Review sample kindly sent by Marcus Friedman, Modelscale Brigade Bruchsal.
Here is a different idea. Most models of modern day main battle tanks and other fighting vehicles these days have some sort of non-slip surface on their top surfaces. Most modern day kits try to simulate this by moulding it into the surface or moulding it into panels on hull tops/turret tops, depending on the vehicle, or not bothering at all.
There are ways of reproducing these surfaces if you are not happy with the way the manufacturers have tackled it. But here is a new way. This is basically a sheet of waterslide decal that has been treated to a coating of fine black powder of some kind. Apparently it is top secret - so Marcus Friedmann tells me.
Packaging is very simple - just a plastic ziplock bag containing the decal sheet and an A4 sheet of instructions in German and English.
The sheet is comes in two sizes for 1:35 scale - 7 x 10 cm and 10 x 15 cm. I have the smaller size which should give you enough for one MBT model.
It is also available for 1:72 in three sizes - 5 x 7cm, 7 x 10 cm, 10 x 15 cm. The surface texture is much finer for 1:72, but I do not have a sample of this.
Prices are €11.95, €16.95 or €30.95 for the respective sheet sizes.
At first it looks like a sheet of sandpaper, but fear not - it is nothing of the kind.
The trickiest part is working out how to cut the decal. Being the Leopard nut you all know I am, I had to try this on a Leo 1 and a Leo 2. The instructions tell you to use the decal on a primed surface, but I decided not to on the Leopard 1!!
After cutting some panels to shape, just treat it like any waterslide decal. All I did was the good old-fashioned way of leaving it in water for 20-30 seconds and then sliding it onto the model. Hey presto, it works. Easy.
Follow this link to a more detailed way of applying the product.
On the Leopard 2, I decided to experiment and change one of the small non-slip panels on the Revell 2A4 hull into an earlier style, larger panel. I filled the gaps between the panels first with filler, and primed the hull top. As you can see, it worked a treat, although my cutting could have been better .
Four small panels changed into one large panel.
Two panels treated to the decal alongside the non-textured kit panels. I re-primed the panels after applying them.
Going against the instructions, I did not prime the Leopard 1 test subject. It still works nicely.
I think this is a very nice idea. The biggest problem is cutting the panels to accurate sizes which will be down to the skill of the modeller.
Being a decal, it is very thin, much better than cutting sheets of sandpaper.
The powder does tend to come off in your fingers, but not excessively so. Once in place, I think a coat of varnish will hold it - or a coat of paint or primer. If you want a worn appearance, just run some of the surface off.
It is a nice product and a nice idea. On the downside, I do think it is too expensive compared to perhaps buying an aerosol can of Rustoleum texture paint that will treat several models.
The biggest question, however, is does it depict the non-slip patches on Bundeswehr vehicles. This depends on which vehicles.
Here are photos of my two subjects - Leopards 1 and 2. The only surface on Leopard 1 is on top of the track guards which is fairly coarse. The decal does a good job of depicting this.
However, Leopard 2 is a bit finer. Maybe the 1:72 sheets will provide a better choice. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you at the moment.
The choice is yours.