A short while ago I was lucky enough to review DML's
new Sherman III in 1/35th scale. One of the few areas which I found unsatisfying was the choice of decals in the kit - all three were vehicles were from The Royal Wiltshires and all were from the Parade marking the end of the 'Desert War' in Libya. There were also minor discrepancies in some details of the supplied decals - particularly in the area of the 9th Armoured Brigade's markings. Therefore, for the 'purist' some alternative AM set would be desirable. It would also be good to be able to model other vehicles in the Royal Wiltshire's 'Order of Battle'. This set, from Echelon Fine Details,
provides considerably more than simply an 'alternative' to the kit markings....
The Decal Set ALT352002 - Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry Sherman IIIs (Syria 1943)
is a 1/35th scale decal set produced by the well-established, Singapore-based decal manufacturer, Echelon Fine Details
. The set comes inside a snap-top 'baggie' and consists of an attractive, full-color cover which contains the single decal sheet. The reverse of the cover gives illustrations of all EIGHT subjects covered in the sheet. Although the set is Sherman III 'specific', the eighth option covers a Wiltshire Yeomanry Sherman II which differs with an earlier camouflage scheme and black lettering for 'Cricklade' of 'C' Squadron' If the eight subjects in the sheet weren't sufficient, the sheet also includes sufficient 'generic' lettering and numbers to allow more vehicles of the period to be constructed.
The initial impression of this sheet is of the care which has been taken in its compilation. The packaging is eye-catching and on opening the cover, one is faced with a selection of well-executed, full-color illustrations showing side and front views of the positioning of the decals. However, the instruction sheet doesn't stop there: it also gives a useful schematic of the two-tone Light Mud/Blue Black
camo scheme. On the back page, reflecting the confusion which is a way of life for Sherman modellers, is a map through the 'minefield'. This is achart which, with simple cross-referencing, one can ascertain what vehicle carried what variation of for example turret-mounted MGs and even variations on the mantlets. This is truly one of the best aspects of this set, too many other company's sheets give accurate positioning but little else, in this, Echelon
goes considerably further. One final detail regarding the instruction (information?) sheet, is a small (though somewhat redundant now) list of AM update/detail sets to aid in the construction of a Sherman III.
Moving onto the decal sheet itself, once again, the impression it gixes is of color. Register is absolutely first-class with no anomalies in the printing process that I can discern, The only area which I will comment on, is that when the time comes to remove the waterslide decals, EXTREME care will have to be exercised - a VERY sharp blade is reccomended. In the preparation of this review, in an attempt to demonstrate the register of the decals, I photoshopped some of the details from a larger image to see how much distorsion there actually was when amplified. The result was VERY impressive with only the usual heavy graining when an image is increased beyond normal size. Carrier film is also at an absolute minimum and the sheet has a good semi-matt finish.
At the outset, my only doubts are that many potential purchasers will be put-off by this sheet covering similar ground as the kit decals - two of the three vehicles are included in the Echelon
sheet. However, to counter that completely, this set will be used by those modellers who go 'beyond' the box and are looking for a sheet which will cover the finer detail and importantly, cover different subjects from everyone else's. Ultimately, it's an imaginative sheet which goes much further than most AM Decal companies do. One fortunate 'occurence' is undoubtedly the fact that all the 'IIIs' are Cast hood rather than DVs,,, With this set, the hope is that the owner of Echelon
, Lawrence Goh, will produce another Sherman III sheet - Polish vehicles perhaps?
Firstly, my thanks to Lawrence for the review set. Secondly, on the subject of documentation of these vehicles, Military Modelling, Vol. 35 No. 9. contains a superb article documenting the subject of this sheet. Finally, my well-used copy of :M4a2 Sherman (Part 1)
along with various other published sources helped in the 'focus' part of this review. Of course the 'donor' kit for using this set will be the new DML
Sherman III, the review of which can be seen: HERE (LINK)