This 1/72 decal sheet from Lifelike Decals is designed for the Airfix B-25C/D. The set consists of:

  • 2 A4 sheets of single-sided colour instructions
  • 2 3/4 A4 sheets of text giving background info and instructions for each of the decal options
  • 1 decal sheet 9 cm x 14 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 14 cm x 6 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 5 cm x 7 cm
  • 1 paper masking sheet

The decals arrived in a padded envelope from the manufacturer. Your supplier may package differently. The set is inside a zip-lock style bag and the bag has plenty of space so it is easy to get the sheets in and out.

The sheet covers 5 B-25D aircraft of the 345th BG:

  1. B-25D-10-NC, 41-30278, “Hell’s Fire”, 500th BS, 345th BG, Nadzab, New Guinea, May 1944.
  2. B-25D-15-NC, 41-30592, “Mexican Spitfire”, 498thth BS, 345th BG, Nadzab, New Guinea, April 8-14 1944.
  3. B-25D-5-NC, 41-30058, “Lucky Bat”, 499th BS, 345th BG, Port Moresby, New Guinea, July 1943 or Dobodure, New Guinea Jan 1944.
  4. B-25D-5-NC, 41-30058, “Lucky Bat”, 499th BS, 345th BG, Port Moresby, New Guinea, July 1943 or Dobodure, New Guinea Jan 1944.
  5. B-25D-5-NC, 41-30036, “Old Baldy”, 498thth BS, 345th BG, Nadzab, New Guinea, April 1944.

There are no stencils so you will have to use those from your kit. You have enough stars & bars for up to 3 options if you chose the right ones. By my calculations, you can do either 1 or 5, and 2 or 4, and number 3. If you have stencils and stars & bars of the right size from the kit box you can easily do all the options in this set.

The 2 A4 sheets are folded in half to make a small booklet. The cover shows a port side view of each of the aircraft and the other half of this sheet shows the top and bottom of 4 of the aircraft. I believe #1 is the same as #5. These views are an adequate size for the few large decals that would be positioned using these views. This page also lists the 8 references that were used in producing the sheets. This is a very good idea and points you in the right direction if you want to find out more for yourself. The second A4 sheet gives you port side views of the aircraft and part views as needed.

There is a pretty long description of each aircraft as well as describing the paint schemes, special instructions and which of the 8 references are used for a particular aircraft. Options 3 and 4 are actually the same aircraft at different times. The descriptions are almost chronological descriptions of the changes in the paint schemes of each aircraft and are very informative. The extra information will come in really handy in getting your aircraft right and is very informative. They have put a lot of effort into getting their research done. The research they publish is about the best I’ve seen.

Another thing I like is that Lifelike Decals have updates to sheets on their website. If further information is found out about a particular aircraft they post it there and where needed, they offer correction sheets if you contact them.

The large decal sheet and the stars and bars are printed by Microscale and the smallest decals sheet was printed by Cartograf. The carrier film is minimal and the colours are clear and everything seems in register. The decals with text are all readable apart from the smallest ones, which is to be expected in this scale. Overall, the decals seem to be everything you would expect from the likes of Cartograf and Microscale.

This sheet is available for $16.85 from Lifelike Decals’ website.

Conclusion
A highly recommended set of decals for B-25. The decals and instructions are excellent and Lifelike Decals backs up their products on their website and encourages you to let them know what you think. It’s nice to see a manufacturer who is trying to engage with the modelling community and actively researches their products.

Many thanks to Lifelike Decals for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
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