|Stock Number and Description||Tamiya Kit No. 35344 - Somua S35|
|Media and Contents:||190 tan coloured plastic parts; more than 200 grey plastic individual track links; five parts in clear; eight polythene caps; one length of chain; markings for three vehicles.|
|Advantages:||High level of detail; authentic surface textures; brilliant individual track links; excellent fit; optional position hatches; varied marking choices.|
Tamiya has captured the distinctive lines of the Somua S35, and construction is just as easy and enjoyable as you would expect.
The Somua S35 was a French Cavalry tank of the Second World War.
Built from 1936 until 1940 to equip the armoured divisions of the Cavalry, it was for its time a relatively agile medium-weight tank, superior in armour and armament to both its French and foreign competitors, such as the contemporary versions of the German Panzerkampfwagen III.
It was constructed from well-sloped, mainly cast, armour sections, that however made it expensive to produce and time-consuming to maintain.
During the German invasion of May 1940, the Somua S35 proved itself to be a tactically effective type, but this was negated by the French command's strategic mistakes in deploying the Cavalry armoured divisions.
After the defeat of France in June 1940, limiting production to a number of 430, captured Somua S35s were used by the Axis powers, some of them on the Eastern Front.
A derived type, the Somua S40, with an improved suspension, lowered hull cast and welded turret armour, had been planned to replace the original version on the production lines in July 1940. Agreements to produce this improved type for the benefit of Vichy France, Germany and Japan, ultimately did not lead to any manufacture.*
* History courtesy of Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOMUA_S35
In the Box
Tamiya's 1:35 scale Somua S35 is a brand-new kit. It comprises 190 parts in tan coloured plastic, plastic; another 200+ individual tracks links in grey, five parts in clear, a length of chain and eight polythene caps.
Surface detail is excellent. The cast texture is particularly well done - subtle yet still noticeable from most angles.
The running gear with its four bogies and four wheels each could have been complicated, but Tamiya has tackled the breakdown of this area in their typical style - straightforward parts breakdown but with a high level of detail.
It is interesting to see how the layers of covers were applied over the running gear of this vehicle.
The tracks are similar to those on the Char B and the more recent Mark IV tanks. They are ready to use straight from the box – no sprue attachments or flash on any of my sample parts. There is a ghost of an attachment point of the centre of the track pad that might need to be cleaned up, but I simply tipped them from their bags and started clipping them into place. The links click together positively and quickly. Slip one pin into one hole on the next link, stretch and click the second pin into place.
I did not have a single problem when assembling each run of 104 links. The plastic is flexible enough to stretch while the pins are being fitted, and solid enough to hold the links together. The whole length is really quite robust.
I do hope Tamiya keeps using this excellent style of track on their forthcoming releases.
The upper and lower hulls are both single castings, making basic assembly a fast and painless process.
Hull hatches are supplied as separate parts but there is no internal detail whatsoever. I do like the detail on the inside of the driver's vision flap though.
Clear parts are supplied for the headlight lens and the taillights.
A length of chain is provided to drape from the rear towing eyes.
Markings are offered for three machines with varied and typically colourful camouflage schemes.
The Tamiya decals look good on the sheet with perfect registration and colour.
Tamiya has delivered another excellent model with their brand new Somua S35.
Surface textures are excellent, exterior detail is very good, and construction is a pleasure.
I have finished building mine over the course of two days, and will post some photos to the Gallery once painting is complete.
Thanks to Tamiya Japan for the sample www.tamiya.com
Tamiya kits are distributed in the UK by The Hobby Company Limited www.hobbyco.net
Text and Images by Brett Green
Page Created 22 March, 2015
Page Last Updated 23 March, 2015