Archer Fine Transfers has been a prominent company in the aftermarket armor markings game for a long time now. They do have some traditional water-slide decals available, but their primary product line 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 Archer’s 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 Archer’s latest releases is their 1/35 Viet Cong Flag set. Please note: The cardboard placard of the marking packaging incorrectly states the markings are a “North Vietnamese Flag set”. Archer’s website does provide the correct information though. The set provides 8 transfers to “make” four (4) 2-sided flags. The 4 flags are provided in 4 separate sizes ranging from a large National Flag (4’x6’) to a small pennant. Now, you might have noticed I did say you “make” the flags. Without getting too complicated and going into too much detail here, you’ll sandwich a piece of aluminium foil between two transfers to construct each flag so they are double sided, three dimensional and poseable/movable. Also, if you don’t want/need to make these types of flags, you could use the transfers as one sided flags and double the output to 8 total as well.
As can be imagined, there was no real standardization of Viet Cong Flags as many were handmade by local units. As I researched these flags I found the only things that were relatively constant were the fact that the flags came in three colors, a yellow star (placed in the middle) with the top half of the flag being red and bottom half colored blue. After that, there were many variations of the flags I viewed, particularly with the blue color of the lower portion of the flag. The blue color ranged from dark blue to a very light blue. Many though, were similar to Archer’s flag set.
Since there was no standardization of Viet Cong Flags, this flag set should be considered as accurate as a generic prop or decoration for most dioramas. However, if you are interested in modeling a scene containing a specific Viet Cong unit AND YOU ARE VERY CONCERNED with the accuracy level of your diorama, you’ll need to do research about the unit’s particular flag.
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. This set is printed in three colors (Red, Blue and Yellow) and the colors are vibrant and clear.
Ease of Use
I did fully utilize the markings set by “making” a Viet Cong flag. This process is relatively hard when compared to utilizing other decals or transfers as you must use two flag marking transfers (properly lined up)with a sheet of aluminium foil sandwiched in between, to make a two-sided flag. This is not to say that using this set is difficult compared to other processes we modelers must follow. It’s just that making these flags is harder than “slapping on” regular decals or transfers lickety-split.
This process is explained very well in the instruction sheet, so if you make sure you understand the process completely and then follow the directions completely, you’ll do fine. I won’t go into the specific steps as I’ve provided a scan of the instructions, but I cannot stress enough to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS or you might be in for a world of hurt. The transfers come off very nicely in that they don’t come off too easily, yet you don’t need to press like a nut-job. In fact, the instructions stress not to press too hard as it might damage the aluminium foil or other flag transfer on the other side; easy does it. The transfers come off in a matte/flat finish with no excess glossiness.
Remember also when using Archer transfer sets (and any other company’s 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, you’re 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 Archer’s of course.
The instructions Archer provides for making the flags are very good even though the process of making the flags is relatively difficult when compared to utilizing other types of decals or transfers. If the instructions were not up to par, the process of making the flags could become VERY difficult and adversely affect the final product. So kudos to Archer for coming up with some very usable instructions.
The Archer Fine Transfers Viet Cong Flag set is another winning product. The flags are accurate and colorful and if you construct them as suggested by Archer, you can make them so you can position and move them like real flags. They are a bit more difficult to use than “regular” dry transfers or decals, but if you closely follow the instructions, you should not have any problems.
Rating = Highly Recommended
Thanks to Woody Vondracek and Archer Fine Transfers for the Review Sample
Highs: Typical high quality Archer Transfers. Look very nice when finished and can be positioned like real flags (if you use aluminium foil as recommended)Lows: You must take your time when making the flags to get a good result; Packaging misidentifies the flags as North Vietnamese (corrected on website though).Verdict: The Archer Fine Transfers Viet Cong Flag set is another winning product. The flags are accurate and colorful and if you construct them as suggested by Archer, you can make them so you can position and move them like real flags.
Our Thanks to Archer Fine Transfers! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.