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Why Nose Art Photos Cause Problems!

Over the years I’ve seen a very large number of various types of aircraft with mis-identified nose art. Sometimes this is due to sloppy research, but far more often the reason is more insidious. You can read my analysis of one particular aircraft (actually three or four are potentially involved!) here.


Ben Fulcher’s GORGEOUS PB4Y-2 Privateer – Won "Best Aircraft" At The 2017 IPMS-USA National Convention

Master modeler Ben Fulcher won the "Best Aircraft" trophy with his stunning 1/48 PB4Y-2 Privateer model that uses my old Privateer conversion kit from oh so many years ago. I don’t know about you, but seeing dazzling models like Ben created really motivates me! See his magnificent model here.


New Decal Sets Survey

Hey guys

I’m running a major new decal sets survey over on my website. The survey will only be open for several weeks, so if you’d like your votes to count, jump on over there right now to take the survey. It’s also got some pretty cool pics.

Sorry-this survey is now closed. Stay tuned for upcoming surveys.

Scary Information Update: B-24J Madame Pele

Thanks once again to our fellow modeler Mike Hammill whose Dad was crew chief on Madame Pele, more fascinating (and scary) info on the ship and crew, this time a flight description and damage assessment. This is HAIRY, to say the least.

B-24J Madame Pele Information Update : Click Here.

Just “Re-Found” This Analysis I Wrote A While Back About How I Researched One Of My PYN-up Decals Subjects

Was going through some old HTML files on one of my hard drives and found this rather long description and explanation of how I did the research for one of my PYN-up Decals subjects, Squadron Leader Dick Cresswell’s famous “four-flag” P-40E-1-CU. You might find this interesting.

How Dave Researched Dick Cresswell’s Famous P-40E : Click Here.

New Model Aircraft Decal Sets Contemplated – I Need Your Guidance

I’m thinking about producing a series of brand-new decal sets related to the research I’ve been doing on the TIDAL WAVE/Ploesti operation, BUT THIS IS NOT LIMITED TO WW II, B-24s, OR NON-JET SUBJECTS! Note–this is not a definite commitment on my part to actually do this, but I’m considering it and need your guidance.

These decal sets would produced to the same high standard as my other sets, likely in the PYN-ups Decals line with their photographic-quality nose art decals, and possibly a set or two the Cutting Edge line.

This is also a chance for you to let me know if there are other subjects (beyond TIDAL WAVE) you’d like me to create–just put your suggestions in the comments section. I’m running this survey over on my TIDAL WAVE/Ploesti website, so if you’re interested in offering your suggestions (B-24 or otherwise), jump on over to and take the survey. It’s very short, and if you’re not interested in B-24s or WW II, just fill in the first three questions and be sure to enter your interests in questions 4 and 5.

TAKE THE SURVEY NOW! Jump over to Decal Sets Survey : Click Here.

B-24/PB4Y Liberator Treasures

A bunch of guys have asked me to put all my B-24 Lib & PB4Y Privateer stuff in the same place, including my B-24 maintenance films DVD. Done and done.

Liberator & Privateer Goodies : Click Here.

Not For "Rivet-Counters" Only

What’s wrong with this picture?*


What is this thingamabob and why has it never appeared on any model kit of the original aircraft? (And yes, it appeared on every plane in this series.)**


My friend Dana Bell has earned a sterling worldwide reputation for digging out the most interesting technical details on military aircraft and camouflage.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that he’s become even more uncompromising about leaving no stone unturned in his quest to provide us modelers with new, often unexpected, but proven information about many of our favorite planes and camouflage colors and systems.

Don’t get me wrong: he’s the nicest guy in the world, and he’s always been a stickler for accuracy in the multitude of books he’s written. But he’s become a veritable pit bull when it comes to digging where no one else has thought to look for important information–general as well as detailed–that in many cases has changed our fundamental understanding about all kinds of things.


Now he’s done it again. He just released the latest in his series of Aircraft Pictorials: No. 8, F4U-1 Corsair, Vol 2. As with Vol 1, he’s going to change your understanding of these relatively early Corsairs. I’m not selling them (I don’t sell books), but I got a copy last week and it simply blew me away.

The two "teaser" pics above (published here with his permission) are just a couple of examples of the material he unearthed from official US Navy documents and Vought, Brewster, and Goodyear contract files. Most of the pics have never been seen before either.

You can pick up your own copy of this must-have Corsair book directly from Dana here. I have nothing to do with his offer; you’ll buy direct from him through Amazon.

Good luck and good modeling,


* See page 22
** See page 53

St Paddy’s Day Decal Sets

Tuesday, 17 March is the famous "Saint Patrick’s Day" honoring the primary patron saint of Ireland. It’s celebrated in most of the English-speaking world, and wherever the Irish have emigrated over the centuries (which is pretty much everywhere). Certainly it’s celebrated by Guinness Stout drinkers wherever they may be!

Just for fun I decided to pull together all the 1/48 & 1/32 Irish-themed decal schemes I still have available (after all, "Klaus" is an ancient Irish name . . . or maybe not).

Irish-Themed Decal Schemes : Click Here.

Helping Modelers Keep Deep Winter In Perspective – Frozen Chosin

How many Medals of Honor were earned in the two-week battle at Chosin Reservoir in Korea in the winter of 1950? Here’s an interesting aviation story that will help you keep this winter’s cold weather in perspective.

Think You’ve Got It Bad? Try Frozen Chosin! : Click Here.

F-15, F-16 & MiG-29 Secrets Compared

MiG-29 photo from linked article

The article on this link is just too cool. It’s a must-read for Viper, Eagle, & Fulcrum lovers! Jim Rotramel recently alerted me to the most interesting F-15/F-16/MiG-29 flying article I’ve ever read. It’s quite long, but a fascinating read–I’ll bet you don’t stop until you get to the end.

Eagle, Viper & Fulcrum Revealed: Click Here.

Sabre Dog Update

The Sabre Dog (F-86D) was the basis of many of my childhood dreams–I would have given anything back then to fly one of those beasts. (Of course, when you’re seven years old, the likelihood of that happening is fairly slim.) My Dad always made sure we hit the annual Chanute AFB open house in the late ’50s, and I have pics of me with Illinois Air Guard Sabre Dogs taken during those years.


The old 1/48 Aurora F-86D model was one of the earliest I built, and that overall bright orange color scheme on the boxtop really caught my young eye! And there was just something about that big honkin’ nose that captured my imagination.

With the upcoming 1/48 Kitty Hawk F-86D coming anytime soon (and the ProModeler/Revell’s very nice offering that’s been around for a while), I’ve put together a page highlighting the Sabre Dog decal markings sets I have available now. For your convenience, I’ve also included my other F-86 decal sets for the non-radar versions (A/E/F models). If they’re listed, they’re available.

F-86D Sabre Dog & Earlier F-86 Markings: Click Here.

Modeler’s Motivation Blog Updated

I’ve been WAY behind in posting the multitude of my friend and fellow modeler Dick Hague’s stream-of-conciousness modeling articles. Regardless of whether he models in your scale or not, you’ll be uplifted by reading his stuff — especially if you haven’t personally gotten to your modeling table in a while!

Fine Art of Decals Modeler’s Motivation Blog: Click Here.

Low-Stock & Out-of-Stock
Decal Sets Page Updated

Finally had time over Christmastime to sit down and review stock levels. A bunch of sets have gone out of stock in the recent past, and a bunch more are down to the final few sets.

I’ve updated my page listing the decal sets that have recently gone completely out of stock, and also listing the decal sets that are down to the final SIX or fewer available. I’ll keep this updated going forward.

Low-Stock & Out-of-Stock Listings Click Here.

NEW! The Joy of Sex Modeling:
FAOD’s Seriously Old-School
Modeling Blog

One of our local modelers is a true old-school modeling maniac. You know: the kind we all used to be, building one or two models a week–before we got all wrapped up in aftermarket goodies, $100 kits, 28-month builds to enter into a national modeling contest, etc., etc.

Dick Hague and I have been friends for decades, and he’s truly the epitome of a joyous modeler. He builds and builds and builds, and in keeping with his old-school roots, he’s a committed 1/72 man (sorry; he’s normal sized and lives at home–not in an institution–and builds 1/72 models).

He regularly writes stream-of-consciousness accounts about his latest adventures in modeling. His every-man modeling tales will bring back fond memories of fun (and occasionally not so fun) experiences you may have forgotten, but likely wish you were experiencing yourself this very day. Other than being friends, Dick’s not associated with my company at all and you’re not going to see stuff in his tales that’s available here on my website. In other words, it has nothing to do with Fine Art of Decals and everything to do with the Joy of Modeling.

I’ve just added a blog to showcase his down-to-earth commentary and everyday tips, which you can get to by clicking the link below. For now, the entries are all from Dick Hague, but I want this to be a guest modeler blog, so if you have stuff you’d like to contribute, email it to me at this email.

The blog is on a "Wordpress subdomain (gobbledegook, gobble, gobble) and I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet, so the formatting right now isn’t great. Also, I haven’t figured out how to let you click a button to return to my main website (the one you’re on now). I’ll get all that little crap fixed eventually, so in the meantime, enjoy the modeling musings by Dick Hague!

Old-School Guest Modeling Blog Here.

A Model With A Story

Our fellow modeler Mike Schine has shared the poignant story behind a fantastic model he recently completed. I think you’ll like it–you don’t hear many like this.

Read Mike’s Story Here.

Cresswell P-40E Markings Video


The video I made for you describing and explaining the dramatic RAAF markings on Squadron Leader Dick Cresswell’s P-40E-1-CU (and as depicted in our PYN-up Decals set PYND48025) stopped operating due to an incompatibility with a new version of the software. A bunch of you guys have mentioned this to me, and I’ve finally put it back up.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Jump to the video by clicking here.


PYN-up Decals Curtiss Cuties #2. I found six nose art decals that I didn’t know I had for this set, so I was able to make up six to offer to you! P-40E-1-CU, RAAF/Australia/United Kingdom/US flags on left nose, 77 Sq, RAAF, S/L Dick Cresswell, Goodenough Island, New Guinea, Late 1942. Watch my video for full details on how this bird was marked. The second subject is the well-known and extremely interesting P-40N-5-CU, 49th FG/7th FS, “Empty Saddle”/”Keystone Kathlene,” #20, Maj Arland Stanton, Squadron Commander, Gusap, New Guinea, early 1944. An exceptionally strange aspect of this ship was the national insignia, which was based on a star “cocarde” as used by the USAAF from August 1942 to June 1943 (a simple blue disk where the white star tips touch the outside edge of the blue circle. White bars WITHOUT blue outlines were added to this marking on the wings and fuselage. As noted, the simple star “cocarde” was last officially used in June 1943, well before this ship was photographed in early 1944. The great nose art, along with the white tail surfaces and oddball national insignia make this a noteworthy subject!



SBD Dauntless DataBank – Just Added

New Featured Aircraft DataBank article on the Slow-But-Deadly (SBD Dauntless) just posted. The workhorse of Midway and the South Pacific!

Take Me To The Info! — >click here.


To Honor The Beautiful New Tamiya 1/32 F4U-1 Corsair

Too, too cool, so check out some interesting "Whistling Death" info & schemes . . . See more here.


AD/A-1 Skyraider Stories & Pics

My late uncle, Commander Gary M. Witters, USNR (Retired), was shot down in an AD-4NA Skyraider in in Korea in 1953 (he was rescued), and the AD has always been one of my favorite birds. I’m honored to post a page dedicated to both my uncle and the Skyraider . . . Read more here.


ANOTHER Featured Aircraft DataBank – Just Added

New Featured Aircraft DataBank article on the BUFF just posted. Find out why I started it off with a really poor quality photo, and what the hell the Fuchsia Panther might be!

Take Me To The Info! — >click here.


Featured Aircraft DataBank – New Update

Just posted a long Featured Aircraft DataBank article on the Marauder. It’s kinda fun and I hope you enjoy it!

Take Me To The Info! — >click here.


Taking A Hammer To Your Scale Models

Well . . . a hammer is involved, but not really on your models. I’ve just posted a short article with hints and tips on how to get perfect styrene circles every time you need them. You may not do much scratch building, but if you own or are contemplating buying a punch & die set, read this right away.

See the Hints & Tips– >click here.


You Asked For It: A Dedicated PYN-up Decals Page

PYN-up Decals are regularly lauded as the finest nose art decals that have ever been available. You guys have been asking for a page dedicated to PYN-ups (I should have thought of this myself) and it’s now available. All the remaining subjects are listed in all scales (1/32, 1/48, 1/72), although quite a few are down to the last half dozen or fewer remaining.

See all the PYN-up Decal sets — >click here.


UPDATED: "All Gone" & "Final Call" Sets

All good things must come to an end (but thank God not all at once!). The following decal sets are down to the last 2-6 available, or recently sold completely out of stock. This list and all the other decal sets pages now updated to show currently available stock (if it’s listed, I have at least a few remaining in stock).

See the "last call" decal sets — >click here.


TIDAL WAVE/Ploesti Documentary Website Updated

Have made considerable progress on my documentary on the 1 August 1943 USAAF low-level attack on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. Info updated on my website:

Jump to website here


A Famous Yoxford Boy Has Passed

Bill Overstreet, a very famous pilot of the 363rd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group (The Yoxford Boys) passed away at age 92 on Sunday, December 29th, 2013. Bill was the pilot of several P-51 razorbacks, all named "Berlin Express," one of which he actually flew UNDER the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, while chasing a German Bf 109 that he eventually shot down. See a description of his exploits here.

You can see some artwork for his later ship, also named "Berlin Express;" this plane had previously been Clarence "Bud" Anderson’s second "Old Crow"–itself a very famous mount. See details here.


Ploesti (TIDAL WAVE) B-24 List

Just posted a massive, brand new list of all the TIDAL WAVE B-24D Liberators on my TIDAL WAVE documentary website. Based on hundreds and hundreds of official documents and crewmember diaries and letters.

Ploesti Update ( –> click here.


Dinner With Smudge Last Night
Reminded Me . . .

Had dinner last night with my shipmate Smudge (CAPT Dana Potts, USN, Retired), which reminded me that I haven’t posted a modern Navy jet research page for a while now. I’ve always thought the S-3 Viking was a pretty cool jet, and I sure miss them now that they’re retired.

S-3B Viking Research Info–> click here.


Check Out Brett Green’s Stunning 1/48 Hobbyboss F4U-4B Build/Correction

Brett emailed me last night that he’s finished his most recent Corsair build. Two kinds of modelers should check this out:

  • Corsair nuts (like me)
  • Modelers who love seeing master model work

F4U Cool Stuff–> click here.


Dana Bell’s ASTOUNDING New "Long-Nose" Early P-40 Book Now Available

In an earlier post about ENS Jesse Brown, the first black Naval aviator (F4U Story Update) I mentioned that Dana’s upcoming book on the early model F4U Corsairs is only a few months away from being released.

However, Classic Warships has just released Dana’s stunning new book on the early "long nose" P-40 (no suffix, although later designated the P-40-CU). I picked up a copy from him at our local AAHS meeting a couple of days ago, and I absolutely GUARANTEE you will learn a ton of stuff about the first Warhawks* you never knew. As always, Dana had dug deep into various archives to come up with never-before-seen photos and technical information that in many respects completely changes the story on these early P-40s. Dana is a magician when it comes to finding crucial information nobody else has unearthed.

Unfortunately the book is not available on my website (Fine Art of Decals) and not yet available on the Classic Warships site, so you’ll have to jump over to Amazon to pick up a copy. The link to their site is here:

Go To The Amazon Dana Bell P-40 Book Page–> click here.

* See Dana’s book for clarification of the official and unofficial names of the various P-40 models. I suspect you’ll learn some things you didn’t already know.


TIDAL WAVE/Ploesti Documentary Update

I just posted a long-overdue update of the current status of my upcoming documentary on the 1 August 1943 low level attack by USAAF B-24s on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania:

TIDAL WAVE Update (on –> click here.


Bf 109s Worth Checking Out

In honor of the utterly stunning new-tool Bf 109G-6 kit just being released by Revell in 1/32, you might be interested in seeing the various decal schemes (ALL SCALES) still available. This kit is a dream inspirer–just beautiful:

109s –> click here.


B-24 Maintenance Films On DVD Now Available!

You can’t really understand the heavy bomber story without a clear appreciation of what the ground maintenance crews did before each mission.

I’ve obtained and digitally enhanced the USAAF’s six maintenance training films for the B-24, specifically featuring the B-24D (later models were identical in terms of the maintenance required). I’ve now released the full set in DVD form.

I’ve been studying this stuff for years and have interviewed many former B-24 line chiefs, crews chiefs, radio men, engine men, etc. However, until I obtained and watched the USAAF’s official training films about maintaining the B-24D, I did not really understand important details about the work these men did.

This is exciting stuff for the heavy bomber and B-24 Liberator buff . . .

Get The Full Info –> click here (on website).


P-51D Passion Wagon & More

Our fellow modeler (make that "Master Modeler") Ruben Torres as scored again with his gorgeous 1/48 P-51D Passion Wagon (you’ll recall Ruben’s utterly stunning 1/48 A-20H Miss Behaven with complete scratch-built interior). See his pics & more Mustang stuff by clicking the link below

P-51D Goodies –> click here.


F4U Corsair (Interesting Update)

The US Navy’s first black aviator, ENS Jesse Brown, was shot down and died on a freezing North Korean mountainside in 1950. His wingman, LTJG Thomas Hudner, decided to crash land his fully operational F4U on the steeply sloping mountainside in an attempt to rescue the obviously seriously wounded ENS Brown. Although he was ultimately unable to free the mortally injured Brown from his mangled cockpit, he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his efforts.

There’s an extremely interesting update to this story.

F4U Story Update–> click here.


F4U Corsair "Whistling Death"

The most distinctive-looking fighter of WW II was clearly the F4U Corsair. Her bent wings made her unmistakable wherever she went. Even today, casual observers can usually identify a Corsair model in the contest or on a display table. Her superlative combat record really made her a force to be reckoned with.

Take a look at some pretty cool Whistling Death/Bent Wing Bird/Hog stuff at the link below.

F4U Hog Stuff Here –> click here.


B-52H "Someplace Special" Pics

Our fellow modeler Mike Bollinger has completed his big 1/72 B-52H model in the markings of the 410th Bomb Wing’s famous "Someplace Special" in 1981 bomb competition markings.

Read more here.


F4U Corsair "Whistling Death"

The most distinctive-looking fighter of WW II was the F4U Corsair. Her bent wings made her unmistakable wherever she went. Even today, casual observers can usually identify a Corsair model in the contest or on a display table. Her superlative combat record really made her a force to be reckoned with.

Take a look at some pretty cool Whistling Death/Bent Wing Bird/Hog stuff at the link below.

F4U Hog Stuff Here –> click here.


B-24 Maintenance Films On DVD Now Available!

You can’t really understand the heavy bomber story without a clear appreciation of what the ground maintenance crews did before each mission.

I’ve obtained and digitally enhanced the USAAF’s six maintenance training films for the B-24, specifically featuring the B-24D (later models were identical in terms of the maintenance required). I’ve now released the full set in DVD form.

I’ve been studying this stuff for years and have interviewed many former B-24 line chiefs, crews chiefs, radio men, engine men, etc. However, until I obtained and watched the USAAF’s official training films about maintaining the B-24D, I did not really understand important details about the work these men did.

This is exciting stuff for the heavy bomber and B-24 Liberator buff . . .

Get The Full Info –> click here (on website).


My Long Article On America’s Secret Plan To Confuse The Ploesti Defenses Finally Posted

Took me forever to research and post, but finally finished my long article on America’s secret plan to confused the Ploesti (Romania) defenses:

Romanian citizens reported being attacked by “Soviet” bombers shortly after midday on Sunday, August 1st, 1943.  They can be excused for their confusion.

The B-24 Liberators of Operation TIDAL WAVE that penetrated Romanian airspace to attack the oil refineries at Ploesti that day in fact wore a bewildering variety of American national insignia.  How this came about is an interesting story.

Read the full article — >click here.


. . . And Now For Something (Else) Completely Different! (Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip)

Although we got the masters for our 1/48 Mi-8 and Mi-17 Hip helicopter multimedia kits to within a gnat’s eyelash of being completed, they were never publicly released. However, my two HUGE decal sets are now available. Check them out here:

Mi-8 & Mi-17 Hip HUGE Decal Sets– >click here.


. . . And Now For Something Completely Different! (Bell X-2)

For a variety of reasons, I never completed the masters for our 1/48 Bell X-2 Starbuster multimedia kit, but the deeply-researched decal sheet is now available. Posted some interesting pics, too.

Bell X-2 Pics & Decals — >click here.


Revell’s Upcoming 1/32 Bf 109G Kit – Markings

With the upcoming release of Revell Germany’s new 1/32 Bf 109G kit now joining the nice kits that Hasegawa brought us earlier, this is a good time to grab some killer markings sets.

1/32 Bf 109G Markings Sets– >click here.


Dick Bong’s P-38J "Marge" Model

Our fellow modeler Bogusław "Bodo" Słotwiński sent me pics of his beautiful P-38J "Marge" model that uses my PYN-up Decals markings set. See his pics here.

See Bodo’s "Marge" Model Pics– >click here.


"All Gone" & "Final Call" Sets List Updated

Some of the good things are sadly coming to an end. The listed decal sets are down to ten or fewer available, or recently sold completely out of stock.

See the "final call" decal sets — >click here.


Tidal Wave Ploesti Update

I just posted a fairly long update on my Tidal Wave (Ploesti) documentary website. — >click here.


F4H-1, A3J-1, Tu-4, XB-70

Finally realized that I have a few of the decal sets available from several of my resin kits and major conversions, so I’ve just listed them. Please note the resin parts are LONG gone, so these are the decal sets (and in some cases painting masks) only.

F4H-1, A3J-1, Tu-4, & XB-70 decal sets — >click here.


Fair Warning (Advanced Notice)
To Non-US Modelers

Shipping and insurance prices for decal packages sent outside the United States have more than doubled in the last two months.

Since starting to sell decal sets out of my personal collection through the Fine Art of Decals website I’ve had one standard charge for outside-US shipping, regardless of how many decal sets you ordered. With the latest HUGE price increase in international mail and insurance from the US Postal Service–based on their agreements with the recipient countries–I cannot continue to ship outside the US for one standard price.

To be as fair as I can, I’m giving you this advance notice (fair warning) that after 10 March 2013 I have no choice but to raise my outside-US shipping, and it will no longer be one standard price for as many sets as you order. From that point on, international shipping will be based on the number of decal sets you order.

However, from now until 10 March 2013 you can order as many decal sets as you wish for the original and much lower shipping/insurance cost. I’m very sorry about this, but it’s completely out of my control.


PLEASE Recheck Your Shipping Address When You Order!

To ensure your decal sets order gets sent and delivered as soon as possible, please make sure your US shipping address is accurately typed when you place your order.

Prior to this last week, only a couple of guys ever mistyped their shipping addresses when they placed their orders. However, in the last week, five guys have entered US addresses that don’t match what the US Postal Service has on file. My mailing software checks all US addresses against the USPS database and if they don’t match I cannot print a mailing label for you.

If the USPS rejects your address as typed, I have to send you an email so you can send me the correct address–THEN I can send your package. You’ll agree this is a PITA for both of us!


Another Big Site Update

While waiting for a consulting client to provide me some crucial information so I can continue his project, I’ve taken the time to go through quite a few cartons of Meteor Productions stuff I have in storage. Found a couple of cartons of decals that must have been part of the remaining stock on the shelves at Meteor when we shut down.

More than 30 new and changed decal sets are now updated on my website. A bunch of the sets I found are Luftwaffe, but there were also jets and Allied stuff as well. Many of the sets are down to the last 4-6 available. Every list has updates

Go To The Jump Box– >click here.


"All Gone" & "Final Call" Sets

All good things must come to an end (but thank God not all at once!). The following decal sets are down to the last 2-6 available, or recently sold completely out of stock.

See the "last call" decal sets — >click here.


Major Site Update

Every single list of available decal sets here has just been updated, as the result of the major review and sets count I just completed on what is left in my collection. I’ve removed all the sets that are no longer available and have added several that were down to the last five or six remaining sets.

I decided I’m not going to keep the last few sets for myself, so if any are available at all they’re now listed on the appropriate list. Quite a few are down to the very last few, and I’ll do my best to immediately remove them from this site when they’re completely gone.

Get to the updated lists by clicking the link in the the Jump Box at the top of this page.

Go To The Jump Box– >click here.


Final Part of Dana Bell’s Interview Posted

Part 3 of noted aviation historian and author Dana Bell’s interview of David H. Klaus has just been posted on the Dave’s new Tidal Wave website

Hear the the wrap-up to their discussion about this controversial documentary about the 1 August 1943 USAAF low level attack on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania.

Watch The Interview Here — >click here.


1/48 A-20H Model by Reuben Torres — Gorgeous!

Reuben Torres has finished his stunning 1/48 A-20H Miss Behaven. Check out his photos by clicking the link below:

A-20H Model Pics — >click here.


Simple Can Be Beautiful — Reuben Torres’ 1/48 Bf 109E

If you saw the amazing job Reuben did on his A-20H (see above) and were blown away (but maybe a little intimidated by his scratch building), see how great a very simple model can look.

Bf 109E Swiss AF Model– >click here.


Dana Bell’s Interview Posted

Part 1 of noted aviation historian and author Dana Bell’s interview of David H. Klaus has just been posted on the Dave’s new Tidal Wave website

Hear the latest about the new and controversial documentary about the planning, execution, and results of the 1 August 1943 USAAF low level attack on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania.

Watch The Interview Here — >click here.


1/48 "Early" P-38 Decal Sets (P-38F/

Eduard’s newly released 1/48 early P-38 kit (P-38F/G/H) has joined the older but still excellent Academy releases, so it’s time for a quick update for my 1/48 decal sets for the early P-38s.

See the "Early P-38" decal sets — >click here.


Stunning Spitfire Model Pics & Info

Fellow modeler Ruben Torres sent me a couple of photos of his gorgeous 1/48 Spitfire LF.Vb that uses my PYN-up Decals. Very, very talented and very, very cool!

See the Spitfire pics & photos — >click here.


Ploesti/Tidal Wave Voting Reminder

If you haven’t yet voted on my Tidal Wave documentary DVD/Blu-Ray question and preferred attack map question, jump over and vote by clicking the link below:


Madame Pele Photos Update

Thanks to fellow modeler Mike Hammill, I am able to post a few more pics and a bunch more information about the crew of B-24J Madame Pele. Very interesting stuff, and many thanks to Mike for taking the time to share this info with us.

See the new Madame Pele pics & photos — >click here.


Very Cool 1/48 A-20 In-Process Build Photos

Also from our fellow modeler Ruben Torres come these photos of his stunning (exactly the right word) scratch built interior for his in-work 1/48 A-20. Ruben will be using my PYN-up Decals to finish off his beauty.

Read about this famous fighter– with some cool photos — >here.


Ploesti/Tidal Wave Help Request
(SKIP THIS if you’re not interested in Tidal Wave)

My massive Ploesti/Tidal Wave documentary is coming along very well; the original Romanian film footage is now copied and I just found some outstanding 93rd Bomb Group color footage of Ploesti/Tidal Wave nose art. Really cool stuff. NOTE: It’s too early to order or preorder the basic or deluxe sets, but I’ll let you know as soon as they’re ready to order.

I need your help right now, and I want you to go to my new (unfinished) Ploesti website and vote on a couple of things.

First, for the first 250 people who order my deluxe set, I’m going to include a free, full-size (13″ x 17″), suitable-for-framing, exact replica of one of the official Tidal Wave attack approach map/diagrams used by the pilots and bombardiers on their final low-level runs into their targets. I have originals of all the charts, but will print only one and I need your help in choosing the one to have printed.

Second, I need to know whether you’re interested in having a more-expensive Blu-Ray version of my documentary available in addition to the DVDs, so be sure to vote yes or no on that issue.

Note that voting on these two matters does NOT commit you to buying anything; I just need your feedback to ensure that if you decide to order later you’ll get the things you’re most interested in.

Finally, since many (or most) folks interested in Tidal Wave/Ploesti are not modelers, I need your help in getting the word out to everybody who might be interested in the documentary–it’s important they vote as well. Let them know about the new website!

My new (and severely unfinished) Ploesti website is Jump over there right now to vote.

Thanks much.



From now on I’ll be posting frequent progress and informational updates on the project on, so bookmark the site so you can stay in touch.

A Quick Shipping News
(& Ploesti/Tidal Wave) Update

I have a quick decal sets shipping news update:

You’ve probably noticed you haven’t heard from me for a while. I’m currently living in a long-term stay hotel while my home is being repaired, which also means that I’m not doing any traveling right now.

Amazingly, this means I can actually ship decal sets a bit faster than normal* since I’m in town for the next several weeks due to the reconstruction.

Since only the upstairs (second floor in US parlance) is stripped to the bare walls—or would be if any walls or ceilings were left!—and the downstairs is untouched, I have easy access to my remaining decal stock and can ship every couple of days instead of once a week. The decal sets are securely stored and sustained NO damage during this event or the reconstruction.

FYI, about $60,000 of damage was done to my home, and dealing with the insurance company and contractors has been . . . an experience.

When all these insurance and repair issues are complete, I’m hoping to post an article about what I went through, with primary emphasis on lessons-learned and possibly including a checklist you can save or print out to jump-start your progress if you’re ever in a similar situation. If I’d only known some of this stuff in advance I could have saved myself a bunch of frustration and inconvenience. Maybe I can help you avoid some of this.

Yes, I know house-disaster stuff is not really about modeling. Until you realize that when you don’t have normal access to your home your ability to spend time building models goes to ZERO. So maybe this subject is, sorta, about modeling!

Good luck and good modeling,


* As you know, this is not an actual “business” since I’m selling my remaining decal sets out of my personal home on a time-available basis. For quite a while I’ve been able to ship decals once and occasionally twice a week; since I’m staying in town for a while I’ll be able to ship every couple of days—big surprise to me, and you’ll get your goodies a little faster during this period.


I am getting a ton of work done on the Ploesti/Tidal Wave DVD set while I’m sitting in the hotel and expect to make several major announcements in the next couple of weeks. Jeez Louise, the project is nearly finished. The first 90% is finished and I’m working hard on the last 90% :D!


P-47N Short Snorter/2 Big And Too Heavy

One of the most famous (and interesting) fancy nose art fighters of World War II was the 318th Fighter Group’s Short Snorter/2 Big And Too Heavy. Not only was the artwork huge in size, it was rather expertly painted–which was not always the case with nose art!

Read about this famous fighter– with some cool photos — >here.


Battle of Midway Commemoration

Seventy years ago the Battle of Midway was fought between 4 June and 7 June 1942 (an argument can be made it really started on 3 June and ended on 8 June). This battle became the turning point of the Pacific War.

Read the history of the Battle of Midway — with LOTS of cool photos — here.


Manfred von Richhofen’s Dr.Is

The recent Veterans Appreciation Sale nearly cleaned me out of my 1/32 Cutting Edge MvR decal sets, and I’m down to the last seven sets. After that, they’re gone for good. Learn much more about his aircraft here. (Sorry, all decal sets now sold, but there’s still a ton of info at the liked page)


Ju 88 in American Markings

Recently found my photos of the Ju 88 in US markings with huge American flags on the fin/rudder and wings. This is kinda fun, and makes an eye-catching model. See the photos of the original aircraft here.


Ploesti DVD Update #5

I’ve received quite a few enquiries about the status of my Low-Level Ploesti DVD set, and it’s clear I need to keep you better updated.

Other than the fact it’s not released yet, it’s all good great news. I have tons of original film footage in HD video format to use for the history, including some in color. I’ve got a line on some never-before-seen footage as well–I can’t promise I’ll be able to include it, but it’s looking good right now.

One of the major revelations I’ll be making is the stuff General Leon W. Johnson, USAF, Retired (passed away in 1997) told me when I interviewed him when he came to my home for dinner in 1985. Shocking stuff. General Johnson won the Medal of Honor for leading the 44th Bomb Group at very low level into the fierce fire and smoke of a blazing Ploesti oil refinery.

The US National Archives, Air Force History, and numerous other governmental and private collections have yielded some amazing–even astounding–material. It’s a bit too early to discuss all this in detail, but you’ll be blown away (oh, OK, how about this: the final German reconnaissance photos taken of the US airfields around Benghazi only four days before the mission was flown?!!).

It’s a lot of work to create a completely new website, but I’m also working on that right now and hope to have it up soon. I’ll let you know when it’s available. Not only will you be able to grab the DVD set there, I’ll be including quite a bit of additional information that’s too detailed for the film history.


Enough for the moment–I’ll let you know as soon as the new website is available.


A Couple Of Perplexing Questions . . .

Over the last couple of weeks several guys contacted my asking what A-10 stuff I have left. This has me a bit perplexed as the remaining 1/32, 1/48, and 1/72 sets are listed on the appropriate decal set pages, but maybe they couldn’t find them.

I suppose it’s more likely they were asking about sets that are completely sold out, or maybe any remaining resin stuff for the ‘Hog, although none of them were that specific. Unfortunately I don’t have any resin stuff left for the A-10 or anything else, so I can’t help there.

However, the remaining Warthog decal sets can all be seen on the A-10 Warthog page I just created, which you can view here.

. . . got the same questions about my F/A-18 Bugs and Super Bugs stuff. What I have left is all listed, but for convenience I’ve gathered all the decal sets listings (no resin left) on the page you can see here.

Hope this makes things a little easier.


Dave’s Rant About Fellow Modelers

Am I guilty? Check here.


B-24J Madame Pele New Photos

Madame Pele had some of the coolest nose art in the Pacific Theater (or anywhere!). The son of the ship’s crew chief recently contacted me and provided some very cool new photos you might not have seen before (or in such high quality). See them here.


F4F Wildcat Photo Page – UPDATED

I’ve always liked the stubby little Wildcat, so for fun I put together a bunch of interesting photos of the bird that I hope you’ll enjoy. See them here.


F-14B/D "Cool Toms" Quickie Update

Only for Tomcat nuts–a quickie update here.


1/32 US F-4 Phantom Decal Sets Problem

Noticed a big problem this week with the 1/32 US F-4 Phantom sets . . . Read more here.


B-17G Little Miss Mischief Update

Got a note from the son of Little Miss Mischief’s pilot and added it to the LMM page . . . Read more here.


1/48 Axis Decal Sets Page Problem

One of our fellow modelers pointed out to me that my 1/48 "Axis" decal sets page for Luftwaffe, Japanese, and other Axis countries was pretty hard to read because something happened to cause the descriptions to run together. It’s now fixed, so at least you can read it now!! . . . See more here.


U-2 Dragon Lady Stories & Pics

Put up some cool pix of Dragon Ladies; more to come soon . . . Read more here.


A-26 Invader Stories & Pics

Put up some cool pix of A-26 Invaders; more to come soon . . . Read more here.


MORE Cool National Archives Photos
(Plus Extra Bonuses!)

Went back to the U.S. National Archives for more research material on the Ploesti, Romania, oil refineries low-level bombing mission. A few weeks ago I published some of the outstanding photos I’d found on my previous visit, but this time I found a bunch more extremely cool stuff I think you’ll find useful and interesting.

In addition, I’ve added considerable extra bonus material to the photos I posted before. Among other things, you’ll see some of the formerly highly secret extremely detailed research information I used to create some of our most popular decal sets in the PYN-up Decals and Cutting Edge decal lines. So, even if you looked at the links earlier, you’ll want to check them out again to see the added info.

Click the links below to go to the individual pages. These include both completely new pages and significantly updated versions of what I showed you earlier.


Cool Jet Pics

Found a few of the photos we used to make some of our 1950s jet decals . . . Read more here.


Phuntsok Had A Son!

If you visited the Meteor store during the early and mid 2000s, you probably remember my Operations Manager, Phuntsok. She is Tibetan (and the motivation for all those "Free Tibet" labels we had at the bottom of our emails for years).

I really hated to lose her since she was the best employee I ever had. But, she went off to get her MBA and has begun an extremely successful business career. She married her Tibetan boyfriend and they just had their first child, a son they named Namca.

If you ever met her you know she’s an extremely nice person (as well as one of the sharpest people you could ever meet), and I know you wish her well. If you’d like to send along your congratulations, just email me by clicking here and I’ll forward your good wishes to her.


P-61 Black Widow – Early "Sneak Peak"
at Brett Green’s Upcoming Article in
Military Illustrated Modeller Magazine

You probably know Brett Green as the owner of the fantastic modeling website HyperScale. He’s also one of the very best modelers in the world and, somehow, finds time to build a LOT of models. One of his latest is the 1/48 Great Wall P-61 Black Widow . . . Read more here.


National Archives Cool Photos

During my research in the National Archives for more material on the Ploesti, Romania, oil refineries low-level bombing mission, I came across some original 8" x 10" prints of some interesting aircraft subjects. Some of these photos have been published before, but I offer them here due to their very high resolution, which I hope you’ll find interesting. Click the links below to go to the individual pages:


Ploesti DVD Set Update #4

I’m excited!

Honestly, at this point in my life I don’t get too excited about very many things. While my main professional work is interesting and fun and I have a good time, it’s not often something happens that really lights my fire.

The 94-year-old man who painted much of the flamboyant nose art in the 98th Bomb Group (Snow White, Prince Charming, the seven Dwarfs, etc.) lives near . . . read more here.


Dragged Through The Mouth Of Hell: Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943 (UPDATE)

Quite a bit of new news and progress on the multiple-DVD film history of this famous low-level B-24 mission against the oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania. Read more here.


The 1/32 Tamiya P-51D Kit Is Out
(And Grab
Some Of The Few Remaining
B-52 Decal Sets!)

Doggone it. I just got my Tamiya P-51D kit (as everybody says, it’s gorgeous in the box!) and noticed my 1/32 P-51D decal sets (and BUFFs) special pages somehow dropped off my site. I’ve added it back and you can get there by clicking here.

Jump To The 1/32 PYN-up & Cutting Edge P-51D Decal Sets
Jump To The 1/72 & 1/144 Cutting Edge B-52 Decal Sets

Combat F-14 Tomcat Nose Art

F-14B San Antonio Rose Artwork Closeup Another cool "happy accident," courtesy of Belgian modeler Sylvain Beauvais. Sylvain contacted me to ask about the F-14B named "San Antonio Rose," and CAPT Dana "Smudge" Potts, USN, Retired, fills in the backstory.

Learn more here.



Surprising USAAF P-40E In Australia

P-40 Eisenberg Every once in a while something really cool happens. Several years ago, a fellow modeler named Mike Schine appeared at Meteor and told me an interesting and surprising story. Learn more here.


REVISED 1/32 F-105B Thunderbirds Decals/Masks Set


F-105B Thunderbirds 1964 Season. Full Thunderbirds markings for BOTH the pre-season scheme and the final show season scheme. Any one of the team’s jets from this season can be built, as all pilots, planes, and crew chiefs are included on the decals. This HUGE set includes a "normal" decal sheet, a special PYN-ups Decals sheet for the "countries visited" decal, and SEVEN 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper templates you’ll use to cut masks from your favorite masking material. All Thunderbirds scalloping is included in the form of masks as it would be impossible to cleanly match up decal pieces and/or to match painted areas to decal colors. Note the national flags insignia is printed using the PYN-up Decals special printing process to give you EXTREMELY fine detail on the flags! Our special thanks go to Brig Gen Paul Kauttu, USAF, Retired, 1964 Thunderbirds team leader, and Paul Stevens, his crew chief on the Thunderbirds team.




Long-Lost 1/48 Fw 190 A-8 from JG 301 Sets Found!


Advanced Research Series Fw 190 A-8 of JG 301. Just got back from a long business trip and was thinking about having found a few misfiled sets of our long-lost 1/48 Advanced Research Series Fw 190D of JG 301 sets. I wondered whether our long-lost 1/48 Advanced Research Series Fw 190 A-8 from JG 301 set might have also been misfiled.

The great news is that YES, twenty-three sets of this decal were in fact misfiled! That means you can grab this long-lost set if you move fast–note that the 14 sets of our Fw 190D set SOLD OUT in the first seven hours after I notified everybody that they were available.

This striking bird, Fw 190 A-8 Yellow 4 Chevron, beautifully showcases the Luftwaffe’s practice of recycling airframe parts. An older fuselage assembly appears to have been grafted onto a new tail unit. It also displays remarkable and unusual red & yellow stripes on the cowling that match the JG 301 RV bands on the rear fuselage. As with our other Advance Research Series decal sets, this one includes really superb quality photos of the plane. (Please note I still have a few of the 1/72 version of this decal set available too.)

(only 23 0 sets available)


Long-Lost 1/48 Fw 190D JG 301 Set


SORRY — ALREADY SOLD OUT!! Advanced Research Series. Thanks to our fellow modeler Alexander Witte, who ordered this set in 1/72 but received a 1/48 set, I discovered fourteen 1/48 copies of this decal set that we thought had been completely sold out years ago. These 14 sets were mis-filed with the 1/72 version and I assumed they were all, in fact, 1/72 scale. I’m very glad they surfaced, as this is a really cool set with very accurate coverage of this interesting and colorful Fw 190D-9 White 12 of II/JG301 Includes excellent photos of the original aircraft and full stenciling. (A few of the 1/72 version are left, too)


Several hundred of our fellow modelers requested that I offer a DVD version of the F9F Panther research video I showed you last October. It’s now available! Order your own copy now and play as often as you want on your computer.

Easily Make Yourself An Expert!

For the first time ever, you now have
the opportunity to grab your own personal
copy of this highly acclaimed aircraft research video!

How To Avoid
The Nine Common Mistakes
Even The EXPERTS Make About The
F9F Panther

asfd asfd

The F9F Panther: One of the most beautiful jet fighters of all time—and a crucial element in the development of early United States Navy carrier jet aviation!

This 54-minute DVD teaches you those hidden, “inside secrets” distinguishing the various models of the Panther: the F9F-2, F9F-2P, F9F-3, F9F-4, F9F-5, and F9F-5P. The later F9Fs (dash 6/7/8 Cougars) were technically different and will be the subject of a future DVD.

Watch as noted aviation historian Dave Klaus describes in clear and simple terms the differences between the various Panthers versions. NOBODY will fool you after you’ve seen this research video!

Act right now and grab your own copy of this acclaimed training program that you can watch, pause, and watch again at your own convenience!

F9F DVD Only $18.97

(NOTE: This DVD is shipped SEPARATELY from any other decals or other items you may order at the same time!

Click this button right now! → asf   asfd

Upcoming Ploesti DVD Set

Ploesti Film B-24 Attack Photo

Dragged Through The Mouth Of Hell:
Context To Heroism at Ploesti, 1 Aug 1943

. . . is my multiple DVD set scheduled for
release in the Summer of 2013.

B-24D Wongo Wongo

Ploesti, Romania! Nearly 70 years after the mission, the name Ploesti still evokes a strong feeling of respect and amazement. Without doubt the most famous low-level bombing mission of World War II, on August 1st, 1943, 178 huge American B-24 Liberators took off from North African bases to attack the vast oil refining complex surrounding this picturesque old city.

As a serious student and researcher of the Ploesti mission since 1977, I have accumulated a large collection of original photographs, survivor interviews, official and unofficial reports, and inside information about the mission.

My video presentation will cover not only the mission itself (with much never-before-seen film taken on the actual mission), but also the entire context of the mission including the politico-military and economic background, the planning, the training, the mission itself, and the aftermath.

Among many other important historical facts, I’ll trace the experiences of each of the five heroic bomb groups that flew the mission (44th, 98th, and 389th on loan from the 8th Air Force in England, and the 98th and 376th from the North African based 12th Air Force).

Ploesti Low Level Photo 1

Because there’s so much hugely interesting information to share with you, and nobody has time to watch a four hour long movie, I’m splitting all this great stuff into one overview movie and separate movies that go into additional detail on specific subjects. All these movies will be included in the same DVD set, of course.

More recently I’ve taken the time to dig deeply into the US National Archives and found the long-lost original pre-mission briefing films created by the mission planners. This remarkable series of films laid out for the combat aircrews the navigation, approach, targeting, and German defenses they could expect to face.

As I will describe in the video, these films and many of the other training innovations for this mission had never been seen before. The intelligence officers even built a detailed scale model of the Ploesti area. They then mounted a film camera on a child’s tricycle and ran it across the diorama to show the aircrews the actual perspective they’d see during their low-level approach to their targets!*

And yes, these films will be included in their entirety on one of the DVDs in this set! Several other related films will also be included.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available! (Pricing has not been set at this time)

Dave Klaus

    * A British intelligence officer who had previously managed one of the Ploesti refineries was even able to pick out the very villa where he’d lived on the model!

Ploesti Mission bomb dump

Jump To The Decal Catalog Pages
1/48 Allied
1/48 Axis
1/48 Postwar
Other Cool Stuff


Heads Up!

Two important things:

First—this is really cool (and unexpected!).

Long time IPMS member and former F-100 Hun driver Don Schmenk offered to autograph TWENTY-FIVE (25) instruction sheets for my F-100D Hun Part 4 decal set.

Now you can grab not only great markings for your Hun model, but also own an original autograph from a legitimate war hero. However, only 25 NOW ONLY FOUR of these very special sets exist and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.


1/32 F-100D Hun Part 4 SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION AUTOGRAPHED VERSION! MULTIPLE SHEET SET. This Special Version decal set has the instruction sheet autographed by long-time IPMS member Maj Don Schenk, whose "Mary Jane/Carol Ann" is one of the featured schemes! F-100D-50-NH, 55-2901 "Colleen," Lt Joe Vincent, 31 TFW/309 TFS, Tuy Hoa, RVN, Spring 1970 (SEA camouflage scheme); F-100D-25-NA, 55-3604, "skull," Lt Col Harold "Bunny" Comstock, 27 TFW/481 TFS Commander, Bien Hoa, RVN, July 1966 (silver paint scheme); F-100D-20-NA, 55-3580 "Mary Jane/Carol Ann," Maj Don Schmenk, 31 TFW/308 TFS, Late 1969 (SEA camouflage scheme). Comstock’ "skull" jet displays seven iron cross kill symbols from his WW II kills. Schmenk "Mary Ann" includes both early and late versions of the crew data blocks and tail markings. Special thanks to pilots Joe Vincent & Don Schmenk, both IPMS members, for all their help during the creation of this set.

$39.97 asf

Second, several decal sets are nearly (and permanently) gone.

To my huge surprise, only SIX FOUR ZERO of my 1/48 Israeli F-4/RF-4 multiple sheet decal set are left. We printed 7500 of these decal sets . . . and when you have that many around, you kinda think they’re gonna last forever. So, I was shocked when a guy ordered one of these sets a couple of days ago and I realized that only SIX FOUR ZERO remain. I feel like an era is passing!


1/48 Israeli Kurnasses. ALL ARE GONE; SORRY YOU MISSED THEM! Research and artwork by Raanan Weiss, of IsraDecals.  This HUGE double sheet set allows you to model almost any Israeli F-4E, F-4E(S), or RF-4E! This set also has a very detailed instruction sheet set.

Speaking of which, the other Israeli decal sets are very low as well, with no more than 5 of each remaining.


1/48 Israeli Bazes. Research and artwork by Raanan Weiss, of IsraDecals!  This set allows you to model almost any Israeli F-15A/B/C/D Baz in the air superiority scheme! Very detailed instructions accompany this amazing decal set.

$22.97 Add to Goodie Bag


1/72 Israeli Kurnasses. Research and artwork by Raanan Weiss, of IsraDecals!  This HUGE double sheet set allows you to model almost any Israeli F-4E, F-4E(S), or RF-4E! This set also has a very detailed instruction sheet set.

$18.97 asf



1/72 Israeli Bazes. Research and artwork by Raanan Weiss, of IsraDecals!  This set allows you to model almost any Israeli F-15A/B/C/D Baz in the air superiority scheme! Very detailed instructions accompany this amazing decal set.

$18.97 asf



Still Some Decal Sets Available