Simca 5 Staff Car (German Army)
Tamiya, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
| Catalogue Number and Description:
Tamiya Kit No. 35321 - Simca 5 Staff Car (German Army)
50 parts in dark grey plastic; seven parts in clear; three marking options.
TBA (1,500 Yen in Japan)
||Excellent detail; superb fit; easy build; useful options inluding poseable doors and alternate open/closed driver's and passenger's windows.
||Some ejector pin marks that will need filling.
The Simca 5 was a small French passenger car designed by Fiat that was almost identical to the famous Fiat 500 Topolino. The Simca 5 debuted three months ahead of the Fiat equivalent on 10 March 1936.
The Simca 5 was conceived as the French car of the people, in the same way as the Volkswagen was for Germany and the Fiat 500 for Italy. It boasted many advanced features including independent front suspension, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and a 12 volt electrical system. The Simca 5 also achieved outstanding fuel economy.
Many Simca 5s were on the road by the outbreak of WWII, and the German Army captured large numbers of them when they occupied France. These were pressed into military service as staff cars for transporting personnel and liaison duties.
Over 46,000 Simca 5s were built by the time production ended in 1946.
Tamiya’s new 1:35 scale Simca 5 comprises 50 parts in dark grey plastic, seven parts in clear and markings for three cars.
The centrepiece of the kit is the one-piece main body, which incorporates the open roof. This is a lovely piece of moulding. The wheel arches are moulded to the floor of the body.
Moulding quality is as good as we have come to expect from Tamiya with crisply recessed panel lines and convincing radiator and upper bonnet grilles. The raised door hinges and the folded fabric roof look great too. There are a number of ejector pin circles to deal with though, mainly on the underside of the body and in each corner of the inside door panels.
Detail on the inside of the real vehicle was sparse, and the main features have been well reproduced by Tamiya. The pedals are moulded to the floor, while the steering wheel, gear lever, handbrake and rear-view mirror are all separate parts.
The doors are separate and may be posed open or closed. The real car had simple split sliding windows, and Tamiya has approached these by providing two sets of windows – one set open and the other closed. Nice touch.
Chassis and suspension details are delicately done too, but are broken down to ensure that the axles will all line up for the wheels to simultaneously touch the ground. The tyres are suitably thin and the hubcaps are moulded onto the wheels. Tyre tread is present but it is shallow.
A seated Wehrmacht driver figure is also included.
The headlights may be modelled with German style blackout covers or civilian clear lenses. The taillights are moulded in grey plastic.
Three marking options are provided on the small decal sheet:
· 3rd Infantry Division, Eastern Front 1941 finished in overall Panzer Grey
· Luftwaffe Vehicle, date and location unknown, finished in overall Panzer Grey
· Civilian Vehicle, France, WWII, in overall gloss black.
I received this kit on Tuesday last week and finished it off by Friday afternoon.
Construction was very straightforward, with the majority of time spent on painting and weathering. Fit was excellent throughout.
The only part that required a bit of fidding was the base of the steering wheel where it attached to the pinion / steering arm. A fine pair of tweezers was hepful here.
I also noticed too late that the locating pins for the front number plate (Part A3) should not be pushed all the way in. The outer pin shoud just rest on the locating hole so that the plate is standing proud of the outer edge of the passenger's side mudguard.
Tamiya continues to surprise us with the occasional unusual subject. Who would have thought that we would ever have a mainstream injection moulded Simca 5 kit in 1:35 scale?
In typical Tamiya fashion, detail is excellent, moulding is impressive and fit is superb. The optional open or closed windows and the choice of headlight covers is very useful too.
Tamiya’s 1:35 scale Simca 5 is a lovely little kit that suggests all sorts of opportunities as the centrepiece in a vignette or small diorama.
Tamiya kits are distributed in the UK by The Hobby Company Limited
Text and Images by Brett Green
Page Created 7 October, 2012
Page Last Updated
7 October, 2012