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First Look Review
Panavia Tornado GR.4/4A
Panavia Tornado GR.4/4A
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Originally published on:

The Tornado is usually nicknamed the "Tonka" after the famously tough children's toys, but it is also predictably known as "The Fin" in some quarters on account of its generous tail surfaces. As well as offering the control required for fast low level flight, the famous fin offers a fantastic canvas for some fabulous tail markings.

Fantasy Printshop has released an impressive set of decals for 1:32 Tornado kits as part of the Euro Decals range.

The sheet includes markings for five RAF aircraft - three of which sport some really amazing tail art:

1. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA461, XV(R) Sqn., RAF Lossiemouth, 2015
2. Panavia Tornado GR.4A, s/n ZA405, 12 Sqn., RAF Lossiemouth, November 2015
3. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA542, “021”, 31 Sqn., Gioia del Colle, Italy, 2011
4. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA560, “EQ-B”, 41(R) TES Sqn., RAF Conningsby, 1917
5. Panavia Tornado GR.4, s/n ZA412, 617 Sqn., RAF Lossiemouth, 2013/14

The decals are beautifully printed on two packed sheets, and the registration is particularly impressive on the first sheet where a phenomenal 14 colours are used.

For multi-colour designs like some of these squadron markings, many manufacturers would resort to bitmaps, resulting in "dithering" to reproduce the colours - which basically means the resulting decal looks like a pattern of small dots when viewed closely. Alternatively, screen printed decals are often supplied as separate layers to reduce problems with registration, which is much easier for the manufacturer, but more hassle for the modeller - as well as getting progressively thicker with each additional layer.

Fantasy Printshop hasn't taken either of these easy routes - and the results are superb. For instance, the fox's head for 12 Sqn. is printed in no less than 7 colours - all perfectly aligned. (Ironically, the centres for the “vintage” roundels for scheme #1 are separate - something which I approve of, although I have no doubt Fantasy Printshop could have printed them perfectly aligned.)

The finish is glossy and the items are thin with excellent colour density and crystal clear carrier film. The set provides national insignia and individual markings for all five colour schemes, so the set would be equally suitable shared as a club “group build”, which would spread the cost if you can only tackle one of the options and hate to see the other decals go unused.

This is a fantastic set for anyone building a largescale "Tonka". The quality is second to none and the end results should be quite superb.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Highs: Superb quality decals for some spectacular colour schemes.
Lows: None noted.
Verdict: Gorgeous! And I've got to say three of the colour schemes included are almost impossible to choose between - they are all that good! Hmmm - decisions, decisions, decisions...
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: ED-32117
  Suggested Retail: £28.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 16, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Fantasy Printshop!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. All rights reserved.


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