Echelon Fine Details' latest set of markings is for the UNIFIL, (United Nations Forces in Lebanon), French Leclerc T6. The striking white Leclercs are deployed along the Blue Line in southern Lebanon. The decal set contains marking for two UNIFIL Leclerc T6 tanks. The set can be used with the Tamiya Leclerc Series 2 kit and the Heller T5/T6 kits with only the modification of not mounting the auxiliary fuel barrels required.
The decals are produced by Echelon in four individual decal strips. Two of the strips contain the five black UN letters required for the UNIFIL Leclerc. Four larger black UN markings are provided for the side skirt markings and six smaller UN markings are provided for the front, top, and rear of the turret. The other two strips are comprised of the vehicle registration placards and both United Nations and French flags. The vehicle registration placards are produced in a similar fashion to the ones provided in the Echelon Leclerc Series 2 RT5 & RT6 decal set. The registration placards are provided blank with all of the digits in grey provided separate. This permits the modeller to make up the registration numbers as freely as they wish based upon their reference material. Also provided on this decal strip are four small white United Nations emblems. These can be used to make up more UN flags if applied on blue decal paper or foil or they can be applied to the arms of figures over top of a blue painted circle to indicate the UN patches applied to soldiers uniforms when deployed.
There are no tank names, tactical markings, or bridge classifications included in the decal set as they are simply not applied on the UNIFIL Leclercs.
Instructions are printed in full colour on a 3'' x 6'' card. The decal placement is fully explained as is the fact that the UNIFIL Leclercs do not mount the auxiliary fuel barrels.
I have looked at all of the images on the UNIFIL Leclercs on Getty Images in detail since they were deployed to Lebanon and the UN markings appear to be the exactly the correct size. It should be noted that on the actual UNIFIL Leclercs the UN markings were applied by hand as large decals and not painted on the tanks.
The only markings that are missing from the decal set are the UNIFIL registration numbers that have been applied to the rear turret bin since the Leclercs arrival in Lebanon. I discovered the markings on Getty Images and contacted Echelon to see if they could be added to the set. The UNIFIL Leclercs are also now mounting a larger United Nations flag on a post attached to the rear turret bin. Unfortunately the decals were in the late stages of production and they could not be added. The initial UNIFIL Leclercs did not have these late changes in markings and they could easily be added if a modeller wished.
All of the markings on my review sample are printed perfectly in register and both the UN blue and French flag colours look very accurate.
The new decal set by Echelon is excellent. It is a unique and specific decal set produced to accurately model a currently deployed AFV. I highly recommend it for all modellers build wanting to build a UNIFIL Leclerc. I am currently building a UNIFIL Leclerc and will be using this decal set. The UN markings can also be used by modellers for a variety of other United Nations deployed vehicles. The price is very acceptable and this set will appeal to modellers wanting decals for an AFV without having multiple decals left over. This set is also produced in 1:72 by Echelon. I hope that Echelon continues releasing these smaller vehicle specific decal sets in the future.
Many thanks go out to Lawrence Goh at Echelon Fine Details for providing the review sample.
Highs: Very accurately produced set that depicts a very unique modern deployed AFV.Lows: It would have been nice to have included the larger UN flag and the UNIFIL registration numbers but the references were not available to Echelon at the time the decals were produced.Verdict: This is an excellent low priced decal set that can be used not only for UNIFIL Leclercs but other United Nations deployed vehicles as well.