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Thread: Re-painting three Wings of War De Havilland DH-4s

  1. #1

    Default Re-painting three Wings of War De Havilland DH-4s

    Re-painting three Wings of War De Havilland DH-4s into the 11th Aero Squadron, 20th Aero Squadron, and the 166th Aero Squadron; 1st (Day) Bombardment Group.

    Since I'm in the process of re-activating the 1st (Day) Bombardment Group, these three finish off the group.
    For your reading pleasure, my version of Re-painting Minis!

    Step 1: Prepping the Mini

    As other have stated on this website, I placed them in the freezer to help weaken the glue.

    Step 2: Carefully separate the upper wing from the mini

    It makes things easier for painting the top part of each wing, struts, guns, etc.

    Step 3: Getting rid of the previous set of decals.

    Several schools of thoughts here:
    1. Prime the model and just replace the roundels or national markings. But what about the other decals that are on the side that are not national markings but specific to the previous pilot? What then?

    2. Remove them! But how? Again several schools of thought
    a. Use lacquer thinner and gentle rub them off
    b. Use Rubbing alcohol and gentle rub them off
    c. Use Nail polish remover and gentle rub them off
    d. Use MicroScale Industries ‘Micro Sol’ setting solution to soften them up and gentle rub them off
    e. Scrape the off (issue: leaves scratch marks that need to be filled and sanded)
    f. Sand them off (issue: will sand off any details such as the ribs on wings)
    g. Or a combination of a thru f

    As for me, it’s a combination of the above. Photograph shows some of my tools. I started with the Nail polish remover, but not as effective as the Micro Sol and letting it set for a few minutes. Once soften enough, I’d use the either the backside of the X-acto blade or the edge of the spatula. Once the decal was removed, then I’d use the narrow sanding sticks to the plastic sanding needles by Alpha Abrasives

    Step 4: Prime the mini

    I typically use white since I’ll need that color for the tail flash colors and for the background for the clear part of the decal since I use Clear decal film paper.

    Step 5: Paint your mini

    For my De Havillands, I used Testors’ Model Master Olive Drab FS34087 for the upper surfaces while using American Acrylic Paint – Sand for the undersides

    Step 6: Decal Prep Work

    I used painted Pledge’s Floor Care Tile & Vinyl Floor Finish with ‘Future’ Shine where the decals were going and let dry for 48 hours – to allow curing.

    As for the decals...
    American roundels provided by Dom’s Decals (
    11th Aero Squadron Deals provided by 144 Direct (eBay)
    The 20th and 166th Aero Squadron decals were custom made using my Photoshop programs

    Step 7: Applying decals
    After getting the decals wet, I’d add a drop of Micro Set where I wanted the decals. Using the flat edge of the X-acto blade slide the whole decal onto it, then slide the decal off the paper backing onto the model.

    Allow the decals to setup/cure for another 24 hours

    Step 8: Applying the flat finish

    Again, may different products out there, but I use Testors’ All Purpose Dullcote Flat Clear Lacquer

    Presenting the 11th Aero Squadron...

    Presenting the 20th Aero Squadron...

    Presenting the 166th Aero Squadron...


    Step 9: Create new aircraft playing cards!

    Using my PhotoShop program and files from the File Section of this website, I was able to create new cards for my DH-4s. All the names are real B-52 crewdogs that I have known and flew with during my Air Force career.

    and now presenting all four of the 1st (Day) Bombardment Group!

  2. #2


    Every single one would be impressive by itself, and you managed to crank out multiples! Very good job!

  3. #3


    Those are just wonderful! Thanks for showing/telling how to get the decals off.

  4. #4


    What a great job you have made of those Andy.
    I only wish I could master my Photoshop skills well enough to do my own cards.
    I can do the change of info panel O.K. but never tried to do a custom plane nor the card backs.

  5. #5


    Nice work, Andy. I like the tribute to your old crewmates; very touching.

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  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    Thats just fantastic work Andy!
    Cant wait to see an AAR for their missions.

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  10. #10


    Excellant job and how to on yopur part. Gives us lesser tallanted peoplke an idea on how things are done. Thanks.

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