Archer stays ahead in the market when it comes to good and useful decal sets to spice up your vehicles, dioramas, diorama accessories and the lot. No matter if you are looking for markings of a specific vehicle, wartime propaganda posters, decals for figures, etc., the company pretty much has an answer to all your questions. "What about stencils for unpainted 21 cm Nebelwerfer ammo crates?" you might ask. Well, actually they got that covered as well.
The Wehrmacht during WW2 was equipped with a vast amount of artillery and all sorts of calibers were at their disposal to hurl at the enemy: from howitzers like the LefH 18, the sFH 18 or the 21 cm howitzer to big rocket launchers like the highly inaccurate 21 cm or the 32 cm Nebelwerfer in their various shapes and sizes. Of course with so much available in the form of weaponry, it is impossible not to have a huge array of ammo crates in all sorts and shapes as well. And some order had to be created in the chaos.
Also, to make the life of a quartermaster a lot easier!
So the crates were marked with stencils telling everybody from quartermaster all the way down the line to the people who shoved it into the breach of their weapon that they were actually using the right stuff.
These two decal sets from Archer (AR77005B <- Black stencils for unpainted crates and AR77005W <- White stencils for painted crates) provide you with enough waterslide decals to mark ammo crates for your Nebelwerfer
sets, from the old Peerless/Italeri offering to the later ones on the market like the 15 cm and 21 cm kits from LionRoar. There are also several Stuka Zu Fuss
("Stuka on foot") sets that are out there (Tamiya, DML or AFV Club to name a few).
Below is a rundown of the several decals in this set. I am including a link to a brilliant French website called Wehrmachts-Kisten
that is pretty much my go-to source for this kind of information. Just about every crate or container used by the Wehrmacht during WW2 is documented on this website, complete with detailed photographs and dimensions, too. If you don’t know this site yet, I advice you to check it out, as it is really very useful to modelers.
The decal set
The decals come in a plastic bag with a folded piece of paper stapled to it. Inside is a decal sheet measuring 11cm high by 9 cm wide and an instruction sheet on A4 folded twice.
In the set, you will find six decals for the towed 15 cm Wgr .41. They state:
"Mun. Beh. 4644 (B) Nicht Werfen!"
This stands for Munitions Behalter
4644 (B) Nicht werfen!
meaning "Ammo crate 4644 (B) Do Not Throw!" These decals are specially-made for the wooden ammo container this type of huge grenade was shipped in. One slat had the "Mun. Beh. 4644 (B)" on it, and presumably another slat had the "Nicht Werfen!" message. Although not seen in the example on Wehrmachts-Kisten
, I have seen this on museum examples.
You will also find six decals for the towed 21cm Wgr (WurfGranate
). These are marked as follows:
Luftd. Mun. Beh. 4662 21 cm Wgr.42spr.
The "Luftd." stands for "airtight," so basically it is an airtight ammo container for the grenade made out of cardboard. See here
for an example from real life.
The sets provide you with 10 decals for the fuses of the 32cm Wurfgranaten
in the Sd.Kfz. 251 Stuka Zu Fuss:
"Zündmittel für 12 Schuss 32cm Wk (Fl )
This is a picture of the crate in question
. Also the (Fl) part of the abbreviations mean it is for the incendiary type of projectile.
I don’t know off the top of my head if this little crate is available in 1:35. If not it means it needs to be scratched. The dimensions given by Wehrmachts-Kisten site for this particular box are 42cm wide, 29cm deep and 23cm high. Translated to 1:35 this comes to 1,2 cm wide, 0,8 cm deep and 0,6 high. The decal measures just over 1,3 cm wide and 0,75 cm high. In the Wehrmachts-Kisten picture, the stenciling is clearly visible in the middle of the lid and roughly a third as wide as the lid is. The decal is wider then the lid and pretty much as high.
Common to all crates
Additional to the markings above you get some generic decals which can be placed on a lot of crates. These include four decals saying Zündmittel
("fuses"); four decals saying Werkzeugkasten
("toolbox"); four Vorratskasten
("supply box"); and an additional six Nicht Werfen!
("Do not throw!"). Some of these decals are not limited to ammo crates alone, as tool boxes and supply boxes were also marked accordingly on vehicles.
We move on to the bottom half of the sheet where you will find two types of weight indications: there are 12 decals Heeresmunition _____Kg.
and 12 of the more elaborate Heeresmunition gesamtgew. ____ Kg.
basically means "army ammo" to distinguish it from Luftwaffe or Navy munitions, which is then followed by the weight in Kilograms. It's a marking that can be found on a lot of the ammo crates in use of the German army. Most of the times I have seen this, it is in a little smaller type font, but again, it could be this was done because of printer limitations
You also get 37 eagles and swastikas, complete with a year beneath them, which the German army stamped on everything that was (or what they thought was) their possession. The years go from 1941 to 1942.
The A4 sheet with the instructions is very clear. It gives an overview of the meanings of all the terms that are on this decal sheet, as not everybody is fluent in German. It also gives a bit of information on colors and in which situation you use a white stencil or a black one. And it gives a rundown of how to get the best results applying the decals.
The decals for the crates are nice, sharp and pretty much up-to-size. The decals for the fuse box of the Stuka zu Fuss
are way too big in my opinion, and therefore not very useful. I think the weight indication stickers are over-sized as well. I have seen differences in size in my own research, but not as big as this. With the Germans, exceptions happened a lot from the standard methods. And possibly there are crates with weight indications as big as this. I have only seen one crate so far with a weight indication stencil as big as these.
Thanks to Archer Fine Transfers for providing these review samples. Be sure to mention you saw them reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.