Home » Arma Hobby kits » Building PZL P.1 – part 4 insignia

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Insignia on PZL P.1 model, as well as on other scale models make its identity and character. Big registration codes with even bigger red decorations are very hard to apply on corrugated surface of PZL kit.  They would be a challenge not only to beginner but also to intermediate experienced model builder. See today our tutorial on making insignia on our model.

If you feel you need to start with decal basic tutorial, please see our shop decals info:  link

See previous episodes of PZL P.1 1/48 scale model kit build

Building PZL P.1 – part 1 cockpit
Building PZL P.1 – part 2 assembly
Building PZL P.1 – part 3 painting


wycięte kalkomanie do modelu pzl p.1

PZL P.1 Decals

Decals for our PZL P.1 were printed very thin. It helps to conform corrugated panels of wings but thin decals also tends to roll and is hard to apply.


Try first on wings bottom, errors will be less visible.

Our model kit was already covered with glossvarnish. Before applying decals it is recommended to soak surface with water, or like car modelers with water mixed with detergent or for really hardcore modelers with saliva. It will help to move decals on model surface. First cut them out of paper and put to warm water for a few seconds and let it soak aside for a time. Thin decals may be damaged if you try to move them before glue is completely dissolved.

Paper with soaked decal should be placed exactly on its position on the kit. Then press it with clean paintbrush to model and gently pull out the backing paper. Hardcore metod described above makes easy to move decals on fuselage sides, but on the wings it is difficult.

wyrównanie kalkomanii na modelu pzl

So on the wings decals was positioned exactly on its position. It was aligned to reinforcement tabs on wing and to leading edge panel line as shown on photo. When you gently pull out the paper along the wing, the tip of red arrow will go to its position without a problem.

Attention. Pull out backing paper along a wing and during this process carefully watch if decal is aligned properly. Decals should be hold in place with paintbrush.


After decals applied i have ommited any pushing it to the surface of model. I let it dry with a extensive coverage of Microscale Sol decal softener. It was because I did not want to have it moved or broken. Sol worked well, with most of corrugated panels covered. Only a few bubbles appeared as well as reinformcement tabs “tents”.


Then I did cut a tents and bubbles with a sharp modeling knife . Q-tips were used to rol out air from bubles and tents. Again applied Sol and let it dry.

kalka wciśnieta

When Sol has dried you can see decal cut lines

Then thin gaps cut in decals were painted with brush with Isignia Red color from Bilmodel

podmalowane kalki

Some last bubles remained, they will be sanded and painted then

Painting with Insignia Red

Why we used Insignia Red for PZL decals? It is darker than Polish Air Force insignia. But photos of original aircraft shows a very dark shade of red. As our model insignia needs use both decals and paint, we choose a color that is easily available from maint model paint manufacturers.

napis SP-ADO na boku PZl P.1

Photo: “S” code changes color at the edge of red arrow. So a small red margin is added to help with easy painting at the edge.

Masking of  model before paint

“S” & “O” codes on opposite fuselage sides were masked with post-it notes – to avoid decal peeling when masking is lifted.

maskowanie post-it

Then red decoration arrows were masked with 6mm Tristar tape.

Attention: when using masking tape, especially at the decals, put it on a clean table several times to weaken the glue. It will reduce paint or decal peeling possiblity when mask removed

Wing masking were traced from decals to apropriate parts of model.

maskowanie centropłata

Masking of forward fuselage needed more research and work.


Model painting

Painting with Bilmodel paint was a piece of cake. After half an hour masks were removed. On corrugated panels appeared some blurring. it was corrected with a brush.


Paint blurring on masked corrugated panels

Painted and decaled model looks great. It will be weatherd and last details will be added soon.

pomalowany p.1

Share your quesions, suggestions and coments below please:

4 thoughts on “Building PZL P.1 – part 4 insignia

  1. Mark Ejdrygiewicz says:

    This answers a lot of questions! Excellent tutorial and thank you for posting! A very simple, yet exciting paint scheme, that really pops on this model.

    I’m following along with my kit, planning it out, and without question, I will be following your suggestions very closely.


  2. Antoni Lachetta says:

    Is it not possible to paint the red areas first and then apply the decals?

    1. It depends on your preferences and abilities. I think that it is easier to align painted and decaled colors if you placed decals first. There was also used earlier color shceme without registration codes – just red arrow you can paint (use PZL logo from decals only).

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