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"British Vehicle Markings Reference Guides" Topic

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SquireBev21 Jun 2020 12:25 p.m. PST

Apologies if this counts as spam, but I'm unable to crosspost an existing thread…

For the last few weeks I've been working on a series of reference diagrams for British tank and vehicle markings, particularly Arm of Service flashes.

With help from people on here and on other forums, I've been able to locate reliable sources and put together what I hope is a helpful overview of what often proves to be a very complicated and frustrating subject.


I've now given them a more permanent home in the form of a blog:

SeattleGamer21 Jun 2020 1:11 p.m. PST

Delighted to see this!

And thanks for including other years of service on your blog! I am an early war guy, so enjoyed your BEF and North Africa info as well.

Thanks for your efforts!

jdpintex21 Jun 2020 4:59 p.m. PST

Very well done.

Now where can one get decals for these especially the infantry division flashes

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2020 5:34 p.m. PST

Outstanding Blog.

SquireBev22 Jun 2020 1:17 a.m. PST

Now where can one get decals for these especially the infantry division flashes

This is of course the rub, and partially the inspiration for producing these diagrams.

I thought about getting into decal printing myself – I've got the tools to do all the design work – but having looked into the cost of an ALPS printer I think I can safely forget about it.

As it stands, Aleran looks like the best source for 20mm, and Minibits/I-94 for 15mm. Dom's Decals going dark has really left a huge gap in the market.

Eclaireur22 Jun 2020 3:00 a.m. PST

Well done Squire – not an easy topic, so that's a valuable resource. Look forward to you posting BEF markings. On Italy, some of the brigades switched from ME or other marking schemes (like 4 NZ Armoured Bde) some time after mid-1944 I believe.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2020 6:04 a.m. PST

Dom's Decals had many of these markings. A pity he has shut down, at least temporarily. Hopefully come back full strength! Wasn't someone looking to buy the rights to his decal sheets?

Fish22 Jun 2020 6:20 a.m. PST

THANK YOU, kind Sir!!!!

So very useful

Legion 422 Jun 2020 8:28 a.m. PST

thumbs up

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2020 9:32 a.m. PST

I'm not sure what the equivalent of MicroMark is in the UK, but you can buy decal paper to print on: link

SquireBev22 Jun 2020 10:28 a.m. PST

Sadly it's not the paper that's the obstacle – it's finding a machine that can print white ink.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2020 12:05 p.m. PST

I understand to solution for some is to print on white decal paper. Sounds like a lot of work though.

SquireBev22 Jun 2020 2:32 p.m. PST

I've added an Overview page for anyone who doesn't immediately know what they're looking at when faced with the diagrams.


deephorse23 Jun 2020 9:08 a.m. PST

As someone who is gradually building a B.E.F. force I thank you for the information concerning the 1st Armoured Division. Have you seen or got a copy of 'Vehicle Markings of the B.E.F. from the GHQ diary of 11 April 1940'? It's compiled and published by Andrew Foulkes in 2011. It contains the Corps, Divisional and Arm of Service markings for hundreds of units, but, crucially for me, not the armoured units. Which is why I found your B.E.F information invaluable.

SquireBev23 Jun 2020 9:26 a.m. PST

I've been after a copy but haven't been able to track one down.

The BEF Armoured division information I have mostly came from Taylor's Warpaint.

deephorse24 Jun 2020 3:39 a.m. PST

I got my copy from Caliver earlier this year. They probably still have copies. I also have all the volumes of Warpaint, though I must admit to only using them for camouflage information up to now.

SquireBev24 Jun 2020 3:53 a.m. PST

Caliver you say? I'll have a look. Thanks!

SquireBev25 Jun 2020 10:10 a.m. PST

Higher Formation insignia added: link


I'm sure someone will tell me where I've gone wrong!
It's mainly NW Europe so far – I haven't dared cover the CBI theatre yet.

SquireBev01 Jul 2020 1:35 a.m. PST

Overview page updated with Royal Artillery markings and a few other details:


khanscom04 Jul 2020 3:39 p.m. PST

"Sadly it's not the paper that's the obstacle it's finding a machine that can print white ink."

Not really a problem-- the white portions of your design will print blank, allowing the white decal paper to show through. Since all the placards have nice, straight edges cutting them from the white paper should be easy with a straightedge and Xacto knife.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2020 2:33 p.m. PST

G'day, khanscom.

It depends upon what you used to print the decals. If you used an ink-jet then the water will dissolve the ink and wash it out when you wet the decals, if you cut up to the edge of the printed colour. So you need to leave a 0.5mm edge around the decal to stop that happening.

Lasers don't have that problem (or the one I used to use didn't, at least). But cutting too close can cause the ink to crack, even with screen-printed decals.


wargameroz25014 Nov 2020 4:34 p.m. PST

As stated Aleran are the best source for 20mm BEF decals, I'm sure with a bit of persuasion he might do more, after all I wrote to him on a whim asking about getting AGRA units done and low and behold 6 weeks later they were released

Milicast have the Aleran sets in colour on their page, with a bit of careful study you can find some of the AoS markings in other non BEF sets

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