Product Review: Archer Fine Transfer New Releases AR35245; Pz. IV Ausf. F1 & F2, 14th Panzer Division, Russia 1942; price US $9.95 AR35246; StuG III B, C, D or E, 2/Batt StuG Abt. 221, Barbarossa to Moscow; price $6.95 AR35247; StuG III B, C, D, E, or F; 1, 2, 3 Batt StuG III Abt. 197; price $7.95 AR35248; Dodge 3/4 ton truck instruments and miscellaneous stencils; price $6.95 AR35249; StuG III B, C, D, and E; Sturmgescheutz Abteilung 192; price $9.95 AR35250; M4A1 81mm mortar halftrack, 41st Armored Infantry, 2nd Armored Division April 1944; price $6.95
Advantages: provides for correct full markings for specific vehicles or detailed upgrades of the kit markings; conversion directions included where necessary
Disadvantages: none noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for the specific vehicles listed in the header information
Wood Vondracek is one of the busiest guys I know but at least he has good people doing his research and assistance. One thing I do recall from the early days of AFT is that Woody would always deliver on his promises; if he got good, useful research information on a subject he would produce the markings. That was much better than anybody else at the time, and today he remains as one of the most quickly reactive and prolific producers of dry and wet transfer markings in the hobby.
These six new released recently showed up and once again are typical of AFT's standards. All are crisp, precise, and complete where possible.
Sheet 35245 covers Pzkw. IV F1 and F2 variants in Russia in 1942 and are designed to compliment the recent DML "Smart Kit" release. Designed to go on grey vehicles, the markings are in black, white and yellow and provide for one each F1 and F2 vehicles. Directions are provided inside the packet for modifications to the kit. Research for this set was provided by Jussi Metsala.
Sheet 35246 covers the 221st Sturmgescheutz Battalion in Russia and is designed for either the new Tamiya Ausf. B or the older DML kits of the early StuG III vehicles. Markings in black, white and red are provided for one of two vehicles, either 201 or 212, and a memorial inscription for a dead crewman is also provided for one vehicle. Research for this set was provided by John F. Steinman.
Sheet 35247 covers another StuG III battalion, this one being StuG Abt. 197. It provides for two vehicles from the three batteries, but only one from each battery may be covered. Markings are in white, yellow, red and black. Research was again provided by Mr. Steinman.
Sheet 35249 is a third variation on StuG battalions, and this time the subject is the 192nd Battalion. Markings are provided for two of six possible choices with 13, 14, 24, and 34 being the preset versions. These are quite colorful with either a red on black or yellow on black "skull and crossbones" provided along with the tactical markings. Again the sheet is in red, yellow, black and white.
Sheet 35248 is another of the excellent and time-saving sheets covering dashboard instruments and placards, this time for the Dodge WC-51/52 series 3/4 ton trucks. It also includes extra stencils for antifreeze and tailgate warnings to other traffic. Markings are provided for two vehicles. Research again was done for this sheet by Norm Samuelson.
Sheet 35250 is for the new DML M4 81mm mortar halftrack and provides the correct markings for vehicle 15, Headquarters, 3rd Battalion 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Division prior to movement to France in April 1944. It is in yellow and white and provides the tactical and serial numbers as well as the stars and side markings. Researched by Pat Stansell, it also provides directions on how to convert the DML M4 to a 2nd Armored version by reversing the mortar and changing the interior layout.
Overall these are all great sheets as we have come to expect no less from AFT, and they have not disappointed.
Thanks to Woody Vondracek for the review samples.