With first the centenary of the Great War, and now the centenary of the tank upon us this year, it's not surprising that the number of new model kits from that period has exploded. Fans of WW1 tanks now have numerous kits to choose from, though a paucity of information about their markings or period photographs means that decals provided with the kits have been limited. Stepping into that void is Decalomaniacs with several sets of markings for the new WW1 kits.
what you get
Inside a Ziploc baggie is a 4" x 6" set of white decals (the photo at right is of the instruction sheet since no scanner will render the decals properly). There is also a sheet of variants which discusses paint schemes.
The Takom Mk.Is appear to have only two marking options, so this set of decals and painting instructions (no illustrations, however) will delight modelers looking for other options. The numbers would include:
"C1" to "C25." This covers all the tanks used during the Battles of the Somme in 1916, the first time tanks were used in combat. The tanks all apparently had nicknames, but only two have been documented ("Cordon Rouge" and "Die Hard"). The instructions are quite detailed, too, about which tanks were "male" (with guns") and which "female" (with MGs).
Other tanks in other areas and battles are also included. Typical is "C21 The Perfect Lady" which fought during the battle of Arras, April, 1917.
The instructions use five camo schemes that range from battleship gray to very colorful mixtures of brown, green and pink over gray. These are described as A, B1, B2, C and D. These vary from quite colorful to a dark khaki, and include the style employed in the Middle East (variant D).
Finally, Georg includes some excellent references to books on the subject, both to document his information and to direct modelers who'd like to learn more.
I feel it incumbent on me to mention with each Decalomaniacs review that these are not your typical waterslide decal set. Printed on a laser printer, the results are fainter than with most kits. It's a good idea often to apply them over a light base coat to bring out their color and render them more vibrant. They are also printed on a single sheet of decal film, so each marking should be carefully removed from the sheet, with as much selvage trimmed away as possible before soaking in water.
Considering that Decalomaniacs is the brain child (some would say "love child") of Georg Eyerman, it's amazing that we have these decals at all. They provide modelers a much-larger set of marking options than with the kit alone. If your heart has been captured by the new WW1 kits, then you owe it to yourself to pick up a sheet of these markings.
Thanks to Decalomaniacs for providing this review copy. Be sure to mention you saw these reviewed here on Armorama when ordering your own set.
Highs: Good value for money with lots of markings that will let you recreate pretty much any Mk. I that fought at The Somme.Lows: Since they are printed on a laser printer and not offset, these decals require more skill than the average waterslide decals.Verdict: Highly-recommended for those building the Takom kit due to the limited decal options available with it.