Mini review of Bison Decals 35129 “Australian (#1) Matilda Tanks” set

Mini review of Bison Decals 35129 “Australian (#1) Matilda Tanks” set

Joined: April 30th, 2005, 12:18 am

December 3rd, 2010, 7:39 am #1

Hi there all

Yesterday I received the Bison Decals 35129 Australian (#1) Matilda Tanks set in the post, and thought I'd have a close look at them. This set depicts seven Australian Matilda tanks, five 2pdr tanks and two equipped with dozer blades. They're pretty good, with just a few issues, mainly around the supplied embarkation bar markings - oddly, the coloured instruction sheet shows the correct embarkation bar colours, but these are not supplied as actual decals (only brown-white-brown and white-brown-white bars are supplied).

You can look at the instruction sheet for these decals here:

http://www.angelfire.com/pro/bison/35129.html

Bison were kind enough to mention me and the Australian Matilda markings article I wrote for Sentinel http://www.mheaust.com.au/Aust/Research ... %20WW2.htm) as a source for their research, although they didn't contact me directly. That article was written quite some time ago, but more detailed research over the last 18mths or so (further delving into original documents in the AWM research centre, purchase of photos and viewing of films etc) has suggested that there are some deficiencies in the article. So, any issues in the decals here might fairly be said to be due to me!

I have included below references for available vehicle photos on the Australian War Memorial online photographic database. If you want to look at any of these photos, simply follow the linkhttp://www.awm.gov.au/search/collections/ and enter the full six-digit number.

One general note is that the 4th Australian Armoured Brigade formation sign - a white crocodile and palm tree over a boomerang on a black square - is depicted as what I understand to be the more elaborate post-war style of marking. All of the Australian Matilda images I have examined to date depict a much more crude marking:



This image is also available as AWM 129658

The following are my observations on the specific markings provided:

Tank A: "Ace"
- the embarkation bar marking should be grey-white-grey (Shane Lovell discovered that the embarkation code for the 2/9th Aust Armd Regt was "61459")
- is depicted as carrying the post-war style of formation marking, but had the simpler wartime style
- AWM photos 018663; 084886; 092443; 109095; 109096

Tank B: "Beauvite II"
- is depicted as carrying the post-war style of formation marking, but had the simpler wartime style
- AWM photos 018382 (RHS vehicle); 018383; 018387; 018389; 090272; 090274; 090294

Tank C: "Cobra"
- is depicted as carrying the post-war style of formation marking, but had the simpler wartime style
- 1st Tank Bn do not appear to have typically carried a third Sqn marking on the turret rear (two turret "cheeks" only)
- the embarkation bar marking should be buff-blue-buff
- the photo of this vehicle shows it driving through a palm plantation - I suggest it is filtered sunlight, rather than paint or mud, that gives the light coloured patches on the sides
- AWM photo 075960

Tank D: "Ajax"
- is depicted as carrying the post-war style of formation marking, but most likely had the simpler wartime style
- a few very minor (chalked?) markings missing
- AWM photo 094444

Tank E: "Minstrel"
- is depicted as carrying the post-war style of formation marking, but had the simpler wartime style
- the embarkation bar marking should be blue-brown-blue
- AWM photo 109011; 109013

Tank F: Dozer No.1 Mk.3
- formerly "Bastian", then renamed "Butch" or "Bitch" (name is partially obscured by the dozer mount)
- is depicted as carrying the post-war style of formation marking, but most likely had the simpler wartime style
- vehicle number 27792
- AWM photo 095678 (as dozer)
- AWM photos 018385; 090281; 090282; 090283; 090334; 090339; 091024 (as Bastian)

Tank G: "Anteater"
- is depicted as carrying the post-war style of formation marking, but most likely had the simpler wartime style
- 1st Tank Bn did not typically carry a third Sqn marking on the turret rear (two turret "cheeks" only)
- as with "Cobra", it most likely carries a buff-blue-buff embarkation bar and code marking on the left-hand sideskirt
- AWM photo 062796

In spite of the above sounding negative, I am quite impressed by Bison's effort. I'll be interested to see what they can do for set 2, Aussie Matilda CS and Frog flamethrower tanks.

I have put together modelling "recipes" for the features displayed by the particular tanks depicted in this decal set, based on original photos of these specific vehicles plus a broader survey of Matilda tanks. If anyone out there is interested in looking at these, please let me know and I'll be happy to share.

DISCLAIMER: I have been assisting Echelon with research for their upcoming Australian Matilda decal sets. I am not, however, receiving payment for this research, so the above comments are not coloured by financial interests.

Best regards

Mike
(Canberra, Australia)
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 22nd, 2005, 4:06 am

December 5th, 2010, 9:22 am #2

Hi Mike

I'd be intersted in them , I'm slowly finishing up a Hedgehog in 1/72 - using modified Airfix bits, a few new parts and some of the decal sheet on the Esci Matilda. Then with a few 'lessons learnt' about Oz matildas and the esci kit I'll work thru the gun tank, CS and Frog

cheers
Quote
Like
Share