Max Decals 7207 and 4807 for Antarctic Otters
Max Decals has come out with another superb pair of decal sheets in 1/48 and 1/72. These are the first of a series devoted to aircraft that have been used in Antarctic exploration and it is quite fitting that the DHC-3 Otter be the first choice. DeHavilland Canada has always had a reputation for building rugged and reliable bush aircraft and that is one of the requirements of an aircraft to operate in the harsh Antarctic climate.
We are fortunate that Hobbycraft of Canada has kitted this aircraft in 1/48 and 1/72 (for a look at the 1/72 kit, see this preview). Typical of Hobbycraft, the same basic model has been boxed more than once with different decals, the later boxing having much better decals. The kits themselves are a bit on the basic side, but offer an excellent starting point and are a great model on which to use these decals.
Max Decals has color copies of the instruction sheet at their website. Just click on the hyperlink below to access it. Max Decals informs me that their decals are being distributed by Squadron so obtaining them should not be a problem.
Let's start the review with the 1/48 sheet shown to the right. It offers schemes for the six different aircraft shown at the top of the page.
The first one is a bright red and day-glo Orange Argentine version from 1966.
Next is a Belgian Otter in bright red and white from 1960.
The third is a Norwegian AF version from 1968. This one is depicted on floats and is overall silver with day-glo trim.
Next is a British Otter used in 1968/69, again in overall red.
An earlier British Otter is next, this time with a roundel on the fuselage. Though the color is not given on the sheet, it is also in bright red.
A USN VX-6 Otter in silver and orange from 1956-66 time frame is the final Otter on the sheet.
Not shown on the 1/48 sheet are two smaller sheets with RAF roundels. Because of the smaller size of the markings, the 1/72 sheet has two additional aircraft that are not on the 1/48 sheet. These are shown to the right.
The first is another Belgian Otter. This is an ex-USN bird in Silver and Orange with the US markings painted out in silver.
The final aircraft is yet another British Otter used in a trans-Antarctic expedition circa 1956. It is in an overall orange color.
The decals themselves are printed by Tally Ho decals in the Czech Republic. They are superbly printed and appear to be in perfect registration. As you know, most Czech decals are very thin and quite opaque so it will be interesting to see how they hold up to the rather intense colors used in these schemes.
Though the instructions are in greyshades, you can see full color artwork for this sheet by visiting Max Decals at the link shown below.
If you are the kind of modeler who buys kits based on cool decal sheets, then you'll be like me and will go to your local hobby shop in search of a Hobbycraft Otter.
Since this is the first in a series, I'd be willing to bet that the next release will be for that other DeHavilland of Canada bush plane, the DHC-2 Beaver.
Review copy courtesy of Max Decals. Thanks for your support
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