I postponed for a long time an order of Phoenix decals and finally decided to have a go. As they are very rarely mentioned on LSP, I thought you would be interested in having a feedback. I ordered them via Hobbyeasy and got them in less than two weeks as the letter went under the customs radar.
First important thing: if you know Tiger Wings, you will not be surprised as they are the producer hidden behind this more recent name!
To decrease the P&P and because the cost was quite reasonable, I ordered six decal sets from Taiwan: The three USMC AV-8B/B+ sets, the AVG P-40 set, the Tomcat VF-1 set and the 2013 TAC meet F-15J set.
Result: I cannot tell you how they behave when you use them but at least I had a close look at the sheets and instructions.
In fact, the value for money is even better than I thought as each set gives A LOT of schemes in a single set! Moreover, as Tiger Wings used to do, they also give very extensive stenciling for a minimum or two or three planes! To give you some specific examples:
- The F-15J set gives four schemes on the equivalent of... FIVE A4 pages of decals with stenciling including individual panel number and the grey background for at least three Eagles! Each scheme has full tail art.
- AV-8B VMA-231 & 311 sets cover at least a dozen of full schemes with stencils for a minimum of at least two planes (including all panel numbers). VMA-223 has "only" seven schemes but gives a better mix of color schemes as the other sets mainly focus on the late, darker Harrier colors. A very large majority are AV-8B+ ones. There is a nice mix of grey birds and colored ones including various sharkmouth & anniversary schemes.
- The P-40 B/E set includes... 17 different sharkmouth schemes covering all AVG squadrons (15B & 2E)!
- The Tomcat is a more standard set as it only gives two VF-1 early block planes.
Topics are interesting and most of them have not been covered by other decal companies. I did not make a thorough assessment of all of them but they look quite good with regard to accuracy.
Each paper sheet is crammed with decals.The printing quality is very good and comparable to the one of western producers.
The instruction sheets are also quite good. They are printed in color on A4 gloss paper and give a clear view of the position of each element. Except for the smaller Tomcat set, each set has six full pages of instructions. Minimum information is given per scheme (location/year) but they could be more exhaustive. Some pictures of the actual plane are generally included but unfortunately, they are often too small to be very useful. However, on some sheets such as the Harrier ones, web links used as reference are given. Last, color references are Gunze ones. By default, I would have preferred Federal Standard references.
It is a pity Asian decals producers such as Phoenix or Siam decals are not better known and distributed as most of their large scale productions have an excellent quality level. If one aspect may be improved a little bit, it is the instruction sheets in spite of the fact they are already very good.
Globally, they offer an excellent price/number of schemes and quality ratio. I highly recommend them.