Hobby Decal | ST32021 1/32 A-10 Warthog Stencils
Reviewed by Brad Hagen
Trumpeter released their A-10 a couple years ago and it proved to be a popular and very large-scale jet. Hobby Decal have just released a very comprehensive set of stencils for the big Warthog.
The stencils come on one large sheet and not only cover the multitude of stencils plastered all over a modern jet, but also include the national markings and a full set of numbers in different sizes for personalizing your model. All that's missing to complete your Warthog would be the unit insignias and any possible nose art.
Hobby Decal does their stencils as dry transfers which hasn't been common in aviation modeling, but has been very common in armor modeling for years and they have used them to get excellent results on their models.
Dry transfers are definitely different than decals and need a different approach. Hobby Decal has a stiff tag board insert in the ziplock bag that the stencils are in that has instructions in eight steps on how to apply them and if followed should give excellent results.
On the plus side they can be put on without having to clear coat your model first and they won't silver, you also don't need to put a top coat on after them like decals. If you are using the stencils in addition to decals then you'll need to go through the clear coat process and the stencils can be put on at any time, if you paint your markings like some modelers are starting to do, then the dry transfer stencils will save you that step. They also seem to look more realistic than decals.
There are some minuses as well. If you don't use a clear coat you will need to be careful in handling as the dry transfers could scratch. You also need to be very careful while you are putting them on as you only get one chance, if you put them on in the wrong spot or crooked, you can't reposition them like you can with a decal. Also, putting them on a curved surface isn't impossible, but it can be a challenge.
The stencils are crisply printed and are very easy to read, my scan is not clear and is not representative of the quality of the stencils. As I stated above, the stencils are very extensive covering all of the markings on the Mustang, they also include the propeller logos and the red L on the port flap.
At first I was concerned about where all the stencils should go as there wasn't a placement guide with them, then I remembered that the placement guide is on their site, there are three pages for each plane showing both sides, the top, and the bottom. Some modelers may have preferred a placement guide included with the stencils, but they're easy to use either from your computer or downloading the photo (they're also working on Adobe files for each of the placement guides) and by doing it this way they have been able to keep the cost down per sheet because the dry transfers are more expensive to produce than waterslide decals.
Pre/post shading and different types of weathering are really becoming normal, the stencils will really help make your model stand out. They have a gallery on their site which shows how well they look on the models.
They have stencils for a small range of World War II planes (Bf-109, Spitfire, Hurricane, P-47 ect.), jets and they are planning a lot more releases in the coming year. Hobby Decal is also looking for your input for which models you would like stencils for, they have an area on their site for that it or you can just e-mail them.
The cost isn't that much different than a set of decals and with some care taken while applying them can really improve the look of your model.
Thanks to Hobby Decal for the review sample.
© Brad Hagen 2004
This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016