German WWII Balkencruz #1
Kit # 72043 Preview by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com

This is Archer's set #1 for the German "Balkencruz" marking; at least that's what Archer pretends. It is fascinating in how many ways the word Balkenkreuz (beam cross) has been written ever since the Germans invented it. At least spelling doesn't interfere with the quality of the set, as it is no exception to the high levels of craftsmanship we have become used to with Archer's. Incidentally, while this is set #1, we are still left waiting for set #2.

The set contains a rather small assortment of crosses in 4 styles, some of which come in varying sizes. Apart from the narrow black and white cross, the given styles are the more common ones found on German AFVs from 1940 to 1945.

The crosses are all printed in perfect register and are absolutely opaque. As these decals are of the "dry" variety, you have to apply them to the vehicle by cutting the decal out and rubbing it on the surface of the vehicle "like a Letraset". If done carefully, this will give the best result you can hope for when you want to decorate your vehicle with a Balkenkreuz. Of course, dry decals do not only have advantages, but also disadvantages.

- No decal film, so nothing visible except the decal
- Very thin decals

- You only get one chance to apply them (except if you rub them on decal paper first). If you get it wrong, there's where the decal will stay.
- Very difficult to apply to irregular surfaces
- More expensive


Below are 4 pictures of two of the crosses of this set applied to a Cpl Overby's Motor Pool E-25. They went on without any trouble and the end-effect is the best I have seen so far on any of my models.
The fact that it was a flat plate that was destined to accept the decals helped a lot, of course.

Other kits I used this set on can be found here.

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Article Last Updated: 26 March 2011