Hobby Decal | ST32007 Me 262 Stencils
Reviewed by Rato Marczak
Here´s another set of dry transfers by Hobby Decal. Product ST32007 comes in two sheets, one colored and the other in black. Again, the quality of the printing is outstanding, and the register is virtually perfect in my sample. As mentioned in the Bf 109 set review, most Luftwaffe aircraft used to reflect German appraisal for engineering and documentation. The Me 262 is no exception, in spite of being chaotically rushed into service during the last year of the war. The set is directed to Me 262As, but if you are going to build a B version you will surely use most of it (provided you can still find an old Revell kit of it). Since dry transfers are generally an expensive product (in comparison to water slide decals), Hobby Decal has chosen to not include the placement instructions. Instead, you have to download the necessary files from their internet page. I guess this reduced considerably the final price. Interestingly, Hobby Decal product numbers indicate the current version of the set, showing that they care about possible future corrections.
As typical from Hobby Decal, every single item is readable using a magnifying glass, and like the other sets previously reviewed, some of them are provided in more than one version (depending on the aircraft finish), but most are not, so take your time during the application. Except for the warning circles on both sides of the engines (#24) and the walk-on red lines, all items are relatively small, and won´t pose problems during the application.
I included a reduced version of the manuals below to allow a better appreciation the amount of work put on this set.
The picture below shows a zoom of some items belonging to this sheet. Pay attention to items 1-4, the ammunition loading instructions for the nose cannons.They are different for each one of the cannons, and Hobby Decal didn´t missed it, so read the instructions.
The figures below show a comparison of some items from this sheet against a restored aircraft. Since you have two options in some cases, check the references about your specific bird.
Compared the sheet with some pictures of Me 262 in museums around the world, it seems that main fuel the yellow triangle in general contain the number 87, instead of A3. However, the A3 code means 80 octane fuel (light blue colour). This fuel's triangle label is found near the intake and refers to the marking for the Reidel starter motor. This marking has been observed in some cases to read "B4 mit 5% Schmierstoff" (B4 with 5% lubricant), obviously reflecting the substitution of one fuel for another due to shortages. One marking per engine, left filler point. Since the B4 fuel was the 87 octane fuel (dark blue colour), and this was the main engine jet fuel, it may explain the confusion, but I´m not convinced yet, as they should go only on fuselage tanks. I think Hobby Decal should check this for version 1.1.
Anyway, the fuel/oil triangles are again offered with the option of applying them complete or the white background triangle first, and then the yellow one on top of it. The last option should be used in case you don´t agree with eventual out of register problems. I didn´t find photos showing them without the white outline.
Some other interesting items are those dotted lines applied at the end of all horizontal control surfaces. I don´t read German to say what it means (I guess is a spot to ground crews install locking devices), but dry-transfers are a much better idea here, as decals will always struggle with the corresponding recesses and cut-offs.
Another nice touch are the dotted lines around the nose (just ahead the landing gear door) and the other on the bottom of the rear fuselage area. The former is printed slightly curved, to make it conform with the bottom nose curvature. The later is straight, as the bottom of the rear fuselage was almost flat in the Me-262. Well done.
Remember, you can apply dry transfers directly over flat paints/clear coats, and they won´t detract from the final appearance of the model, as they are flat too. They also conform to the surface details without need of setting solutions. Avoid hot thinners applied over them, however, because they may melt the transfers. As a last resource, you can apply them over a clear decal sheet and use them are an ordinary decal. Another thing: take care when cutting each transfer off the sheet, to avoid scratching of the printed side against knife/scissors edge.
Hobby Decal line of dry transfers are not cheap products when compared to water slide decals: you pay about the price of a large decal sheet for something that will cover much less area, one may wonder. But these sets are taking care of those tiny stencils in an unbeatable way. For the records, this set is also produced in 1/48 scale.
Review sample compliments ofHobby Decal. Thank you for your support
© Rato Marczak 2004
This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016