The Polish book publisher has diversified for modellers by producing its first standalone decals. Key Model World’s samples include these sheets for the P-51D and A6M2 Model 21.
Most modellers will recognise Kagero as a busy publisher of high-quality reference books for those building in aircraft, military and maritime genres. Popular imprints include Topcolors, Topdrawings and Monographs. The firm made a partial step towards decal production with its recent Camouflage & Decals items, which combine softback books with relevant decals. Now, though, the firm has gone the whole hog and issued standalone decal packages, most being printed in 1/72 and 1/48 scale.
Here we focus on sheets for the North American P-51D/K Mustang and Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 Zero. Both are ideal for 1/48 kits released recently by Eduard, although the Mustang markings can also be employed on kits by Airfix, Tamiya and the like. Item KD 48004 P-51D/K Mustang Part 1, offers markings for a quartet of airframes, all in bare metal but with different colour accents, two examples being rather well known. Two of the machines in question do not sport the dorsal fin fillet:
• P-51D-10-NA, 44-14164/E2-D Detroit Miss, Lt Urban L Drew, 375th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, Little Walden, Essex, UK, October 1944
• P-51D-5-NA, 44-13263/WD-D Jo-Baby…, Lt Robert H McCampbell, 4th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Group, Fifteenth Air Force, Madna, Italy, August 1944
• P-51D-5-NA, 44-13382/MX-I February, Lt James L Brooks, 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, Fifteenth Air Force, San Severo, Italy, August 1944
• P-51K-5-NT, 44-11568/B7-H Ferocious Frankie, Lt Col Wallace E Hopkins, 374th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, Little Walden, Essex, UK, October 1944
The decal sheet is printed by long-time expert Cartograf, therefore the quality is assured. Carrier film is thin and glossy, the colours rich. Note, though, that stencilling is not included. However, a handsome A4 instruction booklet is provided, with colour four-view drawings of each airframe. A useful inclusion on the drawings is that of scale measurements for invasion stripes and colour/ID bands. Also featuring are two pages of quality full-colour walk-round photos of the undercarriage areas of a P-51 ‘warbird’.
For fans of the Japanese A6M2 Model 21 Zero, Kagero offers package KD 48005, which also caters for four airframes, with differing camouflage… an unusual example in overall Imperial Japanese Navy Green, another with this colour over IJN Grey, and two wearing overall IJN Grey, with different tail and fuselage bands. This set also has a splendid instruction booklet in similar format, although instead of walk-round shots you get four period photos, plus a page featuring positioning annotations for the self-adhesive canopy and Hinomaru insignia masks also provided. The airframes are:
• 03-51, 203rd Kokutai, Kataoka air base, Shimushu Island, the Kurils, 1944
• B11-144, Hiryu Air Group, 4th FCU during attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (second wave), December 7, 1941
• V-158, Tainan Kokutai, New Guinea, summer 1942
• 8-26, 265th Kokutai, Saipan
This is a thoughtful move by Kagero, with more subjects on the cards that will please a wide variety of modellers. These two sheets cost €10.50 each direct from Kagero. Look out for more news on other decal sets from this producer soon...