Renault R35 & R40 Through a German Lens
Author: Alan Ranger
Camera On Series #26
Paperback, 80 pages with 121 black and white photos
The Camera On series from MMP has always been an excellent reference source for modelers and historians alike. This particular book on the Renault R35 & R40 is particularly interesting for those who own the recent Tamiya and ICM releases of these early war French tanks. As the title notes, these photos are taken through German lenses-- by combat soldiers who endured and persevered the early war engagements with the French forces up to their surrender. The photos are typically quite clear despite their age, with only an occasional blurred image- and those were most likely due to the subject being in movement at the time of the photo. Typically, the book presents two photos to a page, with occasional single page and two-page wide spreads of photos interspersed in the book.
The book opens with a four page Introduction and overview of the R35 and R40, including informative production and service history information- ending with a brief report of the tanks in German service. Following this section, we get to the meat of the book-- the excellent photos and captions. The brunt of the book covers the R35, with only a few small sections at the end dedicated to the R40 and to those in German service. Right from the get-go, one can easily see this book is written for the modeler. The first two-page spread photo features "Le Buffle", a tank that is one of the featured schemes in the newer Tamiya kit. The photo shows that the original diascopes in the turret have been replaced with vision slit panels, and the caption notes that the corresponding camouflage in the photo differs slightly from the paint instructions for the kit scheme. This is a very handy warning for the modeler that I really appreciate.
Up close detail of some damage incurred from the Germans
Le Tigre...similar unit to the same scheme on Meng's FT-17?
Interesting study of the various damage from rifle bullets and 50mm anti-tank rounds
Another caption giving some good diorama advice
It was very difficult as usual to choose which photos to preview here, but I chose some above that relate to model advice and references. This is a great book for those interested in the early war tanks. Lots of variations are evident- some had tail skids, some didn't, and in some cases, there were field-improvised skids applied. I wish I had it for the ICM kit, but I recently picked up the Tamiya kit from Sprue Brothers for a great price and will put the book to good use when I get to building it.
The series is always excellent and this volume doesn't let down- without hesitation I judge this book to be Highly Recommended for anyone interested in early war French armor.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.
Click here for more information about joining AMPS