In-Box Review
British Mk. I's
British Mk. I's
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


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 review

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.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: DM-060
  PUBLISHED: Feb 01, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Bill Cross (bill_c)

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright 2021 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


Bill, thank you for reply.
FEB 03, 2016 - 04:49 AM
First of all -during the first tanks did not exist Windovs standard fonts. This decal is almost entirely made Arial font. Real digital codes tanks were painted by hands, they have different sizes and configurations. As correctly pointed by Matthew, not all of them were white. I need a little time, and I will write in more detail.
FEB 03, 2016 - 04:54 AM
So, first picture. Yellow - Arial font letters. Red - my own example of Arial use. As I wrote, it's uncorrect. For such a decal with the standard Windovs font must not more than two hours to design. In addition, the letters C1 - D 25 must be much less. Much less than the label With Care To Petrograd, for example.
FEB 03, 2016 - 05:30 AM
Next. Yellow - also incorrect configuration, and this marking is not for Mk1, but for MK2 and MK3. F53 The Flying Scotsman - is marking for Supply Mk2. Here also the standard fonts Arial and Futura. Compare original 777 Charlie Chaplin and decal. Also, do not correspond to the original inscription Perfect Lady. The photo is poor, but the difference is clearly visible. Mk.II Lusitania must have 788 factory number Gaza tanks. Each tank must have four names. In this case the name of the front should not be writing HMLS. Rear name should be much smaller than the others and is written in a different font.
FEB 03, 2016 - 06:01 AM
However, Bill, I'm sorry, but I do not have so much time that would prove the obvious details. Once again, please believe that this decals are no any proper element. This will see anyone who looks pictures of prototypes. If you agree - write me a PM your address and I'll send you the correct decals and a full photo reference used during designin. Sorry for bad English.
FEB 03, 2016 - 06:27 AM
But some more:
FEB 03, 2016 - 07:45 AM
Denis, I don't know if it's an English language issue or a personality one, but I still find your replies rather abrupt and self-serving. It's clear you have a competing product, and it's never very good to attack a competitor in order to advance your own sales. That the decals were created using a Windows font and not hand-drawn.... Well, I'm not a decal maker, but I would imagine the cost difference would be high for that kind of hand labor. Will these suffice for the average modeler? Only time will tell. Again, you have a competing product and perhaps at some point someone will review it on Armorama. But to say these decals have no value is, in my opinion, both rude and incorrect. I would not, for example, have a problem using them at the price they sell for. Your mileage may differ. Thank you for presenting the photos, however.
FEB 03, 2016 - 10:32 PM
Let's just leave this until the supporting information and decals are provided for a review. Until that is done all of this, regardless of the side you are on is just adverse opinion.
FEB 04, 2016 - 12:31 AM
This is always a difficult issue as the decalmaker is only as accurate as the references they have and frequently has to make assumptions. Building up an exhaustive reference library or locating all the sources for information is sometimes impossible. I was once in the position to correct a mistake by a decalmaker which was able to be fixed before release (and it was a major mistake) but it gave me an insight into just how difficult it is to get it right. My suggestion for decalmakers is - ask for feedback on the artwork before release. That being said even though I value accuracy I would accept and buy Georg's decals if they were what I needed for a particular prototype.
FEB 04, 2016 - 04:58 AM

Click image to enlarge
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