For those who enjoy detailing an aircraft instrument panel locating Japanese instruments is a challenge. Usually we take the available generic instrument dials and hope no one looks closely to complete the finishing of your models instrument panel. With continued improvements in plastic injection molding of cockpit components the instrument panel dials are ready to go to the next modeling level beyond dry brushing the kit plastic or painting or even using etched metal replacements. We can now have an alternative using highly detailed and accurate instrument dials from Airscale in the U.K. and benefit from the 3D appearance of injection molding versus flat 2D color etched metal instruments.
Airscale AS48JPN WW2 Japanese Instrument Dials provide enough content, consisting of forty different types of instruments, to fully create two complete IJN or IJA aircraft instrument panels in 1/48th scale. An added bonus is included in the form of four different types of cockpit instrument component panels included with the instrument dial decals. They look much better than what the usual dry brushing panel washing accomplishes. You can use them with decal solvent to improve its appearance on injection plastic dials. The decal comes with a clear plastic sheet allowing you to punch out instrument dial glass covers which look beautiful once done (assuming you have a punch and die set to do this step). This is helpful if you are really scratch building the instrument panel.
The decal is packaged in a small reseal able plastic zip locking bag with a thick color printed instruction card to enable you to get the most from this product. The decal can be placed on the surface of the instrument or in the event of the clear plastic type of instrument it cane also be placed behind the dial.
The future looks bright for modelers. In addition to Airscale decals Eduard has a new resin cockpit instrument panel line called “Look” which consists of a Brassin pre-painted resin “dashboard” as they call it for a drop in replacement of the kit parts. Also, Yahu has been providing some nicely detailed instrument panels which are easy to install and look superb so your choices are many.
The only detraction for some modelers is concern with the price for a smallish 2 ¼ inch wide by 2 ½ inch long decal sheet. They are well printed, accurate and work well. As always you get what you pay for and these decals were worth the cost since the end result looks much better than most alternatives and provides a handsome instrument panel for your model. Highly recommended.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.