[This article was updated March 16]
When reading that I was going to need four R35 tanks in a Normandy scenario I thought “No way – that’s never gonna happen!”. I was thinking that I could use Panzer III’s instead, but the differences between a Panzer III and a R35 was too big. There wasn’t any way around it – I had to buy, build and paint that crap. And the fact that they was quit expensive, didn’t make me feel better. I could have got 6 Dragon Jagdtigers for the same price – but as I didn’t know what to do with that many Jagdtigers I just bought those stupid mini tanks.
This are my first product from the polish company RPM. I didn’t have very high expectations that they would be of high quality – but this would be proved wrong. Actually there’s only three things I can complain about: the plastic is a little bit too soft, the tracks aren’t detailed on the surface pointing outwards and the turret dosn’t have any fitting to make it stay on the tank as most models have. But the plastic that is a little bit soft, as I said, is instead very easy to work with so if you just take care this isn’t a very big problem. I can’t remember building a model where the pieces fits together as good as on this model (here Italeri could really learn something). The model is richly detailed and quit fun to build.
I have built the first one now, and will build the rest at the same time now when I know which steps I can skip. But first I have to fix my problems with not having any details on the tracks and the turret that can’t be fixed to the tank. Funny but right now I think this stupid little tank is very cool – I can’t wait to paint them and to see the faces of the guys that gonna have to play german in this scenario! :)
Here is some pictures:
You could easily put 25 of those tanks into one box when they are built.
[Update] All four are built now – next will be to “dunkelgelb” them.
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[Update – 2010-03-16]
It have been I while since I have posted anything concerning my modelbuilding projects, to be honest I have been a little bit tired of all building and had the need to be together with my girlfriend, watch some soccer on the telly and use some time on another interest of mine – photography.
On this little project with my R35’s all I have done has been to start painting them (first a dunkelgelb cote sprayed on to the models and then using the dipping technique on them, but instead of literally “dipping” them I did add the stain with a brush).
Before that I tried to make some research on how this tanks, used by germans in Normandy, was painted and which style they used for the turret numbers. I was lucky to find a webpage where a guy that have made some really detailed research on the subject, wrote about exactly the same tanks that I am building for this scenario, tanks from the Panzer Ersatz und Ausbildungs Abteilung 100. So by reading his reseach on the matter I now know that my 4 tanks shall all be painted in typical german dunkelgelb. The turret numbers shall be white with black outline, and the numbers shall be 522, 523 and 532. The last tank, probably a command tank will not have any turret numbers but instead have a inverted Balkenkreuz, a white cross with black outlines – quit special. The tank with the number 532 are going to have an ordinary Balkenkreuz on the hull. If you are interested in this tanks that fought in the La Fiere battle you have to read this articles:
Another thing I have been doing on this tanks have been to fix the problem with the turrets that didn’t have any way to be fixed to the hull and still be able to rotate, which aren’t very smart when using them for wargaming. I made a quit time consuming fix for this which can be seen on the image below:
But Luis, a fellow wargamer wrote a comment and later sendt me an email expaining and showing how he did solve the same problem. I think that Luis way to fix it is by far the best. He simply glued a washer in the hull (the word “washer” confused me, hehe, didn’t know that it is a flat metal ring) and a piece of magnet sheet in the turret. Thank you very much for this tip Luis! :-)
Next step will be to paint details on the tanks, make the mud look more realistic and then add the decals that I had to order from Archers Fine Transfers.