More a matter of why than where. I have a few brands (Aeromaster in
particular) that I stick with because of quality and subject availability.
I don't really care who's selling them, but I do prefer to look over the
printing - some Superscale decals are sometimes mis-offset - so I tend
to buy those decals in brick and mortar shops where I can pick and choose.
But not always...I'll generally buy decals were I find them - in a shop,
online, at a swap meet, or from another modeler's collection.
Why? Sometimes you want a different variant or nation's
vehicle/aircraft than the markings that come in the box. Other times
the kit decals are not very good and aftermarket decals are of better
quality. Other decals are purchased as replacements for old kits or
decals that became misplaced or damaged for some reason.
Sorry, I was answering the "why" as in "why would you buy them" and not
the "where" portion. I missed the "where" portion of your question.
Where depends on what type of decals you need. I go to different places
for aircraft, armor, NASCAR stock cars or science fiction spacecraft.
J-Bot does airliners, sci-fi, police cars and some others:
Fine Transfers specializes in armor markings:
Fine Details specializes in modern armor, in particular current
Decals Inc. does Nascar decals:
Connection in Canada carries a variety of types of decals:
does mainly armor dry transfers:
does some as well:
The list can go on and on unless you specify what type of decals you
I rarely use the decals from the kit that I'm working on, but that's
because I really like odd and unusual markings.
There are hundreds of decal sheets in my file cabinet and I'm going to
use every last one! :-)
I get most of them in trade and at hobby shows with a big percentage
from Berkeley Ace Hardware. Sometimes I wait for a long time. I have
had a Meikraft Long Midget Mustang since before he released it. I
corrected it (about 40% of the thing has to be replaced and/or
corrected), then put it aside until Aviation Usk brought it out with
decals. They were kind enough to send me a set.
The huge selection of decals on the market have allowed me to do a
Japanese Buffalo, an American FW 190, a Canadian EH-101, Presdential
S.61, B-24 Dragon and His Tail, NASA F-104 and AV-8, Italian N.17,
Belgian D.VII, French F4U-7, Swedish P-51B, Spanish Bu 133, Dutch
CW-21, Austrian Beaver, Hungarian and Romanian 109s and a few others.
BTW, if you havn't discovered the Small Air Forces Observer magazine
yet let me know and I'll put you in touch.