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woody37

Aztec Decals - War for the Malvinas / Falklands Part 1 (1:48/1:72)

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War for the Malvinas / Falklands Part 1 Decals



Aztec Models - 1:48 & 1:72

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Following a long standing dispute over the sovereignty of the Malvinas / Falkland Islands, war officially broke out 30 years ago on 2nd April 1982 when Argentine forces invaded the Islands. In response the British sent a task force to counter the invasion and fight to recapture the territory. The battle that followed was a challenge for both sides. For the British, the challenge was deploying a force so far from home with limited land platforms to supply the effort. For the Argentineans, despite occupying the Islands, only one airfield out of the three (Stanley) was paved but it still wasn't long enough to operate the fast jets from, so they had to carry out their attacks from the Argentine mainland. The British only had 42 Harriers to counter the attacking aircraft which comprised approximately 50 air superiority fighters and 70 attack aircraft. Initial attacks on Stanley were carried out by Vulcan bombers in the historic Black Buck raids successfully completing 8000 mile round trip missions from the British airfield at Ascension. The war caught the world by surprise and indeed created some challenging political situations where some nations officially backed Britain's interests, but were none the less committed to supporting the Argentineans with the technology that they had supplied to them. Initial attacks on British ships were carried out by A-4 Skyhawks, Mirage III's, Canberra's as well is Israeli supplied Daggers. The initial Daggers fared well boosting pilot confidence in the aircrafts ability to survive modern combat but later a Canberra and a Dagger were lost to defending Sea Harriers. On a subsequent combat between Harriers and Mirage III's one Mirage was shot down and another was damaged. Short of fuel, it tried to land at the Argentinian occupied Stanley airfield but was shot down by friendly fire. Although night combat air patrols were performed by the Harriers, they were deemed too valuable during the day role to make a major commitment during the dark hours. Following the initial Canberra loss, subsequent missions for this type of aircraft were only performed by night. The A-4's and Daggers continued in the Strike Role where as the Mirage was used as decoys to lure the Harriers away from the attack aircraft. Lack of A-A missiles and refuelling capabilities limited it's potential other than in this role. After a successful recapture of South Georgia by British forces, the full effort was turned to the Falklands. 74 days after the invasion by Argentinian forces, the islands were recaptured and the Argentinian forces surrendered. The conflict cost the lives of 649 Argentineans military personnel, 255 British and 3 civilian islanders.

The pack

Aztec have provided these decals in two scales, 1:72 (set D72-048) and 1:48 (set D48-048).

The decals come on three sheets with two colour and two B&W sheets of instructions. I'm really impressed with the amount of individual aircraft that are catered for in this set. If you enjoy building your models with themes and have been looking to do a Falklands one, then you'll be very happy with this set.

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The aircraft you can build are:

British

Sea Harrier FRS.1 800 Sqn - XZ457, ZA193

Sea Harrier FRS.1 801 Sqn - XZ451, ZA175, ZA190

Sea Harrier FRS.1 809 Sqn - ZA177, ZA192

Sea King HAS.2, 825 Sqn RN - No. 97

Lynx HAS.2, 815 Sqn - XZ247, XZ691, XZ720, XZ728

Wasp HAS.1 - XT429, XS539

Argentinian

A-4Q 1 ANAS Argentine Navy - 3-A-301, 3-A-304, 3-A-305, 3-A-307, 3-A-309, 3-A-312 (with selection of pre & wartime colours)

A-4P Grupo 5 de Caza, Argentine Airforce - C0207, C-222, C-228, C-236, C-242

Canberra 2BS, Argentine Airforce - B-108 (Not included in 1:48 set)

Mirage IIIEA Argentine Airforce - I-018, I-019, ?

MB339, Argentine Navy - 4-A-115

Pucara, Grupo de Ataque 3, Argentine Airforce - A-506, A-528, A-537

Sea King SH-3, Argentine Navy - 2-H-233, 2-H-235

Lynx, Argentine Navy - 3-H-142

The Reference Material

The instructions have lots of good and a few bad points. There is a wealth of information about colour schemes with plenty of side profiles and painting tips, for example explaining the variation in colour that can be found on the camouflaged Skyhawks. There are also photographs of the real aircraft and information about who flew the aircraft which makes for an interesting read. The slight downside is that the profiles are quite small and there is a lack of 3 view profiles, so you will probably need some support reference material to assist applying some of the decals. How readily available this support information is to come by, I don't know, so some replies from experts with good reference links would be most welcome. One of the things I really like is a paint chart for the aircraft contained that shows the paint numbers for the different paint manufacturers in comparison to the BS number - Humbrol, Model Master, Tamiya & Revell. Clearly a lot of research has gone into creating this set by Aztec and they've really tried to squeeze as much value into the set as possible reflected by the fact that you can build up to 38 aircraft from the set !

guides.jpg

The Decals

The decal sheets are jammed with detail, and very fine detail it is. There are three sheets that contain not only the aircraft markings, but a wealth of stencils. On the whole, the register is very good and the colours sharp. The British high vis roundels suffer a slight overlap of the blue and red colours which is visible if you look closely. There are some small British low vis roundels where the pink part is very slightly off centre to the surrounding blue. How noticeable this will be when on the kit I don't know. I'm trying to be objective and critical here as is the responsibility of a reviewer, these really are minor issues in the overall excellent quality of the pack. In Aztecs intent to get as many decals onto a sheet as possible, care will need to be taken cutting the decals from the sheet as they are quite close together. I normally use a pair of scissors, but for these I would use a sharp scalpel knife.

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set-2.jpg

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Conclusion

With the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands war and the recent release of the Airfix 1:72 Skyhawk, this is a timely and exciting release by Aztec. There's a few minor issues as I've mentioned above, namely the aircraft profiles and the British roundels, but you don't get much more value crammed into a pack of decals than this. Clearly there are some key aircraft missing from the pack, Wessex, Argentine Hercules and Vulcan stand out, so I suspect Part 2 will be just as welcome as this. As mentioned in the review, the Canberra isn't included in the 1/48 set. If you have the remotest interest in the Falklands conflict and build in either 1/72 or 1/48th, you really need a pack of these in your collection !

Review sample courtesy of

aztec.GIF

Available direct or from most large Model Retailers

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Having had a look at these I can certainly say they looked great.

Julien

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Thanks, this is a useful review and further confirmation that I need this set - it's on order with Hannants in 1/48. Minor quibble with your beginners' intro about the Falklands War (which many of us recall very clearly - I'm the same age as those Harrier pilots) - when you write, "The initial Daggers fared well boosting pilot confidence in the aircrafts ability to survive modern combat but later a Canberra and a Dagger were lost to defending Sea Harriers," I think from memory the schedule of events is a little out. The first Dagger loss, to an AIM-9L fired by Pertie Penfold of 800 Sq, I think took place very shortly before the engagement in which Barton & Thomas of 801 Sq downed those two Mirage IIIs; the Canberra went down a bit later on the same day.

The Aztec set has a very interesting mix of types and individual aircraft and I look forward to seeing it, though I'm concerned at what you say re the B-108 Canberra not being in the 1/48 set - i don't recall any mention of this when inspecting it on Hannants' site, will double check.

Tony

Edited by corporate

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Thanks Tony. I only have the 1/72 set which says in the instructions that the Canberra decals are 1/72 only. Perhaps Dave (Shar2) can confirm as he has the 1/48 set. I'll PM him and ask him to confirm.

Cheers, Neil

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I have the 1:48 set, and it definitely states that the Canberra is only available in 1:72. For the Canberra you have to buy Aztec decals Falklands Canberra set 48-027.

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Thanks chaps - I just checked on Hannants site and the description alongside the 1/48 set AZD4848 clearly states that it includes the Canberra, and the illustration shows it. So Hannants must be at fault. I shall bring this to their attention. The set is still very worthwhile though the absence of B-108 would be regrettable - it's one of the two Canberras I would choose to model.

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Probably as its just too much to include on the 1:48 and they already do it on another Canberra sheet.

To be honest I had both the 1:48 & 1:72 sheets in my hands and I missed that it was not on the 1:48 sheet. Even missing those decals its still a pretty comprehensive set of decals, and as they call it Part 1 there should be more to come.

Julien

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