In-Box Review
Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry Sherman IIIs (Syria 1943)

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

A short while ago I was lucky enough to review DML's new Sherman III in 1/35th scale. One of the few areas which I found unsatisfying was the choice of decals in the kit - all three were vehicles were from The Royal Wiltshires and all were from the Parade marking the end of the 'Desert War' in Libya. There were also minor discrepancies in some details of the supplied decals - particularly in the area of the 9th Armoured Brigade's markings. Therefore, for the 'purist' some alternative AM set would be desirable. It would also be good to be able to model other vehicles in the Royal Wiltshire's 'Order of Battle'. This set, from Echelon Fine Details, provides considerably more than simply an 'alternative' to the kit markings....

The Decal Set
ALT352002 - Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry Sherman IIIs (Syria 1943) is a 1/35th scale decal set produced by the well-established, Singapore-based decal manufacturer, Echelon Fine Details. The set comes inside a snap-top 'baggie' and consists of an attractive, full-color cover which contains the single decal sheet. The reverse of the cover gives illustrations of all EIGHT subjects covered in the sheet. Although the set is Sherman III 'specific', the eighth option covers a Wiltshire Yeomanry Sherman II which differs with an earlier camouflage scheme and black lettering for 'Cricklade' of 'C' Squadron' If the eight subjects in the sheet weren't sufficient, the sheet also includes sufficient 'generic' lettering and numbers to allow more vehicles of the period to be constructed.

In Detail
The initial impression of this sheet is of the care which has been taken in its compilation. The packaging is eye-catching and on opening the cover, one is faced with a selection of well-executed, full-color illustrations showing side and front views of the positioning of the decals. However, the instruction sheet doesn't stop there: it also gives a useful schematic of the two-tone Light Mud/Blue Black camo scheme. On the back page, reflecting the confusion which is a way of life for Sherman modellers, is a map through the 'minefield'. This is achart which, with simple cross-referencing, one can ascertain what vehicle carried what variation of for example turret-mounted MGs and even variations on the mantlets. This is truly one of the best aspects of this set, too many other company's sheets give accurate positioning but little else, in this, Echelon goes considerably further. One final detail regarding the instruction (information?) sheet, is a small (though somewhat redundant now) list of AM update/detail sets to aid in the construction of a Sherman III.

Moving onto the decal sheet itself, once again, the impression it gixes is of color. Register is absolutely first-class with no anomalies in the printing process that I can discern, The only area which I will comment on, is that when the time comes to remove the waterslide decals, EXTREME care will have to be exercised - a VERY sharp blade is reccomended. In the preparation of this review, in an attempt to demonstrate the register of the decals, I photoshopped some of the details from a larger image to see how much distorsion there actually was when amplified. The result was VERY impressive with only the usual heavy graining when an image is increased beyond normal size. Carrier film is also at an absolute minimum and the sheet has a good semi-matt finish.

At the outset, my only doubts are that many potential purchasers will be put-off by this sheet covering similar ground as the kit decals - two of the three vehicles are included in the Echelon sheet. However, to counter that completely, this set will be used by those modellers who go 'beyond' the box and are looking for a sheet which will cover the finer detail and importantly, cover different subjects from everyone else's. Ultimately, it's an imaginative sheet which goes much further than most AM Decal companies do. One fortunate 'occurence' is undoubtedly the fact that all the 'IIIs' are Cast hood rather than DVs,,, With this set, the hope is that the owner of Echelon, Lawrence Goh, will produce another Sherman III sheet - Polish vehicles perhaps?

Firstly, my thanks to Lawrence for the review set. Secondly, on the subject of documentation of these vehicles, Military Modelling, Vol. 35 No. 9. contains a superb article documenting the subject of this sheet. Finally, my well-used copy of :M4a2 Sherman (Part 1) along with various other published sources helped in the 'focus' part of this review. Of course the 'donor' kit for using this set will be the new DML Sherman III, the review of which can be seen: HERE (LINK)
This decal set has been available for some time, however, apart from the extensive use of AM conversion sets, a Sherman III was unavailable in plastic kit form. Now, with the release of an evcellent donor kit, this sheet really comes into its own... However as the same Regiment is covered in this decal set as in the kit sheet, does this become a case of AM redundancy? The answer is, fortunately, a rotund NO...
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: ALT352002
  Suggested Retail: $14.50
  PUBLISHED: Nov 15, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Echelon!
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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks Jim I was wondering about this set with the Sherman III coming soon. When you have the chance to use these I will be very interested in how you find them.
NOV 15, 2006 - 12:13 AM
I was over the moon when I first got these (and still am) but was mildly dissapointed that DML chose the simple route of offering the same markings in their kit. At the very least I thought they would have offered an RSG in Ambush scheme as an alternative. Given the lengths they went to with these kits it was sad they skimped on the decals. I am also hoping Larry does some other users decals for Sherman III's. The options available are colourful to say the least with Polish, New Zealand, Brit, USSR and Frewnch vehicles in some very fetching schemes.
NOV 15, 2006 - 10:10 AM
I was VERY disapponted. RWY markings are a very nice option indeed - but one out of three (or four) with some Polish, New Zealand or other Regimental vehicles, However, i'm sure that Echelon, Bison or one of the other companies are working on alternatives as we speak...
NOV 15, 2006 - 12:41 PM
Echelon Fine Details has some very high-quality decals for 1/35th armor. Both modern and WWII. With the release of the new Dragon Sherman III kit, this RWY set will make that kit worth having, and maybe even more then one ! Thanks for the review Jim. Echelon decals are good to go ! Rob: I have this set in stock if you need one. Cheers !! Robert
NOV 15, 2006 - 08:40 PM

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