by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
Tamiya have recently released another addition to their range of French armour, this time in the form of the Somua S35. This will be a welcome addition to modellers. The tank was produced from 1936 to 1940, it was armed with a 47mm SA35 gun and after the fall of France in 1940 about 300 captured vehicles were incorporated into the German Army.
The kit comes packed in the standard Tamiya boxed format with the manufacturer and product detail on the top of the box and a colour image of the kit. The instructions are in expanded diagram format normally used by Tamiya consisting of 12 pages. Added to this is a 4 page colour pull out, Background Information covering the Development of the Somua S35 and a short text on the Somua in Action. On the reverse are colour pictures of suggested marking schemes and decal options for 3 vehicles plus some data on colour schemes.
The kit is contained on five sprues, about 190 parts, the parts being made of a light sandy coloured plastic.
A x 2 contains the road wheels and suspension
B the upper and lower hull and side parts for same.
C contains more suspension parts and side armour
P contains the turret parts along with a single commander figure.
G contains some clear plastic parts, lights and periscope.
There is one bag of individual link parts for the track. These snap together at a ratio of 102 links preside, so a little patience will be required there. A length of tow chain is provided for the finished build. Eight black polycaps come with the kit for the road wheels and to affix the upper and lower hulls. A sheet of decals for 3 finished is also provided.
The detail on the part looks very good, the armour has a nice texture to it, everything looks sharp and crisp and the build itself looks straightforward.
The kit has the right shape and feel for the tank. OOB this should build up into a very good representation of the vehicle. There are hatches on the side of the turret, side rear engine panels and one leading to the hull interior on the left hand side so for the more adventurous some options to build and display part of the interior exist. That said not all have internal detail.
The tracks come ready to build, little clean up should be required and the clip into each other easily enough. The bogies which could have been complicated look well planned out so assembly shouldn’t be a problem.
Overall this appears to be a cracking kit, with clear instructions, excellent detail and a straightforward build sequence. Tamiya provide a commander to sit on the open turret hatch outside the tank which helps add scale to the vehicle.
Three decal options are provided:
No 56, 18th Dragoon Regiment
No 42, 13th Dragoon Regiment
No 20, 4th Cuirassier Regiment
This appears to be another fine kit from Tamiya. I am no expert on this vehicle and have limited knowledge of it, but from what I’ve read and seen this appear to be a fine kit. There are already a number of AM products on the market for those who require more detail.
As a standalone build or incorporated in to a larger scene this should make for an acceptable representation of the tank. I would think it would also be a fun build, with some neat finish options available.
Like most Tamiya kits this should be a pleasure to build and suitable for all to build.