Review: Lifelike Decals 72-041 B-25 Pt3

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

  • 1 A4 sheet of single-sided colour instructions
  • 1 A4 sheet of double-sided colour instructions
  • 1 half sheet giving info about national insignia sizes
  • 1 decal sheet 14 cm x 8 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 13 cm x 5 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 13 cm x 6 cm
  • 1 paper paint 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 4 B-25C/J aircraft:

  1. B-25J, 43-3953, “Problem Child”, 82BS/12BG, Fenny, India, Mar 1945
  2. B-25J, 43-27543, “Form 1A/Dear Arabella”, 381BS/310BG, Ghisonaccia, Corsica, April-June 1945
  3. B-25C,42-32530, “Rosie”, 487BS/340BG,Pompeii, Italy, Mar 22, 1944
  4. B-25J, 43-27696, “Baby Blue Eyes”, 446BS/321BG, Solenzara, Corsica, Sept 44 to Jan 45.

There are no stencils so you will have to use those from your kit. You have enough stars & bars for up to 2 options if you chose the right ones. By my calculations, you can do option #3 and 1 of the others using decals in this set. 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 the aircraft. These views are an adequate size for the few large decals that would be positioned using these views. This page also lists the 10 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 double-sided 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 10 references are used for a particular aircraft. You get part views as needed to show details not show on the port side view. Aircraft #4 has more detail than the others as you can make this aircraft at 4 different times, each with slightly different details. For this aircraft, you’re also supplied with a couple of paper templates to paint the backgrounds to some decals that appear in the 3 of the 4 versions of this aircraft.

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 decal sheet with the nose art is printed by Cartograf while the others are printed by Microscale. 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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