Hobby Decal

1/48 F-4 J VX-4 Vandy 1 "Black Bunny" 

Dry Transfer + Water-Slide Decals

$25.00 from Hobby Decal product # AL48001V1 (also comes in 1/32 and 1/72)

Review by Steve Bamford on July 15 2007


This new decal sheet set from Hobby Decal includes dry transfer stencils and water-slide decals for the 1/48 F-4 J VX-4 Vandy 1 "Black Bunny" from Oct 1972.  

Full sized 1/1 aircraft have their stencils painted on using paint stencils.  Regular decals are ink printed on a clear carrier film....which is fine, but they are not as accurate in look and application as dry transfers for certain applications such as stencils.  This set gives you the perfect combination of decals to do this jet up to obtain maximum realism.  

Dry transfers are reverse printed on a  temporary clear film.  When you apply the stencils you lay the back of the stencils on the painted surface of the model and then burnish (rub) them down through the clear temporary carrier film.  The dry transfer sticks to the model and dis-engages from the clear carrier film.  The beauty of dry transfers is on models with bare metal finishes.  On bare metal finishes you do not have any clear carrier film as you would have with regular decals and this also applies to painted areas as well.  The decals are beautifully printed on 8 decal sheets.  One complete set of stencils is included on this decal sheet....WOW.....so many stencils.....even stencils for the weapons pods are included!!!

The dry transfers are very clearly printed and will replicate the actual stencils on this 1/1 F-4 perfectly and the water slide decals will perfectly replicate the larger painted markings on this jet.  

This decal set includes 3 types of decals.

  1. Dry transfers were printed by Hobbydecal.com
  2. National insignia and red bands were printed by Cartograf and are applied as water slide decals.
  3. Blue bands with stars and black walkway lines are water slide decals, but were printed on clear decal film, so you will need to trim each markings before applying them.


Click on images below to see larger images

Sample photo of another HobbyDecal sheet


Instruction sheet


These dry transfer stencils and water slide decals are very clearly printed and you will be impressed.  To apply the dry transfers you need a rounded tool to rub the clear carrier film to burnish the dry transfer top the painted surface of the model.  To the right is the tool sent to me by Hobby Decal....my wife recognized this as a Crochet needle....a type of knitting.

The 3 pages of instructions are clear and include 4 views of this one aircraft that shows stencil and marking placement.  Plus a third cardboard page which includes 9 steps of instructions.  This page is cardboard to give protection to the product and avoid bending during shipping.  The Hobby Decal website also has instructions on installing dry transfers. 

Click on image below to see larger image

Crochet needle for applying decals

It's very exciting to see all these stencils........there are so many and on this "Black Bunny" Phantom.....the white stencils will show up exceptionally well on this black jet.  

One very special feature of the instruction sheets is that they are actually a large 2 sided poster which you can see below.  This poster is 16" (40.6cm) wide and 22" (56cm) long.  And this poster shows the placement of each and every tiny stencil applied to this jet.  The poster is folded to fit in the decal package for shipping, but it is a very nice poster on thick glossy paper.  The poster tells the whole story of the 2 F-4's featured on the poster and their sad end (the grey RAF jet is NOT included on this decal sheet).  Special thanks for helping make this sheet possible goes to Mike Davey, Andy Blair and Mark Jones.

Click on images below to see larger images

The markings for RAF F-4J (UK) ZE352 are not included.


If you want maximum realism.......then these dry transfers and decals will give you amazing results.  Hobby Decal has a variety of dry transfers for a large variety of aircraft from props to jets.  If you bought this decal set you'd have one fantastic Phantom with these markings by Hobby Decal


I would like to thank Hobby Decal for providing me with this review sample.

Photos and text by Steve Bamford