Infantry Tank Matilda MK III/IV "Red Army"
We took a "first look" at this kit at http://amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=4043 Now it's on to the build!
The first 4 photos show stage 1 in the build. In this stage we build the lower hull of the vehicle. No flash was found and each part went together without any problem.
The cast nose of the Matilda was one of the most difficult-to-manufacture parts on the real tank. Tamiya's kit captures the heavy cast look well.
The second stage of the build, we put together the running gear of the tank. All the road wheels, jockey wheels, drive sprocket and idlers were glued together and painted before assembly. In the painting stage of this part the rest of the bogies were also painted before installation. The next 3 photos show the bogies, jockey wheel assemblies, drive sprocket and idlers painted and in position on the lower hull.
Below, the mud chutes built in place. No flash or installation problems with the build up to this point.
Below, the two photos show the track build. This is the first time, in my experience building Tamiya kits that they have included individual links in the kit. You build each link by putting the 2 halves together to create one link. The instructions were correct in that it took exactly 69 links per side to create the track run for each side. The rest of the lower hull was painted Vallejo Model Air Russian Green before the tracks were installed. The tracks were painted Tamiya Dark Steel and given a wash with AK Interactive Track Wash and then AK Interactive Track Steel Pigments were then used on the tracks to show worn areas of the track.
The next parts to add were the upper hull parts. This includes the engine cover, tow hooks and the grill cover. The engine covers lined up easily. No fit problems at this stage and no flash was found.
Next stage is attaching the upper hull to the lower hull. It is at this stage the spare tracks and vehicle tools are to be added but I decided to leave them off so they could be painted separately before adding them to the vehicle.
Next, the side skirts are added, along with the headlights. The side skirts went on without any fit issues.
Here is the completed hull, minus items to be painted separately.
The last thing to be built and added was the turret. At this stage we add the main 2-pounder gun and all hatches and accessories. The main gun moves with the aid of poly caps on either side allowing gentle but easy movement so the main gun can be shown to raise or lower the main gun.
The final stage is to place the turret onto the body of the tank. Even after painting the turret still fits easily and smoothly. The tank was painted with Vallejo Model Air Russian Green. The paint went on evenly and smoothly to bring out the texture that Tamiya molded on the body and turret.
After the main colour was painted, 3 coats of AK Interactive Worn Effects was airbrushed on the tank. Once the last coat of worn effects dried, Tamiya Flat White was painted on. Using a soft toothbrush and a tooth pick, gentle wearing was achieved. The final look which is shown in the last 2 photos shows a tank from the 19th Tank Corps, Central Sector of the Eastern Front, January 1942. It is also at this stage the figures were built and painted to add to the model.
This kit was a joy to build and the tracks with their excellent fit make this a must have for any modeler who like early war modeling.
Thanks goes out to Tamiya USA for supplying the model kit for review.
Reviewed by Graham Ross
Southwestern Ontario AMPS
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