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In-Box Review
Canadian Pacific DC-8 Decal
Vintage Flyer Decals 1/144 Canadian Pacific
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by: Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]

Originally published on:


Canadian Pacific Airlines was formed from Canadian Airways and 9 other bush airlines by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in 1942. Canadian Pacific found itself immediately in competition with the Canadian Government's favourite, TCA, and throughout its history was always the underdog in the minds of the bureaucrats who administered commercial air routes serving Canada. CPA fought endlessly for a fair slice of Canada's airline business and specialised in routes to the Pacific Rim, Amsterdam and the North. CPA bought its DC-8s in 1961 and they immediately started service on the major international routes CPA served. The DC-8 was the flagship of the fleet until the 747 was introduced in 1973. In 1968, Canadian Pacific was rebranded to CP Air and the colour scheme was changed to its remarkable orange and red. CP was merged into Canadian Airlines in 1987 and finally disappeared into the insatiable maw of Air BorgCanada in 2000, ending 58 years of faithful service.

First impressions

Vintage Flyer Decals is a cottage industry producer from California. The decals are printed on a laser printer and an ALPS printer for those colours the laser won't do (mostly white and silver). This allows Vintage Flyer a great deal of versatility in the colour schemes they can produce and uses the stengths of both printing methods to best advantage. This decal is intended to fit either the Revell kit (if it can be found) or a cut down Minicraft kit with Contrails engines (more on these engines below). The CPA DC-8 decal set comes on 4 seperate sheets, which I have arbitrarily numbered from 1 4.

Sheet 1

This sheet contains the white underlays for those elements of the colour scheme that go on the bare metal portions of the aircraft. Careful attention must be paid when painting to ensure the divide between metal and white is in the correct location. The white is painted on a slight angle to match the cheatlines rather than parallel to the horizontal datum line.

Sheet 2

This sheet is the largest and most colourful. It contains the major elements of CPA's colour scheme in red, black and light grey. On this sheet are the cheatlines, titles, tail logos, registrations and windscreen. There are also decals for the airstairs which came in Revell's kit.

Sheet 3

This sheet has the cabin windows. They differ from right to left, so pay attention to the positioning instructions.

Sheet 4

This small sheet contains the metallic chafing plates that go around the tailplane mounts.

final thoughts

These decals call for patience and care to ensure that they're layered correctly without slipping or stretching out of position. The CPA scheme requires the cheatline to wrap around the nose, always a difficult proposition. It is to be hoped that they will respond to setting solutuions without wrinkling or distorting. The nose will be the acid test for these decals. There are no "CANADIAN PACIFIC" titles provided for the wings. These were in black block letters slightly smaller than the registration letters, so they may be easily pieced together from generic letter sheets but it would have been nice to have them.

I'm not sure whether I'll like the light grey windows. I generally tend to perfer black or very dark grey. I'll have to wait until they're on the model to see how they look.

DC-8 40s used Rolls Royce Conway engines. These are available from Airline Hobby Supplies. Apparently Contrails has discontinued these, so get them while they're still in stock.

The real thing

CF-CPF from a promotional post card.

CF-CPG was the first (and to date largest) airliner to exceed Mach 1. Vintage Flyer will offer an addendum sheet with registration, fleet numbers and ship names for this aircraft to those people who have already purchased this set, and plan to offer them as part of the set for new orders.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Vintage Flyer's production system allows for obscure colour shcemes that major decal producers can't afford to make.
Lows: Multiple layers need extra care. No wing titles
Verdict: An excellent decal that will make your DC-8 stand apart from the crowd.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: VFD144-066
  Suggested Retail: US$14.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 28, 2011

About Is a secret (Jessie_C)

Copyright 2020 text by Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]. All rights reserved.


Aeroscale reviews prove their worth! The owner of Vintage Flyer Decals read this review, and has promised that the wing titles will also be added to addendum sheets and to all newly produced sets. Vintage Flyer Decals is committed to producing the best product they can, and shows their willingness to respond to constructive criticism. Buy these sets with confidence that you're getting the best product possible.
NOV 29, 2011 - 07:17 AM
Michael from Vintage Flyer has contacted me with some additional information: I updated the artwork on the CP DC-8 sheet to include the registration numbers for the first four ships delivered. In addition, I've also added the original Douglas registration that was on CPG when it made its historic flight. ... In addition to custom registrations, I also do custom window colors. Would you prefer solid (e.g. black) pax windows and windscreen? If you want your sheet customised, just let Michael know at the time of purchase. Since each set is printed to order, he has no problem wth doing that. He'll also custom scale his artwork, so if you have a Transport Wings kit, and he has a decal in his catelogue you like, he'll do a set for you.
DEC 05, 2011 - 01:12 AM

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