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Brett T. Green
I have tried to make my own stencils on several occasions without much success. It is difficult enough to cut curves and complex angles, but I find it virtually impossible to cut a precise outline stencil.
Cutting Edge have come to the rescue with two sets of stencils produced in their "Black Magic" self-adhesive vinyl material. These sets cater for 1/32 and 1/24 Luftwaffe fighter aircraft. This is particularly pleasing because after-market decals are scarce in 1/32 scale and non-existent in 1/24 scale!
The big benefits of these sets are that:
Gruppe Bar markings are supplied to suit II and III Gruppe aircraft, but IV Gruppe squiggles are not included. Kommandeurs' Chevrons are not included in these sets.
A review of the Black Magic Luftwaffe Number Masks, along with spinner spirals and German national marking stencils in the same scales, may be viewed by clicking here.
There is no doubt that these masks require more planning, care and time than decals. However, considering the amazing choice they represent in these neglected scales, the extra effort will be worthwhile.
I tested the masks using a complex-shaped, outlined number. I can recommend the following eight-step method for applying these masks.
My first experience with Black Magic's Luftwaffe Number stencils was an unqualified success. It is a shame I will have to eventually strip the markings from the unassembled fuselage half!
I have no doubt that the German national markings and spinner spirals will be equally pleasant to work with.
These markings offer unprecedented choice to modellers of 1/24 and 1/32 scale aircraft. With care, the quality of the result is as good as the best available decals but without the risk of visible decal film or silvering.
I hope that Cutting Edge also release chevrons and alternate Gruppe markings in these scales; and similar products in 1/48 scale.
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2000 by Brett Green