stormo! Online Magazine!
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)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

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 2019 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.



Comments

Thanks for the review, Rowan. I'll agree with you - STORMO! puts out some very nice, well-researched decals. Good stuff! -YL
AUG 07, 2010 - 05:37 PM
   

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