Please Note: Before starting my review I believe it is important to mention that right after I received this set of transfers, I was notified that there was a moderately significant typographical error present. That is, the transfer set was announced as being for vehicles of Stug Abt. 221. However, the set actually represents markings for vehicles from Stug Abt. 226. The good news is that the typo didnít adversely affect the markingsí accuracy level and there will be no confusion between vehicles of Abt 221 and 226, as Abt 221 didnít exist. No harm, no foul.
Archer Fine Transfers has been a player in the aftermarket armor markings game for a long time now. They do have some traditional water-slide decals available, but their bread and butter is dry transfers. For those of you who do not know what dry transfers are, they are markings that you do NOT have to use water to apply, but instead you gently rub them on with a blunt tool or object, when they are dry. You can use Archerís dry transfers wet, but you would have to take additional steps to do so.
The benefit of using dry transfers over water-slide decals is that dry transfers are usually more realistic in appearance because they appear painted on like real vehicle markings. This better appearance is due to the transfers not having excess carrier film and also being (generally) thinner than water slide decals. Thus, transfers will snuggle down and hug the object better.
One of Archerís latest releases is a markings set to represent vehicles of the 2nd Battery of the 226th Sturmgeschutz Battalion. The set provides transfers to mark Stug III Ausf. B,C,D and/or E vehicles during 1941 (Barbarossa to Moscow). The Archer set has enough transfers to complete one of two vehicles. You can use these transfers on any of the myriad 1/35 early Stug III model kits, most specifically those by Dragon and Tamiya.
To be completely honest my references about early Stug IIIís in general, and on Stug Abt 226 in particular, are very limited. But from what I can determine based upon my personal references as well as Internet based information, they look like they accurately represent Abt 226 markings of the early war period. Also, Archer is well known in the modeling community for producing highly accurate transfers of excellent quality. So, since I cannot find any information to the contrary, Iíll assume these markings are correct as well. You might think this is a cop-out on my part, but at least you know where I stand. I donít profess to know something I donít just because it is easier to do so.
Quality of Transfers
The quality of this set of dry transfers is of the typical high quality of other Archer sets. The transfers are micro-thin and are printed completely in register with no color overrun. Although this set is printed only in black, white and red colors, the colors are vibrant and the text represented is very clear.
Ease of Use
I did not use the entire set of these transfers, but I did use a couple to test them out. Basically, they were a treat to use and worked beautifully just like the other Archer sets Iíve used before. The transfers come off very nicely in that they donít come off too easily, yet you donít need to rub like a mad-cleaning woman scrubbing the floor either to remove them. The transfers come off in a matte/flat finish with no excess glossiness. Lastly, they come off with no excess trim you would have to remove.
Remember also when using Archer transfer sets (and any other companyís dry transfers) you have to be extra careful when setting them up prior to application. If they are lined up incorrectly or in the wrong spot and you commence the application process, youíre out of luck. There is no moving them once they are applied, or even partially applied. This is one of the minor negative aspects of using all dry transfer markings, not just Archerís of course.
The instructions Archer provides for this transfer set are very good. They are in full color and show exactly which marking goes where. There is no confusion and they are very easy to use.
The Archer Fine Transfers Stug Abt 226 marking set is again up to Archerís high standards in quality and in accuracy. If you want to model an early war Stug III in 226 livery, you canít go wrong with this set. These markings arenít very colorful, but they look like the real vehicles and adequately do the trick.
Rating = ďHighly RecommendedĒ
Thanks to Woody Vondracek and Archer Fine Transfers for the review sample.
Highs: Accuracy and quality up to Archer's usual high standards. Colors bright with no overrun.Lows: The initial printing error on the instruction sheet stating these are for Stug Abt 221. Since then fixed.Verdict: The Archer Fine Transfers Stug Abt 226 marking set is again up to Archerís high standards in quality and in accuracy. If you want to model an early war Stug III in 226 livery, you canít go wrong with this set.
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