Thunderjet Data Sheet

Retail price: $3.95

The Tamiya F-84G, being the current definitive 1/48th scale kit of the subject, is a worthy subject of aftermarket decals. AeroMaster created this data sheet as a replacement for the kit data decals. I bought four sheets to use on models I am currently building.


I have seen several comments about the decals furnished with the Tamiya kit. These complaints have included gripes that the decals were too thick, the colors were off, and that the stencil data was incorrect. I don't pretend to know if the stencil wording is correct for either the kit decals or these replacements, nor do I care to state that my eye is good enough to call one or the other correct. The Tamiya decals are noticeably thicker, so that claim is correct. As for the other claims, I inspected both sets of decals under a magnifyer and could find no difference in stencil placement or wording, but the type fonts used are different. The AeroMaster is probably closer to the standard stencil font used on the aircraft, but both sheets have no "stencil" cutouts in most of their lettering, so it's not like either is totally correct. The decal colors vary slightly; the AeroMaster red is not as dark a red as the Tamiya red, and the yellow on the AeroMaster decals is slightly more orange than on the Tamiya decals. The warning stencils for the inboard aux tanks are done with red circles on the Tamiya Sheet and black circles on the Aeromaster sheet. There are other minor differences which are nearly impossible to see without a magnifier. Based on photos I have seen of restored Thunderjets, the Tamiya yellow looks more correct to me, but it is not possible to be definitive from photos. I used the Tamiya decals on three models, and I have no complaints about them being "too thick" and the yellow is close enough to what I see in photos that I don't consider it a significant complaint. The one difference which does matter to me is that the AeroMaster decals are not as cleanly printed as the Tamiya decals. Specifically, the AeroMaster black stenciling was over inked so the edges of the letters were spread and some counters* were nearly filled in. The Tamiya decals (five sheets from the five models I have purchased) are all more cleanly printed with better edges and little or no filling in of the counters. Admittedly, the stencilling is so small it would be difficult to tell the difference without aid of a magnifier when they are on a model. Nevertheless, my conclusion is that the AeroMaster data sheet is inferior by degrees to the Tamiya kit data sheet.

I have enlarged three portions of each sheet and you can judge for yourself. All six images were scanned at one time and no color changes have been made; I did use the PhotoShop "Sharpen" filter equally on each to bring them closer to what I was seeing under magnification, but the scans do not look quite as clean as the sheets look under magnification.

Registration is perfect on the sheet, and the colors look great. Also, both the decal base and the inks appear to be thinner than those used for the Tamiya kit decals. I have not used any of the AeroMaster Thunderjet decals at this writing, but will be using these decals in the near future. However, considering they are not as cleanly printed as the kit data decals, I will stick with the kit decals in the future. My conclusion: out of ten, an eight for the AeroMaster data sheet and a nine for the Tamiya data decals.

AeroMaster Thunderjet Data Sheet

AeroMaster Thunderjet Data Sheet.

AeroMaster Rudder Cable Access Stencil Tamiya Rudder Cable Access Stencil
AeroMaster Rudder Cable Access Stencil
Tamiya Rudder Cable Access Stencil

AeroMaster No Step Stencil Tamiya No Step Stencil
AeroMaster No Step Stencil
Tamiya No Step Stencil

AeroMaster Fuel Warning Stencil Tamiya Fuel Warning Stencil
AeroMaster Fuel Warning Stencil
Tamiya Fuel Warning Stencil

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This AeroMaster decal set is reasonably priced at $3.95. There is no question in my mind that they are good decals, but I consider the Tamiya kit data sheets to be the better choice because they are slightly more crisply printed and they are with the kit. Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

*For those who are asking, counters are the "white space" inside the strokes in letters, such as the "hole" in the letter O.

Contents Copyright 1997-1999 Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved