The thing I love the most about Archer Fine Transfers is the way they anticipate my needs.
I have lots of ammo boxes for my M1A1 AIM Abrams tank "Bad Mofo
or my AAVP-7A1 "tuna boat"
. But not one of them has any stenciling on them, the kind that identifies what's inside. Since the resin AM set I got them with didn't come with markings, nor the kits, it's a noticeable bit of realism that's missing.
For that matter, I didn't think that anyone provided this kind of detailing. And with at least two sizes of ammo cans available, well, it just didn't happen previously.
But now Archer has released a really useful set of markings for NATO and modern US ammo boxes. So there's no excuse for not having your ammo cans marked, soldier!
what you get
As part of their waterslide decal sub-grouping, Archer includes a sheet of decals printed by Cartograf in a bright yellow & green labeled glassine.
The US Army uses a variety of ammunition, but in general during the 1970s and 1980s, NATO and the US used .50 cal. and 7.62mm. Today there is 5.56 cal., 7.62mm and 25mm. All are covered by this release.
What's more, the stencils are nicely laid-out on the sheet and clearly identified. And since NATO troops didn't want to do live fire exercises around the German populace, they had ammo cans with blanks. The printing on these stencils is so freaking good, you can read "ball" or "blank" on the 7.62mm stencils.
The 25mm cans are a bit tricky because of asymmetrical labeling, but Archer gives a nice illustration of how to handle those stencils.
Given the anal-retentive nature of most armies, stenciling on stowage items like ammo cans is a really useful means of sharpening the realism and detail of almost any build. I wish I'd had this sheet when I built the two kits referenced above, but I'm certainly going to use these decals when I build my M1A1 AIM in A'stan!
They say the best products are those you didn't even know you need. Subconsciously I knew I needed stenciling for my ammo boxes, but I didn't think it was possible in this size. Archer proved me wrong. Go buy this set, you'll use it a lot.
Thanks to Archer Fine Transfers for providing this review sample. Be sure to tell them you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.