Tamiya 1:35 R35
The latest release in the 1:35 military Model line is this sweet kit of the WWII French light tank, the R35. Built as a replacement for the the WWI Renault FT17, it even had the same 37 mm gun, often being moved from retired FT's to R35s. This vehicle, produced in numbers before WWII is the subject of the latest new tool release from Tamiya.
So this kit is a nice 2 day build: It starts with a flat pack build of the hull in a few pieces. It is about the only place you will see ejector pin marks, but they are easy to remove.
Once you finish the lower hull you quickly move on to the upper hull, and as it is a cast hull there are edges to clean up, but it moves quickly.
The suspension pieces have a light mold line that needs cleaning, but by making them one (hollow backed) piece, it is minimized.
Watch which way you put the wheels on, one way fits, one doesn't. Also watch the sequence because the pieces B29 and B30 go in after the drive sprockets and once in, they lock those sprockets in.
I was initially alarmed by what looked like ejector pin marks on the idler wheels, but when I looked at the other side they looked like lightening holes covered with masking plates...no worries.
After that assembly is pretty straight forward, the mounts on the track idlers are a fairly complex bit.
Once you get past that you are on to building the link and length tracks, which I do on a jig to keep everything straight. These are small tracks and the individual contact points are small,so it may take a little work to finish them.
So the tracks are finished and now on to the rest of the upper hull, lovely texture, super easy build.
sweet saucy French behind
On to the turret, a pretty simple straight build, the hooks on the cupola were inserted from behind which made for a really nice sturdy build. Oh, and did I say it was small?
So we have it here mostly assembled. Tools are held off to be painted.
Now on to the challenge of this kit. It's a two day build, but a longer paint process to do the masking to get the suggested paint schemes. These schemes were simplified a bit during the spring campaign in 1940, but I went for the full six color scheme. I masked with Blue Tak in several stages using the recommended Tamiya colors after a quick zenithal priming.
Eventually resulting in a basic color pattern that required outlining in NATO black brush painting for the outlines. The decals went on very well onto a gloss coat with no silvering.
There is a good figure included as well. This would be sitting out the back hatch on the turret if you chose that option. I did a quick assemble and paint up...not bad, I present Guy Forget
After some filtering and weathering we have a lovely little model, not much bigger that a jeep, but full of so much personality.
The tracks are small and a bit fiddly, but in the end I got them around the track run. A bit of weathering and here we go, easy to assemble, a bit of a challenge to paint, but produced a lovely piece.
So this is a great kit, easy to assemble with no major hurdles. The tracks might present a little challenge, but if you follow the kit instructions you can quickly get good results. The paint job will require some planning and patience, but superb results are easily obtained
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Tamiya for this review kit.
Reviewed by Dave Mckenny
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