Product Review: Archer Fine Transfers "Operation Iraqi Freedom" US Markings Set No. AR35190, OIF M1A1, A2 Abrams Barrel Art; 15 sets of barrel names and artwork; price $10.95 Set No. AR35191, USMC M1A1s in Iraq (OIF); Markings for three different tanks; price $7.95 Set No. AR35192, 3ID Abrams in Iraq (OIF); complete markings for three different tanks; price $10.95 Set No. AR35193, USMC Abrams in Iraq (OIF); markings for one complete M1A1 tank; price $3.95
Advantages: dead on the money transfers make personalizing a specific tank a breeze; lots of choices
Disadvantages: some modelers still leery of using dry transfers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Abrams and Operation Iraqi Freedom fans
One of the great pleasures of AMPS every year is seeing Woody Vondracek again and finding out what he has come up with over the course of the past year. This year, Woody has not failed to amaze with his skills, and there are four nice new sheets of US armored vehicles from the combat and sustainment portions of "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
The four sheets provided here will work with any of the four current kits of M1A1/M1A2 tanks produced by the major manufacturers (DML, Trumpeter, Italeri, and Tamiya).The sheets and instructions vary.
Sheet 35190 has the barrel art and names for some 15 different tanks used in Iraq, both US Army and USMC. The sheet is printed in black and white, but since one vehicle named "Smoke Wagon" had a caricature of WB's Yosemite Sam in full color (think the old "Back Off" mudflap design) a supplemental sheet is provided with clear waterslide decals to ensure the best reproduction (and keep the cost of the sheet from ballooning to $20 or more, due to production techniques.)_
Sheet 35191 provides markings for two complete tanks, as one set of observed markings (may have been unit markings and ergo two different tanks) has two different names. These are the "run what you brung" M1A1 types painted in NATO three-color schemes.
Sheet 35192 provides markings for Task Force 1-64 Armor with the shipping code unit set markings still on the vehicles. For modelers, note that the DML kit is the only one to come with the 1-64 Armor supplemental bustle rack; it is NOT a Marine tank as was first thought. Three complete tanks may be finished from this set, all M1A1 and all in sand.
Set 35193 provides markings for one USMC M1A1 tank in sand finish, and photos of the original are on the Archer Fine Transfers home page (seefor a photo of this machine)
Note that these sets are also available in 1/72 scale with the replacement of the 35xxx by 72xxx in the product number.
Overall, Woody has again provided the basics for making a great model. My thanks to Woody for the review samples.