The United States military added white stars of various sizes to all of their vehicles to ease identification and to help prevent friendly fire. These stars were placed in conspicuous locations of the vehicles to make them easily observable. The idea was a sound one, and it was determined that the stars did work as an easy way to indentify a US vehicle by friendly forces. However, it was soon realized that the stars also made it easy for enemy forces to spot the stars on the vehicles and use them as aiming points. So as a practice, the men in the field painted over the stars or used various means to mark them out or obscure them.
Archer Fine Transfers has released a set of US Vehicle Stars for the M3 White Scout Car, M2/M3 Halftrack, M3 Light Tank, M3 Medium Track Lee, M8 Armored Car, M3A1 Light Tank, and the M5A1 Light Tank which comes with a total of 72 various sized stars.
The set comes packaged in a clear plastic bag with a paper identification label stapled at the top. The bag contains two sheets of transfers, two sheets of backing paper, an instruction sheet, an information sheet and a heavy blue paper insert to protect the transfer sheets. The set provides enough transfers for several vehicles.
The transfers come on 3 1/2" wide by 4 3/8" high carrier sheets. The transfers are nice and crisp and have no flaws or blemishes. I measured the transfers and the dimensions for each are as follows:
The stars provide markings which look very realistic when applied. Once applied, they do not leave any silvering, which can happen with water slide decals, and they can be scratched and chipped if desired to provide a weathered look. The transfers come off of the carrier sheet very nicely, and once applied, they look very realistic. I have provided a photograph of a few of the stars that I transferred onto a piece of sheet styrene that I painted olive drab to show you the end result.
The Archer Fine Transfers web site provides application instructions for their products. One detail I would like to see Archer Fine Transfers provide would be a product handling guide on their packaging warning not to touch the transfers with bare fingers. As a first time user, it would be easy for a modeler to have the transfers stick to their fingers when handling them. When I researched a previous set, the first time I was exposed to dry transfers, I had some of the transfers stick to my fingers so I speak of this from personal experience.
Archer Fine Transfers owner Woody Vondracek informed me that later this Summer, he plans to have video tutorials on-line on his web site.
All in all, this is a very nice set of dry transfers. Archer Fine Transfers continues to provide excellent products, and this is just one of the many nice sets that are available. I am very impressed with this set, and I would have no hesitation to recommend it to others or to obtain more sets for myself.
Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles 1940-1965, Thomas Bernt, Krause Publications (ISBN 0-87341-223-0. U.S. Armor Camouflage and Markings World War II, Jim Mesko, Squadron Signal Publications.
Our thanks to Archer Fine Transfers for providing this review sample. Please mention you saw them on Armorama when ordering.
Highs: Nice crisp and well defined transfers with no flaws or blemishes. Helpful information sheet.Lows: Lack of proper handling instructions.Verdict: This is a very nice set of transfers.
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.
About Randy Harvey (HARV) FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES
I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth.
I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes.
I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...