Sheet #

ABT 106 and 127 for FW-190A & Bf-109E




See Review

Review By:

Scott Van Aken


Long out of production

Once upon a time, aftermarket decals were few and far between. Most people used what came in the kit or dug around the spare decal box to find what they needed. Many times they would make their own insignia and markings out of scraps of solid color decals, carefully piecing things together and hoping that all would come out OK. They even painted them on using masks made of frisket paper.

ABT was a French company who got in on the ground floor of decals. They started by doing one or two aircraft in each small packet. Later, they came out with sets that had a multiplicity of markings on each sheet. Early sheets had a constant carrier film and you had to cut out each individual marking that you needed. No one minded as these allowed one to do a plane that wasn't in the box decal sheet!

Since Modeling Madness tends to wax nostalgically by building and previewing old model kits, I thought you might like to see what these older decals were like. Here are two of them:

 #106 is for  a JG 2 Fw-190A (no variant was given as most people didn't know or care, but I suspect it to be an A-3 or even earlier). As a bonus, an extra set of unit markings was added to the sheet. Inside the small folded sheet was a color and markings diagram showing the various colors to be used. This one called for RLM 74/75/76 with a red rudder and under-cowling marking. It even gave a reference. We now know that the red markings were probably yellow as historical research into these units is much more advanced than it was 30 plus years ago.

#127 is for a Bf-109E of Lt Kroeck, staffelkapitan of 4/JG 53. His plane looks very much like an E-4 variant, but the markings on it and the Nov 1939 date given make it much more likely to be an E-1 or perhaps a very early E-3. Color given is RLM 70 over RLM 65 with yellow gun troughs. It is most likely to be RLM 70/71 uppers, but no one is really sure. Again, extra badges for 6/JG 26 are given. 

One of the more common references given for ABT decals is 'Dora Kurfurst und rote 13', by Karl Ries. I have seen this book often given as reference in other areas and have no idea what the book is about. I can only decipher the 'and Red 13' part of the title.

As to the usability of the decals, that is problematic. I have found them to be less than ideal, mainly because they don't seem to stick well and can be quite brittle. They react oddly to setting solutions, often curling at the edges and not softening at all. This could be a result of their age as I have never used any when they were new. The images on the screen (assuming you are using a 1024 screen setting) are about 15% larger than actual size.

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