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KP 1/72 LVG C.VI 'German Service" - quality of decals?


TheKinksFan

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Quite often KP's decals are out of register and probably awful in other ways too. Has anyone bought this latest re-box "German Service" 72402? Mojehobby.pl has a photo of the decals, but it's hard to tell if the white borders on the crosses are in register. 

 

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I don't have that particular kit but I have recently built two other KP kits (Sopwith Triplane and Spitfire Ib) and the decals are still pretty bad.  Similar to Roden.  Mine were in register (I think this can vary between kits) but the colours are poor and the material itself does not soften and it ignores setting solutions.  They will work okay over a very high gloss surface, but almost any alternative is better.

 

I wish to add that I otherwise love KP/AZ kits, it would be nice if they sources their decals elsewhere.  It's 2023, no need for rubbish decals to exist any more.

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9 hours ago, Peter Lloyd said:

I don't have that particular kit but I have recently built two other KP kits (Sopwith Triplane and Spitfire Ib) and the decals are still pretty bad.  Similar to Roden.  Mine were in register (I think this can vary between kits) but the colours are poor and the material itself does not soften and it ignores setting solutions.  They will work okay over a very high gloss surface, but almost any alternative is better.

 

I wish to add that I otherwise love KP/AZ kits, it would be nice if they sources their decals elsewhere.  It's 2023, no need for rubbish decals to exist any more.

I started to build their Triplane (RNAS boxing), but I couldn't get the struts glued in correct angles, so threw it away. I just received a Salmson 2A2 'in USAS Service', the decals look quite decent, but it's another matter how they behave.

 

I too like KP/AZ kits, but I agree that there's absolutely no excuse for crappy decals. In the early 2000's Roden probably had only poor decals in Ukraine, but they wouldn't release a new kit now with that kind of awful decals. There's no other reason for AZ/KP to give us so poor ones, than their desire to maximize the profit, and general 'we don't care attitude'. If other Czech short run kit companies like Rs Models, Valom, Sword and Fly can give us decent, or even excellent decals, there's no rational reason why KP/AZ could't. Some Fly kits have Cartograph decals.

Buying aftermarket decals will often cost more than the kit itself, even double the price of the kit when you have to order them from abroad. And the quality and accuracy of the replacement decals can also be questionable, as often Printscale decals are the only option.

 

 

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Just to throw in my two cents worth.  I can't remember which kit it was exactly but I want to say Avia B10 that could also be built as a single seater.  In between wars, but the kit, for me, was garbage as were the decals.  It ended up in the garbage can.  The late Jan claimed that they had done a test build but I doubt it as the cockpit floor was much too wide for the fuselage.  Within the past 18 months I built their Sopwith Swallow kit.  Like night and day.  Very little trouble putting it together and the decals were really nice.  All I used on it was the kit decals.  Some of them, notably IIRC the serial number and the word Swallow, were a little too thin but I was able to coax them to set properly.  I'm doing conversions this year but next year I may build another AZ/KP kit or two next year.  Tempted to do the Salmson since I also have the Wingnuts kit of it.  Heck, I also have the CMR 72nd Salmson so I may do all three!

Later,

Dave

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On 9/15/2023 at 7:34 PM, TheKinksFan said:

I started to build their Triplane (RNAS boxing), but I couldn't get the struts glued in correct angles, so threw it away. I just received a Salmson 2A2 'in USAS Service', the decals look quite decent, but it's another matter how they behave.

 

I too like KP/AZ kits, but I agree that there's absolutely no excuse for crappy decals. In the early 2000's Roden probably had only poor decals in Ukraine, but they wouldn't release a new kit now with that kind of awful decals. There's no other reason for AZ/KP to give us so poor ones, than their desire to maximize the profit, and general 'we don't care attitude'. If other Czech short run kit companies like Rs Models, Valom, Sword and Fly can give us decent, or even excellent decals, there's no rational reason why KP/AZ could't. Some Fly kits have Cartograph decals.

Buying aftermarket decals will often cost more than the kit itself, even double the price of the kit when you have to order them from abroad. And the quality and accuracy of the replacement decals can also be questionable, as often Printscale decals are the only option.

 

 

 

I did not add for brevity but, yes, I also threw away my Triplane for the same reasons.  I don't think I'm terrible at models, even biplanes, but I never got anywhere near success with the Triplane.  Even if I could get the struts attached and parallel and the correct length (after various cuts and improvisations), the wings themselves were not parallel, the top wing angling down.

 

Just for balance I have had some really nice experiences with these kits, and that is my normal expectation of AZ.

 

And yes, given what a pleasure it is to use the decals of AZ/KP's arch enemy Eduard, it is a shame.  And where can one buy aftermarket decals for many of their subjects, anyway?

 

While I am complaining, so many aftermarket decal sets now are 10 versions on one aeroplane.  I much prefer sets that cover various aircraft on a theme, but these sets are becoming a minority.  Perhaps we need to get active trading our unneeded extra decal subjects?

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On 9/9/2023 at 11:20 PM, TheKinksFan said:

Quite often KP's decals are out of register and probably awful in other ways too. Has anyone bought this latest re-box "German Service" 72402? Mojehobby.pl has a photo of the decals, but it's hard to tell if the white borders on the crosses are in register. 

 

Can’t help you there - I built an older boxing, but didn’t use the decals, they were way off register. Peddinghaus decals makes a few sets, one which I used, though I didn’t like that very much either, they had very thick backing.

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10 hours ago, Torbjorn said:

Can’t help you there - I built an older boxing, but didn’t use the decals, they were way off register. Peddinghaus decals makes a few sets, one which I used, though I didn’t like that very much either, they had very thick backing.

I'm hoping for the best, but I'm not really optimistic. Unfortunately there's very few manufacturers making WWI decals, I've got one sheet from Peddinghaus for Kissenberth's black Albatros. But I'll have to see if it's worth using them, your experience confirms what I've already heard, them being pretty thick.

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14 minutes ago, TheKinksFan said:

I'm hoping for the best, but I'm not really optimistic. Unfortunately there's very few manufacturers making WWI decals, I've got one sheet from Peddinghaus for Kissenberth's black Albatros. But I'll have to see if it's worth using them, your experience confirms what I've already heard, them being pretty thick.

 

Judge by yourself: zoom in on the ”Lotta” and ”K” and you will notice the rim of the cutout (you have to cut the decal yourself). Maybe it can be improved by cleaner cutting with sharper implements, or completely embedded in some varnish when you apply them (ie wet, not yet dry varnish), or in some cases cut a large piece so the edges align with panel lines. 
 

The crosses are also Peddinghaus (KPs were awfully off-register - a shame since the kit is great) but they turned out ok since they can be cut exactly and happen to be white. 

 

The backing is the only issue: they are in register and finely printed. In short, they are OK but there is room for improvement.

 

2HufnNz.jpg

Edited by Torbjorn
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Thanks @Torbjorn for the photos. That's a shame with the visible carrier film edge. Otherwise very good looking build, what lozenge decals did you use? Now KP sells a sheet for that has lozenge decals for both the upper and lower wing and also rib tapes. It's much cheaper to get it, than to buy separate sheets, but I've got doubts about the quality. For me the colours are not the main issue, but KP decals can be bad in many ways. Techmod has sheets, which are pretty certain to be good quality.

 

By the way, do you have the AGO C. IV that they released some time ago? As it is based on the CMR kit, I wonder if the mould quality is comparable to their DH.9a.

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Lozenge was from Aviattic. No issues with those. They are a bit more ezpensive maybe, but one sheet will last for several models, so per model it’s not a big difference.

 

I don’t have the AGO. Of the KP I have, the LVG stood out as being much finer than the rest of the lot (Roland D.II, Salmson, Triplane, Dolphin), not sure why.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 25/09/2023 at 10:39, TheKinksFan said:

 

 

By the way, do you have the AGO C. IV that they released some time ago? As it is based on the CMR kit, I wonder if the mould quality is comparable to their DH.9a.

    Major parts are quite nicely moulded. Detail on the small parts is better than some of their other kits, bit a few, such as the steering wheel, are a bit ragged. Smallest parts may be hard to clean up or not depending on the plastic type and I've not tried cutting it yet so can't say. Altogether, looks quite nice, especially by KP WW1 standards. The decals are dubious though, having bubbled up once in hot weather and now having a porrige-like surface texture, and enormous carrier film, although it should be easy to trim back except around the seatbelts, which past experience shows tend to break up. Anyway, the belts are one set and of single seat fighter style, so no loss. I wrote about that here somewhere when the kit came out a few months ago, forgot the thread name.

 

Paul.

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Thanks you @Paul Thompson, I hope you are starting the normal again. I found some close-up photos, the engine also seemed to look pretty decent by KP standards, unlike the engine on their Roland D. II. It is so poorly molded that I don't think I'm going to build the kit.

Concerning the S.E.5A decals from Printscale, I'm always attracted by the flashy schemes, so the red nosed Albert Ball would be my choice for Roden's Wolseley Viper, and if I later get their Hisso, I would choose the camouflage version. I'm a bit worried about the white borders on the red nose, there's so much that can go wrong with Printsacle decals, and masking and painting complex curves is awful, especially in 1/72.

 

Poor decals in 1/72 WWI kits is a major problem, and the lack of good replacements. The Printscale decals are nowadays really expensive, and their quality is dubious. I have spent a lot money lately on kits and accessories, so I decided to use Xtradecals 1920-1939 decals on my F.2B. Also I didn't want to wait for over a week, so I made templates with a circle cutter and painted wide discs on the upper wings and fuselage sides. But after applying the decals I realised that the white egdes were too thick, and it looks awful. The DSPIAE circle cutter is good, but it's extremely difficult to adjust the size. So now I have removed the decals, even the ones from Airfix Vintage Classics kit, and sanded away the white discs. This is my least fauvourite part of building, doing the same things over and over again. So I will have to get some decals after all. AIMS sheets, I certainly hope there's right sizes for a F.2B. and even if there isn't, they will be useful later. There's also this Xtradecal sheet: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/X72150

I maybe will first try to attach the upper wing before I start to order any specific F.2B decals.

I do have access to S.E.5A guides from Winsock, so will have a look at those when the time comes for my build. Yes I have noticed that Part has lots of sets for Toko & Roden kits.  Nowadays the frets cost approximately £7 plus, I'm not really a friend of PE, especially if there is a likelihood that adding some things between the fuselage halves will cause some additional issues. There are those, who enjoy the whole process of the build, unfortunately I'm not one of those. Only when the kit starts to look more like the actual aircraft I enjoy the process.

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I hate PE but still find it worth the effort for a few things. In the case of Part, apart from internals such as seat, belts and control panel, they do nice radiators (especially if they have moveable shutters like F2bs and Albatrosses did) gunjackets and Scarff rings. Much less impressed by internal frameworks (usually too flat, although it is nice to have the rigging in place), turnbuckles and wire wheels (very few wartime photos show wheels without covers).  Also, once you get in the habit of replacing moulded control horns with PE ones you wonder how you put up with clunky plastic jobs.  Anyway, sorry to hear about the woes with the white surrounds. If you've yet to place your order, I'd seriously consider stocking up on the Blue Rider sheets too.

 

Paul.

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/26/2023 at 2:49 PM, Torbjorn said:

Of the KP I have, the LVG stood out as being much finer than the rest of the lot (Roland D.II, Salmson, Triplane, Dolphin), not sure why.

This depends on the base kit/masters they use to make their moulds.

 

LVG is made based on the excellent resin kit of Polish Ardpol, I made a review long time ago for the Internet Modeler, but it disappeared in the internet void, you can see other similar Ardpol kit review here:
https://www.internetmodeler.com/scalemodels/flaviation/Ardpol-1-72-Halberstadt-C-V.php

The LVG was even better, honestly, the finest resin kit I've ever seen (I mean the original Ardpol kit).

Best!

G.

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I know we have drifted a bit off topic….. 

 

I have used Printscale decals on a few of my 1/72 WW1 builds.  I have two main issues with them:

1.  They seem to look for any opportunity to fold under themselves, and can be a real bear to un-fold.   

2.  The colors they show in their profiles are questionable, and usually incomplete.   Sometimes the colors are just wrong.  For example, their Pfalz D.III sheet shows Hans-Georg von der Marwitz’s plane as a muddy brown, while all the written accounts called it “burgundy”.

 

I generally only use their decals for the unique markings/ artwork- things I can’t really mask and paint.

 

FWIW, I use my Cameo4 to cut masks and just paint markings on my 1/72 WW1 builds whenever I can.  Cutting concentric circles is so easy!   But late war german cross masks are especially easy to make—  all you need is a straight edge a sharp knife.

 

I guess I’m not surprised by the reports of bad experiences with the 1/72 KP Sopwith Triplane.  Someone (Paul Thompson?) wrote a great review of the kit, which included some tips on how to fix the issue with the wing struts.

 

To get back on topic— 

 

Thanks for starting the thread about this LVG kit.  I have the version with the unpainted wood fuselage in the stash, and intend to build it some day…..

Edited by RC Boater Bill
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19 hours ago, RC Boater Bill said:

They seem to look for any opportunity to fold under themselves, and can be a real bear to un-fold.   

It's recommended by the Printscale owner that the decals are not dipped into water, but moistened on sponge. I've had similar folding problems with them, but I tested a spare decal using the sponge method, and it (maybe) lessens the likelihood of them folding. I have a box like this from Galaxy Tools: https://www.mojehobby.pl/products/Decals-Moisturizing-Box.html The actual box is not the important part, but the sponge which is very dense and good for the purpose, it would be otherwise hard to find that kind of sponge. 

19 hours ago, RC Boater Bill said:

I guess I’m not surprised by the reports of bad experiences with the 1/72 KP Sopwith Triplane.  Someone (Paul Thompson?) wrote a great review of the kit, which included some tips on how to fix the issue with the wing struts.

It's a bit sad that there is no better kit in 1/72, only one from the 60s, and the KP one which is new but worse. A WWI aircraft in 1/72 is not a subject many manufacturers dare to touch. I would still take a new 1/72 Camel instead of a Triplane, if I had to choose. I wish Clear Prop! would give us more Great War planes. 

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