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In-Box Review
Free French M4A2
Free French M4A2, 2nd AD, 12th Regiment de Chasseurs d’Afrique, 2nd Escadron de Combat.
  • provencearcher001

by: Christophe Jacquemont [ C_JACQUEMONT ]

Originally published on:

I will repeat some of the comments made in my review of the Archer dry transfers for the “Flandres” M4A3, set # AR35268 , as they apply to both sets. Set # AR35269 deals with a specific Sherman that carries the name of the Southeastern region of Provence as tanks of the 2ème Escadron of the 12ème Régiment de Chasseurs d’Afrique carried names of French Central and Southeastern regions.

The set
The instructions are printed in colour on a small sheet but do not trust the positioning of the small French flags which are shown the wrong way around (should be blue/white/red from left to right instead of red/white/blue) in the placement guide. This specific tank had a large stowage box at the rear of the hull and the instructions provide a photo of one on a model as well as detailed explanations on how to construct such a box in 1/35th scale. It’s nice to see this as it’s normally outside the scope of a set of markings but very useful to the modeller nonetheless.

The blue in the markings, especially for the 2ème DB disc symbol with the outline of France and the “Croix de Lorraine” (cross of Lorraine)  appears to be too light and my old sets of markings for the 2ème DB (2nd armoured division) from Al-By and Azimut both have a darker blue. The Cross of Lorraine seems too low and should be more off center there were however variants of the symbol so this is not a large issue.

The flags on the side of the hull should have a wider border around them, in white or yellow (references differ on that matter), but that’s easily fixed by trimming the transfer close to the flag, paint a white or yellow rectangle of proper dimensions on the hull, and apply the transfer! In addition, the bridge classification number symbol should have the number 30 centered and not offset to the right like on the dry transfer sheet. Lastly, the instructions have a small temporary shipping data sheet printed on that you have to cut out and glue on the kit, this appears on period photos but I would have preferred to see it as a transfer along with the other markings in this set.

I would have liked a bit more detail in the profiles for dry transfer placement, for instance the name “Provence” goes over an extra-armour welded plate on the left hand side of the hull and you have no clue on how to position it using the instructions alone, requiring you to refer to period photos, such as the one on the “Chars Français” website.


Main references used in this review :

“Les Shermans français de la libération 1943-1945” by Claude Gillono, Centurytracks N°1, éditions du barbotin 2006, ISBN 2-9520988-6-7.

ECPAD official website of the French Army archives and media center at http://www.ecpad.fr/

The M4 Sherman section on “Le site des chars français” at http://www.chars-francais.net, the essential French Armour  online reference. 

Highs: Well printed, high quality dry transfers, easy to use.
Lows: A few inaccuracies in colour and detail. Instructions could be better.
Verdict: Despite some minor inaccuracies in the markings and instructions, those dry transfers will look great on your Sherman as they are (I’d change the position of the flags but that’s easy), colour is not a big issue after the weathering is done.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AR35269
  Suggested Retail: $11.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 31, 2007

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About Christophe Jacquemont (C_JACQUEMONT)

Copyright ©2021 text by Christophe Jacquemont [ C_JACQUEMONT ]. All rights reserved.



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