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Salmson 2A2 - 1:32 Pheon Decals


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Salmson 2A2

1:32 Pheon Decals

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Whatever attracts modellers to their specific area of interest, few would deny that markings form a central part of that attraction. Military units from as far back as history recalls have always sought to build their own identity and distinguish themselves from each other. On a personal level one of the most enjoyable aspects of planning a model is choosing its colour scheme and the markings for it to wear.

For an aircraft modeller, the Great war of 1914-18 offers perhaps the greatest range and variety of colour schemes and unit markings than any other period. Since Wingnut Wings beautiful 1:32nd scale models came on the market, Pheon Decals have taken up the challenge to research and produce some fascinating alternatives to the options offered in the standard kits. Lately they have turned their attention to the Salmson 2A2, which is an absolute goldmine of a subject. With extensive use by both the French and United States Air Forces, there are a lot of markings for 2A2 and Pheon have released three separate sets covering some of the most interesting. (In the lists, I have suffixed each one with a brief description in single quotes, as it hints at the interesting story that is behind each one).

Sheet 32048. Salmson 2A2 in French Service Volume 1.

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1 Serial not known, SPA 102. Overall silver.
2 serial 520 of SAL 1, Summer 1918. 'Winged snail'.
3 Serial XX(53?)47, Sal 14. 'Chimera holding shield'.
4 Serial 5351 (speculative) SAL 17, Mayence-Gonsenhein (Mainz), Germany 1919. 'Pennant with devil headed leopard'.
5 Serial 490, SAL33. 'Red boarding axe'.
6 Serial 316, SAL 39. 'Bugle playing rabbit'.
7 Serial 5351, SAL 74. 'Black cat'.
8 Serial 5033 or 5039, SAL 263. 'Satyr riding winged wheel of fortune'.
9 Serial 798, SAL 288. 'Camel in desert'.

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Sheet 32049. Salmson 2A2 in French Service Volume 2.

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1 Serial no.563 (purely speculative), SAL 10, Winter 1918/19. 'Porcupine'.
2 Serial 26(5?) of SAL 16, April 1918, Pilot Asp. Paul Honnorat, Observer Lt Martin. 'Winged question mark'.
3 Serial 945, SAL 18. 'Prime Minister losing hat'.
4 Serial 5351 (speculative) SAL 32. 'Seagull & lifebelt'.
5 Serial 539 (or possibly 531) SAL 40. Pilot, Adjutant Marius Roche, October 1918. 'Red star pennant'.
6 Serial 479 SAL 58. 'Cockerel'.
7 Serial 359, SAL 70. 'Seagull'.
8 Serial 504, SAL 259. 'Flying ant with telescopes'.
9 Serial 4321, SAL 580. 'Dragonfly'.

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Sheet 32048. Salmson 2A2 in US and Polish Service.

1 Serial not known, 24th Aero Squadron, November 1918. 'Bald eagle & dachshund'
2 Serial not known, 88th Aero Squadron, Forces of Occupation, Trier, Germany, December 1918. 'Rodeo'.
3 Serial not known, 90th Aero Squadron, Lt Harvey Conover and 2nd Lt Valentine J Burger, October 1918. 'Seven up dice'.
4 Serial 986, 99th Aero Squadron, Lt Llewelyn, September 1918. 'Bison'.
5 Serial 5247, Capt. Clearton H Reynolds, 104th Aero Squadron, 11th November 1918. 'Winged sphynx'.
6 Serial not known, 258th Aero Squadron, Germany, May 1918. 'Lion of Belfort'.
7 Serial not known, 'Winius', 1 Eskadra Wywiadowcze, Polish Air Service, Ex SAL 585 French Aeronautique Militaire.'Red Devil'.

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Conclusion.

These are beautiful sets that are a perfect compliment to the equally beautiful Wingnut Wings kit. I particularly like the little snippets of information in the instructions,such as the information on the post war usage of Benjamin Rabier's caricatures. Anyone familiar with the 'Laughing cow' Cheese? The logo grew out of a play on words poking fun at the Germans in WW1.

As usual the research is exemplary, and where doubts occur you are given the information and reasoning behind the interpretation. Particularly useful is the detail of WNW part numbers for the alternate louvres and generators that are appropriate to each option. Also listed are the reference(s) used in the design of the decals for each of the aircraft.

The amount of time spent of researching and interpreting old photographs must make this a real labour of love for Pheon, which shows through on the quality of their decal sheets.

On the technical side, the decals themselves are beautifully printed by Fantasy Printshop. There is minimal carrier film and the printing is pin sharp and all in perfect register. WW1 colours are notoriously difficult to define with absolute certainty, but Pheon are masters at the art of colour interpretation of monochrome photos. Therefore the colours on all of these sheets look to be 'right' in tone, hue, and brightness. Having used Pheon decals in the past I can confirm that they work beautifully and are a delight to use.

The only problem you will have with any of these three sheets is selecting which one to use on your model. It may be that you will have to build more than one Salmson A2A, and that can only be a good thing :) .



Review sample courtesy of Pheon Decals

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