Print Scale SA-330 Puma Decals
I’ve long been a fan of the SA-330 Puma, mostly because I used to work on them, so every time Puma decals come out I have a good look at them. This decal sheet came out earlier this year and I had to grab a set for myself. This set covers 7 versions of the SA-330 Puma. The choices cover early and late Pumas so you will have to make sure you have the right parts in your kit to cover your chosen subject. The main difference will be the PIPS (Polyvalent Intakes Protection System) intakes for the engines and the sponson fuel tanks. The tricky bit is going to be getting the right kit and parts to make the version of the Puma you want. There are kits by both Airifx and Heller which are often the same kit, but you will see kits with the PIPS and without them, so make sure you get the right version. If you want to build a version with the larger sponsons and nose radar then your easiest solution might be the ScaleWorx Oryx M1, which is a South African Puma. Failing that there are a few conversion sets that were produced with varying degrees of availability right now. Bottom line is you need to do a bit of research.
The 7 options are:
- Argentinian SA 330L Puma AE-508, Stanley Airport Falkland Islands 1982
- French SA 330B Puma 67-DC, Operations Daguet, Iraq 1991
- Romanian IAR-330L, Puma 49, Kecskemet, Hungary 2013
- South African SA 330H Puma 175, South Africa 2014
- Spanish SA 330L Puma HD19-3, (1254), Palma de Mallorca, Spain 2014
- RAF, Puma HC1, XW231, 230Sqn, RIAT 2005, Fairford, UK 2005
- RAF, Puma HC1 XW222 33 Sqn. RAF, Vilnius, Lithuania 2006
The decals do contain one set of stencils. If you want to do more than one option from this decal sheet you will need to use the kit decals for the stencils. I can’t find these paint schemes on any other decal sheets and I don’t think they appear in any kit options either.
The decals arrive in a sealed ziplock type bag. The decals fit snugly inside the bag without being too tightly cramped in there. You can remove them without too much trouble. The bag contains:
- one double sides paper sheet of instructions
- 2 decal sheets, 11.5cm x 17cm and 11.5 cm x 8 cm (approx)
The instruction sheet is A4 size paper (a little bigger than Letter) and is printed in colour on both sides. There is one view showing where all the stencils go and then options 1 to 5 and 7 have a single side view with 2 small photographs. Options 1, 2 and 4 also have a small nose on views. Option 6 is a tiger scheme and has views of both sides, nose and top of tail as well as a couple of photographs, one of which looks like it was taken by me in 2005 🙂 The instructions are clear and look as though you wouldn’t have any problems in getting the decals in the right places. The only ones that might prove tricky are the tiger scheme decals. PrintScale have grouped them into 8 decals that each cover a pert of the airframe. If you have any issues, there’s a bunch of photographs I took of the aircraft back in 2005 here in an article on ModelBuilder International.
The decal sheets themselves look to be very nicely done. The colours are all bright and when I look at 300 dpi scans everything is in register. The carrier film is minimal, apart form the toger meet scheme of course where the carrier film holds the individual stripes together in groups. I believe this is an acceptable compromise though as I don’t really fancy placing 30-40 stripes individually – not in this scale anyways.
I bought my sheet from Hannants for approx $12.30.
This sheet of Puma decals covers some diverse choices. The quality of the decals themselves is very good and should present no problems. My favourite is the tiger scheme and I believe this is the first time this scheme has been done in this scale. Revell has a kit in 1/144 with this scheme, but until now this scheme has been unavailable in 1/72. If you want to do this Tiger scheme in 1/72, then this is your only choice. Overall this sheet is highly recommended for Puma fans as it gives you all new options.