73 sand coloured plastic parts on two
sprues, 2 black soft plastic (rubber band) tracks, decals for 4 examples
plus a 4 page A5 sized fold-out instruction sheet with history, parts
plan, 6 construction drawings and 2 pages of paint/decal diagrams.
Worth the wait, well moulded, highly
detailed and excellent decals.
“Rubber band” tracks.
the recent Matilda from Italeri, is one of those ex Esci kits where
the moulds were thought to have been destroyed or lost.
the Matilda, it originates from a time before Esci started doing
link and length tracks.
it was considered one of Esci's better kits and the only one of this
subject in plastic on the market in this scale. Consequently, most
Braille Scale modellers will be delighted to see it back.
The Carro Armato M 13/40 tank was a modification of the earlier M
11/39 when the latter's main gun (37mm) in the hull and turret
mounted MG were swapped for a 47mm gun in a new turret and the MG
moved to the hull. Although the new gun was a big improvement, it
still suffered from archaic suspension, narrow tracks and inadequate
armour. Many were captured by the British Army and put back into
use, particularly by the Australians in the defense of Tobruk.
The main (A) sprue carries the lower hull, suspension, track guards
and some of the upper hull parts such as front deck and engine deck
with tools and other bibs and bobs. The B sprue has the fighting
compartment and turret. This is because the A sprue is also used for
a Semovente M40, a vehicle reminiscent of the German Stug III which
we hope will appear soon. All parts are well moulded with very
little flash and no noticeable sink marks and heaps of rivet detail
to make the outer surfaces look very busy. The turret hatch can be
modelled open but side hatches are moulded closed. An Italian Tank
Commander figure is supplied and of coarse there is no interior
Decals are of the usual high quality that we've come to expect from
Italeri with markings for 4 vehicles. The first two are Italian
Army, 132 rgt, Lybia, June 1942, one in over-all Sand and the other
in Sand with Olive Tiger Stripes. Third is a very attractive three
colour scheme on a vehicle in Italy, 1942 from an unknown unit. Last
is one of the captured tanks used by the Australian Forces at Tobruk.
This vehicle is shown in over-all Sand with White Kangaroos in five
positions. I am reliably told by the manager of the Australian Army
Tank Museum, Paul Handel, that these tanks were not finished in Sand
but a very pale green. I don't know as yet the exact shade.
I would prefer link and length tracks, but what Italeri have
supplied are quite well moulded with detail on both sides and I
presume in their own material which should be glueable with super
glue unlike the original Esci offerings. Alternatively, UM have just
released a set of T26 link and length tracks which I'm told can be
used on this kit although one and a half sets will be required -
food for thought.
The original Esci kit of the M 13/40 has not been available for a
very long time and as a dedicated Braille Armour Modeller, I'm very
glad to see it back. Thank you Italeri.