Firestorm Models has recently come on the scene offering a line of 1/35 dry-transfer markings for Australian vehicles. This latest set, FS35157, is designed for Australian Centurions serving in the Vietnam conflict in Southeast Asia.
The set comes packaged in a small ziplock style bag with a single small square sheet of markings for four different vehicles. Included in the package is a small instruction sheet that calls out which markings are for the different vehicles and their respective placement. The four options included are:
All 4 vehicles are Australian Centurions that saw service in Southeast Asia in the 1969-71 time frame. The instructions include detailed call-outs for the placement of the various markings depending on the option you select. For the yellow-backed unit placard attached to the rear turret basket, the instructions recommend first transferring the marking to a sheet of lead foil or plastic sheet, then trimming to size and attaching as needed. As with all dry-transfers, the method of application is different from water-slide decals and will require care to burnish them completely to insure a clean transfer to the desired surface. All of the markings are of a high quality printing standard with everything in register and all edges sharply defined, including the stencil breaks on some of the rear turret placard numbers.
I tested the application with my sample and when I removed the protective backing sheet, a few of the markings were damaged as part of them had stuck to the backing and came away when it was removed and one entire marking came away as well, so care is definitely required here in terms of prior handling to avoid problems. For the larger markings, especially the vehicle names, securing the transfer in place exactly as you need it before burnishing is essential to get a nice straight line, but nothing out of the ordinary for those familiar with dry transfers. The barrel name for "Birth Controller" will likely be the toughest to apply given the curved surface and you only get one shot at it once committed. The sheet is quite flexible and thin, so with careful trimming and securing it beforehand, problems can be minimized.
For those who prefer dry transfers over traditional water-slide decals, this set offers that option and also provides quite the value with 4 different vehicles represented. The instructions on placement are clear and well organized and the quality of the printing is outstanding. The small problem with the backing sheet aside, this will make an excellent option for those interested in building an Australian Cent from the Vietnam era. Recommended.
Highs: Multiple vehicle possibilities in the same set, high quality printing. Lows: Care required when removing the backing sheet. Larger markings require precision and the "Birth Controller" barrel name in particular will pose a challenge. Verdict: An excellent option for those modelling an Australian Centurion and seeking an alternative to water-slide decals.
Our Thanks to Firestorm Models! 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.
About Bill Plunk (wbill76) FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES
Like many, I started out in the hobby as a kid building airplanes to hang from my bedroom cieling. I took a long break from the hobby, returning in 2001 with an interest in armor inspired mostly by online gaming. WW2 armor, 1/35 scale, is my preferred genre with a special taste for the stranger vehi...