Aero Image Works | RAAF Pacific Spitfires

Reviewed by Peter Roberts

Some modellers may be familiar with Aero Imageworks from their web site "Pacific Spitfires", a net based (essential) reference for anyone modeling RAAF Spitfires of WW2. However, Aero Imageworks have now gone into producing decals for modellers of RAAF Spitfires, and have produced sheets in various scales. The research behind these decals is impeccable, and reflects the information available on the web site.

Following on from their successful 1/48 scale decal sheet for RAAF Pacific Spitfires, Aero Image Works have selected three subjects for 1/32 scale. These subjects are:

  1. CR-C A58-484 - a Mk VIII flown by Clive Caldwell (Sheet no A013201)
  2. ZP-Y A58-672 - a Mk VIII flown by F/O F Inger (Sheet no A013202)
  3. ZP-Q A58-614 - a Mk VIII flown by F/Lt Sly (Sheet no A013203)

These make ideal subjects for those modellers with appropriate conversion sets (Paragon or Warbirds), or with the modeling skills to turn the Hasegawa (or Revell) kits into the Mark VIII variant. Indeed, Warbirds (USA) have these decals as a package deal with the Warbirds conversion set.

These decals are produced on an ALPS type printer, and are therefore one large decal requiring individual subjects to be trimmed carefully from the sheet. The modeller determines the amount of excess film by trimming to the subject decal. The print register of each image is excellent.

Each sheet of individual aircraft markings is accompanied by a sheet with stencil markings, a nice touch. An excellent "Guidebook" also accompanies each decal set, providing camouflage and decal placement details for the subject aircraft, and general details for the typical RAAF Mk VIII Spitfire, including pilot gear detail. The last three pages of the book have cockpit diagrams for the modeller who likes to add additional detail. My only gripe concerns the positioning of the Voltage Regulator. According to the book, this was not positioned behind the pilot, but on the port side cockpit wall. This is supposed to be shown by the Cockpit Diagrams, but this is not apparent in the Diagrams.

The decals themselves reflect careful attention to detail. The style of the "Grey Nurse" inscription very closely matches the original, and the large shark mouths adorning ZP-Q and ZP-Y are different and closely match photographic evidence for both aircraft. Edward "Ted" Sly recently published an autobiography and included photos of his aircraft (ZP-Q) - his aircraft certainly carried a shark mouth with more teeth than usually seen, as represented by these decals.

Stencil detail includes the little black alignment markings each side of the cowling fasteners (also seen sometimes on the spinner fasteners), and the patches to cover the machines gun openings on the wings,

Priced at A$24.95 (US$18.00), these decal represent good value for the modeller as they essentially include two decal sheets, and provide some very colourful options for modellers of the Spitfire. These decals are highly recommended. Available from :

or: Aero Image works
PO Box 1484
Victor Harbour
SA 5211

For further information on RAAF Spitfires, modellers would do well to check out the website

For those modellers building "ZP-Q", Edward "Ted" Sly has recently self published a book of his memoirs. This can be obtained by writing to PO Box 10, Collaroy, NSW Australia, 2097, or faxing to 02 9972 9362. The book features details of Teds RAAF experiences, and some nice photos of his Spitfire, "ZP-Q".

Peter Roberts 2004

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016