Revell-Monogram | 1/32 US Word War II Intruments, Prop and Dataplate Decals

Reviewed by Rato Marczak

This is one of those interesting short-lived decals produced by Revell-Monogram. Released in 1997, it is now out of production, but is still quite available in well-stocked hobby-shops. It is a generic decal sheet containing most instrument dials, propeller logos, and several data plates to be used in virtually any American aircraft of World War II vintage. Of course many RAF, late '40s and Korean War planes can be enhanced with this sheet, too.

The sheet comes with nice instructions containing general directions and ten small but inspiring b&w photos of instrument panels, sidewalls, propeller blades and typical gear struts of actual aircraft. After the accompanying text, the instrument decals were thoroughly researched by Bert Kinzey of Detail & Scale books using original military technical manuals and factory photographs. So, I won't discuss accuracy.


The entire sheet contains 20 different instrument dials, repeated in 7 rows of each of them, summing 140 dials!!! This is enough to detail seven monoplace models. They are:

  1. Standby magnetic compass
  2. Suction gauge
  3. Clock
  4. Directional gyro
  5. Artificial horizon
  6. Manifold pressure
  7. Tachometer
  8. Compass
  9. Engine gauge (oil temperature, oil pressure, fuel pressure)
  10. Coolant temperature
  11. Carb. air temperature
  12. Reserve fuel tank
  13. Altimeter
  14. Air speed indicator
  15. Bank and turn indicator
  16. Rate of climb indicator
  17. Hydraulic pressure gauge
  18. Main fuel tank
  19. Ammeter
  20. Empty cutout

These instruments are printed in a somewhat different way than most instrument decals: the dials are printed in white between two clear layers, and each dial comes with a separated base decal printed in black. The instructions claim that after applying the black bases to the correct positions on the instrument panel, and then the white dials over these, you get black & white instrument bezels with a clear coat over them simulating the glass.

The approach is questionable because the boundaries of the clear film are not circular like on the actual instruments. It is kind of square to reach the rivets/fasteners printed with each dial. Add a bit more clear film to take into account the printing tolerances and that will result in much more "glass" than desired. On the other side, there is no out-of-register problem...

If you are going to use the suggested method on a typical flat black panel, I recommend you to apply the instruments and seal them all with a coat of your favorite flat varnish over the whole panel. Wait until dry and them place small drops of gloss varnish over the dials. This will give a more accurate finish.

But the real value of these instruments is in another possibility: cut the dials using a punch and die set and apply them on the correct positions using the kit part. No mess. If you prefer, it is possible to go even further and make a new panel using the well known "sandwich method": scratchbuild a new front panel with the instrument holes punched out and paint it with the correct color. Then scratchbuild a back panel without the holes and apply the instruments on it using the suggested instructions (to save time, apply only the white dials on a black panel) so that the dials match the corresponding holes of the front panel. Finally, glue the panels with a thin clear acetate sheet between them.

A zoom on some of the dials and their black bases.


A strong point of this sheet is the data plates. Wow, data plates? How we 1/32ers miss this sort of thing. In most cases we have to hand made them or adapt something from other manufacturers. I don't understand why decal manufacturers hesitate in doing generic sheets containing this stuff.

This sheet contains seven different plates (all rectangular but one, elliptical), numbered 21-27, in ten rows totaling 70 plates. They are printed in black & silver and well spot on. The instructions list only the numbers 21 and 22 as the Wright and the Pratt & Whitney engine plates, respectively. The others are miscellaneous plates for general use on sidewalls, access panels, landing gear struts etc. They look superb and surely will make the difference in this scale.

There are also 39 smaller assorted white panel placards with black or red stencils to be used wherever you want.

Data plates


Propeller logos are another type of decal in 1/32 that are not good or accurate when they come with most kit decals. This sheet brings logos for Curtiss Electric, Aeroproducts and Hamilton Standard propellers. There are 30 logos of each type, so you are plenty of this too. They are printed in several colors and my samples were perfectly on register.

I'm not sure if these logos had a standard size regardless the type/size of propeller blade. But in case they didn't, the error in the size won't be much noticeable.

Samples of the propeller logos.


OKk, the instrument dials are neither a Waldron nor a Archer transfer, and are head and shoulders behind negative films. But on the other hand the chances of Eduard be releasing a PE/negative film set for, say, the P-35, are not good. But they are the cheapest way to enhance your cockpits. With care, even an inexperienced modeler can use them. If you are in the scratchbuilding road, this is for you. My only complain is that there's no red or yellow warning details on some of the dials, like actual instruments. This is understandable given the limitations of multicolor printing processes. Anyway, these instruments should be viewed as just a simple shortcut to enhance an instrument panel, and they are perfect in that role. The propeller logos will replace those out-of-register or way inaccurate decals that come with most kits, without the need to cannibalize other aftermarket sheets. And the data plates... well, the last time I heard about a generic silver/black data placards decal sheet was in an old Scale Modeler advertisement, a long time ago.

Definitely, this is a valuable decal sheet. As I mentioned before, it still can be found in many hobby shops for around US $10.00 and is worth of every cent.

© Rato Marczak

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016