The Shermans of the 13/18 Hussars must be some of the most photographed British tanks of the Normandy campaign. They carried very distinctive large red turret numbers and had red on black name tags on most tanks as well as the seahorse emblem (or pregnant Prawn as it was irreverently known) of the 27th Armoured Brigade. Now with the new Sherman III and Tarawa M4A2 from DML it has become possible to model these tanks in 1/35 scale with relative ease. This set of dry transfers researched by Bob Gregory and produced by Woody Vondracek’s company, Archer Fine Transfers
depicts two of the 13/18 Hussars vehicles Balaclava
a command Sherman and Cymru-Am-Byth
a Sherman M4A2 ARV with welded hoods.
The instructions provide colour diagrams for placement of transfers on both vehicles. There are also photos of both vehicles on the Archer website showing all the markings. For instructions on how to apply the transfers modelers are directed to the Archer WEBSITE
where two methods of applying the transfers are given: Wet and Dry. For the wet method you need some of Archer’s WetMedia paper. I chose to use the dry method.
Applying the Transfers
I have a couple of half built M4A2s in my stash but I didn’t want to rush them just for this review so I used an old Verlinden Sherman Turret to apply the large “10” transfers to.
I haven’t used dry transfers before and I found the process a bit tricky to begin with. You have to be very careful when cutting the transfers from the sheet and keep the backing paper in place so as not to accidentally transfer any of the markings to the cutting surface. Oops! Also care should be taken when positioning the transfers on the model. Unlike decals which if placed incorrectly can be sometimes coaxed into position with a paintbrush there are no second chances with Dry Transfers.
The dry method is simple with four steps:
- • 1) trim the transfer from 6the sheet with a craft knife.
- • 2) Tape in place and rub down, I used a 6b pencil as it’s almost impossible to apply too much pressure with such a soft pencil.
- •3) Smooth out any bubbles with a cotton bud over the backing paper.
- •4) burnish by laying the backing paper over the transfer and rubbing with a burnisher or other implement.…..
The first Transfer I applied was a bit off and I used the lesson learned when applying the second one- take your time and follow the instructions carefully.
I applied a misted coat of Games Workshop varnish over the transfers to seal them. I put the unused transfer back in their packet until my Balaclava build resumes.
The big advantage I can see with dry transfers is there is no carrier film and the transfers lie snug on the surface. No carrier film also means no silvering. The only other way to achieve comparable results would be with stencils but stencils can be tricky to use especially if you are laying down more than one colour. I’ll be checking out the Archer website to check out which of my other projects they have suitable transfers for.