WW II German Panzer Division Markings

From Mäkinen Marko

This new decal sheet (# D.72001) by ICM from Ukraine consists of emblems of German panzer troops plus a very extensive variety of tactical markings and a sortiment of balkenkreutzes from the time period 1939-1945. Both Heere (army) and Waffen-SS units are covered. With these decals it is possible to give the finishing touch to almost any German WWII tank or soft-skin vehicle according to one's personal wishes. Of course the modeller needs to acquire the identification numbers of unique vehicles elsewhere since they are not included on this sheet.

The sheet includes several emblems for:

An astonishing total of 56 different units is depicted. Unfortunately most of the markings are so tiny and delicate that they do not show well in the scanned picture.

As far as I understand the sheet is restricted only to the markings of "pure" panzer formations. For instance the emblems of such motorized divisions that included panzerjäger battalions or self-propelled artillery battalions are not included. This means that the decals can not be used with vehicles which were exclusively used by these units. Therefore modellers of such important tanks as Jagdpanzer IV, Hetzer, StuG III and IV or even Jagdpanther would not benefit much from these decals. The collection of tactical markings (76 different, 2 each) found on the sheet can still be useful with them, too. Another negative side with this product might be that there are only a couple of emblems, sometimes just one emblem per each depicted unit on the sheet. This means that you will run out of emblems very quickly if you need them for more than one or two vehicles of any given unit. Luckily in most cases the same types of vehicles were used by numerous divisions which allows the modeller several "designation options" for most tank types.

The sheet itself is very comprehensive and well put together, but no kind of guide is provided with it to help with the use of the decals. Therefore you need to consult additional reference material in order to use the markings correctly. In particular this is necessary as there are a few, slightly different emblems for many of the units, clearly for various stages of the time period covered and/or different types of vehicles used. Also the use of the tactical markings would require additional reference material.

Since the decals are well detailed, the printing is nicely in register and also otherwise very good, the sheet is a treasure for any modeller of WWII German tanks in 1/72nd scale and is very warmly recommended. Mine was bought at a local hobby store. I expect it to be found elsewhere, too, although I have not yet spotted it on the web pages of Hannant's model store, where new products appear early. ICM produces also a corresponding, though a less comprehensive sheet in 1/35th scale.

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