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RidgeRunner

U.S. AIR FORCE and USAF decals 1/72

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Hi all, 

 

After being a slave to the process of drawing and printing my own custom decals for so long for this, including serials and buzz numbers, I'm thinking about what alternatives there are on the market. What I am talking about are the black and insignia blue version pre-SEA. I use Amarillo font on my PC, printing on clear sheet. My question is about what is available on the market. I'd appreciate your collective thoughts. I know know that Aeromaster produced a good looking set, as did Rocketeer, but my attempts at finding these have failed. They seem to be out of production. 

 

Thanks in advance for your input :)

 

Martin

Edited by RidgeRunner

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I've only seen Rocketeer's Insignia Blue decals. I have one sheet and have been looking for more myself, but as you say, they are out of production and never even seem to show up of ebay. Many modelers of USAF aircraft (as well as kit manufacturers) seem to be unaware that they carried Insignia Blue markings in the first place,

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Martin,

 

Techmod 72-110 U.S. serial letter/numbers, 45-degree corners, black (I think I have some others- will go thru my decal sheet inventory.)

Mike

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16 minutes ago, Space Ranger said:

Many modelers of USAF aircraft (as well as kit manufacturers) seem to be unaware that they carried Insignia Blue markings in the first place,

That might be because for decades the model companies referenced museum aircraft. Not all of which are 100% reliable reproductions. They probably got rolls of film, measurements, & a blueprint/schematic. Then were told here you go we need a model in 12-18 months. Speaking from personal experience Museums aren't the greatest restorers of aircraft. This is including the USAF Museum and other Nat’l museums. Ive been a member of a museum that restored an aircraft. We messed up on the markings 24 years ago. Now i’ve been to the USAF Museum 15+ times since the early 80’s. The lighting in there is atrocious for photography. To add to the issue flash photo’s aren't allowed, ask me how i know. 😡 So to be fair until a lot of data was released many years later, after declassification. Few if any knew the codes were in Ins. Blue outside of Maintenance personel. The photo’s all looked black and they did the best they could with the data they had. 

 

Dennis

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Absolutely, Dennis. It looks like I'll be sticking with printing my own, I guess ;). I agree completely. Museum exhibits should never be used as a guide. They invariably have bits missing and the wrong colours/inaccurate schemes. I avoid colour profiles too as they are very subjective.

 

Thanks Mike. ;)

 

You're right, Space Ranger. The differences are very subtle and only apparent in some lights, of course.

 

My real question was about sourcing the "USAF", "U.S. AIR FORCE" decals. I can't find these anywhere. Clarly there is a need out there!

 

Martin 

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Hi Martin,

 

Just a question out of curiosity -- does your Amarillo type font allow for printing in different sizes, or like the one I have is it one size only?

 

Ed

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49 minutes ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Hi Martin,

 

Just a question out of curiosity -- does your Amarillo type font allow for printing in different sizes, or like the one I have is it one size only?

 

Ed

I use Paint.net and can print Amarillo font any size I need

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I'm certainly in the market for some dark blue USAFs for the wings of my next F-51H. Any clues v welcome.

 

Justin

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Probably not a lot of help but Microscale sheets 72-231featured blue letters & numbers & 72-251 USAF & US AIR FORCE. Don't know if they did any others.

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2 hours ago, spaddad said:

Probably not a lot of help but Microscale sheets 72-231featured blue letters & numbers & 72-251 USAF & US AIR FORCE. Don't know if they did any others.

 

72-251 looks to be exactly what I need but they dont seem to be available anywhere :(. Thanks mate.

 

Martin

3 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Hi Martin,

 

Just a question out of curiosity -- does your Amarillo type font allow for printing in different sizes, or like the one I have is it one size only?

 

Ed

 

Any size I want, Ed. I draw them out in Photoshop.

 

Martin

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Caracal do a sheet of the small "U.S. AIR FORCE" (tail, above the s/n) on their 1/48 F-86 sheets CDB 48002 (rounded NAA font).

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I have been using the Amarillo font and can change sizes easily from within my word processor and presentation software (Apache Open Office).  I just change the font size.  For example, 10 pt is 6" in 72nd, and 36 pt is 20",  There is also the font USN Stencil which has the 60° Navy and Marine lettering.  The sizes work out pretty much the same although 36 Pt USN Stencil is 21" in 72nd instead of 20" for Amarillo.  Back in the 60s and 70s I would have understood the manufactures not understanding that the U.S. Air Force and USAF had to be in gloss insignia blue because they probably didn't have much access to the late T.O. 1-1-4 or its immediate predecessors.  Now there is no excuse for not doing it the correct way when making decals for non-camoflauged aircraft.  1-1-4 is easily available on-line in several of its variations until it was discontinued a little over 20 years ago.

Later,

Dave

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Looking through my S/Scale catalogue I see that 72-188 is US Air Force fuselage lettering(various sizes), 72-189 is USAF wing lettering, 72-216 is US ID letters & numbers(60 degree)' 72-234 id letters. There are various sheets of individual subjects with blue lettering ie 72-176,177 (F-100's). hth cheers Chris

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Re "U.S.AIR FORCE" and "USAF" markings, there are a few around. Aeromaster used to do a set (AN72228), but they appear to be out of production. It's also the case that every set I've seen is a slightly different blue which doesn't help!

 

This is something that USAFline might consider doing - the complexity is the need for multiple sheets to give a reasonable number of copies of each size on a sheet...

 

Chris

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20 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

That might be because for decades the model companies referenced museum aircraft. Not all of which are 100% reliable reproductions. They probably got rolls of film, measurements, & a blueprint/schematic. Then were told here you go we need a model in 12-18 months. Speaking from personal experience Museums aren't the greatest restorers of aircraft. This is including the USAF Museum and other Nat’l museums. Ive been a member of a museum that restored an aircraft. We messed up on the markings 24 years ago. Now i’ve been to the USAF Museum 15+ times since the early 80’s. The lighting in there is atrocious for photography. To add to the issue flash photo’s aren't allowed, ask me how i know. 😡 So to be fair until a lot of data was released many years later, after declassification. Few if any knew the codes were in Ins. Blue outside of Maintenance personel. The photo’s all looked black and they did the best they could with the data they had. 

 

Dennis

Also, the "buzz numbers" themselves SHOULD be Insignia Blue (per TO 1-1-4) but most manufacturers who DO get the "U.S.AIR FORCE" right do the buzz numbers in black...

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If it's of any help for PYO, the following values are for FS15044 Insignia Blue:

CMYK: 20; 12; 0; 70

sRGB: 61; 67; 76

Hex: #3D434C

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Another option for doing your own is to use a program like Inkscape.  Write whatever you'd like in the Amarillo font but then, select what you've written and use the "Object to Path" command to turn the font into a graphic object.  You can then manipulate the whole thing as a graphic object rather than a character from a font.  Change the fill color, spacing, whatever.  The letters are no longer letters.  They've become graphic entities that you can manipulate as much as you'd like.

Edited by uncletommy
Old, fat fingers.

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2 hours ago, UKPonchoMan said:

This is something that USAFline might consider doing - the complexity is the need for multiple sheets to give a reasonable number of copies of each size on a sheet...

But Aeromaster and Rocketeer achieved it. They could use the same layout

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3 hours ago, chris57 said:

Looking through my S/Scale catalogue I see that 72-188 is US Air Force fuselage lettering(various sizes), 72-189 is USAF wing lettering, 72-216 is US ID letters & numbers(60 degree)' 72-234 id letters. There are various sheets of individual subjects with blue lettering ie 72-176,177 (F-100's). hth cheers Chris

Thanks Chris but finding them is the challenge! :(. There is a decal manufacturers business opportunity here! 

 

Martin

 

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3 hours ago, chris57 said:

Looking through my S/Scale catalogue I see that 72-188 is US Air Force fuselage lettering(various sizes), 72-189 is USAF wing lettering, 72-216 is US ID letters & numbers(60 degree)' 72-234 id letters. There are various sheets of individual subjects with blue lettering ie 72-176,177 (F-100's). hth cheers Chris

But those are no longer produced.

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8 hours ago, e8n2 said:

1-1-4 is easily available on-line in several of its variations until it was discontinued a little over 20 years ago.

1-1-4 discontinued??? What replaced it?

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It's quite remarkable that such a situation as this exists 60 or so years after plastic scale modelling as we tend to know it started. Contrast this with the provision of RAF serials & codes in various colours & sizes etc. Hopefully some decal manufacturer will come forward & fill the void.

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41 minutes ago, spaddad said:

It's quite remarkable that such a situation as this exists 60 or so years after plastic scale modelling as we tend to know it started. Contrast this with the provision of RAF serials & codes in various colours & sizes etc. Hopefully some decal manufacturer will come forward & fill the void.

Hopefully!

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