October 25, 2016 by catomighty
Company B has released seven more 15mm decal sets for Girls und Panzer teams, and their first set of six character figures! (Their first wave of decals have already been reviewed here.) Like with the first wave, the only real problem with the sets is that the number of different sized images on most sheets aren’t quite in the quantity portions needed for the various tanks used by each school’s standard roster of tanks. But otherwise, they are superb decals that make detailing the teams so much easier than hand-painting all the insignia! They are thin, which is good once they are in place; but a little fragile so handle with care while placing. Any little tears can be touched up with Micron Art .005 colour pens.
A note on reference sources:
When I started this grand modelling project, I was doing stop-action viewing of the DVDs to note the details and markings on the tanks. Since then I have acquired a pair of excellent reference books from Japan which I recommend as essential reference guides for anyone doing GuP modelling. The text is all Japanese, but the ample multi-view illustrations of each tank are all quite self-sufficient. Achtung Girls Und Panzer covers every tank featured in the original series (although not ones that appear incidentally in the background, such as St. Gloriana’s Cromwell). Achtung Girls Und Panzer 2 covers every tank featured in the movie, plus all of Anzio’s tanks featured in the OVA. Using these books is so much easier than stop-action viewing!
Here are the sheets for Jatkosota, Pravda, and Maginot shown next to a Zvezda T-26 and the Battlefront turret for a BT-42, a PSC T-34 and a Zvezda KV-2, and a Peter Pig Somua S-35 and the sidewalls of a Char B1 bis. Pravda and Maginot also have the 28mm decal sheets shown, which also include sizes needed for 15mm models.
We have only seen one Jatkosota tank on screen, the star tank of der Film the BT-42. This tank uses 2 of the medium sized decals on the side of the turret; and 2 of the small, one on the back hull and one on the hatch on the front glacis. Gekkan Senshado magazine gave the back-story roster of 10 tanks they brought to the 63rd Senshado Tournament. Following the BT-42 model, I used 4 insignia on all of their tanks (well more on the captured KV-1).
I used 2-3 medium and 1-2 small decals on each one; and a single large decal on the front glacis of the T-26, Pz.IV, and KV-1. 4 sheets will give you enough medium sized decals to cover a standard team of 10 tanks. I did up a couple of extra optional tanks and wound up using 5 sheets.
Here’s the post showing all the now finished Continuation High School tanks.
Pravda uses 2 insignia per tank on each side of the turret. Every tank except for the KV-2 uses the same size insignia — the medium on the 15mm sheet, which is the same size as the small on the 28mm sheet. The 15mm sheet has enough for 3.5 tanks and the 28mm enough for 9 tanks. A 1/100 KV-2 could use a decal somewhere between the sizes of the medium and large decals on the 28mm sheet. I wound up using the 28mm medium and took a red .005 Micron Art Pen and expanded the outer border all around the insignia to make it a bit bigger after it had set.
I like the colour red on the 15mm sheet better, the 28mm sheet I got was a bit browner than the 15mm. Since I had them both on hand, I used the redder ones from the 15mm sheets. The browner ones can also be brightened up by colouring over the red areas with the pen after they have set. One 28mm sheet will cover a team of 10 tanks if it includes a KV-2. Three 15mm sheets will cover 10 tanks, the large size on this sheet is just a bit smaller than the medium size on the 28mm sheet and could also be used on a KV-2 and helped along with making the outer border bigger with a pen. The small size is too tiny for 15mm tanks, they would be useful for 10mm models.
Here’s the post showing the now completed Pravda team. (Sneak peak of a T-34(85) at the end of this post.)
Maginot High School does not appear on screen, but they do have their own spin-off manga and their roster from the 63rd Tournament is listed in Gekkan Senshado. They do use a wide array of decal sizes.
Their tournament roster includes two Char B1 bis, each of these need two of the medium sized decals from the 28mm sheet. The remaining tanks (2 Somua S-35, 3 R-35/39, and 3 FT-17) can likely be completed from a single 15mm sheet, maybe two. That will depend on if I can use a few of the large size on the 15mm sheet a few times and just how many medium size are needed. Some of the small size will be used, but the sheet really only needed half as many of those as the medium size. Painting for Maginot is underway, in a short while I’ll begin decalling them.
Also, Maginot uses the card suit “Aces” markings on their tanks. For these decals, I picked up a set of Battlefront’s French insignia.
And here are the sheets for St. Gloriana’s, Koala Forest, Chihatan, and Anzio shown next to a PSC Churchill and a Zvezda Matilda II, Eureka’s Sentinel and a Zvezda M3 Lee (I have turrets on order from Skytrex to make proper Grant tanks out of the Lees for Koala), Quality Casting Type 95 Ha-Go and Type 97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto, and Skytrex CV33 and a Battlefront Carro Armato P-26/40.
St. Gloriana’s will at least use some of the large sized decals on their sheet; 1 each on the rear deck of the Crusader tanks seen in the film. I was hoping the large size would also fit on the rear hull of the Churchill, but they’re just a little too tall for that space on the PSC model, drat. One sheet will cover a Churchill (4 medium and 2 small) and a Cromwell (2 medium and 2 small). One sheet will cover two Matildas (3 medium and 2 small each). And one sheet will cover 3 Crusaders (1 large and 2 medium each).
I ordered my Crusaders from Skytrex and bought the Crusader Mk.III as seen in the film, and also extra Mk.II turrets to swap in which were used in the 63rd Senshado Tournament, so my team will need an extra 2 medium decals for each of the extra turrets.
Generally, 5 sheets will cover a team of 10 tanks.
Having recently figured out that I could order the extra Crusader turrets, and having acquired some extra Matildas to provide roster options — I’m going to have to order another handful of these sheets!
We don’t see Koala High School on screen, I’ll mark mine similarly to St. Gloriana’s. Their Tournament roster includes two Sentinel (like the Crusader, 1 large and 2 medium), 2 Matilda II (3 medium, 2 small), two M3 Grant (2 medium on front & rear, 2 small on turret sides), and four M3 Stuarts (1 medium on front, 3 small on sides and rear). 3 sheets provide enough medium decals to cover those ten tanks.
We do get to see a great abundance of Chihatan tanks in der Film! And they all just have two small markings on either side of the turret. So the Chihatan sheet is the reverse of the the other teams — you only need the small size for 15mm tanks. The larger sizes might be useful for 20mm models. Each sheet will cover 6 tanks.
And we see the Anzio tanks in the OVA, plus one CV.33 in der Film. This is another school which fortunately uses a fair amount of the small decals on their sheet. A standard roster has six or seven CV.33 (2 small each), three Semovente 75/18 (1 large and 1 medium), eventually one Carro Armato P-26/40 (2 medium), and in the manga they also have three M-13/40 (no markings shown; 2 medium if placed on turret sides, or 2 small on chassis sides, or rear and turret hatch). Two sheets easily cover a team of 10 plus extra optional tanks.
The six character figures, each comes in standing and half-torso casts.
The figures are outstanding sculpts and perfectly proportioned for 1/100 anime teenagers with proper slight height differences! From left to right, height noted from sole to eye:
Katyusha, 11.5mm (with a full adult-sized tanker’s helmet)
Kei, 13.75mm (speaking into mic)
And with their tanks (in various stages of progress).
I’ll be gluing little magnets to the bottom of the half-torso figures. I already have magnets in the turrets of all my tanks awaiting crew. After her magnet is attached, I’ll adjust the pose of Darjeeling’s hands so that she fits in the hatch opening of her PSC Churchill.
For reference, here is the Battlefront French Decal set with the Aces markings in Red, Blue, and White; shown next to Peter Pig R-39 (they sell the R-35, and I special ordered the extra turrets from their H-39 model), FT-17, and S-35. The aces are 3/32″ high.