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Review - Starfighterace Decals

 
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terryoc
Captain


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1379

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: Review - Starfighterace Decals Reply with quote

Product: Decal sheets for Federation Commander squadron boxes (sheets 1-3 reviewed here)
Price: $6
Manufacturer: Starfighterace Decals/Mark Tutton (mktutton at verizon dot net)

I've just recently started collecting and painting miniatures for my games of Federation Commander. I'd heard a lot of good things about Mark Tutton's decal sets for Starline minis, so I contacted him and asked for a price list. A sheet of decals, sufficient for all the ships in one Squadron box, ran at $6, or about $1.25 per ship. That seemed high at the time (but once I saw the product, I changed my mind).

Mark's service was very fast, and before long I recieved my decals. Just one look at them surprised me. Even the Federation FF and Klingon F5 decal sheets had about 15 or 20 individual decals on them. Every detail was included. Every detail, even some stuff it never occurred to me not to paint. Hull names and numbers, windows, phasers, antennas, weapons, drone racks, even some stuff that I don't know what it is. You could easily just to a basecoat and some very basic detailing and finish the rest off with decals. Suddenly, $1.25 per ship seemed like a bargain.

I wasn't used to working with such tiny decals, and it took a few tries to get it right. Fortunately, Mark included bonus decal sets for the FF and F5 on the sheets - which let me make some mistakes. I still didn't get it entirely right. I let air get underneath the decals, which made them stand out as shiny. Some of them I misaligned or put on wonky.

But you know what? Even with the wonky decals, the ships STILL look much cooler than they did before. Every time I look at my Federation CL or FF, I say to myself, "Man, that looks cool!" and it puts me in the mood for a rip-roaring game of Federation Commander. Mark's decals are so good, they can make a thumb-fingered incompetent like me look good.

My only complaint with the product is that the placement guides could be better. It's sometimes not obvious where a particular decal is intended to go. The Federation guides are very comprehensive, the Klingon guides less so.

In any case, I give this product a solid 4.5 out of 5, and I'll certainly be using more of Mark's decals.
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"Captain" Terry O'Carroll, fourteen papers published including six best of issue
"Man, Terry, you are like a loophole seeking missle!" - Mike West
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jpat
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 203
Location: Iowa City, IA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry,

Thanks for posting this. This was about my and my wife's experience the first time--which has been the only time so far. My wife and I were surprised at how much was included, and we ended up not using a lot of the decals (but saving the extras) because she'd already painted a lot of the details. She definitely struggled with getting the decals on at first--one of the Fed ships from Squadron Box 1 has very wonky alignment on its name/stripes--but that's not Mark's fault. Very Happy

Personally, I'm not sure whether I'd try to put her through the decal thing again unless it were for Fed ships, which really do look naked without something. (I'd do them myself, but that kind of detail work is probably beyond my limited visual capacity ... which is one reason I'm not totally into getting the decals on in the first place.)

Anyway, Mark was helpful over email, and promptly sent out the decals. The only minor problem I noted was that the CA decals for Squadron Box 1 had a CC ship name, at least as listed by the rulebook. I would've liked more in the way of placement information, but, like I said, we had ended up painting a lot of what could've been "decaled."
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4468
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second Terry's comments. I have used Mark's decals for several of my Federation fleet and I'm always amazed at how much better they make them look.

and he has decals for pieces that I would never have dreamed of using decals for. There are decals for the phaser emitters, the warp cooling radiators, shuttle hatches, access panels, etc. With a simple base-coat of white and just a bit of color here and there... the decals would make for a complete miniature.
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