I thought I should take the time to actually do a little comparison of the various 15mm stowage suppliers I use. I've posted pictures of the parts individually in the past, but thought it might be useful to see the parts together.
These models come from three seperate suppliers, and only refer to western allied kits (although some of the parts are pretty interchangeable)
The model makers I am comparing are:
Peter Pig - specifically their Sherman Stowage Basic Pack's
Skytrex - specifically their CD SP1 General Stowage Pack and CD SP12 Sherman Tracks & Road Wheels Pack
Battlefront - Specifically US Stowage US670
Starting with Battlefront's offerings, this pack is billed as US stowage but would be suitable for any Western Allied vehicles. It includes some bedding rolls, Sherman road wheels, Jerry cans, track links and both a US and Tommy helmet and a few boxes. the pack contains 6 strips of each of the two types. From my perspective, the offerings from Battlefront are good and add some great variety. However, the casting isn't great and will need a lot of cleaning up in some cases. I paid £6.47 on ebay for this pack.
Next up, Peter Pig. The Peter Pig packs are a lot smaller and fairly limited in scope, containing 3 large cloth rolls, 3 strips of Sherman tracks, 2 Sherman road wheels and 2 strips of connected boxes. These packs cost £3 each. They require fairly little prep to use, not needing much in the way of cleaning up.
Then we have Skytrex. The Skytrex packs are larger than the other offerings, but a bit costlier and p+p is also quite steep. However, they do contain a lot of different bits. There is a pack of stowage that only includes the canvas rolls, jerry cans and boxes, and leaves out the 'camo net' style rolls. My experience of the Skytrex models is that they require fairley little in the way of cleaning up.
Both of these packs cost £10, although there are smaller, cheaper, packs available. P+P is about £5 within the UK.
So how do these various offerings compare?
|Peter Pig (left) with Battlefront (right)|
|Mix of all makes|
|Battlefront on left, Skytrex on the right.|
|Rear view of the various tracks. Peter Pig on the left with their flat backing, Battlefront at the top and the other offerings are Skytrex.|
|Front view of the various Sherman tracks.|
|Small Skytrex barrels and Jerry Cans on the left, beside Battlefront versions.|
|Battlefront offerings in the centre, surrounded by Skytrex and with a few Peter Pig Sherman road wheels in the center.|
|Skytrex Jerry Cans and Crates beside the Battlefront offerings.|
As you can see, size wise they are all fairly interchangeable with minimal drift in scales. The Skytrex and Battlefront versions give you some decent variations while also providing the bulk you need to detail a lot of different vehicles. The Peter Pig offering is pretty limited in numbers - useful if you are only doing one or two tanks, but you need quite a few packs to do a lot of vehicles and there is not much variation with only the Sherman tracks and road wheels alongside the 3 connected boxes and the large canvas roll.
There are some other options, which I do use from time to time. One is to use greenstuff/miliput to make your own. Doing canvas style rolls is fairly easy and can be done with a little practice. Another is to use small strips of material, tinfoil, etc.
I also carefully strip any stowage on plastic sprues, such as the plastic Open Fire Shermans and StuGs, plastic half tracks, etc. I do try to be careful with mixing these in when I am detailing my models, as I don't want every vehicle being identical (or looking like every other Sherman out there!).
Another version which isn't on the market yet is the Plastic Soldier Company stowage sprue. PSC are working on a British 15mm Stowage kit, similar in scope to the German one. No news as to when this will be released, but they did reply to an email from me recently stating that one was in the pipeline. Another new addition is 'Flames of War Bling' which is an Ebay store selling 3d printed bits and bobs for FoW. They include crates, barrels and tools.
So there you go, a very quick and dirty comparison between all the various stowage options I use on my Flames of War vehicles. If you know of a producer I haven't mentioned, please let me know in comments! I hope you found this blog entry useful! Apologies for the lighting in the photographs.