login   |    register
Archer Fine Transfers [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEBSITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

In-Box Review
Instruments and Placards
Mercedes-Benz (170V) instruments and placards
  • move

by: Michael Shackleton [ MSHACKLETON ]

Originally published on:


I have reviewed both the MiniArt and the Master Box Mercedes 170V kits on various websites. The MiniArt kit has no decals for the instruments at all. In fact, the panel has raised details which are far too tiny for most modellers to paint. This is one of the few criticisms I had of the kit, see reviews linked below.

On the other hand, the Master Box kits do provide decals, but in comparison to these Archer replacements, they are extremely crude. Although these decals are designed to fit the MiniArt kits, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t fit the Master Box kits as well.

Editors Note:
According to Archer, there are enough dimensional differences between the MiniArt & Master Box kits to deem this set specifically for the MiniArt kit, and a separate offering is available for the Masterbox version.


Inside the usual neatly-packaged Archer cellophane envelope:
• a sheet of dry transfers (for instruments and placards)
• a small piece of Wet Medium Paper
• an instruction sheet


Not only does this sheet have instrument faces, it also has manufacturers’ plates (or placards) to liven up the engine bay.

The biggest obstacle with instrument transfers is that they usually have to fit exactly into recesses or rims on the instrument panel. The problem with rub-down transfers is that you only get one go at positioning them and it is not easy to ‘get at them’ when they are in a recess of some kind to actually rub them down, especially around the edges.

This is where the Wet Medium Paper (WMP) included in the package comes in handy. In fact, Archer insists on using the WMP rather than trying to apply the transfers directly to the model.

This is what you do:
1-Rub the dry transfer onto the WMP with a pen, pencil or burnisher.

2-You then cut out the image, dip it in water, then place it on the model as you would with a normal waterslide decal. This also gives you time to position the decal correctly.

3-Apply some decal setting solution and, when dry, cover with a gloss clear coat or clear resin to form the glazing.

There is a tutorial here if you are in any doubt:
Archer Tutorial on YouTube

If you have any problems at all, Archer guarantees their products - unconditionally. If you have any complaints at all, just email them and they will send replacements straight away. I have had personal experience of this and all I can say is that Archer’s service and guarantee is second to none.


Personally, I consider Archer transfers to be among the best after-market products on the market. This sheet contains enough transfers for six vehicles! The printing is flawless and carries a huge amount of detail, far more than can be seen with the naked eye.

MiniArt on Armorama

MiniArt on MSC

Master Box on Armorama
Highs: Superb quality as always from Archer. Well-researched and easy to use.
Lows: None really. With enough for six vehicles per sheet, the initial cost doesn’t really matter!
Verdict: To add that extra touch of detail and authenticity, you need not look elsewhere.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AR35372
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 18, 2012

Our Thanks to Archer Fine Transfers!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Michael Shackleton (mshackleton)

Graphic designer by trade, military vehicle enthusiast by choice. Wrote Leopard 1 Trilogy and Tilly Colours and now runs the Tilly Register - opposite ends of the MV spectrum! Also runs Leopard Club, Scorpion Miniature Models and Trackpad Publishing

Copyright ©2021 text by Michael Shackleton [ MSHACKLETON ]. All rights reserved.


The reason that we have one set for the Masterbox kit and another for the MiniArt kit is that there are significant enough dimensional differences between the two kits that warrant two different instrument/placard sets. This applies to both the instrument panels and firewalls. If you have both kits you can measure for yourself. The two are not interchangeable so be sure to order the correct sheet for your kit. Thank you, Woody Vondracek, owner ARCHER FINE TRANSFERS
OCT 18, 2012 - 01:46 AM
Thanks for the info Woody, I'll add a note in the review.
OCT 18, 2012 - 01:57 PM
Hi Woody Thanks for your comments. I didn't realise there were two different sets available. Mike
OCT 19, 2012 - 08:50 PM
Why didn't Archer just produce these decals as water slide to begin with? It would have saved the modeler one step. Archer does produce other water slide decals.
OCT 24, 2012 - 02:40 AM
If they were produced as water slide decals, they would have a carrier film. The wet media paper acts only as a lubricant so that the item can be properly placed, with no film. Please go to the Archer web site and watch the videos, as they explain the process quite well. Norm Samuelson
OCT 24, 2012 - 11:33 AM
I have a number of Archer sets, generally resin rivets and placard sets. Absolutely superb and incredibly useful items I'd recommend to anyone... Especially scratchbuilders. Me and the brother in law usually order a batch at a time from America, just as quick and cheap as buying in the UK. Highly recommended stuff!
OCT 25, 2012 - 10:09 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move