by: Nathan Ram [ ]
The Matilda tank was in use by several armed forces, and was deployed from the start of World War two, serving until it had ended. It was produced between 1937-1943, and some 2,987 units were built. It was armed with a 2 pounder main gun (40mm) and a Besa coaxial machine gun. Due to its vast thickness of armor, the German forces found that they could not penetrate it, as their ammunition would sometimes just bounce off. Only when the Germans had begun using their 88mm AA guns in the AT role could they penetrate and destroy the Matilda tanks.
This is Tamiya’s “300th milestone” kit, and it is basically a replacement to the old (and flawed) Matilda kit.
Upon opening the box, one notices the crisp and sharp details of the kit’s parts. The sprues come separately bagged so no parts are lost. What’s more, this kit comes with a very nice addition of a two-sided picture reference sheet that will come in very handy during the painting process (although the paint scheme in the pictures matches only one vehicle). The kit also comes with 3 figures (though, not complete figures), which are a nice addition, and will allow for an “open hatches” OOB build. The inclusion of both link-and-length-type tracks and vinyl answers the call of many modelers, and enables each one to build his flavor of tracks.
The quality of this kit is indeed “top-notch.” Details are very crisp, and the casting texture is excellent. All of the parts are very well-made, and I hardly noticed any flash or sink holes on them (except the inner side of the hull parts, but as it’s on the inside, it hardly matters). The only flash marks I have encountered are on the added figures (whose details are very nice, too), but it shouldn’t prove hard to remove.
The instructions are very clear, broken down into 32 easy-to-follow-and-understand steps. Each step is clearly printed, and a small explanation is added at times.
The kit contains 5 sprues:
• A sprue *2: Contains the road wheels, idlers, sprockets and the suspension.
• B sprue *2: Contains the link-and-length track and the return wheels.
• C sprue *1: Contains lower hull parts and turret.
• D sprue *1: Contains upper hull parts, tools, etc.
• E sprue *1: contains side skirts and figures.
• The upper hull base comes as a separate part, wrapped with 1 string “rope” and 10 poly-caps.
• The kit also contains “belt type” tracks for those who don’t like to build the link-and-length tracks – a very welcomed addition, I’m sure.
Painting and Decals
The instructions booklet has painting scheme and decals options for the following vehicles:
• 42nd Royal Regiment, 1st Army Tank Brigade, North Africa, 1941.
• 32nd Army Tank Brigade, Libya, 1941,
• 49th Royal Tank Regiment, 35th Army Tank Brigade, England, 1942.
• 49th Royal Tank Regiment, 35th Army Tank Brigade, England 1942.
I find this kit very nicely-made, and it should prove a spectacular build. Part details are great, and cast texture is nicely reproduced. Add to that the figures you get, and you are ready to go with this one. A very welcome addition to all “Allies” modelers.