Albatros #001 "Southern Flying Tigers"


 Various Peruvian AF aircraft




Scott Van Aken



This sheet arrived in the mails the other day and my first impression upon seeing it was 'This is just too cool!' At last, a well done sheet covering Western Hemisphere aircraft that isn't from the US or Canada. 

This type of sheet has been long awaited by a number of modelers and the wait was well worth it. Albatros Modelworks has released this sheet in both 1/72 and 1/48 scale (1/72 sheet shown). The subjects are the same on both sheets. The big difference between them is that you can physically do more aircraft on the 1/72 sheet as there is room for more decals on the smaller scale sheet. For instance, you can do two Mi-24s in 1/72 but only one of them in 1/48.

Several very welcome things about these sheets. First of all, the decal placement chart is superb. Not only are locations of the decals given, but there is also a very good color chart on each side giving FS numbers for the colors. In addition there is a chart showing the appropriate kits as well as any modifications needed to be able to produce the variant shown.

Well, what is on this particular sheet?

Well, on the first page of the sheet are no less than seven different Su-22A and Su-22M Fitters, all from Grupo Aereo # 11 "Los Tigros". The Su-22Ms are based at LaJoya in southern Peru while the Su-22As are at El Pato. The Su-22As were used during the recent border dispute with Ecuador.

The Su-22s are normally in a desert scheme though there are examples in green/brown and several greens. Insignia are limited to fin flashes and a single roundel on the upper and lower wing. There are some rather colorful Tiger badges applied to many of the aircraft and those Su-22As that have been upgraded by Sukhoi have large badges on the tail. 

The second page includes Mig-29, Mirage 5 and Mi-25 aircraft. The Mig-29 and Mirage 5 are from Grupo Aereo #6. You get markings for two Mig-29s (actually, you can do more as with this and the Mirage you get extra numbers) which include grupo badges.

The Mirages are for a 5P3 and 5P4. Again, you get two distinct aircraft, and extra numbers. The Mirages will require a bit of extra work as there is no dedicated kit for these versions and the Peruvian aircraft have undergone several levels of upgrading over the years.

Finally the Mi-25 Hind helos of Grupo Aereo #2. Interestingly, half of Peru's Hinds came from Nicaragua, who were unable to properly maintain them. All of the grupo's Mi-25s are in desert schemes and have very aggressive sharkmouths on them. There are numerous Hind kits available for this helo and any one of them should look great with these decals.

What about the decals themselves? They are glossy,  spot on in registration, and a number of them are multiple piece, many with separate black outlines and details. These decals are not made in the US but are done locally and are really superb. I tried a few of them on an old model to see how well they react. They do a superb job and can be used effectively without any setting solution. Availability is not known, but if you can find a set of these, I would highly recommend you purchase them. I look forward to seeing what other subjects Albatros comes up with. Hopefully they will concentrate on the lesser known, but very interesting Air Forces of the Western Hemisphere.

Review copy courtesy of Albatros Modelworks.