Home > Gallery > Allied > Brach Model 1/35 Renault R35

Renault R35

Brach Model, 1/35 scale

by Steve Zaloga


After having built a few of the old Heller Renault R35 kit, I was please to see that Brach Model was releasing a series of high-end resin kits covering various models of this famous little tank. I settled on their kit BM 085 which covers the late R35 with the APX-R1 turret along with the Renault-pattern unditching tail. The kit is a multi-media effort, mainly in resin, but also with a nice photo-etch fret and a small decal sheet. The kit is not inexpensive at around Euro 82 ($100), and I ordered mine from Blast in Paris



Overall, the kit was up to Brach's usual high standard. The kit comes with numerous options. The turret can be done in any of the standard versions including the original APX-R with the "fente Estienne" diascopes, up through the APX-R1 with the later 37mm gun. The kit includes a full turret and hull interior; there is a separate upgrade kit for the engine. All the hatches are separate including the engine area.



The kit went together very well, with one exception. The kit includes link-to-link resin tracks. Although the detail is quite good, resin link-to-link tracks are an abomination to assemble. They are intended to click together, but the material is so soft that after putting a few links together, the joint between the links has been damaged. As a result, the track lengths do not hold together very well. In the case of plastic link-to-link tracks, this can be solved with some liquid cement which stays soft long enough to get a whole set of tracks together. The only way to get resin tracks together is CA glue or epoxy, which completely ruins the opportunity to drape these tracks for proper sag. My solution was to "paint" small lengths of tracks with a solution of carpenters glue, water and flow enhancer. This keeps them together well enough to get them on the suspension, after which they can be fixed in place with very thin CA glue. This was torture, and as a result, I would not recommend this kit for anyone but the most patient craftsmen, or for modelers willing to throw away the resin track and buy a set of the much easier Model Kasten track. I never thought I would refer to Model Kasten track as "easy", but compared to these misbegotten tracks, they are a pleasure to assemble.



I picked this particular version of the R35 because it was used by the 21e BCC which had tanks from the 1937 batch in one of the most colorful of the Renault factory color schemes. These schemes were detailed in Pascal Danjou's article in Minitracks magazine and will be covered in his forthcoming book. The markings of this particular battalion were shown in detail in Laurent Deneu's article in the French magazine "Batailles & Blindees" (No. 37, June-July 2010). I decided to do the tank of the 3rd Company commander, Capt. Perat. I airbrushed the basic colors, but then did most of the rest by hand-painting with Vallejo acrylic. The markings are a mixture of dry transfers, mainly Woodland Scenics, and some hand-made decals.



I mounted the finished model on a simple base using some MiniArt vacuum formed cobblestone on a simple sheet plastic base. The figure is from Nemrod (Tankistes Français Juin 1940: N35064) with a Hornet head.



Overall, this is an excellent kit and an enjoyable project except for the ridiculous track.

Model, Images and Text by Steven J. Zaloga
Page Created 16 September, 2007
Page Last Updated 16 September, 2007