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In-Box Review
135
Matilda Mk III/IV Interior
Matilda Mk III/IV Interior Detail Set
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction

The arrival of the new Tamiya Matilda was warmly welcomed by the wider modelling community and a review of their kit was done by Matan Ram here on site:
Tamiya Matilda

This new 'Queen of the Desert', as the Matilda was affectionately known, opens up lots of new modelling possibilities and Inside the Armour have taken this option a stage further by developing a full interior set for the Tamiya kit.

This is the second full vehicle interior kit that Inside the Armour have produced. The kit is designed for the new Tamiya Matilda Kit No mm35300 and provides an interior for either the Mk III or Mk IV version of the tank.

The kit consists of both resin and PE parts, a large proportion of the conversion is PE related and also provided in the set is a metal replacement barrel for the 2pdr gun which is a nice addition.

A new development is the inclusion of the instructions on CD disc format and as a bonus you get an excellent interior walk-around provided on the CD from Toadmanís Tank Pictures.

So letís see what you get:

The Set

The set comes packed in a small sturdy cardboard box with the manufacturer and product detail outlined on the front. Inside the box are two plastic zip bags of resin parts, a small CD containing the build instructions and Toadmanís Matilda Interior walk around, 3 large frets of PE, plus a smaller one, a zip plastic bag containing the metal barrel, some plastic rod and some brass wire.

The parts are moulded in a light cream resin, and what is apparent is that the overall quality is much improved with the detail being much sharper and clearer than on the initial Churchill interior production run. There has also been a switch to PE for the ammo bins and this will also allow a much better detailed interior to be built.

There are no part numbers on the parts themselves but provided in the instructions is a 2 page parts list showing the part number and corresponding them to the build instructions. Whilst some of the parts are easily identifiable, over all I would like to have seen an identification list added to the parts list so that you know exactly what part 36 is, not just where it goes. This not only helps increase ones enjoyment and understanding of the build but makes parts more easily matched to diagrams and real pictures that you will need for reference.

I contacted Chris at Inside the Armour and he kindly sent me a parts list which Iíve reproduced below for reference:

1. Driverís Compartment Walls
2. Electrical junction box
3. Batteries
4. Electrical junction box
6. Driverís control levers
7. Floor bulkhead between driverís compartment and fighting compartment (right side)
8. Floor bulkhead between driverís compartment and fighting compartment (left side)
9. Fuse Box
10. Driverís seat pad (bottom)
11. BESA ammunition
12. Driverís seat Pad (Back)
13. Water bottle
14. Oil can (requires wire to assemble)
15. Firewall
16. Upper bulkhead between driverís compartment and fighting compartment (right side)
17. Upper bulkhead between driverís compartment and fighting compartment (left side)
18. Compressed air reservoir
19. Valve for Compressed Air Reservoir
20. Combined water bottles and spare periscope blocks
21. BESA tools
22. Unknown stowage. Possibly power traverse spares
23. Inner mantlet
24. BESA
25. 2pdr Breech and free elevation shoulder pad
26. Number 19 set
27. Power Pack for 19 set
28. (not used)
29. Pistol Port
30. Grenades
31. Number 19 set variometer
32. Recuperator for Power Travers
33. Gun sight
34. Spare Telescopic sight
35. Turret cable coupling
36. I/C boxes
37. Stowage box for Number 19 set parts
38. Spare triplex blocks
39. Signal Satchel
40. Headpads for cupola ring
41. Turret turntable
42. 2pdr stowage
43. Power takeoff conduit for the turret
44. Turret power takeoff and 2pdr stowage
45. Commanderís pedestal
46. Compass binnacle
47. Smoke bomb cartridges
48. Gunnerís seat
49. Gunnerís seat pad
50. I/C box
51. Satchel (in frame)
52. Turret traverse Motor
Other 48; spare periscope prisms and brushes


Photo Etched

Four Frets of photo etched parts are provided to add extra detail to the set. These are nicely done and not quite as daunting as I first thought. They should add considerably to the build and the bins look like you could load shells into them if you wish!

Instructions

The instructions are laid out in 4 Parts. Part 1 covers the construction of the drivers compartment, Part 2 the building of the fighting compartment, Part 3 completion of the upper inner hull and Part 4 the building of the turret interior, with a final section on Completing the build. My advice here is to upload the information directly onto your computer and either work from screen or print off the pages as you need them.

What would have been good to include with the instructions would have been a copy of the interior stowage sketches, although with the inclusion of the walkaround mentioned below you may not feel these are necessary.

The Walkaround

Provided courtesy of Chris Hughes of Toadman's Tank Pictures is an excellent 33 picture walkaround of the Matilda Interior. These are quality high resolution photographs that will be of great use when building the set.

I have included a number of the original build pictures from Inside the Armour at the end of the review, again just for additional reference material.

Conclusion

This is an excellent set to enhance your Matilda Mk III or IV. The overall casting of the parts looks extremely good and you get a comprehensive range of fittings for both the hull and turret interior. The inclusion of a replacement 2pdr gun barrel is also a plus.

The presenting of the instructions on disc and the excellent walk around from Toadman's Tank Pictures should give you just about everything you need to make a successful build.

Interiors are not for everyone, but if you do like them then you should enjoy this set. There is quite a lot of PE to deal with but overall this should enhance the build considerably, it is not a medium I personally favour but I have found that if you take a bit more time it usually works well. A good tool helps, something I may have to invest in.

Overall I see significant improvements in the detail and casting in this set. Many of the parts are quite small as is the Matilda interior, so take care not to lose any to the carpet monster.

Chris has recently re-mastered the Besa ammunition boxes available in set 35011 and these are now included in the kit as standard. I have added some additional images at the end of the picture listing.

So if you are looking for something special, a little different perhaps or just like a challenge then this set should meet that need and give you a lot of fun and a highly detailed model at the end of the build.

Normal precautions apply when working with resin.

References:
Tank Power Volume XL11 (267) Matilda from Bronco5
Toadmans Tank Pictures Walkaround Toadman's

Post Script

Just announced here is an update set of ammo stowage to add yet more detail to the Matilda turret interior.
SUMMARY
Highs: Very good casting, well supported with reference materials providing a comprehensive detail set for the Matilda fighting hull interior and the turret.
Lows: Lack of part numbers on the sprues means a bit of double checking and cross referencing on the parts.
Verdict: Highly recommend, but not for the beginner.
Percentage Rating
87%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: ITA35002
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 21, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.46%

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About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2018 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

'WOT' No Matilda fans out there or is everyone on holiday? Al
AUG 23, 2010 - 10:11 AM
Not exactly on topic but just how popular is instructions on CD or DVD. Do many modelers have a computer, or TV/DVD player on their workbench? I don't. It takes up too much space and I don't want to make it messy.
AUG 25, 2010 - 07:00 AM
Fair Point, but providing you have a printer you could print them off, I did. Al
AUG 25, 2010 - 10:00 AM
I have to say, I was not sure about putting them on CD when I first tried it on the recommendation of others, but it has proved to be highly successful and I've had a lot of postive feedback from reviews and customers alike. So many in fact that I opened all existing kits with paper instructions, removed them and replaced them with CDs Of course they are not for everyone, I appreciate that, but without being able to put a cd into this release I could not have included the 30 plus very high resolution photoreference shots provided by Chris Hughes, and I though that they added something to the kit that was very much worth having, and that I have not seen anyone else do If customers have a real problem with the CD in their kit, I am always happy to hear from them and to provide solutions
AUG 25, 2010 - 10:12 AM
Hi Chris, The Walkabout is an ACE addition to the kit, very cool, a really useful resource. Al
AUG 26, 2010 - 11:55 AM
Hey Chris Let me first say, that I'm going to be picking one of these sets up! Just thinking out loud for the sake of discussion, would it be possible to supply paper instructions to customers who request them? This of course would be for those individuals who fall under the category mentioned above. Is this something that you would entertain on a case by case basis? I personally like the idea of having the instructions and reference material on a CD... I find it harder to lose a CD compared to instructions... By that's just me... but I do work off of paper instructions so I'll be printing them off during my build... whenever I get to it.... HAHA!!
AUG 26, 2010 - 12:31 PM
I can provide paper instructions, but at a small additional cost (basically to cover printing and postage) The other benefit with the CD is you can back it up onto your hard drive. Not so easy to lose I won't have the ability to provide the walkaround on all my kits, as it depends on access to the right vehicles, but it is certainly something I would like to do for every kit, so they will be included where I can
AUG 26, 2010 - 01:03 PM
   

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