Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Company B Decals for 20mm (1/72) figures

So, this finally is the post Fran waited so desperately for :)
Today I'll review Decals for 20mm figures made by Company B.
You might open their shop-site for references...

I bought the strips "German Heer" and "Fallschirmjager"; Double-S was sold out and I don't need it.
Usually I wouldn't need the FJ-strip either, but I thought about the possibility of using the Spread-Wing-Helmet-Eagle for breast-patches.

What do you get?
When I looked at the offer in the webshop, I thought I might better get me two of each strips, regarding the fact that I didn't want to use the decals on one or two squads only. What I got, slightly differed from what I expected.
In the case of the FJ-Strip, I got exactly twice as much as I thought!

That's not bad! Additionally there are four rows of light blue/white decals, that might represent an eagle. I can't figure this out exactly, but I don't mind since I didn't expect it to be there.

The Heer-Strip came up with another surprise. It doesn't carry half of the decals I expected, but on the other hand it features lots of rank-badges which are visible on the Double-S-Strip in the webshop. Now I am able to promote more soldiers to NCOs than I can supply with helmet insignia. Mmmh. Well, doesn't make that much sense.

The slight difference between webshop-offer and reality brings me straight to the next point. Quality.
The transfer sheet is continous, but that's not bad, I am used to this and already expected this to get fiddly.
First the good news: The transfers are very thin and adhesion is quite well. Didn't have any issues with that. This also means that you need some extra care while handling and storing them.

The traditional national colors of Imperial Germany for the right helmet side are crisp and clean on both strips, even though the FJ-Strip features a pretty bright blue instead of the blueish black that one usually sees. Whatever... Nevermind.

Now the other side of the medal: The print quality of both products diverges when it comes to printing white on black:


As you can see, the helmet eagle is "properly" recognizeable on the Heer-Strip. It's not historically correct if you compare it with the reference (example here), but I don't think anyone would bother at this scale. Some of the Rank-Patches are not printed properly, but as there are masses of it, it's alright.

Something that DOES bother me is the fact that it the shield-eagle is practically not printed at all on the FJ-Strip, since the eagle was one of two things I actually bought these Decals for.
I accept that this may be the hardest constellation of colors to print, but on the other hand, other producers are able to print stuff like that in this scale. You might now argue that I bought the FJ-Strip for the spread-wing-eagles, not for the shield-eagles(though both were used on the FJ-Helmet), but you'll see my matter with that on the next topic:

While not really visible when directly compared on the sheets, the prints on both sheets do not have the same size. See here:

The Heer-decal (right) actually is about 1/3rd bigger than the FJ-decal(left).
Well, I think decals which would really be scale would not be usable by the casual modelmaker, but you might agree that the Heer-decal is simply to large to use. And these are the "Übermenschen" from the Italeri-German Elite Troops set which are quite big compared to other figures. I don't recommend using them on those "uk-20mm-figures" like SHQ since they would probably cover the helmet ;)
That's why I ended up being happy to have ordered those FJ-Decals which provide the national colors and at least the Shield (which I am completely unable to paint) for the helmet-eagle which I eventually painted on.

I guess that was quite a rant for a product in this price-category, so now I feel like I need to adress another topic which absolutely pleased me:

When it comes to service, there is nothing I could mourn about. The shop offers paying by paypal which saves me from international-banking-fees, the shipping was ultra-fast (3 days from order to delivery, from US to the heart of germany!!) and the a response on the submitting the issues from above to the shop-owner came very quickly. He offered to send another strip, just in case he might have sent me the 28mm version or a refund if I liked, but I refused, since I eventually used the FJ-decals (with some revise) and got quite a good result.

I think most of my issues could be sorted out, if the shop did not feature the original design that was originaly created as template for printing but pictures of the real prints instead. Anyone could asure himself of the print-quality and of what decals he actually gets.
Combined with a reference picture of a 20mm figure with the decals applied (size comparison) there would be almost no room left for complaints.

If you manage to grab hold of a good print (I assume that quality fluctuates to a certain point) or you're having a steady hand for painting eagles, the FJ-decals will certainly help to "pimp" your wargaming miniatures. Since the decals are this cheap, I'd say you might give 'em a go...

If you use Valiant-Miniatures, you'll probably be perfectly happy with the bigger Heer-decals as well.

Asuming that quality gets better with larger scale, I guess that you can buy the 28mm without concerns if you play in this scale.

Here's the best eagle I managed to paint on the shield-decal (FJ)which provided a good base:
 The other side (FJ as well):



  1. Nice review!
    At the beginning i thought that this would be a real deal, but the printing quality seems pretty bad.

    I think i'll probably stick to more Expenisve ones instead of those.


    1. Oh, there are others? Which ones? Where to get? :)

    2. Not sure if they will fit for 20mm scale, as i'm using them for 15mm, but have a look at Dom's Decals.

    3. ..BUT these are more for British armor then German Infantry.

    4. Oh yeah, I use them for all of my Vehicles. Totally loving them :)

  2. I admire your patience!
    Cutting and gluing all these small decals!
    Good job mate!

    1. It's all a matter of the system. I cut a column and snap the upper and lower space.
      Did this for 20 decals of the same type and put them into a shooter-glass.

      Applying these is pretty easy as they detach pretty well and adhere pretty well.
      Since they are small, they do not warp or bend around your brush as bigger decals would. I worked with a 000 brush and Vallejo Decal Medium + Fix.

  3. This was a damn good review but still brought me out in a sweat as the thought of the patience and skill required seems amazing, brilliant work though Mojo!

  4. When I saw the printing quality of the decals I think I will try to print the decals I need by myself on decal sheet.


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