Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Decaling in 15mm

From some of the previous pictures I've posted, you will probably have noticed I'm a big fan of using decals on my 15mm vehicles.

This is partly to emphasise the historical element I'm aiming for. I was very annoyed for a long time that I couldn't find 15mm decals that cover the 33rd Armored Brigade. My normal supplier of decals is Doms Decals, who provide a wide range of high quality 15mm decals. However, they don't do that particular armored unit. And neither do Battlefront (as an aside, I saw some Battlefront FoW decals recently at Carronade, and they looked more like 20mm decals). Eventually I found a company called that stocked the required markings. The decals themselves are from the 'decal details' range, produced by (I think)

Neither could I find decals for the markings known as AoS (Arm of Service).

144 RAC's AoS markings at the time of operation totalize was a red square with 174 in white on it. This was on the left hand side of the tank, with the brigade marking (a hourglass - sometimes called a Diablo marking, green on top and black on the bottom). In the end I went with 8th armoured brigade AoS markings, as they included 124 markings. With a little red and white paint I managed to get the number required.

The AoS markings were normally fixed within something like a Division, so you can tell at a glance what part of the Division the vehicle belongs to. For example, an infantry divisions Machine Gun battalions AoS was a white 67 in a black square. The vehicles of the 3rd battalion of the 3rd brigade in a Division would be a white 69 on a brownish/reddish square, etc. Combined with the Divisional badge, this tells you what unit the vehicle belongs to. Of course, that's the theory...

Alongside the brigade and AoS markings, I also added the squadron markings (depending on whether the tanks were in HQ, A, B or C squadron the tanks would have a square, circle, triangle or diamond shape on them). The colour of these symbols would define which regiment in the brigade the tanks were part of (in the brigade these were in order of regimental seniority Red, Yellow and Blue).

For my tanks I went for a yellow square, signifying B squadron. I can't remember why, but I believe it was to match the turret numbers I had. For 144 RAC it seems that the squadron markings were mounted in the hull sides - roughly under the turret. 

Unfortunately, my lack of planning when it came to my stowage on my tanks prevented me from putting the turret numbers on. Something I'll watch in the future. They should have been on the sides and rear of the Shermans turret.

I also went for a Allied recognition star to be mounted on the turret top. I think these are pretty smart, and these Shermans seemed to lack any of these stars. I would have considered the engine deck for these, but again I had already covered these in stowage for most of the tanks. 

Towards the rear of each tank I also mounted the War Department Number of the tank (the vehicles unique registration number). 

Similarly, my other vehicles also had the various WD numbers and recognition stars. As well as the 51st Highland Divisions ToS and divisional sign. 

I like these details on vehicles of this size, they contrast nicely with the green of the vehicles, giving a splash of colour. 

One of the issues I did come across was models where stowage wholly or partially covered where the markings should be. In these cases I trimmed the decal to look like it was being obscured, or left the decal off all together where it would be totally covered. Like the star on the bonnet of the jeep below. 

Easier to put on than you think as well!


  1. Superb Jamie, you should be well chuffed with them and nice finish with the decals!

  2. Thanks mate. A few of those pics are obviously pre matt varnish and pre basing. I'm pleased with the look, though I know there's room for improvement!!!


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