M4A2 Medium Tank Sherman III
Markings for Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry in Syria (1943)

Decal Sheet No. ALT352002
Review by Peter Brown

This is the first sheet covering British WW2 markings from Echelon, and is based on research for my article in Military Modelling Vol 35 No 9 which was background to a feature by Jay Laverty on modelling a tank named THE GEORGE from the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry as it appeared during a parade in Syria in October 1943. Photos used by Jay and myself, as well copies of the documents from 9th Armoured Brigade's War Diary at the National Archives in Kew, were sent to Lawrence Goh who used them to produce the decals and associated artwork.

The sheet is printed by Microscale with very good colour register and very thin carrier file to provide markings for several tanks from RWY at the time. Complete markings, including the large vehicle names of the hull sides, serial numbers, unit and tactical markings and the special fern leaf device carried by units which had supported the New Zealanders at El Alamein, are given for tanks named PEMBROKE ARMS. MOONRAKER II, THE OLD BELL, CALNE, SWINDON II, BARFORD ST MARTIN and THE GEORGE.

Although the unit was equipped with early Sherman III there were several variations in the details of the hull front, gun mounting, wheels and other features. These are shown in the drawings which will help with deciding which conversion set to use as there is at present no 1:35th kit of an M4A2 of this era, available ones being of later tanks with the large hull hatches and later style turrets. Current available conversion sets and parts are listed as a guide.

Colour side and front views show where the markings were placed, and there is a scrap view showing the rear hull placement. A five-view plan shows the official layout for the camouflage scheme though there were minor variations on the pattern on each tank.

One word of caution. The article depicted the tank in a sand and dark red colour scheme, however Mike Starmer who is well-known for his books on British vehicle colours beleives that they were in Light Mud and Blue-Black which was the scheme for vehicles sent to Italy. Here, I cannot be sure which style was used though this will no doubt be debated in the letters column of Military Modelling.

In addition to the seven tanks already mentioned, there is a list of other known tanks in the Regiment at the time with details of the features they had. Extra letters and serial numbers are provided for those who want to depict these vehicles, and there are even decals for the small pennants or flags flown from radio aerials.

A final vehicle is a Sherman II M4A1 named CRICKLADE which was photographed in early April 1943. This has been identified in some books as being at El Elamein but the original Imperial War Museum caption record places it in Syria a few months later. This would have been in the earlier Desert Pink and Green scheme with the name in black lettering and a slightly different style of squadron marking with thin black outline. Additional black letters and squadron signs are also provided in case modellers have references for other tanks at this period though the instructions do not give any options for names or serials.

Three styles of air recognition roundels are also included, the markings details for the Brigade do not mention them but they could be used on other vehicles. As a final bonus, sets of the combined Brigade sign and arm of service markings are given for Brigade Headquarters and the other two regiments in 9th Armoured Brigade, 3rd Hussars and Warwickshire Yeomanry. However, their tanks used different colours for tank names, these are not provided and neither are any details of names, serials etc.


Overall this is another well-produced set from Echelon. It shows some unusual markings and allows several tanks to be modelled. Some markings are specific to the unit, though others could be used for other British AFVs.

Highly recommended

Thanks to Larry of Echelon Fine Details for giving me a review sample at EuroMilitaire.

Page created December 2, 2005

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