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Decal Review

Archer Fine Transfers 1/35

Jeep Instrument and Placard Set

By Patrick Keenan - Aurora, Illinois USA

Basic Item Information


Jeep Instrument and Placard Set

Stock Number



Archer Fine Transfers




Dry Transfer Markings

Kit Contents

Enough transfers to complete the instrument panels/dashboards of three 1/35 vehicles.

Retail Price

$5.95 USD


Patrick Keenan

Review Date

February 22, 2008

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Build

Basic Positive Features

Dresses up Kits with Limited work and cost

Basic Negative Features

Circular Dials will need to be applied with Wet Method

Overall Rating

4.75 of 5.0

Accuracy Rating


Ease of Use


Print Quality/ Detail Level





A Must Have

* For information regarding the review terms, grading scale, etc. please go to the WarWheels Review FAQ/Key




Detailed Review


Archer Fine Transfers has been a player in the aftermarket armor markings game for a long time now.  They do have some traditional water-slide decals available, but their bread and butter is dry transfers.  For those of you who do not know what dry transfers are, they are markings that you do NOT have to use water to apply, but instead you gently rub them on with a blunt tool or object, when they are dry.  Although these markings are dry transfers, Archer suggests that you apply them in a “special” way (as explained in the “Ease of Use Section of this Review).

This review is about Archer’s Jeep instrument panel and placard markings set.  This set is specifically made to use with the newer tooled Tamiya ¼ Ton Jeep kit.  The set provides transfers to represent the Jeep’s mechanical instrument gauges, speedometer and information plates on the inside dashboard.  The set also comes with additional transfers to represent Bantam manufactured jeeps as well.

The Archer set has enough transfers to complete the instrument panels/dashboards of three 1/35 vehicles.  Lastly, I suppose you could use this set for the older tooled Tamiya or Italeri series of 1/35 Jeeps (probably with some modification), but I haven’t compared them with those kits, so you’re on your own. 



From what I can determine from my references on the ¼ Ton Jeep, the transfers look like they accurately represent the real thing.  Regardless though, they are made specifically for the newer tooled 1/35 Tamiya model kit and they fit perfectly.

Ease of Use

Although I did not have a Jeep model on the workbench, I decided I had to try out the entire Archer set in order to see how it looked when finished.  I was mighty impressed with the results, even with the mistakes I made when applying them.  Anyway, I ripped open one of my few 1/35 Tamiya (new tooled) Jeep kits, pulled out the instrument panel and gave it quick painting of Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab.  As this set is tailor-made for that kit, there were no differences in the Tamiya dials/instruments and the markings provided on the sheet.  The only difference between the Archer instructions (which are based upon the vehicle Technical Manual) and the Tamiya kit is the inclusion of two extra plastic “nubs” on the instrument panel (4 instead of 2), most likely representing dials.   I used a quick scrape of a #11 hobby knife to take them off and then gave the part a quick sanding.

My next step was the application of the markings.  Again as stated before, even though these markings are dry transfers Archer provides alternate instructions to use in applying them.  If you were to use the traditional dry transfer application method with the instrument panel markings, it would be very difficult to correctly apply the transfers to the model kit pieces because of the small application area and also due to the fact that the kit dials have raised rims. 

The alternative method Archer suggests uses their exclusive Wet Media Paper (WMP), which they also supply. Per Archer, WMP differs from traditional clear decal paper in that the modeler applies the instrument transfer to the WMP via the “normal” dry transfer method of rubbing it down.  Then, you cut out the marking and soak it like you would with normal water-slide decals.  However, unlike water-slide decals the marking floats off without any clear film. The adhesive on the transfer is not altered in any way so the transfer can be floated into position and then adhered to the model with some pressure.

Being the smart guy I am, I decided to use this ‘alternate method’ of applying the transfers ONLY for the dials.  I figured that I could use the “normal” rubby-rubby method for applying the other markings; specifically the info placards.  Oops, that first one came out a bit crooked, even with decent enough care.  Well, I guess I should have used Archer’s alternative method for the entire process.  So, I swallowed my pride, spit out the whiskey and pills and proceeded to “follow directions” (a novel approach I’m sure).  Guess what?  The method worked just as Archer advertised and came out wonderfully!  The transfers come off in a matte/flat finish with no excess glossiness.  In addition, they come off with no excess trim you would have to remove, yet you can move them around to place them correctly. Wow, I never would have known how “following instructions” could work so well!!!  I highly recommend that.

One word of caution you should be aware of when using this method, painfully experienced by yours truly. The WMP surface is VERY tacky when dry and it has a bad habit of pulling off transfers from the sheet without any rubbing.  Very light pressure will do it!!  DO NOT allow the markings and WMP to come into contact until you are ready to move the markings to the WMP. Remember, when I said that the markings sheet can supply enough markings for three vehicles?  Well, that is assuming you don’t screw up like I did.  I completed one vehicle, but I only have enough to barely finish another one…  D’oh!!

Print Quality/ Detail Level

The quality of this set of dry transfers is of the typical high quality of other Archer sets.  The transfers are micro-thin and are printed completely in register with no color overrun.  This set is printed in black, white and silver colors.  The colors are vibrant and the text represented is clear.  The silver portions of the printing (most noticeably the edges of the placards) were especially realistic.  They did NOT just look like markings with silver colored ink.  The edges of the placards actually looked metallic!


The instructions Archer provides for the instrument panel transfers are very good.  They are in full color and show exactly which marking goes where.  There is no confusion and they are very easy to use.


The Archer Fine Transfers Jeep instrument and placard dry transfer set is a very useful set to have if you plan on building a new-tooled Tamiya Jeep kits.  For a mere pittance, and just a small amount of work, you can easily gussy up your trucks with Archer’s set.  They look very realistic and they add a bit of color to these Olive Drab trucks.  Throw in the facts that this set is of the same high quality as other Archer offerings and you have yourself a winner here.

Rating = A MUST HAVE!

Thanks to Woody Vondracek and Archer Fine Transfers for the Review Sample

Copyright: Patrick Keenan - February 22, 2008