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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


Exito Decals Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 "Gustavs Over the Balkans" -- 1:48 Scale



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Exito Decals is a new aftermarket decal manufacturer from Poland, and thanks to a conversation with Floyd Werner, I became aware of them in November 2018.  Here, we are pleased to bring you our first review of sheets by Exito Decals:  Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 “Gustavs Over the Balkans.”  I ordered this sheet directly from Exito via their website and a PayPal transaction, it is was a smooth as an order can be.  I purchased the Bf 109 sheet for myself, but Exito included their Fw 190 sheet as a review sample, so why not review both!  Here, let’s check out the Gustavs.

The decals arrived after traveling for about a week from Krakow.  They were expertly packed in a reinforced rigid mailer and suffered no damage over the course of their overseas voyage.  This set contains Cartograf-printed markings for three BF 109G-6s:        

The decals for all three 109s come on a single, medium-sized decal sheet.  The decal design appears top-notch in all respects.  The decals were printed by Cartograf, and as usual, are technically impeccable.  Colors are solid, everything is in perfect register, and carrier film is thin and restrained.

The instruction for each markings option is printed on full-color, semi-gloss, and thick paper.  The printing here is awesome and includes reference photos of the two Luftwaffe and one Romanian aircraft.  To my knowledge, these particular German 109s have never been given the decal treatment, and I think this is the best-ever set of decals for the U.S. marked Romanian Gustav.  Color callouts are for AK Interactive and Mr. Hobby paints.  Of particular note - on the other side of the markings guide for each plane are beautifully rendered profile views of each Gustav, expertly rendered by Janusz Światłoń.  These are ready for framing.  It’s not often that aftermarket decals come with such appealing and well-rendered art.

While the second scheme is very unusual (and I like unusual), I’ll admit that my favorite scheme here is the third one featuring Bâzu Cantacuzino’s 109 marked with the U. S. flag and national insignia.  Here’s the story as I understand it:  Romania turned against the Axis in the early part of August 1944, and aside from attacking the Nazis, a few very special missions were undertaken not long after Romania has joined the Allies.  More than 1,000 American POWs were held in Romania, and the famous Romanian ace, Capt. Constantin “Bâzu” Cantacuzino, the “Prince of Aces,” was tasked to fly to the USAAF base in Foggia, Italy.  Along for the ride was the highest ranking POW in Romania, Colonel James Gunn, who was squeezed into the radio compartment on his ride to freedom.  Just to make REALLY sure this Bf 109 was identified as a friendly, Cantacuzino’s Gustav also was painted (by hand) with large, high-visibility American flags on the fuselage and pre-1942 national insignia roundels on the wings.  When they took off, some of the paint was still wet and streaked backwards in the airflow (nicely captured by the decals!).  Two hours later, Gunn was delivered and Cantacuzino’s next task was to lead back a flight of 56 B-17s converted into transports back to Romania in order to repatriate the remaining POWs.  Technical issues prevented the refueling of his 109, so he was provided a P-51 for his return flight on this historic mission.  

Overall, this sheet is excellent, and Exito Decals is to be commended for a first-rate inaugural release.  We look forward to all their future work.  I’ve been wavering a lot regarding what scheme I should do with my Tamiya Bf 109G-6.  Well, not anymore. Cantacuzino’s airplane it is!  After that, it’s Black 5...

You can visit Exito Decals on the web at www.exito.site, email them at hq@exito.site, and find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ExitoDecals/.  Of interest to fans of 1:72 scale, this set is also available in that scale, too.  Check out Exito’s website for more info.  

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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