1/72 Englische Panzer ab 1944
(English Armour from 1944 onwards)
Kit # EP866 Preview by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com

This set is meant for British Armour in Western Europe. (The name of the set only mentions that it is from 1944 onwards, but according to my references the units represented on the sheet all fought exclusively in that particular theatre.)
The decals are in perfect register, but some smearing is present on my sheet and I have my doubts about some (most) of the shades and colors being used and about the historical accuracy of the decals.

So what do you get and whence my misgivings ?

1. Units

(Preliminary note: I have the feeling the sheet is based on the info in [1], and have drawn some conclusions accordingly.)

The following units are represented (see picture above):

1: Guards Armoured Division.

2: 11th Armoured Division. These look particularly large to me, and the second one from the top is missing part of its black outline.

3: 7th Armoured Division. This division is the most problematic for this sheet. First of all, the Jerboa should be red, not orange. While this type of insignia was used (in red) in the North African campaign, by the time the division reached NWE its insignia had changed to a red Jerboa on a white square. Nevertheless the 22nd Armoured Brigade and the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery in the division continued to use the "desert-style Jerboa", while the other constituent units used the new style. Forgetting the issue with the color for a while, you might think that you could use this insignia for the 22nd AB, but this AB combined their AoS squares (see 2. Subunits) with the Stag's Head of the AB. As the latter is not provided on the sheet, you cannot use the Jerboa decal without getting this decal elsewhere. The 3rd RHA then... It had the "desert Jerboa" with a thin white outline, so it is not correct for that either. Then again, this discussion is mostly pointless as no-one used an orange Jerboa anyway. For that reason, I will not mention the 7th AD in the remainder of the review, as it cannot be represented from this sheet alone.

4: 79th Armoured Division.

5: 4th Armoured Brigade.

6: 6th Guards Tank Brigade.

7: 8th Armoured Brigade. A square version was used in NWE; this round version was used in Africa. 8th Armoured Brigade also combined their Brigade and AoS signs. Alternatively, this insignia can be used for 10th Armoured Division, although this division did not fight in NWE and was dsibanded in 1944.

8: 27th Armoured Brigade.

9: 31st Army Tank Brigade. It's a bluish shade on the decal, which might better be green. (24 ATB used a blue version of this insignia, but that unit did not fight in NWE)

10: 33rd Armoured Brigade.

11: 2nd Army insignia (if we forget about the missing sword on the cross), but probably meant for 34th Army Tank Brigade. ([2] shows both insignias for this ATB, without further clarification.) The Brigade mostly used a red shield with a yellow diagonal (top left to bottom right) and a knight's armored gauntlet holding a "mace" in white with the "mace" to the left of the badge.

2. Subunits

Apart from the Division and Brigade insignia, you get the following "numbered squares" (AoS squares) for the subunits:

A: Armoured Brigade. For most ADs, so in this case for Guards, 11th AD, and partially for 79th AD (also see J & Q). It would have done for 7th AD, but we already discussed why that won't work.

B (Top 4): Infantry Brigade. For Guards and 11th AD.
B: Bottom: Forward Delivery Squadron. For Guards and 11th AD. The numberless square, I guess, is meant as a spare, but I don't know where you are supposed to get the number to put onto it.

C: Royal Artillery (HQ, Field Arty, Field Arty, Anti-tank Regiments & Mortar Battery). For Guards, and 11th AD (as for any other AD for that matter).

D: Royal Engineers (HQ, Field Park, Field, Field & Bridging troop). For Guards and 11th AD (as for any other AD for that matter).

E (Top 4): RASC (HQ, Armoured, Infantry, Divisional). For Guards and 11th AD. A pity "84" is missing.
E (Bottom): Arm. Div. Signals. For Guards and 11th AD, as for any other AD for that matter, if only it had had a red number on it.

F (Top 4): Armd Div RAOC units. For Guards and 11th AD. The numberless squares, I guess, is meant as a spare, but I don't know where you are supposed to get the number to put onto them.
F (Bottom): Armoured Car Regt. For Guards and 11th AD. The armoured car regiments appeared on the establishment (TOE in US-speak) of Corps, not of Divisions (who had an armoured recce regiment, usually tracked). Therefore, in theory the Armoured Car Regiments should have worn the sign of their parent Corps with 44 on a green over blue square. However, in practise, several of the Armoured Car Regiments worked so consistently with a particular Armoured Division that they took (technically irregularly) to wearing the Divisional sign instead. It should have a white band on top, though.

G (Top 4): REME, Workshops, Aid Det. For Guards and 11th AD. Unfortunately, the width of the stripes should be equal (with the numbers overlapping).
G (Bottom): Armoured Recce Regt. For Guards and 11th AD.

H & I (top 4): Ambulance Units and other support units (see reference [1] for details). For Guards and 11th AD.
I (Bottom): REME. The use of "HQ" instead of numbers is doubtful.

J: (Also See A). Given the position on the sheet, I would have guessed that they were meant for the 30th AB in 79th AD, but then I am not sure if the "54" would have been used. Of course you could use them for other ADs.

K (Top 5): 1st Army Tank Brigade of 79th AD.

L and bottom of K: 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers in 79th AD.

M: Royal Armoured Corps in 79th AD.

N: For 4th AB.

O: I would have expected the squares to be for 6th Guards TB, but these are not the ones. I don't know what they are actually. The colors are OK for 6th Guards, but not the numbers, so I guess it's a copy-paste error with column "N". I am not sure if I can distinguish the necessary white bar underneath either.

P: For 8th AB. I am not sure if I can distinguish the white bar underneath. Also, 8th Armoured Brigade combined their Brigade and AoS signs. The white line was sometimes seen inside the AoS square. Furthermore, the divisional sign is not correct for NWE.

Q: For 27th AB (Also see A).

R: For 31st Army TB, but my sources tell me the slanted line should go in the opposite direction and should probably have an opening where the number is. (Also, see remark about the divisional insignia.)

S & T: For 33rd AB. I am not sure if I can distinguish the white bar underneath. These numbers are OK for August 1944 to the war's end. (From June to August they were in the 17x range).

U: For 34th Army Armoured Brigade, assuming you have a decal for the divisional insignia (see above).

Unfortunately, you only get one AoS square each (except for the red ones), while most (all ?) vehicles carried two, which enormously limits the use of this sheet.

There are some blank AoS squares on the sheet, but I don't think they were ever used as such, so off you go in search for suitable numbers.

3. Bridge classification numbers

14: M3A1 Stuart, AEC Armoured car and M1 wrecker
29: Possibly Cromwell and Sherman
30: Sherman
26: Possibly Sexton
40: Churchill
46: Challenger

4. Other decals

You get a number of immatriculations for tanks as well, and some names, which I guess are pretty randomly chosen.
Assuming they are not based on actual photographs then there is a typo in the name "Agressor" (the white decal that is almost indiscernible on the scan). I always thought English spelling required 2 "g"s in that word. Also "Satans charriot", might better be "Satan's chariot" if it is to be grammatically correct and represent a known Cromwell.
While the black lettering is better visible on this sheet than the white, the opposite would be true when these are actually used on an OD or SCC15 tank, where they would be almost invisible.
Quite a number of vehicles wearing the names on the sheet have been identified, and they are all white. Furthermore there is some doubt about the font being used for them.

5. Conclusions

As we have seen, the sheet is riddled with errors or just gives too few decals to be of use. So, while the decals are thin and are easy to use, I am hard-pressed to find praise for this sheet, unless you really need some particular parts of this sheet.

[1] Le Tommy de la Libération, Tome 2. J. Bouchery. Histoire & Collections.

[2] http://www.armouredacorn.com/Reference/BAM/7th%20Armd%20Div%20-%20complete.pdf

Thanks to Ian Hanratty, Elliott Winthrop, Ilian Filipov, Alan McCoubry, Doug Chaltry, Peter Brown, Chris Grove and Aris Kosionidis for helping me with this preview.


PS: if anyone has a clue for the inscription "out of the blue" on the bottom of the sheet, let me know !

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Article Last Updated: 21 March 2010