Awhile back, I signed up with the Ship Modeling Mailing list (known as SMML for short) on the internet. Although I am predominantly an armor modeler, I do have a few ship models in my stash.
Recently, I bought the Trumpeter brand 1/350th scale Italian WWII heavy cruiser "Pola". I wanted to add some more detail to the kit, in the way of a Italian flag (to put on the stern..like on the box art painting) and some PE railings. I asked "WHERE" I could find these items, from the fellows on SMML. Several of them directed me to a firm, BMA Ltd., in the UK, which produces BECC brand miniature flags.
BECC manufactures over 300 different flags (223 are pictured in their catalog), in both cloth and self-adhesizing vinyl. The cloth ones are printed on both sides and all come in sizes from 3/8" (10mm) on up to 6" (150mm) in length, with the width commensurate to the size chosen. They are constantly adding new designs to the line as requested.
BECC says it took over two years to perfect the double-sided printing process, which now allows them to produce the most realistic looking model flags on an authentic cotton base. The use of modern technology has allowed the flags to be accurately reproduced in exacting detail at a reasonable cost.
The flags are supplied with full instructions that enable them to be finished to suit either a static or working model.
BECC will also produce special designs, and club flags, at no additional cost, subject to meeting the minimum order value of 30 pounds. The flag designs are extensively researched and meticulously re-drawn with the latest CAD software to allow levels of detail previously unavailable.
They also supply R.N.L.I. house flags and have been given permission, by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, to reproduce the Royal Standard in miniature form, which is perfectly suited to models of the Royal Yacht Britannia.
All the range of flags are now available in two additional sizes: 15mm and 10mm, designed primarily to suit the smaller scales (1/300th - 1/500th). These are also useful for a variety of models, in other scales, where a full-size flag was not originally used.
The BECC catalog includes a calculating chart, to figure out which size flag will work best with the scale of your model.
In addition to national flags, BECC also makes signal flags and vinyl lettering.
The vinyl lettering has a permanent adhesive, suitable for indoor and outdoor use with out further treatment. The sets contain letters, numbers, and symbols, and are available in different sizes to suit most models. These vinyl sets are currently produced in matt white, matt black, matt red, gloss blue, gloss green, gloss yellow, silver, and gold...with most of the colors in a gloss finish available on request. The letters and symbols are self-adhering and die cut on a backing sheet. Just peel and stick!
For larger size lettering BECC produces individual characters in four sizes and two different styles. Each letter comes complete with a self-color outline, which can be used to give a variety of effects. The Warship Pennant style font has been designed to match the majority pennant numbers for battleships over the past 60 years.
BECC also sent me some self-adhering British roundels (not mentioned or shown in the catalog). These can be used on aircraft models.
BECC does not normally sell direct to the public, but through stockists and clubs, in various countries. Most of which are happy to deal mail order. A list of these are on the back pages of their catalog.
The dealer for these flags and lettering, in the U.S.A. is:
Loyalhanna Dockyard 7527 Gilbert Road Bergen, NY 14416
Phone: (716) 494-0027 or (585) 494-0027 Fax: (716) 494-1369 or (585) 494-1369 E-Mail: LHdockyard@aol.com (ask for Don)