|The two decal sets are shown here side by side. The markings on the 1/144 scale sheet are in the same relative locations as their counterparts on the 1/72 scale sheet.|
The decals are everything you wanted in a shuttle decal set and more. The color registration is dead-on, and there are at least seven colors involved. Markings are included for every orbiter in the fleet, including the Enterprise. Three pages of diagrams accompany the sets, showing the different markings for the different orbiters: the major difference being that the Columbia and Enterprise didn't have their names and the NASA wurm emblazoned on the top right-hand wing surface. The Challenger (sadly misspelled on the diagram, but correctly spelled where it counts) also had a different pattern around the crew hatch. That's right: the brick patterns around the crew hatch, forward windshield, and OMS pods are included on this set so you don't have to mask and paint them. The window patterns are correct for the actual shuttle, but they won't fit on the kits as is. That's because the kit windows (including the top windows) are incorrectly shaped on just about every shuttle kit available... at least as far as I know.
The SRBs have their own page of diagrams showing the marking placement based on the axis around each booster. These include the "LOADED" and other stencil markings. The biggest problem with the 1/144 scale set is trying to determine which stencil marking is which. Fortunately, the decals are arranged in the same relative order on both sets, so once you find the proper marking on the 1/72 scale set, you can find the corresponding one on the 1/144 scale set. This, of course, assumes that you've got both sets... and every proper space modeler will, am I right?
I haven't used any of my decals yet, but they have arrived at just the right time: I needed to refurbish my old shuttle model anyway to send to the Roswell planetarium, so I plan to use the 1/144 scale set Real Soon Now. I'll let y'all know how it goes then...