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Old 12-15-2005, 07:25 PM   #1
MPWR
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Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

A couple of weeks ago, the folks at Crazy Modeler were kind enough to send me an example of one of their decal sets, to demo and tell them what I thought. I figured some of you might also be interested in hearing about the results.

There certainly has been discussion here about copyright issues. It's not a topic I can really speak to with any authority, so I won't. Assuming there are no such infringements (and I have no real reason to believe there are), I don't have a problem with one decal manufaturer putting out a set covering an identical subject already coverd by a set put out by another manufacturer. If more than one company wants to put out tobacco markings for Tamiya's F2001, I say great. I don't think one is copying the other, and it cetainly increases the chances that I'll be able to get those markings. Likewise, if both Fujimi and Revell want to put out an F430, great- but I won't buy one of each. This having been said, on to the decals.

This is what arrived:



Crazy Modeler's 1/24 Ferrari 360 Modena set. Overall, a rather professional looking product. The packaging is stiff folded printed cardboard, very similar to the packaging Scale Motorsports uses for their CF decals. Together with the plastic bag it comes in, it survived unscathed the trip halfway around the world in international post, with no more additional protection than a paper envelope. The decal sheet itself has an additional layer of plastic film for protection.



Also included is a single folded diagram showing decal placement on a Ferrari 360 Modena. More on this later.

The quality of the markings appears to be good. Shapes look sharp and accurate. The registration is pretty good, but not excellent. See the German flags on the M Schumacher decals, and the green and red stripes above the Scuderia shields below for an example. Cartograf and SMS do better, but I've certainly used worse. They are far superior to the print quality of the kit decals in Fujimi's 348 kit, and they are shaped and sized more accurately than the kit decals in Fujimi's 288 GTO Enthu kit. I'm happy to have replacements for both.



The sheet is divided into halves, one side containing the logos and a set of Enzo markings, the other side with just markings for the 360.



The actual subject matter of the set is for two introductory schemes- one for the 360 Challenge that Michael Schumacher premiered at the Nurburgring in 1999, and one for the Enzo that Schumi also premiered at Nurburgring in 2002. I believe that the 360 was also the one that Ferrari premiered in the US, on a track that Schumacher drove around while pursued by 400 horses (I assume that Ferrari was demonstrating that one could probably buy and maintain 400 horses for the price of a 360 Challenge).


The 360.


The Enzo.

This particular 360 Challenge appears to be a bit of a mix of Modena, Challenge, and Stradale. The bodywork appears to be straight from the Modena, but the interior, brakes, and probably the engine are Challenge specifications. The wheels, however, are the same as on the Stradale. So, to do this car accurately, you can leave the body as is, do a racing cockpit either by scratchbuiding or using a transkit, and get a set of Stradale wheels (I think MSM and SAS each make a set). Also note the aircraft style refueling port on the car. The instruction sheet calls out decal placement pretty accurately, with one exception- there is no street license plate on the back of this car. Save it for the Enzo, where it belongs. The straight Lineltex decal goes where the plate is indicated. PZero decals are even included for the tires.

The Enzo decals are a nice little bonus. The scheme offers a bit of a break from the dreaded 'another red Enzo syndrome'. However, neither the instruction sheet nor the packaging mention nothing about it- and you're going to have to figure out placement by yourself (Hint: do a Google image search on Enzo & Schumacher).

Also included is the collection of extra Ferrari logos- wheel hub markings, Scuderia shields, bonnet emblems, and steering wheel emblems. This more than anything else makes this sheet worth hunting down and buying. Sure, the Enzo and 360 markings are great, but there is a serious need in this hobby for sheets of extra manufacturer logos. A sheet of nothing but extra manufacturer emblems, say Ferrari, Posche, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda (etc.) would be a magnificent godsend for 1/24 car builders. It would sell to nearly anyone who has more than one or two car kits in their stash. For those of us who've been known to aquire old kits off of Ebay, it's an absolute necessity.

(Hey CRAZY MODELER, are you LISTENING??!!)


I tried a few of the wheel hub decals on an F348 that I hope to get around to finishing some day. As mentioned before, they're definately superior to the decals Fujimi supplied with the kit.



They look the part pretty well. There are no instructions for how to use the decals, but I figure the vast majority of you can figure it out. I used Solvaset on them, and they snugged right down to the domed surface of the wheel hub. I haven't tried anything else, but Solvaset is pretty stong stuff, so I'd guess Crazy Modeler's decals would work fine with most other setting solutions (Microsel, Microsol, white vinegar, single malt Scotch, etc.)


So, my verdict: This is a sheet I would by and recommend. The extra Ferrari emblems are particularly useful. The 360 amd Enzo are cool subjects, and a great option to enhance otherwise 'boring' red cars. My only quibbles are the registration on a couple of the multicolored decals, and the scanty documentation included. Descriptions of the specific cars the decals are for, as well as a diagram showing decal placement on the Enzo, would make for a stronger product. The registration issues are not severe enough that I wouldn't use the markings.

Crazy Modeler products still seem pretty difficult to come by. Their website shows off some of their products, but doesn't seem to give any information on how to get them (the site has also been unavailble more often then not when I've looked for it). At least one distributer in the US claims to stock them, and I understand they've been seen on Ebay occasionaly. Now that I'm familiar with their decals, I will keep an eye out for them.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:44 PM   #2
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Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

Thanks for sharing your thoughts
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:09 PM   #3
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Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

Yeah I've seen these on ebay but never get any feedback on how they are. Thanks for the review!
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:49 PM   #4
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Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

Thanks for the excellent review. Added to the review depository.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:43 AM   #5
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Often wondered about these decals! Thanks for the well written review and great pics!
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:23 AM   #6
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Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

Crazy Modeler was also good enough to send me a sample, too. Unfortunately they were not decals that I can put to any practical use to me so I cannot comment on how easy/good they are to work with.

However I fully agree with MPWR that the products are very professionally packed and printed.

The set I received is definitely well registered and the colours are vibrant and cover the backing paper well. All the graphics seem to be printed with a very fine screen/raster and are therefore very sharp.

Overall, my impression is of a very high quality product. I have seen these products for sale on ebay and IIRC the price was in the region of 10GBP (?). I had hoped the price woiuld be somewhat lower but I also dream of getting a 1/12 Gunze High Tech Aston Martin for 5GBP, so I may not be objective here

My verdict:

Overall: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Print Quality: 4/5
Ease of use: ????
Accuracy:cannot comment but seems 4-5/5
VFM:4/5


Quote:
Originally Posted by MPWR
...there is a serious need in this hobby for sheets of extra manufacturer logos. A sheet of nothing but extra manufacturer emblems, say Ferrari, Posche, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda (etc.) would be a magnificent godsend for 1/24 car builders. It would sell to nearly anyone who has more than one or two car kits in their stash. For those of us who've been known to aquire old kits off of Ebay, it's an absolute necessity.

(Hey CRAZY MODELER, are you LISTENING??!!)
I TOTALLY agree with MPWR on this!!! Particularly Ferrari and BMW
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Old 12-16-2005, 02:36 AM   #7
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Good review! Now, as to the suggestions for decal setting solutions...Single Malt Scotch? Engine degreaser, sure...but a decal setting solution?



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Old 12-16-2005, 11:36 AM   #8
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Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

Great review. Added to you know what
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Old 12-18-2005, 06:29 PM   #9
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Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

But...
Aren't the markings on the cars white, while the decals are silver/grey?
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:51 PM   #10
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Re: Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari TR
But...
Aren't the markings on the cars white, while the decals are silver/grey?
Nope, the markings are also silver/grey- note the contrast between the white and silver on the 360 emblem on the door.


I love the way that wheel looks!

Incidently, if anyone has any additional information about either this particular 360 or this Enzo, I'd love to see it.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:59 PM   #11
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Re: Product Review: Crazy Modeler Decals

I got both sets off ebay and i would have to agree with this review. A overall nice set!
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