Cutting Edge Modelworks

1/72 Space Shuttle Tile Pattern decal sheet

Product # CED72083 for $28.99

Product Article by Steve Bamford on Oct 20 2003


This is a new decal sheet from Cutting Edge Modelworks.  The 1/72 scale decal sheet includes decals for the "heat resistant tiles" for any one of the 6 different Space Shuttles. 

Ever since the first thought of a reusable space vehicle was pondered......weight and heat resistant issues had to be overcome.  This reusable space vehicle would have to be able to glide back to Earth un-powered, so weight was a serious consideration.  But this vehicle would have to reenter Earth's atmosphere and withstand the extreme heat generated during the reentry process.  Special ceramic tiles were the solution.  They are heat resistant, but also reasonably light weight.

For all modelers wanting to build a model of the Space Shuttle....they have always had to contend with the lack of tile detail on the bottom of their Space Shuttle.  Now Cutting Edge has come out with a simple but extremely effective way to add this tile detail.......decals!!!



When I first heard about these decals I was more than a bit excited and curious.  Would this be possible without the decals being overly complicated to install?  Would these decals be able to clearly capture the complex detail of the Space Shuttle tiles?  To my relief...these decals did in fact have the tiny detail and realistic look at capturing the Shuttle Tile detail.  Scans fail to do this decal set justice....scans merely
Click on images below to see larger images
insult the ultra fine crisp detail.....but to do a proper scan would mean a huge image that would be almost impossible to download for modem users.

But it's not just the darker underside decals that are included.  You also get the tile decals for the whole nose area...including the topside as well as the top side for the wings and flying surfaces.  The color of the various shades used on these decals looks quite effective.  Each shuttle mission could possibly have slightly different tiles, so study reference photos before you install the decals etc on your particular shuttle model. 

After you install your decals you will have to weather them to match the particular shuttle and mission you are modeling.  Tiles looked weathered due to the extreme temperatures they endured during re-entry and they were also replaced when needed, so there are variations on these decals to try to reflect the average shuttle.

The 3 large pages of decals were flawlessly printed and the clear carrier film is trimmed extremely close to the crisply printed colored areas...sometimes right up to the edge of the colored portion of the decals. 

Click on image below to see larger image 

The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  There is one page that deals with individual decal placement.....I'm impressed how easy this one page lays out the decal placement

....the term "idiot proof" comes to mind.  There are 2 pages of text instructions dealing with water temperature suggestions as well as different weathering techniques and ideas you can consider when doing the final weathering on your Space Shuttle. 

Click on images below to see larger images of the instruction sheets

A very nice product and highly recommended.


When building your 1/72 Space Shuttle consider the following products from Cutting Edge Modelworks and Black Magic pre-cut painting masks.....

  • CELO72001  Space Shuttle Orbiter Engine Nozzles

  • CELO72002  Space Shuttle Columbia Fin tip camera pod. 

  • CELO72012 NASA Space Shuttle Decals

I would like to thank Cutting Edge Modelworks for providing me with this review sample.

Photos and text by Steve Bamford