Sheet #

 Blue Rider BR 219: Albanian Air Force (pre 1991)




See review

Review By:

Scott Van Aken


1/72 Scale

Over the years, I've collected some pretty interesting and sometimes esoteric decal sheets. Blue Rider has produced some very interesting sheets on the smaller air forces over the years and in 1992, I managed to pick this one up from them.

Though nominally a part of the Warsaw Pact, Albania was pretty much of a rogue when it came to towing the party line and taking orders from Moscow. More of a Soviet-influenced dictatorship than a puppet state, before the ruling order was ousted in the early 1990s, as was in vogue with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Albania's major trading partner was the PRC. As a result, most the aircraft and technical support for them came from the Chinese.

This particular sheet covers most of the combat aircraft used by the Albanian AF from its inception as a Soviet-influenced state to just before the overthrow of the dictatorship.

There are markings for seven aircraft on this sheet. All of them are in unpainted metal, and few if any would be pristine as photos I have of their planes from 1993 show rather weathered aircraft.

Initially, Albania used a roundel of blue with a red center, but once inside the communist sphere of influence, that changed to a stencil insignia of a red star on the dark blue surround with a broken red circle around that. The only other markings were the red tactical numbers.

Starting at the top of the sheet, we have markings for a MiG-15, MiG-15 UTI, IL-28, Shenyang F-4 (MiG-17), Shenyang F-6 (MiG-19) and Shenyang F-7 (MiG-21F). The IL-28 has two different markings locations that can be used.

For kits, we have them from a number of manufacturers including Dragon, KP, Airfix, Italeri and Hasegawa to name a few. Most of these kits are not up to modern standards, but none of them are impossible builds.

Thought some of you might be interested.

October 2007

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